We wish there was no sad news to report but...
This page is dedicated to all those trusting and loving dogs out there who have made our lives better by being in them.
We miss them now and forever.
Pet Cremation Urns - Visit www.Pet-Urns.com for custom pet memorial products. They have a selection of German Shepherd figurine urns among other items.
|The Rainbow Bridge|
|There is a bridge connecting heaven and earth.
It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors.
Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge there is a land
of meadows, hills and valleys with lush green grass.
When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place.
There is always food and water and warm spring weather.
The old and frail animals are young again.
Those who are maimed are made whole again.
They play all day with each other.
|There is only one thing missing.
They are not with their special person who loved them on earth.
So, each day they run and play until the day comes
when one suddenly stops playing and looks up!
The nose twitches!
The ears are up!!
The eyes are staring!!
And this one suddenly runs from the group!
You have been seen, and when you and your special friend meet,
you take him or her in your arms and embrace.
Your face is kissed again and again and again and again,
and you look once more in the eyes of your trusting pet.
Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together,
never again to be separated.
These are memorial entries for MAGSR Dogs that have gone to wait at the Bridge.
Saturday, December 15, 2018
I wanted to let you know that Maya crossed over the Rainbow Bridge today. She was a wonderful and loving companion and I will miss her very much. I can not thanks MAGSR enough for bringing her into my life.
December, 2018 to Saturday, December 15, 2018
In July 2010, we adopted a very shy mild mannered girl from you. turns out, with a little love and confidence building, she was a HIGH DRIVE GSD! she was my heart. unfortunately, age cannot be defeated and we had to let her be at peace a few weeks ago. as you can see in the attached pics, she was spoiled and had a great life!
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Our beloved dog, Jambalaya (fka Phaedra), passed away last week. We adopted her from MAGSR in April, 2008. Jambalaya shared many fun adventures with us. She lived and played all over the country, from the California redwoods, the bayous of Louisiana, the hill country in southern Texas, and of course, to the mid-Atlantic region. Jambalaya was truly the most empathetic dog I have ever met. She was a steady companion and friend of our children when a parent had to be deployed overseas. We used to joke that she acted more like a cat than a dog in that she was always looking for the closest sunbeam for a nap. She lived for snuggles.
Over the past nine months, Jambalaya made many visits to the vet for various issues. Finally, despite being tempted with steaks, Jambalaya refused almost all food and lost much of her body weight. She was ready to cross the Rainbow Bridge. We said our good-byes on December 12. She was such a sweet girl.
Monday, December 10, 2018
I wanted to let you all know that Scout crossed the rainbow bridge yesterday. The Vet said that it was most likely an unknown tumor that ruptured. He went down hard and fast and there was nothing we could do. He was the most incredilbe dog I have ever had. People wouold walk up and start petting him before they even asked permission which was amazing because he was such a big dog but he loved it. He could have been a therapy dog he was so gentle and loving. He was my constant companion and my heart is so broken right now. I know eventually there will be another one but right now I really just want him back. Anyway, I just wanted to let you all know. Thank you for bringing us together.
December, 2018 to Saturday, December 8, 2018
Ranger, also known as OG, Rangeroo, Range, Rangey, Bubby, Bubba, The Squirrel Hunter, G’boy, Sweet Boy, and Riley’s big brother and BFF has moved on from his earthly body.
Our handsome shep-mix Ranger was a WV stray at some point in his first year of life. MAGSR (Mid-Atlantic German Shepherd Rescue) in PA helped him find his forever home with us in October of 2007.
He was one of a kind. When we first brought him home he was a little aloof, sure he’d be out on his own again soon. He quickly warmed up and was a loyal and loving pet to our family for more than 11 years.
No squirrel was safe on our property (we lost count after the first 3 dozen kills), and he once took down a raccoon a third his weight. (Thankfully, it was not rabid.) Door-to-door solicitors quickly got the message that they were unwelcome since Ranger could spin up a ferocious and extended barking fit at a moment’s notice. Best guard dog ever.
