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Dr. Barbara
Dr. Barbara, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 1614
Experience:  Over 30 years experience in veterinary medicine and surgery.
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Please help me. I had my precious angel ***** ***** gizzy

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Please help me. I had my precious angel ***** ***** gizzy put to sleep 7 weeks ago. She was around 17. She was restless for two nights, just walking around. She was still drinking water and eating up to the day before I took her to the vets. Her breathing was a little bit strained while I was holding her in the vets but I'm worried that was because I was so upset and stressed. The vet said it would be advisable to put her to sleep because of her age and that it would be prolonging her suffering if she had tests done. I was so distraught I gave my consent but I am torturing myself that maybe she would still be here if I she had had tests and recovered. It was just her and me. She was my world and the grief is unbearable. I spoke to the vet a little while ago because I can't come to terms with it and she said it was the right thing to do. My mum and brother who were there that day said it was the right thing. The vet said that her breathing could have been heart failure or cancer and even if she had had tests, the outcome would still be the same as she was 17. Please tell me I did the right thing. She was such a strong little girl and I keep driving myself to despair thinking that I did the wrong thing. I can't find comfort or peace at the moment and I want to because I had the most wonderful years with her. I loved her so much I want to die. I don't know if its part of the grief that I'm blaming myself but I can't go on feeling like this. Was it something I did or didn't,'t do to make her unwell? I looked after her so well I thought but did I miss something. My family say I am grieving too much and have to focus on something else so I can't talk to them about it as they say I'm being ridiculous. They don't understand the level of grief I'm suffering. Love claudia
Dr. Barbara :

Hi Claudia, Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm a licensed veterinarian and I'll be happy to help. My heart goes out to you in your grief over Gizzy. Especially after 17 years and with her being your only pet and immediate family member, your feelings a very valid. . .I know how much you miss her!!!! Too. . .it is often difficult to find the support and understanding we need from the people around us, as they don't understand the loss of a pet as well as the loss of a human. It is the same and sometimes losing a pet is even more devastating because they give us such unconditional love!

Dr. Barbara :

I'd like you to know, that guilty feelings are a normal part of grieving. You are normal!

Dr. Barbara :

I also want to tell you, that anytime an animal is having labored breathing, there is usually a disease process that cannot be cured, especially in a geriatric pet. Such a disease might be manageable for a brief time, but during that management an older dog wouldn't have the same quality of life that she had before the illness, and indeed may experience severe stress or even pain.

Dr. Barbara :

Your vet listened to Gizzy's chest and probably heard a heart murmur and even an irregular heart beat. She also probably heard fluid in Gizzy's lungs which is caused by heart failure and does lead to restlessness and breathing difficulties. Essentially, the heart failure is like a slow drowning. Because of what your vet heard, she had a very good indication that this was Gizzy's problem and knew that for a definitive diagnosis Gizzy would have to endure some pretty rigorous tests and that even if some treatment were possible, it would help very little and for only a very short time.

JACUSTOMER-4z8jclu0- :

Thank you. That's kind to tell me that. I feel like I'm so alone. I still have all her things around. I have her bed out still and her biscuits. I can't move anything because then its so final. I am so heart broken. I think if she had died in her sleep I might have come to terms better although still devastated. Because I had to make the decision I feel like I killed her. I'm crying now writing this. She was my world.

Dr. Barbara :

My most difficult time in adjusting to the loss of one of my pets, was when my dog Igor died. He was 11 years old and was suddenly paralyzed in his rear legs. I actually saw the spinal vertebral lesion on an x ray that I took, but wanted a specialist involved, so had a neurologist examine him and do a CT scan and a biopsy. It came back the inconclusive (not unusual with a biopsy), but when he didn't improve in a few days, I had to make the decision to euthanize him. It, too, was just him and me, and I grieved for weeks, and constantly thought about what signs I had missed. . . he had shown some reluctance to jump onto things.

Dr. Barbara :

Anyway, I only was better over time after much crying with bouts of crying coming on me involuntarily. These episodes gradually became fewer with further time inbetween. But it took several months! I even had true animal lovers that I worked with daily, who understood my grief. . .and that really helped me!

Dr. Barbara :

Understanding this lack of support for pet loss, most veterinarians will have information about a local pet loss support group, where you will find understanding help there with your grief.

JACUSTOMER-4z8jclu0- :

Thank you. That's kind to tell me that. I still have her things around like her bed and biscuits because if I move them it feels so final. I can't bear that thought. I think if she had passed away in her sleep then I might be more able to come to terms although still devastating. I feel because I had to make the decision I feel like I killed her. I don't think I will ever get over the pain of losing her. She was my world. Its a great age she lived to, and I want to feel proud of that but its just torture at the moment. I feel so empty and alone. Love claudia

Dr. Barbara :

As awful as you feel, you are very normal!!!!! You should also be very proud of Gizzy's long life as she could not have attained her ripe old age without excellent and outstanding care by you. Seventeen years is extremely unusual!

Dr. Barbara :

Here' s what I would suggest for you Claudia. Understand that your grief is normal. Your vet and her staff will completely understand this and will have information to help you get through your grief. So, when you can, I'd give your vet another call to get help for you! We understand! Also, if you let me know where you live, I'd like to look online for a pet loss support group for you there. It is also so good that you reached out to us!!!! You have a clear understanding of your need to get through your grief (this does not mean forgetting Gizzy!), and your need for help in this.

Dr. Barbara :

I also will have one of our therapists contact you from here. So many people experience what you are experiencing (really almost everyone in your situation), so you are not alone!!!!

JACUSTOMER-4z8jclu0- :

Thank you. I live in Flitwick Bedfordshire. Thank you for saying I looked after her so well. Its just because I never really knew what was wrong. If I'd had a better understanding of what her pain was as well, it would have helped. One minute we were just doing all the normal things together then within two days she was being put to sleep. Thank you for all your kind positive words and advice. I feel just talking about her to someone is helping although I'm crying while I'm writing to you. Love claudia

Dr. Barbara :

I actually am shedding tears for you! Gizzy was a very lucky little girl, but now you have to go through this!

Dr. Barbara :

I'll go see what I can find online, and then be back.

Dr. Barbara :

Also, want you to know, that heart failure is just like what you are describing. From our viewpoint it does seem sudden, but from the heart's viewpoint it has been diseased for awhile, but just now symptomatic. Suddenly the heart is diseased beyond being able to really sustain life, and we see the symptoms of this disease. This is why it seems so sudden to us. OK. . .I'm off to investigate for you. . .

JACUSTOMER-4z8jclu0- :

Thank you.

JACUSTOMER-4z8jclu0- :

I'm so sorry I didn't see some of your replies to me. I'm going to read them now.

JACUSTOMER-4z8jclu0- :

I'm so sorry about your poor dog. That's so awful too. That's why you are so lovely and understanding. Its so incredibly comforting that someone else understands the unbearable pain and loss that is felt when we lose our precious angels.

Dr. Barbara :

It's hard to see through tears! I unfortunately can't locate a pet loss support group for you in Flitwick on line. That doesn't mean there isn't one right there, but they don't have any info online. On top of contacting your vet again with this specific request, you could also contact local churches. If they don't have a specific pet loss support group, they will most likely have a general grief support group, and these would incorporate pet loss. Since just talking to me here has helped you a little, I do think that having people there in person sharing your grief might be more helpful.

Dr. Barbara :

I just now see your last post. Thank you for your condolences about Igor! There really are a lot of us out here who do understand the unbearable pain of losing a pet even if your friends and family don't or can't understand.

Dr. Barbara :

Oh, also, you could call any local animal shelters or humane societies and ask them how to contact a pet loss support group.

Dr. Barbara :

At the very least. . .I'm here and we can continue talking off and on as long as you need to. I've shared my personal loss, but have over the years talked with so many people going through grief just as you are.

JACUSTOMER-4z8jclu0- :

Thank you so much for looking. I will try and see what is out there. Do you know if I can save all your replies? Do I need an account? It will be my lifeline just reading your answers to me. You have given me more support and help than anyone. Can I please just ask do you think that gizzy was doing too much? She used to come everywhere with me and have her head out the window. We went to my brothers in London two days before for the day as he needed his house cleaning and tidying and she was wandering around as well there, in the garden and around the house. I kept feeling afterwards that I'd pushed her too far and it was maybe too much for her, but she loved being with me where ever I went so at the time thought it was ok. We went every week and was always fine.

Dr. Barbara :

I am all for pets doing whatever makes them happy! Since they don't have the psychological aspect of aging and illness that we have they rely totally on how they are physically feeling. In other words, when they are old they won't push themselves to do what they did when they were younger, nor will they do less because they are worried about what activity will do to them. Since Gizzy wanted to go and to wander around at your brother's, then she felt well enough to do so. If she had not felt well enough, she might have still gone with you, but she would have behaved differently in the car and at your brother's.

Dr. Barbara :

I'm so glad that this has been helpful to you! I will see from the site's moderator if and how you can down load this conversation. I just don't know. Also, even after your rating, this thread will remain open at no more charge to you for awhile, and of course, I can always be reached if you address a future post for Dr. Barbara only.

JACUSTOMER-4z8jclu0- :

Thank you. That puts my mind a bit more at rest. As you said with what happened with Igor, you constantly think you could have done things differently. I just thought that if I'd done less with her, it might not have happened then. Thats why i wanted to ask you about it. Gizzy looked like a puppy all her life and was so spritely and full of character and so funny. She didn't have any grey either. That's why I never really thought of her being old. Thank you so much again. I am so sorry that I made you cry. I couldn't see either through the tears. You have given me much more understanding of what happened. Love claudia

Dr. Barbara and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Hi Claudia,
Thank you so much for your very kind rating and the bonus. . .so greatly appreciated!
It's really quite delightful to hear what great health Gizzy had all of her life, and does emphasize why you would be so surprised when her demise came so quickly. I've known people like that and have thought that I'd like to die like that. . .happy and feeling well up to the end!
I'm going to put you in for a follow up in a few days, just to touch base with you. Hope that's OK, and there is no more charge for that. Also, remember this thread does stay open for a few days now if you want to contact me again.
You will make it through this grief! I wish you increasing peace and comfort, and if I can be of help again, just let me know!
Dr. Barbara
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Dr Barbara. I have woken up this morning and can't stop crying again. I have read through all your replies to me and it helps a lot. My house is empty and cold and lifeless without gizzy. I have to get a new job as I do nannying for a living and my last job ended awhile ago. I am finding it so difficult to focus properly on what I need to do to earn money because I don't feel like me anymore. I feel lost and empty. I will try and find somewhere where there is a pet loss support group. My confidence has gone as well. Thank you again for all your help and saying lovely things about gizzy. It means so much. Love claudia

Hi Claudia,
It's morning for me (I'm in California), and I am sad that our time difference means I didn't get back to you right away.
You sound very normal to me in your grieving. . .feeling empty and lifeless because Gizzy isn't there is very normal, and crying is really very healthy grieving. You need to do that!
I actually think you should have great confidence! You know what you have to do, and even tho' you don't feel like doing anything, you must of course. At times like these you need to grieve freely (like contacting us, crying, looking for a support group there) and you need to take just one step at a time towards looking for another nanny job. Don't overwhelm yourself by thinking about all of the possibilities, begin by doing just that first step and let God direct you. I think you are doing everything just right!!!
How do you go about looking for a job there. . .internet, newspaper?
Do you ever do international nannying?
Praying for you!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Barbara. I didn't realize that you were in California. Thank you again for being so understanding. I'm crying again and can't see through my tears. Just everywhere are memories. In my house, the garden, my car, her park, I have to drive past it when I go out, every shop I go in. There is even little bits of mud on the stairs from her paws that I can't phoover up. I even kept the water in her water bowls which is gradually disappearing. I just can't at the moment change anything. With my pnannying, I normally get jobs through the internet. Or I have agencies which sometimes put work forward. I haven't worked as a nanny internationally. I agree that I have to go about things when the time is right. Thank you Barbara. I felt a bit better last night after you'd explained what was likely to be the cause of gizzy death. Then I start to blame myself again that it was something I did, or didn't do. If only I had rested with her more or slept downstairs so she didn't need to get upstairs. I kept thinking about putting a bed downstairs then it gets put to one side, and you just carry on as normal not expecting the worst to happen. Although Gizzy was remarkably healthy, she was on medication for a little weak bladder which worked and for about the last two or three years the vet had put her on vivitonin which worked too as she was an older dog. She sometimes used to not be able to catch her breath when running a lot, or going up the stairs and she'd wobble over. I would quickly pick her up and call her name and kiss her and she would recover. This had happened over the years probably going back 3 or so years. That's why she was prescribed vivitonin. My mum said that I gave her more years to her life by doing what I was doing, as many people might not have been able to have managed with her little collapses or given her daily meds. I meant to add that before but my mind is all over the place. Apart from that, as I said she looked like a puppy.Have you got another dog now since Igor? You sounded like it broke your heart too. I'm so sorry again that you had such terrible grief and sadness. Love claudia

Thank you Claudia. Igor's going devastated me for many, many weeks, and then gradually (VERY GRADUALLY) I recovered. I swore I would never get another dog, and THEN. . . once my daughter and I were lunching at a little cafe on a plaza in Mexico, and there was a dog begging and starving in the plaza. We fed her of course, but she was very weak. Katie and I scooped her up and got her veterinary care there. Needless to say, Scout now lives here with me in California and does have a glorious life! So. . . now I'll have to go through that grieving again some day, but I do get all of this joy now!
Urinary incontinence is very common in older female dogs, and, as you and Gizzy experienced, medication to strengthen the bladder sphincter usually works very well and safely. Vivitonin is also quite safe and is used to strengthen the heart muscle, decrease any age related cognitive problems, and make breathing easier. . .by the time dogs (and we!) are geriatric our little airways can become less flexible, so Vivitonin can help. I do agree with your mom that your care did give Gizzy some to many extra years!
That your vet prescribed Vivitonin and the fact that Gizzy "wobbled over" sometimes with running and climbing stairs, would indicate to me that she had a geriatric heart and stiff small airways. . .all quite normal for an older dog, but points to congestive heart failure as I mentioned earlier. This is not painful for a little dog, and there are no activity restrictions that make this worse. Just "enjoy life" is the recommendation.
"When the time is right". . .FOR YOU!, is exactly right! The first step, really, is just thinking about it.
I think you know this, but I am so sorry for you that you are experiencing such grief and sadness right now. I am really glad tho' that you reached out to us, and that I picked up your plea! Thank you for sharing with me, and please continue. I have the opportunity to offer to you a Skype call between us. There is an additional fee, and you can choose to do this if you'd like. I do need to get my Skype up and running, and I do have to be away from my computer for several hours today to take my boyfriend to his doctor (just a checkup).
This is a rather new service on JustAnswer. Also, phone and Skype numbers are automatically deleted from these conversations, so have to go through "Additional Services".
Until later. . .
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Barbara. I haven't got Skype so not to worry. How lovely that were able to rescue a little stray dog. I would have done the same. Thank you again for all your words of comfort. I can give you my email address. I don't know if that will be deleted, but it would be nice to keep in touch as you have been so kind and understanding and helped me a great deal. It's *****@******.***. Thank you for all your time that you've given me as well. Very kind. Love claudia

You are welcome Claudia. Helping you through this horrible time is a huge and important part of veterinary medicine for me, so I am glad I met you.
E mails don't go through either :(, you come through just as asterisks.
As you wish and/or need, please keep in touch. I'll be sending a little follow up in about 3 days, just to check in.
I've been walking my friend Art's dogs for the past 2 years. He is a neighbor who is 78 with some back issues. His wife Patti, age 59, died suddenly last year of cancer leaving him with these two rather large dogs. I was telling him about your devastating situation and he told me the story about when his first wife died he pretty quickly removed all of her pictures from his home, and he thinks this helped him. When Patti died he kept her pictures for months, and actually still has some out. He feels that this is why he has been so heavily grieved this time. This is just his experience, but he really understood your situation, and in his way was offering you his heart, hoping to be of some help. . .he loves his 2 dogs, Austin and Baxter.
Hope you're having a peaceful night's sleep,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Barbara. Please tell Art thank you for being so kind and caring towards me. So sorry that he lost his wife suddenly. So sad. I don't think I can move Gizzy's things. It is probably making it harder as I wish more than life itself that she was still here with me. I want to die right now and be with her but that would be silly I know. I just wish I could have got her better. I'm torturing myself everyday thinking that it was my fault that she was I'll. Ridiculous I know. Its just how I feel constantly. I understand that with heart disease there wouldn't have been anything I could have done as she was elderly but I still feel in shock that she is not with me anymore. Thank again for everything. I am glad it was you who answered my plea. Thank you. Love Claudia x

Hi Claudia,
Of course you miss Gizzy. . .she was your companion and family! I don't think that missing her is ridiculous at all! The torturing with guilty feelings is normal too. Remember, that guilty feelings are a part of grief almost 100% of the time. Also, almost 100% of the time the guilty feelings are based upon imagined circumstances or choices. . ."if only". I think you know, but want to reiterate; there wasn't anything you could have done or not done to avoid her heart failure, just like there wasn't anything you could have done to avoid her getting older. Plus, you actually did prolong her great quality of life with the Vivitonin, the incontinence medication, and lots of TLC! I know this because she was feeling fine and "puppy like" until 2 days before her final illness. You should be extremely proud of that. . .I'm sure Gizzy is! Proud and grateful!
I will give Art your thanks and your condolences. He'll really appreciate that.
One small step at a time, or even one breath at a time, is all we can do when we are so devastated. . .
A big hug!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Barbara you are such a kind, patient and caring person. Thank you so much for saying all those things. I will keep reading them so I can see more clearly about everything that happened. Thank you so much. Please keep in touch. I'm so glad that we have been able to communicate about my Gizzy in this way. My heart is broken but I hope one day in the future I might be able to smile again. Thank you and hugs back. Love Claudia x

See? You are making those steps in the right direction! You will be able to see more clearly everything that happened, and the actual events of Gizzy's life and death won't be so clouded by feelings of guilt driven by grief. Our minds sure work against us sometimes! As I said it is very normal to have guilt as a part of grief, it just is not usually based upon reality (in most cases), and in your case from what you have said your guilt is definitely not based upon reality!
I also know "someone" who definitely wants you to smile again in time. . .GIZZY!
I'm really glad we can talk about all of this too. Thank you!!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes I will smile for my angel through my tears. I keep telling myself to remember I was a wonderful mummy to gizzy and couldn't have loved her more. I have been the luckiest person in the world to have had her in my life. Some people don't experience love in their lives. I was blessed to have been given such a precious angel. I miss her so much I want to die but I know one day I will be reunited with her in heaven and that is what will keep me going.Thank you Barbara for all that you've said and for all your caring and understanding for me and gizzy. Love Claudia x

Hi Claudia,
Speaking of Heaven, I, years ago now, needed God to tell me what happened to animals after they die. I am a Christian, and most Christians (or a lot of Christian's) believe that animals don't have souls and therefore don't have eternal life!!!!!! I didn't think that was correct nor did I want that to be correct, but I wanted to hear from God about this for myself and for others.
He didn't answer right away (I expected minutes!), but He did answer. He took me to the the story of Noah and the Ark. I don't know if you have heard this teaching, but the Ark in the Old Testament represents (or is called a type of) the salvation provided by Jesus in the New Testament. Those that got on the Ark in the Old Testament were saved, just as those that believe that Jesus is God and provided forgiveness are saved in the New Testament. Well, who got on the Ark?????
I totally believe that Gizzy is enjoying Heaven and will be waiting for you to arrive! Just as Igor (and my many pets) will be waiting for me. . .I better have a big mansion to accommodate us all!!!!!!
Keep taking one step at a time Claudia. . .you are on the right path, and before you know it life will not be so horrendous. I can tell that your heart was full of joy with Gizzy, and I know that you will have joy again!
Have a peaceful night and sweet dreams,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara. That's so lovely to say about the ark and the animals. I have always believed and hoped that I would see gizzy again in heaven with all my other family pets in the past all living together happily. Hearing that you are saying that as well is wonderful. Very very comforting. I wouldn't be able to believe anything else. You will see your beloved pets too and that's lovely. I often think about what heaven is like. Hopefully it is how we are imagining it to be. As long as my precious gizzy is happy, thats all i want. Also your beloved igor and all of our animals. As long as they are happy, that's the most important thing. Yes my heart was full of anormous happiness having gizzy. Perhaps one day i will have love in my heart for another little angel. Thank you as always. Love Claudia x

Good Morning!
Sounds like you'll need an huge mansion also for all of those pets. I like to think that all of mine are already living together, and when a new one arrives they are greeted with lots of wags and licks.
From the Bible I know there is no sorrow in Heaven and the streets are paved with gold. I'm sure there is lots more in the Bible, I just haven't done a search.
There is a book called "Heaven is for Real". It's written by a boy who went to Heaven at age 4 for a short while and is about his observations and experiences there. It's also been made into a movie. I found both wonderful. . .we have a lot to look forward to. He saw lots of animals there too!
I hope today you are feeling a little more comforted. . .
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara. That story sounds wonderful. I am looking forward to going to heaven very much. I went for an interview earlier for a part time job. I found it so difficult but I need to earn some money. Its nannying. I have come home and cried. I just want to curl up and go to sleep and go to my gizzy. Its so horrendous. When I worked before I used to aim for getting home to her or pick her up from my mums. I tried to revolve everything around her. She was my life. Now it don't I have any thing. I said to myself that I must do it for gizzy. Its just so upsetting. I have tried to look up doggies on the internet that need a home to maybe see if I was able to think about getting another dog but I keep crying. I feel that I would still cry about gizzy even if I had another dog. I don't know what to do but I am so devastated and empty without her so would it be the right thing to try and love another dog. I just wish that I'd had just one more night with gizzy to hold her and care for her. I know that would have been selfish if she was in pain, and her little face showed me that she was. So sorry Barbara for going on. I don't know who else to turn to. I'm writing through tears again. Bless you for helping me. Love claudia x

I'm sending you a huge hug! I'm sorry that the interview was so difficult, but am glad that you are doing what you need to do. Eventually you will feel OK too, but for now even though you feel miserable, you are DOING anyway. That is such a sign of strength!
Crying if you had another dog wouldn't be so bad. I wonder if maybe fostering another dog would help fill the hole in your life that Gizzy left. Over here, our humane organizations use foster homes to house dogs temporarily as they are getting those dogs ready for permanent homes. Might be easier than adopting another dog????
About 50% of my clients get another pet pretty quickly, and some wait for quite awhile. I thing both ways are very valid. Actually, as I think about it, I think Gizzy would want you to share your home with another pet. . .she knows how much love you have to give, and she wants you to be happy!
What do you think?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara thank you for your encouraging kind words. I'm trying so hard to be strong. Everything I am trying to do is painful. When you live on your own, its so hard. It would be too difficult for me to foster a dog then have to give it back, if you know what I mean. That's so lovely to say gizzy wants me to be happy. I hope I'm not upsetting her if she can see me from heaven. Hope that doesn't sound silly. Her ashes are with me next to my pillow. I talk to her all the time and give her a little kiss. I thought that I would never get another dog as the grief when they go is too awful for words but gizzy was my best friend and my companion and its whether I still need that again, which I think if I don't have, I'll go mad with loneliness. If I can give alittle dog that's needs a bit of love a home I will try to. Thank you Barbara. Love to you. Love Claudia x

