Monday, April 8, 2013

Goodbye Brooks

It is with great sadness that I have to share with you the news that Brooks passed over the rainbow bridge Saturday. I still can't believe I'm writing this. Everyone who has ever loved a dog knows what I'm going through.

All About Love
I have to say that Brooks stole my heart on the very day we brought him home. I can't believe that he'd been abandoned in his golden years, and spent more than a year in different shelters without anyone picking him for their pet. Everyone else missed out--we're the lucky ones to have ended up with him. We were so blessed to get to share even just a little bit of our lives with him.

 Brooks was the perfect dog for us, mellow and sweet. He was always right by my side, or cuddling with me on my big green chair. He was the perfect gentleman to Kelly and never grumbled when she got bossy. He loved his walks and chasing a tennis ball. He loved being close to me.

The Diagnosis
It all just happened so fast. He was the same old Brooks, eating, chasing his tennis ball, although maybe he'd slowed down a bit. Dogs are stoic, and they don't show you how much they are hurting. Over the last week or two he seemed to have a little discomfort managing the stairs and he didn't want to lie down. We brought him to the vet once and they diagnosed a hot spot and sent him home with medication. That cleared up, but he the discomfort taking the stairs and moving around didn't. Last Thursday we brought him to the vet's expecting a diagnosis of arthritis. Maybe hip or joint problem.

What we got was cancer. A large mass in his abdomen and multiple tumors in his lungs.

It was the kind of cancer that didn't respond to chemo. The vet said there was nothing we could do, just make him comfortable, and gave him 3-8 weeks.

The Day
We gave him his pain medication and hugged him and loved him all day. Friday, the day after his diagnosis, he was still kind of out of it from the pain medication, but at one point got a little energy and indicated he wanted to go for a walk. We took it slow, and he smelled all the nice smells of spring emerging. We only went a few yards down the road, but he enjoyed every moment of that walk. He even got a treat of ice cream after dinner.

Then, that evening he was sitting with his head in Mike's lap and he had a siezure. Then another. Horrible, violent seizures. He had 5 or 6 before we got him to the emergency vet around midnight. There he had another seizure. The vet said there was nothing she could do for him.

We were by his side, talking to him and patting him and kissing him as he passed.

How I'm Doing
To be very honest, not well. I just miss him so much. I miss waking up and knowing that he's right there on the floor beside the bed, ready to walk downstairs with us. I miss having him climb up into my big green chair with me and sleep while I'm working on my laptop. I miss his smile, his wagging tail, his warmth. It's going to take some time, but all the kindness of each and every one of you here and on Facebook has been helping me feel comforted. I know you understand, and I thank you. 

What I Learned
No dog, young or old, has any guarantees. We are better off for having known them, for however long. We grieve that he was taken from us so soon, but this past year with him has been one of the happiest ever, as we've gotten to spend our days, every day, with the world's most loving and gentle dog. I know that previously he'd had a hard life, and that he'd been abandoned and on his own for quite some time before we adopted him. I have to believe that God picked us to love him through this last year of his life. I'm honored that we got to be his family for this precious time. We miss him, but he is now released of all pain and worry, running free.

We love you Brooks.
April 6, 2013

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  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. **I just wanted to thank everyone for commenting so far, your words bring me comfort. My blog commenting system, Intense Debate, is not working properly, so therefore has lost all the comments this has been happening for a few weeks). I didn't want you to think that I deleted them. I cherish them. I will still be able to see new comments left here, just for some reason Intense Debate has disappeared and taken the previous comments along with it. New ones will show up here in blogger. Thank you for your support, love and prayers.

  3. My heart goes out to you. Having lost Winnie in a similar sudden way I could relate to everything in your blog post.

    I took much comfort from the support of other bloggers and Facebook and Twitter friends as I am sure you are doing too.

