Your Pet Loss Diaries

'Julie & Toby'

About Toby

My loving companion, Toby, is a 13 1/2 year old German Shepherd mix. She's got beautiful brown eyes, and wonderful soft black, brown and grey fur.

When may you/did you lose your pet?

Today is the day I am taking her to our vet to be put to sleep.

At which stage of pet loss grief do you feel you are currently at?

Well, I've known for 4 months now that it was coming to this, but to have to take that final awful step to actually make the appointment with our vet, to finally admit that this is what's best for Toby, that is and was one of the absolute hardest decisions I have ever had to make.

Julie and Toby's Story so far

I adopted Toby when she was about 5 months old; she has been the most wonderful "pet" anyone could ever ask for. She is more than a "pet" obviously, she is a daughter and best friend to me and a sister and best friend to my other 3 daughters. She is very intuitive, also.

She began losing some strength in her back legs last summer, and by September, could barely walk. The vet said she has nerve damage in her back, caused by a bulging disc, it comes with age; or possibly a tumor putting pressure on the nerves in her spinal column. Surgery is not an option, mainly due to her age, but also finances. But the vet did say that she probably wouldn't survive surgery. So she's been on steroids and aspirin since September, but even with the steroids, she has still been going down hill.

She falls down a lot, and has very little strength in her back legs, but her mind is still very sharp. She loses control of her bladder and bowels, and now is afraid to go up and down the 3 steps she needs to in order to go outside. She really has no enjoyment of life any longer. Right up until last thursday, our last walk to the corner, she still loved being outside and walking, for the short time that her old legs would carry her. She loved sniffing around that fire hydrant at the corner!

My two oldest girls are living on their own, and have been for a couple of years. My youngest is 16 and out of the house more than she's here, so for the last couple of years, Toby and I have spent so much more time together. I love to walk and hike, and so does Toby and she has been my constant companion.

Also, many, many summer mornings, we love nothing more than getting my coffee and going out to sit on the porch and just listen to the quiet of the neighborhood before everyone else starts stirring - no traffic, no lawnmowers, just the sound of the birds, and the lovely morning breeze. Toby would lay on her rug and my feet and just watch the neighborhood, check out the squirrels running around and an occasional cat strolling by. She's always with me - always.

We live 4 blocks from the lake and many, many mornings and evenings, too, we would walk to the lake. I had a favorite spot on the hill where we would sit and just look out at the lake and just sit and think. And Toby would just sit next to me or lay in the cool grass. She just loves being with me, no matter where I am or what I'm doing. She's always at my side. At home, she follows me from room to room.

I just love her so much, I just don't know what I'll do when she's not with me any longer. Honestly, I can't bear the thought of going for walks or sitting on the porch without her with me.


Your Pet Loss Diaries - 'Julie & Toby'

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