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Wed Feb 24, 2021, 11:43 AM

Most likely saying goodbye to our beautiful Sr. GSD this afternoon. *UPDATED*

Last edited Wed Feb 24, 2021, 10:17 PM - Edit history (1)





Her name is Noelle. We adopted her from the Delaware Humane Society at Christmas 13 yrs and 3 months ago. They questioned whether they should let us adopt her over the holiday, but due to our jobs and the kids schooling, we had a solid 3 weeks that we would all be home to help her get acclimated. With that, and a good review from the owner of the rescue our previous shepherd came from, they let us bring her home.

At 2 yrs old, she was diagnosed with EPI and went on pancreatic enzymes (9 pills/day for the past 11 yrs). Other than that, she's been pretty well health-wise until last year. Last year they diagnosed her with degenerative myelopathy and arthritis in her neck. Since June, she's been losing weight, being more picky about her food. At first the weight loss seemed to be mainly muscle mass in her hind quarters, which was to be expected. Gabepentin helped with the nerve issue, but anti-inflammatories made her violently sick. With her advancing digestion issues she went on a couple of different meds (Omeprezole and metronidazole) which helped her to rally and truly be interested in food, chewing, etc. again. She regained some energy, a bit of weight, and would be interested in short walks in the morning with a little help from a hip lift/harness. By evening, she would display more hind-end weakness and knuckling, and be really exhausted.

The vet was pleased with her progress at her last visit, but said we could put her through another battery of testing to see if there was something else like cancer involved or we could do all the palliative care possible, including water therapy, spoil, and love her. At almost 14, we chose the palliative care route. These past 2-3 weeks, she's stood outside while she tried to catch clumps of snow that we'd throw past her. Played with her puzzle stuffies. My daughter and I have been taking turns sleeping downstairs with her since she wants to be with us, but at this point, the 2nd floor is not something she can do. We'd take her on early morning strolls (between 4-6am) so she could see the local fox and get a few barks in. This past weekend, she has been eating/drinking less and less and had started refusing normal food and meds. The vet said give her absolutely anything that she would eat, so she's actually eaten small meals of chicken breast with broth/brown rice, poached salmon/rice, sieved scrambled eggs, pb/banana/yogurt blended, baby food meats/green beans, even grilled barramundi - always offered alongside her regular grainfree kibble. I thought maybe she was having an issue with the chlorination in our household water so we switched her to bottled water and I've been blending her food thinking the smoother texture might appeal more to her, but she still refused. We took a few walks this morning down to the end of the block and back, but on both return trips, we stopped every few steps for her to rest, even with me supporting her hind end.

We have a 3pm appointment at the vet today. At this point, I think the only thing left to do is make her comfortable and our family to say goodbye.



*** UPDATE ***

She passed peacefully around 4:30 this afternoon with our family surrounding and petting her.

We had a really good lunchtime with her. Rather than sitting outside in the sun, she wanted to walk again. I let her lead, holding her hind end up so her feet didn't drag, she took off and walked farther than she has in months. We saw a big beagle and a jogger for her to bark at, she sniffed all the yards we passed. I had Siri call my husband and asked for him to meet us at the bottom of the hill (4 blocks down). I think she would have continued walking if I hadn't lifted her into the van.

We went to the 3pm appointment. Her blood work came back showing later stage renal failure and accompanying anemia, so we let her go. The dr. said her meds probably masked earlier symptoms.

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Reply Most likely saying goodbye to our beautiful Sr. GSD this afternoon. *UPDATED* (Original post)
woodsprite Feb 2021 OP
Blue Owl Feb 2021 #1
In_The_Wind Feb 2021 #2
Botany Feb 2021 #3
woodsprite Feb 2021 #12
Botany Feb 2021 #14
woodsprite Feb 2021 #15
Botany Feb 2021 #17
ancianita Feb 2021 #40
redwitch Feb 2021 #4
StClone Feb 2021 #5
Duncanpup Feb 2021 #6
FeelingBlue Feb 2021 #7
SharonClark Feb 2021 #8
Arkansas Granny Feb 2021 #9
Karadeniz Feb 2021 #10
MLAA Feb 2021 #11
FM123 Feb 2021 #13
LetMyPeopleVote Feb 2021 #16
AnotherMother4Peace Feb 2021 #18
bronxiteforever Feb 2021 #19
CaptainTruth Feb 2021 #20
CaptainTruth Feb 2021 #21
Moostache Feb 2021 #22
mgardener Feb 2021 #23
LaMouffette Feb 2021 #24
TNNurse Feb 2021 #25
irisblue Feb 2021 #26
NotAPuppet Feb 2021 #27
WinstonSmith4740 Feb 2021 #28
niyad Feb 2021 #29
waterwatcher123 Feb 2021 #30
orleans Feb 2021 #31
Traildogbob Feb 2021 #32
yonder Feb 2021 #33
Fla Dem Feb 2021 #34
world wide wally Feb 2021 #35
SWBTATTReg Feb 2021 #36
Lowride Feb 2021 #37
karin_sj Feb 2021 #38
Nululu Feb 2021 #39
RainCaster Feb 2021 #41
Skittles Feb 2021 #42
woodsprite Feb 2021 #43
shenmue Mar 2021 #44

Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 11:45 AM

1. Very sorry, Woodsprite

Would that it were not so...

