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Posts: 8
I lost my Sydney girl today.  I miss her so much it feels like I'm dying inside.  It was kind of sudden.  She's a 12 year old German Shepherd.  She's suffered some lameness in her back end for the past 9 months.  I've been helping her get around with the aid of a sling (although there were times when she didn't even need it!).  She was doing well up until this week.  She started having diarrhea and bloody urine.  I thought maybe she was having a reaction to the medication she was on, or maybe a UTI.  But the vet called with the news that she had a volleyball sized tumor in her abdomen.  She was in so much pain from it.  She never shows pain, but today when I put her into the car to take her to the vet, she started grunting.  I promised her that I would bring her back home, but I couldn't.  The vet said the tumor could burst at any moment causing her to bleed internally.  It would be a painful way to go.  I had to leave her there.  I had to say my goodbyes on the cold floor of the vet's office.  She didn't get to say goodbye to her buddy Caesar.  She didn't get to lay on her pillow one more time.  I wasn't able to keep my promise to bring her home.

In my heart I know she no longer suffers.  I hope that she's met up with my precious boy Shane at the bridge.  I pray that she is happy and can run and play again.  I love her so much and it is killing me that she is gone.


Posts: 205
I'm so sorry for your loss of your Sydney girl, just know she is now at The Rainbow Bridge running around like a pup again painfree

Posts: 282

So sorry to hear about Sydney.   Your beautiful girl is out of pain now and playing with all of our babies at rainbow bridge.   Mine also died of a tumour.  It just doesn't seem fair that such beautiful creatures have to have such short lives.    You did the best thing by letting her go.  As much as you would have liked to bring her home again,  it was time for her pain to be over.   I hope that Caesar is o.k and brings you comfort.   Tell us more about Sydney when you feel up to it.  


Posts: 113
((((((((((((((Tina & Sydney)))))))))))))))))
My prayers and thoughts are with you on this very lonely day without your Sydney girl with you.  Remember you were a very brave lady for knowing in your heart how you didn't want to make Sydney go through this pain.  It is so hard to let them go, but in the end we know in our hearts that this was the only loving thing we could ever give our beloved pet.  As time goes by you will know this.  Your Sydney girl is no longer in pain, she is at the Rainbow Bridge running and playing as she used to do as a puppy.  She will be waiting for you when it is your time to cross over.  Hugs to you.

Posts: 11,059
I am so sorry your sweet Sydney has passed on.  Hearing sad news from your vet is so heartbreaking.  You know your dear pet is in pain, but how do you say goodbye to such a special fur baby?  It is so agonizing the first days and weeks without them.  I hope Caesar is coping with the loss of his dear companion also. It is so hard to explain to pets what has happened to their buddy and why they aren't around any longer.  My sincere condolences to you.

precious Christoph ~ 2 years at the bridge ~


Posts: 59
Many hugs and love to Tina and, of course, beautiful Sydney!

I know that you are going to feel many conflicting feelings; sometimes you will feel guilty that you weren't able to keep your promise to bring her home...even though it WAS NOT your fault that she wasn't well enough to come home.  Sometimes, you will feel relieved that you made the choice that freed your beloved Sydney from her pain.  Sometimes, it will just be the very simply emotion of sadness, and other times, it will be a complex mix of emotions.  I am sure that you will be lonely for her...just as she would be for you.

I don't know whether this will help you or not, but lately, I have been reading a lot of books about animals in their "spiritual life."  I started reading because someone here recommended, "Animals And The Afterlife," by Kim Sheridan.  That was a wonderful book.

I've read maybe five or six book on this topic of "what happens to our pets when they die?"  Some of the books are "new-age," others of the books quote Old Testament and New Testament scripture.  They all say the same thing, however:  everyone - people and animals - has a spirit, that "lives inside" their body, and everyone's spirit will wind up going to the same place.  This will be a place with no pain, and no sadness.

Sydney's spirit is probably very close to you right now, because she is still the same wonderful friend that she always was; she will sense that you are sad, and give you her companionship, even if you can't feel her fur or smell her scent.