Vicious-sounding bark aside, our sweet Ranger was gentle and loving to people and dogs of all sorts. He brought our family tons of love and joy. We are so grateful for his friendship and will miss him terribly.
3/1/2007 (est.) — 12/5/2018
Rest In Peace, Sweet Boy!
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
It is with deep sadness that I tell you we lost our beautiful MAGSR dog, Katie, to lymphoma. Katie was a sweet and gentle soul who represented MAGSR at many events and meet and greets over the past five years. She brought us so much joy and she will be missed beyond words. We are truly heartbroken. Thank you to all of our fellow volunteers who help so many dogs like Katie to find their forever homes. Although we lost her way too soon, we know her last years were happy ones.
Julie & Pete Switzer
Our sweet Katie Von Der Misty Ridge
Monday, November 12, 2018
It is with a heavy heart I report that Rocket was put to sleep today.
It was discovered that he had a growth in the abdominal area - blood work showed anemia and high white blood count. Also liver enzymes were slightly elevated. We treated him with broad-spectrum antibiotics which gave him some relief from what appeared to be infection associated with this growth. He also had an alarming amount of blood in his urine. The vet agreed that treatment was not necessarily called for in a dog this age. We kept him comfortable and happy but eventually, he refused food and water and quickly became emaciated. We are sorry he had to go.
Trina Madani on behalf of the Madani family
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
We regretfully inform you that our beloved Harley, originally known to MAGSR as Sadie Mae, and also known to us as Teenie Bean, Soft Stuff, and Fuzzy Pumpkin, passed away on October 16th, 2018. Harley had metastatic cancer of the spleen, which was causing her to bleed internally due to a ruptured tumor. The emergency vet told us that although surgery was an option, it was not advisable as it would only prolong her life for a few more weeks, which would likely have been lived in discomfort.
We adopted Harley back on October 26th of 2006. We could tell right away that Harley was very sweet, smart, and funny. She graduated at the top of her obedience school class, and continued to impress us with her understanding and cleverness, especially when it came to sneaking extra food when no one was looking. She adapted well to any change we brought into her life, whether it was moving to a new house, adopting her brother Spartan, or adding human children to our family. She was surprisingly kind and patient with our two toddlers, who alternately saw her as an enchanted stuffed animal or as a small pony that they could try to ride.
Over the years we would occasionally hear that Harley was a weird dog (half the time she thought she was a cat), but I will miss her silly quirks the most, such as her ability to climb on top of any piece of furniture in our house, the way she used to bonk things with her nose to tell us what she wanted, or how she would always arrange her toys and bones into a perfectly straight line. While the loss of Harley causes us tremendous pain, we hope that she is happy wherever she is now, and that she knows how much we loved her and treasured her as a member of our family. We do hope to adopt again in the future, but for now it will take us some time to grieve and to heal, as we will miss the sound of her feet, the smell of her fur, and the feeling of her nose bonking us as we go about our days.
Monday, October 1, 2018
It is with a very heavy heart that we must report the loss of our Snoopy.
We adopted Snoopy on March 1, 2003. He would’ve been 16 this Halloween. His MAGSR tag is #774. We loaded up in the car and drove north of Baltimore to see him and he was going to be perfect for us. He was a few months old then, and would go on to live a long life. When he was young, we had a few issues with him that almost ended up with us returning him.
After speaking with MAGSR volunteers at the time, we decided that we would take him to see Wesley for training. This was the best decision ever. After a few lessons from Wesley, Snoopy was a totally different dog. Wesley showed us that he was just trying to be dominant over the smallest person in the family and we could correct that problem. From that day on, my youngest daughter Melanie was the dog trainer. While we were at the training sessions, some of Wesley’s staff said they knew him, and said he was actually born right there in that building. They even showed us the stall where he was born and told us he was actually born on Halloween night.
He went on to rule over the 4 other dogs (dachshund) that we got after him. They would get in his face and bark at him, but he just ignored them. He loved to bark and chase squirrels. When we moved a few years ago, all of the dogs had a much larger area to patrol for squirrels, snakes, rabbits, etc.