    It seems so cruel that your time with Brooks was limited - but he certainly had the time of his life with you and Kelly and knew he was loved every second of every day


  4. Oh, I'm so, so sorry. I know how hard it is, and it's especially difficult when everything happens so quickly. Your story with Brooks reminds of how I lost my Cosmo in many ways.

    You might find something here helpful: The chat support groups seem a little odd at first, but I found them helpful. I attended just one of them.

    Just remember, you gave Brooks the most lovely time while he was here with you as well as the gift of passing peacefully to a place where he's no longer in pain. xxoo

  5. Oh no! We are so sorry. Sending hugs to you. Run free sweet Brooks
    Benny & Lily

  6. Peggy, my heart just aches for you all and what you are going through. Brooks was so lucky to land with your family and to have your love this past year.

    I know your heart is hurting but please find comfort knowing the joy and love you provided for an abandoned boy.

    Run fast, run free Brooks.

  7. I am thinking what a wonder last year of life Brooks had with you. Just that one year, made up for everything else he had been through! Bless you!

  8. Oh Peggy, I am so very sorry. Brooks was a beautiful boy and so lucky to have found you for this last year of his life.

    I wish I had some magic words to ease the pain your heart is feeling now. I hope you can take comfort in knowing he knew love because he knew you.

  9. I'm so very sorry's just so unfair, but I suppose there's some comfort in the brevity of his suffering...It will take time for the sharp hurt to soften, but we all know that eventually it will...Brooks is running free with all the wonderful dogs that have gone OTRB and are there to greet him

  10. How lucky Brooks was to know such love and how lucky you were to be able to give it to him.

    My thoughts are with you and your family.

  11. I am so sorry for your loss. Mommy had a golden retriever before, cancer took our goldens life too. Our golden was diagnosed and we wanted to do whatever tests were necessary, but the vets couldn't do anything for her. I know our golden (Daisy) is welcoming Brooks over rainbow bridge and showing him around up there. Daisy was always caring and had a true Golden personality. We are sending loving and comforting thoughts your way.

  12. I am so very sorry to hear about dear Brooks. We all send you lots of love and many gentle hugs. One day the memories will make your heart smiles, it just seems to take way too long. Run free dear Brooks, run free.

  13. Peggy, I'm so, so sorry about the loss of Brooks. I wish there were some words to say that would help, but please know that you are in my prayers.


  14. There are no words to express how sorry I am for your loss and no words to say to make this better. There is nothing like losing a pet. They are our children and we are not supposed to outlive our children. Brooks was so blessed to have you be the home he got to spend his last year with. I am sure he felt your presence while he was passing and was comforted.

  15. So very sorry for your loss.

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  17. It is so difficult to loose our furkids. My heart hurts for you. I hope your memories bring you comfort.

  18. I am glad that you found him and that he had you! A beautiful love story. May he RIP.

  19. I'm so terribly sorry to read this. My heart goes out to you and I know from experience how hard this is. Thank goodness you and Brooks found each other and had loving, happy times together to remember.

  20. I am just so so heart broken for your loss you have done so many amazing things for dogs and it so hard to lose them. I wish there was something I could say.

    urban ounds

  21. Oh no! I am so sorry for your loss. :`( I never know what to say in these situations. Everything sounds so cliche. But I am sincerely sad for you and wish you well.

  22. Peggy, I left a comment yesterday via my mobile phone as soon as I read your posting...but I don't think it went through. Please know I am so very sorry about Brooks' passing. He was such a beautiful boy and to know he had so much love in your home his final year, I know he smiling beyond the Rainbow Bridge. I am thinking of you and Kelly...and my Huskies are sending wooos to Brooks on his journey. I know my Chelsey, Smokie, and Sandy will be there to meet him.

