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Old 01-02-2013, 04:49 PM
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My First Post - When does it get better?

Hello everyone. I am here trying to find comfort and guidance on my journey through grief for our dog Jasper, 1/15/99 - 12/12/11 (he was not quite 13). The tears still run down my cheeks as I write this.

First, here is Jasper:

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His mom was a Golden, and his father was unknown. We got him as an 8-week-old rescue. And virtually as soon as we took that little bundle of fur home, I knew I loved him so much that I would surely suffer at some then-inconceivable day when we lost him. That time came a little over 12 months ago. I had retired two years before he died, and spent every day with him, nursing him through old age, arthritis, degenerative peripheral neuropathy--I took him to swim therapy twice weekly for months; to acupuncture--both of these an hour's drive from home. He was holding his own--the neurologist was so pleased because he was adding muscle through his swimming. And then he got an inoperable brain tumor.

The memory of those times is still so very with me--the time we spent together, the swimming, the vet visits, his last awful illness. I wished with all my heart that we wouldn't be forced to make that awful final decision, but--we did have to, finally.

We cancelled Christmas and went to a little resort in the mountains just to get away from home. Here I was--and I still look a bit like this, shellshocked:

(I'm sorry, I can't get the picture in the right place--it's at the end. Also, I meant only to post one--slow learner; sorry.)

I am just so sad without my Jasper. He literally nursed me through two surgeries, including a hip replacement--wouldn't leave my side. I miss my baby dog.

My husband is, I think, pretty tired of my apparently-unending grief.

We do not have another dog. We tried to get a puppy this past fall, and an awful thing happened; she had an aggression problem and was snapping and biting at 8 weeks; our vet urged us to return her to the breeder, so that she could be placed with people who had the skills to handle the puppy. I was heartbroken and don't think I've recovered from that, either. Thank goodness a suitable home was found for her. The breeders were awful about it, though.

At this point, I think I could love another dog--and Jasper was such a Golden, in spite of his mixed background--but I am just too scared and burned to know how to proceed. I see the pictures of your Goldens, and I envy you all; I would give anything to have four muddy paws running through my family room, fur flying into every corner; to hear my dog's soft breathing in our room at night as we all sleep.

I'm sorry I sound so sad and helpless! I'm not normally like this, but that pup was the light of my life. Any advice or comfort anyone could offer would be very appreciated.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:00 PM
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Sorry for the loss of Jasper. So many on our forum know the sadness you feel. I wish I had the words to make everything better. You will be able to love another pooch. My suggestion would to be foster an older Golden from a rescue? Most foster parents fail at some point and adopt. I do not know what else to say. Be well and I hope you find the perfect pooch companion.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:00 PM
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Jane

Jane

My heart goes out to you for your loss of Jasper-what a beautiful story and life you two had.

You need to get another dog and deserve to LOVE, again, and Jasper would want you to.

Have you looked into the Golden Retriever Rescues?
http://www.grca-nrc.org/localrescues.html

So glad you found us!
**My hubby and I can't even be without a dog for a day-it is the only way we are able to heal.
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Last edited by Karen519; 01-03-2013 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:17 PM
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Jane;
I am so sorry for the loss of your dear Jasper. They become so much a part of our life that losing them is like losing a family member. There are so many of us here that have experienced what you are going through and all of the members here have provided so much support when I lost my Rhett this last summer. There wasn't a day that goes by that I didn't cry over him.

We have just opened our hearts and home this last week to 2 (two) beautiful Golden rescues and they have helped us so much with our healing. They both have so much love to give and I know our Rhett sent them our way to open our hearts to them just as we did for him. I know he didn't want to see us cry anymore but to experience the joy once again.

Give yourself time to grieve and keep Jaspers memories alive within you, he will always be there watching over you. Then when you are ready, open your heart to another Golden that needs a home and a family to love, the rewards are a thousand fold.

We are always here for you. You'll be in our prayers during this most difficult time.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:19 PM
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Your Jasper was such a beautiful boy, I can't believe he wasn't 100%golden. your grief is normal and the depth of it is not surprising.
Our dogs are so much a part of us, it is so hard to be without them.
A new puppy or older dog does help to move forward for many. It is not a replacement for Jasper, but shows that your heart is open to loving again.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:21 PM
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Hi Jane
I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my 10 tear old Golden Girl Gracie in October at
10 years of age to cancer. I have had two other golden girls that passed as well.
So I truly understand the pain you feel.
Although 30 years has lapsed there insn't a day that I don't think of them and
miss them and feel sad they are not with me. Thank the lord for the companionship
that Jasper gave you and open your heart to love another golden. Don't be scared.
I adopted another golden puppy.His name is Sheldon and as he cuddles with me it brings me such joy.
I see you are from upstate NY I'm from Putnam Couny Where are you? Perhaps
I can help you find another puppy.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:23 PM
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Jasper

You will never replace Jasper, just as I could never replace my Smooch and Snobear, but we do heal when giving our love to another.

Do you want me to put Jasper's name on our 2011 Rainbow Bridge List?
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:31 PM
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Yes--by all means add his name. Jasper Dog Craig. Best dogintheworld, as I used to tell him, but I realize that everyone's dog is, indeed, their best dogintheworld.

I appreciate so much all of your condolences, and so many of you have had similar recent losses, even more recent than mine. How generous of you all to give me sympathy and support.

I have no children; I often think that J-dog was the child I didn't have. I realized, when I first started this line of thinking, that I was setting myself up for a pretty nasty fall, but nothing, in terms of loving Jasper, was necessarily a voluntary choice. It just happened.

I am grateful for your advice as well as support.
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:34 PM
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Sheldon's mom--we're just outside of Albany. Nice to hear there are kindred souls near!
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Old 01-02-2013, 06:40 PM
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Jesse'sgirl--Yes, Jasper inherited the Golden genes. I had his DNA typed when he was about 10, and...they were unable to find markers of any other breed but Golden. Still, given that his mother was apparently allowed to roam (in my mind, negligent dog parents) unspayed, what are the odds that she met up with another AKC Golden? Also, I saw the litter of 11 pups--4 of them were jet black! I know that a litter can have more than one father, but...anyway, yes, Jasper was essentially a Golden.

Your dog (Jesse, I assume) is gorgeous. I think my heart is open--it's just been bashed around a good deal...
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