You and Sydney have a bond that is stronger than the physical have a bond of love.  Love is the strongest thing there is.

I wonder about the fact that she seemed well until this week.  The tumor, you said, was large.  Is it possible that she was "hiding" her pain from you, so that you could have a little bit more happy time together?  I have heard about beloved pets doing that often; loving their human parents so much that they want to stay as long as possible.

I made a choice that you might consider odd, or not "the norm," and that was to contact an "animal intuitive."  She could "talk" with my animals who have passed on.  I was very guilty about a particular situation, and I used this animal psychic three separate times to talk to him.  (He was a beloved rat.  I was at the movies when he died, and I couldn't forgive myself.)

Each time we contacted my boy, he reassured me that death, and the circumstances of death, are nothing that we should waste our time thinking about.  For instance, you may feel very bad, because Sydney didn't get to come home, and smell her pillow, and say goodbye...however, from what I have been told from someone I consider a reputable source, the animals think the circumstances surrounding their transition to their spiritual self are miniscule, and especially when you consider how much love you shared.

As far as the animal psychic goes...I can honestly tell you that she knew things that she would really have no way of knowing, unless she was "talking" with an animal of mine.  There were some really unusual things that she knew.

But whether you believe in animal psychics or not, try to take with you the lesson I learned from her.  The details around the time of death are not what stays with you...the everlasting love for one another is what stays with you.

Think about it, for a moment, if it were your death (after you had reached a ripe old age, and enjoyed life to its fullest, of course.)  Suppose your loved ones are arranging your funeral, and they choose a natural wood colored coffin, when you wanted a white one.  Maybe you want to be cremated, yet your loved ones who survive you don't know that, and they bury you instead.  Maybe your favorite flower was a lily, but at your funeral, your loved ones chose carnations in the floral arrangements.

When you have lived your life, and are transitioning into your spiritual, energetic self, will you really hold things like this "against" your loved ones, who survived you, and have to make these choices?  I think that you would spend no time on it at all.  Lilies or roses don't matter - what matters is the love you have.


I hope that this message was able to help you a bit.  I think that these ideas will become more helpful as time passes.  Lovely Sydney just passed away, and right now, it's OK to be caught up in your emotions, and to cry the "sad feelings" out, and feel however you feel, even if that's confused.

More than this one message, I think you will be helped by the number of people on this forum who know what you are going through, and who care about how you are doing.

My "babies" (pets) and I will be thinking of you!

Posts: 607
I am so sorry for your loss and know exactly how you feel, we all do here.  My girl passed away this summer from a massive tumor as well, only 11, much too soon.  I do take some comfort in believing that I will be with her and my other recently deceased baby girl - and you will one day be with all your beloved fur babies.  Sydney knew it was her time and she is grateful to you for caring for her and loving her right to the end of her physical form and she is still right with you in spirit.  She will send you a sign of some sort to let you know that she is ok and watching over you.  I do hope you are able to share some happy memories of your baby girl when you are up to it.  For now, just take the time to heal and be sure to take care of yourself, even though I know you are likely to not want to.  Sydney will want you to be well.

Wishing you much comfort,


Posts: 8
Thank you to everyone for your kind words.  I'm waiting for permission to post a picture of her.  I know you will all think she is beautiful.  I kept a journal when I lost my last love, Shane.  I will do the same with Sydney.  I probably won't ever read it, but it helps me to write things down.

I have so many fond memories of my baby girl.  She was my first female dog.  She had an unplanned pregnancy when she was just a young lady.  She handled it like a champ.  She was a great momma. We are pretty sure she outlived most of her pups.

I gave her a kiss every morning before leaving for work.  She would just sit there and bear it with good grace. 

When she got too old and too lame to go for long walks, Caesar and I would walk without her, but she was always waiting at the door for us when we got back.  She would sniff Caesar to find out where he'd been.

I always bought them treats when I was at the store.  They came to expect them.  Caesar would get his and proceed to move around the house trying to keep away from Sydney.  Sydney would eat hers then follow Caesar around the house. She new if she scared him away from his spot that there would be crumbs waiting for her.