A couple years ago we noticed he was moving slower, and his eyesight was starting to go and he was getting dog Dementia. He had arthritis, but not the usual hip issues shepherds have. The vet put him on medicine and he went on like normal. About a year ago, he really started slowing down and then his hearing started to go also. We consulted with the vet numerous times and were monitoring things closely. This past month, he was taking a turn for the worse and on Wednesday October 3rd, we made the decision to end his pain that was starting to show more and affecting his ability to stand and walk.
He will be missed by all of his pack of dogs and humans; we will forever love and miss you Snoopy.
Saturday, September 15, 2018
Recently, I emailed MAGSR to let you know that Sastri passed away in September.
We were heartbroken. There will never be any definite answers, but our best guess is that he had DIC (Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation disorder).
Thank you for the three short years we were able to share with Sas! He was one of a kind!
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Little Miss Luna was put to rest this evening with her wonderful adopters. They rushed her to the vet yesterday after what seemed like strokes. They determined she may have swelling in the brain. I received and email from her adopter this evening
It is sad and unfortunate that due to the prognosis, we have decided to lay Luna to rest.
After further speaking w/ both neurologists as well as the ER doctor that cared for her, it seemed like the best alternative for her. The ER vet came upstairs to the Neurologist's office to remove her IV and was in tears about the situation. Seeing such a sweet young girl go through what we experienced last night was tough on everybody. Luna touched not only our hearts, but all hearts for who she met. Our house speaks of Luna. Her toys scattered around the house. Her bed besides our couch for our evening TV / Nap time. The lost sounds of her prancing around the house. I know this may be odd or weird for a lot of people, but this was her home, even for the short time she was with us. She was instantly a part of the family. The cats had even warmed up to her and had all 5 of us sleeping in the same room.
So I hope this goes without saying, this decision was not done lightly. Also please know that her last moments were with me. Laying together at the doctors office. The nurses (vet techs) saw our bond. The doctors cried for us.
While we are not discouraged about adopting another German Shepherd, we are going to take the time and let this sad situation heal in our hearts and in our minds. As we discussed, we are not looking for any preferential treatment when the comes to adopt another. You guys have your mission to help those animals in need, and I refuse to take away from that. So I hope this message finds you well and know that our sweet little girl is not longer hurting, confused, or going through life disorientated. She's in heaven w/ God. Before she left this earth, I asked her to look up our previous dogs and prayed for our past dogs to look after this little girl.
I know this is emotional - but 1) wanted to let you know the truth as well as 2) show how much she meant to us in our short time together. I can only hope that we gave her as much joy as she did us.
Have a great evening, and when the time comes, we'll be in contact regarding the rescue of another German Shepherd.
Monday, September 10, 2018
It is with with great sadness we share the news that our handsome and regal Sarge has passed over the rainbow bridge. We never knew his true age or story but hope he was happy over the past year and knew how much he was loved. He was with us just over a year and in that short time he trained us well, stole our hearts and absolutely gave us unconditionally love. This special boy found himself as a stray at Hartford County Humane Society on a rescue only status just over a year ago. When I saw his shelter plea and looked into those big brown eyes I knew we had to foster him. Arrangements were made to go meet him (thanks to MAGSR) and from the moment we met him he showered us with kisses and love and we were determined to bring him home with hopes of finding him an amazing forever home all while giving him uncoditional love and the best care possible. The moment he got leashed up at the shelter he never looked back. We brought him home and he easily transitioned in to our pack. Sarge was a one of a kind laid back boy that loved everyone. He was a stubborn old man that was set in his ways and we quickly adapted to his demands to keep him happy. It wasnt long before he was sleeping in our bedroom with the rest of his pack so his foster daddy carried him up the steps each night as he was not able to navigate going up the steps due to an old pelvic injury thar never healed correctly. He would eagerly wait at the bottom of the steps each night to get carried up and then race down the hall to the bedroom and wait for his treat. He was just happy to be a part of our crazy life and we were blessed to share it with him. Captain Sarge you have certainly earned your wings and we pray you are running free without pain and are waiting for us at the rainbow bridge. You will be forever missed. Thank you MAGSR for allowing us to bring him into the safety of the rescue.
