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Posts: 69
There was no warning, there were no signs that I could see.  My beautiful best, loyal companion, and constant guardian was outside playing in the hose with her two brothers and , the water hose was one of her favorite things.  She was super excited because it was one of the first warm days here, and so I took out the kiddie pool and started to fill it up for the 3 German Shepherd- water dogs- who would've known, they go crazy for water.  Jada , my only female and first female German Shepherd I ever owned was running around and she kept throwing herself in front of the hose,  being a water hog, like she always does.  I was trying to spray the other dogs to cool them off , when my daugher came to the patio and said she was leaving for work.  By this time all the dogs were soaked, and that's when Jada ran up to my side and I remember seeing her standing there waiting for the hose to go back on, and all of the sudden she collapsed on the concrete with the most haunting thud that I will never forget.  

She lie motionless and her tongue was hanging out to the side and she wasn't breathing. In an instant her eyes turned black and appeared to bulge out.   I panicked, and I started trying to do doggie CPR, but I didn't really know how, and I was crying and yelling her name , over and over, and I was rubbing her body all over trying to somehow revive her, and my daughter heard my screams and she came running to the backyard to see what was going on, and I was hyperventaling because I could not bring myself to the realization that my dog was gone, instantaneouly.  I remember telling my daughter to call the emergency vet and she did and I couldn't pick Jada up by myself and I couldn't leave my other 2 dogs alone in the backyard, and I couldn't bring them inside because they were soaking wet.   So the ER vet referred us to a mobile vet and by that time my daughters boyfriend had come over and we wrapped towels around her and carried her inside , and then I just kept rubbing her all over with towels and even though I knew in my head she was gone, my heart screamed NOOOOOO!   When the mobile vet came she checked for a heartbeat and there was none.  She checked her belly and there was no distention , so it wasn't bloat.  I asked her , how and why did this happen , how can a dog be playing and running around one minute and gone the next, without a warning of any kind?  She said it was most likely a heart attack.   
It's been a week , she just passed May 23, and June 7, she would have turned 8 years old.   I have played the scenerio over and over in my head trying to figure out where my baby went.   I still think I am in shock.  Since it happened I have spent countless hours on the internet trying to look up sudden death in dogs.   It's not super common, but common enough.    I am beating myself up for not noticing any signs of her being sick.  She was a super energetic, high drive dog, who loved to make games out of everything.  She always had a ball in her mouth.  She always sat out on the patio with her big brother Leo and watched over him, because even though he just turned 9,  he was born with every genetic defect that a German Shepherd could have and we are surprised and happy that he is still with us.   He has been super depressed since she passed, and he doesn't really want to eat much or play.  Her younger brother , just turned 5 and he's lost without her as well.  He doesn't know what to do with himself.  Jada was the mediator between the two males.  She kept them in line.  She was the boss of everyone.  Now that she's gone , there is a devasting void that cannot be filled, and I don't know if this will EVER get easier because right now,  I feel like I'm living a nightmare, and that this can't be real.  Jada was so full of life,  so happy to chase the vacuum cleaner, happy to chase the light reflections, happy to play fetch, happy to chase Zeus around, happy barking at the hawks that fly over our yard, happy at barking at anything including airplanes if they came near her turf.  She loved everybody, she was such a pleasure and a joy to be around that we took her on vacations with us to Michigan.  She loved swimming , it was also one of her favorites and she always drew a croud.  When she was younger she did the sport of Shutzhund, for German Shepherds and she loved that too.  She was super smart and so easy to train.  She had learned many tricks.  I don't know if my heart can go on.  Jada did have chronic ear infections , and we had taken her to a specialist about a year ago, and she did not recommend us to do any testing that would require anethesia because Jada was diagnosed with spondilosis of the spine when she was 5, and slight hip dyplacia , but it wasn't even slowing her down.  She was a little arthritic when getting up after lying down for a while, but she hid her symtoms well.  The specialist had told us that if you put a dog under anesthesia that has arthritus , it could cripple them and or they may not wake up. It was a risk that she thought was too dangerous.   
This not having closue and not knowing for sure what happened that day will haunt me forever.  I didn't mean to go on and on, but I came on to this page and just started pouring my heart out.  I don't know if anyone here has ever experienced losing a healthy dog in an instant?   My heart goes out to each and every one of you who has lost their beloved pets.  I have read through some of your stories and I have found some solace in knowing that I am not alone in my grief.   Thank you all for sharing your stories.

