Duck Dawgs do it in the water!
Southern Firefighters Flame JH 11/6/02 - 11/25/13 "I carry your heart. I carry it in my heart."
Meherrin River's Bored Out Diesel
FDNY 343 "We will never forget"
I got you at 6 weeks old and you slept on my chest/neck for the first few weeks. I had you for 9 wonderful years where you proceeded to sit in my lap any time you pleased. You were my first purebred dog. I know I did things wrong with you as we were learning together but I wouldn't trade any amount of our time together for anything. I love and miss you so much my Big Girl! RIP Zoe.
Brittany - Border Collie/Springer Spaniel CGC
Zoe's Taller N Me - Zoe Irish Wolfhound 9/04/2004 - 11/20/2013 I love you Big Girl!
Ember Raise The Bar CGC - Corona (a fluffy)
Embers Aint Misbehavin - Flirt (Corona's mini me)
A good friend helps you up when you fall. A best friend pees their pants laughing and trips you again!
In Loving Memory
Watermark's K.D. MH June 16, 2000 - January 26, 2013
In Loving Memory
RMR Waterstrike Bramblegamble MH November 4, 2004 - June 28, 2013
In Loving Memory
Chickamauga Raz Matazz MH July 24, 2000 - May 16, 2014
Last edited by ramblinmaxx; 05-30-2014 at 02:07 PM. Reason: Added Raz
Marty & Lesa
Ramblin Maxx Retrievers
Fort Worth, Texas
Here's my first chessie that I ever owned. She was a great friend and hunter. Didn't matter what it was, if I asked her to fetch it, she would. Very loving, yet protective of me and my family. My daughters were like her puppies, which she never had any. But she was very motherly to my girls. I miss her very much. Fetch 'em up Sugar!!!
Thanks for the dance Schmidt's River Bottom Ace.. 12/24/02 - 7/21/14
If it's good enough; better is achievable
Wow - what a thread! What a feeling of brother(and sister)hood to see so many of my own emotions reflected on the screen. My most genuine and heartfelt condolences to you all. Similarly to some others, I joined this forum because of this thread. I lost my yellow female "Ruby" to osteosarcoma at 9 years old earlier this year. I just got a new pup, but that's an introduction to make in another thread. For now, I'd like to share some of what I wrote previously. On the day that I found out, I felt the need to write, and poured out the following:
How could this be? When I look at you now, 90 pounds of muscle and Fundy-proof fur, led at one end by your big block head bearing an infallible nose, wise brown eyes and impossibly soft ears. Bringing up the rear is that thick ever-thumping rudder of a tail. Yet inside that muscular shoulder, just infront of your strongly beating heart-of-a-lion, it's eating you, they tell me. And it's eating you fast.
This was not the outcome that I expected when I brought you to him yesterday. I was so sure. A limp in that same dodgy shoulder - surely just those problematic tendons flared up again? No problem, I thought ,cortisone injections and a month of leash-rest and you'll be good as new. Well, good as any "new" 9 year old lab can be. In my mind’s eye I had you sitting in my canoe a month from now, as we paddled up the meadow to the portage trail where you'd be trotting along ahead of me. Once in a while I'd tilt the canoe up to see you looking back, checking on me to make sure that I was still coming. I can see you now at the top of every steep rise, between the huge mossy rocks, looking down at me with a panting smile as I stumble my way up, panting and smiling a little myself.
So when the vet looked your over and you yelped and flattened your ears at his gentle touch, the furrow in his brow was not lost on me. My stomach did a little flipflop when he said that he wanted to do a quick x-ray before proceeding with the cortisone injections. I don't understand - you can’t SEE tendons on x-rays, can you? Oh well, nomatter, it's only money and nothing is too good for my Fur Kid. I went along to help the techs to get you comfortably and calmly onto the x-ray table. You were compliant as usual, as I nuzzled my face against yours while they positioned you for an image of the offending joint. I looked up and we watched the magic of the digital x-ray slowly appear on the screen. And then we were quiet. Even my untrained eye could see it plain as day - a matrix of honeycomb throughout the top of your humerus. When the vet was called to look, and he said quietly, 'Come with me'. No 'flipflop' this time - more like a punch in the guts.
I follow him and we sit. And the news hits me. Hard. And as he keeps talking, and I keep asking, it keeps hitting, as each tendril of hope snaps and rocks me back in my chair. In the silence that follows, I am left with very little to cling to. I have a few palliative drugs to try to make you comfortable. I have the looming knowledge that it will be up me to understand, and to listen to you, when you need me to bring you back here for the last time. And I have the knowledge that that day will be soon. All that I can give you is the promise, because while you owe me nothing, I owe you everything, that I will help you.
Back home, we move a bed downstairs so that we can live together on one floor, respecting the fact that you've always preferred to be within a few feet of my ankles at any time, and that the stairs, like our steep portage to the trout lake, are now off limits for you.
