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I'm so sorry. And I know where you are coming from. My girl was full of happy life and energy at 12... until she wasn't. She was diagnosed with cancer.


You get to a point where you have to think about whether you are keeping them alive for you or for them. My guess is, you will put him first and do what is best for him despite the immense pain to yourself. I'm so sorry you are going through this.
 

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Sorry to hear. We went through the same thing at this time last year with our golden. He (Lucas) had the same symptoms. Your post brought back a lot of good as we remember Lucas each day but a lot of pain. No matter what anyone tells you, it's not easy and is heartbreaking. The one thing we found that helped was we had a vet come to the house to put him down. It's a tough decision and one that is filled with heartbreak but do what you think is in the best interest of Barkley. You and Barkley are in our thoughts and prayers.
 

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I am very sorry you, your family and Barkley are going through this. We travelled that road very recently here. It is extremely difficult and heartbreaking. But we wouldn’t trade a day we had with our beautiful Odin no matter how much it hurts when you lose them. In fact we are doing it all again with a new pup. I can see by your posts you will do whatever is best for him. A lot of people on here are thinking of you and completely understand how you feel. Best wishes with whatever path you take.
 

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8 years ago April 1 my 11 year old girl had a perfect checkup complete with a senior lab panel. 15 days later she was gone, from hemangiosarcoma. One day she was jumping, running, eating, drinking, and then, it was over. A year ago in March our 6 year old, while we were on vacation and he was being boarded, collapsed and died from hemangio. He too had a checkup two weeks before he died, everything completely normal. I have lost 3 other goldens too, from various things. It is awful to lose them, at any time, at any age, for any reason. I am so sorry you are going thru this, it is never easy. Just love them, care for them, and treasure each and every minute you have with them. Someone told me once that you would know when it is time to let them go. I think that's true, but I am a little ashamed to admit that I waited too long for one of my dogs, and let her go a day too long. She did have the look in her eyes that told me she was ready, but selfishly, i wasn't ready. I do regret that, but you can only do in the moment what feels right. Hugs.
 

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I am so sorry. I'm sure you've given Barkley a great life and I hope you can find some comfort in all of your happy memories. As dfisher mentioned, some vets will come to the house. This can be a more peaceful way especially with pups that hate going to the vet's office.
 

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I'm so very sorry for you, your family and Barkley. What you're going thru is gut wrenching. My thoughts and prayers are sent your way.
 

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Barkley left this world at 1:23 PM on Friday, April 26 at the Richmond Veterinary Clinic in Richmond, Illinois. He was 11 1/2 years old. I was blessed to have spent 10 wonderful years with him. Before me, he lived with another family and before that with a breeder or in the home where he was born. He came to me when he was one and a half years old. He was my first dog after taking a 25-year break from having dogs. When I was a child living with my parents we had a couple of dogs, and as a young man in my 20s, I had two more. I am sad to say none of those dog relationships ended as we would all hope they might. Barkley was the first dog that I actually saw through from beginning (nearly) to a natural end.

I was moved from my several decade's long ambivalence about having another dog to enthusiasm for the idea by Cesar Milan and his show on the National Geographic television network, The Dog Whisperer. As kooky as that might sound, I was intrigued by Caesar's emphasis on walking with your dog for a minimum of 45 minutes at least once a day as a means of establishing the foundation of a proper relationship with your dog. My last dog before the long break was a yellow Labrador or at least a dog that appeared to be a yellow Labrador, but which was almost certainly a mixed breed. I am an outdoorsy person, who likes hiking, backpacking, fly fishing, upland game hunting and just generally being out in nature, so it seemed to me that I should be looking for another lab. I began my quest by reading everything that I could about training Labs. I was particularly excited by a movement of people who had coalesced around the idea that Labs might not be limited to working as retrievers of waterfowl, but that they could be trained for upland game hunting. It was at that time that my sister, who lives in Virginia, and who is an avid trader on platforms like eBay and craigslist, acquired a golden retriever. She answered an ad in craigslist and ended up finding a wonderful young golden named Max that a family was giving away for adoption. I had looked at craigslist now and then and seeing that a lot of folks seem to tire of their Labrador retrievers when they are about eight or 10 months old. I got the feeling that people would buy these dogs as puppies, and by the time they were starting to grow into full-size dogs, find that they were more work than they had bargained for. I figured I would be happy to take one of these dogs and give him a good life while improving my own as well.

Finally, I decided it was time to get serious. I fired up the computer, pulled up craigslist and the first ad that I saw was for a golden retriever. Not exactly, what I was looking for but maybe worth a look. The ad didn't have any pictures and I would have to drive an hour to see the dog, but I decided to give it a chance.

I saw the dog before I even knew which house to look for. He sat at the head of the driveway by the garage door. He had a thick brassy red coat and really was unlike any retriever I had ever seen before. My mother had come along for the ride. As we both exited the car, the dog demonstrated a distinct preference for mom over me. In any case, he seemed like a good dog, he seemed healthy and in fact more than healthy he seemed to be pretty robust and well built. We also learned of the folks who were pulling out as we were arriving, a young couple, had rejected the dog as too big for their requirements. I introduced myself and described the kind of life I thought I could provide for the dog. It was a brilliant stroke of luck that I had my mother with me because the person we would be dealing with was a wife and mother herself. I think it was the factor that sealed the deal and I became the new caretaker of Barkley. When I set out that day, I was sure I wanted a Labrador retriever and nothing else. What I got was a Red Field Golden that gave me ten years of love and devotion that changed my life.

The picture below was taken on the day I brought Barkley home. In this picture he is one and a half years old.