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 11:47 AM

2. She enjoyed a happy life thanks to you.

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 11:51 AM

3. Been there

You are giving Noelle the best gift you can. It is easy on the dog especially if she knows
that her family is there but rough on you. Her body is shutting down by what you have
written so you are doing the right thing.

13 + years is a very good run.

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Response to Botany (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 12:32 PM

12. I know that in my heart, but even 13yrs hasn't seemed like enough.

What makes it harder is that this is the first pet we've had to make this difficult decision With all of our other furbabies, they either passed on their own or at the vet during treatment or surgery. It's hard to make the decision when you're always looking for them to rally one more time.

On our walks this morning, she just looked very tired, but like she was trying to look at everything, sniff everything she could. It's a beautiful day today with expected highs in the 50s. We're going to sit outside in the sun over lunch and spend some time at her favorite park before our appointment at the vet. Noelle still enjoys having her black fur soak up the warmth of the sun and wait for a passing critter or jogger to bark at.

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Response to woodsprite (Reply #12)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 12:46 PM

14. I had to do "the vet trip" with my black lab Sept. 1, 2018 because it was time. My grown son ...

... came back into town to help out. I could see that he was "getting close" but still was happy
but when he collapsed and could not get up during a walk that was it. It might seem cold but you
want your buddy's blood pressure to be strong enough because it makes it easier to do what needs
to be done.

Enjoy your park time with Noelle. The sun will do both of you well.

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Response to Botany (Reply #14)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 12:49 PM

15. Didn't realize that about the BP. I'm concerned about dehydration

That it may be an issue. She is still drinking, but not the amount that a normal dog since Sunday.

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Response to woodsprite (Reply #15)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 12:59 PM

17. A steady B.P. makes it easier to put the animal down.




You and your family will be fine.

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Response to woodsprite (Reply #12)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 02:34 PM

40. I feel you, and 16 years didn't seem like enough when we had to say goodbye to our Sam, too.

The last day for us was the same.

You'll miss her. But you'll know that her suffering will end with seeing your smiling face and feeling your loving hug.

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 11:52 AM

4. She has been such a well loved dog!

I know how hard this is. Hugs to your family and you.

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 11:53 AM

5. My best among the tears and good memories.

The hardest thing in my experience to say good bye to the most loving of creatures. Bless your Noelle. She will join my beloved King, Coolie, Derby and Rava. Hope they all have a good play.

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 11:53 AM

6. Hugs

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 11:57 AM

7. You've done it all.

All there’s left to give is love. That won’t end. ❤️

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 11:58 AM

8. That's a long and happy life for a large dog.

You obviously treated her well and she gave your family her unconditional love.
You were all lucky to find each other.

I'm going to find my rescue dog Rory and hug him now.

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 12:01 PM

9. My heart breaks for you, but she is telling you it's time. Such a good girl.

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 12:08 PM

10. Oh, Noelle! We know you've been better than a good girl! You've given your humans so much love

And happiness, and their hearts have grown to match yours. You'll love the Eternal Garden! Always just the right temperature, space to frolic like you haven't in years, other sweet animals for company and play, caretakers to dote on you... the perfect place to wait until your humans come again, together at last.

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 12:18 PM

11. She is a beauty! What a true and loyal member of your family she is.

I can’t imagine what you are going through, but your description of the care you and your daughter been providing shouts how loved Noelle is. 💖💖💖💞💞💞💕💕💕

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 12:33 PM

13. Sending extra love to you and your beloved Noelle today.

There are just no words adequate enough to describe the pain of going on this journey, but I wish you both comfort and peace as you say goodbye.

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 12:50 PM

16. Saying goodbye to a family member is hard

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 01:08 PM

18. I'm so sorry. Our old dog's suffering had become too much, and

we had to make a similar difficult decision. After the grief, we slowly recalled the good memories. It's a hard decision, take care, Noelle had a wonderful life with your family.

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 01:15 PM

19. I am so sorry

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 01:17 PM

20. I'm so sorry! Pets are members of the family & it hurts so much to lose them.




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Response to woodsprite (Original post)


Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 01:27 PM

22. It is always so hard, but take solace in the wonderful memories you shared here.

You provided a safe and loving home and were rewarded with those cherished memories. I hope that they bring you happy memories of those better times and that they assuage your pain and minimize your grief.

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 01:30 PM

23. I started crying

Have been through 6 vet trips with our cats.
My husband had to bring Molly our last kitty in.
I sat outside and cried my eyes out
I could not do it.
It is the final compassionate, loving thing we can do for our pets.
I will be thinking of you this afternoon.