Posts: 580
You are ever so correct, you will never be alone. We are all here because we lost our babies in one form or another. I know it happened so quickly and there was no way to prepare or even say goodbye. Please find peace in knowing that Jada was doing what made her happy. She was living life in the moment. She was sharing her love of life and you playing and making you and herself happy. She didn't suffer. I know it's hard to want to go on but you have two other babies that need your love and support now, for they lost too and they are grieving too. Find solace in loving her brothers. Jada now has her angle wings and she will be watching over you and her two brothers. You will never be alone, Because Jada walks with you still. Her spirit is all around her as well as her unconditional love.
I am so sorry for your loss. I know it is tearing you up right now but hold tight to the love and memories that you shared with Jada. Grieve and cry, it's part of healing.
I lost my Sweet Termy eight and half months ago and I still cry and miss him with all my heart. I know he is still with me. I can feel his love and you will too.
Love and doggie hugs
Termy's mom

Posts: 69
Thank you for your very consoling response.  It's just what I needed to hear.  It was my daughters highschool graduation the weekend that Jada passed, and so that kept us very busy.  I didn't really have time to greive properly , nor did I have time to process Jada's death because it happened so quickly.   I do know that I have replayed that day and those moments over and over in my head, wondering if the hose water was too cold, or if I sprayed her too much.   I was totally blaming myself for the entire tragedy.  It just didn't make any sense because she had played this game so many times before and I was also spraying the two boys to cool them off, and they were fine.   It's been agonizng trying to figure out what happened to my baby girl who meant the world to my family.  I spent hours online trying to come up with some kind of answer as to what happened that day.  One night I even woke up feelilng like the inside of my body was frozen, my veins, my heart, everything, and I was having a horrible anxiety attack.  I was wondering if that's how my Jada felt when she passed.   I still blamed myself for somehow missing something,  there had to be some kind of clue as to her being sick.  I fed her a diet that was more expensive than mine,  I gave her supplements of glucosamine and probiotics.   But I felt that there had to be Something that I missed , somehow.    Then I started wondering if someone poisoned her.   It was memorial day weekend and it was closing time for most vets.  I had considered an autopsy, but there weren't any vets within 8 hours of me that did that, and also the cost of that was beyond what we could afford.   But after a few days had gone by , I started really regretting not having an autopsy because the guilt was killing me.   I kept thinking that it Had to be something that I did, but I don't know what?   
 On June 1st I took my other 2 Shepherds to the vet for their annual blood work , and check ups.  This vet had seen Jada, and Jada had done some therapy work at her place on the water treadmill the prior year.  She was always a healthy girl, except for the beginning of a spinal disease and that's why this vet we take her to, is also a chiropractic vet and does adjustments on Jada and her older brother Leo.  The only other constant issue that Jada had was her ears bothering her.  The vets , including the specialist for the ears that I took her to, had said that she had an autoimmune disorder which caused the constant ear infections.  But Jada was so much more healthy than her big brother Leo, who has had every genetic ailment in the book that a German Shepherd can have. We are very lucky to still have him with us.    Back to the vet ,  she said that it the way I described how fast Jada collapsed and died,  it had to be a splenic tumor.  She said that she has heard of many dogs that show no symptoms until they litterally drop over and die.   There would have been no chance of reviving her , even had I known doggie CPR, or gotten her to the Emergency vet.   She said this is a pretty common ailment in female Shepherds and other breeds of that size.  She was had a boxer who showed some weakeness and they found a 7 lb. tumor on it's spleen and it died two weeks later.  There is no cure, or treatment, unless you find it early, which is almost impossible since that are virtually no symptoms until it's fatal.   After that vet appointment, I was able to breath better, because the weight of the guilt was lifted off my shoulders.   Although Our Leo is not doing  good, with some kind of cysts filled with puss on his leg and some anal fistulas.   So we are doing all that we can to keep him comfortable and make sure that he is happy.   So , as a pet mom , I am worried about Leo, but still grief stricken over the suddeness of the loss of Jada.   She was a one of a kind dog.  I don't think I will ever find another Shepherd as well rounded as she was.  
I miss the way she would grab a toy and make me chase her around the dining room table, and her brothers would join in the game and bark at her.  I miss the way she loved chasing the butterflies and dragon flies and bees in the backyard.  I miss the way she would actually talk for food , she said I love you.   I miss how she watched over Leo, always ,  and now he is missing her too.  I miss how she followed my daughter and watched her whenever her boyfriend was over.  She never let them out of her sight.  I miss it every time I go to fill up the watering can, how she would grab a ball in her mouth and start chomping on it and squealing in anticipaiton of the hose being turned on.  I felt safe becasue of her strong protection instincts, and she always let us know if someone was approaching the house.   Her younger brother Zeus, really misses her too.  He used to play chase with her in the yard for a few minutes every day, and that is something that Leo cannot do , because of his bad hips and elbows.   I miss the way she barked at the hawks that flew over our yard.   
Today was one of the first days that I was able to get out of bed without dreading starting the day.  I thought that I was starting to get over this awful pain in my heart that I feel every day.   But then tonight, after we walked the boys, and came inside, the couch where she always layed by the front window was empty and that was the spot she always was.   And then I broke down and cried like a baby all over again.  The pain of her not being here is so hard, and so unforgiving.  It comes in waves.  I thought it was supposed to get easier , but it's not.   Her birthday is coming right up, and we always took her to get her pup cup, and a special birthday treat.  She would get so excited to go bye, bye in the car and get treated to something special.  She would eat icecream so fast, that I had thought it would give her brain freeze, but when it was gone, she always looked for more.    I don't think people that don't have such a special bond with their pets, understand the pain of losing one.  For me, Jada was always here, and always a part of my day to day life.  So I feel so off,  so strange,  so not normal.  My daily routine is so different without her.   I find some comfort coming here to this blog and reading some of the others who are experiencing the same feeling and the same pain and grief that I am.   Thank you for listening.   I hope you all come to a place of healing.  