Dear Claudia,
You really don't have to be strong or feel strong. You are doing the right things, and this does show strength, even tho' everything is so painful.
I've always been taught, and the Bible does say, that there is no sorrow in Heaven, so I'm thinking Gizzy has no sorrow. Also there is no time like we know time here, so maybe that's why Gizzy has no sorrow. . .how you will be is how she sees you now.
You are so absolutely correct. . .when our pets die the grief is too awful for words. That's why I thought I'd never get another dog, but then along came Scout, and I can't imagine how empty I would be without her. I hate living all by myself too!
The thought that you would consider getting another little dog also makes me tear up. . .with joy. Just think about the wonderful home you would give to a little needy dog or cat! I do know that if Gizzy could talk to you, she would want that too. She knows that it doesn't mean you love her any less, but your heart can expand to incorporate love for the next little critter too. Sort of like parents with kids. .. the second child doesn't detract from the parent's love for the first child.
Hope you are sleeping very peacefully,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara. Everytime I read Gizzy's name it makes me cry. I have a contant sick feeling in my stomach. The sadness isn't going away. I am at my brothers today and its absolutely awful because Gizzy would come here with me.I keep going over the weeks leading up to her being put to sleep and driving myself mad thinking that her heart failure was because of me. I'm so stupid I know. Why did it happen then? Did she get cold or fall over or something. I know we can't determine when these things are going to happen. Did i give her enough love. I was distracted the last week because I was doing a job that I hated and they were treating me badly and I went in on the monday and my mum had her for the day but I keep wishing that I hadn't gone into work that day. On the tuesday she was fine at my brothers but it was in the evening that she became ill. I keep thinking that if I hadn't gone to my brothers that tues and rested with her, then would she have been alright. On the wednesday I took her up to the shops to get two stairgates because I decided then that as she wasn't managing the stairs very well, I would put the gates up and would carry her up and down. She had alittle sleep in the car which I was pleased about because I thought that she needed the sleep and it would make her feel better as she hadn't slept the night before. I bought her some fresh ham and turnkey as a treat as she hadn't felt like eating the other food. That night I stayed at my mums with her as mum had a sofa bed downstairs and I thought that Gizzy could wander around if she needed to downstairs and I would be downstairs as well. I left the back door open as well so she could go out if she wanted. It was quite cold that night, so did shut the door in the end but I was worried that Gizzy had got cold. She didn't sleep well that night and was restless. The next day at mums I carried her around alot but she wanted to walk around. I took her home to get her favorite dressing gown of mine to wrap her up in when I took her to the vets. She was still drinking water. When I was att= the vets I held her the whole time while we were waiting. Its just that I keep thinking that I was numb that day I think. I thought that I would just be able to get something to make her better from the vets but deep down I think I knew the worst. I feel that I didn't tell her enough that day that I loved her although I'm sure I did. It was all a blur. I was holding her while we were talking to the vet. The vet did leave me for awhile in there and I just held Gizzy and didn't say anything I dont think. My brother later told me that I couldn't have been more loving and was kissing her but I cant remember doing that now. I keep thinking why didnt I do more or say more. Sorry Barbara. I know I keep going over the same thing. I am so devastated you can see that I'm driving myself mad aren't I. Was I doing the right things.I just want her back for a day so I can tell you how much I love her and that I'm so sorry that I couldn't help her that day to stay. So sorry Barbara. I'm so alone. love claudia x

Dear Claudia,
I am glad to hear how you are feeling, you are not abnormal at all in your feelings of guilt about Gizzy's last few days. Guilt is a completely normal emotion when grieving. But. . .we humans can get stuck in this stage of grief and have difficulty getting through this and resolving the terribly painful feelings of acute grief. Talking with me may help you through this, but I am wondering if a therapist or counselor might have the tools to help you better.
I've been to therapy off and on. . .when I lost my dog JR when I was in veterinary school, I had to have help. When Igor died, I had a friend who was a therapist, so in a way I guess I was in therapy then too. Unfortunately, therapy wasn't an overnight fix (it would be so nice to have shot or a pill that would do that!!!!), but I did make it through.
My boyfriend Frank is needing for us to go to Stockton to drop off his car. . .about a 2 hour trip. I'll add some more on here with my IPhone.
Hang in there, you will make it, I'll be right here!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara, thank you for taking so much of your time to help me. I will probably see about seeing a counsellor. I know how much you have told me several times that there wasn't anything that I did or did not do. I think the stress makes you not take things in. I just loved and adored her so much it has been a shock to my system to have lost her and I have got lost in all the grief. I appreciate it so much that you have been so incredibly understanding. You are one in a million. If we can carry on talking that would be lovely but I don't want to take up too much of your time, as you have already answered my worries so much more than I expected and once again having you so kindly explaining everything to me that I wasn't clear on before has really helped me. I'm so sorry that I was going over it again.I will eventually come to terms with it somehow. I wish you could see a picture of Gizzy. She had huge brown eyes and wonderful big ears. So beautiful. I expect your Igor was handsome too. Thank you again. Love always claudiax

Please Claudia, don't worry about needing to talk, and I would love to continue talking with you!
I would love to see a picture of Gizzy! I was afraid to ask you thinking that might upset you more, but you brought it up! If you need help sending a picture, click on the help button on your screen, or you can email***@******.***.
I tried emailing from my phone earlier today, but had no service, and even tonight at home I have no service. Also, no service for our landlines. I know we live in the mountains. . .but this is ridiculous! At least I have the internet.
I can tell from what you have written that you see that you have been lost in your grief. . .or just "stumbling" in the guilt stage. I'm not saying that you should be through this by now, but I also want you to come THROUGH this OK, and I was thinking that perhaps some counselling there might be very helpful for you.
Here's another big hug!
Hi Claudia,
Just checking in. . .how are things going for you today? Need some listening ears?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara. I am still feeling so very sad. I wish I could feel less anxious and upset and feel normal again. Every time I say to myself you did all the right things leading up to losing her and you couldn't have loved her more if you'd tried, I still feel horrible. I think its partly that I depended on her and she did me, and I feel I let her down when I had to let her go to sleep. I know it is the opposite and that I was trying to save her from any unnecessary awful pain that she may have suffered. I wish I could feel happy and stop this dreadful grief. I never thought that it would be this painful. I didn't really think about it at all. You don't do you. I think we take everything for granted while its around. I thought gizzy was invincible. I might go to the doctor to see about seeing someone. I'll give it another week or two. I started the job this morning. The one from the interview the other day. Its just 3 hours, twice a week. I am looking for longer hours but its a start. Felt horrible while I was there but I have to earn a living. I had my Gizzy to come back to before and now its not nice. I will send a picture when I can from my brothers computer as I can find a lovely photo stored on there to send to you.I hope you are all OK. Thank you. Love Claudiax

Thank you Claudia for getting back to me.
I am very proud of you for starting back to work, even tho' you are hurting so much! We'd say here that you are a real trooper!
I really do understand that coming home to an empty house is so difficult. . .for me too. One thing I know that helps that emptiness is to play some music. I use something simple and that is "Pandora" on my iPhone. I have a docking station for amplification that I just attach my phone to. I like the Wallin Jennys radio station, but you can get anything! Maybe you already use this or have something more sophisticated. Anyway, music would probably really help!
You know, we recommend this for dogs also. When their people are present there is always some noise, but when we people are gone it is dead silent. We know that most dogs prefer country western and classical music. . .really!!!!
For whom are you a nanny. . .what kids? My daughter has a nanny also, but she is Philippina and works for Katie in Taipei, Taiwan, where she lives. I have one grandson, Kai, who is 2 1/2, and of course the most adorable boy in the world! Skype and FaceTime are godsends in my opinion!
Warm hugs. . .
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much for saying how proud you are. Thank you. That's so kind. The family are from brazil and are living just near me and the children are 6 and 8. They are very nice people. Very genuine. Do you manage to see your daughter much? Philippina girls are very hard working I have heard. That's lovely that you have a grandson. I bet he gets spoilt. I used to play music when Gizzy was around, and if I had to leave her at home I would put the television on for background noise. I can't now listen to music. Its too upsetting. Everything reminds me of

Gizzy. I am quite stressed so the quiet is better although obviously

horrible at the same time. Music is nice normally its just I'm in a bad place at this moment and anything sentimental or classical is hard to listen to without getting upset. I have had a look on one off for doggies on the internet. I have just rung up about a sweet female ***** *****. She is 6. I couldn't get a puppy. If I did consider another dog, she would have to be over 3. Also older dogs maybe have had a difficult start and need security and love. We could give each other comfort and love. I still feel its too soon as my heart is broken and I feel so devastated but it may help in my recovery a little and be helping a little dog that needs a new home as well. What do you think? Thank you Barbara. Love claudia x

Hi Claudia,
Since I'm not you, I don't know for sure about a little dog at this time, but I think with your feeling so alone and empty, and given the fact that you do give your pets a wonderful home, and since this little girl needs a home, that you both could "give each other comfort and love". I do like that!! I believe she could help you in your recovery; help your heart to mend.
I also think an older dog would fit better. . .puppies require constant work and attention; fine if you have that to give, but I know I wouldn't right now either. Have to say that your even considering a little dog and realizing the potential benefit of you two sharing comfort and love, makes me also proud of you. . .I know it is so hard!
Do your Brazilian children speak English, or are you speaking Portuguese with them? I do get to see my daughter and her family about every 6 months. Last Summer they were here, and in December we go to Taipei. Their nanny Lynn has so much energy, but she isn't even 40 yet. My grandson Kai seems to really like her which is all important.
I sure hope you are having a peaceful and COMFORTING evening!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have got up today and feel so unhappy. I can't bear my life without Gizzy. I want to cry all the time for what we had together. She was like a human to me but even better if you understand. We loved each other so much. I'm so sorry that I have been going over all the things constantly. Its just been such a horrendous time. I know when we have pets that at some point we will lose them but I was so wrapped up in my life and its loveliest with Gizzy I wasn't ever thinking it. I did sometimes say to myself that when Gizzy goes to Heaven I want to go with her. But of course in reality that's difficult. And then when it does happen its such a shock. I am not sure if I can get another dog at this time but I have been thinking that it might help me. And give a little dog a loving home that might need it. Or not have another dog. I don't know what I will do. I just want to feel better and everyday I feel upset beyond belief. Sorry Barbara. I am trying to be positive. My sweetheart would want me to be happy. I'm starting to cry again. How long does this dreadful dreadful grieving last. Its been the worst time of my life. I will let you know what I will do. The children speak English. Its good that you see your daughter and her family as often as you can. Although I'm sure you would prefer her to be nearer. That's good that they've got a good nanny to help out. Thank you Barbara. Hope you have had a good night. Thank you for helping and for carrying on helping me. You've been a bit of a lifeline for me. Thank you for suggesting about the music before, its a lovely suggestion its just I can't listen to it at the moment as I would cry. Love to you. Love claudiax

Hi Claudia,
I do understand!!!! Believe me!!!! Many people agree! They enjoy animals much more than people. The unconditional love from our pets is hard to find anywhere else, and they provide and benefit from such a close companionship with us. Please don't be hard on yourself! Your feelings are beautiful, and I do deeply empathize with the wonderful relationship you had with Gizzy, and the huge hole her death has left in you. I never knew a heart could actually feel so broken until JR and then Igor died. Didn't know that that term "broken heart" was so real.
This is where you are, and you do know where you want to go. . .to feel better. Very wise on your part, so we need to take steps to bring about your feeling better. I do admire greatly what you have done so far. You've gotten a part time job, and you are considering getting another pet. These are both big steps in the right direction! I'm sure on the days you work that you do feel a little better, but it's just all the time you have on your hands otherwise that allows you to feel horrible. I think you did say you ultimately need to work some more, eventually, and I think this would be helpful.
I think giving another little dog a home would be very good. I wouldn't worry about your crying or your faithfulness to Gizzy, but just in providing a little dog with a warm home, with food water and exercise, she and you will gradually adjust to each other. Her personality will gradually unfold, and you will gradually find her very fulfilling (not replacing Gizzy, but really helping your broken heart!).
Another suggestion that could bring you comfort, is to volunteer a little of your time somewhere that needs people. This was suggested to me when I was so broken, and I volunteered at our local senior center 2-3 times per week. There are lots of places that need volunteers, and I know that this, plus therapy, plus time for me (I already had other pets and was working part time), brought me through.
What I'm saying is that we can't wait until our broken hearts are healed completely before we take steps to bring about that healing. How you are feeling is very normal, but, as you realize, there are things you can do to help you to feel better! Time, talking with me, counselling there (possibly a pet loss support group or private counselling), volunteering, ultimately working more, and getting another little dog! Also, it is known that getting exercise is very helpful. . .endorphins!!!! Walking briskly is great for this, and being outside at the same time does calm us (and a little dog would enjoy this and enhance your experience!)
I'm sorry that I didn't respond yesterday. . .had so many errands to run and meetings to attend (I'm on the local humane society board), but do want you to know that I'm here for you! Speaking of our humane society, we use volunteers a lot. Without them we couldn't exist!
Here are some more big hugs!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara, thank you for your wonderful words of advice and all your kindness in telling me I'm doing the right things. I have felt very bad today. I worked for a few hours earlier. I still feel such pain. I think that it is a good suggestion to do volunteer work. I can see what is around. I think that I will go to some sort of counselling as I am struggling with everything. I can't get over Gizzy not being in my life. Even though she was at a fantastic age, and she had her little health worries, I still thought that she had more life to go. I know that isn't perhaps the correct thing to be thinking because that wouldn't have been fair on her. It is just I can't get the awful day out of my mind. She had her little dressing gown around her. She was sleeping in my arms. I wish I had walked out of the vet and brought her home. I know how selfish that would have been but that's what I keep going over. If only I had done that, she might have survived. I have to keep on saying in my head that my instincts as her mummy must have made me do the right thing by her that day. As painful as it was. It mustn't be about what I wanted but about Gizzy. I just wasn't ready for what happened, despite her age. One minute its all lovely and you are getting on with things, just getting through life as normal, the next you feel like your whole life has gone and its all over. I never knew like you what a broken heart was until now. I have felt very upset in the past when we have lost our other family pets of course, its been awful but when it is just you and your pet, and you share your lives together, when they go, it is the worst thing in the world. It is the first time I have actually wanted to die and be with my angel. Just not wanted to carry on without her and in this pain. I have had to tell myself that my sweetheart wouldn't want me to do that. I have had to carry on as its the right thing to do. I will see her one day and when that days comes, how beautiful. In the meantime, I am trying to do the things that I'm doing. Talking with you, hopefully getting some help from my doctor with getting me in touch with a councellor and getting more work. I have spoken to the owner of the dog I said about who is 6, a ***** ***** girl. I am thinking of seeing her tomorrow. I still feel that it might be too hard at the moment for me. I just don't know. I feel it is Gizzys house and garden and park. Everything I feel is hers and I don't know how I feel about another dog here. I am uncertain about how I'm going to feel. My heart is with Gizzy. The little dog looks like she is unhappy in the picture. I could bring her happiness but I am emotionally quite tired. Perhaps as you say she will help in some way to mend my broken heart. I haven't done exercise since losing Gizzy. We used to have wonderful walks together. I miss so much that time when you are walking your dog. Thank you again for talking with me. I hope you and your scout are well. Lots of love to you. Love claudiax

Hi Claudia,
I understand your hesitation about this little Jack Russel, but I am glad that you will visit her tomorrow. Is she with a rescue organization? If so, I know they will understand your situation and feelings completely, so be honest. Then you could probably bring her home just on a trial basis. If she is too much for you at this time, then you could take her back. We all would understand!
You have my greatest empathy. I feel so deeply your devastation, but yet you really are doing the right things. Gizzy would be proud! I know I am!
You've probably thought about this, but what if your's and Gizzy's tables were turned, and you had died leaving her? What would you have wished for her as she struggled to get her life back?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara. Thank you for getting back to me. The ***** ***** is from a private seller. I have looked at some rescue homes. There hasn't really been quite the right dog as yet. I felt a bit sorry for the dog. She looks slightly uncared for. Also they haven't got the time for her and she needs someone to love by how she looks. I haven't thought about what you have just said about if the situation had been the other way round. I would want Gizzy to be happy and well. More than anything. I would be distraught if I thought she was pining and so unhappy that she wasn't functioning properly and had no will to live like I'm feeling. I would be heart broken. I would want happiness and love and a beautiful life for her if i wasnt around. To live contently and securely until it was her time to come to me and who ever she was with that they were giving her as much love and care that i did. You are right. Putting that to me has made me wake up a bit. I can't bear my life now without my darling girl, but I will try more to come to terms with it. Thank you Barbara. I need to see that as horrendous as it was, it was her little time to rest. She had been (and still is and will always be) a beautiful, special, clever, funny, remarkable little angel to me. So human in how she was, so full of incredible character. A perfect dog in every way. I couldn't have been more proud of her. She was strong and loving and we were like one. I am going to try and lift my head up again and smile. I haven't smiled or laughed in over 2 months. I have felt almost dead inside. I have just cried non stop. Night and day. Barbara you are very special. Thank you for all you have said to me. Love to you. Love claudiax

You were soooooo blessed to have Gizzy, I can tell. You've written such a beautiful tribute to her here.
If the tables were turned you would also understand Gizzy's grief, but then would want to do anything and everything to help her get back on her feet, to live a contented life full of love. . .until she could be with you again! I also think that you would want her to know that because of the love you shared, you knew that she made the best decisions under horrendous circumstances regarding your care and final time on earth. You would hate to know that she was feeling guilty about any of her decisions, and you would already be experiencing where you and she will be forever (which is really what matters!). Anyway, that's what I think.
So the little Jack Russel that you were talking about really wasn't right for you? Too bad. . .but the right little one will come along.
We're going to see the movie Best of Me. Hope it's good!
Please have a cozy evening. . .
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Barbara. I was incredibly blessed to have had my angel. I was very lucky. I feel everyday like I took everything for granted. I gave her so much love and security but now, like you said with Igor, did I miss something or not notice if she was feeling poorly. Its so silly and as you have told me so many times there wouldn't have been anything I could have done to make her better at that point. I do believe it is when it is so sudden. I keep thinking if only we'd had a bit more time together just to make sure that she knew how much I loved her. I am going to go to the doctors because they might tell me about talking to someone. I can't go on feeling like this. I feel that I am constantly in shock. Even though she was at that age I just can't seem to come to terms with it. I am really trying. She was my life Barbara. I feel like my life is over without her. I miss her so much the pain is just not going away. Please forgive me for going on again. I hope you enjoyed the film. You are exactly right when you describe the tables being turned. I wouldnt want my precious dog to be unhappy. I need to keep understanding that its true. I would trust her more than life to have made the right decision for me. I know I am stuck in so much unhappiness and grief. She was my whole life and for such along time. Living now without her is horrendous. I have to keep going for her sake. To make her proud. I hope one day in the distant future, this yearning will lessen slightly and I can feel a little bit of happiness again. From your encouragement and support and my family, I hope that will happen. All day everyday I have to keep telling myself that it was gods decision that day, not mine. And try and find comfort in that. Hope you are well and scout. Love always claudiax big hugs thank you

I KNOW that Gizzy is proud! She would be even more proud to know that you are taking steps to feeling better. . .talking with your doctor. I know that I'M proud of you, and I've just known you briefly and distantly! I also know that you will feel better, and hopefully sooner than later.
The movie was enjoyable, well done and sweet, but it was sentimental so I wouldn't recommend it for you now.
Please don't worry about going on. Just think of me as a journal. Journalling is important in healing, and in this case your journal writes back!
Do you work tomorrow? What are the children's names?
Warm hugs back to you. . .
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara. Thank you for being proud and for saying my Gizzy would be proud. That means the world to me. I want to make her proud. That is what is giving me strength to keep going. Also having to be able to write to you with all that has happened and telling you how I am feeling has helped so much. I know it has. If I hadn't had you to help I would have been lost. I am working tomorrow. The children's names are ***** ***** Victoria. I dread it but I have to earn. I worked when I had Gizzy, part time and tried to plan all my jobs around Gizzy. I couldn't wait to finish and get back to her. Most of the time she would be at my mums and only very occasionally she would stay at home but that was always reluctantly and when mum couldn't look after her. I had an incentive. I was earning money to keep a roof over mine and Gizzy head. Now nothing really means anything. Anyway I am pleased the film was good. Thank you Barbara. Love claudiax

Hi Claudia,

Really, I am so proud of you, and I know that Gizzy is too! To do life step by step even when we are so devastated takes remarkable courage and strength, and you have that! You are climbing slowly out of the worst "pit" in life ever! I really think that in your life in the future there will be someone who needs your helping hand to get out of their "pit". You've been there!!!!!!

