A golden light went out in our world Wednesday evening. Our precious Sheba lost her battle with cancer. How hard she fought….for almost two years! We knew the battle was getting tougher for her over the last weeks. Her appetite waned just a little more each day. By last week getting her to eat any meals at all was challenging. By about a week ago she would only eat a very small amount of supper; though we could still get her to take treats. Up until then she had still been playing in the yard, and still barking playfully at her siblings.
She was moving more slowly though, and getting up at times was difficult for her. She was losing her eyesight as well, but as long as she wanted to be out in the yard even attempting to play, we knew she was happy. When getting her to eat anything became an increasing struggle for us and an obvious chore for her, we knew the time was coming. She was spending more time sleeping and less time outside where she had always loved to be.
By Wednesday morning she would not eat at all, and when she went outside in the fresh snow, she just immediately laid down in it. Eventually she started shivering and when we got her inside we knew it was time to make that decision. It was easier than I thought it would be to do so. She was getting no more enjoyment out of life, was obviously uncomfortable, and she was not herself. We knew it was time to let her go; and to help her to get to the Rainbow Bridge where she could be whole again. I had promised her when she was no longer happy, we would do that for her. It’s not that she didn’t want to be happy, but we know she was simply tired.
As always, our vet’s office was there for us and were able to get her in that evening. We did not want to wait and just watch her continue to suffer. She was helped on her journey with the Dadz and I right there with her, and her favorite vet tech assisting. It was not really what I expected, as it was our first time having to make this decision for a dog. It was peaceful, quiet, and went quickly. We whispered our love to her and I told her to send our love to her brothers Kobi and Moses as well. Her struggle was finally over.
Knowing we made the decision we had to for her was little comfort when the end result was the same: she’s gone. We know that she stayed with us for as long as she could; and that turned out to be far longer than we expected. It was over a year ago when she had her second cancer surgery and it was found to be a very aggressive form of her cancer (spindle cell sarcoma). She gave us some scares along the way, but she also reached some milestones we never expected her to; the move to our new home and through the summer, her 12th birthday, the holidays, and into a new year.
Luke was a comfort to us, kissing away my tears, but Cricket…..poor Cricket. She spent the evening after we came home without her big sissie, not sleeping like she usually does at that time; but searching for her sister. She’d go outside and stare off the deck towards the driveway where we had left with Sheba, then when I’d get her into the house she would run to the entryway door where she had last seen her. Then she looked around her and down the hallway and ran to the bedroom to look for her there. She did that several times during the evening, and even twice after we went to bed. This from a dog who loves her sleep and rarely stirs after supper time.
Thank goodness by the next morning she stopped doing that; it was tearing at my heart (her late beagle brother Kobi did the exact same thing when we lost his sister Maggie). I’m sure, like us, she knew she had to accept that her sister was not coming back home. We’re spending time together as a family right now. Next week I plan to write a tribute to our sweet Sheba, and she will be making appearances in some posts I already had planned as well. She will be missed beyond words, but I know I will be able to find some to honor the life and love that she gave us so selflessly.
My heart breaks for all of you! No matter how long our pets are with us, it is very long enough–but I know that Sheba’s life was filled with love, joy, and comfort and that she couldn’t have had a better family. Thinking of you all and hoping you’re finding peace.
I’m sorry to hear about this. It’s just heartbreaking.
I knew this time was coming but I’m still in tears. To say I’m so sorry for your loss feels like so little, but my heart is heavy and my prayers are with you all. I apologize for commenting so late, but I haven’t been able to “socialize” online much lately due to reasons that, although serious, pale in comparison to losing your beloved Sheba. I know she’s happy with her siblings over the Rainbow Bridge, and I know she appreciates that you let her go exactly when she needed you to. Blessings and hugs to you both, and extra hugs to your pups. xoxo
Thank you so, so much for your kind words and sympathies. I thought it would be so difficult to make that “dreaded decision”, and it wasn’t easy. But seeing our girl so down and out gave us the strength to do what we really felt was best for her. She was just so, so tired. When we got her into the vet’s office – where they had a nice blanket ready for her – she just laid down immediately. This from a dog who normally paced around when at the vet.
