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Posts: 1
My family and I got our first family pet - our dog, Dallas - when I was in the 1st grade. My beautiful, loving, funny, and cuddly baby boy was as much a part of the family as any human. He has grown up with me, I have very few memories from before we got him, and he has been there for every milestone in my life. He has licked away every tear I cried and snuggled me through every sickness, all while bringing a playful, joyful spirit to our household. There is a reason we referred to him as our baby - he truly was another child in our family dynamic.
Unfortunately he had some health problems and started to go blind at around 7 years old. At his current age of 15, Dallas was completely blind, couldn't hear very well, and only had a few teeth left. Though he suffered a stroke 7 months ago, he regained much of his strength, was not in pain, and still lived a very happy life.He still acted like a young puppy most of the time! He would run on our walks, just so happy to be outside, and would bring me a toy to play tug-of-war the second I cam home from school or work each day. 
The other day I let him out in our backyard to use the toilet and enjoy the nice weather while I did some dishes. I periodically looked out the window to make sure he was alright (again, he was blind), and I laughed to myself when I saw him barking at a bird in our tree.
A few minutes later I went to find him and bring him inside, however I couldn't find him. I looked in the corner beside our house (which is away from the view of our windows), I looked behind our shed, I checked to make sure our gate hadn't opened, and then it struck me -- the pool.
We've had this pool longer than we've had our fur baby, and even though he's blind, he knows the boundaries well and we often see him walk close to the edge, feel the siding on his paws, and continue the other direction. But I couldn't find him and didn't know where else to look.
I frantically pulled back the solar blanket and saw my baby boy lifelessly floating on the water. I jumped in to save him but it was too late. I have never cried this much in my life. I feel like it is all my fault, and that if I had been watching him closer, I could have seen him get closer to the edge of the pool or saved him sooner.
My mom insists that he was probably leaning in for a drink because it was such a hot day, and my dad assures me that he always lets the dog into the backyard without supervising him and he has never gotten close to falling in the pool.
I can't forgive myself. I feel like I killed my dog. If this was a human child instead of a dog, everyone would say that I was neglectful. I can't help but feeling that way about myself. I would give anything to erase that image from my mind or to have a few more days with him. Everyone says to remember the good memories, but all I can remember is pulling my baby out of the water. I feel awful that my family never got to give him a proper goodbye, or that if I had been watching him closer he would still be with us. 
I just don't know what to do. I'm heartbroken and don't know how to let him go or forgive myself.

Posts: 34
I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Dallas.  Try not to beat yourself up.  What happened was a Tragic accident.  It may also be possible that your baby suffered another stroke and may have fallen into the water.  At his age and health problems, anything is possible.  I'm sure Dallas knew how much you loved him and wouldn't want you to feel so bad about this. 

Posts: 1
I am so sorry. I experienced the exact thing as well 3 days ago. My 2.5yr old beloved English bulldog Dozer made his way into our pool. I don't know if he fell, was taking a drink, playing, or jumped. All I do know is that it's ALL my fault. I went to let them in. They never offered to get in the pool or close enough. One came but Dozer didnt. I looked and looked EVERYWHERE. Even drove thru the subdivision before thinking to look in the pool. I shined my light and there was my beloved boy. Lifeless in the bottom. He sank...straight to the bottom. I jumped in to get him but he was gone. My heart shivers in pain. My mind wonders aimlessly. I wonder how to go on without him. I want to tear the pool down. I'm mad, I'm sad, I'm lonely. I have so many emotions. I surely don't know if I can help, as I'm grieving myself, but I can surely relate to the pain.

Posts: 1,821
I am so very sorry about Both Dallas and Dozer - I know no words will help - in time the pain eases and the happy memories help sooth the ache. I hope these words can offer some comfort.

