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> My Boy Redd
anotherVegan
post Apr 19 2012, 11:22 AM
Post #1





Group: Pet Lovers
Posts: 7
Joined: 18-April 12
From: Florida
Member No.: 7,563



Upon searching for some help, coping with the loss of my dog, I came across this site. After reading about how many wonderful companions have come and gone, I have to share the story of my wonderful dog, Redd.

I am 25 years old now. Redd was about fifteen years old when he passed. I've spent most of my life knowing that this long haired ball of love would be waiting for me when I came home, came up to me wanting pets, and despite being around 60 pounds or more, he believed he was a lap dog.

He originally came by my aunt's house as a skinny puppy, about 6-7 months old, with a tattered rope around his neck. He had run away from an abusive situation, and got some food and shelter at my aunt's home. She, however, had several dogs at the time, and didn't want to take another one in. So she brought him over to my house. We already had one dog, a sweet girl named Barbecue, so my dad wasn't sure about taking on another. However, this dog and Bar were instant best friends, so in a sense, he adopted us. In my family, our animals have always adopted us first. When you live out in the country, this can happen often.

Since he came from an abusive situation, my aunt and uncle were calling him Lucky. He was very lucky to find them, and very lucky to find us, and we were lucky to have him. I however, admired his unique red coat of fur, and I started calling him Redd. I added the extra D on there to make him unique. Eventually, the name stuck harder than Lucky. This was around late 1997.

Redd was one of the most playful and sweetest dogs ever - he wouldn't harm anyone. Hardly ever growled and/or barked. He would play rough, many a time I would have dirty clothes and scratched up arms from wrestling with my Wondermutt (one of the many nicknames he earned over the years). He would come up to you and lay his head on your lap wanting pets, but if you stopped, he would paw at you until you resumed. If he got too excited, you would suddenly find a dog in your lap. He would work hard to kill bumblebees that were flying in my garden - he would bite them once, and then paw at them until they stopped moving, and then eat them. It was quite humorous, and a lot of work for a little snack.

I had him for several years, I grew up having this dog by my side. In 2003, they both had a bad case of heartworms, and Redd pushed through the treatment, but Bar did not live through it. My mother passed away in 2004 to cancer, which appears to be something of a curse in my family. I graduated high school in 2005 and moved on to college. Redd stayed behind and lived with my dad. I visited just about every weekend, as I was only an hour away from home, and he was always happy to see me. My dad fell ill in 2007, and, unfortunately passed away. After then, I took Redd and brought him with me to my home.

He stayed and lived with us since, we even adopted a sweet black lab mix, Bella, and they became best friends. Once again, Redd had a smaller playmate, and they wrestled, groomed each other. It seemed odd to see the senior Redd wrestle with the much younger and smaller Bella, but it was a site to behold.

Redd lived out his senior years as a spoiled city dog. I originally thought he would have trouble adjusting from free-range country life to a mostly indoor life, but he loved every minute of it. He had his boy back, and so did I.

Starting with this year, I noticed Redd was slowing down quite a bit. I chalked it up as his old age - he was nearly 15 years old and not as energetic as before. But come February, he became reluctant to eat, and was drinking a lot. Up until this point in his life, every vet he ever visited was impressed by his high amount of energy, and his level of health, despite being a senior dog. Bella, and the rest of his family, kept him young. One vet told me the average life span of a large size dog is ten years. Around the beginning of March, we took him to the vet asking about his appetite. After a physical exam and ultrasound, he had advanced cancer growth in his liver, and that loss of appetite was the first of many symptoms to come. This was a silent killer that was hard to catch, and didn't show any symptoms until it was too late. His prognosis that he would be lucky to live a month longer. He also had a CCL tear in his hind leg, attributing to his slowness. Even though he seemed to get around fine. Both were inoperable, because of the advanced stage of the cancer, and the age of Redd. A this moment, I lost it.

We tried every medicine the doc prescribed for him to stimulate his hunger and liver function. He ate on occasion, but stopped liking his dog food. He sometimes liked sliced tofurky (I'm a vegetarian), pasta, other human foods, and he liked fish-based cat food. I was just happy when he ate, but it wasn't often. The last month and a half was the longest in my life. Keeping up with his meds, buying him meat for him to try, just being overjoyed whenever he wanted to eat. Eventually, he just stopped eating altogether, and I had to force his medicine down. I tried force feeding him food, but that didn't take at all, and I felt rotten doing it, so that stopped. I read that breastmilk can help fight cancer, so my wife was nursing my son and pumping breastmilk for Redd at night, which I also had to feed to him via syringe.

We did take him outdoors often, to the park, on longer walks. Eventually the walks got shorter, as he would make it to the grass, and then lie down from exhaustion. He did have one of his last hurrahs on his own. He limped his way to my front porch on a sunny day. Figuring he just wanted to lay in the sun, I let him. I went back inside to resume cleaning house. Next thing I know, he's walked off. A few minutes later, he came back on his own, laid down by the door. When I went back to get him, there was a dead bumblebee next to him. The only way that bee died was by Redd's paw.