She was the boss of the house.  Caesar did what she told him he could do.  If she felt he was bugging us, she would give him a growl and a nip.

I remember how she would squint her eyes when we were outside in the sun.  She couldn't move around to well the last couple of months, but she would sit outside with me while I did lawn work.  She loved to be close by.

She was afraid of the wind and would climb in the shower when it was windy.

I have four dog pillows in my house for her.  Caesar doesn't use them.  I don't know what to do with them.  I look at them and see her on them and it breaks my heart.

Giving her her medicine was a morning and night routine for me.  Now I don't have to and I miss it so much.  Her pills are in the cabinet and it makes me sad to think I will never be able to see her again.

She loved playing tug-o-war with every stick we came to on our short daily walks.  She couldn't chase the ball anymore, so she made herself happy by tugging on the stick.  One time she clamped down on my finger, by accident.  I thought she broke the bone.  I still have the scar and I will always think of her when I look at it.

I remember how when she was a baby we would take her for walks.  She didn't need a leash because she would follow her big brother Shane anywhere he went.

We would play frisbee with Shane and Sydney would only go halfway out and wait until Shane was on his way back before she would clamp on to the frisbee and help him bring it back.

She would get tired on walks and just plop down.  She wouldn't budge until she was ready.

She had a stomach of iron.  She would eat tinfoil, cassette tapes, cloth, anything and would never get sick.  She was the healthiest dog I've ever had.

We bought her a wheelchair when she started losing mobility in her hind legs.  She hated that stupid thing.  She would nip at me as I tried to strap her into it.  Finally we got her up and moving and she was doing so well until she made a turn and the whole thing flipped over.  There she was laying on her back like a turtle.  I promised her no more wheelchair.  So I would run-walk behind her as she played with Caesar while I held on to a sling wrapped around her belly.

There were so many times when she would make me mad.  I feel so bad about getting mad at her now.  I hurt her one time when she was barking and pulling toward someone.  I pulled her back and accidentally stepped on her foot.  It got squeezed between my foot and the corner of the sidewalk.  She yelped so loud and then had trouble walking on it for a few days.  I feel so bad about that.  I was angry at her for barking and in my anger I caused her pain. 

I am left with so many regrets and that is the hardest part to deal with.  Why didn't I take her for more walks?  Why did I get mad at her about stopping to eat grass all of the time?  Why did I allow my anger to cause her pain?  I should have showed her more love.  Will she remember the bad times?  I hope she doesn't. I love her so much.  I want her to know that I miss her and want her to be happy with Shane and that I will see her in heaven.  I want her to know I am sorry for any pain I caused.  I want her to know that I wish I had shown her more love.  I want her to know that her passing for me was so painful but that I am happy to have had her in my life.  That she made it better for me.  That she is such a special part of my life that it will never be the same again without her. 

I love you Sidney-girl, baby girl, Sidney-beans, ninny-bins, see-bee . . .


Posts: 5,100
Dear {{{{Tina}}}},

I am so very sorry to hear that your beautiful and beloved Sydney has passed away.  I know how terribly painful it is to lose such a loyal and faithful baby.  You were so very brave to release her from her pain.  I have no doubt that your sweet girl has been reunited with Shane, and the two of them will faithfully watch over you all the days of your life.

Godspeed, beautiful Sydney!!

Many hugs,

Posts: 8
It is not getting any easier.  The pain keeps rolling in.  I find myself lying on her pillow and crying until I can't anymore. 

I know she's in a better place, but I so selfishly want her here with me.  Just to give her kisses and pets and hugs. 

This pain is so bad.  It makes you wonder why we do this to ourselves.  Punish ourselves with a gift so precious, but that only lasts a few short years.  Even now, I'm contemplating a new pup to keep myself and my poor boy Caesar company now that Sydney is gone.  Nothing will ever replace Sydney-girl, but I know the distraction of a new pup will help me move on.

Sydney I love you baby and I miss you so so much.

