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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Extremely sad to say that my wife and I had Ben put to sleep today. He would have been 17 in two months.

He was a truly wonderful dog in every sense - loving, placid, very gentle, full of fun and vitality. He was also extremely handsome.

Unfortunately arthritis, failing eyesight and hearing were taking their toll, although he continued to eat oaky and seemed happy and content. The arthritis was becoming especially bad with him often needing our help to get up.

Sadly illness has caught up with him of late though (frequent stomach upsets with associated weakness and weight loss) so after another stomach upset last night (dry heaving and retching), exhaustion and this time, most unusually, Ben refusing food, we though it was time.

Ben was gently put to sleep today. He will be cremated.

My wife and I are utterly heartbroken, to say the very least.

Here's a photo of Ben taken just over a year ago (my wife has more recent ones on her PC, but he looks the same):

 

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What a handsome boy! Incredible to have him with you for so long. I really admire and respect you for knowing when to let him go. You repaid his love and loyalty with your final gift of love.

Rest sweetly, Bruce, and play hearty with all our furkids at the Bridge.
 

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Love my Golden Boys!!
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I'm so sorry to hear of Ben's passing.

To have had him in your lives for almost 17 years is amazing.

RIP handsome boy!
 

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Momma to angel Cody
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Dog-drops, I'm very sorry that your beautiful Ben had to leave you and your wife. What a wonderful wealth of memories you have to make you both smile when you remember your boy. He will have joined a lovely band of furry friends at the Bridge, running and playing with youth and vigor. Bless you for knowing when it was time, but I am truly sorry for your heartache....
 

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Dog Lover
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Ben

So very, very, sorry to hear about your sweetheart, Ben, but what a wonderful, long life he had.
God Bless Him. I know my Snobear and Smooch have greeted him!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks very much for the kind words - despite bawling my eyes out numerous times I still can't quite believe he's gone. It all seems so surreal.

To think that I'll never see him alive again, hold him, stroke him and feed him is truly heartbreaking.

BTW, it's Ben, not Bruce. :D

I'm missing him like crazy.
 

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I am so sorry about your loss of Bruce. What a blessing to have had him in your lives for so long. I know that does nothing to ease your broken hearts right now. He was a handsome boy.
 

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Dr. Rainheart
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17 years old is amazing. We all know he had a great life. Run free at the bridge, Ben.
 

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At 17 years old, it must be hard to remember a time when he wasn't with you. You definitely did something right in his care to be blessed with that many years.

Hugs going to you and your wife.
 

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My condolences of the passing of your beautiful boy. Sending you both strength.
 

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What an absolutely handsome Boy! I am so sorry he had to leave you now but know that he left you with wonderful memories. Hoping in time that those memories bring smiles to your face.
 

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Rudy's Lucky Dad
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To think that I'll never see him alive again, hold him, stroke him and feed him is truly heartbreaking.

People who've had near death experiences would tell you you surely will.

You may not be familiar with this, but when I lost my first golden someone sent me this poem in the mail. God bless you:

Rainbow Bridge


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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where the tails wag
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He was beautiful - I am so very sorry for your loss.

Run softly at the Brdge, Ben
 

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What a beautiful photo and description. I can't imagine him being there then not, after all that time. Rest peacefully Big Ben.
 

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I am so sorry that you had to say goodbye to Ben. He looks like such a wonderful, handsome fellow. I can just tell I would have loved to hug and kiss him! If you ask me 17 is still too young, but I wish we never had to say bye to our beautiful fur babies. Thanks for the posting and please know you're in my thoughts.
 

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What a handsom boy! How wonderful that you were able to have him for so many years!!! My heart breaks for you now but you were so blessed. He was obviously well loved to have lived to such a wonderful ripe old age. I know that Mazlon was waiting there at the Bridge to welcome him home. {{{{HUGS}}}}
 

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Mandy's Mom
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Run free, Ben. His beautiful sugar-face just stole my heart, I love old gold. As someone else said, it must be difficult to remember what your life was like before you got him. Such a loss for you. My condolences to you and your family.
 

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In the Moment
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What a handsome old gent your Ben was. I'm so sorry that his earthly time has come to an end, but oh what a blessing that he had such a long life. You freed him from his failing body and for that I'm sure he'll be eternally grateful. Many hugs to you and your wife. When you are able, we'd love to see more pics and hear more Ben stories.
 
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