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post #1 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 02:51 AM Thread Starter
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Decisions, decisions

Losing Charlie has been beyond awful. For the first week, I was in a constant state of breakdown. Now three weeks have passed and things are a little better - I break down several times a day and constantly feel sad and lost but I'm able to function fairly normally at least. Sometimes I forget he's gone. Yesterday I had to spend the afternoon in my office (mostly I work at home) and when I left to come home, I had that familiar feeling of so much looking forward to getting back home to Charlie. Then I remembered he wasn't there any more :/

And I'm torturing myself. I keep thinking "did I have him pts too soon?" then I think the opposite "did I make him go on too long?" Rationally, I think I got the timing about as right as I could but this terrible questioning keeps coming back.

Anyway, it's all been a bit grim so my partner and I have been trying to focus on the future. We're both country people who have ended up living in the city for work reasons and don't really like it. For ages we've had a vague plan to move out into the countryside. Now Charlie is gone, it's focused our minds a lot more and we're making firm plans and a schedule. We want a few acres of land and a home out in the sticks somewhere and we've set ourselves a target of three years to raise the money and get moving.

So anyway ... dogs. I've decided to get a working-line Border collie pup this summer. It's been a very long time since I had a pup and I want to do some high level obedience work and maybe sheepdog trialling. Why not another Dobe? Because right now I miss Charlie so much and I'm scared that I'll just be looking for him in another Dobe. And I'm not sure that our fox terrier, who is going blind, is up to a boingy Dobe at the moment. But ... we've decided that when we move to the countryside, we'll add a rescue Dobe to our family then - probably a bitch this time because the BC will be a dog. We'd also like to take in a couple of oldies of any breed - I get so saddened by the dumped 12 yr old whatevers in rescues that no one ever wants.

So those are our plans. Of course life may throw something completely different our way, who knows.
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post #2 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 03:19 AM
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First of all I am SO SORRY about the pain you are going through in regards to losing Charlie- I know how painful it is. PLEASE DO NOT second guess yourself or the decision you made in regards to timing. I am sure you thought your decision through thoroughly and changed your mind a 1000x times over- in your heart of hearts you know you did what was right for everyone involved although it literally broke your heart. We all wish that they could live forever, but that is not reality. I don't want to sound cliche, but time does heal all wounds but Charlie will remain in your heart FOREVER and you will NEVER forget him.
As for the rest of you plans, I think everything sounds WONDERFUL. I wish you and yours nothing but the BEST! I hold the highest respect for those who rescue any breed, and those who rescue seniors, well, they are in a league of their own. Hang in there Crow, there are still allot of good times yet to come and dogs out there that need you. I'm sure that Charlie is looking down on you with nothing but approval and only will send the best your way
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post #3 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 04:10 AM
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your plans sound great and im glad the do include another dobe somewhere down the line !!

you did the utmost best for charlie and he will always love and appreciate everything you did for him !!!x

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post #4 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 05:45 AM
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You gave Charlie 110%. He knew it.
I'm so glad the clouds of grief are lifting a little, and you are looking forward.
I think it's a great plan.
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post #5 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 07:27 AM
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Good luck with your puppy adventure, you surely are daring to do a border collie. That is way too much energy for me. LOL I am so sorry to hear about your pain. I completely understand not wanting a dobe right away. After losing Spanky, my Pit Bull, I couldn't do another Bully. There will be another dobe that needs you some day. I appreciate you thinking about the older dogs in the shelters, I to have taken the golden oldies home they are the best. It always burns my butt when I walk thru the shelter and someone turned over their 10-15 year old dog. What a shame! Good luck and keep us posted. RIP Charlie!