Posts: 59
It's definitely OK to cry.  In fact, I'm glad that Sydney left her four pillows around, so you can hug them and cry into them, as if she were there.  You can smell her scent.

Whenever any of my animal companions have passed, I have cried and cried for what seems like forever.  It is good to cry that sadness out, to acknowledge it for what it is.  I still miss all of my babies that are "gone" a lot, but somehow, I don't cry about them every day anymore.  I cry sometimes, but not as frequently as I used to.  As I said, these books and the animal psychic have taught me that the spirit of my loved ones are right beside me.

As for getting a puppy, only you can decide when is the right time for you. Puppies are adorable and full of love and life, and they are ACTIVE!  A puppy would definitely add a lot to your life.

But think about it first.  How will you feel if the puppy isn't Sydney, and doesn't "fill the hole" that is left by Sydney?  Sydney sounds as though she was older and wiser, and usually, for the first two years with a puppy, it's constant play.  If you get a puppy, and the puppy is not anything like Sydney, but is her or his own dog, would you still love him or her?  Or would you feel disappointed in the puppy because she just isn't Sydney?

It's also important to consider how your other dog would feel about a puppy, but it's most important that you don't set yourself up for a big disappointment, by expecting a puppy to "fill Sydney's shoes" right off the bat.  A puppy would be lovely - but a puppy will not be Sydney.  Sydney's spirit is right there with you, and maybe if you ask for her guidance, she will somehow find a way to tell you if it's "right" to get a puppy now.

Hang in there.  It's only been a short time.  You may think that you're cracking up, but that's normal.  Heck, my animal companions are closer to me than my human friends.  It's perfectly natural to feel sad when one transitions into the spirit world.

((((HUGS))) to you, Tina!

Posts: 59
P.S.  As far as "why do we do this" (love deeply these animal companions who die before we do,) I read a good short story on this.

It was called something like, "You have chosen tears."

Does anyone here have a link to that story?  I don't have it, but I remember it.

I think, Tina, it would be helpful in answering that questions.

Posts: 261

You only need to know one thing..........Sydney knows your heart and everything that is in it! She is your "Heartdog" and has never kept a count of good and bad..............she remembers only the good, because everything you did for her was out of love!  As for getting a new pup, that's a very personal choice. When I lost my first girl, I waited 11 1/2 yrs. before taking the plunge again. When my 2nd Boy lived only a little less than 3 yrs. I went out 3 days later and got my "Riley." What I learned from my 2nd boy Rudy, was that I needed to pay all of that love forward to the next one.  I just couldn't keep it inside, it was in tribute to the love I felt for him that I got Riley!  Both are truly "My Heartdogs!"  They will always live just as close as my heart, no matter where they are! You won't replace Sydney, you just make room in your heart for the new one.  Sydney will always live there!

Keeping you in my prayers!
Donna (Rudy & Rileysmom:)

Posts: 261


I forgot to say, your Sydney is an absolutely stunning girl!  Very beautiful!

Donna (Rudy & Rileysmom:)

Posts: 8
How can I help my husband get through our painful loss?  It's usually me that is falling apart.  He's not showing much in front of me, which is telling me that he is holding it all in.  I'm worried about him.  Sydney was the first dog we got together as a couple.  I am afraid to grieve when he's around, because I know it affects him.  He's told me a little, about how he cried in his office the other day.  But he's not sharing much.  I know it's because he knows I'll start crying and he thinks it will make it worse for me, but how do I convince him that this is okay?  That the tears heal?

I'm so numb right now from the pain of losing Sydney.  I can barely even cry anymore.  I wish I could cry because it would be so much better than this horrible feeling of numbness.  I think my other dog, Caesar, and I are both in denial.  It's as though we both expect Sydney to walk in the door any moment.  We both can't grasp that she's gone.

I love you Sydney girl.  I hope I see a sign from you soon.  You will forever be my baba-girl.

Posts: 59
Tina, this is the little story that I wanted to share with you.  Maybe it will help.