Posts: 69
It has been 4 months and 2 weeks since you have left this earth.  The first 2 months I was just in a fog, with a dark cloud over my head.  Waking up in the morning was the hardest because you as soon as you saw my eyes open you would pop up your head and come to my side of the bed and nudge me, and then wait excitiedly and patiently for me to get up and start your favorite routines.   I can finally say that the fog has lifted and I don't weep all of the time.  But you are always in my thoughts and I still look for you in the shadows.   I realize that I won't see you again in this life,  but I may see you again in the next.  I have that HOPE.  I will never understand why you died so suddenly and without warning, doing your favorite thing that you loved.  It still haunts me those last moments with you.  I really thought that we had so much more time to be together.  I was preparing for your brother Leo leaving before you.  He's the one with all of the health issues, you were the Alpha, the Queen, the athlete, the one who never wanted your fun to stop.  Life hasn't been the same without you, and it never will be.  You were such an amazing , loyal, protective, loving companion.  You watched over everybody as if that was your job. 

You watched over Leo, your buddy.  Poor Leo, he's been depressed since you left us.  I didn't realize just how depressed he is, until the other day.  Probably because I've been so wrapped up in my own sorrow.  Leo and your younger brother are adjusting to life without you, and they are both lost without their Alpha.  One morning Leo wouldn't come downstairs for breakfast and I came upstairs to find him in your human sisters room.  I thought maybe he missed her and that's why he was in her room, because that was unusual for him to be in there and not come downstairs to eat.  It happened a few times and it just finally Hit me as to why he would go into her room and just lay on the floor, like he was sad, with his head down.  That was where you led me every morning, that was OUR routine.  We went into Ashley's room to open up the blinds and let the sunshine in, and that's when the reflection of the light would hit my phone a certain way and you would run around chomping on the jolly ball in your mouth chasing the lights.   Leo and Zeus used to get mad at you and bark at you to knock it off, but that didn't bother you in the least.   I think Leo was missing our routine in the morning.  I think he was waiting for you to go into the room and chomp on the ball and make your little grunting and high pitched squealing noises from your excitement.   I realize now that he has been depressed, and he's been missing you too.    You saved his life when he was about 1 years old, because he was such a picky eater and just loved other dogs so much, that when we brought you home as a puppy, he thought you were the BEST present EVER.   He started eating like a normal dog and acting like a normal dog.  He just adored you, even though you were a little rambuncious maniac, and you were relentless with your crazy puppy antics.  He was so patient with you, and loved you so.   You grew to become his protector because you knew he couldn't run like you, or keep up with you, or play like you.  You knew he had many issues, so you took it upon yourself to take care of him and watch over him.  You were like a mama to him and then to your younger brother, which you weren't so patient with like Leo was with you.  But you had to teach him from the get go, who was the Boss.  It was always you. You kept these boys in line, and now when we go for a walk they both act like knuckleheads.   I guess it was you that kept them both in line.   

