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The Sheeba

I was with her yesterday. Her wise and gentle eyes looked right into mine shortly before she took her last breath. All i could do is whisper "thank you, thank you for everything". She went as peacefully as she lived. Her body comfortably stretched out on a blanket. If i didn't know any better i would think she is just taking a nap.

It seems just like yesterday, i walked into that animal shelter. Among many dogs and pups of all shapes and sizes was this white,awkward looking one. As i stopped by her cage she came closer, calmly sat down, looked right into my eyes and barked as if she was saying "there you are, i have been waiting for you". I was captivated by her calm boldness in that moment. There was that something in her eyes i couldn't put my finger on then but i knew that she is coming home with me.

The 15 years between those two moments answered that question of what it was i saw in her eyes. It was her quiet magnificence. She was charismatic, graceful and wise. She was utterly gentle yet a leader and protector. She instinctively knew when to be calm and collected and when it's time to just have silly fun. And she had all kinds of fun :)
She was not a one person dog. Sheeba was a family dog..heck, she was the dog of the entire neighborhood. She knew everyone and everyone knew her. She even kept an eye on the kids at play and made a lot of noise when someone who didn't belong there showed up. She never left our property by herself...ever. She would wait for her friends, dogs and people, to come over to say hi. And they all did and were always calmly welcomed :) Everyone loved Sheeba.

Sheeba was an active and very healthy dog all of her life. She was always ready for a run or a swim. It was just in the recent couple of years that her advanced doggie age started showing more and more. She slept most of the time and moved a lot slower. This pretty much coincided with our move out of the busy neighbourhood onto a quiet farm next to a senior citizen center. She made new friends here and was happily and peacefully hanging out and bringing joy to the old country folks. I often heard the nurse quietly call Sheeba over and letting her in through the back door for a visit with the seniors. It always made me smile.

The last few months brought more signs of aging and for the first time we noticed that Sheeba has hard time getting up and also realized that something more serious is going on as well. And there was. Treatment didn't really work and she was getting weaker and weaker with each passing day and now there was this tiredness in her wise and gentle eyes. The time came to let her go before the suffering got to great.

We made the whole past weekend about her. She went for a drive to her favorite place, the beach, on Saturday. She loved it :)
And Sunday was really special because so many of her friends showed up to see her one more time. Even some of the kids from the old neighbourhood ,now with their own little ones, came to visit their childhood friend. Sheeba was loved by many. And someone said..."if only love could keep her alive she would never die".

Well, to me she never will. She will live on in my heart as long as i do.
And i believe that when my time comes she'll be there to look me in the eyes and bark just like the first time. "there you are, i have been waiting for you".

But right now i miss her so very much.



 
trailguide trailguide 36-40, F 43 Responses Feb 8, 2011

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Thank you for sharing that heartfelt story,your dog is still with you,she will be close to you for as long as you need her,I am sure you must feel her next to you and even hear little noises at times.I too have lost loving pets and the grief I felt at their passing could not be described.But I know they are still with me even thought I can no longer see them and hold them,love is the bridge that connects you to your loved ones on the other side.There is a lovely poem and web site called "The Rainbow Bridge" it is very comforting for people who have lost a pet..Take care.

Trailguide, I am TRULY so very very very sorry and utterly heartbroken for you. I understand how you feel about your Sheeba, sometimes people don't comprehend the LOVE that we have for our animals. I have a mini Dachshund named "Shorty" and if I think about the day I got him when he was a puppy it brings tears to my eyes, he was partially blind in one eye at 6wks due to another dog biting him in the eye ball before his little eyes were even open! I immediately wrote a check to the woman selling him and took him home, but I remember that he started whining and I stopped and let him out and he went potty :( it was so precious and sweet to me that he was basically already potty trained at such a young age. He is my bestfriend, he wants to be any and everywhere I am, he sleeps with me, he jumps in the bathtub/shower/pool with me. He is so obedient, so smart, so loving, so sweet I honestly thought I lost him just yesterday and I went into hysterics CRYING and finally he came running out from under my bed. I can't imagine what I will do one day when he meets his time, I have thought about it and it makes me cry. I think if I have to have him put down that I would hold him, and kiss him and give him comfort until he passed away. I truly feel like he was made just for me, I know people say God makes all things and I feel he made Shorty for ME! I think God is a loving and giving being, I truly believe that Shorty and I will be together in any life this one and the next and I believe you had this kind of connection with Sheeba. You know I must love my Shorty when I am involuntarily sitting here with tears rolling down my face talking to you about him and how much I love him. I am so greatful from him and the 5 years that the lord has already given me with him. It's funny how much they teach us, love, compassion, understanding, patience......I thank God for Dogs and his kindness in creating such fantastic beings for human companionship. After all nothing and no one is meant to be alone forever. I love your heart Trailguide :-) and be comforted in knowing that Sheeba knows how much you loved her and she didn't go feeling as she had left you alone, she knew she will always be with you. I know you know that too.

