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My Sister Just Lost a Furbaby

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
My sister called me today to tell me that Sam, her beautiful Golden Retriever, died unexpectedly on Monday. She said that over the weekend, her husband told her that Sam wasn't eating well, but he didn't really have any other symptoms, so she figured he probably had been getting treats from the kids or something and just wasn't hungry. By Monday morning, she said that he was so weak that he couldn't get up and walk and seemed to have some labored breathing. She got her husband to put Sam in the car and she rushed him to the vet. They started him on IV fluids and began running tests and taking xrays.

The vet called my sister a little while later and told her that he had a large tumor on his spleen and it appeared that the cancer was widespread and there wasn't anything that could be done. My sister realized that he would have to be put to sleep to end his suffering, but she wanted to take her kids up there first to see him one last time and tell Sam good-bye. She took her youngest (son) and oldest (daughter) to the vet's office after school, but her middle daughter had something to do and couldn't go then. My sister decided that she would take her the next morning before school and then allow the vet to put Sam to sleep after everyone said their good-byes.

Unfortunately, Sam didn't make it through the night. He went to the Rainbow Bridge peacefully while he slept on Monday night. My sister's kids are taking it very hard....especially her son (he's 10) who had Sam as his constant companion since he (my nephew) was three years old.

Sam was only 7 years old and just the sweetest dog you've ever seen. He will be sadly missed by my sister and her family.....especially my two nieces and nephew.
post #2 of 11
Oh my, what a terrible shock it must have been for your sis and her family. It's hard enough to lose a beloved furbaby when you are kind of expecting it, but when it so sudden it so much harder.

Please give them all my deepest condolences at this sad time.
post #3 of 11
Oh, Robin. This makes me cry. How awful for your sister. I guess that the only comfort would be is that it seems that he didn't suffer for months. Don't you wish they could live forever? Your poor little nephew.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks you guys. My sister was just shocked that she never saw any symptoms at all in Sam. She said that he had been his usual self...running and playing...right up until the day before he died. She had no idea that anything was wrong with him. But since I'm a nurse on an oncology floor at the hospital, I know that cancer can often grow very rapidly, and sometimes there are no symptoms until it's too late.

Sam may have had cancer for several months but didn't actually "feel" that bad until the end. At least my sister and the kids can be thankful that he didn't suffer for very long and was able to live life right up until the last day.

I have a picture of Sam and my nephew somewhere here and I was looking for it so I could post it along with this thread...but I can't seem to find it at the moment. I'll keep looking and add it here if I find it.
post #5 of 11

I'm so sorry to read this. From what you said in your post, it sounds like Sam was in a wonderful loving home, and I'm sure he really enjoyed playing with the kids. He is now young and healthy again, and playing happily at the Rainbow Bridge while he waits to be reunited with his human family.

My thoughts and prayers are with your sister and her family at this sad time.

R.I.P. Sam
post #6 of 11
Oh no! Please let them know that I am thinking of them and Sam, he was obviously so loved...
RIP sweet angel Sam, look over your family, they already miss you so very much~
post #7 of 11
Robin, I am so sad to hear of this. It must be devastating. I grew up with collies (3) and I love dogs, it doesn't matter we are all family in the end. oh my sweet, I am so sorry.
Elizabeth, Eric & Sasha
(SiSi, Freddie RIP)
post #8 of 11
I'm so sorry about Sam. What a dreadful shock. It's bad enough to lose an animal yourself, but it's even harder when your children are involved because you want desperately want to stop them hurting, but you can't. It's part of growing up and loving.

My children are of a similar age, now 10 and 8 and have been through two losses this year, one that was expected, (Jimmy with kidney failure) another that was sudden, like your sister's dog. The cat with kidney failure (Jimmy) got progressively worse and worse and my daughter Juliet (7 at the time) was writing letters to the fairies and to Jesus, asking them to make him better. I found them under her pillow. Jimmy died exactly one week before Christmas Day, too, which made it worse, we had tears all through Christmas last year. Both cats were 14, so the children had known them all their lives.

When Jimmy was in his final stages, I brought my children home from school to say goodbye, too, before I took him to be PTS, because I had promised them he would still be there when they got home. The last goodbye was heartbreaking, but I couldn't break my promise. It's almost a year to the day, (Dec 18) and I'm getting upset again thinking about it.

If it's any help, I found that my children seemed to come to terms with the sudden death (Sophie died unexpected at the vet, being treated for a tummy bug which turned out to be acute pancreatitis) more quickly than they did the cat with the terminal illness; although it could have been because Sophie wasn't as loving as Jimmy was. She was more aloof and didn't share cuddles. But they didn't have the awful time they had with Jimmy, knowing he was going to die for 3 months, not being able to do anything, except love him and help with medication and watching him deteriorate, until we helped him pass.

My children (and myself) did find it helped making a photo album - and it gave them something to do when they were on holiday from school over Christmas. They went through all the photographs of the last 14 years (thousands!) and picked out any with our cats on and put them in a separate album. When they got sad, they picked up the album and told them they loved them and missed them and remembered happy times with them. They also found some photos of them as cute kittens, before the children were born, which, in time, got them thinking that they would like to have kittens to play with. Several months down the line, that is what we eventually did.

It is an awful thing to have happened and really feel for your sister and her children. My thoughts are with them.
post #9 of 11
everything has already been so wonderfully said I am sorry to hear of the loss of Sam who was so obviously a much loved companion to the whole family - please let your sister know that they are all in our thoughts

RIP sweet Sam - play happily & healthly at RB and watch over your family they will see you again
post #10 of 11
This is very sad news. Your sister and her family are in my thoughts. It does sound a really nice, uplifting thing to do though about the photo album as Jan sugested. You can cry and laugh at the same time which can, strangely give such comfort.
post #11 of 11
Oh Sam R.I.P. my sinceres condolences!
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