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message 1: by Robbie (new)

Robbie Bashore | 592 comments Dear virtual friends:

My dog died today. He was 2 1/2 years old. He had Pug Encephalitis. He became sick and died within a week. I'm very sad about this. I used the Haiku Lounge a bit to express some of my grief. He was such a great dog. Wonderful with my kids. He never snapped or even growled at them once. I took him to the doggie ER, and he was admitted for some tests. I wanted to see him before he died. I figured I would need to euthanize him, since this always lethal disease causes a painful death, but he died before I got back to the hospital. My 6 1/2 year-old daughter, Lily, and I were able to view his body and say a little prayer for him at Lily's request. I know we had part of a thread earlier about death of people and pets and grief and children's reactions. This was an opportunity to discuss grief with my children, and about how everybody grieves differently. What a crummy lesson to learn!

message 2: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Aw, Robbie, I am so, so sorry. :(

message 3: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Robbie, my heart grieves with you at the loss of your dog. It is never easy, no matter how old you are, to lose a friend.

message 4: by Dottie (last edited Jan 21, 2008 05:36PM) (new)

Dottie (oxymoronid) | 698 comments Oh, Robbie, that is really sad -- but so sweet that Lily requested to say the prayer. It is difficult for us when animals die or must be euthanised but children do have a harder time.

I still remember how differently my two reacted to the deaths of their little dogs (hit by a car due to negligence of the utility meter reader) many years ago. One bought a new puppy almost sooner than I thought was good -- the other wanted no pets -- then had a bird and a rabbit before opting to go to the pound to rescue a puppy -- which looked just like the one she'd had and was promptly dubbed Ditto.

message 5: by Sera (new)

Sera Awww, Robbie I'm so sorry. We had to put one of our dogs down less than a year ago (he's the white one in the photo), and we still miss him so much. I'll be thinking of you, and let me know if you need someone to chat with.

message 6: by Arctic (new)

Arctic | 571 comments Dear Robbie, you have my sincerest condolences. Losing such a wonderful companion is never easy.

As you know, I lost a young dog recently as well. I was out of town on business when he died and have always wished I could have been there to say goodbye to him. He suffered terribly before he died, and I, the one he liked best, wasn't there to comfort him. I wish I could say that the pain lessens or goes away, but it's still really difficult for me to think about even now.

It may help to remember all of the good times your dog and your family had together and how much better your lives have been because of his existence.

There's also a book, For Every Dog an Angel, that your little one might like.

message 7: by Robbie (new)

Robbie Bashore | 592 comments Thanks for all of the nice messages, everybody. Dotty, my son's (age 5) first reaction, after crying a bit, was to say that we could get a new dog that looks just like Munchkin and name it Munchkin, and that would make it all better. My daughter thought we should get a different kind of dog with a different name, so everybody would know that we lost our dog. Both kids want to get another dog right away. I want to get another some time, but am not sure when. My husband, previously not really a dog person, thinks we definitely need to get another pug, whenever we finally get another dog.

Most of my animal death experiences are with cats. They were great cats and ones I really bonded with, but somehow, I think because dogs are just so *present* especially pugs who are bred to be companions, their absense makes a bigger difference. I'm just hoping I'll get the biggest share acute grief out of the way now, so that I don't burst into tears during work tomorrow!

Again, thanks for your support. My live-and-in-person friends have been great, too!

message 8: by Robbie (new)

Robbie Bashore | 592 comments Oh, and Heather, I'm so sorry you were out of town during your dog's illness. I felt a real need to be the one to take my dog to the ER this morning, even though I had to get to work soon. (I was late.)

We're trying to remember the good stuff, and we're doing a pretty good job.

One silly thing I said to the kids was, "At least we have a good picture of Munchie's butt!" My son got one of those Fisher Price digital cameras from Santa, and he took that photo on Christmas to be silly. My daughter didn't want to laugh at first, but then she couldn't help it.

message 9: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Robbie, that is such a precious story! I'm so glad that you have so many wonderful memories of Munchkin. (Great name for a pug, by the way.)

message 10: by alicia (new)

alicia grant (shesha556) Oh so sorry.

message 11: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Stirrat | 201 comments Robbie, I am so so sorry! My Mom used to have pugs and I miss their brave and joyous spirit. There is a wonderful poem about pets and owners being reunited after death, called "Rainbow Bridge." I grew up breeding and showing dogs and it was my Mom's best gift to anyone who had lost a beloved pet.

Here it is:

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

message 12: by Shaindel (new)

Shaindel | 54 comments Robbie,

I'm very, very sorry... To me, losing animal companions is especially hard b/c animals are ALWAYS our friends. They never do anything that makes us doubt their love for us (not that I'm not a fan of people, but you know what I mean). Perhaps the hardest loss for me EVER was the loss of my cat Fluff. She was almost 19 so I had her from when I was 10 until I was 29. She raised me. My other cat Princess I had from first grade to the week before my first Master's thesis was due--ages 6 to 23. I hope that your children get to experience the life-long love of a pet. It's very sad that Munchkin's life was cut so short. Perhaps it would be best not to get another pug if they are prone to certain diseases. I would hate for the children to have to experience the same traumatic event again. I hope that wasn't insensitive. I don't have kids, but I was just imagining how hard that would be for them...


message 13: by Megan (new)

Megan | 118 comments I can relate to your experience. Like you, my dog passed away before my family was going to put him to sleep. I was adamently against it and prayed God would take him at his own time and he passed the day he was going to the vets. Sadly the vet passed away in a car accident a few months later. However, it is comforting to know that Doc Myhrom is able to keep an eye on our pets while we can't.

