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Discussion Starter #1
I've been writing about this subject on another forum so while it is fresh in my mind I thought I might carry it over here.When I lost my Bubba to cancer in 2002 at the age of 3, I experienced so many feelings ,shock at the diagnoses, my heart ached knowing I would lose him in a short time, disappointment for not being able to have him till he was old, are just a few of the internal feelings I fought with. At times like this our families are not always our biggest supporters. It isn't that they don't want to help us through a difficult time, usually, they just don't know how. Many of our family members have not had the kind of relationship we have with our bassets so their answer for our grief is ,"He was just a dog,"or "You can get another one." The time we have shared with this worthy companion gets trivialized and sometimes we begin to question ourselves as to what is normal and what is not. When a heart breaks and is in pain for the loss of one of our bassets, it is real. It is normal. We can't just will ourselves to not feel the loss and sorrow, something very precious has been ripped from our lives. We resent it, we hate it, and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. How do we get passed the pain? It isn't easy and be prepared for the long struggle. There are a few things that can be helpful. 1. There are a lot of pet memorial sites on the internet. My personal favorite is Portail Basset Hound Countries of the World. I have Bubba and Grace there. http://www.portail-basset-hound.com/memorial/bubba.htm. Choose a site you like and set up your own memorial for your basset who has passed. 2. Write a journal about your journey with your beloved companion. You can express yourself in any way you like. 3. Do a scrapbook of your dogs including any who have passed. 4. Find another doggy person to talk with, someone who doesn't mind if you ramble on until the cows come home, because they understand. That is mostly what we want ,someone to understand what we are feeling and not think we are stupid or we need to get a life. Sadly ,there are many who will never know the love of a canine of any breed,let alone a basset. Just remember,you are not alone, this isn't just happening to you, we will be here for you, our heart is breaking with yours because we've been there. Do something today, set up a memorial so everyone can have a look to see what made YOU so happy,and lives on in your heart.
 

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I lost a dog (not a basset) 8 years ago, and I still grieve for her. I lost my mother 10 years ago, and I've dealt with the grief of her death better than that of my dog. You're right--a lot of people don't understand how it can affect us so deeply. I don't even understand it. But I know many people who have lost beloved dogs as well as family members, and they have said the dog's death was harder to deal with. Not that they didn't love the person, but it's a completely different kind of grief. It would be interesting to read people's ideas as to why we have such a hard time coming to grips with the loss of a great dog.
 

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Good suggestions. When Sadie was diagnosed with cancer last year & I had to make the decision to send her to the Bridge, I experienced all the emotions you mentioned. I am fortunate to have family & friends who love animals as much as I do, and they were a great comfort. My sister was especially compassionate. She had flowers sent to me in addition to a gift basket filled with mementos of Sadie & also some products for pampering myself. She also remembered Sadie's birthday last month with a thinking of you card. I don't think she realizes how much it means to me to have her acknowledge the relationship I had with Sadie. I also did some things that help with the healing. I planted one of my favorite flower bushes in my back yard, where Sadie liked to spend time. I also created a slide show of favorite pictures of Sadie throughout her life, from the 1st day I met her until 3 days before her death. I set the slideshow to inspirational songs. Right after Sadie's death, it was very hard to watch, but now I am glad I spent the time to do it. I occasionally watch it & as time passes, it brings more smiles than tears. Everyone grieves in their own way, but I do think it helps that people acknowledge that the grief over losing a pet is real. I always tell people that my dogs are as important to me as their children are to them. Thanks for posting this, as I think such threads are also helpful. I am going to go visit your Bubba's memorial site now! :)

Sadie 2/8/95 ~ 6/9/06
 

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When we had to send Daisy to the bridge a few weeks ago, we were fortunate enough to have friends and family who understood. A donation was made in her memory to FOCAS, Friends of County Animal Shelters, and we received several condolence cards. The waitresses at the chicken joint where we take the dogs to eat said how sorry they were. I still have a hard time believing she's gone, and have to be careful of my thoughts so I don't cry at work(even though I work in an animal care field, it's still not cool t lose it on the job). My husband was devastated - he cried more than he did for his parents - I think because it's more like losing a child. Adopting Rocky, our new basset, from rescue has helped somewhat, but he doesn't replace Daisy. That's what some people don't understand. I think a scrap book is a good idea.......it will be easier to look at when we are farther along in the grieving process.

Daisy Mae ATB March 2007
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This would be a good time and place for those who have lost a basset friend to open up. Tell us about your life with a passed hound or canine. I would love reading about the special ones in your lives. I love the stories of the ones already posted and photos.
 