And time with you now is a rollercoaster. At times, lying splayed on your side in an opiate daze, you stare at the wall and I want it to be over. But then you drift off, and all five limbs (because if a lab's tail isn't a limb then what is it?) twitch and thump as you charge off after a pheasant flushed and tumbled to the ground in a field of dreams. And then you wake and wince to your feet while I leap to mine. Outside, I curse the snowy remnants of the longest winter in recent history as you stumble around painfully trying to get positioned. When you wince and I see the whites of your eyes, your velvet ears pinned back against your big yellow head I am shattered. I hope that no neighbors happen by at that moment to witness my grief. But a moment later you're snuffling your nose happily into the snow, flushing some ghost of a peanut deep beneath. Then, we both freeze at once and cock our ears to the sound. Clear as a bell in the cool spring air, even over the swish and splash of springtime urban traffic, we both heard it. Ga-HONK. I turn to look at you, and I'm gutted once again by your bird-stiffened stance, strong neck stretched upward, ears forwards, with that gleam in your eye as you focus on the sky and wait for them to appear. When they do appear you glance quickly at me, then back at the geese. Yes, I saw them too! As the nine of them glide right overhead, their own long necks stretched northward over the neighbourhood rooftops, I can see the slight tremble of anticipation that you always get. If you heard the click of a safety you'd flinch a bit and coil yourself for the retrieve. And if I shot one, you'd make that retrieve I'm quite sure - three-legged and osteosarcoma be damned. And this shatters me too. Once again, no neighbours to
witness my heaving shoulders as I kneel and gather your big head into my arms. You pull away - I'm blocking your view of the departing geese dammit!
And just a short week later, I composed this, posted on a local hunting forum for a close-knit community of hunters, many of whom had met Ruby in person, and all of whom had watched my first gun dog "grow up" on the forum:
Over the years I have subjected you guys to a bombardment of pics and stories from Ruby and I's adventures together, so I figure I owe it to you to pass on this sad news since you "watched her grow up".
It's with a broken heart that I have to tell you that we had to put our beloved Ruby down yesterday evening.
Last Wednesday Kelly and I took Ruby to the vet to arrange for cortisone injections to try to solve a re-occurence of lameness in her left forelimb (after a wonderful 5 month reprieve). We were hoping for a month of leash-rest and then May would find her scampering along the portage route with us on our way to a 10th summer of adventure. Sadly, we received much worse news. Ruby had advanced osteosarcoma (cancer) in her upper left humerus - a painful and fatal disease. Amputation followed by chemo/radiation is a treatment option that is sometimes attempted, but this generally buys only a further 4-5 months. In Ruby's case, it was clear to Kelly and I that sensible and unselfish treatment options were strictly palliative.
Unfortunately, none of the available drugs appeared to be effective. We tried a cocktail of anti-inflammatories and a powerful opiate until Friday, but aside from sleeping a lot she was clearly still in a lot of pain. We added a nerve-calming agent to the cocktail over the weekend but it quickly became very clear to both of us that the available treatments (which we had by now exhausted) were not providing her with sufficient pain relief that we would consider humane.
So last night at 5 our vet shed tears alongside us as Ruby's great soft head sank heavily into my hands while Kelly and I held her and talked softly to her as she slipped away. She went as calmly and softly as we ever could have hoped and with all the dignity that she so very much deserved. As you can imagine, we're shattered, but we take a measure of comfort in the memories of the 9 years of wonderful adventures that we had with her. But she leaves behind a big hole in our home and in our hearts.
Thanks to all of you who shared your feedback over the years, it helped a newby bird hunter with his new dog along to a fantastic 9 years and some of what where the happiest days of my life. Thanks OldDucker and Chezz for inviting me along on some of my first "classic" ducks hunts, to work alongside the noble Beau and the mighty Timber to see how it's done. Thanks also to Mainlander- a man with infinite patience for Ruby's early bad habits of getting out of range! We sure SAW a lot of roosters on his generously shared covers, even if some of them were 100 yards away as we sprinted along trying to keep up to her! Thanks especially to Take'em, who has been along on more adventures afield with myself and Ruby than I'd care to count. With Jake the savage cover-buster alongside Ruby, we made for an unstoppable team. With "the Tank" and "the Nose" on their case those poor roosters never stood a chance!
A first rooster each for my old buddy Jaydog and his lovely missus
Her last roosters - a quick pre-workday limit (her specialty!)
Last edited by dreamwaters; 08-18-2014 at 02:59 PM.
Dave Nice story. Thanks for sharing your story. It is heartbreaking. You have really good memories. Love the pics!
HRCH Scaupgetters Tarnation QAA
HR Blackie 2 CGN, WCI
Metras's Hashtag Mickey
"Knowing how important right timing is in accomplishing right actions"
Thanks Mary. She sure took a big piece out of us when she went! As much as you remind yourself that it's an unavoidable part of owning every dog you'll ever have (except maybe the last one), it sure stings when it happens...