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N4712 12-12-2013 08:29 AM


Originally Posted by Off Duty (Post 198338)
Yep, that's it right there. That's the way they choose us:) :thumb:

Yep, that face says it all! :)

denverd0n 12-12-2013 10:45 AM

Nearly ten years ago now, our family lost Duchess. We had had her for nearly 13 years. My wife and I have both had a number of dogs in our lives over the years, but there was something really special about Duchess. As long as it's been, sometimes I still find myself expecting her to greet me at the door when I get home from work. I'm tearing up just writing this. As with the loss of any loved one, you never really get over it, you just learn how to go on.

You will know when you are ready for another dog. Some people suggest that you get another right away, but that is simply not something that my wife and I could do. It took us a long time to be ready for another.

Best wishes.

Pau Hana 12-12-2013 11:21 AM


Originally Posted by Ben (Post 198251)
Sorry. Probably overdoing it on the dog pictures. Coincidentally, we named Marley about 6 months before we were aware of the book "Marley and Me". Same logic though. Name the dog after a musician. The prior dog we had was "Elvis". Maybe the next one will be "Muddy Waters". :lol:

Nope- no apologies necessary. Continue waxing poetic- Marley is part of of your family.

Note- I said "is" not "was"........

Off Duty 12-12-2013 08:41 PM

Post away my friend.

Besides, sometimes it helps the hurt...

kthoennes 12-13-2013 11:51 PM

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Don't even want to think of life without Peanut. Sweetest dog on earth. No matter how rough my day has been, seeing that face waiting for me at home makes everything okay.

Attachment 25637

Ben 12-14-2013 02:21 PM


Originally Posted by kthoennes (Post 198668)
Don't even want to think of life without Peanut. Sweetest dog on earth. No matter how rough my day has been, seeing that face waiting for me at home makes everything okay.

Exactly how I feel. Marley would pretty much wag his whole body when we came home. The fun thing about dogs is the simplest things make them happy - food, play, affection - I think they are what we would be without the complexity.

Ben 12-14-2013 02:35 PM

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A couple favorites...

First one is him just watching off the bridge. He always hung out with me on the bridge while cruising. My wife might get too warm or cold, but Marley always came and hung out.

The second one is a little selfish victory. Getting Marley tired was no easy task, but here he is after a long day in the water, with sea salt on his nose. Ha ha, I won that day. He was hard to tire out. My wife always called him the frat boy, because he was a big clunky, playful goof. He'd stick his nose in your food and be so happy about it. He'd swipe food from the kids if they held something too loosely. He was a funny dog.

Off Duty 12-14-2013 10:50 PM

Awesome pics Ben.
The "stern watch" is priceless:thumb:

He really looks worn out in that last pic.
If you wore him out that bad, what condition were you in:D

More pics of Marley please:thumb:

OFB 12-19-2013 05:58 PM

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A Dogs Prayer
Treat me kindly, my beloved master, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me. Do not break my spirit with a stick for although I should lick your hand between the blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me do.
Speak to me often, for your voice is the worlds sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footsteps fall upon my waiting ear.
When it is cold and wet, please take me inside..... for I am a domesticated animal, no longer used to bitter elements..... and I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth.... though had you no home, I would rather follow you through ice and snow than rest upon the softest pillow in the warmest home in all the land, for you are my god and I am your devoted worshiper.
Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I should not reproach you were it dry, I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food, that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life, should your life be in danger.
And, beloved master, should the Great Master see fit to deprive me of my health or sight, do not turn me away from you. Rather hold me gently in your arms as skilled hands grant me the merciful boon of eternal rest... and I will leave you knowing with the last breath I drew, my fate was ever safest in your hands.
Beth Harris

From Bella .

kthoennes 12-19-2013 07:00 PM

This always sounds silly when I say it, but I often wish I could be as single-mindedly devoted to God as my dog is devoted to me.

Ben 12-20-2013 05:49 AM

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Must be the full moon (my excuse), but I really do miss my big dog. The little one is mama's and I love her, but you can't quite wrastle around on the floor with the little one (the dog, not mama) the same way. :ermm:

The little one Maddie has been mopey and sluggish since Marley died.

Off Duty 12-20-2013 05:53 AM


Originally Posted by kthoennes (Post 199977)
This always sounds silly when I say it, but I often wish I could be as single-mindedly devoted to God as my dog is devoted to me.

