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Old 07-07-2010, 08:09 AM
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My wonderful "chowbrador", Shelby

The day we closed on our very first house, we went to the animal shelter to pick out a dog. We found a lovely black "lab" with the softest brown eyes we'd ever seen. It was love. She was skinny and a little shy, but knew that we welcomed her into our family with open hearts. We took her to the vet for her first check up and he confirmed our suspicion that she was a Labrador/Chow Chow mix and estimated that she was about 4 years old - although the shelter said 2.

That was 10 1/2 years ago.

In that time, she has guarded our home, loved our children, stolen leftovers, unzipped suitcases, eaten 2 lbs of Cadbury chocolate (the good stuff from the UK) and made a permanent place in our hearts. She has accepted - more or less - all of the other pets we'be brought into our home and ruled over them like the benevolent matriarch that she is. I have no doubt that she'd give her life for any one of ours without hesitation.

Over the past year she's really begun to slow down, and last fall, we found out that she probably has breast cancer. Given her age of 12-14 years old, the vet didn't recommend treatment since she may not survive it. But that she'd let us know when it was "time".

I'm afraid that she's beginning to feel that the end is close. She's having difficulty breathing - which could mean respitory problems or that she's in pain. This morning, she sneaked out the door as we were leaving for work and trotted across the street into our neighbor's yard - she's never done that. We had to "chase" her down.

My husband and I are a little afraid to take her to the vet again, because we really don't want to hear the kind of news we're pretty sure to get. My heart is breaking just a bit this morning.

Anyway, here's a picture of our Shelby. It's about 3 years old.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:52 AM
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Re: My wonderful "chowbrador", Shelby

I've been where you are twice...once with a Schnauzer and one with a Shih Tzu. I think of it this way....I spent 14 years with each, giving them the best life that I could. The very last thing that I could do for both was to give them a "good" death, one that had dignity and that was not accompanied by too much pain. I know your heart is breaking......mine did too, but there is a kind of relief that goes with doing what is best for the animal.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:55 AM
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Re: My wonderful "chowbrador", Shelby

Thank you so much. We know that we have to put what's best for her ahead of what's easiest for us. This morning the whole thing was just magnified a bit more.
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:12 AM
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Re: My wonderful "chowbrador", Shelby

Look at those eyes, they are gorgeous. Sorry to hear things aren't going so well with your dear Shelby. I hope the vet doesn't give you bad news. You have taken such good care of her and I'm sure you hold such dear memories. Just remember that those cannot be taken from you, no matter what happens.
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Old 07-07-2010, 09:15 AM
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Re: My wonderful "chowbrador", Shelby

Di, I read your post, then sat here thinking of how to respond to a story that is both heartwarming and sad at the same time, like you and Sharon I've been there as well myself, its never easy saying goodbye to a loved and cherished pet, I just hope you find some comfort in the good times and that they outweigh what your feeling now, as I always say, "God holds a place for all creatures great and small" Gods speed to you and Shelby
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:34 AM
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Re: My wonderful "chowbrador", Shelby

Shelby has had a great life with you, what more could a dog ask. she will let you know when she has had enough or is no longer enjoying her days.
then it will be time for you to help her pass from this life and cross the "rainbow bridge" into her forever life in Heaven. its the last thing we can do for them to show how very much we love them.
we all understand your pain, its a part of life that we have deal with in our own way.
she has given you her whole life and you have given her a great home and all your love, this far outweighs the pain of saying goodbye.
we'll be here for you......
Joan
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Old 07-07-2010, 04:02 PM
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Re: My wonderful "chowbrador", Shelby

I don't know how it feels to lose a cherished pet (yet) but I know it's very heartbreaking. She will have a spot in heaven for her when she passes. Then when it's your time to go, you'll meet her again I wish you both the best of luck and god bless.
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Old 07-07-2010, 04:23 PM
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Re: My wonderful "chowbrador", Shelby

(((HUGS))) You are in my thoughts! Letting go a beloved pet isn't easy. May of last year I had to euthanize a pet for the first time. It was my chinchilla Schroeder. He was 13 years old and I found him in the bottom of his cage dragging his back legs. We took him to the emergency vet, and they said because of his age the most humane thing would be to put him down. We spent about 30 minutes saying good bye, and the whole time of looking into his eyes, you could tell that he was done. It was just a blank stare, it didn't even look like he was "there" any more. Trust me, when it's time to go, she'll let you know. Until then, cherish every second with her.
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Old 12-17-2010, 09:49 AM
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Re: My wonderful "chowbrador", Shelby

I decided to revive this instead of starting a new thread...

We got bad news from the vet the other day. Our Shelby probably has a condition called Cushings Disease, which means an over-active adrenal gland. This is caused by a tumor on her adrenal or pituitary gland. We don't have a definite diagnosis because the treatment is surgery or chemo or radiation. And we just don't want to put her through that...the vet says that these can be difficult for young and otherwise healthy dogs. But she has all of the symptoms.

We have a 2 story house and she has always slept upstairs in our room. About a week ago, she fell on the stairs on her way up. She was on about the 3rd step so she didn't fall far and didn't seem to hurt herself, but her back legs, hips and lower back have gotten so weak that she's afraid to try again. The only solution is to carry her upstairs - 60 lbs of struggling frightened chowbrador is a challenge, but if she's downstairs alone she gets lonely and cries.

Last night Luke, our yellow lab, decided he had to go to the bathroom at 3 am. I went down stairs to let him out. Silly dog wouldn't come back upstairs until Shelby came down and went out with him. Of course, then she couldn't get back up the stairs. I have to chase her (very slowly, like the cartoons of old ladies racing) to pick her up so I just stayed with her and slept on the sofa. Well, I didn't sleep so I'm exhausted now.

I'm so worried. Cushings makes her hungry and thirsty all the time. She's aways at my heels in the kitchen hoping for some little tidbit to drop and she snuffles around the bird perches and cages hoovering up dropped pellets and bits of fruit and veggies. We don't want to increase her food because it's better for her mobility to keep her weight down.

It's so hard to know when the time is right to make "the decision". I would hate to take her in to the vet if she still has a good quality of life, but I would hate just as much to wait too long and make her suffer.

My poor Shelby. I just want to make it all better for her.
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Old 12-17-2010, 10:21 AM
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Re: My wonderful "chowbrador", Shelby

It's hard to say when the time is right. I just "knew" when our time had come with our two. Try not to hold on to her for "you"....and do what you think is best for her. Maybe the vet would have an opinion on how much quality of life she has, how much pain she has...that may help.
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One Budgie.... Sadie
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