Sunday, September 9, 2018
My beloved Prince crossed the Rainbow Bridge on September 9. I had the amazing fortune of adopting him (then "Oliver") from MAGSR ten years ago, almost to the day when he passed away. I am deeply grateful to them from bringing him into our lives in 2008. Prince was 11 years old and suffering from a variety of ailments, some of which were painful. He was suffering more than he was living, so we made the decision to use a very humane and gentle in-home euthanasia service. My wife and I hugged my bestest buddy in his favorite spot at home as he drew his last breaths.
I will never forget my Big Puppy, the decade I had with him, nor any of his loves in life. He loved me fiercely and protectively, he loved my wife, my son and just about anyone who would give him a tummy rubby, a squeaky toy or a stick. He loved to give sloppy kisses, especially when he knew that something was wrong. He gave me and my wife big kisses as we wept over him on his last day. He could not stand for us to be sad. Prince the Wonder Dog loved to sleep next to me, go running, exploring, chasing deer, walking through the West Virginia woods, digging up rocks and go swimming in the Cacapon River. Early in the morning was never too early for him, and when he would wake me up at 4:00 am with his big, brown eyes and a "CAN WE GO OUTSIDE NOW??" look, I could never say no. My children really don't remember a time when he was not part of our lives.
You, Big Puppy, are no longer on watch as our instinctive guardian. You are now our guardian angel. It’s your time to rest, sweet boy. We love you beyond words and cannot adequately thank you for the immeasurable love you shown upon those who loved you. We miss you so much.
Monday, September 3, 2018
We said goodbye to Ace yesterday but I guess the best way to say it is he said goodbye to us. He passed in my arms on the way to the emergency clinic and I know he wouldn't of wanted it any other way. I miss him dearly and always will. His unwavering devotion to me and love must be the true German shepherd spirit. He was constantly always watching me because he didn't want to miss a second of anything I was doing. He loved just being where I was, whether that was traveling, car rides, dog events, get together's or just hanging out, he was there and was there because he was so good with everything and everybody and truly loved it too. I dont think he ever met a person or dog that he didnt like or one that didnt cling to him or love him. Everyone he met was his friend and loved him also. I think in this life the only thing he loved more than me and my son was his love for Kongs and balls. Even with DM, that didnt stop him for wanting to spend endless hours of retrieving. He fought his DM like there was never anything wrong. He wasnt going to let that slow him down and he was still walking at 11 months after the diagnoses. There arent enough words to express how special he was but he was truly a special, special soul. We had an amazing run together and many adventures will be missed with out him. A sweet spirit has gone on to the rainbow bridge to greet all that comes next. He was my dog whisperer and devoted friend. Thank you for entrusting me with this amazing dog. I wish our time was longer but am so grateful for the time we had.
Saturday, September 1, 2018
Sad to say we had to put Sammie down today. She found love and trust again. She never left my side in the house. She was unable to walk anymore so we made the decision to help her over the rainbow bridge. We love(d) her very much. It was a wonderful 3 years with her.
She loved McDonald’s and Rita’s vanilla custard. So that was her final meal
Friday, August 31, 2018
Dear MAGSR, we are writing to inform you of our precious girl's departing from us due to cancer. She left us on August 31, 2018.
She was a true companion - faithful, devoted, protective, and loving. A wonderful friend and family member, everyone loved her and she loved everyone. She will be sorely missed but she will never be forgotten.
We wanted to send a donation in honor and memory of Ziba Lee. Thank you for all you did for her and making it possible for us to love her forever. What an honor it has been to know her! What a part of our family she has been!
