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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-30-2006, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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For Niki

I found this website:

http://always-love-you.org.uk/

and was astonished at how similar my experience has been. I decided to write the author a line and thought I would post it in here as well. It's been rather theraputic for me this morning.

ks,

I Stumbled Upon your site and want to say how beautiful your tribute was to Oliver. My wife and I recently had to put our wonderful Golden Retriever down after 12 marvelous years. I have experienced the death of my father, mother, grandmothers and grandfathers and thought I was prepared for the loss. I was so sadly mistaken. I have wept more in the last month that I have in my entire life, and I'm over 50 years old.

Almost all of the experiences and feelings you have written about on this website mirror my own. This quote in particular:

"I know that the light in my dog's eyes, his joy, his love, cheekiness, the multitude of observed emotions, his character... all this is not the consequence of a few chemical compounds but a unique, a very complex soul. One that did not expire when his body did. Instead, it will always, and as much, be a part of me as all the others I love."

Rarely do I read anything as profound as this, or as true.

I'm now at the very beginning of this 'stage":

"There isn't a day I don't think about him. Some days missing him badly, others full of fond memories, bringing a smile, lighting eyes, when I think about the many ways he managed to make us laugh, not at, but with him, again and again; the ways he filled me with pride, made life more complete".

God how our Niki made my life more complete.

I decided to do a video tribute to Niki, it's here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBz2TtyW4_U

The soundtrack is Safe and Sound by Sheryl Crow and was playing as our sweet Niki left us. At the beginning, I interspersed photos of her as a puppy with those I took on her last day with us.

"Maybe this is forever, forever fades away... I don't want to be sad, I don't want to break down, after all, I won't let go, until you’re safe and sound... there's beauty in release, after all we've seen, you and me... Maybe we can hold on through the night, cause I don't want to be lonely, I don't want to be scared, all our friends are waiting there"

At this point, I put in shots of all the dogs and cats our family has had in the past 25 years: Smokey, Augie, Wolfer, Aja, Pee Wee and Toonces, Tiger, and Larry. I firmly believe in the Rainbow Bridge concept of the afterlife and have no doubt that all my babies will be there to greet me when my time on earth has ended, led by Niki.

"Feel like I could have held on, feel like I could have let go. Feel like I could have helped you, feel like I could have changed you. Feel like I could have held on, feel like I could have held you. Feel like I was a stranger, feel like I was an angel." I interspersed photos of each of our children with Niki because she was just like them to my wife and I.

"Feel like I was a hero, feel like I was a zero." I made sure my picture was in this sequence as it describes exactly how I felt, and still do. I was relieving her pain but I was also ultimately responsible for her leaving us.

"Feel like I could have touched you, feel like I could have saved you..." More shots of her in the last years of her life interspersed with her gawky, "teenaged" years..

"Feel like I could have loved you, feel like I really loved you". The shot of her in the forest from her last road trip, when she was just so happy to be alive, now brings almost unending tears to my eyes. Followed by the shot of her eyes, so loving and beautiful. "Till you’re safe and sound..." Then the final picture of her from this last Christmas that personifies everything that she was... beautiful, proud, and so very loving.

Fade to black with her image gone on the final chord. Now she truly is safe and sound. We'll meet again my baby.


“Letting go was - is - the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, unbearably difficult. He was my friend. A friend I will never forget. This is his story. I have recorded it, wrote down my experiences, thoughts, my feelings. It has helped me. It may help you.”

It has and I thank you for your effort.