Wondering if you've called your doctor about receiving some counselling there? Both Gizzy and I want you to do everything necessary to help you to feel better. See? Gizzy and I are on the same team! I am looking forward to a picture of her!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Barbara. I am going to the doctors this week. Thank you for your kind words. I am feeling bad again. The dreadful missing of Gizzy is unbearable. I am still going over in my mind that perhaps there could have been something I could have done other than have her put to sleep. I keep thinking I let her down. Even having her for a little bit of more time would have helped me come to terms with it more. I am stuck in this excruciating feeling all the time and having to keep telling myself it was the right thing for Gizzy if she was suffering. I keep saying that if the tables were turned I wouldn't want Gizzy to be feeling like me as we said but I can't help it. I tried to do some decorating yesterday. I didn't want to but I said to myself I will do it for my Gizzy. I hope you are well. And scout. I have tried to rate your answer but it isn't letting me for some reason. I look forward to your replies to me because you are telling me the right things. I'm so sorry I am not getting better. I understand if you need to end the talking. I miss her Barbara so much the pain and loneliness is too much to bear. I should be happy that I shared my life with my beautiful girl but I am so unhappy that she has gone. I planted a lavender plant in the garden where she liked to go. I just sit there and cry. I am trying to sort out another job. I am sort of trying to look at the possibility of another little dog but it is too soon for me. I feel broken and completely empty inside and full of blame. The blame part i know is nonsence but its there all the time. Its the horrendous loss that is making me irrational. It was all about her age and not putting her through any stress if she was in pain, I know but I can't help thinking the vet could have done more. I am feeling I didn't give her a chance and of course I did. I know. Thank you Barbara for letting me pour out all my anxieties on to you. Please forgive me for going on. I am very lonely. Thank you. I will try and get a picture to you. Love to you. Love claudiax

Hi Claudia,
It is very true that sudden deaths, like Gizzy's, don't give us any time to come to terms with that death. However, lingering illnesses that you know will end in death are also very difficult in their own way. I have walked with people through both, and I still don't know which is easier for the ones left behind. I do know that to suddenly die while feeling well, or to be euthanized (if you are a beloved pet) to avoid unnecessary suffering are real blessings to the one dying, or for our beloved pets.
As to whether there was something your vet could have done to prolong Gizzy's life for a little while, I honestly don't know, but it sounds to me from what you have said that Gizzy was having difficulty breathing, and this is not only uncomfortable for our patients but also frightening for them. If you'd like, you could tell me again her symptoms that you noticed for the 2 days leading up to her euthanasia. It may be too painful for you, but I'm thinking that by my analyzing her illness and symptoms from here and discussing specifics with you, I might be able to help you through this. . .what do you think?
Please don't feel you need to apologize for anything! I think you are getting through this slowly, but surely, and making good decisions even though you OF COURSE feel so horrendous over your loss. This really does take so much courage!
I do understand how this has also left you so lonely, but at least you have a friend here in the States that is all ears and with lots of experience with people in your very situation. I'm here!
Lots and lots of hugs sent your way,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara I wrote a very long reply to you and it said that it wouldn't be accepted. So I don't know whether this will get to you. If it does I will write it again. It will be tomorrow. Love claudiax

Hi Claudia,
Hmmmm. . .not sure why that happened??? I am able to recieve from you, so please write again. . .frustrating I know! I've never been told that what I wrote wouldn't be accepted, but I have had what I wrote just lost!
Look forward to hearing from you,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi barbara., thank you for your reply. I don't know what happened to my reply. I was just writing about the two days before as you said. So on the Sunday night Gizzy had one or two wobbles after running up the stairs. We were staying at my mums as I had to get up early the next day for work and my mum would have Gizzy for the day. So on the Monday mum cuddled Gizzy all that day and Gizzy did sleep a lot. When I got back mum said that Gizzy breathing was a bit strained but sometimes it was a little bit like that every now and again as she was older. I was upset as mum said to me that she had hoped in a small way that Gizzy had fallen asleep peacefully that day. I was cross as to me Gizzy was strong. Mum always worried but I was always positive about her. Anyway she was fine that night. She was herself. Eating and drinking. Had her head out of the car window. All the normal things. She was fine. Perfect as normal. The next day we went to my brothers as I had said. Again she seemed fine. On the way home she had her head out of the car window. We had my brothers dogs with us and charlie sat on the front seat with Gizzy. When I got to mums to drop my brothers dogs off I had a cup of tea. When I was talking to my mum Gizzy was looking tired and had that little look on her face that looked like she was in a bit of pain. I don't know. She was standing but had her eyes shut bless her so I went straight home with her. She ate that night and was drinking as normal early evening. Then during the night she was very restless. I got up with her and let her out and we were awake most of the night. Sometimes she would be up in the night once in awhile if she had a bad tummy and would want to keep going outside to eat grass but I felt that it wasn't her tummy as if it was she would've settled down again more quickly and gone back to sleep. That morning she seemed OK. I rang mum and was in tears as I was obviously so worried and tired and everything. Anyway I decided I would get the stairgates for the stairs so that was one thing done and Gizzy would sleep in the car so I thought if she had a really good sleep she might feel better so we did that on the wed. Again she was fine in the car on the way to the shops with her head out of the window. She slept all cosily while I was getting things. I then got some fresh ham and turkey so if she didn't feel like eating a big tin then that would be easier to nibble on for her. When we got back to mums (I said to you before that I thought it might be better to stay at my mums as not only would we be able to sleep downstairs and not have to worry about the stairs if Gizzy became restless but mum could be there if Gizzy wasn't too good as support).Barbara I'll send this and carry on when you reply as I'm worried it might not go through. Love to you. Love claudiax

Hi Claudia,
I did get what you wrote and so far I can tell that you seemed alert to the fact that something wasn't quite right with Gizzy ( you thought it better to sleep downstairs at your mum's so Gizzy didn't have to go upstairs, you were glad to have your mum's support, you bought special food in case Gizzy didn't want to eat her regular food, and she was restless all the night before and wanting to go outside all night. Do you know what she did when she did go outside? Was she having diarrhea? Was she needing to urinate more than usual or more frequently than normal?
You also said that your mum had said she was hoping that Gizzy would just go quietly in her sleep, yet to you Gizzy seemed like her old self. What was your mum's reason for saying and thinking the way she did about Gizzy? Is it possible that there was more going on with Gizzy. . .more symptoms of illness that she saw and you did not (this would not be uncommon for a person to basically be blinded to symptoms because of fear). Or did she feel this way just because of Gizzy's grand age?
Nothing yet really stands out to me. . .so let's keep going, OK?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm pleased you got my reply. Thank you. Mum always worries about the dogs. She felt that because Gizzy was older she would particularly worry as Gizzy was her responsibility while I went to work which was generally twice a week. And mum was worried about her little collapses and that she wouldn't be able to do what I did to help her. I think because of her amazing age, mum was probabling thinking it would be a gentle way to just go to sleep like that. Not because of anything inparticular. When Gizzy was with me she was a different girl. Obviously because dogs want to be with their owners more than anyone else, they act differently with other people. She did love mum but I was her mummy. Unfortunately it was necessary to work. I would have loved more than anything not to have had to work. Anyway, your question whether she was going to the wee more, or having diarrhea I wasn't sure. I didn't notice that. She was always good at drinking and eating. There wasn't anything to suggest she had had diarrhea the garden. So that wed evening when we were at mums Gizzy didn't really want to eat. I put her food down with some biscuits and water and some fresh meat. We went to bed that night but again Gizzy was restless and as I think I said before, for some of the night I kept the back door open for her so she could go outside and come in when she wanted. She came right up to my head at one point which was beautiful. I cuddled her. We had a bad night again and neither of us really slept. That morning I carried her upstairs to mum and was crying. I was really upset and worried. Mum said later that she knew that Gizzy wasn't well when she saw her in my arms. Mum and Gizzy had a cuddle on her bed and when I gave Gizzy a kiss, I saw tears in her eyes. Her face though was just like a puppy. Her nose was wet, her eyes were bright and she looked so beautiful. I understand when you say other people may notice if there is something wrong rather than the person closest but I would watch over Gizzy like a hawk. I know that perhaps in the back of my mind I was worried about her as any mum would be also because of her age but I was always trying to be positive rather than negative. I knew she had her health worries, but I thought we were managing them. She was a very strong little lady. So I made an appointment with the vet at 3.00pm. She had to fit us in. During that time mum and I took it in turns to carry her around the house and garden and rest with her. She was still drinking water. I tried a bit of turkey but she couldn't eat it. Mum and I were both stressed so mum went out and I decided to take Gizzy home. I will send the next reply once you have read this as it is quite long. Xx

Hi Claudia,
Thanks for that next segment. I do like your explanation of always wanting to be positive, but as you said "like any mum" you were sensing something was wrong. Really, the two main symptoms you have mentioned so far is that she had her collapsing episodes and she didn't want to eat. When she collapsed did she lose consciousness temporarily? Or was the collapsing more just the rear legs. One is not worse than the other, but the difference would be important for me to know.
Did Gizzy do any vomiting or coughing?
Thanks so much for this!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Barbara for getting back. When Gizzy collapsed she did lose consciousness for a few seconds. She would bark but was limp. Then she would come round as I called her name and kissed her face and held her tightly. Then she was absolutely fine. It wasn't her back legs. Gizzy coughed only a little bit. The vet asked that and I said the same. Maybe every now and again but not something I would say was frequent. Anyway on the drive home Gizzy had her head out of the car window and I thought how wonderful as I thought if she wants to do that then she is feeling OK. When we got home we went in the garden and Gizzy was following me around. She was quite slow and not really herself I could tell, but I was talking about everything and carried her upstairs to get the pink dressing gown of mine that she liked so she would feel secure at the vets wrapped in it. I'm crying as I am writing this and can't see properly. I wanted her to look nice so got her pretty collar and lead and harness. I don't know Barbara if I was thinking the worst at that point, I just kept saying to myself that the vet will give her some antibiotics or treatment and possibly something to help her sleep at night. My mum had said to me earlier that day that we have to be strong today as if she knew, but I just cried and didn't want to think that. On the way to the vets she was up at the window again and I was saying to her mummy is going to get you better I promise. I am torturing myself now saying that because I couldn't make her better. I met mum at the vets and I waited in the car as I didn't want to be waiting inside the vets too long and stress Gizzy out. I got her out of the car to see if she wanted to go to toilet and she didn't want to move and just stood there so we waited back in the car. She had that look of pain in her face again and so i put my face to hers. It was a lovely moment between us but so awful at the same time because I knew that she was very poorly I think. I didn't want to think it. My mum told me it was time to go in so we waited in the vet area, but far enough away so Gizzy wouldn't get stressed. She knew when she was at the vets at other times and hated it like most dogs. I carried her in and told the vet what had been happening. She checked her neurologically and she was fine. Gizzy breathing become bad while she was standing on the table. I thought it might have been because she sensed I was distraut and crying and it was affecting her but that might not have been the case. She was poorly Barbara I knew that but I didn't know what was wrong. The vet must have listened to her heart but for some reason I can't remember her doing that. My mum was in the vet with me, also my brother came up as he was worried and he then came into the room as well. (She was loved a lot as you can see). The vet said that Gizzy could have oxygen and an xray but as it was late in the day she would need to go to an out of hours vets. I said where was that and she said where it was. She then said the worst about putting her to sleep. I was distraut and turned to my brother and said that I couldn't let her go. My brother said there's nothing to say we can't take her home and the vet said that she wouldn't advice that. She said that to put her through tests was just prolonging her suffering. My mum was saying that she was suffering as well. I just didn't know what to do. The vet didn't say specifically what it was just that there was nothing else she could give her as she was already on vivitonin. And because she was 17 and her breathing wasn't too good. I was crying so much I couldn't talk. My mum was crying, my brother was crying. The vet said to me, I think you know don't you, what you need to do. Anyway she left me alone for awhile with Gizzy in my arms. I just held her. Mum and my brother left the room. We just stood there quietly. She was asleep in my arms. I was numb. The vet came back in and I had to sign the consent form. I just held her and gave her kisses until she feel asleep. It was the worst thing I will ever have to do in my life. My world had gone in that moment. I just cried out loud and gave her another kiss on her cheek. Mum picked up her ashes about a week later. Barbara I ask you with all my heart and soul to tell me it was the kindest thing to do for my angel. I cried all day every day and about 4 weeks later I couldn't bear it anymore so I got in touch with the vet to talk to her about Gizzy. She said that it could have been her heart or cancer but to have put her through tests wouldn't have been right for her at her age. If she had had tests the outcome would still have been the same. She said about her breathing. She said she would have done the same thing if it had been her dog. It was the right thing to do. The kindest thing to do. My brother said to me the day after I lost Gizzy (through his tears) that he was so proud of me. I had put Gizzy first and not wanted her to suffer in any way possible before what I wanted. He saw how utterly devastating it was for me and witnessed sheer emotional pain. He said that it was the kindest thing for her and that I had been a wonderful mummy and it was to my credit that she had lived that long. She had had a fantastic life with me. It was the right thing. Barbara I will hope this gets to you and will reply to you later. Love to you xx

Now I'm crying too. Your thorough explanation was so difficult for you, but I hope now that I have all of the details, that what I think likely happened to Gizzy might help you to feel some better.
First of all, the fact that Gizzy was actually fainting (losing consciousness briefly), and that she was put on Vivitonin by your vet, means that she very likely had heart disease. Fainting occurs when the heart doesn't effectively pump blood to the brain, and this occurs with a weakened heart muscle and arrhythmic beats. Ultimately, there is fluid that builds up in the lungs and this causes difficulty in breathing and can also lead to fainting.
The other common problem that leads to lung disfunction is lung cancer. Since our pets are living longer now, organ failure and cancer frequently occur as the organs age and the immune system is depleted. In Gizzy's case it was her heart, and she might also have developed lung cancer.
The question is, could she have been helped? Possibly, but only temporarily and probably only after being in the oxygen cage at the other vet's office where you would have had to leave her for awhile. You wouldn't have wanted to take her home where she would continue to struggle for her breath and be fearful because of that. Ideally she would have needed chest xrays, a heart ultrasound, and a blood profile. These tests would have been difficult, as she needed the oxygen cage to breathe more easily, and to take her out of the cage for these tests would have caused great stress on her. Also she may have needed to be sedated for the xray and the ultrasound and this might be very detrimental to fatal for her; not anything anyone would want for her. . .you, your family, or the veterinary team. So even getting the tests may have been impossible.
If Gizzy was able to have the tests done in order to determine what her problem was, then the question is would treatment have been possible? If she had lung cancer, then no, but if it was an increasing failure of her heart, then giving a diuretic and a blood pressure medication may have been temporarily helpful.
You were really stuck between "a rock and a hard place"!!! For Gizzy, you couldn't just take her home as she couldn't breathe well, this was frightening for her and she couldn't even lay down. So the choices were to take her to the other vet's and an oxygen cage, leave her there, hope that she could withstand the tests, and find that she didn't have lung cancer and that her liver and kidneys were functioning well . . .or to euthanize her and prevent her having to be separated from you and going through the tests.
If it did turn out to be an increasing failure of her heart with fluid build up in her lungs, then temporarily (maybe just days) she might have gotten some relief from diuretics and blood pressure medications. I know that being able to spend that time with Gizzy saying "good bye" would have been so precious for you, but to even get to that place would have been really difficult, if not impossible, for Gizzy! I absolutely agree with the choice you made! But, the very most important thing is that you can understand yours and Gizzy's situation that afternoon at your vet's.
The fact that Gizzy lived so long and was doing very well until her last few days, is a tremendous tribute to your love and care. . .just as your brother pointed out. Also, the fact that you made the choice you did for her was the ultimate loving decision. I think it just all happened so shockingly fast, that you haven't been able to think through it all clearly. I am 100% confident that you would make the same choice if you had had all of this knowledge at that point and been able to base your choice on knowledge as well as emotion.
Gizzy was and is very blessed all the way through life!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara. I am so thankful for you explaining everything to me. I am so upset just going through it all with you I can't stop crying. I am sorry I have made you cry. You are such a kind and sensitive person. I can't tell you how much love and support you have given me through this horrendous time in my life. I thought I was going out of my mind with not knowing and the grief of it. Barbara thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have taken so much time, patience and understanding for me. I know my little angel Gizzy would give you big kisses for helping both of us at this dreadful time and for saying such beautiful things about her. If we can keep in touch I would like that. If I could send you a gift to say thank you I would. My gift will have to be words. You are a very special person Barbara. I will cry forever over my loss of Gizzy but now I know that it was definitely, although devastating, the right choice, I will try so hard to be happier knowing she is OK and having the best time of her life in beautiful heaven with all our other wonderful animals. I will look forward to being back with her one day. Love to you always love Claudiaxx

Your words are the best gift in the world! Thank you!
I picture Gizzy playing with my Igor, and my other pets. Don't know how that works, how they would find each other, but maybe every animal I've touched in some way will get together???????
We used to be able to offer email contact on here, but that is no longer possible. This thread does stay open for a long time, I believe, so we can stay in touch here. I'll miss you if we don't!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm crying again this morning. Just miss her so much. The life we had together. I hope that she is with your Igor and all our other beautiful pets from the past. I still have this ache inside me thinking that if I had rested with her that week and not perhaps done things, it may have helped her. I know that you have explained it all. I understand that it is all part of the grief. I am still going to the doctors just to see if they can help. I am very unhappy all of the time and can't come to terms with losing Gizzy. I know it is because I am on my own and haven't got anyone here who has the understanding and patience to help. I just have to get up every day and be on my own with the grief. I know it was similar for you when you lost Igor. I haven't forgotten the picture. I will try this week and send one to you. Thank you Barbara. Love claudiax

Hi Claudia,
It doesn't sound to me that you asked Gizzy to do more than she was able and wanting to do, but kept life as normal as possible. Normalcy brings such comfort to our pets! Also, you weren't asking her to climb stairs even. Seems to me you were very "in tune" to her needs both physically and psychologically.
Even with an understanding that you did make the most loving, kindest, and wisest decision for Gizzy, you of course still miss her!!!!!! I think you are very wise in recognizing that being on your own with your grief is overwhelming!!! You are right. . .I was overwhelmed when Igor died, but at least I worked with people who absolutely understood this grief and were there as my support. . .a definite advantage of working in the veterinary field! Even with that support I still grieved for weeks!
I'm in total agreement with your bringing your doctor into your need for help. We do that with physical problems, and our emotional side is just as real. Your doctor is trained either to help you directly, or to send you to a psychiatrist or psychologist or therapist who will be able to help you. Also, if there was a support group in your area for people that have lost pets, this might be of help too. I've known many people who have attended these for a year or more. . .you are not alone or unusual in your grieving!
I was just this AM thinking again about the picture of Gizzy. I'm so glad you brought it up again because I didn't want to "push" you to do something that might be upsetting. . .but I can't wait! Do you possibly have one of the two of you?
Talk with you soon. . .and here' a warm and very understanding hug for you right where you are,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara. Thank you for saying that my carrying as normal with Gizzy that week was OK. You are absolutely right when you say that I was in tune with Gizzy needs. I at least always tried to be. She was my number one priority. You get a bit distracted now again with life's stresses, work, money and even annoying people, and general things ( especially when its just you having to deal with it) but at the end of the day Gizzy was my life and my saviour. I think one of the many reasons I am finding it unbearable without my angel is because she loved me. And I loved her. Losing that love over night is devastating. I am now feeling I haven't any love in my life. She was my life. My mum and I have arguments. I have a sister who is cold and doesn't have the same way of thinking. She has 2 dogs of her own but she doesn't have the same relationship with them as I had with Gizzy. I have a brother who I've mentioned before. He has2 dogs which he loves but also doesn't have that close relationship as I had with Gizzy. He is understanding of my grief in some ways but has said that I have to move one which is the wrong thing to say to someone who is so grief stricken. My mum lives quite close but the rest of the family are a fair distance. No one ever rings me to see if I am alright. My mum does of course but it always seems to end in an argument. That's why I feel so alone now. Gizzy was my little family. We were a little unit with all that love and closeness. I planted 3 more small lavender plants in the little area in the garden where I put the other lavender plant. That was her special place. I will sort out a photo. One of us together and hopefully I will be able to send it to you. I have been decorating the outside of my porch today. I starting doing lots of jobs on my house when I had Gizzy but decorating and DIY is so time consuming and often on my days off, I'd do a bit then want to go out or go for a walk or something so nothing got finished. Now I am doing it for my Gizzy. Just trying to do something positive. Actually I want to tell you something very sweet. A little while ago I was sitting by Gizzy little area where she liked to go in the garden and as always crying, and aliitle robin came up very close to me and it looked at me for ages. It stayed there for awhile and then sat in the bush near me. Nearly everyday this little robin comes in to the garden. It had a drink out of a bowl that was Gizzy's garden bowl. It had all leaves in it so I washed it out and put it next to another rose which I had planted in a tub for Gizzy. ( the rose is pink and called a sweetheart rose). The robin went over to the bowl. I don't know if it is just wishful thinking but I wander whether it is Gizzy. Sorry I'm crying again. I've had a really bad day today. Thank you for being such a lovely kind friend Barbara. Look forward to hearing from you. Xx

If that little Robin isn't Gizzy, I do believe that she was involved in sending it to help comfort you.
Your garden is becoming more and more beautiful thanks also to Gizzy! Reminds me of the funerals I've been to for pets that have died. Usually there were new plants in honor of the missing pet, just what you're doing!
No need to apologize for your crying. . .you are a human after all, and that's what we do when we're sad.
I'll take a picture of Gizzy's garden too if you can. I'd love that!
I'm sending love and peace and comfort to you!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara. Thank you for saying about the robin. I haven't got an up to date camera to take a picture of the little garden area. I could take a photo and then take it to get it developed onto a CD then try and send it. I wanted to say sorry as well because I know I have gone on about how upset I am. I am not a selfish person at all. I always think about other people and try and be kind. I feel you might think I have been self absorbed. I have just never felt like this before. I have never felt so unhappy. I dread each day without Gizzy. I just haven't been able to talk about it with anyone as it gets too emotional and stressful talking to anyone in my family. I want to scream out loud. I know it has been 2 months. I just can't live with this pain. I keep saying in my mind about the tables being turned. I would want Gizzy to be bouncing along happily without a care in the world. It just won't sink in. I miss her so much that anything rational isn't going in. I still keep on thinking that I wish I had just tried to get her better that day. I know from what you have said that she may have then been in more pain and stressed and everything and that's the last thing I would ever have wanted for her. I know hundreds of people go through the same thing. I don't know why I have this horrendous feeling that I let her down that day. Its ridiculous. I am completely blinded by the loss. And because I am on my own now, somehow I just can't come to terms with it. I thought about going and sitting in a church somewhere. I hope you and scout are OK. Thank you Barbara again for this tremendous support. Love to you. Love claudiax

I don't think at all that you are selfish or self absorbed! I'm so sorry if I've given you that feeling! We all need support through grieving, and I am very happy that we can talk freely on here! There is no time limit for our grief, except what we think (in this case what YOU think).
Of course Gizzy wants you to feel better ultimately, but she understands how difficult this is for you. . .hence the robin! She is helping you!. . .and will again! You and Gizzy remind me of my friend Angel and her dear cat Prince who died 2 years ago after a long illness with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Angel, too, was left all alone and of course was completely devastated. Prince started coming to her every night in bed. He'd curl up beside her just like always, she could feel him there. I think he still comes on some nights. This is how Prince helped her to adjust to life here on earth without him being physically here any longer.
I do think that seeing your doctor there and asking for his advice and help is a great idea also. Remember, I had to do the same as do many other people. Broken hearts take time and energy to heal, and there are many different ways that people accomplish this and in different time frames!
As much as I'd enjoy seeing a picture of your garden I hate for you to go through all that just to get a picture. Also, through this site there is no way to send an address. . .it will be blocked. Thank you so much for the thought, though. I'll just use my imagination.
Going into a church and praying there can be powerful. Praying anywhere, in my opinion, is powerful, and when we are broken we are more open to God. Jesus actually talked about that. . .He says He came for the sick and broken meaning that's who would open their hearts to Him.
My day is just beginning here, and I have a doctor's appointment to get ready for. . .oh, I just got a text message from my friend. I am going to the doctor because I haven't felt well in my stomach, and my friend is praying for me!
I am praying for you too. . .you know.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi barbara. Thank you for your lovely reply to me. The robin was with me again today in the garden. It hopped quite near me. I know that it has been sent by Gizzy and God to help me. It is the only time I have smiled. You didn't give me the impression that I was being selfish or anything. Not in any way. I just thought that as I have told you all these things and have gone over it you might think I am like that. Normally its me who listens to everybody else and doesn't normally get round to talking about myself. Thats why I am so grateful to you for just being there and lovingly answering me with hope. I have been to the doctors today. I cried the whole time. He is going to get some grief counselling sorted out for me. I just live in fear that this unbearable ache for Gizzy won't ever go. You are right that a broken heart takes along time to heal and that people heal at different times. I keep telling myself that she is happy and in no pain. I thought about moving something of Gizzy's and I felt overwhelmed with sadness so I can't move anything still. I think it might be making it worse seeing everything all the time but I don't think the pain would be any different either way. I just want to live how I was living with Gizzy and not change anything at the moment. I'm tearful again just saying about it. I hope your stomach problem gets better Barbara. Sorry to hear you are not feeling well. Love to you. Love claudiaxx

