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Everyone here who has ever had a well loved pet will understand this post.

2002 my wife and I acquired a 2 year-old Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog. We got her from her 3rd owner, who found out that morning his employer was sending him to run one of their stores in another state. He needed to leave for the new location the next morning.

The local dog pound is a "kill shelter," but he didn't know where else to take Stevie. He lived in an apartment building located behind my office building.

Thus we acquired Stevie, and soon learned Stevie would jump the fence to try to follow us whenever we would get into the car to go somewhere. So I started taking this critter to work with me every day. Customers and their kids loved playing with her.

So Stevie has been with me almost 27/7 ever since. (Talk about becoming attached.)

About a year and a half ago, she almost died from a liver problem, but the Vet found a cure. I was devastated at the time. But all turned around.

Over the past 6 months or so Stevie's back legs kept becoming weaker and weaker. About a month ago she had a couple episodes during which she could not get up, and I had to lift her.

That's not easy to do if you are my size, and the dog weighs 114 pounds!

Last week her legs finally gave out completely, and it was time to (as my friend Eddie Lama calls it) "send Stevie up." OMG, I don't think I've shed as many tears when my parents passed away 12 years ago as I have this week over Stevie. Go figure!

At any rate, I just had to get that out. Here is Stevie Untitled Document

The last image really shows how large Stevie was. In the photo she is standing next to my mother-in-law.

Don (no smile)
  • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
    Don, my mom and I had 20 cats at one time, so I know exactly how you feel.

    My condolences. Time does do wonders.
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  • Profile picture of the author wAvision
    sorry to hear that...my girlfriend has 2 great pyrenees...one of them is about 12 years old that weights 125lbs and the other is about 8 months old...the 8 month old is already bigger than the 12yr old ever was, already weighing 135lbs....the 12 yr olds back legs are very very weak to the point where he sometimes cannot stand up and they have to lift him as you said...

    They are great dogs, and again sorry to hear about your loss.
    They Say You Can't...Show Them How
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    I have a friend with a Great Pyranees and they are wonderful dogs.

    I've had to "let go" several times and each time my heart breaks. Some dogs become our friends - and then there are those rare dogs that become truly a piece of our life.

    I always think sending them on their way is the last kindness we can provide to them. But I always wish, too, for a just a bit more time.

    My heart goes out to you - I've been where you are and it hurts.

    Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world changes forever for that one dog.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      And here I am trying to sell my Pit Bull.
      Do you even realize how crass that sounds? I have a pit and would no more take money for her than I would cut off my own hand.

      I will never understand how people can raise a dog and then just pass it on as if it's a piece of property.
      Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world changes forever for that one dog.
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      • Profile picture of the author jimbo13

        Stevie was (sorry) one beautiful dog.

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        • Profile picture of the author ThomM
          Don like many here I know how you feel and am sorry for your loss.
          I've had two dogs that I was deeply attached to that I had to put down, and both where devastating to do.
          Now I have a cat because I figured I would never get as attached to a cat as I did those dogs. Boy was I wrong.

          Life: Nature's way of keeping meat fresh
          Getting old ain't for sissy's
          As you are I was, as I am you will be
          You can't fix stupid, but you can always out smart it.

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  • Profile picture of the author Jonathan 2.0
    Sorry Don. From the pictures “Stevie” looks like a kind, old/wise, and dignified companion. : )
    "Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created by people who recognized a problem and turned it into an opportunity."―Joseph Sugarman
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  • Profile picture of the author thunderbird
    My condolences. I often think about the past pets in my life -- mostly dogs, a couple of cats -- more than most people I've known. There is a unique bond between pets and their guardians that someone probably has to experience to understand (just as someone may need to experience having a child to understand the bond between parent and child). Of course, this only applies to someone with a heart, such as yourself.

    Project HERE.

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    • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
      My heart goes out to you Don!

      It is so hard when we lose family members both human and pets.

      I've been there and I understand.

      What a beautiful memorial you have made of her.

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  • Profile picture of the author Patrician
    Don, I am so sorry for your loss and the big void where she used to be.

    She was and always will be such a beautiful dog.

    Thank God she had a loving home with you and lived a good life.

    She will always live in your heart.

    (i know it all sounds trite right now) and here is another one:

    "time heals all wounds")

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  • Profile picture of the author waterotter
    I'm so sorry for your loss Don. Stevie was beautiful. Kay said it best "there are those rare dogs that become truly a piece of our life".

    I'm struggling with having to make this same decision for my best friend, Riley.

    I was given this poem years ago. It's since been posted on the internet.

    The Last Battle

    If it should be that I grow frail and weak,

    And pain should keep me from my sleep,

    Then will you do what must be done,

    For this, the last battle, can't be won.

    You will be sad I understand,

    But don't let grief then stay your hand,

    For on this day, more than the rest,

    Your love and friendship must stand the test.

    We have had so many happy years,

    You wouldn't want me to suffer so.

    When the time comes, please, let me go.

    Take me to where to my needs they'll tend,

    Only, stay with me till the end.

    And hold me firm and speak to me,

    Until my eyes no longer see.

    I know in time you will agree,

    It is a kindness you do to me.

    Although my tail its last has waved,

    From pain and suffering I have been saved.

    Don't grieve that it must be you,

    Who has to decide this thing to do;

    We've been so close, we two, these years,

    Don't let your heart hold too many tears.

