At midnight the animals spoke (tissue)
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Thread: At midnight the animals spoke (tissue)

  1. #1
    Joe Maringo's Avatar
    Joe Maringo is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultAt midnight the animals spoke (tissue)

    As happens all too often anymore, I am so far behind I might as well start on next years holidays. My cards are sprawled all over my desk, with hopes they can be sent out by the weekend. Of coarse that is 3 days AFTER Christmas. I was also late in getting my Christmas tree. As most of you know I do a memorial tree each year, and it was beyond important to me that it be decorated for Christmas eve at the latest.

    I finished cooking the ham and started to make potato salad only to find at 6pm I was out of mayo. It had to be finished tonight so the flavors could soak in overnight, so I made a mad rush around town to try to find ANY store still open. I finally found a K-Mart and bought one jar of mayo and headed for home. I finished the salad at about 8pm and started on the tree.

    It is a large and beautiful, although pretty dry and dead tree this year. For help and moral support I had Tailer and Shayla laying on the couch beside me as I worked. It was just two week ago that I got the awful news that Shayla has bone cancer of the jaw and skull, and I have tried to spend every minute possible with her. I would carefully put a few decorations on the tree until the tears would well up, then sit on the couch between my two helpers and pet them until I was ready to move on again.


    Tailer is closest, with Shayla behind

    There are so many ornaments on the tree that have special meaning, or are pictures of my special companions that have gone on ahead. It is a hard process to unwrap each one and think back to how or where the ornament came from. There are also several hundred bells on the tree that jingle with each bump and brush against it. I was finally able to finish around 11:30 and sat down with the girls for a break.

    As I sat there I remembered the old story of how at midnight on Christmas eve the animals could all speak with human voices. I watched the clock and my mind stayed focused on that story. I don't think in 48 years I have ever before been awake at midnight on Christmas eve. Tonight would be that one special night. As the minutes went by, Tailer got off the couch and walked to her crate, went in and drifted off to sleep. It was to be just me and Shayla.

    As the time drew near, I noticed that Shay was watching me. I petted her softly and quietly sobbed at the horrible toll the disease had taken on her. She had lost so much weight, and her head had sunken in from muscle atrophy. I the last few days she had become very wobbly on her feet and would fall over every 10 or 15 steps. Still, she was happy and would wag her tail when she saw me or when I ask if she wanted to go outside.

    At exactly 12 midnight, I ask Shayla if there was anything she wanted to tell me. There was a paws, and it was then that she spoke as clearly as could be. It was not her voice that spoke to me though, it was her eyes. The same eyes that her sister Maggy had spoken to me with four years earlier, but I could not hear then. It was clear and crisp and I understood exactly what Shayla was saying.

    "Joe, you and Barb have given me 3 wonderful years. The rides, the runs in the yard, the many new dogs to play with have been amazing. I have felt the love that both your family, and my previous family had for me and I know I am truly blessed to have been so loved by two families. I have loved you back just as much and probably much more than you can imagine. But my time here has come to an end. I am tired and I am starting to loose my dignity. I am embarrassed when I fall down while going potty. I don't enjoy my food anymore, and it is time I go ahead to meet my beautiful sister. I will always love you and will be waiting patiently by the bridge for you to join us."



    This time I will listen. I will not make her suffer on like Maggy did just for my selfish fear of loosing her forever. I will not wait until her pain is unbearable just so I have a few more days. Tomorrow, Shayla will go to Grammas house with us for the annual Christmas dinner. She will get to do just a few more things she has never done before. She will spend her final day knowing love and all the attention that a family can give her, and tomorrow night she will take Hunter's place on the bed next to us. And then.......as early as I can get in on Friday morning, Dr. Bowser will help me give Shayla the final gift I have to offer her, freedom from her pain.



    I am sorry to share this sad story with you all on Christmas day, but a girl as beautiful as Shayla deserves to have her story told and remembered. Thank you all for reading, and please wish Shayla a safe journey home on the wings of angels.

    Southwest Pennsylvania Retriever Rescue Organization or S.P.A.R.R.O. and Shades Of Grey Senior Sanctuary
    A 501c3 Non Profit Organization.
    Plum, Pa.
    412-795-0163
    website www.sparro.org/

    Saving one dog will not change the world But, surely, for that one dog the world will change forever!


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  3. #2
    kaznalf's Avatar
    kaznalf is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: At midnight the animals spoke (tissue)

    Oh how so very sad, I hope your last day with her is the most specialist ever and run free Shayla :'(

  4. #3
    Rushpuppy's Avatar
    Rushpuppy is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: At midnight the animals spoke (tissue)

    Oh Joe, not again. I think you have given Shayla the most amazing life, she is loved, happy and secure in the knowledge that you will do your best for her. I think back on all the stories you have shared, I don't know how you do it. I really don't. My heart breaks for you and hope your last day together will be one of miracles and magic. Shayla, you are in the best of hands, Joe will take good care of you. Have a peaceful journey over the bridge and know that you are loved by many.
    {{{HUGS JOE}}} :'( :'(


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    amazongold's Avatar
    amazongold is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: At midnight the animals spoke (tissue)

    Oh, Joe. :'( :'( (((hugs)))

    May Shayla's passing be gentle and may she find all of her friends waiting for her at the Bridge.
    Jackie, Champ, and Buddy

  7. #5
    lcspt is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: At midnight the animals spoke (tissue)

    My prayers are with you and Barb. Godspeed sweet, sweet Shayla.
    "In moments of joy all of us wished we possessed a tail we could wag." W. H. Auden

    Linda, Kona and Bo

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    DefaultRe: At midnight the animals spoke (tissue)

    God bless you, Joe. I don't know how you do it.

    Godspeed, Shayla. I'm glad your last years were with Joe.


    Lucy

    Home of:

    Forrest CGC- Lab 2001-2011
    Poopy-Toby-JRT 2004-
    Finn- Lab/Aussie- 2011-
    And 30-some Miniature Horses...

    www.fieldofdreamsminihorses.com


    He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his leader, his love. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion. Unknown


  9. #7
    einstein's legacy is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: At midnight the animals spoke (tissue)

    Oh Joe, I'm so sorry. Peaceful journey dear Shayla.

  10. #8
    mombear is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultRe: At midnight the animals spoke (tissue)

    May the wings of the Christmas angels fly Shala far above her pain and suffering and into the land of light and love and peace forever. Godspeed sweet girl. You will fly from the home of one of God's best earthly angels to those of the heavens.

  11. #9
    justine's Avatar
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    DefaultRe: At midnight the animals spoke (tissue)

    :'( Poor Shayla. Run free sweet girl. You were so loved and will be missed.

  12. #10
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    DefaultRe: At midnight the animals spoke (tissue)

    Joe

    You have been truly blessed by all that you have done for Shayla and all that have been fortunate to have you as their leader and family. God Bless You and God Speed Shayla, she is one special lady.

    Ginny

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