The robin was there again!!!!!! Now we have Prince visiting Angel, and a little robin visiting you. . .I love it!
You do so remind me of me. I visited the doctor under the same circumstance as you and just cried the whole time. This doctor was so young and so sweet and did refer me for some grief counselling, and then ended up praying with me. When I went to the counselor I also cried initially almost the whole time, learned a lot actually, and then gradually began to feel alive again. You and others have since come into my life. I definitely have understanding!
My doctor has ordered some tests to get to the bottom of my stomach problems. I'm not real sick, but I'm so used to feeling real well, and I don't like this!!!!
I'm quite proud of you Claudia! Even with this horrible grief, you're taking steps to climb out. Such strength. . .really!
Sleep well and have sweet dreams,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you again for saying you are proud. All I'm feeling is intense sadness. The little robin is in the garden all the time. It was with me yesterday and this morning I saw it out the window. It is bringing me some comfort. I want to feel Gizzy around. I don't know if she is around. I am so desperate to feel her near me. I am going down to my brothers today. Will be painful as always. Even the journey is unbearable not having Gizzy sitting next to me in the car. Barbara I don't think I'm ever going to get through this. I just feel so empty and alone. I was a mummy before and had my little family with Gizzy. My whole world revolved around her and our lives together. I am so lost. In one of your last posts to me you said about Gizzy not being able to lie down. Did you mean at over those two nights? She did lie down in the car and some of the time while she was at home.I feel still that I made a mistake that day Barbara. I dont know why. I am lying to myself that she might have got better. She first had her little collapse about 3 years ago which could have been the start of her heart problems so I know that I couldn't expect anymore from her at the point that we reached at the vets that day. . I thought stupidly that she could go on forever. How selfish of me to think that. I just keep think that her breathing was only slightly strained while I was holding her. It wasn't all the time while I was in the vets. She was sleepy in my arms because she hadn't slept the night before and was all warm and cosy in my arms. I keep thinking that i was put under pressure that day from the vet, my mum and everything. I was obviously upset and couldnt really think straight. I understand everything you have said to me about Gizzys health. I just have this continual ache inside me that i did the wrong thing. She was such a strong girl. I understand that its the grief inside me saying and thinking these things. I am so desperately wanting her and missing her that my mind is not thinking properly. And what can I do about it but drive myself crazy. I just need to understand that she is happy and enjoying herself without any cares in the world with the beautiful pets from our lives. The little robin today came down and had a piece of bread which I had put out for it and then stood on the bowl and had a drink. I cry every time I see it but I sense that it has been sent from Gizzy as you said because Gizzy knows that I need something to care for. When I got in my car I noticed something from the corner of my eye so i got out and on the ground was a large white feather which I think must have been near my front door. I picked it up and gave it a kiss and put it on the seat next to me in the car. That is my guardian angel isn't it. That is the first time I have felt like someone is around. What do you think?I'm sorry that you have to have tests done. I really hope you feel better soon. You are a lovely person. That's lovely that prince comes back to your friend angel. Love claudiaxx

Hi Dear Claudia,
I won't have time to write this AM, as I am helping out a lawyer friend in her practice for about an hour. . .greeting a client and answering any phone calls, but will write later.
I really do believe that angels are all around us, but that most of the time we are unaware because we don't need to be aware. But now you are. . .the little robin I believe has come because of your need and because Gizzy sees/knows your need. The feather. . .hmmmmmm. . .very cool, but also the angels letting you know that you are not alone!
. . .and I'm here too!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara. Look forward to hearing from you when you have some more time xx

Hi Claudia,
What a busy day for me here and I'm sorry I couldn't get back earlier.
One thought came to me today about you and Gizzy (actually many thoughts), but this one came back again as I began to reread your last post. Not that I think you made a mistake in having Gizzy euthanized that day, but what if you did, and she could have lived a little while longer? For Gizzy, she was on her way to Heaven soon regardless (she had pretty much lived her lifetime or past!). She was, in our years, 119 years old! Your choice for her was OK with her. . .she got to go to Heaven then!. . .but for you, it has been devastating! (This is very normal for those of us left behind!) If you had chosen that day not to euthanize her and had chosen tests and possible treatment, there soon after would be the day when you would have to make a choice for euthanasia, and be just as devastated!
What do you think about this? Would it have been better for you to test her and treat her, possibly, for a short while, but then have gone through her euthanasia later? You know, I do understand how much you miss her and how alone you are right now, but I don't think it would have been any easier for you if Gizzy had been able to live a little longer. What do you think?
My understanding was that she was unable to lay down for very long the last two nights. She was either very painful, or unable to breathe well when laying down for any length of time, is what I was thinking.
I understand too, that as you look back, you feel that your decision for Gizzy was made under the duress of your emotions and your vet's and mum's pressure. This is true! But you couldn't have had more knowledgeable or caring advisors along side of you in your tornado. Your vet after years of education and experience had a clear understanding of Gizzy's state and what was needed to even try to find out her problems and maybe offer some temporary treatment, and your mum who loved Gizzy and loves you more than anything. I know that you know that it is your grief twisting your mind regarding your choices for Gizzy. . .but the reality is that even had you decided to have Gizzy treated with oxygen, go through testing, and then possible short term treatment, the end would be the same because she could not live forever (even tho' that's what we would all want. . .I have said so often how I wish dogs and cats could live for 100 years or so).
I think, as I read your last line, that not until we are knocked down in life can we really sense (see, hear, feel) the reality of the spiritual realm. We are not ever alone and it is such a gift when we realize this and get comfort from this truth. (Even tho' right now, calling anything a gift in your life is so far from what you are experiencing!)
I'm sorry to go on and on. I hear your devastation, and yet you are realizing how your grieving mind is actually tricking you. . ."what if" and/or "if only". You'll make it Claudia, I know you will! I think your counselor there is going to be pleased and amazed at what you have already worked through and the truths you do despite how you feel about everything!
I hope I am making some sense. I am so tired tonight!!
I know you're sleeping well, and now it's time for me.
Here's a hug to begin your day. . .
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hope you like the picture. I have sent 2 the same by mistake. I wanted to see if it would come through. I have got one of Gizzy where you can see her better which I will send. Hope you are feeling better. My day started not too good, but I felt slightly better as the day went on. I was down at my brothers again as he wanted me to do some jobs plus painting. Just got back. Feel very low now. Will watch television to try and relax. I will reply to you last post but this message was to send photo. Love claudiaxx

Hi Claudia,
What a terrific picture of you two!!!! It's truly wonderful for me to see you and Gizzy. . .darling! How old was Gizzy in the picture? What a wonderful picture for you to have! Thank you so much!!!!
Glad that at least part of your day felt better. Certainly understand how coming home felt lonely, but TV is comforting and relaxing. . .I agree!
Thank you so much again for the photo!!!!!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi barbara, that was taken last year on holiday in kent. So Gizzy was 16. I have such lovely photos that I have got as well which I took on my old camera which isn't digital so the photos aren't on the computer. My brother takes photos with his phone but I have got a very old little mobile which is pink and I have had for years that only takes little photos which are stored on the phone. I am quite old fashioned and not too much into new technical things. The only new thing is this tablet which I am using to email you. My brother bought it for me last Christmas and it is great. I actually don't know what I would do without it now. I use it for everything. Even getting me through this horrendous time by being able to talk to you and look up things about almost anything. In some ways it has been my lifeline. I want to thank you for your reply to me which I got yesterday morning. The week before Gizzy died I had been stressed. I will tell you about that another time. Then the week she died I was just coming down from a lot of stress. The sad thing for me is that all through the summer I worked doing three temp nannying jobs so I could then have about 2 months off to spend with Gizzy and get things done around the home and just enjoy having time way from work. I tried to do this a lot so if I did alot of work in a relatively short time I would earn enough money to survive then could have longer time off. Not all the time but just when there was work that I could do along side my other job. Normally I only worked 2 days. As you know I tried to do all my planning around Gizzy. I know we can't determine when things are going to happen but I had just finished along stint of jobs that I'd been doing so I could be off with Gizzy. On that Tuesday just before that horrible thursday I was so happy that I had done all that work and I was down at my brothers with Gizzy. It was the start of a wonderful few months with Gizzy and not any work to worry about. That Thursday my world fell apart. I feel so frustrated and heartbroken that I spent that time working. I know I didn't know what was going to happen. Life happens that way. Its just tormenting me along with the agony of losing the most precious thing in my life. She was my life Barbara. I understand when you say that if she had tests and treatment I could have had a bit more time with her but the outcome would still have been the same. I just wanted a bit more time with her Barbara. That's me being selfish I know because it wasn't about me that day it was about my angel. I couldn't bear her to be suffering inside. I would never ever have wanted that in a million years. She had been so strong all her life and i believe that she was even trying to be strong in the end for me because she knew that we had such a wonderful relationship she was holding on so I wouldn't be on my own. I have such faith in believing that animals know our pain too. I'm crying so much just writing this today. I know my mum was thinking of Gizzy and the vet knew that because of Gizzy's age, her advice was through experience. I just keep reliving that day. The grief is constant and because she was such a huge part of my life I feel my life has gone from me. Each day I keep going. The pain inside me is there all the time. The doctor has given me some pills that calm you down and help with sleep. I haven't heard from a councellor yet. Just talking to you is the best therapy I could have. Pouring out my sadness. Thank you Barbara as always for being there for me in this horrible time. I am desperately looking for a job. I am still doing the morning nanny job but not this week. You said Gizzy was 119 in human years. How do you work it out? I have never known properly. I don't think I told you but we adopted her when she was about 4. I'll tell you the story of that in my next post as well, but we never really knew her exact age. When Gizzy passed away, a couple of weeks later I contacted an old vet who I went to when I first got Gizzy. I asked about whether they still kept records but as it had been over 10 years they hadn't. I had her micro chipped when I first got her ( I thought but I might have just done a change of address I can't really remember now) I thought I had had her done but anyway it was all quite confusing in the beginning again I will go into more detail in another post. Then I decided to ring up her current vet and find out for certain her actual age. Every time I took her to the vet they would say she's a year older than I had thought and I just thought that their records were wrong for some reason and I would correct the vet and say no she's younger. Anyway sorry if it sounds confusing. So when I rang the vet up they said according to her microchip she was 17 and 8 months. I couldn't believe it because I thought she was 16. We also didn't know when her birthday was, so we put it on my mums ***** ***** Megan's birthday 6th July. Megan had lived until 13 and was my mums first ***** *****. Anyway I don't think Gizzy minded because she had wonderful birthdays. Very spoilt. We used to say that all our dogs have birthdays everyday. Anyway on the microchip as well it had her date of birth which was 1st January 1997. What's so lovely Barbara is that my birthday is ***** too. So whether the previous owners had done the microchip, or I had it done and possibly put a date because I didn't know at the time, I just don't know. Anyway so we believe that she was 17 and 8 months. Isn't that something to be proud of and through the tears, I tell her everyday that I love her and how proud I am. Barbara I will write again. Hope you are OK and scout. Lots of love claudiaxx

Hi Claudia,
Your post is tugging at my heart and causing tears in my eyes! I am so sad that your plans didn't work out! You're right. . .we never know what life will bring. As you said, all we can do is make good choices and plans based upon today, and then "tomorrow" changes everything! Claudia, I am so sorry!
Gizzy was already 16 in the picture. . .she was one healthy and strong little girl! I can see that in her picture. She looks amazing for any dog, let along 16!
I do understand that you wanted a bit more time with her!!!! Of course you did! But her passing when she did had nothing to do with your choice, actually. She needed to have your loving care to the very end, and she did, as awful as your very loving decision was.
The best way to figure a dog's age is to multiply her age in years by 7. So she was 17 3/4 years or actually 124 1/4 years old. . .AMAZING!!!! You have a lot to be proud of and so does she!
I am very honored actually to be holding your hand through this horrible time. I've been where you are, and I imagine that you will hold another's hand someday who is walking through the worst devastation ever. Only those of us who have been there can really understand. (Aren't we privileged?????)
Scout is doing great, and I will be doing fine again. . .just have to find the problem and fix it!
Love and hugs to you. . .
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara. I keep making you have tears. I'm so sorry. I hope you are feeling a little bit better and I am glad your beautiful scout is doing OK. Thank you for saying Gizzy looked great for her age. I am going to try and see if I can send a closer photo of her. So you can see her beautiful face. I have been quite upset today but needed to go and help some one clean their house as they were moving. Only for 2 hours. They paid me which was a bonus. I started to tell you in my last post about when we adopted Gizzy. My mum was looking at a house to buy in a village near to me and we stopped at the local shops. My mum saw an advert in a newsagents window saying dog free to good home. I said to mum stop looking, its too painful. Mum and I are like you and your daughter. Soppy and sentimental over animals. Anyway of course we got the number and I rang up and asked about her and what her name was and they said Gizmo. We went the very next day as it wasn't that far from us and when we went in the house, Gizzy jumped on me and didn't stop licking my face. We asked about her and the woman said she was moving into a pub and couldn't take her( not sure if she was being truthful) the son had had her for I think 2 years and she said she'd had her for 18 months or 2 years. As I said we didn't fully believe what the woman was saying. Gizzy had lost her fur on her back as well and the woman said it was because she didn't like the dogs next door. The back garden was small and had small fences either side so Gizzy was surrounded by other dogs which was obviously causing her stress hence losing her fur. When we took her both mum and I were crying. We were worried for Gizzy that she would be upset about leaving the home she knew. In fact we think Gizzy was pleased to be coming home with us as she had greeted us so lovingly. Mum got her spayed straight away and she had lots of TLC from all of us. Mum still had Megan plus Daisy and Laura the 2 little ***** *****s she had got more recently. We didn't know whether they would get on as Megan was top dog. Anyway I couldn't have Gizzy initially at the start because I was at that time living in a flat which didn't allow pets plus I was working more or less full time. So then mum had to move and had all 4 girls living with her. Unfortunately there were some fights. I think that they would get jealous of each other or try to be top dog. We had to then keep them separate. In the end very reluctantly my mum asked if my sister would have her. She didn't have any other dogs and had a young daughter so it was decided that she would take Gizzy. I cried even then as I wasn't seeing her as much as before and was always worrying about her. Gizzy loved my sisters daughter Tierney and they formed a close relationship. I went to visit Gizzy one day and she was so pleased to see me. I cried with joy at spending time with her. Anyway after a couple of months Tierney was outside her house with Gizzy and the neighbors child came out and went to stroke Gizzy and Gizzy bit her. So my sisters neighbors who weren't nice people anyway started threatening my sister and it wasn't right for Gizzy as it certainly wasn't her fault. I expect she just didn't want this child to touch her. Quite rightly. Anyway my mum had her back. Tierney was heart broken. I was still in my flat so couldn't do much. I had been trying to move into a house and finally not too much time later I moved and finally had the house of my dreams (well almost). Not long after that once I'd left my job, my angel came to live with me. I got my wish. The rest is history. So with the time frame in between getting her from the place she was living, being at mums for awhile, then at my sisters for a few months then finally coming home to me we could only guess her age by that point. It never really mattered as all that mattered was she was loved. More than you could imagine. She was with me for about 12 years or near as. The best years of my life. Love to you Barbara. Love always Claudiaxx

Hi Claudia,
What a great story about how you all acquired Gizzy! These were also the best years of her life. . .one lucky little dog!
My Scout from the streets of Mexico, and Gizzy held captive really in a home that wasn't suited for her in the least. I sure wish that all dogs (all animals) had lives that were as happy as our pets!
We live in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada range of mountains in California, with plenty of space. Our animals for the most part can run free. I just got a call from my neighbor who is having her driveway repaved. Scout apparently walked through the we cement!!!! So, now Scout is confined to walks with us or on our deck behind a gate. . .just until tomorrow!
Gotta go for now. . .more questions to address on here, walking Scout and my neighbor's dogs, and then swimming.
Hope you're having a peaceful and relaxing evening. . .
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry for not getting back before now. How lovely it sounds where you live. That's sweet that scout put his paws on the neighbors new driveway. He thought he would make his impression. You sound very busy. I always appreciate the time you give me. I have some news. I saw on the internet a little dog. I still didn't want to think about a new dog as I am unbearably upset still as you know. Still not functioning normally and crying endlessly. I looked a couple of times at the picture of the little dog over a few days and was slightly drawn to it. I then told my mum and she looked and also my brother. The thing was the ad said Wales. I enquired about it and my brother said he would drive me there on Friday. It was 330 mile round trip. I got up yesterday early and cried and cried thinking I can't go. Mornings are incredibly painful. I just got myself together and went to my brothers still thinking I don't think I can do this but anyway we went. I went into the house and the owner opened the back door and this tiny little dog ran towards me and kissed me all on my face and was so excited. She jumped into my lap. She is very sweet. We took her home. While she was on my lap she kept kissing me and had her head right up in my neck. When I got her home to my house she ran around the house and round the back garden and up and down the stairs. I cried as you can imagine. She jumped onto Gizzy's bed and played with her toys. I felt worried and stressed but I kept thinking Gizzy was so wonderful and had the most beautiful loving nature you could imagine that she wouldn't mind. I had kept everything straight and in its place and suddenly it was being touched. I have no idea whether its the right time or not and it feels odd having a different dog in my house but I think she was a little gift from heaven. She lay down in my arms last night and went to sleep. She is a tan ***** ***** x chiwawa called Pip. She is almost 3. She lies on me and wants to be very close. This morning I woke up and cried so much for Gizzy. Pip came up from the end of the bed and put her head in mine. I still feel the most horrendous emotional pain in inside me for my beautiful angel. I know I am going to feel that way for a very very long time. Pip needs love and security which I will give her. She has traights like Gizzy. Little things. But also she has come to a house where there will be love for her like Gizzy, for as long as God allows. Hope you and scout are well. Look forward to hearing from you. Love always Claudiaxx

Dear Claudia,
Again, you make me so proud to know you! What a difficult yet wonderful thing you are giving Pip, and I know that with time you will be able to offer this little girl the love you grew with Gizzy. . .and Gizzy is thrilled with this!. . .I believe!
Look at how Pip just fit right in to your home and you! I am so impressed!!!
I wondered what was going on yesterday when I didn't hear from you, and got a little worried. Wow!!!!! I am very excited for you! Probably you aren't feeling very excited yet, but this is a very good thing you've done!!!!. . .I believe!
Is Pip spayed? Do you know her vaccination history. . .what she has had and the dates? Is she on flea preventative and heartworm preventative?
Congratulations to you for taking such a big step in your grief!!!!!!
Love to you, Gizzy, and Pip!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara, thank you being so proud. Although I am feeling the same grief, Pip is giving me her love. She has been spayed. I registered her with a vets. I couldn't go the same vets practice as before. It is too painful. She will have a check and then needs her vaccines. She has had flea and worming already the owner said. He had her for 2 years and found her in a barn in freezing winter at 16 weeks (a family member he says) He took her from there but I think he said his sister had her for a time and she got pregnant and had a puppy poor thing. He then got her spayed. She must have been really young. You know what people are like. She would have had a season then been after that. I haven't properly worked out all of it yet. He said she was 16 weeks in the February of 2012. He then had her for 2 years. He doesn't know her birthday. That would make her 3 now or soon. I'm not too sure. I have been looking out for the little robin. I was getting comfort seeing it everyday. Hopefully see it again soon. I'm very fond of it. I also had a butterfly which had been in my bedroom for about a year on the corner of the ceiling. I didn't think it was alive as it hadn't moved. Abit of time after Gizzy went to heaven the butterfly had moved and was on the curtain. I see it in different areas of the room now. At the moment it is under the dressing gown on my door. I will send you a closer photo of Gizzy. Love to you. Glad you are pleased for me. I think in time I will have something to live for again. Love Claudiax

That butterfly is watching you! Wonder who that could be ?
Sleep well my dear, and little Pip too,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara I am feeling horrible today. Pip is being very good but I feel I want to just be quiet and do nothing. I feel I want to just cry all the time. I miss Gizzy so much. Pip needs me and I am there for her and will love her very much. I just want my Gizzy. I feel so alone even having little Pip. I am still trying to find a job. It is difficult as there isn't a lot out there at the moment. I just have a constant ache inside me. How long was it after Igor passed away that you got Scout? I am just nervous and stressed that it is too soon. I haven't come to terms with my loss as you know. Will Pip help with that. I just don't know. I knew before that even if I had got a new dog, I would cry for Gizzy and that is exactly what I am doing. I am still unhappy. I just want my life back that I had and I know everyone thinks that when someone has passed away. I will go to the councellor once I have heard from them. I had one day last wed when although I cried in the morning, I felt better during the day. I felt I was talking normally and not just struggling with everything. Then I asked my brother when he got back, if he could help me send you a picture. He saw that I had been writing a lot of things to you and said that I should be doing other things. I said you were wonderful but he set me back with his comment. I didn't say any more but I cried on the way home because if it hadn't been for you Barbara, I honestly don't know how I would have carried on. I said as I left that he would be devastated if something happed to his dogs and he agreed he would be. People handle things differently. The sort of normalish feeling that I had had that day went Iand i went back to feeling sick and horrendous. The Tuesday evening I had read about animal reincarnation and how you can actually feel their presence. I found things to read that were comforting. That animals can come back in different forms and lots of other nice things. I read about rainbow bridge, which I already knew about and other things. But that night I cried so much I asked God for help. Then next morning was when I found the white feather and also my little robin was in the back garden as usual. I was feeling that I wasn't alone that day. That was wed that I said I felt a little better. Then as I said, one negative comment from my brother and I went downhill again. I am incredibly sensitive and as you have described it, broken. How you felt as well. Later on I sent a long text to my brother telling him that writing to you had been my lifeline and how you have been wonderful beyond words in your help to me with everything. He said he hadn't received my texts so anyway I just thought I'd leave it and not say anymore to him. I have to get back to that point which I felt that morning a bit better and more positive. I've gone backwards again. I also hope that the little robin will still come into the garden now Pip is around. I' m worried that it won't. I was finding a little bit of happiness just seeing it everyday. Sorry Barbara I have gone on too much. My lovely saviour. Thank you again. Love Claudiaxx