Your younger brother strived to be like you from the day we brough him home.  He also adored you.  You were his hero. I did notice toward the last year after you turned 7, that he challenged you more and in the past when he beat you to the ball you would discipline him, but you stopped some time that year.   You kind of let him be stronger and faster than you, but before this, you would get so mad if he beat you, because you were so competetive , you wanted to be the BEST at everything , and you were. 
You taught him some good things.  He kept some of your traits of being a good observer in the yard.  You used to watch the sky for airplanes, and birds and then bark at them when they flew over our yard, because you were protecting your space.   He must've learned that from you becasue he started doing it after you left.   He even started chomping on the ball like you, but not as good as you did.  You always had a ball in your mouth.  

We took Leo for a ride in the car because that's his favorite , and we took him to get icecream and on the way all I could think of was how happy that would've made you.  Water started coming out of my eyes, and I was trying not to cry in front of Leo becasue I wanted him to be happy., so I choked down the tears.  When I brought out the pup cup to Leo , he was more interested in sniffing the grass and turned his head away from it.  I couldn't believe it.  I remember you always finishing yours first and then trying to eat Leo's and Zeus's.   I thought maybe , could it be that Leo missed you then , too?    All of these memories of you being with us and you just loving when we took you to restaurants that were dog friendly and how you would lay down so patiently and you were so good, and you would be so excited to eat some of the food we gave you.   We could take you anywhere, because you were so well behaved.  I can't take your younger brother to places like that, because he scares everybody when he barks at them.   And then he gets Leo going.   Taking you places with us was so much fun, because you loved it so much.  We couldn't even go to Michigan this year because the thought of going without you was just too painful.  You loved everything about vacationing there.  From all of the outdoor restaurants that loved dogs, to the beaches, to the icecream shops everything there was your favorite.   I don't know if that place will ever be the same for me, without you.  I am trying to move forward and being more present with Leo and Zeus because they deserve my attention too.   But it's not been easy.  Leo has been having a really hard time getting around.  He only wants to walk for about a block before he turns around and wants to go home.   He wants to go bye bye in the car, but when he take him to a park or something , within about 20 minutes he pulls us back to the car because he's done.  I know his arthritus is bad, and his alleriges are horrible this year with all of the rain.  This is super hard on me, because I don't want him to suffer, but after the pain and grief of losing you, I don't know how I'm going to be able to make it without him.  He's my first dog, you were my 2nd.   Here come the tears, like the rain outside.  This summer has been one of the worst, between  all of the rain, and then the high humidity, and then when it finally cooled down enough to be outside, the bugs were horrid, esp.the mosquitos.  It's been a depressing summer, and the lack of sunshine is not helping any.  In the beginning , when you first left, I used to see you in the distance on our walks.  But then I realized that it was just my imagination.   I have called your name to the stars asking where you are.  I have called your name to the sky asking where you are.   I don't know if you could hear me, but if you do, I want to tell you how much I love you, and how much I wish you were still here by my side.  Nothing has been the same since you left,  that's just the sad reality.  I am finding things to be grateful for each day, esp. when we went for a walk and found a field of butterflies, beautiful monarchs.  I could just imagine you romping through the field chasing them all.  You would have loved it.  I loved it, it was beautiful.  Zeus really misses playing with you. I miss watching you two play.  Zeus has no one to run around with him anymore, so he stopped doing zoomies in the backyard.  You really were the mama girl that was like the glue that kept everything balanced.  Life keeps changing,  keeps rearranging things.  This has been a year of loss.  Shortly after you passed,  Papa N. passed too.  
Your brother Leo is a trooper,  but I don't know if he's going to make it to the end of this year.  Plus your human sister graduated highschool , and she's been too busy with boyfriend stuff, and moving forward with her life, so it's a new era with lots of changes.  You were so good at watching over her.  I know she misses you too, and I know it's really hard for her to show her emotions, but she said you were her " special dog".  She was only 10 years old when we first brought you home.  You watched her become a yourng lady.   How fast that time flew , so fast.  Life seems to be going at mock speed.  
Always in my heart, 
Jada's mom

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