Craig and Kathy Jo Louis (& Susan) – Ziba Lee's dad and mom and buddy
Tommy and Eddie (Ziba Lee's buddies - the Chihuahua boys)
& Elsa Pearl (Ziba Lee's buddy - the cat)
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
She had a slight foot drag when we adopted her. The foster said she had it when he got her. We had her genetic testing done and her bloodline showed a high potential for degenerative myopathy. With that being said, she lost function in that original leg in about 6 months. Then the other within the year. We used a doggie wheelchair as long as we could but the condition was so progressive it was hard to watch her be in pain. We did a few consults and were directed by each to provide palliative as long as she could tolerate, but inevitably we had too.
She was without question a beautiful dog, I’m not sure if you remember but I fought hard to just meet her, fell instantly in love as she accepted us mutually as fast. She had a really broken past before us, including the “not to be around young kids” status. All that was proven to be wrong as she was most likely in the beginning stages and she was protecting her pain. She was absolutely a wonderful companion, it hurts to only have a had her for a short while, but I’m glad it was my family that was able to provide and care for her to the end.
We still love her.
Jason R Turner
Saturday, July 14, 2018
I am writing to simply let you know that our wonderful rescue, Jackie Carmichael, has passed away. We adopted Jackie in February 2011 and unfortunately 4 months ago she was diagnosed with cancer and just passed away this past Saturday.
I did want to let you know to have some closure with the organization. However, we have another wonderful rescue from MAGSR, Titan, and we plan to give him the best life possible.
We have had 2 great dogs from you all and I thank the heavens daily for them both and realize how privileged I am to have had Jackie and now Titan in our lives.
Thursday, July 5, 2018
I am very sad to report that we had to say good bye to Angie, our wonderful MAGSR dog, on July 5. We adopted Angie in May of 2006. Our hearts are broken and we will always miss her.
Thank you for bringing her into MAGSR and into our hearts.
Anne Witty and Les Doerfler
Saturday, May 19, 2018
On Saturday, May 19th we said goodbye to Zeus, known as Abbott when we adopted him on 9/26/09. He was a wonderful dog who always wanted to be with his family. He was always up to do something! Loved walks in the woods, playing ball or frisbee, and his favorite game of hide and seek in the house. The last 9 years were not long enough but, DM took him before his time. We miss him dearly. Thank you for letting him be part of our family.
Thursday, April 26, 2018
Athena was adopted March 2011. These last 7 years weren't long enough. She was the most wonderful girl. I miss her so much already.
Thank you for all you do for lost and lonely shepherds.
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
In March 2009 we adopted Thor and had 9 wonderful years together. He was a special dog and I can’t put into words how much he was loved.
On Wednesday, April 11th, he passed away in his sleep at home.
Our hearts are shattered and we miss him so much. We are grateful to have had him as a part of our family and have so many fond memories.
Thank you for sharing Thor with us.
The Widdoes family
Friday, March 30, 2018
It is with deep regret to inform you of Chip's passing.Chip came to MAGSR after his family had to give him up. The elderly husband passed and the wife could not provide for him by herself. He was then locked away in a room by himself in the their home. The caretaker would come by, open the door to throw food in and quickly shut the door. Once the wife went into a nursing home, Chip was surrendered to the shelter. When I was asked to see him at the shelter, I found him lying in his own feces and urine, overweight and clearly saddened by the life altering events which had occurred. He was extremely arthritic and greatly in need of some tlc. When I walked him out to my truck to get in, I was amazed when he made the decision to jump up onto the backseat of my F150! I immediately knew he was ready to move on with life.
Soon after coming to our house, the first order of business was to reduce his weight so that he could walk without so much difficulty. Soon thereafter, we had a couple struggles with pack hierarchy. But we were not giving up as we knew this is where he needed to be. Now that he was on good nutrition, joint supplements and NSAIDs he began to emulate Laci's ball drive. He loved to play ball. He was obviously struggling with limited mobility and a some rear limb incoordination. But he loved playing ball anyway and he loved being part of the pack. We saw it as a rebirth of sorts. He either discovered something that he had never experienced before or he rediscovered something that he experienced earlier in life. Either way, he was living a fulfilling life in his new "home". He was feisty and was clearly highest in the canine pack. We nicknamed him "The General". He was large and in charge. He loved lying in the yard when we were outside, especially on days that were not terribly hot. He also love lying on the deck on cool nights.