It's amazing to find new comments on this story today...but i am not really surprised. <br />
<br />
It's been a year to the day today, and not a day went by that i didn't think about her. But those are not sad thoughts just wonderful memories. <br />
<br />
Thank you all for reading and commenting on her story :)

Sorry for your loss. <br />
Thank you for sharing you story and beautiful pictures.<br />
Take care Trailguide.<br />
~all4mmm

Our eyes is momentarilly blinded by tears. We have just lost one of our loved ones. We feel the loss sharply. We go through a pattern of grief it is raw and deeply felt. However as time goes by the hurt will be less and we can once again smile through the tears. I sympathise I lost my deeply love lad Connor a very hansome brindle greyhound. He died in his sleep June the fifth this year he was too young to leave. However it must have been his time. No one can replace those who have now left us but the strong bond of love can grow if we are fortunate enough to find yet another hound dog or cat who has never known love or what having a home feels like. The love will thus keep growing and we can remember and honour the one who has left us. We will see them again when our time comes.Till then we can save one more life give one more deserving soul new hope and ourselves the joy of knowing that yet another soul has been given a second chance and that the loved ones that are now at the rainbow bridge will rejoice because they will want us to be happy as it makes them happy to know that we grieve deeply but love so much more. Take solice in this and the fact that you are not alone with all my love warmth and sympathy.Greydk and the lads.

That's a beautiful story. Pets are great.

This story was so beautiful. I am so sorry for your loss. When my dog passed on I was sad to.Wherever sheeba is now,shes smiling.

so sorry to hear your loss , just think she will always be around you , she never leave ... tear

wiping tears, what a wonderful companion and she blessed all those around her. I wish that I had the right words to soothe you my friend

Thank you everyone for all the comments.

that was absolutely one of the most touching stories and tributes of love and emotional bonding i have ever read or heard/iam so sorry for your loss but the loss and pain is a small price to endure for all the love she bestowed upon you and u to her/take care!

For a while now, I have not been visiting "experienceproject.com" but I have been faithfully reading the emails which I still receive from time to time. And when I saw your article being posted, I knew I had to go online to read the whole story. And I'm glad I did because we share a common bond in that we both feel that we would meet our beloved departed pets when our time came. Although I have been writing online for the past 2 years or so, I have only managed to talk about my current companion "Akita", a cross-bordercollie-mix. I could not bring myself to talk about so many precious dogs and one cat that I have lost in my lifetime. It still hurts to think about them. Co-incidentally, a few days ago, I wrote a little about my last companion, a white spitz which I named "Sable" who passed on more than 6 years ago. The article appeared on 2 of my websites (one of which is at "AkitaWoof.com" - named after my current doggie and the other at my niche site "CreativeThinkingForWomen.com) and at another article-submission website. Still, it was just a fleeting mention about her death and how I moved on with a newborn pup which I ultimately named "Akita". It was still painful to write about "Sable's" death as well as all the other deaths I had been through. I have always told myself that if I had a wish to be able to meet up with my loved ones who had departed, I would think of no other than ALL my pets who had meant so much to me in different stages of my life - from the time I was 7 or 8 'til now in my 50's. Today, while I'm reading your article and viewing the photographs of your "Sheeba", I'm crying for your loss and mine. Bless you for sharing your feelings with us pet-lovers. I have yet to acquire the emotional strength to share my pain "in writing" with the rest of the world. Maybe I will someday...

YOU have a secret Sheeba and you<br />
that knowone else will know,<br />
for who but you can see her lie <br />
each night in the fires glow?<br />
and who but you can reach your hand<br />
before you go to bed,<br />
and feel the liveing warmth of her <br />
and stroke her silken head.<br />
and only you walk woodland paths<br />
and see ahead of you<br />
her white form walking with the wind<br />
so young again and free<br />
and only you can see her reflection<br />
in every stream you pass,<br />
and when you call, only you can see the bending grass.<br />
<br />
she will never leave you.

It is a moving tribute to the relationship you had with Sheeba. I have had many cats, dogs, horses, g.pigs etc. All were special and will never be forgotten. She looked wonderful in the photos.

I'm so sorry...animals are like a part of our heart brought to life. You were blessed to have such a friend.

Trailguide, you 'll be with your beloved Sheeba again at the 'RAINBOW BRIDGE', FOREVER !<br />
I know that I 'll see ALL of my dogs there ! I 'll be praying for you (AND Sheeba) . :-)<br />
<br />
Lori (in Idaho)