The Silver One ~ Kiwi's Tale


[kiwiangel]"Phoenix, don't follow me!!" Kiwi fought the water closing around her, pulling her down. Phoenix paced at the pool's edge. "Kiwi, tell me what to do. . .....Ki-wiiiiii!" Phoenix went to the back door, "Momma will know."
A few moments later momma opened the door, Phoenix rushed in. Momma looked, Kiwi, where are you?" When Kiwi didn't answer, momma went looking for her baby.
Kiwi felt loving hands lift her,. “It’s okay, Kiwi, I have you little one." Kiwi felt better, safe. She always felt safe with momma. "Thank you, Phoenix. I knew you'd get momma." Kiwi snuggled deeper into momma's arms, safe and loved. And she dozed off and dreamt the most beautiful dreams.
When Kiwi woke she was in a beautiful meadow, and the sky was lit by a perfect rainbow. She looked about as the fog of sleep lifted, she was laying with her head in the lap of the most radiant human she had ever seen, her head being softly stroked by gentle hands. “Who are you?” she demanded. “Where is momma, she will be worried, furious you took me!” She was answered by a sad smile, “No, momma knows where you are.”
Kiwi tried to shake the fog of sleep. She had fallen into the pool and momma had pulled her out. How did she get here? She struggled to remember. Just then she heard momma cry out. Kiwi ran to momma’s voice and found herself at the edge of a crystal clear pond. When she looked into the water she saw her momma standing beside the pool, and her 2 legged sister run out and jump into the pool. Then she saw her sister lift something from the pool . . . .no, someone. As she looked closer she realized she saw her sister was lifting her, and everyone was crying, momma, daddy, sister.
She looked back at the radiant being beside her, confused. “Momma saved me, I felt her arms, heard her talk to me . . .” Now the angel spoke quietly, “No, I brought her love to you , wrapped you in it so you would feel safe on your journey to here.” “Here? Where is here?” Kiwi thought. Now the angel smiled, “Rainbow Bridge.”
Kiwi sat watching for a while, the angel by her side. Finally she looked up, away from the sadness reflected in the crystal clear waters. “Why are momma and my family sad? Why is everyone crying?” The angel smiled sadly, “You are needed for a very special task, so you had to come home very young. Your momma feels a pain deep in her heart because you are gone. She worries you were afraid. And she feels she failed you.” Kiwi looked at the scene in the pond and back at the angel in stunned disbelief, “Failed me? How? All I have ever known from her is love and care. I can still feel her love, the bond we share. Can’t she feel my love?” The angel scratched Kiwi between her ears. “Right now all she feels is pain, and guilt. In time those will lessen and the love will touch her heart.” Kiwi looked back at the pond, “Guilt? No!! Can’t I tell her, help her?”
Almost as if on some special cue, others joined Kiwi and the angel. “Ah, there you are Silver One. I see you brought a greeting committee,” The angel smiled. Kiwi ducked behind the angel, “HE”S A A A A WOLF!!” The Silver One smiled and those around him giggled. Kiwi peeked back out, she hadn’t noticed the others, only the large white wolf. Now she realized he was surrounded by many others, cats and kittens, dogs and puppies, ferrets, hamsters, bunnies, even birds, reptiles, and fish ~ even some horses and a cow.
The Silver One nodded to the angel then smiled. “I thought someone new was here? Someone whose family needs to find our families, someone who needs to visit to help their momma? I guess I was mistaken,” and he grinned mischievously. “Seems you are here alone.” Kiwi darted out, indignant. “I am too here! She is NOT here alone!” Having taken a step she felt both timid and emboldened. “Can you really help? Help me visit? Will you?” Suddenly she felt a deep sense of trust and walked right up to the white wolf. “Momma needs me. Phoenix needs me. Please.”
“Patience, little one,” the Silver One said softly. “She has found our families and they are reaching out to each other. She needs time and help to accept what has happened. And, yes, we will show you how to visit. And the angels will help you start your special new task.” Kiwi thought about the Silver One's words. “I don’t want a new task. I want momma!” her tiny voice rising to a pitiful wail. “Oh, little one, you and your momma are connected by a silver cord that can never be broken,” the angel said. “for now let the Silver One and the rest hold you, show you around Rainbow Bridge. Soon, very soon you will know how to visit your momma.”

© Candace 7/27/07


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