Two books to recommend- Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant is a children's picture book. There is also a Cat Heaven. Then the book, A Mango Shaped Space deals a lot with the loss of a pet and even includes resources to look to for those experiencing that type of a loss.

message 14: by Robbie (new)

Robbie Bashore | 592 comments Shaindel, no offense taken. I've thought of that, but the condition, isn't *that* common, and they really are wonderful dogs.

My daughter had some crying spells at school yesterday. My son is sort of in denial, I think. Thanks for all the book suggestions. I've ordered some from amazon.

message 15: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Robbie - this book isn't so much about dogs passing, but it's about losing a friend. It's a children's book by Jamie Lee Curtis, Where Do Balloons Go? An Uplifting Mystery. She wrote it for kids but it was after a friend of hers had died from AIDS. It's very sweet and gently deals with love and loss.

message 16: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) Hi Robbie,

I'm so sorry to hear about your dog. I had a cat die very suddenly as well a few years ago. He had FIV (like HIV, but for cats), but he was doing really well. He was around 4 years old, and I had him for about a year. I went away for a trip for ten days, and when I got back on a Monday, he was acting a little funny, but I didn't think anything of it. By Friday he was having seizures (although at the time I didn't realize it was seizures - I won't go into the details, but it was traumatic and seemed very painful for the poor animal), so I took him to the vet. The seizures didn't happen while we were there, but they told me he became blind somehow. I took him home, but on Saturday he was having seizures again, so I rushed him back to the vet and they ended up putting him down. They said the FIV went to his brain and caused some sort of neurological damage and there was nothing they could do. I was in complete shock because it happened so unexpectedly.

Anyway, I didn't want to get another cat for awhile, but my husband thought I needed one and got one for me within days (without my knowledge). He just plopped this new cat in my lap about fours days after the other cat died. I was definitely shocked and thought it was way too soon, but I quickly warmed up to the new cat, and it did help me get over the loss of the old cat (especially since my husband got it from the anti-cruelty society - i figured he saved the new cat's life since I don't know how long they wait before putting the animals down). That all happened about three years ago to the day, and I really really love my new cat a lot. I have a photo of my old cat in a frame, but I'm happy to have saved my new cat from the shelter (and the little friend we adopted for him six months later from the same shelter).

We didn't have children involved with the FIV cat, but when I was a kid, my parents replaced our pets pretty quickly after they died, and I hate to say it, but it was nice. The novelty of a new pet helped to ease the pain of losing the old one.

Anyway, I'm really, really sorry for your loss. It's a huge shock when they pass away so suddenly and unexpectedly. Hang in there!

message 17: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
I'm a little late in my condolences, Robbie, but I am so very sorry for your loss of a dear friend. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

message 18: by Robbie (new)

Robbie Bashore | 592 comments Thanks, Michele.

My kids are doing better, and last night we read some good pet grief books, leading to fun memories of Munchie.

I had a rough time on Sunday. Weekends are when I miss him most. Plus, the message at church was delivered by our graduating seniors, and that always tears me up. So, once the flood-gates opened...WAAAAAHHH!

The good news is we're getting a puppy. He won't be able to come home with us until after Valentine's Day, but we're going to visit him on Saturday. His photo is my new photo-thingie.

Thanks again to everybody for you kind words and thoughts!

message 19: by Freya (new)

Freya | 19 comments I am so sorry... I have a big black lab named Sampson and he is a huge part of the family. Your new puppy is so adorable and I hope he helps you!

message 20: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) OMG Robbie, your new puppy is SO SO cute! I hope he brings to you and your family as much, and even more, joy than your previous dog. What a wonderful Valentine's Day gift!

message 21: by Alison, the guru of grace (new)

Alison | 1282 comments Mod
Robbie, is new puppy a pug?

message 22: by Robbie (new)

Robbie Bashore | 592 comments Yeah, he's a pug. It's just such a wonderful breed, temperament-wise. We tried to think of a different breed to adopt, or even getting a 'mutt' like I always had growing up, but my husband especially wanted another Pug. Munchie was his first dog and really was amazing with the kids!

Pug encephalitis, although specific to the breed, isn't *super* common. I'm sure we'll be thinking about it when this dog is in adolescence [when are we going to get spell-check on goodreads? ;)], I just have to believe that this isn't going to strike two dogs in a row for us.

message 23: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) He's very cute.

message 24: by Alison, the guru of grace (new)

Alison | 1282 comments Mod
Not sure if you were checking on encephalitis or adolescence, but I think they're both right on. :)

My friend is obsessed with pugs. She has three, plus all these little miniature collectible ones. And a webkins one which she checks on daily (she's 38). Haha.

message 25: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) A lady in my local book club has a pug-chihuahua mix. So she looks like a pug only with a little bigger snout. She's adorable.

message 26: by Robbie (new)

Robbie Bashore | 592 comments Alison:
It was adolescence. I can remember thinking my mom was so dumb when I was in elementary school and she would ask me how to spell words. Maybe she was just testing me. Anyway, sometimes I get stuck now. And, I've grown so dependent on spell-check. I blush in shame.

message 27: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) What browser are you using? I'm using Explorer on Windows Vista and I can have a "research" tab on my browser page where I can look things up in both dictionaries and encyclopedias and thesauri without leaving my window.

message 28: by Arielle (new)

Arielle | 120 comments Congrats on the new puppy! Pugs are sweet, I can see why you'd want another one.
Sarah - the plural of thesaurus is thesauri? Aren't you just the little fount of knowledge!

message 29: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I looked it up using the feature I was describing! ;)

message 30: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
If you use foxfire, it is like having word in that it underlines in red if it is misspelled. It doesn't change it, but you can select from the options if you right click still... so it kinda rocks AND is safer - YEA!!

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