The little orange boy stopped. 
Behind him, rats, kitties, dogs, and all kinds of animals  were playing, chasing each other and 
wrestling in the warm sunshine. 
It looked like so much fun, but in front of him, through 
the clear stillness of the pond's water, he could see his mommy. 
And she was crying. 
He pawed at the water, trying to get at her, and when 
that didn't work, he jumped into the shallow water. All that got him was wet and Mommy's image danced away in the ripples. 
"Mommy!" he cried. 
"Is something wrong?" The little orange boy turned 

A lady was standing at the edge of the pond, her eyes 
sad but filled with love. 
The little orange boy sighed and walked out of the water. 
"There's been a mistake," he said. "I'm not supposed to be here." 
He looked back at the water. 
It was starting to still again and his mommy's image was coming back. 
"I'm just a baby. Mommy said it had to be a mistake. She said I wasn't 
supposed to come here yet." The kind lady sighed and sat down on the grass. 
The little orange boy climbed into her lap. 
It wasn't Mommy's lap, but it was almost as good. 
When she started to pet him and scratch under his chin like he liked, he 
started to chatter - a happy rat sound. He hadn't wanted to, but he couldn't help it. 
"I'm afraid there is no mistake. You are supposed to be 
here and your mommy knows it deep down in her heart," the lady said. 
The little orange boy sighed and laid his head on the lady's leg. 
"But she's so sad. It hurts me to see her cry. And daddy too." 
"But they knew right from the beginning this would happen." 
"That I was sick?" 

That surprised the little orange boy. 
No one had ever said anything and he had listened when 
they thought he was sleeping. 
All he had heard them talk about was how cute he was, or 
how fast he was or how big he was getting. 
"No, not that you were sick," the lady said. 
"But you see, they chose tears." 
"No, they didn't," the little orange boy argued. Who would choose to cry? 
The lady gently brushed the top of his head with a kiss. 
It made him feel safe and loved and warm - but he still worried about his mommy. 

"Let me tell you a story," the lady said. 
The little orange boy looked up and saw other animals gathering around. 
Cats - Big Boy and Snowball and Shamus and Abby and little Cleo and Robin. 
Merlin and Toby and Iggy and Zachary. Sweetie and Kamatte and OBie. 
Dogs too- Sally and Baby and Morgan and Rocky and Belle. 
Even a lizard named Clyde and some rats named Saffron and 
Becky and a hamster named Odo. 
They all lay down near the kind lady and looked up at her, waiting. 
She smiled at them and began: 

A long long time ago, the Loving Ones went to the Angel 
in Charge. They were lonesome and asked the Angel to help them. 
The Angel took them to a wall of windows and let them 
look out the first window at all sorts of things - dolls and stuffed 
animals and cars and toys and sporting events. "Here are things 
you can love," the Angel said. "They will keep you from being lonesome." 
"Oh, thank you," the Loving Ones said. "These are just what we need." 
"You have chosen Pleasure," the Angel told them. 

But after a time the Loving Ones came back to the Angel in Charge. 
"Things are okay to love," they said. "But they don't care that we love them." 
The Angel in Charge led them over to the second window. It looked out at all sorts of wild animals. "Here are animals to love," he said. "They will know you love them." 
So the Loving Ones hurried out to care for the wild 
animals. "You have chosen Satisfaction," the Angel said. 

Some of the Loving Ones worked at zoos and wild animal 
preserves, some just had bird feeders in their yards, but after a time they 
all came back to the Angel in Charge. 
"They know we love them," they told the Angel. "But they don't love us back. We want to be loved in return." 
So the Angel took them to the third window and showed 
them lots of people walking around, hurrying places. 
"Here are people for you to love," the Angel told them. 
So the Loving Ones hurried off to find other people to love. 
"You have chosen Commitment," the Angel said. 

But after a time a lot of Loving Ones came back to the 
Angel in Charge. 
"People were okay to love," they said. "But sometimes 
they stopped loving us and left. They broke our hearts." 
The Angel just shook his head. "I cannot help you," he said. 
"You will have to be satisfied with the choices I gave you." 