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It would be interesting to read people's ideas as to why we have such a hard time coming to grips with the loss of a great dog.[/b]
I think sometimes dogs come to symbolize significant things in our lives, so that their passing can carry deeper meaning than just the passing of the dog.

I had my mixed breed Mollie for 17 years during my young adulthood- she was my backpacking companion for many years in the Smokey Mts. of N.C. and the Blue Ridge in Virginia. Her passing coincided with a move to Pennsylvania, and saying goodbye to her really symbolized saying goodbye to a part of my life that had passed.

I still have her ashes and picture in a special place. She's been gone for almost 16 years now, and I still dream about her every now and then. Love is forever.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That is exactly what I'm talking about. When Bubba died I felt like my identity died with him . He had points towards his champion title and people knew me because of him. I have his ashes and Grace's ashes in two pretty containers in my entry way. I want to continue to show so I've been looking for a potential show bitch for a long time. She could help me continue the dream I started with Bubba.
 

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It's only been 5 days since he left me, and I am halfway around the world on the worst-timed business trip ever. I am counting down the days to get home and I'm sure more grieving will start then. I like the idea of the scrapbook. I can't manage to organize my own pictures from the last 10 years into even so much as an album but I really want to make a scrapbook of Jose. I have sooooo many pictures of Jose from through the years. My favorite is a poloroid that I took the day I got him. This tiny little furball who fit under one of those white plastic lawn chairs.

Jose's picture is on my laptop and signing in to my computer I see his face come up. The other day I just talked to him like I would anytime he so much looked at me. Telling him how pretty he is and calling him all his goofy nicknames...
 

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Thank you for making this thread, what a wonderful thread it is. I lost both of my childhood dogs within the last few years. Sparky (a dalmation) was about 13 when we had to put him down about 3 years ago. I was in the room with him as he shook and then died. The look on his face will forever be in my head. Last June (exactly 1 week after school ended) my dog Lil' Bit (a terrier) passed (16 yrs old). It was the wierdest thing. It was the first day in I don't know how long that my whole family was home. That morning Lil' Bit was very demanding about getting some attention (usually he doesn't care). We put him outside to go potty because we were about to go bowling. My dad went to let him in and he wasn't coming so he went in the yard to get him. My dad then calmly came inside and said to my mom "Karen you drive, I'll hold Bitty - I think we've lost him." We all loaded into the car to rush to the vets. Lil' Bit looked completely lifeless, but he continued to just barely breathe. Once we got to the vet's we hugged him, they took him in the back, came out and gave us their condolences. It was so hard. The worst part was as I sat there on the bench waiting for someone to come out and tell me something there was this young couple there with their puppy and they were giving me dirty looks like I had done something wrong. The moment that made it bareable (sp?) was when a complete stranger came up to me and just held me as I cried uncontrolablly. Once again another moment that I will never forget. Lily and Gibbs are my first dogs that are all mine. I know I will be lost without them as I know others on here have been when one of theirs has passed. It's rough, and like someone said earlier, it's just like loosing a child. Sorry to be so long winded, but I wanted to share my experience with this.

~Heather
 

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We lost our beloved Bubba to Lymphoma cancer on Dec. 20, 2005. He was only seven years old and our "fur kid". Having to make the decision to put him to sleep was one of the hardest things we have ever done. It was two weeks from the first symptom of labored breathing after a walk and a trip to the vets, to our holding him in our arms in the vets office as he went to the "bridge". We, the vet, and the staff all cried together. He was very special to them as they had cared for him from the day we got him, and he was also boarded there. He was our companion, camping buddy, fur clown that kept us laughing with his antics, and such a gentle soul. The neighborhood kids wold come over and knock on the door wanting to know if Bubba could come out and play. Many of the neighbors sent us pet sympathy cards. The only time we ever heard him growl was that last morning we took him in to the vet. He growled when my husband picked him up to put him in the car, and we knew he was in terrible pain.
We both cried all the way home and the house was terribly empty. Bubba wasn't at the window waiting for the car to drive up. Being right at Christmas time made it really tough, and we drug through the holidays. It took us several weeks before we could pick up the bowls, toys, beds, and crate and pack them away. We cried often and missed him terribly. We had him cremated and placed his ashes in a metal container that has an engraved image of him and his name on it. Some day we will decided where to place it, but for now it sits in the corner of the den by the hearth.
We had notified his breeder that we had lost him to cancer. In January she called us and told us that she had Bubba's nephew (Bubba and Bogie's Mother were from the same litter) available and we could have him if we wished. We had not planned on getting another Basset that soon, but decided that fate had stepped in and we would go get him. So Bogie entered our lives and helped ease the pain. He has become our "fur kid" now, and we now laugh at his antics. He is not Bubba, totally different personality, but we love him dearly.
We have many pictures of Bubba over the years, and I added a "Bubba" section to the photo album I was working on with all our favorite pictures of him. We also blew up one of the pictures to an 8x10 and took it with a small one of him to the downtown framer. I had them mat the pictures and put his registered name, Bubba, and his birth date and death date on a plaque at the bottom. We have it hanging in our study. Even today we can still tear up when we think about the special times we had with him or something reminds us of him. He will always remain in our hearts.