In the Fall of 2017 he began showing signs of DM. In the matter of a couple weeks, he went from being able to walk on his own to being completely down on his back end. He rebounded once and was able to walk again. As excited as we were for his ability to walk again, that only lasted a couple days and he was back down. If you know anything about DM, it has a tendency to progress, sometimes regress but ultimately progresses again. Chip became incredibly frustrated. Because we had been through DM with dogs in the past, we outfitted him with the Help Em Harness. We also tried Biko Bands which assist the rear legs with pulling them forward during walks. But the window of opportunity for using Biko Bands was somewhat limited. We then bought him a brand new cart from Bestfriend Mobility. He wasn't crazy about the cart no matter how much we tried to get him used to it. He's just one of those dogs who does not love a cart. Through everything, he tolerated all the harnesses, bands and cart. But the harness provided the most assistance in daily life for him. His frustration passed and being down became his norm. We quickly incorporated his lack of mobility into our lives and we made sure that he had as much, if not more time with us and mental stimulation as our mobile dogs. Just within the past week or two, he started showing signs of front leg incoordination. He would sometimes stumble when walking him outside to go potty. We knew that this was not a good sign. Reason being that DM starts with the back legs and as the disease progresses, it will affect the front legs, esophagus and ultimately the brain stem and other organs. He was now showing signs of being neurologically challenged in the front. He then developed a cough which ultimately turned into aspiration pneumonia because his esophagus was not functioning as it should. When his breathing started to become labored, we knew we were at then end and to let him go on was not humane nor much in the way of quality of life.
He peacefully passed in our arms surrounded by those who loved him. Caring for a dog with DM requires a lot of physicality and patience. But that extra time spent in caring for a needy dog creates a deeper bond. Chippy, like all dogs, was very special and we love him dearly.
Monty & Sheri
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
I am saddened to report that Jasmine (you knew her as Slider) had to be put down this morning. She had been battling cancer for some time. The complications became too great.
She had a very tough start in life. Jazz joined our family in September of 2009. She was with us only 8 years, but lived a full life in that time. She had a loving home, many adventures, and a cat that claimed her for his own. She is greatly missed.
Thursday, December 28, 2017
We wanted to let you all know that yesterday, we made the tough decision to let Kaz go. We adopted him in May of 2017 and we were lucky enough to be a part of his life for 7 wonderful months. He was the kindest, sweetest dog who was simply happy just being with us. Even in his last days, he still had such a wonderful spirit, and despite his limitations, did everything he could to keep up with his brother (our 3 year old shepherd).
It was the hardest decision we had to make, but we are incredibly lucky that he chose us to spoil him in his final years. Thanks again to MAGSR for bringing Kaz into our lives.
Cody and Elizabeth Fenstermacher
December, 2007 to Monday, December 11, 2017
We are regretfully letting you know that our Diago crossed the bridge last night.
We adopted him 10 years ago last week from MAGSR. He was known as Shamus. He dedicated his life as a search and rescue k9 saving lost and missing persons. He was diagnosed with Cancer just before Thanksgiving and was given 2 to 6 weeks to live. Our hearts are so broken as he gave us so much love that we so desperately needed. He rescued us.
R.I.P. Diago and Thank you for you service.
John Aiken and Tammy Mankey
Monday, October 23, 2017
Penny passed away on October 23, 2017. This is very difficult to write, so please bear with me.
I loved Penny with all my heart. She settled in immediately, and got along wonderfully with my 2 cats. She had regular vet visits, was caught up with all vaccinations. Had daily heart worm preventative. She stayed in her crate when I was at work for the first 2 months (total: 6-8 hrs/day when I was out.) By June she was out in the house 100% of the time, though she usually slept in her crate at nite (located in my bedroom, w/ crate door open)— it was comfortable because there was a luxurious pillow bed in there. I had a trainer come to the house, and he was very helpful (though she was really well behaved, especially around people.)