Nothing silly about that friend.
Dogs are IMO, one of, if not "the" most dedicated pets on earth!
Simple, loving, and totally devoted.

bligh 12-21-2013 09:53 PM

I lost my dog about 10 years ago. It was very painful. But very shortly afterwards I went to the animal shelter and got another one. It may seem a bit shallow, but having the new dog turned out to be the cure for me and I was able to keep a dog from being put down.

texasnielsen 12-24-2013 08:54 AM

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So very sorry to hear of your loss. I've always held that some animals make good pets (cats, lizards, gerbals, etc). Others make good companions (DOGS!). To lose a pet is painful; to lose a companion - heartbreaking. As others have posted, you may never replace your Marley, but there is another companion waiting to be discovered by you when your heart is ready. We personally lost a yellow lab to ovarian cancer and the family was crushed and devastated. After a while (gallons of tears) we were ready to not find a replacement, but to offer another companion a home. We used and "Scotch" found us.... lots of shelters and rescues use this site to place animals in to loving homes.

Ben 12-25-2013 08:22 AM

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All -

Thanks for all your expressions of empathy and comfort. It's impossible for me to express how comforting that has been to me personally. It's been a hard month, but with a good bit of healing. Losing Marley has been a shock and a void in our family life. Today is one month exactly.

Two days ago the Admiral and I got the kids together, now 15 and 20, and scattered Marley's ashes in the Cape Fear River. Tromping around in the marshes was one of his most favorite things, so it fits. The girls were 7 and 12 when we got him, so he's grown up with them, making his death a sad milestone for the family and a reminder of the passage of time. Marley was an SPCA dog, so we were very happy to have provided a home to this once unwanted animal.

Anyway, time to move on now. We're looking at dogs, but not for a dog just yet. We found these guys a few miles from us. Looks like a good outfit.

Ruf Creek Ranch Animal Rescue/K-9 College and Adoption Center - Home

Merry Christmas to all! Fair winds and safe cruising!

hmason 12-25-2013 09:42 AM

Hi Ben,

Just in case you've never seen this--it helped when we lost our beloved Oliver and our special Norma Jean. We hope you heal quickly. Howard and Jackie

Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

Ben 12-25-2013 10:28 AM

Hi Mason,

Thank you. I really liked that poem.

When we spread Marley's ashes in the Cape Fear, I read this to my wife and kids, all present. It pretty much sums up how we feel about our dogs we've had...

A Dogs Last Will & Testament
Before humans die, they write their last will and testament, giving their home and all they have to those they leave behind. If, with my paws, I could do the same, this is what Id ask

To a poor and lonely stray Id give my happy home; my bowl and cozy bed, soft pillow and all my toys; the lap, which I loved so much; the hand that stroked my fur; and the sweet voice that spoke my name.

Id will to the sad, scared shelter dog the place I had in m humans loving heart, of which there seemed no bounds.

So, when I die, please do not say, I will never have a pet again, for the loss and the pain is more than I can stand.

Instead, go find an unloved dog, one whose life has held no joy or hope, and give my place to him.

This is the only thing I can give
The love I left behind.

Our two retrievers over 20 years have been SPCA dogs. Probably the next will be a rescue or similar adoption. Thanks again for the poem and thoughts.


hmason 12-25-2013 03:29 PM

Very nice and good advice. We got a puppy within weeks of losing Oliver. We knew he would want us to.

Ben 02-08-2014 11:27 AM

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Epilogue to this story.

We spread Marley's ashes in the Cape Fear River over Christmas. One of my daughters went to a counseling session and identified "Marley's death" as the key thing that was bothering her, and my wife and I actually had the conversation "should we see someone?" about Marley's passing. I could never have imagined the death of a pet as being so emotionally draining. Anyone who knows our family knows we are pretty much "dog people". I personally don't think I can separate my personality from what I have learned from my dogs over the years. If I were a clinical psychologist, I'd want to examine that, but I have another profession.

Well, we started "looking at dogs" again, but not "looking for a dog" with maybe getting one "down the road". So happens a cousin of my wife, her dog had puppies, Lab-Golden mix. We claimed one, to get once he was old enough. Well, we re-visited after 6 weeks, and all his litter mates were scooped up. So, after some hemming and hawing over early puppy separation, we picked up our new dog "Beaufort".

So, it begins all over again. We got him checked out at the vet, have babied the crap out of him, and annoyed family and friends alike with an excess of cute puppy pictures and cute puppy videos on Facebook. My daughters, though one adult and one adolescent, are cooing over him like 5-year-olds again. Yes, we are a big dog family again.

Now, I am going to annoy all my virtual trawler friends with cute puppy pics for a while. He's got a long way until he's water-ready, but summer is still a ways off. So enjoy and be annoyed, introducing Beaufort...

BandB 02-08-2014 12:08 PM

I think it's very honorable and shows a lot about a person to mourn the loss of a pet. Be glad you had such an attachment and that you have that ability to feel so strongly within you. Experience says the right time generally comes for the next dog, not a replacement, but a new companion and friend, and that you can't guess ahead when that time will come. It just happens.

As sad as it is to read of those of you who have lost your pets, it is also very powerful and good to read the true raw emotions of love, of loss, of grief. It's natural, it's real, and it's honest. The pain comes through in the posts but the love and caring comes through even more.

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