As the Loving Ones were leaving, someone saw a window 
off to one side and hurried to look out. 
Through it, they could see puppies and kittens and rats and dogs 
and cats and lizards and hamsters and ferrets. 
The other Loving Ones hurried over. "What about these?" they asked. 
But the Angel just tried to shoo them away. 
"Those are Personal Empathy Trainers," he said. 
"But there's a problem with their system operations." 
"Would they know that we love them?" someone asked. 
"Yes," the Angel said. 
"Would they love us back?" another asked. 
"Yes," the Angel said. 
"Will they stop loving us?" someone else asked. 
"No," the Angel admitted. "They will love you forever." 
"Then these are what we want," the Loving Ones said. 
But the Angel was very upset. 

"You don't understand," he told them. "You will have to 
feed these animals." 
"That's all right," the Loving Ones said. 
"You will have to clean up after them and take care of them forever." 
"We don't care." 
The Loving Ones did not listen. They went down to where 
the Pets were and picked them up, seeing the love in their own hearts 
reflected in the animals' eyes. 

"They were not programmed right," the Angel said. "We can't offer a 
warranty. We don't know how durable they are. Some of their systems 
malfunction very quickly, others last a long time." 
But the Loving Ones did not care. 
They were holding the warm little bodies and finding 
their hearts so filled 
with love that they thought they would burst. 
"We will take our chances," they said. 
"You do not understand." The Angel tried one more time. 
"They are so dependent on you that even the most well-made of them is 
not designed to out live you. You are destined to suffer their loss." 
The Loving Ones looked at the sweetness in their arms 
and nodded. 
"That is how it should be. It is a fair trade for the 
love they offer." 

The Angel just watched them all go, shaking his head. 
"You have chosen Tears," he whispered. 

"So it is," the kind lady told the animals around her. 
"And so each mommy and daddy knows. When they take a baby into their heart, they know that one day it will leave them and they will cry." 
The little orange boy sat up. "So why do they take us in?" he asked. 
"Because even a moment of your love is worth years of pain later." 

The little orange boy got off the lady's lap and went back to the edge of the pond. His mommy was still there, and still crying. 
"Will she ever stop crying?" he asked the kind lady. 
She nodded. "You see, the Angel felt sorry for the 
Loving Ones, knowing how much they would suffer. He couldn't take the tears away but he made them special." 

She dipped her hand into the pond and let the water 
trickle off her fingers. 
"He made them healing tears, formed from the special water here. 
Each tear holds bits of all the happy times of playing 
and petting and shared love. 
And the promise of love once again. 

As your mommy cries, she is healing. It may take a long 
while, but the tears will help her feel better. In time she will be less sad 
and she will smile when she thinks of you. 
And then she will open her heart again to another little baby." 
"But then she will cry again one day," the little orange 
boy said. 

The lady just smiled at him as she got to her feet. 
"No, she will love again. That is all she will think 
She picked up Big Boy and Snowball and gave them hugs, 
then scratched 
Morgan's ear just how she liked. 

"Look," she said. "The butterflies have come. Shall we 
go over to play?" 
The other animals all ran ahead, but the little orange 
boy wasn't ready to leave his mommy. 
"Will I ever get to be with her again?" 
The kind lady nodded. 
"You'll be in the eyes of every rat she looks at. 
You'll be in the fur of 
every rat she pets. And late at night, when she's fast 
asleep, your spirit will snuggle up close to her and you both will feel at 

One day soon, you can even send her a rainbow to tell her you're safe 
and waiting here for when it's her turn to come." 
"I would like that," the little orange boy said and took 
one long look at his mommy. 
He saw her smile slightly through her tears and he knew 
she had remembered the time he almost fell into the bathtub. 
"I love you, Mommy," he whispered. "It's okay if you 

He glanced over at the other pets, running and playing 
and laughing with the butterflies. 
"Uh, Mommy? I gotta go play now, okay? But I'll be 
around, I promise." 
Then he turned and raced after the others. 

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