Penny got at least 2 long walks each day, rain, snow, or shine. She loved rides in the car, and I could take her for visits at friends’ or my grown children’s’ homes. We’d occasionally drive over to places like Lake Montebello so she could have a change of scenery on her walks. Penny wore bandanas/collars for every holiday & season. I teach music lessons in my home, and she loved greeting my students & walking them to the door afterwards. She also loved to hang in my fenced backyard, with or without me.
The only issues thru-out were occasional bouts of severe diarrhea, which started a month after I got her. My vet placed her on prescription dog food (ID Science Diet). My previous shepherd (also from MAGSR) who I had for 10 years, was on the same food. Penny would be fine for a month or two— then suddenly have an “attack” of diarrhea in the house. It would come on very suddenly---she didn't have time to ask to go out. I usually took her to the vet ASAP; he’d give a shot to stop it, then she’d be on medication for 10 days. They attributed it to having a sensitive GI system. I never gave her people food—just an occasional dog biscuit.
Oct 21st 2017 she became very very sick and had to go to the emergency ER she deteriorated very quickly. While I couldn't think of getting another dog--now it's been well over a year--- I still miss the companionship.
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Around 7 years ago when I volunteered for MAGSR, fate led me to foster and then adopt Anna, a gorgeous shepherd mix who was 5 at the time and quickly became part of our family. Anna had some fear issues in the beginning, but before long we helped her she overcome them and she became happy and very confident and a wonderful part of our family. The years went by (too fast) until this April when Anna had several seizure-like episodes. Investigation into these incidences led to various tests and a CT scan which revealed a relatively rare cancer- thymoma- a slow growing cancer of the thymus, a gland on the heart which affects the lymphatic system. We decided to have the surgery to remove it as she was otherwise very healthy for a 11-year old and it looked as if the surgeons would be able to remove it all. Once the surgery was complete, they unfortunately discovered that it had spread to other places and they were not able to get all of it. We knew thymomas were generally slow-growing so we decided to put her on steroids to slow the regrowth as I didn’t want to put her through the side effects of chemo or radiation during whatever time she had left. We had no idea how long it would be before it would come back, but I knew it would be devastating- I just had no idea it would be so soon or so devastating.
This Tuesday the 19th of October, 2017, we said goodbye to Anna- she suddenly began having issues over the weekend and we discovered on Monday that her cancer had returned in the form of at least one large tumor in her chest- one that was not there only a couple months ago. When we awoke Tuesday morning, she refused to eat anything, including her pain pills or treats, and her jaw was so sore that I couldn’t possibly force her to take them. By then, both sides of her face had begun to swell and she was beginning to have trouble breathing. Although I wish I could have kept her with me forever, I knew I couldn’t be selfish and she was telling me that she had had enough. She was in pain and there was nothing I could do for her except let her go.
She was my constant companion and although I very much love my family and my other furry ones, she and I had a bond that was just different than any other. I feel as if a part of my heart and my soul has been ripped away. She was such a good girl and truly didn’t deserve to be abandoned by her former family and to have cancer take her at the end of her life. I am only so lucky and grateful to have been there for her in between- but what’s more is that she was there for me. Never judging, never disappointed in me, or angry with me. She was there when I was sick or in pain, and when I was sad or stressed- which unfortunately has been a lot lately with my own health issues. She was never pushy, and always knew when to come to me and give comfort. Even in the final moments before she took her last breath, she was nudging me and worried for me as I cried over her.
I can’t really remember what my life was like before she became part of our family, but I know it will never be the same. She was the sweetest, bravest, sassiest, bossiest, fiercest, most loving and stoic creature I’ve ever met and I know that there will never be anything like her in my life again. I can only hope that there is indeed a “Rainbow Bridge” or a Heaven where someday, somehow, I can see her again. Until then I will keep her memories inside my heart, as painful as that may be.
Thank you MAGSR for all you do, and for giving me the opportunity to have such a wonderful girl be such a huge part of my life.
Former Volunteer and Furever Grateful