 

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Barkley left this world at 1:23 PM on Friday, April 26 at the Richmond Veterinary Clinic in Richmond, Illinois. He was 11 1/2 years old. I was blessed to have spent 10 wonderful years with him. Before me, he lived with another family and before that with a breeder or in the home where he was born. He came to me when he was one and a half years old. He was my first dog after taking a 25-year break from having dogs. When I was a child living with my parents we had a couple of dogs, and as a young man in my 20s, I had two more. I am sad to say none of those dog relationships ended as we would all hope they might. Barkley was the first dog that I actually saw through from beginning (nearly) to a natural end.

I was moved from my several decade's long ambivalence about having another dog to enthusiasm for the idea by Cesar Milan and his show on the National Geographic television network, The Dog Whisperer. As kooky as that might sound, I was intrigued by Caesar's emphasis on walking with your dog for a minimum of 45 minutes at least once a day as a means of establishing the foundation of a proper relationship with your dog. My last dog before the long break was a yellow Labrador or at least a dog that appeared to be a yellow Labrador, but which was almost certainly a mixed breed. I am an outdoorsy person, who likes hiking, backpacking, fly fishing, upland game hunting and just generally being out in nature, so it seemed to me that I should be looking for another lab. I began my quest by reading everything that I could about training Labs. I was particularly excited by a movement of people who had coalesced around the idea that Labs might not be limited to working as retrievers of waterfowl, but that they could be trained for upland game hunting. It was at that time that my sister, who lives in Virginia, and who is an avid trader on platforms like eBay and craigslist, acquired a golden retriever. She answered an ad in craigslist and ended up finding a wonderful young golden named Max that a family was giving away for adoption. I had looked at craigslist now and then and seeing that a lot of folks seem to tire of their Labrador retrievers when they are about eight or 10 months old. I got the feeling that people would buy these dogs as puppies, and by the time they were starting to grow into full-size dogs, find that they were more work than they had bargained for. I figured I would be happy to take one of these dogs and give him a good life while improving my own as well.

Finally, I decided it was time to get serious. I fired up the computer, pulled up craigslist and the first ad that I saw was for a golden retriever. Not exactly, what I was looking for but maybe worth a look. The ad didn't have any pictures and I would have to drive an hour to see the dog, but I decided to give it a chance.

I saw the dog before I even knew which house to look for. He sat at the head of the driveway by the garage door. He had a thick brassy red coat and really was unlike any retriever I had ever seen before. My mother had come along for the ride. As we both exited the car, the dog demonstrated a distinct preference for mom over me. In any case, he seemed like a good dog, he seemed healthy and in fact more than healthy he seemed to be pretty robust and well built. We also learned of the folks who were pulling out as we were arriving, a young couple, had rejected the dog as too big for their requirements. I introduced myself and described the kind of life I thought I could provide for the dog. It was a brilliant stroke of luck that I had my mother with me because the person we would be dealing with was a wife and mother herself. I think it was the factor that sealed the deal and I became the new caretaker of Barkley. When I set out that day, I was sure I wanted a Labrador retriever and nothing else. What I got was a Red Field Golden that gave me ten years of love and devotion that changed my life.

The picture below was taken on the day I brought Barkley home. In this picture he is one and a half years old.

What a beautiful story. I am so sorry about your loss of Barkley. It is clear that you were meant to be together. He was such a beautiful boy and you gave him an amazing life. Losing them is gut wrenching. I lost my beloved Callie suddenly without warning last July at age 8. I was and am still devastated and completely heartbroken. It wasn't fair. She was healthy her entire life, she had just turned 8. The ER suspected blood clot 3 weeks post TTA surgery. I never thought I could love again. Never thought I could have another golden. But I joined this forum in September and started my quest for as much info I could gather and turned here for emotional support. We just brought home my newest golden Coco 2 weeks ago. She is 9 weeks ago and I am in love once again. My prayers and thoughts are with you. God rest Barkley's sweet little soul.
 

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I'm so sorry about the loss of our beautiful boy. You said it so perfectly, 10 years of love that changed your life. It's what they give us, wholeheartedly, unselfishly. I know it hurts losing him, but the gift of those years is immeasurable.
 

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Thanks to everyone for the kind words. I intend to find another Field Golden. Barkley was an incredibly good dog. He was good with other dogs, cats, and, most certainly, with people. From the first day I brought him home he was good off leash. I was able to do yard work with him and he never showed any sign of wanting to wander off. If I let him out on his own and didn't pay attention he would soon be at the door looking in to see where I was. He was loved by many people in my community. He was welcome at our public library and in the houses of a number of town residents. He had a special exemption to be off-leash at a private arboretum that was like a vast park just two blocks from my house. He was an ambassador of good will and a foil for me to meet people who I might otherwise never have had a chance to interact with. More than once I had men who know hunting dogs stop their cars and roll down their windows to comment on what a fine looking dog Barkley was.

I want another Field Golden because I love the color and the shorter coat. Barkley almost never smelled bad and he never had an ear infection in ten years. Barkley weighed 85 lbs as an adult, had a very muscular build, a good sized head with a boxy snout and a tail that could knock down lamps. And of course, he could swim like an Otter. I don't know if you can tell, but I am sold on the idea that this variant of the Golden Retriever breed is the perfect dog.

Below is a shot of Barkley at 3 years of age.

 

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I am so very sorry for your loss. Would you like me to add Barkley to The Rainbow Bridge List?.
 

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I think that might be nice. I have a lot of memories and pictures I could share.
I have added Barkley to the list. It would be lovely to hear your memories and see the photos, take care of yourself x
 
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