Hi Claudia,
I really like the fact that you did cry out to God that Tuesday evening, and Wednesday He comforted you in ways that you realized you aren't alone. . .the little robin and the feather. This is truly what God wants, for you to cry out for Him and to expect Him to comfort you. I don't mean that people shouldn't be supportive, that medication isn't helpful, or that you shouldn't see the counselor. I think God works in all of this, but sometimes these things aren't enough, and God Himself will meet us supernaturally. . .for you, so far, the little robin and the feather.
I personally think that your getting Pip is an indication that you do want to feel better and that you are doing the things that can lead to that. Seems to me that Pip is the perfect dog for you. She's not such a puppy with bad habits and great needs, and she can love you just like you are. . .her saviour!
Of course you still miss Gizzy. . .it's only been 2 months! I was talking with my friend Art last PM who lost his wife suddenly about 1 1/2 years ago. I told him about your grieving for Gizzy, and he said, "Of course! I still struggle over Patti." We all grieve in personal ways, and we need the support, space, and time to do that.
Oooops! Didn't mean to click "Answer" quite yet.
You said that you want to feel again like you felt that Wednesday morning. . .after your crying out to God! I know you really didn't expect His help, but now you have an indication that He truly will help you through this. . .not just words, but real help!
Hope you are having a relaxing evening. Oh, now I am 9 hours behind you??? We lost an hour last PM (or early this AM) when daylight savings time ended. It's 12:25 PM here.
A hug for you, a pat for Pip and love to you THREE!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara, thank you for your message. It's 8.50pm here. Our clocks went back last weekend. Hope you are having a nice day. I will try and ask God for help again. As long as my precious angel is being looked after, that's all I ask of God really. I come second. I believe that Pip was meant to be here with me. I talk to her about Gizzy and tell her that Gizzy was the most precious thing to me but we are going to now share our love. I think in time she will heal a tiny part of my broken heart. My grief will be with me forever I think over Gizzy but I will get up each day and be brave and try and live as happily as I can for Gizzy. Just for her. She deserves my strength as she was the strongest, most beautiful little dog that I was privileged to have had in my life. Little Pip will follow in her footsteps as well. I know. Love always Claudiaxx

Remember, God is infinite and has infinite love, so he can look after both you and Gizzy fully. Also, Gizzy doesn't think you're second!
I think Gizzy will be leading Pip. . .Gizzy has had 17 years of experience, so she'll be able to able to do great on the job training!
Good to know that you are still only 8 hours ahead of me. I hope that you THREE sleep really well tonight.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. God bless you and scout and Igor as well. Love and hugs Claudiax

Thank you. . .we ALL relish your friendship! :-)
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you as always for everything. I am still feeling so sad. Pip is settling in and she is so sweet. I am trying to get used to having her. It is so hard. I am still going to go and talk to someone. I feel so heart broken all the time. I hope that you are feeling better. Have you had any tests as yet? Please send my love to Art. He is very understanding as well. Yesterday when I opened my bedroom curtains I saw the little robin sitting on the hedge. It looked like it was guarding the house. Later on it was back again. I think that is so beautiful. That gives me some comfort. I am at my brothers today and Pip is here. She is quite at home which is good. The photo is of Gizzy last year on my brothers sofa. I am going to send a couple more of her as well if that's ok. I will send one of Pip when I get one. Love to you. Look forward to hearing from you. Love Claudia xx

He Claudia,
Thank you for the picture of little Gizzy. She looks amazingly healthy!
That's sure the way to live; with great health the whole time. She had 17+ years of great health. Many older dogs are alive and eating. . .but that's it. They are constrained by a myriad of ailments their last few months or years of life. Seems Gizzy avoided all of that!
I know this doesn't make life any easier for you right now, but some day that fact will be comforting to you.
Broken hearts (at least mine and yours) take a long time to heal, so be as gentle with yourself as you can. You aren't on any time schedule, other than your own. I encourage you to see a counsellor there. . .just to help you along on the path to healing your broken heart. (Wish I could wave a magic wand to heal your heart right now!)
It is wonderful that Pip is settling in so well. She seems to be the perfect dog for you right now! :-)
I'm so glad that little robin was back! To me, that's Gizzy showing that her love for you continues. . .that she continues. . .and that Pip is either sent by her, or if not, she is very pleased that Pip is there with you!
No tests yet. . .scheduling them for the next few weeks. Thanks for asking. I have been feeling better, but not as good as I'd like!
I will give Art your love. He'll like that a lot!
I'd really like to see more photos of Gizzy. Again, I'm so impressed with her robust health. . .such a sturdy little dog! I'd also enjoy a picture of Pip when you get one.
Hope your evening is warm and relaxing, and I send you three my love,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara its bonfire night here so lots of noise. Its comforting that you think the beautiful robin is Gizzy. I look out for her everyday. I saw her this morning in the back garden on the tree. Also that she has sent Pip to be with me. I do think that too. We went to my brothers today. I was alright for a time but felt very upset on the way home. I still go over the day I took my angel to the vets. I go over the time before. I am blaming everyone. I feel cross at my mum. I know that it is the terrible unbearable grief that is driving me to think like that. I have calm times when I say to myself appropriate things about it and then it all gets too much and I feel angry and stressed. Pip is so lovely. I feel sorry for her in the fact that she has come to a new house and is just getting to know me. I know all rescue pets go through that but because I'm in such a difficult place with my sadness, I feel sad for her even though she seems very happy and will have a wonderful life like my Gizzy. She seems at home here which of course is good. I wish I could feel happy again. It is unbearable torture for me not having Gizzy but I know she is still here. In my heart and everywhere. Thank you for saying you wish you had a magic wand to mend my broken heart. I wish I could have helped you when your heart was broken too. I hope you and Scout are OK. Love to you both.( and Igor) love Claudiax

Hi Claudia,

YOU WILL FEEL HAPPY AGAIN!!!!! I promise. It does take time, unfortunately! You know what? Anger is another part of grief! We are angry about our beloved pet's illness, angry that it all happened so fast and that we weren't prepared (could we ever be?), and at others who were involved (your Mum), etc. So your anger at your Mum and others involved in your loss of Gizzy is very normal! This, too, is something that you have to go through. It does help to talk about this, I think, so you can expand on this here, or talk with a counsellor there, or this is one topic in pet loss support groups (or general grief groups) that is always discussed, so such a group might be helpful for you?!

I'm so happy that the little robin is there too. . .how nice and thoughtful of Gizzy to send it. She knew exactly what would be of help to you. Also, Pip! Gizzy orchestrated Pip coming to you! This is obvious to me. . . look at how well she is adjusting to and loving being with you!

Art said last PM to say hello to you. He too really understands broken hearts!

Scout, Igor, and all my sweet pets in Heaven, and I are rooting for you and we send our love. . .
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara you are so lovely and say all the kindest things. I cry every time I read your answers because I know you are going to say such sensible things and it is always a comfort to me. The little robin was around this morning. It was out the front when I got into my car. I look out for her every day. Pip is fine. She is getting on well being here. I believe that my sweetheart had a part in it, like you say. We talk about Gizzy everyday. Pip had her free check up with the vet today. She needed the worm and flea treatment because she has been scratching a lot even though the owner had said she'd been flead and wormed. I don't think he'd been honest. Next week she will get her vaccine done. The vet thought she looked healthy. I bought her a little jumper as the weather is now very cold. Gizzy had lovely coats and jumpers but they are being kept nicely in a heart basket with her lovely collars and leads and harnesses. Also Pip is very small so has to have size small things. I have worked this morning doing the early school run job. I had to leave Pip for the first time. About 2 hours. She had been howling by the front door. I will gradually leave her for a short time and come back so she gets used to it. She is very clingy at the moment which is understandable. We spent most of the day sorting out my garage. Giving it a tidy. I find doing things like that calming. Pip sniffed around and had a nice time. She loves to go under the covers at bed time. That was Gizzy favorite thing as well. Its the ***** *****'s trait. Send my love to Art, and to you and all your lovely pets. We all say thank you for helping us. Myself, Gizzy and Pip. Hope you are well and lots of luck when you have the tests. Hope Scout is well. Hopefully talk to you soon because i haven't heard back and miss you and all your heart felt replies and kindness. I'm upset again today as i am every day. Just waiting for the time when the pain ends. I dont think that will be for a long time. Just getting up each day and trying to live. Lots of love Claudiax

Gosh Claudia, I thought I had written to you! I'm sure I wrote back to you. . .but don't know where it went!!!!!!
Sounds to me like you are feeling some better, some of the time. This is how it happens. Gradually you will have more times when your saddness eases a little and you'll be able to breathe more easily! Yayyyyy!
Right now along with Scout I have my sister's cat Newton. He and Scout do get along well, and I think actually enjoy each other. Newton's favorite place to sleep is on Scout's bed, and she doesn't mind at all!
Your vet probably explained this, but dogs do need to receive flea protection monthly. What are you using for Pip? Also, tapeworms come from fleas and most over the counter dewormers don't contain praziquantal which is needed to eliminate tapes. Your vet saw to this I'm sure. I'm glad that Pip is doing so well, and ecstatic that Gizzy arranged for you two to be together!
Do you think you will still see a counsellor?
Hope this message does get through to you!
Love to you three. . .and hugs!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara sorry in not getting back to you earlier. I have been giving my garden a tidy up and also my garage and in between going to the morning job and just trying to do normal things. Pip is doing OK. She has settled in very well. The flea and worm treatment the vet gave me was advocate. She is still scratching her ear all the time so I have to get the vet to look properly in it. It might be mites or anything. She is having her vaccine on Friday. She was a locam vet the other day so didn't do anything. Newton sounds lovely. How nice he wants to sleep in Scouts bed. I see the robin now everyday. The comfort it gives me is so nice. I still wake up everyday and cry. I want to scream out loud I'm so upset about Gizzy. Little Pip helps in some ways with the pain. I just wish I had my life back from before. I know life is not like that. I just feel so lonely now. I know I shouldn't because I have got Pip and my little robin and of course my precious Gizzy around me all the time but I still feel empty. I am still lucky in many ways that I have got my health and my house and a family (even though they are not understanding). Some people haven't got anything. I must count my blessings. I am waiting to hear back about the councellor. It will be weeks I expect. I am still looking for another job as well. Financially need to. I am going to my brothers today and tomorrow. Pip doesn't want to go for walks. She just stands there. I walked around the block yesterday carrying her. Do you know why that might be? The harness which the old owner gave me was old and far too tight round her neck. I took it off her.I think that might have put her off walks. I bought her a new soft harness which fits her properly but she still won't walk with it on. Not sure what to do because she needs walks. Hope you are well. And Scout. Love to you. Claudiax

Hi Claudia,

What a beautiful picture of you and Gizzy. . .thank you so much!!!!!! You are beautiful inside and out!!!! Gizzy is beautiful inside and out too! She obviously was a very special little dog, and I can certainly understand your missing her terribly still. You are doing all that you can to move forward, and for this I feel very proud of you. Honestly, the overwhelming grief that leads you to cry will lessen. . .I promise! But right now, don't fight it! It's good to cry. I remember my grief would overwhelm me and I'd have to run to the bathroom at work, cry, and then I was better. Almost like being overwhelmed with nausea and vomiting. . .nothing I could control!

Pip's previous life must have included harrowing walks for her, either being yanked, or having to wear a too tight harness, or walking where it was frightening for her. The first thing to do is have her get used to the comfortable harness, and for this I'd put it on her and leave it on her for several hours during the day. She'll get used to the feel of it this way. Secondly, try treats to entice her to walk a little way. Have her "sit and stay", walk out to the end of her leash, turn toward her and say "come", and encourage her by pulling slightly on her leash and holding out the treat. Eventually, you'll be able to move gradually away from your home. You could also teach her "heal". You may already know how to do this training, but it might be fun to get involved in a dog training class. I know I always liked this a lot and made new friends.

I think it is so darling of Gizzy to have sent that little robin! Gives me goosebumps!

It's Veterans' Day today, and my boyfriend is a Vietnam Vet. Our local Applebee's restaurant gives free meals to all veterans, so we'll be going there for lunch. The comraderie is fun, and I love that this is one way to honor our vets.

Many hugs to you, Gizzy, and Pip, and much love too!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much for your lovely words about Gizzy and I. That photo was taken a few Christmas's ago when we had lots of snow. She had a wonderful denium coat which always looked so cosy on her and sweet. It had a big collar which went up round her neck to keep her warm and we'd call her Elvis. It doesn't show in the picture very well. Gizzy has got snow on her face as well. Thank you for the great advice about trying to encourage Pip to walk. I will do those things and let you know how I get on. I'm sad to hear that your grief was so bad as well. I tell myself (although it doesn't really help) that when I cry, Gizzy cries. I obviously don't want her to cry (I'm crying now just writing it) but it makes me try and think that. The mornings when I wake up are horrendous. The realization that I have to live another day without her is so awful. I expect it was the same for you too. As I said before, I have got many blessings in my life so I mustn't be selfish I just can't help it. I know you understand first hand how it is. I look out for my beautiful robin everyday. I feel once I've seen her the day improves. Pip gives me lots of kisses in the morning too. She is so good. She waits for me to wake up and say good morning then she comes right up to my face and snuggles into my neck. The veterans day lunch sounds wonderful. I hope you have a great time and nice food. Thank you Barbara. Hope Scout is OK and Newton if you still have him. Love to you all. Love Claudiaxx

I don't think you are selfish at all! It is very good of course to dwell on your blessings and this will also help you to feel better ultimately, but your grief is your grief, and it isn't selfish! You are very wise and unselfish in the choices you make to help you to feel better.
When we first wake up in the morning, we are most vulnerable to sad and worrisome thoughts. . .we are all like this it seems to me. I know that our metabolism is lowest then, and I've read our biorhythm is lowest then, so you really do fit right in. I absolutely love how Pip helps you through this time, and the little robin too. Gizzy was pretty wise and caring to send these little ones to help you through this awful time!
The veterans' lunch at Applebees was so nice of them and very fun. The place was packed with veterans. . .got to thank lots of people for their service! Do you have any Applebees restaurants in the UK?
I do still have Newton. He "talks" constantly, comes when called, and walks with us for quite a ways on walks. Very fun! Scout is doing well and does her "tricks" for baby carrots. She too is very fun!
I hope that you are having a relaxing and comforting evening. I imagine your home to be warm and cozy. Eventually, more and more, you will feel that on the inside too.
Big hugs to you, Gizzy, Pip, and the little robin!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for saying Gizzy was wise and caring in sending me the robin and Pip. You are absolutely right. Thank you for saying also that I'm not selfish with my grief. Yes you are right about the mornings. Although I feel throughout the day I get so upset about Gizzy as well. I have been doing lots of things around the house to keep busy when I'm not at work. Pip is settling in nicely. She is getting used to coming out in the car. That's so good of Newton to go out on the walks with you. He sounds a fun cat. Hope Scout is well. How sweet she does tricks for carrots. No we don't have Applebees restaurants here in england. What sort of food do they do? I haven't heard anything yet about the councellor. Thank you Barbara for saying that you think my home is warm and cosy. I try to make it nice. I can imagine you having a wonderful place in California as well. The weather here is getting more wintery. Its raining a lot. Hope you are well. Look forward to hearing back. Lots of love Claudiax

It's getting more wintery here too. . .but no snow yet! We are hoping to have bunches this year! We NEED bunches this year. The drought is incredible. . .you should see the reservoires, they look like rivers not lakes! Wish we had your rain!
When I was beginning to come out of the throes of grief, I still had times when crying would overtake me. . .and then I would be fine. Kind of like vomiting! Fortunately it did become less and less.
Applebees just serves American food, I guess. Great hamburgers and steaks and salads. A nice, reasonable, not fast food restaurant with great service.
We live in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. . .lots of trees, mountains, lakes and rivers. We live in a large log home which I love, but I do imagine your home and garden are lovely. Did you ever see the movie "The Holiday"? Two women trade homes for Christmas, one from a England, and one from hollywood. It's very cute. . .a romantic comedy after all.
I'll be gone over this weekend to a baby shower for my very best friend's first grandchild. I'm so excited for her. The shower is 3 1/2 hours from here, so I'll stay at my friend's home on Saturday night.
I hope you are right now having a wonderful night's sleep full of peace and comfort! I'm off to bed too. . .
Sleep well my friend!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Barbara you are such a kind lady. I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't had you to talk to. I cry every time I read your messages and when I reply. I am so upset still. I always think about if I had got her treatment that day. I have to keep reminding myself that she was in pain and I just wanted what was the best thing for my precious girl. I am still trying to make the garden all nice and I'm sort of doing it for Gizzy because I think of it as her garden. I have only seen the little robin a few times recently. The first thing I do in the morning is have a look out of my back door to see if I can see her. The place where you live sounds fabulous. Sounds like a film set. I hope you get some snow and rain though soon. I have seen The Holiday. Lots of times. Its a great film. I like the Jack Black character, although Jude Law is very handsome. The little house that Kate Winslet is meant to be living in is in the Cotswolds which is a beautiful county. I have been there a lot on holiday. Applebee's sounds really nice. I like places like that. Casual but nicer than fast food places. Mum and I like to go out for cups of tea and cake. Typically English. I haven't been getting on with my mum because I have been in such a horrible place and we have had arguments. My mum is bossy and even though I am a grown woman she still tries to tell me what to do and it drives me mad. She has had bad times in her life and thinks you just have to get on with it. Families are difficult. My sister has no compassion. I don't really see her much anyway and she hasnt been understanding of my feelings at all. I have lost faith in my family. My mum and I have made up but we will still clash I expect. I always wanted to move to the seaside with Gizzy. I had dreams of getting away from it all. I think we think that there will always be tomorrow. Pip and I are going to be alright though. I am lucky in so many ways. I just tell myself that Gizzy is happy and warm and having a lovely time with all our other beautiful animals in the meadow. I hope you have a wonderful time at the baby shower. Sounds perfect. Lots of love to you. Look forward to hearing from you soon. Love Claudiax

Hi Claudia,

I'm sorry that I haven't been online for about 3 days. . .the baby shower was fun, and so was my stay with my friend Chris and her husband Paul. They are one set of grandparents for this baby boy. Chris is an old friend from highschool. We grew up together in Illinois, but both ended up out here.

You are running into the reality with your mom, sister, and brother that most people don't really comprehend the grief that those of us with "pet family members" experience with that loss. Sometimes the loss of a pet when we are alone is even greater than the loss of a person! That's why there are so many pet loss groups that have formed. . .we need that support from like minded and like hearted people. Sounds to me that your mom is very typically British, and typically of our generation with her "buck up" attitude. She may be feeling the loss of Gizzy just as much in her heart, but her life's training won't allow her to grieve well. I am positive of one thing though. As a mother with an adult daughter who has her issues with me, there is no one in the whole world who could ever love you more than your mom. I'm not excusing her actions, but her motive is pure love!

In no way should you feel anything but sadness as you miss Gizzy! Your broken heart is mending, but it takes time. Feel sad, but don't feel sad because you feel sad! You really are coming through this grieving well. I am so proud of all of the positive steps you are taking to help your heart mend! I'm absolutely sure that Gizzy is proud too!

I have seen the movie Holiday lots of times too. . .touches and tickles my heart every time. I think it's time to watch that again!

In my opinion the little robin should be coming every day. . .unless in the winter they migrate south. I'll pray for that!

It's so good to hear that Pip and you are doing OK, and that you are able to count your blessings. . .a big one being that you know that Gizzy is happy and warm and having a lovely time romping in Heaven as she waits for you. Maybe your home in Heaven will be by the sea. That is exactly where I would like to be too!

Love and big hugs to you, Gizzy, and Pip from me, Scout, Newton. . .and Frank (my boyfriend).