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 01:38 PM

24. What a beautiful girl! And oh my God, what amazingly good care you have taken of her for

over 13 years. Noelle is a very blessed and fortunate pup to have you and your daughter as her humans. Please take comfort in the fact that you have given her the very best life, one filled with nothing but love and attention and the best possible care.

Your heart will feel broken for a very long time. I know, I've been there several times now. But know that your love for Noelle and her love for you is forever. The love we create here on Earth is the one and only thing we carry with us after our time here (at least, that's what I have come to believe).

I recommend to you a very comforting book called Animals and the Afterlife, by Kim Sheridan. It helped me enormously after we lost our first German Shepherd.

All my best wishes to Noelle, to you, and to your daughter!

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 01:38 PM

25. My husband and I have had many animals in our almost 42 year marriage.

One cat disappeared, but all the others cat or dog have made us make decisions to let them go.

It is always hard, but you do not want her to suffer.

Will be thinking about you.

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 01:39 PM

26. Noelle...🕯️I wish that joyful memories of her soon replace your tears

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 01:41 PM

27. It's always hard to say goodbye.

Remember that Noelle had 13 good years with you, and you with her. Keeping you in my thoughts.

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 01:41 PM

28. So very sorry.

I'll bet most people here at DU are pet owners, so we know the worst part of having them in our lives is knowing they'll be going to the other side before us. You did a wonderful thing in giving her a loving home and a great time here. Peace

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 01:50 PM

29. Lady of the Beasts, Please take Noelle gently home in Your loving arms, and send peace and

comfort to her grieving loved ones.

I am so very, very sorry. Your DU family is here for you. Let us know if there is anything we can do. The

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 01:53 PM

30. She was clearly loved in her all too short life. May peace be with you at this difficult time.

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 01:59 PM

31. sending both you and noelle much light and love on this sorrowful day

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 02:06 PM

32. 😢💔

So sorry. Such a hard thing to do. Sending cosmic hugs.

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 02:09 PM

33. She has such a sensitive face and eyes. I'm sorry.

I'm tight in the throat here knowing it's never, ever easy. Doggies especially it seems. Please know that you are doing the right thing.

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 02:16 PM

34. I'm choked up reading your account of the love and caring you and your family have given Noelle.

She's had the best life a dog could've had. Now it's almost like she's telling you, it's her time to cross the bridge.

If that is the case my heart goes out to you. Noelle, wherever she may be will always miss her family, but she will be pain free and happy on the other side. Peace to all of you.

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 02:20 PM

35. Beautiful girl

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 02:20 PM

36. Words fail me. Be strong for Noelle and be there for her every step of this awful process...

it'll will comfort her immensely knowing that you are there, right there, within paws' reach.

I truly believe that if they know you are right there, that they'll pass to the other side far more comfortably then those facing the Great Unknown without anybody.

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 02:24 PM

37. Sorry

So sorry to hear. I know how hard a decision it is and at least in my case I always wonder if I did the right thing which ever direction I go.

These words have always been a comfort for me during these times:
____________________________________________
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.

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 02:27 PM

38. I'm so sorry

It's so hard to lose a beloved furry family member that you've had for so many years. And somehow even harder during a pandemic. We lost our elderly GSD girl last May. She added so much to our lives and it would have been so nice to have her here for comfort, company, and laughter just a bit longer. Your post reminded me so much of all the things that we did to try and help our girl as she started to go downhill. But we knew that we had to think of her first and we had a very kind vet come to the house. She went quickly and peacefully. She was a rescue as well and had a lot of challenges, behavioral and health-related, but she turned out to be the best dog that we could have ever wanted.

I'm sorry that you and your family have to go through this. It sounds like she had a wonderful, happy, long life with you. She was so lucky to be adopted by your family. Rest in peace, sweet Noelle.

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 02:29 PM

39. Beautiful pup. So sorry for your loss. Nt

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 02:37 PM

41. You gave her a great life, now comes the sad goodbyes

I've done this over the years to many different critters. Beagles, GSDs, Cats... Each has left a very positive impact on the lives within our family.
Smile and enjoy those last moments with her, you will meet again.

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Wed Feb 24, 2021, 09:39 PM

42. so sorry, woodsprite

they take a piece of our heart with them

Grieve not
nor speak of me with tears
but laugh and talk of me
as if I were beside you......
I loved you so — ’twas Heaven here with you.

- Isla Paschal Richardson

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Thu Feb 25, 2021, 12:42 PM

43. Thank you all for your support. She was a beautiful girl.

We agonized for a couple of weeks over the timing of the decision. Ultimately, it was taken out of our hands yesterday with the results of the blood work.

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Response to woodsprite (Original post)

Thu Mar 4, 2021, 01:17 AM

44. Rest in paws

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