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my Rowdy slipped away. Just a few days earlier, I had dropped him off at the vets to correct his laryngeal paralysis. The surgeons were experienced and had performed many successful tie-back procedures. The first reports were of a successful surgery, but the following morning the reports turned worried, by the afternoon they were grim - the dreaded aspiration pneumonia had struck. My Rowdy died as he lived, on his terms but with love, style and grace. He died at 2:51 pm 2 days after the surgery.



Rowdy, my love, I miss you still. The tears still flow although this is not as you wanted it. The visits at the vets with you so valiantly sitting up to greet me, the racing to you in the ice storms whenever you needed me or when it was time to visit, the love in your eyes as you watched me walking out the door each time I left the ICU on each but that final visit, the courage in your heart, your patience with me as I struggled to accept your decision, and finally my cradling you with your head in my lap as I whispered my acceptance of your need to leave ...

You sat up to lick my face one final time as the heart monitor lost its rhythmic beeping and started going crazy; now racing then with long silences; when you lay back down there was silence; the vets, surgeons and techs all rushed over, but I waved them away as I leaned over to kiss your forehead as you took that final breath; for you could not get better - your temp had been too high for too long and your lungs were not responding to treatment. My tears darkened your fur while I closed your beautiful eyes; the eyes that would never dance with delight at life again. They gently removed the 3 oxygen tubes that had tried to buy you enough time to start healing and the monitors that had measured your vital signs, now forever silent.


A vet tech took a paw print of your right front paw so I could have a special memorial of your life with me; this is kept in the kitchen where your food was prepared, engraved with your light name 'Quasar'.

You were such a beautiful puppy, and grew into a handsome youngster well deserving of your call name Rowdy. And then your thyroid went out and you developed severe allergies, causing your inability to tolerate dog food, the ear infections and the skin problems. For 3 ½ years we went from specialist to specialist and you were hurt at one teaching hospital, and yet you still willingly jumped up onto the exam tables and stretched out your leg for skin plugs and other tests, trusting in me to do right by you.

We finally found that RAW food was the answer, along with thyroid medicine. You became strong and healthy once again, the dog you were meant to be. You started learning agility at 6 and went on to be rated #1 for Preferred Novice and Preferred Open; I was so surprised to see your name in Front & Finish not just once but twice!! My beautiful Rowdy ranked #1. I was so very, very proud of you that we ran around the house showing everyone. I hope you know that your willingness to learn and your joyfulness while running agility with me made my heart sing. Remember that run where we received a standing ovation, you and I, for a Non Qualifying run – you came charging through that line of jumps so fast and with such beauty that I was awestruck and did not signal you that the last jump wasn't meant to be taken – but I don't think you ever knew you didn’t collect a blue that run – everyone rushed to congratulate you on your spectacular run and in my mind you were surely the biggest winner that day. You were incredible!

I can still hear the echo of your dancing feet as I prepared your meals, feel the softness of your fur and the gentle whuff of breath you'd give as you snuggled against my knees at bedtime. In my mind, I can still see the roundness of your eyes when you wanted it to be your turn and feel the touch of your paw when you wanted my attention. I still laugh remembering your dancing and prancing when your 'back door' leash came out since you knew it was hiking, biking, training or playing time. These are just a few of the things that helped to insure my forever memories of you a place in my heart. I still have a lock of your fur and your collar is kept safe right beside King's.

You taught me so much and I thank you for allowing me the honor of sharing your life for almost 12 ½ years. The messages and tears that were shed by many whose lives you touched bear testimony to how much you were loved and how you shared your joy with everyone who met you, from therapy visits, training, trialing, family and friends, you loved (almost) everyone. And we loved you back, me most of all.

Know that your life here in this world mattered, that you made a difference and your light shines on in the hearts of all who loved you. Namaste little one, until we get to run together again.
 

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Missing Naughty Charlie
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So sorry and the anniversery's are so hard
 

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I am so sorry, I hope the happy memories you have will help get you through today.
That was a beautiful tribute to Rowdy the love you have for him shines through.
 

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Loving goldens since '95
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I know today must be very hard for you... I only read half of your tribute because it brought me to tears in the second paragraph. It's beautiful, but I'll have to finish it when I'm not at work.

I can see that Rowdy was very special to you and he was such a beautiful dog. Sending lots of hugs your way today!
 

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Love my Golden Boys!!
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I'm so sorry.....your tribute to Rowdy is beautiful. Anniversary's are so hard....
My thoughts are with you on this sad day!!
 

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In the Moment
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What a wonderful tribute. I feel like I now know Rowdy. What a blessing to have had such a devoted and loving ( and loved) friend. Big hugs to you today.
 

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The strength of his memory is a testament to how much his life mattered, and still matters. He lives on in your heart. Thank you for sharing him with us.
 

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Sharon, this is a beautiful tribute to Rowdy. I needed a tissue by the time I finished reading it. Rowdy was such a beautiful boy who was well loved. Sending you strength today.
 

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What a beautiful heartfelt tribute to your gorgeous boy. Thanks for sharing it, it was hard to read through tears.
 

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Tucker - Tanner - Cooper
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((Hugs)) to you on this most difficult anniversay. Your love for him is so evident in the way you write - simply beautiful. Play hard, sleep soft sweet Rowdy.
 

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These anniversaries are so hard and so emotional. I'm sorry that you lost such a beautiful, sweet, loving boy. Thanks for everything you wrote - it's so moving and so loving.
 

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What a beautiful tribute to your much loved boy - anniversaries never get easier, but I hope that the wonderful memories you have of Rowdy will help you get through.

Keep on Running and Sleep softly Rowdy
 

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It appears that you and Rowdy had a very special relationship. You both were very lucky to have each other. By your touching tribute to him, he had to know he was a very loved member of your family.

We are faced with our 1st anniversary on the Feb. 14th. I am not looking forward to it but I have been focusing on the good times instead of one horrible day. We were fortunate to have our Riker for 13 years.

They are so special.......

Patrick
 

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MEG
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Beautifully written tribute for a beautiful special boy. Very moving and straight from the heart.
 

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I'm sorry Sharon, this must be the anniversary of the worst day of your life. You were right, I bawled my head off and still am. I hope we get to see them again someday.
 

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What a beautiful tribute to Rowdy. Reading through it I felt such sadness for your loss but also such a strong reminder of how blessed we are to share our lives with these beautiful souls.

Anniversaries are so hard. I hope your memories of your lives together brings you comfort.
 
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