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara. Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you. I kept thinking I must reply to Barbara and then I've started doing something and got distracted. I am still doing my back garden. I am trying to make it low maintenance by changing some areas where there is grass, to concrete. I am making a square area of grass and then having borders where I have plants. It has been raining a lot so very muddy. Also my garage roof has been leaking so I have been up the ladder and laying new roofing felt. Its still leaking so will have to put more up but I am tired of doing that. The robin has been in the garden with me. I saw it a few days after I'd said I hadn't seen it. I am going to buy a little nesting box and put it on the fence above the area where I have done the little lavender garden for my Gizzy. I am still crying everyday day for Gizzy. I actually can't bear my life without her. I just get through the day whether its at work or where ever feeling horrible and sad, but I just tell myself I will see her one day. She was just so perfect. I am not looking forward to Christmas without her. I am dreading it. I will have pip and that is a blessing I know. She is having to adjust to a new life and probably feeling scared inside and I love her very much already. When I took her to the vet last week she got some antibiotics as she had abit of an ear infection and she had her vaccine. I am taking her back on 1st to get her micro chipped. I just found going to the vet with a different dog and not Gizzy quite upsetting. I feel deep down that i should have waited longer before having another dog but i also think that Pip was meant to come to me. I just feel very tired at the moment. I am still cross with my mum. I understanding what you are saying about being a mum and that she loves me and i am sad to hear that your daughter has issues with you. You are such a wonderful person. You have said the most caring and understanding things to me. You have been my lifeline. I know its different with families. I just dont feel the same really towards my family. I have felt very alone dealing with Gizzy's loss and my heartache. I never felt alone when Gizzy was here. But even though i now have Pip, i feel alone. I love seeing my robin. That makes me better and i feel that she is part of my little family. She comes up very close to me and looks straight at me. She isn't scared. There is definitely something about this little robin. Pip still doesnt want to walk with her harness. I will gradually get her used to it. As long as she is happy I'm not worried about that at the moment. She comes out in the car with me and is getting used to that. I take her to my mums when I am doing my early job. Its only 3 hours but she was panic stricken when I left her. She was howling. I will try and gradually get her used to being at home if I go to work. She is insecure at the moment which I understand. I'm glad you had a great time at the baby shower with you old friends. Frank sounds nice too. Does he have family? Look forward to talking with you soon. Love to you, Scout,Newton and Frank and your friend Art who sounds like a really nice, kind person too. Love Claudiax

IHi Claudia,
Art and Frank appreciate your wishes and both say "hello" back to you. We went to dinner at Art's house last PM. He has a helper that has rented the upstairs master bedroom and bath from him, and she also cooks for him 3-4 times weekly (depending on their schedules). Art couldn't stand living alone after his wife died 2 years ago even tho' he has 2 dogs and a cat. So many people in this world are just like us, not meant to be loners!
I have already been thinking and praying about Christmas for you, as I knew this would be so difficult for you. I hope that it won't be as awful as you expect. In fact, I think it will much better than you expect! Prayers do work. . .your robin returned after I (or we) prayed!
Will Pip tolerate her harness when you are at home? This would be the first hurdle getting her comfortable wearing it for long periods of time at home.
One little trick to use when you leave is to get a kong toy and freeze some of her favorite food in it and give it to her right before you leave. This way she'll be distracted at your departure and will enjoy going after her treat for quite awhile. At first, did Gizzy have the same separation anxiety?
I just had another thought about grief. . .sometimes it helps to journal about all of your feelings very openly and honestly. You may never read them again, but somehow it helps to express them on paper. . . like letting them out from your brain and through your hand. It has helped me in the past. Actually you are already a journallor. . .our conversations are just that! I feel very priviledged and honored!
I totally understand the rift with your family right now. They love you infinitely and wish they could wave a magic wand to heal your broken heart. Also, they don't understand how deeply some of us feel about our pets. This doesn't make them cold and uncaring; they just feel differently.
I am so glad that you do have Pip and your little robin. If Pip could talk she could tell you how Gizzy orchestrated her coming into your life, and how grateful she is to be part of your recovery. Same thing with your little robin! They were/are meant to be right where they are irrespective of how you are feeling.
We all send our love and hugs to you. . .our little group here is growing and are your cheering section!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara thank you again for all your comforting advice. I'm glad that Art has someone living with him. That arrangement does seem good. Very sensible for him. I feel sorry for him that he was so lonely. Lovely that he has his dogs and cat though. Thank you for saying a prayer for my robin. That is so kind. Pip walked in her harness a couple of days ago in a garden centre. She did stop once or twice and not want to walk but then she carried on. She obviously had a bad experience going walking. I also think she was treated badly before. She gets scared if I say no to her bless her. She is such a loving dog. She wants to snuggle up under my neck. I am glad she is with me. I just am finding it hard in general with everything emotionally. She was meant to come to me I know. She seems really happy now. She has so many traits like my beautiful Gizzy. She rolls over to have her tummy rubbed. Gizzy always did that. I used to say to Gizzy kissy tummy and she would roll over. Pip has her head out of the car window and Gizzy always did that. Pip goes mad when she sees me and Gizzy did that. Pip loves the ball and Gizzy loved playing with balls. Pip loves looking out the window and so did Gizzy. Pip loves going under the covers in bed and Gizzy did that. Also the same foods and things. Gizzy loved my breakfast cereal and other little special treats and so does Pip. Gizzy followed me everywhere as well and so does Pip.Gizzy loved my brother and so does Pip. The other dogs in the family don't do those things so I know not all dogs do them. She has just fitted in so quickly at home and at my mums and when I go to my brothers. When I eventually start to leave her at home I will do that with the treat. Good idea. Gizzy didn't have that anxiety. She was with my mum to start with and mums other dogs and when she came to live with me, she was older and had a strong character. She loved being with me but if she did have to stay at home for whatever reason, she didnt howl. I have thought about writing down my feelings. As you say it gets it out of your mind for a time. She is just constantly in my thoughts. I want to cry all the time. Thank you for saying that Christmas will be better than I expect. I don't fell like celebrating as I don't feel happy. I am trying. I know that sounds silly. I have a lot to be happy for. I am just broken and devastated every day no matter what is going on. I haven't heard from the counsellor yet. Thank you for being kind about my family. You are exactly right. They just feel differently and that's that. Hope you and Scout are doing OK. And Newton and Frank. Happy thanksgiving day. Lots of love always Claudiax

Hi Claudia,
So sweet of you to remember that we have Thanksgiving today and for your good wishes. Most families and friends gather together for a big turkey dinner with all sorts of side dishes. One friend today brought brussel sprouts roasted on their stalk in the oven. It was very fun to see and they tasted delicious! Right now I feel so stuffed I may never eat again!
I have also had Christmases that the last thing I desired was to celebrate, so I definitely understand! Please don't worry about it at all. I do believe it will be nicer than you imagine, but even if it is as sad as you anticipate, you will get through it. I've already been praying for you to be comforted and strengthened as you go through the holidays.
How wonderful that Pip does all those dear things just like Gizzy! Pretty amazing! Pip was so obviously meant to be yours and you are both really helping each other!!!! Just like Gizzy planned!!!! I've got goose bumps just realizing that!
Did you get a chance to make the little nest for your robin? Does she use it?
One of Art's dogs is just like Pip in that he just decides to stop when we are walking. His name is ***** ***** he's a Giant Schnauzer, so about as heavy as I. When he stops there is no making him move, and he was never trained to "come". When he does this I just drop the leash and walk on ahead with Art's other dog Baxter. Austin then decides to follow. What a stubborn but darling personality!
Time for me to be off to bed. We all send you, Gizzy, Pip, and your little robin big hugs and warm, comforting wishes!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara, your Thanksgiving Day sounds wonderful. Do you do the same for Christmas Day?

Thank you for praying for me that Christmas will be OK. I appreciate it so much. Pip and I will get up on Christmas morning and give a big kiss to Gizzy. I know it is difficult for other people at that time who are grieving for someone as well. I am crying as I write to you now. I miss Gizzy so much it hurts. I still wish everyday day that I had done something more to make her better. I know i am being selfish to say that as all i wanted was for Gizzy not to be suffering. I wish I had kissed her more that day and told her more that I loved her. I expect i did all those things it's just such a painful memory of that day for me. Its so awful thinking about it. I was a wonderful mummy to her I know. I have to tell myself that she was loved and adored and i would have done anything for her. She was my life. It is the intense grief and heart brake that's making me feel like this. I think everyone thinks the same when it happens to them. I still feel guilty too that i missed something or didnt see something. I just feel horrible and grief stricken every moment of every day. I cant talk to anyone as i am on my own. My mum doesnt really know what to say to me. She just gets angry and says shes had so much upset in her life and to stop it. I have got nice friends who i text and some have lost their pets and know its terrible but i havent been able to meet up with anyone as i cry all the time and its too hard. I have been blessed talking to you and being able to tell you my feelings. You have helped me the most Barbara. God bless you for being there for me. I am going to write down lots of my feelings as you said. Some of my therapy is getting my garden all nice. I am keeping busy that way. I am also applying for jobs. I am just getting through each day really. I hope it doesn't sound dramatic to you me saying that. It's just i have lost my life that i had for so long with the most precious thing i could ever have and i am having to re build it and i'm finding it so hard. It's excrutiating actually.As i never married or had children, Gizzy was all of that rolled into one. She was my family. We were alittle family unit Gizzy and I. We had a lovely life together. I wish i could feel normal again. I hate feeling this way. Pip is such a comfort though. She has a lovely character and once again I have been blessed with having another such beautiful dog in my life.

I haven't bought the bird house yet. I hope my Angel Robin will go in it when I put it up.I have seen her this morning eating the bread I put out for her.

Austin sounds funny. Its kind of you to do the walking for Art. Baxter sounds nice too. Pip is liking her jumper that I got. She wasn't wanting to walk in it before. She is getting more confident. I haven't been to Gizzy's park yet with Pip. I even find it upsetting when I drive past it. I will be able to go there but just still can't at the moment. Everything is filled with emotion and sadness for me still. I know you felt like that too when you lost Igor.

Hope you are well. Hope your stomach problem is getting a bit better. Love to everyone. Thank you for all your kindness and time you have given me Barbara. I hope you are well and everything is OK as I haven't heard from you for awhile. Don't feel you have to always reply though. I know how busy you are. I just get a lot of comfort from your kindness. If you are able to keep in touch that would be good. Thank you Barbara again. I'm still struggling but trying to get on with life as difficult as it is. Pip is a lifeline too. She is a little Gizzy. Beautiful. Lots of love Claudiax

Hi Claudia,
I'm sure you feel I've forgotten you!!! I'm so sorry that I have been so busy with Thanksgiving and getting ready to go to Taipei, Taiwan. That's where my daughter Katie lives and works. She and my son-in-law have a 2 1/2 year old son Kai, and we get to go for a month over Christmas! We've made great arrangements for Scout and Newton to have someone live in our home with them, I've been sending gifts to Taiwan already, making sure our prescriptions and Scout's prescriptions are all filled, etc. etc.!
Your crying is so normal! This is why pet loss support groups are so great. . .everyone cries to one degree or another, and most feel a huge amount of guilt stemming from one thing or another surrounding their pets' death. . .I know I sure did!!!!! I think you'd be surprised at how helpful it would be to be surrounded by like minded people. . .if you could only find one there.
I definitely will write more later. It's starting to get dark and Scout and Art's dogs are eagerly awaiting their walk. . .be back later.
I'm back!
You describe heartbreak so well. . .functioning in our days with raw emotions and a crushed heart. I think, initially we can do nothing but cry and are immobilized. Then we gradually pick ourselves up, and even with the gnawing grief gradually begin to do the things we have to. After awhile we find we can sometimes remember our Gizzy (or Igor) with some smiles and not always tears. I think you are definitely in the second stage. . .hang in there. . .really!!!!
I am so proud of how you are rebuilding your life and accomplishing a lot really in your garden and home. When I lost Igor my daughter was grown and married and it had been just me and Igor for several years. I think that's why I was so impacted by his loss, and I can really understand how you are feeling and why. I promise you you will feel normal again! Just don't rush things! You have to go through this grief at your pace. If you don't, your heart will heal even more slowly and pieces will be missing. You're grieving well, and I am honored to be part of this. I am here!
Thanks for your wishes about my stomach. . .I do think I am feeling better. I had a diaphragmatic hernia that was repaired in 2006. Since then I've had to have the opening of my esophagus into my stomach stretched occasionally, and had that done 2 weeks ago. It's helped a lot I think!
Art and Frank both say "hi" to you, and I'm sure Scout, Newton, Baxter and Austin would all love you if you were here. . .such a tender person is well loved by our little animals (and not so little animals. . .Austin is a Giant Schnauzer!).
If you could, I'd love to see pictures of your house and garden, your Angel Robin, and when you can, of Pip. You are really being taken care of, even by you yourself! This site should make attaching pictures easier for you:
I know you are busy too. I look forward to hearing from you soon!
Love to you from all of us, and big hugs for Gizzy, you, Pip, and Angel Robin from me,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara so sorry its taken me a bit of time to get back to you. The trip to see your daughter and grandson sounds wonderful. You must miss them so much. I have been trying to keep busy. I have been going down to my brothers twice a week to do decorating for him. He lives with his two ***** *****'s called Charlie Brown and Snoopy. He lives in a suburb of London. Pip enjoys coming there with me like Gizzy did. Pip has settled in incredibly well. She is very affectionate. She is walking better in her harness but just stops then starts to walk again. She is doing well though. As I said before she has lots of traits like my Gizzy. I have read about Pet Reincarnation. I have wandered if part of Gizzy is in Pip. Also I have the beautiful Robin. The other day she came right up to me and then flew back. There is definitely something about the Robin. She stares at me and the other day when I came back I went into the garden and she was sitting all fluffed up in the laurel tree as if she was waiting for me. I still havent got the little house but will get it when I see a nice one. I am still getting the garden looking nice. I have always tried to keep it looking OK but when the winter comes it all starts to look a bit messy. We have got frost today. Very cold but its sunny too which is nice. I am starting to try and get presents for Christmas. Every time I think about it I feel so tearful but I am being a bit stronger. We are going out to eat on Christmas Day to a place where I used to take Gizzy when we went out sometimes for Sunday lunch as it takes dogs. I am so worried that i will just cry all day. I havent been there since i lost Gizzy. It was my mums idea as every year we normally have Christmas at home but the shopping and preparation and cost of the food etc. this year we are having someone else do it. I'm not really looking forward to it. It will be extremely hard for me. I understand that Christmas time can be hard for many people though who are grieving for someone. When you feel so horrible you think its just you and everyone else is fine. I'm sure that's not the case. Like you said with you for some Christmases. I think I will cry for Gizzy for the rest of my life. In fact I know I will. Losing her is like losing my world and myself. I haven't been the same person since losing her.I was so happy and enjoyed life and would talk all the time and laugh. I would love getting up and planning the day when i wasnt working. The lovely walks we used to have. She was so incredible. Her character. Everywhere we went people would talk to her. When she had her head out of the car window people what smile at her.Now I still feel sort of empty although in my heart, which is what is keeping me going, I know Gizzy is right by my side. Either in the Robin, in Pip or just there. I feel that. Yesterday the most perfect long white feather just landed on my foot in the garden. Either that is from my beautiful Gizzy or my Guardian Angel letting me know I'm not alone. I haven't got a lot of pictures of my house and garden. I took a lot when I first moved in but not since I've done it up. I haven't got a photo of Pip yet either. If I can takes some and send them to you I will try.

I understand that a Pet loss group might be helpful. I'm not sure if I can listen to other peoples heart brake. I would just sit there and cry the whole time. I'm not meaning that in a selfish way. I am just sensitive to everything and I would just be a wreck. I am getting through it. I just have to live each day and be blessed with what I have and do the things I am doing. Pip is like Gizzys baby. She is so like her in many ways but has her own little ways as well. I am very lucky that she is with me too. I want to say thank you again to you Barbara for always saying wonderful comforting things to me. You are lovely. Thank you. I am pleased you are feeling better with your stomach. I feel I know you like you are my family and want you to be OK. Please send my love to everyone. The picture of Gizzy and I was quite along time ago in my mums old house, but I love it as it sums up my love for her. Hope you like it. My little family here send our love back. Lots of love Claudiax

Hi Claudia,
I do. . .I love the picture! Both you and Gizzy are lovely, and I am so glad that you both have come into our lives here, even just over the internet.
Being alone suddenly is horrible! I'm so glad that you do have Pip, Angel Robin, and now possibly a visible sign of/from your guardian angel. How else can that feather falling right on your foot be explained???? I know that they don't take the place of Gizzy, but they will help you navigate through this horrific time helping you to function. You are doing that quite well, and in time your broken heart will be healed.
Christmas. . .this will be very difficult and sad for you I'm sure. The first one is! I have already been praying that you will be pleasantly surprised that it is not as bad as you anticipate. You'll have all of us here, Pip, Angel Robin, and your guardian angel cheering you on. You will not be alone!
After my Dad died my Mom and I and Katie would often go to the coast (Pacific Ocean) and have Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner at River's End restaurant in Jenner, Calif. This did become a lovely tradition, and really seemed to help my Mom to have something different for Christmas. Any possibility of you all going to a new and different restaurant for Christmas? Seems to me that that would be easier for you. You will have the strength to do whatever you need to. . .remember, you will not be going through this alone! I'll be rooting for you all the way from Taipei, Taiwan. Let's see, they are 16 hours ahead of me, and you are 8 hours ahead of me, so when in Taipei I'll be 8 hours ahead of you. . .
I don't think you are selfish at all in your thoughts about a Pet Loss Support group. I think most everyone cries a lot at first. Such a group may not be helpful to you at all, however. . .you know you!
It is amazing and wonderful to me that Pip is so much like Gizzy. I don't think that is an accident! I've been writing to another lady I met on here who lost her dog Zeanna about 9 months ago now. Another dog that she named Freedom came into her life unexpectedly and he is very much like Zeanna according to Barbara. I'm sure that's no accident either! We are loved, and even tho' we have to go through such heartache in this life, God always loves us and helps us.
I hope your weekend has been the best it could be under the circumstances.
Big, huge hugs to all of you there!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara Thank you for being so caring for me. Really pleased you like the picture. I am getting through my grief because I have faith. I believe my sweetheart Gizzy is with me. Through the lovely Angel Robin, and in Pip. Also having my Guardian Angel by my side. I believe in God and I know he watches people and is giving me all this help. Finding you as well is a blessing from God. Thank you Barbara for being there for me at this sad time for me. I appreciate having you helping me too so much. I will just be strong on Christmas Day while we are at the restaurant. My mum wants to go there and has put a deposit down. I have said to you in the past I think that I can't get upset in front of my family. They aren't understanding. Its sad for me in that all I want when I feel tearful about Gizzy is an arm round me and for someone to just say its OK. My brother just turns on me, and says its been ages and to get over it. That attitude on top of my feeling sad for Gizzy is very hard for me. My mum is the same. She will say to go and cry behind closed doors and they don't want to see my grief. I have been a wonderful daughter to my mum. I have been there for her through hell and high water. I have been patient and kind and always helped her when she has needed it. The same with my brother. I have been there for him whenever he has needed it. I have a sister who is useless and never been any help to anyone and another brother who is married but never helps my mum or cares particularly. Its a shame but there's nothing I can do about how they are. Its unbelieveable to me as I am completely the opposite. Your Thanksgiving and Christmas times by the coast sound nice. Do you still have your Mum? Its lovely that the lady who you are helping has a new dog that is like her other dog. I am certain and feel it in my heart that Gizzy is part of Pip. Although I cry for my sweetheart, I have got a lot of inner strength that comes from all the lovely things that are surrounding and helping me at this time. I hope you have a fantastic time at your daughters for Christmas. Sending my love to you all. Love Claudiax

Dear Claudia,
You are right, your Mom and brother don't understand your grief, but there are many in this world who do. . .like me! On Christmas Day whenever you need a hug know that God is with you and helping you, and picture me giving you the hug you need. Would be nice if someone there would do so, but I think you will just have to be strong. . .I'll pray for strength for you as well as comfort for that day.
You definitely are coming through your grief for Gizzy well. . .she is also very pleased as I know she wants your heart completely mended so that it can sing again. Doesn't mean you won't miss her and cry over the fact that she isn't in your life right now (physically), but life will be OK again for your and even joyful!
I feel completely swamped with what I have to do to get ready to go to Taiwan! If I am unable to write again until I am there, please understand (I know you do!). If I get all of the stuff done, I may be back online sooner than later.
Lots of love to you from everyone here!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara. Have a great time in Taiwan. Please don't worry if you don't get a chance to stay in touch while you are away. The time you have given me so far has been unbelieveable. I hope you have a lovely enjoyable time. You deserve it. Thank you for all your prayers for me. I can't thank you enough for everything you have said to me. Bless you. I hope Frank, Art, Scout, Newton, Baxter and Austin are all OK. And your beloved Igor who is with you too. Lots of love and warm wishes for a lovely Christmas for you and everyone. Love Claudia, My precious Gizzy, Darling Pip and the beautiful special little Angel Robin xx

Dear Claudia,
Thank you for such lovely wishes from everyone! I'm sure I will be online and in touch some. I want to thank you for being a person so full of love. You have touched my life and those around me with whom I share. We do live in a world of hurt and turmoil, but also in a world of love and and wonderful people all around the world!
I'm in not quite frantic mode getting everything done for our trip.
Will be in touch very soon. . .but continue to pray for you!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for saying that. You are a very special person to have helped me so much. I am crying as I write this. I understand what you mean about the world. You are right. Look forward to hearing from you when you are able. I wish you lots of love and happiness and I hope one day I will feel happy again like I did before. I have had a horrendous half a year and have been at the lowest point of my life but I must always remember the beautiful life I had with Gizzy and that she wants me to have a happy heart and not a broken one. I am trying to build it up again with what i have now. Best wishes to everyone Claudiax

Hi Claudia!!!!!
Here I am in Taipei visiting my daughter Katie, son-in-law Fabian, and my grandson Kai (age 2 1/2). Kai is beautiful and so much fun. Is testing the boundaries now, but most of the time is a very happy child. It's very interesting to watch Katie and Fabian develop as parents. They have rarely had to discipline Kai before now, but are learning quickly how to help in learn to set boundaries. . .much tougher parenting I think, but of course totally necessary! I get to just be his gram, and so far we are having a very lovely relationship!
We also went to Bangkok and many of those pictures are on Facebook put there by our guide. You could find them under my name, ***** ***** at Twain Harte Veterinary Hospital (hope this goes through to you!) My response to the pictures is "Who is that old woman?????"
I hope that as the holidays develop that you are doing OK. I know that this is such a painful time for you, but I have been praying for strength and comfort for you as you walk through this time. Frank sends his encouragement too, and Art. I haven't talked with him in the past week, but he did so before we left. Having gone through his huge loss almost 2 years ago now (the death of his wife Patti), he understands completely your position and cheers ***** *****!
I send hugs to you, Gizzy, Pip, and Angel Robin, and hope to hear back from you when you have a moment.
Lots of love from our little group here (meaning in the US) to your little group!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara, so lovely to hear from you. Sorry for the little delay in getting back to you. Glad your visit to your daughter is going well. Sounds like Kai is a little monkey. The age of 2 is challenging from my experience of looking after children of that age and with family members. I will have a look on Facebook for your photos. I'm sure you don't look old, bless you. It did come through the address which is good. I am keeping busy with things. I had a cry this morning. It gets overwhelming the grief still, and then I make myself focus on other things. The tears are still there most days. I always have in my mind things like if only I had done this or that. If only I hadn't gone into work that Monday or other things. I then tell myself that at the time I thought I was making the right choices. No one knows what's round the corner. I know in my heart that I was a wonderful mummy to Gizzy and that I tried to always have her best interests at heart. Its just my head says other things like did I do the right things. I don't have any one to go over it with a part from you so I have to tell myself these things and just carry on. I will have to be strong tomorrow. I realize that there are a lot of people who have lost loved ones and dread Christmas. I am not alone in that respect. I watched a programme about the tsunami 10 years on and how awful that was for people losing their loved ones. So many things happen to people. Here in this country there are a lot of elderly people who are on their own and very lonely. I don't know if in America its the same. Families don't appear to care much for the elderly here. I often think how hard that must be. I have said to my mum that I will always look after her when she is elderly and can't look after herself anymore.

Pip is doing well. She seems very happy. She walks in her harness. I took her to the park where Gizzy and I used to go to up my road the other day for the first time. I found it too hard to go there before now. She was very good. She stayed with me and had a little run. I cried a bit but thought that Gizzy would want me to take Pip there. Gizzy loved it there. She would have a lovely run. We spent a lot of time there when I wasn't working. Especially when the sun was out it was lovely. Always quiet. Never many people around. Or we would sometimes go there in the early evenings. It was one of Gizzy's and mines favorite times. That and having days at home together. I will make memories with Pip like that I know. She is really lovely Barbara. I have been blessed again. Through this sadness I know I am being helped by God and my beautiful sweetheart looking down. I even feel that she is a part of Pip. I can feel it. And the Angel Robin. I'm going to put the house up today. I see her everyday. Its a beautiful comfort. Thank you for praying for me for this Christmas time. That is so kind and caring of you. Thank you with all my heart. Please thank Frank for his kind thoughts, and Art when you next see him and I hope he is OK over Christmas as I know he is still very heartbroken himself. Love to Scout when you see her.