    Author Unknown
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    • Profile picture of the author LeeLee
      Originally Posted by waterotter View Post

      The Last Battle

      Author Unknown
      A friend had to put her cat to sleep today. I hope you don't mind, I am going to share this with her.
      The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials. ~ Lin Yutang
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Riffle

    I am truly sorry for your loss. Many times our pets are more human to us than some of our family.

    We had to do the same to our Boxer, Jack, a couple years ago. At the time, we had two pets. The other was a dog. Jack was our son. The initial pain was unbearable. With time it's lessened, but I still think of him daily.

    It's too early to think about it, but the world needs pet owners like you. When you're ready, there's another special dog out there who needs your love. I'm sure Stevie will be happy.

    Raising a child is akin to knowing you're getting fired in 18 years and having to train your replacement without actively sabotaging them.

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  • Profile picture of the author Dennis Gaskill
    Stevie was a a beautiful dog, Don. It's amazing how attached we become. It's tough losing "family," I'm sure Stevie will be missed greatly, but it sounds like she had a wonderful life with you.

    Just when you think you've got it all figured out, someone changes the rules.

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  • Profile picture of the author LeeLee
    She was a gorgeous girl. She will live always in your heart.
    The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials. ~ Lin Yutang
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Many condolences, it has only been in the last year or two that I realized how deeply an animal can be connected to you as a friend. They always are, you just dont notice alot of times until they are the only one you have around.

    Stevie was beautiful BTW. Gorgeous!
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  • Profile picture of the author HeySal
    Wow - sorry to hear this one Don. It's a hard blow even when we know that it's one that will be delivered one day. There's no way to get used to losing our best friends.

    Dogs are patient. Stevie will be waiting when you cross the divide.

    When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
    Beyond the Path

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  • Profile picture of the author Halcyon
    I'm so sorry for your loss.
    I'm a cat person myself but the bond between four legged and two legged friends is as strong as they come.

    When people say "it's only a dog" they've obviously never had a great dog. There's nothing like it. My friend is a 15 year old stumpy Manx cat who's rested at my feet under my desk since I registered my first website in 1997. The mere thought of losing him makes me a little misty so I can only imagine what you're going through.

    Your Stevie looks like he was a great furry friend and it will get better in time. Below is the poem about the Great Rainbow Bridge. They say it's where humans and their beloved pets are reunited.

    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
    There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
    There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

    The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

    Author unknown...
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  • Profile picture of the author lcombs
    My deepest sympathy for your loss.
    I have lost the most amazing dog I've ever known who was
    a better soul than most people I've known.
    I have also lost the best friend I've ever had.

    They were both Bichons.

    There is a hole in my heart that can never be filled.

    If dogs don't go to heaven I don't want to go.
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    • Profile picture of the author HeySal
      Originally Posted by lcombs View Post

      My deepest sympathy for your loss.
      I have lost the most amazing dog I've ever known who was
      a better soul than most people I've known.
      I have also lost the best friend I've ever had.

      They were both Bichons.

      There is a hole in my heart that can never be filled.

      If dogs don't go to heaven I don't want to go.
      Dogs have intelligence far beyond what anyone credits them with. Over the last several thousand years they have learned to be our friends far better than we have learned to be theirs. My last dog, Munchie, tore my heart out when he left me. Ricky needed me badly when I met him - and taking him under my care is the only thing that has helped me cope. There is so much reward in connecting with a dog that you will not find amongst us in the human world. They were put here not for us to guide - but to guide us. When we allow them to, they are unbelievable teachers.

      Don - let yourself grieve without shame. Then start looking. There's a kid out there who needs you and will be the answer to the hole in your spirit.

      When the Roads and Paths end, learn to guide yourself through the wilderness
      Beyond the Path

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  • Profile picture of the author Usmile
    I extend my sincere sympathy to you Don, me myself is also a pet lover and I know how it feels to lose someone you really adore. Currently, I have two adorable dogs a half-japanese spitz (8 months old) and a shih tzu-dachshund (4 months) puppies. I really appreciate people who are fond of having pet. ) I know that these people are indeed kind hearted.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andreas24
    This is very sad. But Stevie will never go out of your mind and be with you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Don Schenk
    I have to say a heart-felt thank you to all.

    It means a lot to me to feel the love and the good thoughts from everyone here.
    My wife talks about remembering all the good times we had with Stevie, and the wonderfully happy times Stevie had. That Stevie would sleep upside-down, legs splayed, belly unprotected shows she felt safe.

    This wasn't true in the beginning. She was frightened, because her world had suddenly changed (again) when the 3rd owner gave her to us. At our home, she had no idea where she was, or who we were. Her known world had suddenly disappeared.

    While we were sleeping first night, about every half hour, I would hear the "hhh, hhh, hhh" of panting, smell dog breath, and be waken by this giant head staring at my face. She was so tall, she could look me in the eye while I slept.

    Finally about 4 AM I felt the cold, wet nose. She wanted to go outside, so I got up and let her out. It turns out she was just testing us, because she never woke us again during the night!

    I used to take her to work every day, but if I had to leave for a while, my employees told me Stevie would lay by the back door, and whimper loudly until I returned. It was so sad and heart-warming at the same time.

    Thanks again everyone. I really appreciate your experience, strength, and hope.

    :-Don (See, I'm smiling again.)
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  • Profile picture of the author thor89
    I still feel sad when I remember this.
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