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post #6 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 07:40 AM Thread Starter
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Good luck with your puppy adventure, you surely are daring to do a border collie. That is way too much energy for me.
lol, yes, they certainly are energetic. I was brought up with them and used to foster a few problem BCs before I got Charlie. They are fine so long as they get plenty of exercise and have a mentally stimulating job to do - herding, agility, flyball, obedience, SAR or something similarly demanding. But a bored collie is a nightmare - best not to go there!
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post #7 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 10:31 AM
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lol, yes, they certainly are energetic. I was brought up with them and used to foster a few problem BCs before I got Charlie. They are fine so long as they get plenty of exercise and have a mentally stimulating job to do - herding, agility, flyball, obedience, SAR or something similarly demanding. But a bored collie is a nightmare - best not to go there!
Yeah - there are agility lines of BCs over here that are ridiculous, but then there is a line that a few of my friends have dogs from and, given good exercise, they have an off switch. A little bit of OCD however (like staring at ceiling fans when they aren't moving or being sure that there is something under the bed).


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post #8 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 10:56 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah - there are agility lines of BCs over here that are ridiculous, but then there is a line that a few of my friends have dogs from and, given good exercise, they have an off switch. A little bit of OCD however (like staring at ceiling fans when they aren't moving or being sure that there is something under the bed).
Yep. OCD is a major reason why so many BCs end up in rescues. If they get to full-on OCD, it can be incredibly difficult and sometimes impossible to reverse it. Chasing anything that moves is the most common one - their own tails, light reflections on the walls, bikes, cars etc.
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post #9 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 11:03 AM
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You sound a bit like us in your plans. (except for the BC... no thanks!)
Rocky has been gone 3 1/2 months, and DH still cries every day - and every day we still talk about Alex and Melody - I can't believe Alex has been gone for almost 2 years - it's surreal.
We also want some space, and to take in older rescues who need love and luxury for their remaining time. HUGS to you and yours, and so much sympathy. I hope your plans help re-energize and lift your spirits.


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post #10 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Rocky has been gone 3 1/2 months, and DH still cries every day - and every day we still talk about Alex and Melody - I can't believe Alex has been gone for almost 2 years - it's surreal.
Grief does strange things to time. It feels like Charlie left just yesterday but at the same time the last 3 weeks also feel like 100 years.

Strange thing - two days after Charlie went, I was crying my way round the park with Zippy and this big young red Dobe boy came bouncing up to me, nuzzled my hand and bounced away again like Tigger. I've never seen him before or since but he made me smile that day. I'd been dreading seeing another Dobe but being red he didn't look like at all like Charlie and he was so full of goofy energy and joy it was impossible to feel sad because of him. Not sure why that encounter just popped into my mind but it did.

Hugs to you and your DH too.
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post #11 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 12:04 PM
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Grief does strange things to time. It feels like Charlie left just yesterday but at the same time the last 3 weeks also feel like 100 years.

Strange thing - two days after Charlie went, I was crying my way round the park with Zippy and this big young red Dobe boy came bouncing up to me, nuzzled my hand and bounced away again like Tigger. I've never seen him before or since but he made me smile that day. I'd been dreading seeing another Dobe but being red he didn't look like at all like Charlie and he was so full of goofy energy and joy it was impossible to feel sad because of him. Not sure why that encounter just popped into my mind but it did.

Hugs to you and your DH too.

Oh Crow, I am so sorry for your loss and for your pain. Call me crazy, but I think this Red Dobe was sensing your pain and wanted to comfort you or it was momentarily, taking on the spirit of Charlie.

I wish I had something to say that would bring you comfort as I know you love Charlie so very much. We, as owners, have the most difficult job when it comes to our animals and I pray for you and your partner to love one another, and continue taking it one step at a time. Charlie will ALWAYS be with you both.

On a side note, I am so jealous of your plans to move to the country! I live in Denver but deep inside, I'm just a girl from Wyoming.

Although, I don't miss the wind there.

{HUGS}

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post #12 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 12:17 PM
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I love the sound of your plans. It's a great plan whether life and happenstance deliver another plan or not. I think it's good to have a plan, anyway.

This grieving thing is tricky. Remember, I lost Shelley last year. My 17 year old and even now sometimes, I forget she's gone. Or I'll call Bella, Shelley.

I agree with whoever mentioned that Red Dobe coming up to you and nosing your hand. I absolutely believe it was inspired by Charlies spirit saying "It's O.K. Mom. I'm happy here and I want you to be happy, too." I get little messages like that from Shelley, too.

