Almost 14 yrs ago my husband and I got married as kids and high school sweethearts. I Was 17 and he was 19. He had joined the airforce and we had to move to a different state. I was young, afraid and lonely so we went to the local petsmart where the humane society used to adopt dogs out. I remember the moment I first laid eyes on my Reina. She was in a cage with her sister and had on a purple collar. She was handed over to them as a trade to have her mother spayed. She was a lab and wiemeriener mix. Looked exactly like those "silver"(*insert eye roll here*) labs but black. She was 8 wks old, 8 lbs and beautiful. She was my shadow and followed me everywhere. She soon became a Marley and me dog going through 2 couches, a love seat, stucco off a base house and anything else she could get her teeth on. We suffered through many years of abuse, lol. We kept trying and kept loving her, and in turn she ended up being the best dog I've ever owned.
When I was 18 my father committed suicide and I rushed back home to be with my family. My husband followed a few days later going through the proper military channels to get leave and she rode with her head on his lap all the way to my home town. I wanted to shut out the world, but when my husband arrived with her I called her and she follwed me into my old room, jumped up on my bed and I fell asleep crying into her fur. She adored every child I brought home from the hospital, taking care to treat them gently and stand guard when needed. When she got bloat I rushed her to the emergency vet after calling my husband (deployed) hysterical letting him know something was wrong and I was about to pull out the credit card. I remember the vet asking me what our money situation was and my exact words were "we're not rich but I have 3 children and I am taking her home to them". He knew what I meant and fixed her. When we got orders from AZ to FL we quickly found out how expensive it is to fly 97lb dogs and she stayed with my mom for 2 agonizing months. I then happened to find a transport company who was in California at the time on their way to alabama so they picked her up for $600 (ouch) but it was worth every penny to have her back. Last year she started to only fetch a ball once, arthritis kicked in and then she'd no longer chase me around the pool like a maniac. I knew her time was coming and I thought I was prepared. I am no stranger to loss, I actually lost my great grandmother 4 days before she left my life. I never knew how much my heart would hurt when I lost her.
I held my emotions till the last moment and it all leaked out like a levy had broken in a storm. My husband has been in afghanistan since last year and won't come home till September. He is my rock and I always thought he would be the one to take my bullet, my way out. I had to make the decision, stay with her till the end and hide my breaking heart because she felt all my emotions. I wanted to hold on longer but I knew every second she laid there she was in horrible pain and it was cruel. I had to pull her through the house on her blanket because she was too heavy to lift. It was absolutely awful. Her death was a relief as much as a sadness. She deteriorated so quickly. I got one last ear perk and excited look from her and I will never forget it. When she was gone I kissed her on the nose, told her thank you for so many wonderful years and walked out of the vets office with a collar in my hands. She was about to turn 14. She was one of my children, my 1st born.
My kids were devastated. When I told my youngest (8 yr old) he looked for her in every room in my house and then ran outside to check there and he sobbed off and on for days. My daughter cried her eyes out in her bed and my oldest(12 yr old) has had many sad moments with me. He said it feels like he has a hole in his heart, that I can't possibly understand because he's had her his whole life. They are getting better now that some time has passed. I will grieve forever. I miss her every single day. She's now a box on my fireplace.
My husband had a hard time being so far away and not being able to comfort any of us. He asked me to get his kids a puppy and at first I was against it. I eventually gave in. Shortly after she was gone I brought home a yellow lab we named Ivy. She is about to be 3 months old and we've had her for about a month now. She could never replace Reina, but she brings so much joy into this house. I adore her and I am so thankful for her. She is spoiled rotten but she's so smart and sweet. My daughter had her 11th birthday party this weekend and all the girls were out back by the pool running around in a circle with Ivy in the middle jumping up and her tail going like a helicopter. It made me cry because it was such a sweet moment, but last year it was Reina getting all the attention at her birthday party. But I do love the coat difference between a lab/wiem mix and a plain old lab coat. Much more water proof and easier to dry!
I've been reading every post I can on this forum since I brought Ivy home. Thanks to you guys she has tons of tricks under her belt and I found out she could have certain fruits and veggies. She would give you tons of kisses for introducing that information to me. She is a carrot freak. She will do all kinds of tricks for some carrots!
Last edited by Destinfam5; 04-07-2013 at 06:27 PM.
Loved reading your story. Welcome to the forum.
Dio (Best Bud since July 18th, 2009)
Kaity (Sweetheart since April 29th, 2012)
Welcome. I had tears in my eyes while reading your story. Dogs make our lives much fuller don't they? Post some pics of Ivy
The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!
Hi. Your pup sounded wonderful, as does your new pal.
Welcome! Your story made me cry also. So many of us have been in your shoes and completely understand being torn between the memory of a beloved dog we have lost and celebrating the joy of a new puppy. I cried halfway home from the breeder we got Maxx from. I was so excited and thrilled to have a beautiful, little black fluff ball in my arms but I also felt guilty and so sad because I realized that my beloved Ozzy was gone, he was really gone.
You will never replace your Reina, she will forever live in your heart. Enjoy your new baby and hold Reina's memory close. Someday when you think of her it will make you laugh and that ache in your heart will heal a little bit each day.
Maxx & Emma Jean
Ozzy - 10/16/02 - 06/28/11 - Always in my heart.
Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go - but learning to start over.
Beautiful story, left tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. Your Reina sounds like she was a wonderful family member. My boy Max is 11 now and has slowed down but still has some pep in him. I don't even want to think about the day he leaves us.
Congrats on your new pup, would love to see pictures.
What a special pup your Reina was. Tears here too, I have been through it too and it is so so hard to lose our beloved furbabies.
I felt the same way about getting a puppy, we waited a little over 6 months to get our Gus and I knew I'd never really "love" this little fellow like I did my Princess. I didn't want to love him that way - but after having him for a year (yesterday) he has wiggled his little self into my heart and I do love him so very much. The pain of losing Princess is becoming a great memory, I will always miss her and love her but the ache does get better.
Welcome to the forum and give us some pictures of your little Ivy.
Thank you! It's nice to have people who understand. I feel like nobody else will and I hate to talk about it because I always end up crying, especially since it was so recent. I kept thinking something is just wrong with me to be so heart broken, but how could you not be? When they're part of your family their loss is substantial and very tangible. It is not just a dog, it is a part of your heart and for me it was a vital part of my life and how it played out.
I was raised with dogs, shepards to be exact. Our pure bred (Kaluha) ended up with some severe genetic disorders (fluke and breeder offered another puppy but my family refused) and had to be put down at 7. He was amazingly beautiful. We rescued another shepard (gretchen) from the desert (AZ) and we thought she went to a forever family but when I was older my parents told me she was sick and they had to put her down at the vet one day while we were at school. Then we got bear (akita shepard mix) and right around her first heat, 3 days before her spay appt. a chow jumped over the fence while we were at the grocery store and 5 months later she gave birth to 6 puppies. My parents kept the best one and we named him chuy. He looked just like an akita shepard mix but orange fur and hazel eyes. Chuy died at 15 and bear lived to be 18. I cried when they died because they were my childhood dogs, but it didn't hurt anywhere near as bad as it did when I lost my lab. It was different and I was not expecting it.
Welcome to the forum. I can not control the tears after reading your introduction. I've been there and know too well the feeling. I'm glad you got another puppy. Although they never take the place of your lost one, they do fill your heart with joy again. Good luck and best wishes!!
Todd, Yellow Lab, 1/4/13
Mr. Utley, Welsh Corgi, 2/20/02