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. Petsmart posted Brooks story on FB or I would not have known. I am glad for all of you that Brooks was a part of your family for his last year. No doubt it was his best life, as it was for you. I am so sorry for your loss. For me there is nothing greater than the love of a pet. And it is always difficult to lose this precious family member who leaves footprints on our hearts. May you treasure the memories. RIP Brooks

  25. We continue to hold you close to our hearts...

    Maggie Mae and Max

  26. Thank you @ElainePrichard, he was very happy I can say that for sure. Hope Monkey is doing well.

  27. Thank you @ToDogWithLove for the chat link. It is nice to know others understand.

  28. Thank you @TwoFrenchBulldogs @Jodi @GloriaHood @Leslie @GizmoGeoDog @Dawn It really helps to read your words of comfort.

  29. @LassiterChaseandBenjamin I guess that is the only negative thing you can say about goldens, is that they are prone to cancer. Thank you. I expect Brooks and Daisy are playing together now.

  30. @Brain @Oskar @MarciP @Michelle @cstironcat @TerriKRowe @SueKottwitz @tubby3pugs @dawn I hope you know how much your comments bring me comfort. Thank you.

  31. @FiveSibesMom I'm sorry my comment section is acting up. Thank you for trying again! Thank you to the gang for the woos.

  32. @mardingma Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. You're right, he was a special dog and he made this past year richly happy.

  33. Thank you @MaggieMaeandMax, for sending along your special words of care.

  34. I know there is probably an easier way to do this, but I wanted to post the comments that were lost when Intense Debate isn't working, because each one means a lot to me and I didn't want them lost. So I am pasting them below, and I will take the time here to thank each and every one of you for your words of sympathy and love. It touches me and my family. We will never forget Brooks. Your caring wishes are helping us get through this sad and difficult time. Blessings.

  35. @Dakota we are shocked and deeply saddened to hear this news. Our hearts are breaking for all of you. You are all in our thoughts and prayers, we send our deepest sympathy. How lucky Brooks was to have found you xoxoxo

    @AmberDaWeenie This is such a shock. I'm so sorry for your loss. I still remember the day you brought Brooks into your life. A year isn't a long time but I know you built up so many good memories during that time with Brooks.....memories that will always be safe in your heart.

    @jackiebouchard I was so sorry to see the news when you posted it on Facebook. Brooks look like such a sweet boy with a huge, loving heart. I can't believe the road he traveled to end up with you. You were so lucky to find each other.

    I know how hard this is. Thinking of you.

  36. From Amy@GoPetFriendly Peggy, it's just so unimaginable! I'm so glad that you knew his diagnosis and had a short time to prepare - though not as long as you thought you'd have. Sweet Brooks - he was such an amazing dog. We were all blessed to have known him and you and Mike were his angles, ushering him through and giving him what was likely the best year of his life. You'll all be in my thoughts and I hope the memories of the happy times you had together help to mend your broken hearts. Take care of yourselves - take time to feel your grief and honor Brook's memory. And, if you need anything, please let me know.

  37. From @Elizabeth You were his angel and now he is yours. :) So very sorry for your loss.

    Froom @Lindsay Oh my gosh, I'm just so, so sorry to read this, Peggy. I hope you find some comfort by thinking of all those good memories. I am thinking of you and your family. Take care.

    From @Khrya We are sorry to see your news -

    'c' sucks so much -

    I KNOW he's been GReeted by a Swagger of Goldens at The RB - including three of Khyra's Khousins 0

    Just remember - it's not furever, it's just fur now -

    Khyra and Phyll

  38. From @DogsNPawz I'm so sorry for your loss. It is so hard to lose a furry friend and even though Brooks is in a better place, running free and chasing tennis balls it really doesn't make it any easier for us when they cross over the Rainbow Bridge. Brooks was a beautiful dog and so fortunate to spend his last year with you. Sending lots of thoughts and prayers your way. RIP Brooks.