Have a lovely night tonight, and a lovely Christmas Day and Boxing Day. I will let you know how it all goes here as well. Take care. Love Claudia and my precious Gizzy and my precious Pip and little Angel Robin xxx

Hi Claudia,
I sure have been thinking about you and praying for you! I think you are going to be surprised about little ways that God is going to bless you and comfort you today. . .especially with Gizzy rooting for you!
Your description of your feelings is pretty textbook for the grieving process. . .the guilty feelings that we all share, and then the bouts of crying! I always feel that these crying episodes are like vomiting. . .totally uncontrollable, but then over pretty quickly. . .until the next one. The good news is these bouts become less frequent.
I'm glad you and Pip went back to the park. . .it sounds lovely, and I totally agree that Gizzy would want you to introduce Pip to it. I imagine that Pip will enjoy it completely too and you will be able to delight in her joy there. Could be that Gizzy is enjoying it still too!!!!
Angel Robin is very lucky to have come into your life as she is being cared for also. Maybe your family isn't responding gently to you, but you do have Pip, Angel Robin, me, Frank and Art all supporting you as you go through this horrendous time. . .actually you are back on the upswing I think.
I'll be eager to hear about your day.
I'm sending lots of hugs and love from us all to help see you through!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear *****, Happy New Year. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I hope you had a lovely time with your family. I realized that I needed to write first so you could reply. So sorry. I was thinking i might hear from you earlier but its no problem at all. For that reason it has have taken me this long to write to you. I wasn't sure when you were returning from your trip either. I couldn't find you on Facebook. Anyway I hope you are all OK. I had an OK Christmas. I cried quite a lot in the morning when I was at home but put on a brave face for the rest of the day. Same on Boxing Day. I wanted to be brave so to speak for my Gizzy and also for Pip. She is lovely and a little gift from Heaven. I have bad days and better days. Actually today I felt very sad. I was with my mum and brother but just felt horrible inside. I don't show it now. I grieve privately at home really. Its been that way for ages. I have my little angel Robin. I don't see her everyday but always look out for her. I hope she doesn't leave and go somewhere else once winter comes to an end. I will be very upset I think.

I am still applying for more work. The nanny agencies are incompetent.

Hopefully something will come up as financially its a bit of a struggle. I am still going down to my brothers but just once a week plus I'm doing my early morning nanny job. Its ok but have to earn more to survive.

I hope Scout is OK and Frank and Art and his doggies. Look forward to hearing from you soon. Love Claudiax

Dear ***** I hope you are OK. I am worried I haven't heard back. If you are busy don't worry. You have been the most understanding and caring person to me through what was the worst time of my life and I want to say thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. I don't know if I would have survived to be honest if you hadn't said the most lovely things. Telling me what would have been wrong with my Gizzy and helping me understand. Your unbelievable patience. I still feel so incredible sad everyday but from having your help and reading your stories gave me bit by bit strength to get by each day. I wish I could somehow print all our posts to make it into a little book but I don't know how to do that as there isn't a print icon on the page.

Once again, it would be wonderful to hear from you and to let me know about your stay with your family and how your Christmas went and hopefully I will hear back soon.

Its my Birthday on the 20th Jan. Not sure how I will feel. Pip is as lovely as ever and is settled right in now. We have the same routine that I had with Gizzy, which is nice. She is a little light in what would otherwise be, a dark and lonely place for me. I haven't seen the Angel Robin for nearly a week. I hope she is still around. I put up a little house for her but she hasn't been in it yet. I hear singing in the garden so it might be her in the trees.

Barbara lots of love to you.

I will keep you posted with things with me. I hope everyone over there is OK. Frank, Art, your precious Scout and Baxter and Austin. Hope your daughter, son in law and grandson are OK too.

Love always, Claudiaxx

Hi Claudia,
Just got home from Taiwan and we a quite the mess. . .jet lag!!!! I'm up in the middle of the night, sleep in fits, and am so exhausted. . .ALL very worth it though! I had looked for you in JustAnswer and couldn't reopen our conversation so am so glad you did!
Happy New Year to you too. It can only improve from you as your heart continues to heal. Maybe it would help you to look back at how you were right after Gizzy moved to Heaven, and how you are now. Your heart isn't healed yet, but you are doing a great job at functioning! I'm proud of you!
We are all OK here, and my family in Taiwan are doing very well. I love seeing my daughter mothering. . .she is a great mother! They have a rescue dog named Emma, and we so enjoyed taking her for walks and playing in the park with her. My grandson Kai is speaking in 3 languages, but so far English is the best. Good thing because I don't understand Spanish much, and I have no clue about Chinese. He is a very happy child with a fun sense of humor and sings very well (on pitch!) Very fun!
Thank you so much for your kind words! I love the fact that I could help you through the darkest time of your life (and we're not done yet!). We all go through stuff and need lots of support in our lives at times. I totally understand how losing your companion of over 17 years is devastating, but I am really proud of the steps you have and are taking to heal. . .you should be too!!!!! I think it is awesome how Pip has fit right in.
I am sorry that your family hasn't offered much support at all. They never had a close relationship with a pet like your's and Gizzy's I'm sure, or they would have been much more understanding; but others of us have had those relationships with our pets and lost those pets (sure wish they could live as long as us!). It is the worst, most unrelenting pain in our lives. However, we do heal. Your grieving is healthy, the people I worry about are those that just "buck up". Inevitably these people end up breaking down in some way (or multiple ways).
I'm wondering if you have seen Angel Robin again yet. Also thinking that it's normal for robins to migrate, so maybe she moved south for the winter? I grew up in the midwestern part of the US near Lake Michigan where we had cold winters. Our robins always went south for the winter. Think I'll google robin migration.
I sure hope that you and Pip and Angel Robin are all doing a little bit better each day. I really hope to hear from you soon. . .and sorry if my jet lag stupor is making this confusing at all!
Good morning!
Hope today is finding your heart more healed! Not completely yet, of course, but coming along.
I finally have a clearer head, and I finally looked up robin migration. You in the UK have the european robin which is generally a permanent resident but some do migrate in the winter to as far south as Spain. We have the american robin here which is larger and mostly migrates. Has Angel Robin been back yet? If not, I suspect she is one of those that does migrate. Can't imagine she would choose to live anywhere but with you!
My sister's kitty Newton who lives with Frank and me is displaying signs of hyperthyroidism, so today I'll take him to the clinic, examine him and get some blood and urine for testing. I'll also check his blood pressure. Tomorrow I'll know much more about his inner workings!
Art said to wish you a much better 2015. Austin, his Giant Schnauzer is about 10 years old and has an arrhythmic heart from dilated cardiomyopathy. On medication he is really doing quite well. Baxter is as old but is a Standard Schauzer and is very healthy. We do walk daily, but it is always a toss up as to whether Austin will go with us. Have to heed his physical ability.
Talk with you soon. . .
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara, I'm sorry for the delay in replying to your other message. Pleased you had a great trip to Taiwan. You sounded shattered but sounded like you enjoyed the stay with your family. Thank you once again for saying you are proud of how I am doing. I agree about grieving. If you are told to stop ( which my family were practically saying) it isn't the right way to help someone. Every time I felt upset about Gizzy in front of my mum she would say go and cry in private. That was only a few weeks after Gizzy moved to Heaven. I wanted desperately to talk about what had happened and all the things surrounding it but just couldn't with anyone in my family. My friends were more sympathetic. I have seen Angel. I hadn't seen her for a few days and really hoped that she hadn't gone. I looked up about the migrating as well and it said that its more the males that move and if there is food (fruit especially) they tend to stay. I was really pleased to read that. I have seen her now and so I am happy about that. Its very cold here at the moment so the birds probably stay in the trees more and come out for food. I'm not sure. Thank you too for looking up about the Robins and giving your info on what they do too. You are so kind and thoughtful. Pip is doing really well. She loves Gizzy's park. She is very loving. I am lucky to have her. Sorry to hear about Newton.Does he live with you now? Hope all the tests are OK. And Austin. Hope he is OK. Our precious pets are such a tug on our heart strings. Thank Art for his kind and caring words. Please say the same to him as I know he has been very heart broken too. I am going to sign up with a new nanny agency on wed. The ones I am with are useless. Hopefully be able to get a nice job through the new one. Its my Birthday tomorrow. I am going over to my mums and we might have lunch out somewhere. As it was my mums Birthday a week ago so yesterday we had a big extended family lunch out. I am feeling better being around people again but I still know I'm not quite myself. I always feel a bit numb still with everything. Just not myself. Maybe I won't ever be the person I was when I had Gizzy. Something definitely died inside me that dreadful day. I hope that doesn't sound too extreme Barbara. I just meant I was completely broken. Like you said how you felt when you lost Igor. There just doesn't seem happiness inside anymore even though I have a lot to be happy and very grateful for. I smile now and have even laughed at times but its not from the heart just yet. Pip is beautiful. She could be Gizzy there is so much resemblance. I just don't know if I have just been incredibly lucky to have such a similar sweetheart, or my precious darling has been reincarnated in to Pip. I have read about it and tried to understand it. It seems to good to be true. I do think Pip has somehow tried to tell me with some things she does. I don't know but if it is true, God has blessed me more than words can say. I'm crying now as I write this. Anyway, hope you've settled back home now. Love to all of the pets and to you, Frank and Art.

Love always - Claudia x

Hi Claudia,
Happy Birthday! I know I'm a couple of days late, but I like to celebrate birthdays for the following month. Seems that good things always happen during that time! Pretty silly, I know.
I can completely relate to how you are feeling. . .not quite yourself and still having periods when grief overcomes you. These will get further and further apart, and you will be completely yourself again and happy inside. Your precious memories of Gizzy will comfort you and be joyful. Remember, she has just moved to Heaven and you will be with her again. I sure wish the move wasn't so devastating!!!!!!
I personally don't think that a spirit goes from one body to the next, but I do know that God and Gizzy love you and were in cahoots in having Pip come into your life at the perfect time. Gizzy is in Heaven cheering you on, and just think how thrilled she is that you are feeling better. Me too!
So glad to hear that Angel has returned. You are putting fruit out for her, right? That's what you read anyway.
I'm glad to hear that things are getting easier for you with your mom. Truly, many people don't understand our grief, and the need to cry and talk. Another thing about moms is that we like to fix all problems for our children and make everything OK again. When we can't do that we should just hug and listen, but sometimes we don't do what is needed, unfortunately.
Austin seems to be doing quite well. He is on heart medication which keeps him from having congestive heart failure. He is a very large dog and 10 years old which is a normal lifespan for a dog his size. Scout and Baxter are great! Newton is as yet undiagnosed, which means his blood work only shows anemia, but all of his organ functions are fine. This means his problem is likely withing his GI tract. Indeed, he has now vomitted a couple of times in the last several days, but he is eating well. The next diagnostic test will be an abdominal ultrasound. . .possibly tomorrow.
I'll give each pet your love and Frank and Art too.
A big hug and love to you!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara thank you for the belated Happy Birthday. I like it to go on all the month too. The day was good. I had lots of presents and cards. I cried a lot when I was on my own then just got on with it. I know that I have so much to be grateful for so when I dry my tears I make myself remember that.

Barbara are you able to print all our messages off your end? I would love to have this on paper. Its been my journal of recovery in a way. You are such a caring and understanding person who has helped me more than you can imagine. I will always be so incredibly grateful for your help. I don't know whether you are able to have my address on this or its deleted. I know your email address was deleted. I wander if there is a way its just that if my tablet or computer breaks I won't have this. I could see if I can get my address passed through the website then on to you. I hope Austin and Newton are doing alright. Let me know how they get on. Glad Scout and Baxter are OK. Hope you are well too. Has your stomach problem been better? Lots of love to all of you out there. I'm still sorting out about work. Also jobs in my house and garden. Look forward to hearing from you. Love and big hugs back, Claudiax

Hi Claudia,
So good to hear from you and I'm glad you got lots of cards and presents. Doesn't surprise me because you are such a loving person and therefore have many good friends. Your attitude is wonderful! Even tho' you are so broken over Gizzy (normal!) you can still see the blessings in your life. I know that it has been a very difficult process getting to this point, but your heart is coming along in its healing.
Thank you again for all of your kind words. I'm so glad I could help you through such an awful time, and your words bless me a lot! THANK YOU!!!!!!
I can't print our conversations out, but I'll contact the administration and ask them how one might do this. I'm curious and would like this !!!!!!
My stomach is feeling better. . .thank you for asking. Years ago I had a diaphragmatic hernia and no one seems to know why. Usually it is fat, unfit people that get this, and I'm neither. Anyway, I had surgery to repair it, but apparently the junction between my esophagus and stomach needs to be stretched occassionally. This is what I had done, and I feel so much better!!!!!!
Newton actually seems to be doing some better. . .eating better and using his litter box routinely. The only thing that turned up on his blood profile is that he is anemic. I started last week giving him vit. B-12 shots. When I take him in to the clinic to have an ultrasound I think I'll also measure his blood count again to see if the vitamin is helping.
Austin seems to be holding his own. Scout and Baxter are both doing really well. Where we live they can run free as soon as we are away from the neighborhoods (about 1/4 mile) and they love it! Art is still mending, but really is doing quite well. Frank is taking longer than I did to get back on this time schedule, but I think he is very close.
We all send our love and big hugs to you all there! I'm off to write to the administration about copying our conversation.
Hi Claudia,
Heard back from the administration with instructions on how you can print out our conversations. Here it is:
On the customer's question box (the first/original one) there is a Share button. If they hover over it with their mouse, it expands and one of the choices is Print.
Hope this works!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear *****, thank you for your last 2 messages. Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I'm glad you are feeling better with your tummy. My mum has got an inflamed esophegus and has been been I'll with it. She had an endoscopy ( I think that's what it was) to see what was going on. It has got slightly better over time. She has to be careful what she eats and nothing acidy. She has diverticular disease as well so has been reasonably careful for years to eat the right things. (Doesn't stop her from being bossy though!)

Pleased Newton and Austin are doing alright. They are in good hands. Great that Scout and Baxter are good too.

Hope Art is OK. He is lucky to have you as a friend to help him with all those things. Send my love.

Thank you so much for finding out about being able to print all this off. My tablet went funny the other day and I was worried I may have lost all this. I can't print at home so when I get a moment I will go somewhere where I can do it.

Hope everything else is OK with you. I'm still applying for more work. Still doing jobs around the house too. I see Angel most days. She didn't go into her house on the fence but you never know. At least she is still coming in to the garden. Pip is fine and very happy. I still have this terrible ache for my precious Gizzy. I'm crying as I write this I find it so painful still. I kiss her photo night and morning. I worry that she isn't happy. I know it sounds silly. Its because of my grief and feeling so unhappy still myself that I think she is feeling that way too. I have to convince myself that I'm sure she is as she is in the most beautiful place.

Love Claudiax

Hi Claudia,
Very good to hear back from you and sure hope the instructions I copy and pasted to you (think that is what I did is called!). Woke up this AM to another note from the administration with more info:
You're welcome! If the customer has any trouble, you can direct them to customer service with either with the Contact/help button on the site, or by telling them to email: [email protected]
Sorry to hear that your mum has esophagitis, but very glad that is all it is. It's very important to get that healed as that can lead to esophageal cancer! Is your mum taking Pepcid, Zantac, Prilosec or Nexeum? (I'm sure there are other acid reducers, but that's what I can think of right now. Also, perhaps in the UK these are called something else).
I totally believe that Gizzy's life right now and forever is without any sorrow. That's what the Bible says. I also know that she is in the cheering section for you, (this is also in the Bible), so I do believe that she can see you and hear you. I know that she knows your sorrow, but it must be for people in Heaven that they also know that all will be OK in a micron in time compared with eternity so they are cheering you through the worst of times here without there being any sorrow in their lives. At least that is what I believe. . .Gizzy is in the most beautiful place both physically and emotionally!
I wonder if putting some fruit in Angel Robin's house would entice her to move in????
Hope the printing of our conversations works well, and I look forward to hearing from you again.
Lots of love and good luck wishes!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara. Thank you so much for all that help with the printing. I haven't done it yet as I need to go to the library to do it. I think I will make a little book of our messages. Like a keepsake. I will be forever grateful for all your help. I have put chopped apple in Angels house and seed but I don't think she has been in there. I had the same idea as you about that! As long as I keep seeing her in the garden it doesn't matter if she doesn't go in the house. Its there if she needs it.

Mum does take antacids. She was on antibiotics as well when it was inflamed. She has bad joint problems so was taking a lot of antinflamatory tablets which contributed to causing problems as well.

Thank you for describing so caringly about Gizzy and how she would be feeling. What a lovely thing to say about it. Reading that makes me feel comforted and better about it all. I just want her to be so happy and having a precious, wonderful time until I'm back together with her again. I don't know if my broken heart will ever mend completely. I just have to try and be strong for her and for Pip and be thankful for what I have. I am still doing more jobs at home. I have been helping my mum do jobs at her house too. I have an interview tomorrow for a 3 day nannying job with 3 children. I'm still doing my early morning job as well. We have got snow here so its very cold.

I hope everyone is doing well over there. Let me know how everyones doing. Hope you are well and lots of thank you's and love to you as always. Look forward to hearing from you. Love Claudiax

Hi Claudia,
I wonder if you did get that 3 day nannying job? It sure would be nice, I think, if you got a regular nannying job so that you didn't alway have to be looking and interviewing. Something that supplied what you need financially, leave time for your other projects, so maybe part time, and one where you would be able to get to know the kids and share all the love you have in your heart.
For several years I had two regular part time jobs. . .3 days/ week at one clinic and 2 days/week at another clinic. Neither clinic needed a second full time vet, but they together provided the stability I needed and the benefits too. I could count on these jobs, hence not having to look for other jobs, and I developed close relationships with my co-workers in both places.
Art came over for dinner last PM and we also had our neighbors Bev and Steve. I like these little dinner parties because they are fun, but also give us the incentive to clean. . .not that our house is dirty, but it's never as tidy as when company is coming!
Art is doing well and he really appreciates your thoughts for him. He also cares how you are doing and even asks me if I haven't mentioned you recently. . .which I do quite a bit!
Frank is well. He has a follow up appointment on Tues. with one of the doctors that treated him for throat cancer 3 years ago. They keep checking every 3-4 months now, and so far, so good!
I'm doing well too and my stomach issues seem to be fine now. . .yaaaaaaaaay!
Glad to hear that your mum is taking the medications that help her. If she is still uncomfortable, however, there are several different options for anti acids, so maybe one would work better for her. . .just a thought. I know too, that sometimes taking them on a regular schedule works better. Those darn anti inflammatories! They work wonders for joints and pain, but can be so hard on the stomach and esophagus!
Scout is doing great! Would be great if she and Pip could play. . .someday probably in Heaven. There she will also meet Gizzy! Scout has travelled (from Mexico to here, then to Spain, then two Washington, DC, and finally back here to us). Travelling is not the easiest on our pets, and if her travels hadn't been necessary we would not have asked that of her. Now she is here for good!
Newton really is doing quite well for an old guy. . .eating well, runs around even occasionally, and poops and pees well. He's very happy!
Austin is doing well with his medications for congestive heart failure. He's eating, pooping and peeing normally, and he enjoys going for walks with me too. . .just a slower pace. One of his medications is quite expensive, but fortunately Art does have the money for this. Art had a huge Jeep parts supply near San Francisco, worked hard all of his life, and is very good with financial decisions. He is very comfortable in his retirement, and although he is still grieving his loss of Patti, is like you, grateful for the good things in his life and concentrating on those.
Baxter is very healthy and loves to run, so I'm so glad that we live close to areas where he can do so.
I'm so glad that you are feeling better and better. Like you say, your heart may never be completely healed, but being grateful for what you do have and concentrating on these will bring comfort in the face of devastating pain. Boy, this losing our loves can sure make us stronger, and also puts so much in perspective!
Guess I shouldn't go on and on. . .but I could! Sorry!
It's time for me to take the dogs for a nice walk. We are then going to see the movie "Whiplash". We trying to see the movies that are up to win Oscars. So far we've seen "Selma", "Imitation Game", "American Sniper", and "Birdman". They are all great films in their own ways. I would hate to be one of the judges.
OK. . .enough of my rambling on!
Please tell your mum, brother, and sister "Hi" from me, and give Pip a big kiss from me. Tell Angel Robin and Gizzy how special they are to me too because they are yours!
Big hugs to you and lots of love,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara. Thank you for your message. Hope you are well. I have printed off our posts. I am going to put them in a little folder or book. Thank you for finding out how to do it again. I'm not sure how I can print off just our messages from now onwards rather than printing it all off again.

I am struggling a bit with the sadness at the moment. I didn't know there could be such emotional pain inside. I miss Gizzy so much. I know it has been 6 months now but its still so raw. I think its because I don't really have anyone to talk to about it here. I don't say anything to my mum. I just pretend I'm OK. I never heard back from getting grief counselling. I'm not going to find out now as I don't think it will help. I am going through the grief in a normal way I know that and quite naturally am missing the most precious thing in my life and the life we shared. Its obviously harder as I am on my own. I keep looking back and having a feeling that I wish it had been different. I wish I had brought her home but that's because I wanted that and not because it would have been the right thing for Gizzy. I seem to have lost a lot of my confidence. I feel that I am not the same person anymore. I feel very empty inside. I love Pip. Of course. I just feel differently about everything. She is so sweet. She reminds me as I said before of Gizzy in lots of ways. I feel blessed about that. We go up to the park when the sun comes out. I find it hard but I watch Pip and she's happy so that makes me feel better.

I'm still waiting to hear about the job. Might hear today. If not there will be something else.

I'm pleased all the pets are doing OK. Send my love to Art. Sorry to hear that Frank hadn't been well before. Pleased he is alright now though. And so pleased you are feeling better. Life is very hard at times, isn't it.

Send my love and hugs to everyone including the animals. Look forward to hearing from you soon. Lots of love Claudia and Pip, precious sweetheart Gizzy and my little Angel Robin xx

Hi Claudia,
It really is pretty shocking, isn't it, that such emotional pain actually, physically hurts in our hearts! I never experienced this until I was an adult, and I couldn't believe I could hurt so much and for so long. Really, 6 months isn't long at all. Your loss is no less than someone losing their spouse or even a child! I think you are grieving very well; very healthfully (if that makes sense), plus you are even able now to function more normally. You are coming along well, and I really think in time your heart will heal completely, and your memories of Gizzy will bring only joy and not the raw sadness. Most important right now is for you to realize that you are normal and that in time your heart will be healed. I know that's hard to imagine from your stage. Wish I was there to give you a big hug!
I'm sure you do wish you had brought Gizzy home. . .again, you are totally normal in this. Our brains and our hearts seem to take on lives of their own. . .even tho' we know that that would not have been in Gizzy's best interest, our thoughts and then our hearts go there and hurt all the more! Believe me, I have personally experienced just what you are experiencing!
You don't sound to me like you've lost your confidence. . .just your joy, which is a huge deal! Sounds like that is very gradually returning: you are on a very normal path, and your joy will return in time.
You know. . .actually you aren't the same person you were. The loss of Gizzy will change you forever, but for the better too. We don't live through such trauma for no reason. As I think back, I'm not the same person I would have been without the devastating traumas I went through. . .so they were worth something! Would have preferred no trauma however!!!!!!
Told Art and Frank hello and gave your love. Also, all the pets got hugs and pats in your name.
Love and hugs to all of you!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara. Lovely to hear from you. Thank you so much for your beautiful, kind words. Everything you say is exactly how it is. You understand so incredibly how I am feeling and say such perfect things. I cry every time I read your replies, but they are unbelievably comforting to me because I know you know what you are saying as a vet and as a person who has experienced all the pain and emotion as well. I don't think I will ever get over losing my precious Gizzy because she meant so much to me. I knew I adored her and loved her with all my heart and soul when she was here, but after she moved to Heaven I don't think I realsed how much. I revolved most of my life around her, tried to at least. I hated going to work but obviously that's something we all have to do. I had lots of lovely plans of what Gizzy and I would do in the future and took everything for granted in a way. I wish I had done certain things differently now. I torture myself that if I had done this or that, then maybe my angel would still be here. Perhaps she could have had some other heart medication or painkillers if she had pains anywhere. I just keep going over it. I know that she was at an incredible age and I was ( and always will be) so proud of her. I say it out loud now so she can hear me and I tell her l love and will see her again. I was incredibly lucky to have had her in my life. I just miss her so much. I have cried every single day since that day. My brother did say something nice the other day while I was talking to him on the phone. I said that Pip was so much like Gizzy in her ways and he said its because of the way you are treating her. She is loving like Gizzy because you are so loving to her. He was actually understanding when I got tearful. I think he realizes how hard it has been for me. Pip is beautiful Barbara. I know she knows that I am upset but she is very happy. We are growing our life bit by bit together. She has made this devastating experience better in a little way. I have someone to talk to and look after and have a reason to live for. I know I have my family but I'm basically on my own. Being a mummy to Gizzy was heaven. I lost that and now even just saying to Pip come with mummy is hard as for so many years I was Gizzys mummy. I'm pouring out my emotions again to you Barbara. I'm so sorry if I go on.