I’m sorry to hear you are going through some tough times, but I’m glad to hear from you. I hope things get better. 🙁
Roby Sweet says
I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s hard to let them go, even when you know that it’s time. What a beautiful spirit Sheba brought into the world! Sending you prayers and healing thoughts…
Thank you so much for your sweet words and thoughts…it truly is a comfort, and much appreciated.
I’m so sorry to hear about your loss of Sheba. Sending you all of our love and good thoughts.
I’m so incredibly sorry. It’s one of the hardest things in the world to bear, when your beloved dog is gone. Sending hugs and love.
Golden Woofs: Sugar The Golden Retriever says
We are so sorry to read this. We know it is hard … sending you lots of hugs. Sheba was so brave and you’ve done a great job taking care of her. She had a precious life and forever will be remembered. Golden Love <3 SUGAR and mom Rosalyn
You have my deepest condolences on the loss of your sweet Sheba. Your love and devotion to her was evident in all your posts about her. Her situation was similar to our Bentley’s and I know it must have been consoling to you that you were able to help her in her final journey and be with her until the very end.
Thank you so much. I thought having to make that decision would be almost unbearable, and make it even harder. But in the end, giving her that peace, being with her and taking away her pain actually turned out to be a comfort I think (which I did not expect – I expected to be riddled with doubts and guilt).
Sand spring Chesapeake says
Jan I am so very sorry to hear this. What a beautiful tribute you wrote for Sheba and thank you for knowing when the time has come and take that journey with her. She is at peace now and will always be with you. Hugs xoxoxo
Oh, Jan. I’m so deeply sorry for your loss. I sure wish there were words that would help lessen the pain. I know there aren’t, but please know that I’m holding you and your family in my heart. I’m so grateful for all the stories you’ve shared of your sweet girl. You’ve inspired this community with your love and devotion, and her lovely face shining through your pictures and words brightened the day for many of us. She will be missed and honored by many. Sending you light and love and big hugs.
Thank you so much, Maggie. Sharing Sheba with everyone has been one way I felt I could honor her life. Your words really mean a lot to me, and are such a comfort. ♥
Bev Green says
Jan…we have been so saddened to hear of Sheba leaving you for the bridge..such a darling girl and so very loved and cared for by your family..our hearts are with you and your family as you moutn your precious girl..i wish i could give you a real life hug..but the virtual hugs and love i send are just as heartfelt…run free sweet Sheba…you have many friends to greet you.love and deepest sympathies Bev and family xxxc
Bev, I can feel your love and hugs over the miles and they are such a comfort. I know you understand this pain too well, and that it is still fresh for you as well. Sheba must be making many new wonderful friends and greeting her own lost family members at the bridge. Many of the pups from her litter went before her, also from cancer. We got her from a friend so were able to keep tabs on her siblings, but it was scary when many of them started to leave this earth, including our own Moses. He was only 9 when he left, so we are so grateful that Sheba fought on for as long as she did. Thank you for caring. xxoo
thinking of you. sending hugs.
Lynn LaChance says
Too many tears right now, I can’t even think what to say-except what a beautiful picture of Sheba and the golden sentiments are so fitting, Jan. And that the love and thoughts pouring from your fellow bloggers and friends are such a tribute right there to her wonderful soul and spirit-amazing, she touched many lives, and enriched all those she did. I will miss her so…..I loved that girl. My thoughts, hugs, love to you all, it is so hard, but hoping holding each other tight will help you all through this, and you will have so, so many wonderful memories.
Barbara Rivers says
I am so very sorry for the loss of your girl. It brought tears to my eyes reading about it, especially Cricket’s reaction. I am glad that you got to spend so many happy years with her though. I’m hoping for the same with my pups.
I’m so sorry. What a terrible loss. My heart is with you. Thank you for sharing Sheba with us.
Mary in Ohio says
So sorry about Sheba ! She certainly knew love and will be with you forever. Run free again, beautiful !