Last week, with his appetite gone, and him hardly moving, he tried walking down my stairs. Despite him having limited mobility, he usually had no trouble going down stairs, since he went slowly. He stumbled down the last two steps, didn't make any noise indicating pain, but may have injured his leg further. After hardly moving at all, he couldn't get up, barely drank, didn't eat, despite my best efforts. Bella groomed him regularly, and I gave him baths during this time. During this time he lost a ton of weight, he couldn't stand on his own, and his breathing was very labor-intensive.

I took him in to the vet on Monday, the 16th, to have him looked at. The vet said he was past the point of no return, but she was glad that Redd was not vomiting bile profusely or having seizures, both of which can happen when the liver completely fails. Not wishing that horrific fate on Redd, she recommended that we said goodbye. She said that Redd had a great run at life, and that we should remember the good times, keeping in mind the average span of a large dog is ten years. We had him put down that morning, and we were all there petting him, and letting him know that he was loved. He knew. And we knew he loved us right back.

We were so happy to provide him such a loving home, and we are grateful that such a wonderful dog was in our lives. He always got compliments on his unique coat, and even vets couldn't pinpoint his breed. My best guess was a Golden Retriever and German Shepherd mix. But I've heard guesses of Chow, Australian Shepherd, among others. I just felt like the last bit of my home life had been gone. For the longest time, since Redd had always been so healthy, he would live forever. (I had a 19 year old cat at one point.) I find myself remembering the good days, and keeping in mind that Redd wasn't the same Redd that I knew and loved in his last days. He was a shadow of his former self, and now he is in a better place: relaxing with Bar, my parents, and my past animals that I have loved and lost over the years. But no animal loss has hurt so much. I hadn't lost anyone in a long time, and Redd was such a staple in my life growing up. This was also the first time I personally witnessed euthanasia. I personally felt him stop breathing, and his heart stop beating. It was one of the hardest days of my life. I had him the longest of any of my dogs. I had him growing up. There's a picture of him and my dad on my wall that is one of my favorite pictures ever (I may scan it if I can get my scanner working). The last bit of my hometown legacy was gone, and my family lost our oldest child.

I miss him dearly, but I know I saved him from a much harsher fate, and he is in such a better place now. It just still hurts a lot.

Attached is a picture. The day he was diagnosed, I took him to the park, and let him walk around, free-reign. This pic was him enjoying the breeze. And if you have a guess at his breed, feel free.
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moon_beam
post Apr 19 2012, 12:52 PM
Post #2


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Hi, Vegan, please permit me to offer you my sincerest sympathies in the physical loss of your beloved Redd. Losing a companion is never easy regardless of the circumstances or how long we are blessed with the privilege of their company. Euthanasia is the last gift of love we can give to our companions at great sacrifice to ourselves so that they can be restored to their former youthfulness in the company of the angels.

Vegan, my heart is deeply warmed by your account of your beloved Redd's earthly journey with you. And I agree with you that Redd is a very appropriate name. It matters not what his Pedigree heritage is - - you can see the glow of love in his eyes which is a reflection of the love he received from you and all of his human family.

This grief journey is one of adjustment to the physical absence of our beloved companions, and it is a very painful one both emotionally and physically. It is a journey that can only be traveled one day at a time, sometimes one moment at a time. The good news is that the love bond you and your beloved Redd share is eternal - - it is not restricted to the physical laws of time and space. Your beloved Redd's sweet Living Spirit is forever a part of you wherever you go and whatever you do as you continue in your earthly journey. He is forever a part of your heart and your memories - - he is forever a heartbeat close to you. I hope that as your deep grief eases this will bring you some comfort to your heart.

It matters not if our loss is the first experience - - or our thousandth. Each physical loss of a beloved companion is unique because each relationship we have with each of our companions is unique. So please do not be upset with yourself or feel guilty if your grief seems more pronounced for your beloved Redd than perhaps what you have experienced for your beloved companions who are already with the angels. This does not mean you love them less - - it simply means that your beloved Redd has his own special place in your heart and your life and your memories.

Thank you so much for sharing your beloved Redd with us, Vegan. One of the many things you need to remember during your grief journey is that you are not alone - - each of us here do understand what you are going through, and we are here for you for as long and as often as you need us. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers, Vegan, and that I look forward to knowing how you're doing.

Peace and blessings,
moon_beam


--------------------
In heaven's perfect garden there is no grief or pain, and all of God's creation join the angels' sweet refrain.

The most blessed way I have of knowing God's comforting love and grace is to look into the eyes and heart of God's creatures' sweet angelic face.
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anotherVegan
post Apr 19 2012, 01:49 PM
Post #3





Group: Pet Lovers
Posts: 7
Joined: 18-April 12
From: Florida
Member No.: 7,563



Thank you, moon_beam, for the thoughts. It's nice to know that his soul is forever bonded with mine, and we'll be reunited one day, too. I'm rebuilding, one day at a time. I'm remembering the good times more than the bad, as Redd was a shadow of his former self in his last days.

