From Robin

I am so very sorry, for the loss you are experiencing. I understand and know your pain because we lost our precious little muttapoo, Nicholas, on May 19, 1998. He was diagnosed with Canine Lymphoma, in April of 1997. We fought hard, but it finally won. He was never really sick until the day we put him to sleep. I don't have any human children, and I feel as if I have lost the love of my life. But I want to tell you... it DOES get easier.

There may be some days when you don't even want to get out of bed... but there WILL come a time, when you think of your baby, that you smile, instead of cry...I promise......I'm going to tell you a story... It is a true story. It is a story I hope you will pass on to others when you hear of a need. This is what happened....

Two years ago, a friend of ours, Lou, was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was too late to do much to help her. Another friend of our's, Jan, was Lou's best friend, and also a nurse. On many occasions, Jan and I would have "discussions" about whether or not animals went to heaven. I always contended that they did, because the Bible says that there are white horses at the right hand of God... so it always seemed to me that there would be other animals in heaven. She always said that animals did not have souls, therefore they could not go to heaven. (Her strict Baptist upbringing was coming through!) As Lou became sicker and sicker, Jan stayed with her day and night. Lou finally sank into a coma, and stayed there for three weeks. When she died, Jan was there. She called me the next morning to tell me that Lou had died. But she didn't tell me the rest of the story for several weeks.

It seems that on the night Lou died, she awoke suddenly from the coma! Her eyes sprang open, and she exclaimed,"SPARKY!!". And then just as suddenly... she died. None of her family knew who "Sparky" was. Not her husband of 45 years, not her grown children..no one. One day, a couple of weeks later, Jan got a call from Lou's family, asking her to come over. It seemed they had something important to show her. It was an old black and white picture.... of a little girl, and a German Shepherd. On the back it was hand written in faded ink...Lou...age 10...and Sparky. I believe you'll see your baby again! And know this!! Your fur baby is having the time of their life!!! And they knew how deeply you loved, and that you always will....I think they would want us to be happy for the time we shared together .. . Hugs and prayers to you. When you feel a little better, take a look at my web site. You'll know you are not alone in loving a dog so much!

Robin

Let me tell you the story of Fred..my 18 1/2 year old poodle, and the way I "Made" the decision. I wote this originally, in an e-mail to Melinda, Sparky's Mom, the very day, that Sparky was helped to the bridge. If it is ever time, I hope this might help you as well.

Hi Melinda,

No one understands this MORE than I do. Not so much with Nicholas, because we KNEW he was sick, and were TRYING to prepare ourselves. He WAS my child, ya know? But, before him, I had Fred. Fred was a poodle that I had gotten when I was 17 years old. HE was 3 weeks old! His mother had died in a fire! These awful people across the street from his house watched the garage burning and saw a mama dog come out and drop ONE puppy and she went back in and never came out. And they never TRIED to help her!!! Well, that puppy was baby Fred. He was a Parti poodle, grey and white, and he was the love of my life. He went through SO much with me. All through college, Fred was my baby, and when I married the first time, he was there for that, and the subsequent divorce, 6 years later. And then when I fell in love with Dale, and married him, of course he became Fred's new dad, AND he was a WONDERFUL dad to Fred. Well, Fred was getting on up there, he was 14. I was starting to get that "Dreaded" feeling, and so I prayed this prayer, earnestly from my heart...

"Dear God..I LOVE Fred SO much, that I can NOT bear to loose him..if he MUST die..then you will have to take me with him..OR.......... make it so that I can BEAR it.."

4 days later, Dale woke me up, saying that he needed help in the front yard. "What"?, I said sleepily. He said "NOW!! Come NOW!!". Well, out in the front were two dogs, a moma dog and her baby, a puppy who was about 10 weeks old. That puppy turned out to be our precious Nicholas and his mother. He had been born in the woods by our house, and she had dragged him up to our house. The momma had heartworms, and was in bad shape. He was only matted, she had been nursing him. Well, we treated the heartworms for the mom, found a home for her, and we found a home for him, OURS!! God answered my prayer. He made it BEARABLE, when it WAS time.

And speaking of that, I will tell you what happened to let me know it WAS time. Promise you won't think I am NUTS, because as sure as I am typing to you, this DID happen. One morning I was putting breakfast on the table for Bed and Breakfast guests (Our house was a B and B for 10 years). I remember the song "Oh Danny Boy" was playing on the stereo, and out of the blue (I wasn't even THINKING about Fred at that moment), a VOICE, DEEP and LOUD, said only these words, "IT IS TIME". I dropped the china cup and ran crying into our room. I felt that God himself had told me it was time. Fred was now 18 1/2 years old, yes, 18 1/2!! And at night, he was crying, sometimes the aspirin would stop it, sometimes it wouldn't. I would HOLD him and cry. Well, this all happened on a Sunday morning. I told Dale what happened, and on Monday we went to the pet cemetary. THAT is where I decided to have his body cremated, that way I could keep even his MATTER with me for ever! And on the next day, May 19, 1993, my husband took himand left him at the vet. HE could NOT stay. He could not even TALK. I wish SO much now, that I had been with him.

With Nicholas I guess I had grown up a bit, and put my feelings BEHIND those of my baby. I remember an Ann Landers column, I may have told you already, that was the 10 commandments for dog owners written from the DOG'S point of view. The LAST one said, "And on that LAST trip to the vet's, PLEASE stay with me....for anywhere you are..things are EASIER for me". I am SO glad I was there with him, it was very peaceful. If you need me, call, even if it is the middle of the night. You have my number.

Love, Robin

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The 10 Commandments for Dog Owners

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