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Two years ago today our Barkley collapsed just a few steps from our house on his early morning walk, starting our journey down the road of splenectomy, diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma, chemotherapy, and finally saying goodbye to him. When he first collapsed I came to the forum, before our veterinary clinic opened, and posted a thread with questions: http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/golden-retriever-health-anatomy-physiology-breed-standard/71433-canine-strokes-behaviors-symptoms.html. When I posted that thread I was in a panic and heartsick with worry and dread. Your prayers and encouragement (especially those of you who chimed in telling me stories of your dogs receiving benign diagnoses after splenectomy) got us through those first dark and scary days. We didn't receive a benign diagnosis and that sent us down a frantic road to determine how best to handle Barkley's diagnosis of hemangiosarcoma, knowing our time with him was limited to days or months. As our journey continued I had more questions and concerns and so many here chimed in with ideas, suggestions or just good old fashioned support and encouragement.

Many of you also reminded me to always stay positive in front of Barkley, even though my heart was broken in pieces, so he wouldn't key on my emotions. Such sage advice. It was hard but I was able to do this most of the time and I'm convinced it made his last months with us happy ones. He fought so hard and taught us a thing or two about living life each and every day. All but two or three of his days were wonderful and he made it clear he wanted to live life normally, with lots of walks and lots of belly rubs.

We lost Barkley on April 30, 2010 and afterwards I received so much support from the forum I was overwhelmed. I tried to thank all of you at the time, but probably couldn't express the depth of my gratitude at that time, while dealing with all the emotions attached with a great loss. So, on this two year anniversary-- THANK YOU from my heart, THANK YOU.

Once I could focus on things after our loss, I tried to pay it forward to others finding this forum needing support and guidance through health crises, especially those with a cancer diagnosis. It's emotionally hard at times as you well know, because those painful memories come back to mind, but I hope in some small way I can help others just starting the path of cancer with their cherished pet and maybe, just maybe, they will help someone else along the way.

Thanks for letting me express what I've been mulling in my heart, even if it is two years later.

This morning as Toby and I walked in the early morning stillness I remembered what we were doing and how we felt just two short years ago. It seems like just yesterday, but we've come a long way since then. Barkley is still with us each and every day, just in our hearts.

Toby is being spoiled a little more today. He probably doesn't remember this sad anniversary, but he was and is a big part of our recovery from Barkley's leaving us.

Thank you again. You guys are so wonderful!
 

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And I thank you and the forum too. You were one of the first people to start asking me specifics on Tucker in his thread. Both our boys had the nose bleeds. So many others helped out too. Even just a simple good morning how is Tucker helped so much. How I miss him so. I try to give back too.

I am amazed at the amount of knowledge and support here. Thanks folks :wavey:
 

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I add my very very heartfelt thanks to you, and to the forum. I don't know how I could have gotten through everything with Toby without the help and support.
 
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In the Moment
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Hugs my dear friend. You have certainly been a wise and compassionate friend to so many who have walked that path after you and Barkley. I know he is so proud how his mom has benefited others by what she learned on their journey together. Barkley lives on in everyone that has benefited or was touched in some way from your efforts to comfort and share. And hopefully they will pay it forward to keep Barkley's light ongoing in bigger and bigger circles. I will always be thankful that I was able to meet and love on that sweet boy!
 

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Missing Tasha, Sky, & Ral
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Hugs my dear friend. You have certainly been a wise and compassionate friend to so many who have walked that path after you and Barkley. I know he is so proud how his mom has benefited others by what she learned on their journey together. Barkley lives on in everyone that has benefited or was touched in some way from your efforts to comfort and share. And hopefully they will pay it forward to keep Barkley's light ongoing in bigger and bigger circles. I will always be thankful that I was able to meet and love on that sweet boy!
Couldn't say it any better! Thank you for all you have done to help me and my fur babies. Barkley is a very special boy who lives in the hearts of many of us even though we never got to meet him in person.
 

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Adding my thanks as well to you Dallas. You are so amazingly supportive and knowledgeable for everyone here. Your support has gotten so many of us through some dark hours indeed.
 

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Dallas Gold,
My only regret in reading your beautiful post is that I wasn't on this forum to know your beloved Barkley. You are in our hearts today and we all know you would do the same for any of us on here. Definitely spoil your beautiful boy Toby as much as you can today to celebrate your bridge boy's life.
 
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Unfortunately, I wasn't here in time to get to know your Barkley, but I do know what you mean about this forum being such a caring and supportive place. And you yourself are a big part of that.

So thank YOU.
 
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This is the only forum I belong to so I guess I am biased, but it is so supportive and helpful in all ways.
I send out my thanks too!
 
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