I'm glad I'm able to share Redd's story. He was such a loving pup, and a handsome one to boot.
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DannysMom
post Apr 19 2012, 09:37 PM
Post #4





Group: Pet Lovers
Posts: 1,113
Joined: 3-February 12
Member No.: 7,464



Hello anotherVegan, please allow me to express my sincere sympathies on the loss of your precious companion, Redd. I am very sorry for your loss. Redd was such a beautiful dog, I love his coloring. I can definitely see the Golden Retriever part of him, maybe there's also part Irish Setter, not sure. Looking at his photo I can just tell how much you must miss him and how much your heart aches over losing him. I hope you can find comfort in knowing that Redd is safe with the angels. You were so blessed to have had him come into your life. Our fur children give us so much, and when we lose them our heart ache so much. Thanks for sharing your story. Redd was a very special dog.


Hugs,
DannysMom


--------------------
Danny: March 4, 2001 - December 28, 2011
Tina: October 27, 1997 - April 28, 2012


To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.
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anotherVegan
post Apr 20 2012, 08:11 AM
Post #5





Group: Pet Lovers
Posts: 7
Joined: 18-April 12
From: Florida
Member No.: 7,563



Thank you , DannysMom, for your condolences. Redd was such a wonderful dog, and, yes, my heart aches. I'll miss him every day until I can see him again. I do find comfort in the fact that he's with the angels, and members of my furry and human family that have come and gone.

As for Irish Setter, that's a new one. I'll have to add that to the list smile.gif

Thank you again, and returning the hug,
AnotherVegan

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EvEf
post Apr 21 2012, 09:43 PM
Post #6





Group: Pet Lovers
Posts: 80
Joined: 11-January 12
Member No.: 7,429



Im sorry to hear about REDD i actually understand your pain im 23 years old, My callico cat Casper came in my life when i was 6 years old and i lost her in Janurary she was 15 years old. She had to be put to sleep she developed a blood clot that paralyzed her hind legs and she wouldnt eat and barely was breathing but she was a fighter. She was put down 1/9/12 so a horrible start to my new year. I spent more then half my life with her and i actually didnt realize how much it would hurt to loose her. She was my bestfriend my heart my everything, and it sucks being without her. I really am sorry to hear about your dog and hope it gets better for u


--------------------
Babygirl i miss u so much nd life rite now is sucking witout u i kno u wouldnt wanna c me sad but witout u i got no other emotion Babygirl i love u always nd forever..forever in my heart <3
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anotherVegan
post Apr 24 2012, 01:58 PM
Post #7





Group: Pet Lovers
Posts: 7
Joined: 18-April 12
From: Florida
Member No.: 7,563



QUOTE (EvEf @ Apr 21 2012, 10:43 PM) *
Im sorry to hear about REDD i actually understand your pain im 23 years old, My callico cat Casper came in my life when i was 6 years old and i lost her in Janurary she was 15 years old. She had to be put to sleep she developed a blood clot that paralyzed her hind legs and she wouldnt eat and barely was breathing but she was a fighter. She was put down 1/9/12 so a horrible start to my new year. I spent more then half my life with her and i actually didnt realize how much it would hurt to loose her. She was my bestfriend my heart my everything, and it sucks being without her. I really am sorry to hear about your dog and hope it gets better for u


Hi EvEf, please accept my condolences for Casper. It's amazing how these animals come into our lives and become our companions, become our family. Thank you so much, and may your heart heal as well.

My home seems emptier without Redd in it. He was with me as I grew up, took him to college, graduate, get married, have my son. Now he's gone. Yesterday I received a card from our vet extending their condolences. It seems so unreal for him to be gone, and I'm sure you feel the same way about Casper. But as moon_beam said, our companions become part of ourselves as we walk this earth, and we'll take a bit of them with us as we continue the walk.
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DLL
post Apr 24 2012, 10:12 PM
Post #8





Group: Pet Lovers
Posts: 16
Joined: 21-April 12
Member No.: 7,572



I'm sorry for your loss. He looked like a wonderful dog. It sounds as though he had many good years with a family that loved him.

I went through a similar experience with my cat last fall. My condolences...
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anotherVegan
post Apr 26 2012, 11:24 AM
Post #9





Group: Pet Lovers
Posts: 7
Joined: 18-April 12
From: Florida
Member No.: 7,563



QUOTE (DLL @ Apr 24 2012, 11:12 PM) *
I'm sorry for your loss. He looked like a wonderful dog. It sounds as though he had many good years with a family that loved him.

I went through a similar experience with my cat last fall. My condolences...


Thank you for your condolences. Please accept mine for your cat.

He was the most wonderful, most handsome, sweetest doggie ever. I had him cremated, and I just got his ashes back this morning. It's still hard to believe he is gone.
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