I'm happy for you that the pain has lifted somewhat and I love that you have these plans.

My one big desire is more land!! More land to play and explore and run.

Sending love and comfort your way.....



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post #13 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 12:50 PM
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Grief does strange things to time. It feels like Charlie left just yesterday but at the same time the last 3 weeks also feel like 100 years.

Strange thing - two days after Charlie went, I was crying my way round the park with Zippy and this big young red Dobe boy came bouncing up to me, nuzzled my hand and bounced away again like Tigger. I've never seen him before or since but he made me smile that day. I'd been dreading seeing another Dobe but being red he didn't look like at all like Charlie and he was so full of goofy energy and joy it was impossible to feel sad because of him. Not sure why that encounter just popped into my mind but it did.

Hugs to you and your DH too.
I notice a couple other people said it, but I agree, that was a message from Charlie.

I can so relate to the distorted sense of time thing. Sometimes it feels like less than five minutes ago, the nightmare was happening, sometimes it's like it happened in another time and another land.

So glad you have some plans, and it sounds lovely.

Really thinking about you.




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post #14 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 12:53 PM
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I can so relate to the distorted sense of time thing. Sometimes it feels like less than five minutes ago, the nightmare was happening, sometimes it's like it happened in another time and another land.


.
For me, it's the pain of losing them that is so fresh that feels like less than 5 minutes ago. But the missing them, not being able to touch them is what feels like an eternity. I lost my Vizsla 1.5 years ago and I still have nightmares about her from time to time.

I am sorry for your loss.

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post #15 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 01:32 PM
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For me, it's the pain of losing them that is so fresh that feels like less than 5 minutes ago. But the missing them, not being able to touch them is what feels like an eternity. I lost my Vizsla 1.5 years ago and I still have nightmares about her from time to time.

I am sorry for your loss.
Yeah, it's actually kinda funny/serendipitous you made this thread right about now, Crow.

I've really been struggling the past few days, with some reminders of that first fresh grief, and some more senseless railing about my boy being gone.

See, I disagree that "time heals everything."

I feel time heals nothing.

It's choosing to heal that heals. Time and distance can help with getting the perspective to do that, but you have to actively work on getting through a deep loss like this, in my belief system.

I don't know if that sort of thought process is helpful to anyone else, or not, but I need to remind myself to honor the good things while missing those very things so much, to remember that we still have a relationship and I can talk to him still--it's just different since he is not a physical presence here anymore.


I do better some days than others.

Thanks, Crow, for sharing some of your thought process, and for sharing some hopeful things, I have worried about you. I know--you didn't ask me to, but I still did it




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post #16 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 01:39 PM
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I can relate to your feelings about losing your Charlie. It hasn't been quite a year since I lost my boy. The first couple of months after were by far the worst. I'm at a point now where I can think of him and smile most times. What would have been his 10th birthday is coming up next week, and that's hard.

I can also relate to your feelings that it's too soon to get another Doberman. For me, I needed something to fill that gap right away--not replace my boy, no one could, but fill the void that his absence created. I went with a red boy, and I'm glad I did. Every time I see a black Doberman, I tear up a bit still, and if it's a black male, well, the floodgates still open most times.

How cool is it that a red boy came to see you? That just made me smile--clearly your boy was checking in.

I think it's great that you're starting to be able to look forward, and plan for some positives. A border collie pup will sure keep you on your toes.
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post #17 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 01:58 PM
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I have no words of wisdom for you, but I just wanted you to know that your in my thoughts. I can feel your heartache from your post, but I am glad you are feeling even a tiny bit better. I think Charlie would be very happy to hear of your plans... Hugs from NC.
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post #18 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 02:00 PM
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sorry for your loss. I some times wonder if I did it too soon too. I think when you love a pet enough you always worry if you did the right thing.
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post #19 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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I've really been struggling the past few days, with some reminders of that first fresh grief, and some more senseless railing about my boy being gone.

See, I disagree that "time heals everything."

I feel time heals nothing.