This is one of our favorite pictures of Bubba. He always amazed us carring the tennis ball in the side of his mouth.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I remember when your Bubba died. I know how hard that was and I remember when you got the one you have now. I love that photo. I'm glad some are taking advantage of the grief thread. I was afraid some may feel I was trying to invade something very private. The day my boy Bubba was put to sleep he was so happy someone might question my reason. A while back when Bubba had first been diagnosed with cancer I told him he would need to tell me when he had enough because I was afraid I wouldn't know and I didn't want him to suffer. Well, a week after Christmas 2002 ,Bubba let me know it was time . His date was 12/31/02. He loved riding in the Van but today he couldn't get up on the seat. The prednisone he was on made him gain 20 lbs,at 90 lbs he did not fit on the seat. When we got to the Vet's he was still wagging his tail. A couple was there with their Greater Swiss Mountain Dog puppy. Bubba just planted himself in front of them because he loved puppies and he wanted to see theirs. I'm sure they thought he was just another over weight basset. When they called us to go in the room Bubba was pulling me in. He laid down on the floor and when the Vet came in he didn't get up but left her know he was happy to see her. I thought when they went to shave his front leg he would go nuts because it sounded like the Dremel I used for his nails,but he just laid there and did not move, just rested his head in my hands, then,THEN, I knew he was ready. As he driffted off and his head got heavy in my hands,he sucked in a deep breath and scared the crap out of me . The Vet said that was normal and he was gone. At dog shows he made people notice him but I'll save that story for another thread. He has been gone 4 years now but a day does not go by that I don't think of him. He was my one in a million. I thought my heart would burst when he died , it didn't , but the the grief I felt was so enormous it took control of my life.I never thought I could love a dog that much. the photo is of Bubba and me at the 2000 Nationals in St Louis we went home with 4 ribbons and a pewter plate. The photo of him sleeping he was snoring so loud it is ashame the photo doesn't have sound. And the last one is Bubba about 6 months old beside Grace who died 10 months after Bubba, she is 4 in the photo.
 

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"He was just a dog,"or "You can get another one."[/b]
Oh I hate that. Fortunately our families know better, they've long since stopped expecting us to produce children and my mum even refers to our pack as the "grand-dogs".

I still grieve for all of our lost dogs, there's not a day goes by I don't think about them.


------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kerrio
Jackson's Blog.
 

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Such a similar story is mine on the last trip to the vet. I knew undoubtedly that it was time, in fact I had a hard time waiting until our 4:30 appt. There were more people than I thought in the vet waiting area, and two women with a cat instantly started talking about the basset that walked in. They remarked how friendly he was, as he was looking at them wagging his tail. He looked decievingly well. No one had any idea why we were there. We sat on the metal bench that José usually jumps up on (he doesn't sit on FLOORS, you know!). My husband & I each held an end and he lay across us. When it was time he also didnt care about his paw shaved. The front two already were from IV's so they did the back. He was sitting there and just got sleepy and we held his head and helped him lay down on the table and in just a minute the vet announded his heart was stopped. We just sobbed. I was surprised my husband sobbed with me, in fact he had to sit down, I just held Josés head and kept feeling his chest. I just wanted to "make sure". We stayed for a while, I squeezed his big fat paws, stroked his ears. My parents were there too and they left to give my husband and I a few last minutes. We hugged and kissed him goodbye.

That was one week ago. I am home from my business trip now and the empty house is taking some getting used to. His water bowl is gone but his toy basket is there. My husband tucked his comforter into the top of the futon just like we always did - so it is ready for him to jump up and crawl under the covers.

This message board helps so much, I see others who lost their hounds to cancer as well, even younger than my 5 year old José. I got a card in the mail from my friend, and one from a secretary at work who heard - which is unbelievably nice & appreciated.

Thanks for this thread - very theraputic to see you are not alone.
 

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Weeping as I read this thread. And thinking how fortunate we are to have two happy and healthy hounds, yet reminded of the fact that their time will inevitably come. Caring for hounds is not so much a duty as a priviledge: they are on this earth for such a short time and it's encumbent upon us to give them the best possible in life. When necessary we make the right decision based on vet. advice (and gut instinct) and we cuddle and snuggle and love them when they go to the Bridge. And we never forget. x
 
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