Take Care,

Mark
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-30-2006, 01:44 PM
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That is absolutely beautiful. The site is inspiring and helpful. Thanks for sharing it.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-30-2006, 07:27 PM
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Mark, I feel your pain. We lost our Golden Retriever last Sept. 17th. He was 14 years and 3 months old. I miss him as much today as I did on the day we lost him. Our Scottie, who will be 12 in Oct., if he makes it, is also terminal.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-30-2006, 08:28 PM
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Really, really touching I have tears in my eyes. This was a beautiful idea and something you will have for a lifetime. I believe it is the hardest part to owning a animal, is letting them go. Every day will get a little easier Mark.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-02-2006, 12:38 AM
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awww that is so touching! I havent made it through the whole video yet I get to emotional about this kind of thing very easily. we had to put my old dalmatian to sleep when I was about a junior in Highschool...I grew up with her...and I never realized what its like when they are gone. Now 5 years laterI know not to miss a minute of my dogs life. That is a beautiful video though from what i have watched so far. Hope you are feeling better.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-03-2006, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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jim,

My heart goes out to you. Hope things work out for the best. Here's a couple of things that helped/are helping me through this process. These two sort of finalized the decison for me:

http://www.leerburg.com/bridge.htm

That one, like the alwaysloveyou site, mirrors my experience, almost exactly.

This one I slightly changed the words to fit my situation. I strongly feel that having the vet come to our house, with Niki in her home being held by my wife and I, made this process much better for all of us. Here it is (sorry for the all caps but this was/is a cut 'n paste):

IF IT SHOULD BE

IF IT SHOULD BE THAT I GROW WEAK

AND PAIN SHOULD KEEP ME FROM MY SLEEP,

THEN YOU MUST DO WHAT MUST BE DONE

FOR THIS LAST BATTLE CANNOT BE WON.

YOU WILL BE SAD I UNDERSTAND,

DON’T LET GRIEF THEN STAY YOUR HAND.

FOR THIS DAY MORE THAN ALL THE REST,

YOUR LOVE FOR ME MUST STAND THE TEST.

WE’VE HAD SO MANY HAPPY YEARS,

WHAT IS TO COME CAN HOLD NO FEARS,

YOU’D NOT WANT ME TO SUFFER SO,

THE TIME HAS COME TO LET GO.

I AM AT HOME WHERE MY NEEDS YOU’LL TEND,

AND YOU WILL COMFORT ME UNTIL THE END.

HOLD ME FIRM AND SPEAK TO ME.

UNTIL MY EYES NO LONGER SEE.

I KNOW IN TIME THAT YOU WILL SEE,

THE KINDNESS THAT YOU DID FOR ME.

ALTHOUGH MY TAIL ITS LAST HAS WAVED,

FROM PAIN AND SUFFERING I’VE BEEN SAVED.

PLEASE DO NOT GRIEVE... IT MUST BE YOU,

WHO HAS THIS PAINFUL THING TO DO,

WE’VE BEEN SO CLOSE THROUGH THESE YEARS

DON’T LET YOUR HEART HOLD BACK ITS TEARS.

FOR I AM NOW IN A BETTER PLACE,

AND WILL BE WAITING TO SEE YOUR FACE.

SO WHEN YOU CROSS THAT FINAL BRIDGE,

LOOK FOR ME ….

I’LL BE BY THE FRIDGE.


For me, the overwhelming grief has morphed from profound sadness to aching lonliness to a sort of hollow, empty longing that will never go away. Like I told my son, even though we know what we did was the right thing to do, it doesn't make the emptiness any easier to bear.

But most days, it is getting better. Little Karma, who's not so little anymore, has been a tremendous help to me, my wife and Dogma as well. Dobe's are just so sensitive and affectionate, not to mention intelligent. She is an outstanding addition to our family.

Again jim, hope everything works out for the best for you and your family.

Take Care,

Mark
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-03-2006, 07:45 PM
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Thanks Mark

Wow, the leerburg site really hit home. In his last month I called the Vet a couple of times to put him to rest but in the morning he would always bounce back. The last couple of days I had to carry him up and down the steps to go outside to do his business. As sick and weak as he was he never had an accident in the house, not that I would have cared. On Tuesday night, Sept. 16th, 2005 I carried him outside and he couldn't stand on his own. I knew I was just being selfish. I couldn't go in, my wife did and 2 of the Vet's tech's stayed with her. I stayed out in the parking lot and cried like a baby. We had him cremated so he'll always be with us.
Thank You for taking the time to post, God, I miss him so much!
Your tribute to your Niki was beautiful. Best of luck to you and you family.
Jim
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