It's choosing to heal that heals. Time and distance can help with getting the perspective to do that, but you have to actively work on getting through a deep loss like this, in my belief system.
One thing I've done consciously is to be around other dogs. Before I lost Charlie, but when knew I was going to lose him soon, I thought seeing other dogs would be incredibly painful but in fact it's been the opposite. Obviously we have Zippy, who has been a little sweetheart, and she still needs her walks. Walks round here mean lots of encounters with other people's dogs, many of them regulars that we know. I don't think I've ever had so many doggy kisses from dogs that aren't mine. And looking at people's threads here with photographs of beautiful happy Dobes also helps, odd though that may seem. And most of all it helps looking at photographs of Charlie when he was strong and healthy and full of joy.

But my friend Steve, who lost his collie Bryn last year, hasn't been able to look at a photograph of Bryn since. He just can't face it. So it's not for everyone, I guess.

A few times I told myself I'd never get another dog because losing them is just so annihilatingly painful. But then I'd think, "suppose Charlie was sitting in a rescue somewhere today and I had that attitude?"

If there's one thing that dogs teach us above all else, it's to embrace life while we've got it and to love, unconditionally and without fear. So, inch by painful inch, I'm going to let my boy lead me back to that.
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post #20 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 02:25 PM
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...A few times I told myself I'd never get another dog because losing them is just so annihilatingly painful. But then I'd think, "suppose Charlie was sitting in a rescue somewhere today and I had that attitude?"...
Yes. Exactly.




My heart has joined the thousand, for my friend stopped running today~Richard Adams


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―Cyril Connolly
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post #21 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 03:07 PM
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Sierra left me Dec 8, 2008. I miss her every single day. She was an australian shepherd excellent. There is some pop song on the office radio "How can I live without you" right now as I read and type this message to you. How strange. It is making me getting teary eyed. Good luck with your new pup and some acreage. You will be so happy with some land. A toast to all the dogs at rainbow bridge waiting for us. I have too many up there already. ((hugs))
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post #22 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 03:09 PM
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Sierra left me Dec 8, 2008. I miss her every single day. She was an australian shepherd excellent. There is some pop song on the office radio "How can I live without you" right now as I read and type this message to you. How strange. It is making me getting teary eyed. Good luck with your new pup and some acreage. You will be so happy with some land. A toast to all the dogs at rainbow bridge waiting for us. I have too many up there already. ((hugs))
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post #23 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Crow View Post
One thing I've done consciously is to be around other dogs. Before I lost Charlie, but when knew I was going to lose him soon, I thought seeing other dogs would be incredibly painful but in fact it's been the opposite. Obviously we have Zippy, who has been a little sweetheart, and she still needs her walks. Walks round here mean lots of encounters with other people's dogs, many of them regulars that we know. I don't think I've ever had so many doggy kisses from dogs that aren't mine. And looking at people's threads here with photographs of beautiful happy Dobes also helps, odd though that may seem. And most of all it helps looking at photographs of Charlie when he was strong and healthy and full of joy.

But my friend Steve, who lost his collie Bryn last year, hasn't been able to look at a photograph of Bryn since. He just can't face it. So it's not for everyone, I guess.

A few times I told myself I'd never get another dog because losing them is just so annihilatingly painful. But then I'd think, "suppose Charlie was sitting in a rescue somewhere today and I had that attitude?"

If there's one thing that dogs teach us above all else, it's to embrace life while we've got it and to love, unconditionally and without fear. So, inch by painful inch, I'm going to let my boy lead me back to that.
If that's all anyone on earth learned during a lifetime, it would have been an abundant life.



The right to do something does not mean that doing it is right.
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post #24 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 03:24 PM
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It has been 1 year, and 7 days since Boris left my life. And I am still crying ..........

But I am so thankful that I have Yoda, his brother and I remember them playing together and somehow that's better.


the boys (rip): Cato, Emerald's Black Onyx, Emerald's Black Quartz
Owned by the girls: Jill (kelpie) and Lana.
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post #25 of 34 (permalink) Old 03-16-2010, 09:19 PM
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So sorry to hear of your loss. It doesn't seem possible now, but soon you'll find yourself laughing at Charlie "things". God bless you and best wishes for your future.
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