I got the 3 days job which I start next week. Its Tues/ Wed/Thurs. Its for around 3 months. There are 3 children. One girl 16 months, one boy 4 and a girl of 6. Will be a handful but I am used to it. I have done many jobs like that so am sure it'll be fine. When I am working, the pain and thoughts of Gizzy are there but because I have to put my mind on to something else it helps with the grief. Its when I finish and drive home it all comes flooding back. I used to be so excited about seeing Gizzy at the end of a day that I'd been working. She was so pleased to see me too. She would literally jump into my arms despite her age. I now have Pip to look forward to seeing. She has the same passion and love in her which is lovely.

Do you celebrate Valentines Day? If you do, hope you have lots of lovely treats as you deserve it.

Send my love to all of you. Pets and people. Hope you are all doing OK. Will let you know how it goes next week. Angel Robin is still here. She comes and has a feed. She sits in a little bowl that Gizzy used to have biscuits in which is sweet. I put seed and bread plus chopped apple in it. Sometimes little crumbled biscuits as a treat. I have got quite a few birds in the garden. Its nice to watch them. Angel didn't go in the little house I put up. I could put it in a different place to see if that works. I have got a very big laurel bush which is where most of the birds go and its cosy inside. So hopefully they are all warm. Birds have a nice life. I would like to come back as a bird one day. Thank you for being so kind.

Hope to hear from you soon. Love Claudiax

Hi Barbara. I haven't heard from you and I hope everything is alright. I understand that you are very busy. The job is going OK. Its tiring but I am used to that. Once I finish that job I will need to look for another one. I have an interview lined up so if that's not any good then I'm sure there will be something else.

I just want to take this opportunity to say the biggest thank you to you Barbara. You have been my lifeline. I would really like it if we could keep in touch. I am on face book so please try and find me as I was unable to find you before.

I still feel so sad and still cry everyday. I am coping now and know that one day I will see my precious little girl again in Heaven. I miss her everyday and wish she was here but I know she is in a wonderful place and healthy and happy. I was blessed with having her in my life and have to always thank our lovely God for that privilege now and forever.

God bless you too Barbara. Thank you again for all your help and understanding and for being there for me during the worst time of my life.

Lots of love and hugs for you and Scout, Newton and Frank and Igor. Love to Art and Austin and Baxter too.

Love Claudia, Gizzy, Pip and Angel. Xxx

Hi Claudia!
Your "question" was closed which doesn't allow me to respond! I've been asking to have it re-opened so that I could respond. . .and finally today they did open it.
My big news is that my daughter is having twins in August! They already have a son, Kai, who will be 3 in May. He will ultimately be a fun and loving big brother, but this will be quite an adjustment for him, I'm sure! I found a book called "Belly Check". It's written for kids and is a month by month little story about what's happening in mommy's tummy. Hope this makes the transition easier for Kai.
Your writing makes me really eager to meet Gizzy!!! I know that she knows of our relationship, so I'm sure she will be right there to greet me when I get to Heaven. Since I am almost 68, I'm sure I'll be there before you, and since we live so far away, that may be the first time I get to meet you!
Talking about this reminds me of a book you might like entitled "Heaven is for Real". It's written by a young man who died and came back when he was 4. A movie was made from this also.
It would be great to work on Facebook! I'll look for you, but I need your last name. Also, if you want to look for me, I'm ***** *****. Not sure why that didn't work before.
Art's dog Austin isn't doing well. He is a 10 year old Giant Schnauzer and he has dilated cardiomyopathy which is a rather common ailment in large breed dogs. His meds aren't working well for him now, so we are trying to adjust those and encourage him to eat. He won't be alive for too much longer because there is no cure for his heart disease. Very sad :( .
Baxter, Scout and Newton are all doing well (even little ol' Newton!). Frank, Art and I are all doing well too. They all say hello to you, and will be very glad that we got back in touch with you.
Lots of love,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear *****. I am so happy to hear your news about the twins. Congratulations to you as a grandma and to your daughter. I have twins in the family. My eldest brother has got 8 year old twins, a boy and girl. Kai will enjoy being the big boy and I'm sure, helping out.

You are so lovely saying that you can't wait to meet Gizzy. She knows you have helped me in so many ways and I'm sure will give you lots of love when the times comes. I look forward to meeting you in Heaven as well. We'll have lots of stories to tell each other and lots of our past pets to introduce to one another. How lovely. You told me about the story called Heaven is for real. It sounds perfect. Its what's keeping me going in this life. Knowing about our wonderful Heaven.

I'm so sorry to hear that Austin isn't doing well. My heart goes out to Art. All we can do is our best and we always try to do that.

Thank you for re opening the post. That's so kind. My surname is***** you can find me on Facebook. I will take another look and see if I can find you too.

Lots of love to you all. Love Claudiaxx

Hi Claudia,
I've looked for you on Facebook and can't find you either. What else do you say in your profile. I'm ***** ***** as you know. I live in Sonora, California, I went to the University of Illinois Veterinary School. I worked at Twain Harte Veterinary Hospital, and I'm currently on the Humane Society of Tuolumne County board. That might help you to locate me.
Thank you for the congratulations! I'm sure Kai will ultimately be a great big brother, but know that it will take some adjusting. I've sent them a book called Belly Check. It's a month by month children's book with illustrations of what's going on in mommy's tummy and the coming child (children in our case). I'm hoping that helps to make his transition easier.
Art's Austin did eat some of a special GI diet yesterday which is good. Art does have some heart medication, and depending upon how Austin is doing today, I'll suggest that he start that medication again.
I'll tell Art today what you said. I have told him about you and Gizzy (and Pip and Angel), so I know he'll appreciate your comments. I'll let you know.
We all love all of you, and hope to connect through Facebook,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I love you all too. You are my American family. I hope you are all alright. I am ok. I'm getting on with my life with a very sad heart and a big piece of me missing in my beautiful Gizzy. Pippi makes me smile and she will mean the same to me as Gizzy did and still does, in time. I still get upset when my mind starts to think about my precious, but I just have to get on with things. I have no choice. We have to and appreciate what we have. Thank you Barbara.

Love to everyone there.

Love always - Claudia

Sure wish I could find you on Facebook! Any other clues that you have given them in your profile?
I feel like you all are my British family! Maybe someday we'll meet here (before Heaven). I've never been to Great Britain or the British Isle's!
I think the love in our hearts expands. We don't stop loving the first beloved dog in our lives, but when a new one comes along there is amazingly room for them too!
Love to everyone there back!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara on my Facebook page it will say my full name Claudia Louise Alexandra Wilson. I live in Flitwick in Bedfordshire and I went to Roundwood Park School. Hopefully we will try and find each other.

Sadly I haven't seen my Angel Robin for awhile. I hope she comes back. I feel very sad about it but there isn't anything I can do. Perhaps she thinks she has done what she set out to do, and that was to bring me comfort in the garden when I was so upset. Perhaps she feels I'm recovering. I don't know. I'm crying writing this. She helped me more than words can express. Seeing her in my garden everyday. Looking after her. She knew I found it so hard to even go in the garden and she made it easier to go out there again.

I hope you are all OK. I hope Austin is alright. Love to you all.

Love Claudia, and Gizzy and Pippigizzy ( that's her little name I like to call her because she is just like a little Gizzy). And Angel Robin where ever she is. Bless her little sweetheart.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Hi Claudia,
Just left you a friend request and sent a message to you on your Facebook page!!! Yayyyy!!!!
I'm sad to hear that Angel Robin hasn't been hanging around for awhile. You're right, she may have completed her mission with you and is on to her next assignment. I'd prefer that she come back to your gardern, however!
Austin perked up this morning, so Art was very happy! Laughing He doesn't want to do any more diagnostics on Austin, and doesn't want to give the recommended heart meds, and doesn't want to feed the recommended GI diet, yet Austin hopefully is healing up on his own! One day at a time. . .
Much love to you from me and your whole family here (animal and human)!
Chat with you soon!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara I'm so happy you have found me on Facebook. I have just confirmed you as a friend. I took a photo of Pip today and will put it on there for you to see. I'm pleased that Austin is alright.

I will read your message on Facebook.

Hope you are all OK. I'm still struggling with my grief but I'm just getting on with it. I miss Gizzy so much but know I will be back with her again at some point in the future. I am living for each day.

Love to you.

Love from us here xxx

Hi Claudia,
Fantastic that we will be Facebook friends. I'm still a little timid about Facebook. . .but am learning!
You know, I'm not surprised that you still be great grief about Gizzy, but are able to appreciate your current life. She was the center of your life for almost 18 years, after all! The very cool truth is that she is in Heaven and waiting for you there. Have I mentioned to you this book "Heaven is for Real"? If not, you would probably enjoy this.
See you on Facebook! Can't wait to see little Pip!
Love from us all!
Hi Claudia,
Just wanted to let you know that Austin died 2 days ago. Art had been anticipating his death since another veterinarian had told him that giant breed dogs have lifespans of 10 years. I have seen many 13 year old great danes, but since Austin had a diagnosed heart disease, didn't want to disrupt Art's mindset too much. Art does seem to be doing OK.
So now I have Baxter and Scout to walk.
Love to you and your menagerie! Any sign of Angel Robin?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara I'm so sorry to hear such sad news. I feel so upset. Thank you for telling me though and getting in touch. Please send my love to Art. Its good that he was ready in a way. Still so sad. I wasn't ever ready for what happened with my precious sweetheart. I sort of had a thought every now and again about it but was wrapped up in life and her and everyday things I suppose that because she looked so well for her age I thought she would carry on forever so to speak. Like we all think in a way. I was mindful of her age in lots of aspects like giving extra care with some things and being careful with her etc. but I can't really explain it, I just carried on living this wonderful life with her without that thought.

I haven't seen Angel. I feel so sad about it. I put seed out and apple and bread and clean water. I don't know where she is. I always look out for her and hope I'll see her. It might be because she has migrated. I read that they don't always do that but I just don't know. Thank you for asking about her. As you know she was my little saviour and I'll never forget that. She's in my heart where ever she is always.

I hope you are well. And Frank and and Scout and Baxter and Newton. Give a little hug to Art from me and I'll be thinking about him.

I have been for several interviews and have got a job starting in May when this one finishes. I still find life hard without Gizzy. I still feel empty and unbearably sad. I just now put on a brave face and get on with it. My little Pip is very precious to me though and she has fitted in so well. She is lovely. I'm am lucky that we found each other when I really just felt like curly up and dying. She has given me a reason to get on with things as well. So sorry I'm going on again.

I couldn't find your message to me on Facebook. That's why I haven't replied. It might be because I'm on my tablet and its a mobile site and not a full site.

I am going to see if I can send a picture of Pip.

Love to you and everyone, my American family.

Love always - Claudiax

Hi Claudia,
I gave Art your love and condolences, and he liked that very much! He does seem to be doing OK, and I see him almost every day. He did cry when Austin first died, but he actually seems to be relieved. It was very hard on him to have Austin so sick, but Art chose not to do further tests because that would also be so hard on Austin. So we kept Austin on pain relievers, antibiotics (because he had a fever), aspirin and pepcid. Austin wasn't eating much, but I think was pretty comfortable. . .hospice care.
I sure hope Angel comes back too, but know also that she helped you through the worst time in your life, so maybe she's gone on to help someone else? She'll always be in my heart too! I was so glad when she was there helping you!
I really do understand your sadness for Gizzy, but you are more and more able to function, and this is what getting through horrible grief is like. It may be that you carry this sadness with you the rest of your life. I do know that Gizzy really hopes that you will be joyous again. Maybe Pip can help in this way, ultimately. I'm sure you're afraid to give your heart to "someone" else. I'll bet though that Pip will work her way into your heart. . .you do know that Gizzy brought the two of you together!
I'll go on Facebook to try to send another message. You did confirm my friend request, so that's a start. I'm not very good at Facebooking, so we'll see.
I'm very proud! Yesterday I swam 500 yards (close to 500 meters) in 10 minutes and 27 seconds. . .much faster than I thought I could go! I'm in a Masters Swim Club, so I have coached swimming 3-5 times weekly. I don't compete in meets, but love the endorphins and the good health!
Much love to you all, my British family!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara, I always cry when I read your posts because whatever you say its so kind and caring. Thank you as always for that. I'm glad that Art is getting on alright. So sad about Austin although it sounds like he was suffering poor sweetheart. He had the best care though. I hope I gave the best care to my precious sweetheart. I loved her so much I hope I did everything possible. I do feel her around me at home. I wake in the night and have a feeling. I was on my landing a little while ago and definitely touched something with my leg. It gives me anormous comfort if I know she is there. You are right about me probably carrying sadness for the rest of my life. I have good days but the pain is constantly there.

I'm not really on Facebook much. I will look out for a message from you but don't worry if you don't go on it much either. At least we have now made contact that way. Well done on your swim. That's wonderful. You must be very fit. That's really good. I am trying to send a photo of Pip but I can't attach it for some reason or other. I'll have another go at some point. I still haven't seen Angel. Like you say she might now be helping someone else. That's a beautiful thought.

Love to all my American family, love Claudiax

Thanks for your congratulations! I think that I am fit, that's why I am doing Masters. Coached swimming for me is very good. . .without my coach "cracking her whip" I wouldn't swim nearly as far as I do in these sessions.
I forgot to congratulate you before on securring your next job. Do you know how long this will continue once you start?
Truly, it seems to me that you made very correct and loving decisions for Gizzy. Just like Art and Austin, you chose not to do further tests. But unlike Art and Austin, your decison was very critical and urgent because Gizzy couldn't breathe well at all. Any further testing of her would have been very scarey for her, and actually probably fatal for her. I know that that night is just a big haze for you now. I do know your loving heart, however, and regardless of the haziness of your mind, your heart guided you. I've experienced this with many, many of my clients. Even in their severe angst and broken heartedness they really do make the best and most loving decisions for their pets.
My daughter found out last week that she is expecting twin girls in August! We knew that she was having twins, but just found out that they are girls! Katie does have one son, Kai, who will be 3 in May. Even with preparation, I'm sure he is going to be shocked in August!!!!!! I hope everyone makes abig deal over him first before seeing and holding the girls. . .poor little guy!
You probably have some good advice for us in helping Kai through this. . .I'd love to hear!
Lots of love to you, Gizzy, Pip, and Angel. . .wherever she is!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara, I have found your message on Facebook. I don't know why it has only just come through. That's great. As I said I don't write much on it but I will to you. Thank you for saying you like the photos. They are a mixture of old and some more recent. I can put a picture of Pip on it so you can see her as its proving difficult to put the picture on this page. Thank you for congratulating me on my new job. Its permanent so it'll be for as long as they need me or for as long as I can do it. Its 3 days, Mon, Wed, Fri. From 7.00am until 2.30pm. Wed until 5.30pm. There are 4 children. Boy 3, Girl 5, Boy 8, Boy 10. I will only have all four in the morning before school then the 3 year old from 1.00pm as he is attending Nursery. Then Weds after school. I then in the time they are at school will do the nursery duties, like the childrens beds, cooking, and that sort of thing. I don't mind doing that as I am very practical and organized. Hopefully it will be OK. Not hugely looking forward to it but once I get in to the routine it will be alright. Mum will have Pip. I had to leave her at home a little while ago for about 4 hours and she was very anxious but normally will take her to mums. Mum and I still clash. We are not seeing one another as much. She has her ways and I have mine and we find it difficult. Its sad for me as I want to get on with her, she's my mum and I love her, but its just how it is unfortunately. She looks after Pip if I work but that's it.

My advice to your daughter about Kai is to involve him in the twins lives once they come along. He can help get the nappies or pass things and he will feel grown up and needed. Its always hard as there will be some jealousy as the twins will be needing a lot of attention but as your daughter will know, she can possibly allocate a special time each day or evening to Kai so he will not feel left out. He's at an age where he can help so that's good. Lovely for your daughter to have twins. I'm sure it will be fine and as you have a wonderful caring and understanding nature that when you visit you will be a fantastic grandmother to all three!

Thank you also for saying that I made the right decision for my Gizzy. Just reading your words helps me to see that. You understand it so well and describe exactly how it was so well too. Thank you. Love to all of my American family. I'm going to my brothers today. The weather now is quite nice. The sun is shining which is good. Love always, Claudiaxx

Hi Claudia,
Thank you so much for your advice for Katie. This makes perfect sense, and I'll pass it on to her. It will be really fun to help Kai over this major change in his life, but when he sees how much help he is I think he'll love it.
So glad you got my message on Facebook. Since I don't use that often either, I'll message you my email address and we could continue chatting there. Whichever seems easiest to you. The one thing I don't like about Facebook is that messages can go to the whole world, and I worry about pressing the wrong button!
As long as your heart and mind need it, I can keep reminding you that you absolutely did do the right thing for Gizzy. . .as much as we hate to have and make that choice. Euthanasia is really a blessing in our care of beloved pets. . .just beyond difficult! When it is the best for our pets, I am willing to perform that duty. This is one of the hardest situations for me and for most vets because sometimes we're asked to euthanize a dog or cat that absolutely doesn't need euthanasia. I have made several people mad over my career because I wouldn't do this, but of course help the owners toward the best decision, or don't charge them and recommend another veterinarian to try. I also have adopted several dogs and cats over the years and either kept them or found new and better homes for them. We as vets do struggle with "compassion fatigue".
Your nannying for 4 children sounds very busy! But fun! I like the fact that you won't have all 4 children except in the mornings before school, and then Wednesdays after school. They are very lucky children to have you!
I'm sorry that your relationship with your Mum has become strained, and I really hope that it will get better with time. . .in fact I will pray for that!
Off to Facebook to see your message!
Love to you all there (my British family!),
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara, hope you are well. Just wanted to say Happy Easter to all my American family.

The job I was telling you about isn't going ahead now. The children were badly behaved and I was thinking that it would be too much as there were 4 children. There were problems with the contract too. I am applying for other jobs so I'm glad that I'm not now doing that one.

There's still no sign of Angel. I'm very sad about it but I can't let it get to me too much as I have been through enough upset that I'm still trying to come to terms with as you know. It was so beautiful and comforting seeing her and feeling that she had been sent to help. I'm sure she is still around and nearby to watch over myself and Pip. I hope Art is coping alright still after his sad loss with Austin.

Anyway love to you and everyone.

Love Claudia and all your English familyx

Happy Easter to you too!!!!! Thank you!!!!!! Just read your note to Frank and he said, "That's neat"! My English family!
Art is doing OK. I think for him, having Austin sick for awhile was really more difficult than his death. Much harder from all appearances. We're all different, and he may be grieving inside more than he lets on. I have given him your condolences, but will give him your Easter greetings and wishes.
I'm sorry little Angel hasn't been back. . .yet. Her season there seemed to be late summer through early winter. I'd be missing her too if I was there. She certainly was in your garden at the perfect time, so maybe there is someone else
So glad you didn't take that job. . .4 undisciplined kids!!! Yikes!!!! I was concerned for you before I even knew they were ill-behaved children!
Love to you and all of my English family (including Angel), from all of your American family! By the way, Art and Frank seem so pleased to have an English family!

What will you do for Easter? We have reservations at Columbia Kate's Tea House for brunch. Art is invited too.
Love to you and all of my English family
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Barbara, your lovely reply as always. Thank you for your Happy Easter message too. We are going to a garden centre which is really nice where we go a lot. It has a great restaurant and the food is nice. It has lovely gifts and lots of other nice things to buy. Plus a big area with all gardening things. We are meeting up with family so there will be 5 of us. Some of my family are doing other things. I am feeling a bit low at the moment. I'm quite tired. My relationship with my mum is still strained. Not next week but the week after I have got holiday leave so will spent time at home doing jobs around the house and garden which I find relaxing. I still feel such pain not having Gizzy. I almost dread each day. Its been about seven months so really early days still isn't it. She was my world and I miss her so much its almost unbearable but I just have to carry on and try and be happy somehow. I know Pip is absolutely beautiful. She and I have a lovely life together as far as getting another little precious to spent my life with I have been blessed with that again. Its just I still feel incredibly empty. I can't really explain it. I'm getting on with life as you know and some days I feel half normal but never quite the same as I was.

Glad that Frank and Art like the idea of an English family. That's what we are. I feel you are my American family all of you and all the animals as well. We might never meet but I know you are there. Thank you for that. Once again hope you have a wonderful Easter. I'll keep you informed of any of my possible new jobs. I hope you are OK as its been a bit of time since I've heard from you. I have been for two more interviews and one of them I hope to get. Its shorter hours and one boy of a year. We'll see. One bit of happy news is that I have seen Angel. She was in the garden a couple of days ago. So pleased about that. I haven't seen her since but just seeing her that one time knowing she is still around is good. I didn't tell you about something that happened ages ago with Angel. One morning I could hear a lot of noise like things falling over and Pip got up and heard it and on the landing window will was Angel. She had come in the back door as it was open, and flown upstairs. She was then trying to get out of the window but it doesn't open so was flying about. I couldn't believe that she'd done that and thought she might have been looking for me in the house. Anyway I managed to grab her gently behind a basket and put her back outside. She then flew off but was fine. I kept forgetting to tell you about that but thought it was a nice story to tell you.

Anyway I'm still doing things in the garden now the weather is better. Pip is well. Hope everyone there is well. Love to everyone. I was thinking that if its OK with you, that once you've replied I am going to print off this again and put it all in a pretty folder so can we then keep in touch through our email?

Look forward to hearing from you soon. Love always - Claudiax