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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 01-04-2013, 03:11 PM
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Jessie's Girl,

Thank you for your kind words about the puppy. I know I had expert advice, but it still remains a nightmarish memory. I could kind of tell she wasn't really "normal" but maybe the transition from her kennel to our home was part of her problem...I just don't know. In the end I followed the advice of the vet and the trainer. Then I thought, did I overreact and somehow mislead them? The trainer did see some of the behavior, though--a lot--and the vet evaluated her. But was he just being sympathetic to us because we were old customers (had known us all Jasper's life) and having a hard time? I'm full of doubts, I guess.

I'd love to hear from anyone who's had this experience. I think part of, a large part of, our problem is that my husband and I shared a philosophy of "She's our dog now." As though she had been a child born into our family, once we took her home, we felt that we should have dealt with whatever problems she had. And we failed to do that.

But I know it was obvious to the vet and the trainer that we couldn't handle her. The trainer is experienced--writes a column on dogs and dog training for our local paper, and is a well-known (locally) advocate of positive training methods for dogs--which is the only type of training I think I'm capable of providing a dog; I just cannot use harsh or negative punishments. I mean, I couldn't and didn't even say "bad dog" to Jasper (well, maybe once when he was running out into the street--and he immediately hit the ground and rolled over on his back; I felt awful). I would usually just distract him and remove whatever temptation was causing him to, ah, deviate from desirable behavior. This worked fine with Jasper although he was definitely indulged...

But as a puppy he was laid back--never had resource guarding issues, never whined a single time in his crate, even the first night home--quite an easy puppy, I know that. He WAS quite, quite bitey, humped his toys like crazy, and was charged with energy, and I must say we didn't do much to discourage him since he had enormous control of his bite. It was just a please-play-with-me bite with a very soft mouth. Well, except for those little milk teeth (ouch!). I did sustain quite a few bruises from them, but it was really all in fun and under control.

Anyway, with the new puppy, both of them--the vet and the trainer--could see that I was the wrong person to deal with a puppy with Lily's issues. But I worry about her. I was beginning to bond with her, although to be honest it took a few days. That horrified me too, because with Jasper, bonding had happened so, so fast. And then we returned her...it was so, so hard.

But thank you--bless you! -- for listening and giving me some reassurance.
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 01-04-2013, 04:37 PM
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Jane

Jane

You have 15 posts now, so now you can reply to someone if they send you a private message. As far as the puppy Lily, don't blame yourself. It probably was genetics and out of anyone's control and I trust the breeder will find her a good home. There is no need to blame yourself, at all.
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  #43 (permalink)  
Old 01-04-2013, 05:07 PM
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Yes, Lily has a home now and the breeder says she's doing well. That did help. They kept her until she was about 14 weeks old for what they described as "boot camp." I don't even want to go there--I had a bad feeling about them from day one, but I ignored it. And gosh, did they have beautiful dogs, big square-headed dogs.

Thanks, very kindly Karen519, for letting me know I can PM! I wish I'd found this site a year ago.
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  #44 (permalink)  
Old 01-04-2013, 07:29 PM
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Welcome

Glad you found us now!
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 01-08-2013, 09:23 AM
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Hope you are feeling better day by day.
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  #46 (permalink)  
Old 01-08-2013, 10:13 AM
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Jane, I, too, am 60 and lost my heart dog after nursing him through degenerative myelopathy. He was 14, and that was in 2005. I couldn't breathe for six months, and my husband was convinced I needed a psychiatric hospital because I could not move past the catastrophic grief that was my reaction to his death. Eventually, the silence in my house drove me to seek another dog, who I got through Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies. Finn is now ten, but he was almost 3.5 when I adopted him. His previous owners had broken his back with something hard, like a baseball bat or a pipe. We had spinal surgery (big $$$) on him and he's been fine ever since. He did, indeed help my heart to heal. A new dog will not replace Jasper, but instead, will honor him.

As for your horrible puppy experience, was this a reputable breeder? A good, experienced breeder knows that sometimes a dog is simply wired wrong and there is nothing you can do about it. I would suggest you read everything there is to read on choosing a golden in this forum, including all the information on how to find a reputable breeder, just for your own information. The, take advantage of the offers to help you find a good breeder in your area. I am truly sorry that you lost your heart dog. That degree of joy always results in that degree of sorrow, but personally, I wouldn't trade the joy for anything, including the devastating grief.
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 01-08-2013, 12:20 PM
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So sorry for your loss of Jasper, he looks like such a beautiful and gentle boy. Sorry about your issues with the pup aswell but if it wasn't working then you did the right thing.

We lost our heart dog Daisy aged 3 a year ago and it has been heartbreaking without her. She was our world and we miss her so much. We never thought we would be able to face having another dog again. However, after finding this forum and receiving lots of wonderful support from the people on here we started looking to see if there were any litters in our area. We are picking up a little boy very soon. We will always miss Daisy terribly but hope that she will be happy for us loving another golden.
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  #48 (permalink)  
Old 01-08-2013, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finn's Fan View Post
Jane, I, too, am 60 and lost my heart dog after nursing him through degenerative myelopathy. He was 14, and that was in 2005. I couldn't breathe for six months, and my husband was convinced I needed a psychiatric hospital because I could not move past the catastrophic grief that was my reaction to his death....I am truly sorry that you lost your heart dog. That degree of joy always results in that degree of sorrow, but personally, I wouldn't trade the joy for anything, including the devastating grief.
I think you understand.Finn'sFan. Degenerative myelopathy is like peripheral degenerative neuropathy; at least the treatments that the veterinary neurologist prescribed were based on that awful disease. And Jasper was holding his own, with his swimming, antioxidant and acupuncture/Chinese herbal medicine therapies (oh what I went through to try to get him to swallow all of those pills). Then he developed a brain tumor, and that was that.

I can relate to what you say about your husband thinking you needed a psych hospital! The grief that one experiences is so, so difficult. And I agree with you--I wouldn't trade my time with J-dog for anything; it was worth the misery and suffering.

I just wish I could have an hour of time with him now or then, to get through it...

We'll get another dog. It's just that I still want to talk a little about my Jasper.
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old 01-08-2013, 07:43 PM
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Oh, HolDaisy...your story is breathtakingly sad. What a gloriously gorgeous soul she was.

I hope to read your post one of these days when you get your little boy. Doesn't change a thing in terms of your feelings about Daisy, I know. But I remember my vet telling me that I would need to fill "the void." And that's what this is--I never dreamed that an entire year, almost 13 months would go by and I'd still feel like this.

But I do think it's going to be better.
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  #50 (permalink)  
Old 01-12-2013, 01:45 PM
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So glad that you found us and Jasper will help you find the right pup.
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