The Daily Pip says
I’m so sorry about Sheba ..,what a sweet girl and such spirit. I’m glad I found your blog and was able to get to know her. Thank you for sharing her with us. Sending support across the miles! Run free Sheba
Thank you for being here and for enjoying Sheba with us. It means so much to me to know that so many others care, and feel her loss as well. ♥
Karen cantlin says
I love that first picture of her. So glad I got to see her twice during the holidays. You were lucky to have her and she was lucky to have you.
I am so glad too, K, that Sheba could be here through the holidays and get to see her aunties two more times. ♥
Monika & Sam says
The tears are flowing here. It’s always hard to make that choice but know it was done out of love. I hope tender thoughts and sweet memories provide your whole pack comfort. So sorry for your loss.
I am very sorry for your loss. I know how badly this hurts.
M. K. Clinton says
I cannot begin to tell you how much my heart hurts for you. You did a wonderful job taking care of Sheba which is why she enjoyed her life until the end. I will miss her Golden smile. You are all in my prayers and I’m sending my love.
Forest Poodles says
I’m so sorry Jan! My heart breaks for you. Thank you for sharing your sweet Sheba with the world. We all came to know and care about her.
You’ll be in my thoughts.
No dog ever had a better life than Sheba. You and Tom are amazing with your fur babies. As her “Auntie Sheryl”, I’m so thankful that I got to babysit at times, and even more grateful that I got to see her Tuesday and give her lots of smooches.
I am so happy you got to see her last week too, Sheryl. I know that meant a lot to Sheba since she always loved you so much. ♥
Thank you, Jan.
Dolly the Doxie says
You know how I feel, I sent an email. Poor Cricket, so heartbreaking. Dolly and Sandra
Christine Caplan says
Oh My heart breaks for you. I’m so sorry for your loss. There is nothing more heart breaking and I know it will take a while to feel normal again but hug the others and if you need anything, don’t hesitate to shoot me a note. I have been through this and every time (even reading this) I feel like a puddle and can barely breathe. RIP Sheba.
Thank you so much, Christine. It is such a comfort to know I can reach out if I need to. I am keeping Luke and Cricket close; and Luke seems to need that closeness especially right now too. It never gets easier, and yet I think the happy times always remind us just how worthwhile it is.
It is such a credit to you that Sheba hung in there as long as she did. She had a wonderful life filled with love. I know there are just no good words. Sending you hugs and love.
Mary Ruiz says
Janet I’m so sorry to hear of Shebas passing. I know all to well how hard the decision is to make. Be assured you made the right one. Sheba is no longer suffering and is running free. She will always be alive in your heart and memories.
Mary, thank you so much for your words. This is the first time we’ve had to make this decision for a dog. I was almost afraid I wouldn’t be able to do it; but I promised Sheba when she was no longer enjoying life we would let her go. I’m glad we had the strength to make that decision for her. ♥
2 Brown Dawgs says
Gosh I am so sorry to hear this. I was hoping she would be around for a little more time.
Theresa Spaid says
I am so sorry. I am hugging and praying for you all.
Thank you so much, Theresa.
Jackie Bouchard says
Again, I’m so sorry for your loss! Our pain begins when theirs ends. That is heart-breaking about Cricket, but you guys did the right thing. It’s important to make the hard decisions when they stop enjoying life. Sending big hugs your way!
Jackie & Rita
The Island Cats says
Oh we are so very sorry to hear about Sheba. She fought so hard…beating the odds…and even though you knew this would be the final outcome, we know it still was not easy. We send you lots of comforting purrs and gentle headbutts.
Edie Chase says
Sorry for your loss.
Thank you so much, Edie.
This post is the most moving and honest I’ve read in a long time – every bit as beautiful as Sheba was in life. She’ll be missed far, far outside your family … there was something about her that I connected with in the very first post I read on your blog. She was so many things that even a blogger has no idea how to put into words. I wish I had some words of comfort or something to offer … but I know there’s nothing. I’m sending love and hugs to you and your family (including the furred variety obviously). But please, please know that Sheba’s wisdom, strength, and beauty of spirit reached and impacted far beyond your home 🙂
That means so very much to me to know that Sheba’s life affected you so deeply. Sharing her with others has been a true joy for me. I also love knowing that she will live on through my words and photos on this blog.