It does hurt to lose a beloved friend. I too had to let go, even though the vet had invited me to watch, I refused because it would have been too emotional for me. I did say good bye and the lasting memory I have is seeing her eyes just still and staring in to space and a final twitch of her muzzle.<br />
I still shed the occasional tear over her.<br />
This is most likely the hardest part of being a pet guardian and that is having to let them go. <br />
They give us so much love yet it is only for a short while. <br />
<br />
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsCdlX-5UjE

dogs are loyal, loving & very forgiving. very nice story

Oh gosh...brought tears to my eyes. My sweet Golden Retriever Delilah only got to be with us 8 months, exactly 8 months. She was my baby girl in this house full of boys. My husband bought her for me right before leaving on his second deployment. She had been acting quiet, not her usual self at all that day. She wouldn't eat or drink. I rushed her to the animal hospital just as I would've rushed my child to the ER. The news was like a punch in the gut. Some careless, or cruel, person had given her access to anti-freeze. Her kidneys were shutting down and the veterinarian said she was in pain. There was an expensive, but painful and unlikely to be successful, treatment we could try, but she recommended euthanasia as the most humane option. I agreed. I loved her too much to subject her to a painful treatment that would probably not heal her anyway. It was the most difficult choice to make for myself, but really the only one there was to make for her. As the vet administered the injection, I just rubbed her head, looked into her eyes and said "I love you". I'm crying right now just writing and remembering. She closed those gorgeous chocolate brown eyes, and I said "goodbye". The dr checked her heartbeat and then told me, "She's gone momma." I lost it. My husband called from Iraq just a minute or two after, as I was sitting alone with Delilah not sure how to make myself leave the room. I knew she wasn't there in that body anymore. People debate on what happens to dogs when they die. I believe there is probably a rainbow bridge somewhere, and she and I will meet again someday. If you believe a person has a soul, I don't think its possible to look into the bright, caring, knowing and intelligent eyes of a dog and think that they don't have one too. I believe that. And I believe there is a heaven for our beloved pets. Hopefully the same Heaven we go to. I have never bonded with a pet again since losing her that way. I only had her for 8 months, but they were precious to me. We have another Golden and while I care for him, its just not the same love as I had for my girl. I don't know if my heart could take the disappointment of losing another pet that way. I won't say that I think its the same as if, GOD FORBID, I were to lose a child....I'd imagine its not even close. But it was still one of the most painful things I've had to do up til now in my life. Some pets become more than pets, and when we lose them, it can be extremely devastating. Hope you're having a wonderful time in doggy heaven, sweet Delilah. Its been almost 3 years now, and I still miss you:(

your way of writting is very good, we really get the message and the emotion with it, i guess it wasnt hard to get the inspiration, your dog sounded like a very cool mate, i really cant say anymore because im a little dummy to express in words but its cool that you found themselves, you and sshe sounded happy.

What a wonderful post. And how much I can relate to it.<br />
<br />
I've raised 5 dogs. I always hoped that they would leave this planet in peace, without suffering ---- and not have to be put to sleep. One of hardest things that anyone has to do. I always hoped they would die, peacefully on my lap.<br />
<br />
I was never that lucky. My dogs all died of diseases and had to be put to sleep. I know you can imagine how painful that is.<br />
<br />
I should be ashamed to say this --- but, somehow or another, I'm not. I miss and have cried over the loss of my beloved pets more than I have over my relatives.<br />
<br />
Maybe it's because of the wonderful bond(s) we developed ---- maybe it's because dogs are not judgemental --- they love us, regardless.<br />
<br />
I had the choice of having my dogs rest in a pet cemetery, , cremated ----- or, as I chose, to have them buried in my back yard by the rose garden. I chose to have them buried by my rose garden.<br />
<br />
Why? That's because, every night, before I go to sleep, I open my window and say good-night to them. And then, they're as close to me as it gets --- spirtually and physically.<br />
<br />
Will I have another dog in my life? No. Because I can't bear the pain of losing another one.<br />
<br />
I understand where you're coming from, and than thank you for your post.. Bless you for your love for your pet.<br />
<br />
Regards ......

Your tribute was wonderful, I lost my baby (chocolate lab). Her name was Ruger (my son named her) anyway she was the most loving and wonderful pet ever, she loved to play and run, her favorite thing was to sit up on the couch on her butt she would put her arms out and give whomever needed a hug. I was devistated and still miss her so much. I heard this poem below and knew she would be there when its my turn to go home. The poem goes like this:<br />
<br />
<br />
<br />
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. <br />
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.<br />
<br />
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. <br />
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. <br />
<br />
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. <br />
<br />
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.... <br />
<br />
Author unknown...<br />
<br />
<br />
<br />
To Enter your Baby as a Resident of Rainbow Bridge click here

Broke me up, this exceptional tribute. You must be a beautiful person, Trailguide, otherwise, this magnificent companion would not have chosen you...

:'( <br />
:'(

That was a fantastic tribute,wish I had something to love like that.

What a cute dog, I hope that someday you will decide to adopt again because how we treat them is what makes them beautiful and wise. Bye Sheeba

So very sorry for your loss. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful tribute with us. My dog Angel is getting on in years and I pretend not to see the signs. You words made my heart ache but also made me smile when I read of your dog greeting you in the next life. What a comfort that thought is.

This is a wonderfully written tribute, Trailguide. It speaks so well of the bond one develops with one's dog. You have my sympathy for your loss.

God Bless You, I am sorry for your loss. I pray God fills your hear with love and peace at this time

Thank you so much for all the support, everyone. Each and every comment here means so much. Thank you.