Thank you so much for your kind and meaningful words….they are truly a comfort. ♥
I am so sorry and sad for your loss. What a brave and beautiful girl she was. She blessed your family with her unconditional love for so many years, and she fought so hard to be with you as long as she could. I know that my words alone cannot alleviate your sadness and wish we could squeeze you so you could feel our love. Sending lots of golden love from your friends at MyDogLikes ❤️❤️
I can feel your love over the miles….thank you. I’m going to need to see those handsome boys of yours even more now. ♥
Jodi Stone says
I’m so, so sorry. You did an amazing job making her tremaining time with you so special. I hope those memories will bring some comfort as you deal with your grief. Hugs to you and the crew.
Run fast, run free sweet Sheba.
I spent yesterday afternoon looking through old photos for my next post about Sheba. It really did help to remember her as she was all those years ago! I have some happy stories to share about her, and all of the joy that she brought to our lives and I know that will help as well. In a way, it was just a nice break to remember her when she was completely healthy – and young – and not going through the struggles she had to lately.
Thank you for your support, Jodi, and for being there for me. xo
Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom says
And big, gentle hugs to all of you – including Samantha.
Two French Bulldogs says
Oh my goodness we are so sorry. Run free sweetheart. Sending lots of hugs and healing vibes
Lily & Edward
Oh Jan. I am so very sorry. Even though you are prepared, it’s still an impossible thing. Sending love and hugs to heal your heart.
Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom says
Oh, Jan, my heart is shattered. But Sheba had a great life with you all. She knew she was loved. Now she’s a beautiful, golden, furry angel like Callie and will forever be your Guardian Angel. Run free, sweet Sheba. Our thoughts, prayers, and hearts are with you, the Dadz, Cricket and Luke.
Run free sweet Sheba. Sending you all love and hugs. Kisses for Luke, Cricket and Samantha xx
Thank you so much, Lorna! xxoo
Brian Frum says
We are so very sorry to hear about dear Sheba. Such a lucky girl to have such a loving family. We know there are no words so we all send you purrs, hugs and all our love. Thank you for sharing that dear gal with all of us.
I’m so sorry and my tears are running… so not much words… just a BIG hug to you all… and we will look at the sky tonight to see the golden star…. and we light a candle and send our thoughts over to you with the rays of the light…
Thank you so much. I appreciate your words, even if few. I know you are still dealing with your own pain and loss; and Sheba’s star now shines brightly with Easy’s as well. ♥
We are so sorry for you all. Katie completely quit eating and drinking too at the end. Because Katie and I were so close, she took me along to be with her and Katie at the vet. Katie was there with Mom when Trine took her last breath as well. Mom feels it might help us to understand where our loved ones went, and we can comfort Mom too. Huge GBGV hugs to all of you. As you well know, it is a long sad road ahead, but you all will get through it together.
I think that was a wonderful idea to take you along to the vet with Katie, Emma. That had to be such a comfort to all of you.
I thought Sheba was still drinking water, and I saw her eating snow, but the vet said she was very dehydrated; and her heart rate was concerning. I have a feeling the end was close either way, and I’m just glad we could take her suffering away.
I am keeping Luke and Cricket close – though Luke enjoys that more than Cricket does – LOL. Already the pain comes in waves, as I now remember it usually does. One minute I feel fine, the next I’m a basket case. But we will get through it and I know it will get easier in time.
I appreciate your Mom’s support and understanding so much. xo
Pam and Sam says
Oh I am so very sorry about dear precious and very BRAVE Sheba……you know that I know how hard this time is for you all……but knowing how hard they fight to stay with us just confirms what we already know – they LOVED their lives with us. Sheba surprised everyone considering her cancer diagnosis – we’re happy she was with you through the holidays. Having gone through loss before you know it will just take time and that you will see her everywhere and feel her always………but just know we send you HUGS and hope that the pain you feel now, will just be replaced with some very soft and happy memories forever.
Love, Pam (and Angel Sam)
Thank you so much, Pam and Angel Sam. Pam, I know how much you wanted Sammy to be with you through the holidays as well…and I know you still feel how much our hearts hurt. We were blessed Sheba could stay with us as long as she did – she and Sammy fought as hard and long as they could! – though we both know it is never long enough. xxoo