  39. From @cafall I am so sorry. We are sending you hugs and love. He was well loved and will be missed.


    From @goldenwoofs Woof! Woof! So sad to hear this. Time is truly precious with your beloved dog as you never know. Brooks left you and your family precious memories that you'll treasure forever. Sending you Golden LOVE. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

    from @Kenzo The world is a lesser place without Brooks, we came to love him all for his kind heart. Hope you will find the comfort to come through your loss. Hugs from Kenzo & Viva.

    from @Ann_Staub I am so sad to hear this... He was such a handsome doggy and I know he is really missed. But, like you said he is not in pain anymore and can now rest comfortably. You should take comfort in knowing that you were able to help him pass as peacefully as was possible for him.

    from @PattiFousek So sorry for your loss Peggy. Sounds like you and Brooks were destined to find each other. He will always be with you. All of us at The Nerdy Dog Fitness send our condolences.

  40. from @veryviszla Thank-you for sharing your time with Brooks with us. He was a great dog. Hugs to your and your family.

    from @SlimDoggy Peggy, We all feel your pain and empathize with you. Losing a beloved pet, no matter how short a time they were with you is truly difficult. Hold on to the knowledge that you gave Brooks a great life, the he loved you dearly for it and that he is now free from his pain. Fill up the emptiness you feel with the memories you shared with him.

    from @Mel So many tears this past weekend - for you and Brooks and for two other dogs who passed. I can so understand Peggy. When I adopted Aspe at age 9 I never expected to love her as much as I did nor miss her as much as I did. She was like Brooks - sweet, mellow and the perfect companion.

    You're right, we can never know when they will leave us, but I don't regret the year I had with Aspen any more than you do your year with Brooks. There is something special about taking in a senior dog and giving them a home. It's all the sweeter because you know your time is more limited, and all the more sad because it passes by so quickly.

    All I know is God must have wanted Brooks to live with the very best family possible. I am so glad he knew it was your family. Godspeed Brooks.

  41. from @Wanda Dearest Peggy,
    I know what you are going through, and pray for comfort for you and your family. Such a difficult loss. Treasure the wonderful memories. Thank you for sharing Brooks (and Kelly) with us! My deepest sympathy to you, Mike and the familly. Hugs and Misses.

    from @Pamela Ellen put is so well. You did give Brooks the best year of his life.

    Facing death is the hardest thing any of us will ever do. And if I leave this earth knowing I've been loved as Brooks surely knew he was loved, I'll feel I did just fine.

    From @Ellen I hadn't really planned on crying over my laptop this morning, but I can relate to your sadness. I've thought about you all weekend, but was afraid to call. Brooks may have given you the best year of your life, but you certainly gave Brooks the best year of HIS life. I read somewhere recently that a Golden Retriever said that if heaven was not full of tennis balls, that he would go elsewhere. I'm sure Brooks found heaven IS full of tennis balls!

    from @BettyFrezon Beautiful Peg. We will always remember the gentle Brooks. He surely was a special dog. Love Mom

  42. We are so sorry to hear about your loss. RIP Brooks darling.

  43. Oh honey, I am soooo sorry, my heart just broke when I read this and hurts for you all. Please know you're in my heart and prayers and may God bless you with comfort and peace. I'm just so very sorry.

  44. The news about Brooks hit all of us hard at my house too. I can only hope that our small moments of sharing your grief ... somehow lessens yours. He was such a good boy. You gave him so much during the time you had together. I'm so very sorry for your loss.

  45. Oh, Peggy-- I'm so sorry I didn't see this sooner. I am just so so sorry. This is never easy, is it? I just cried reading your post about Brooks. I can't help but think how lucky he was to find his way to you, so he had such a wonderful ending to his life. I can't help believe he knew you were the ones who would be the best for him in his Golden years.
    My heart is with you...

    Hugs and love,

  46. Dear Peggy, I'm so sorry! I've been away and my heart just dropped when I was scrolling through your posts and saw the words rainbow bridge. The suddenness of Brook's leaving will be extra devastating. I know because it happened to us with Jordan and just left a big hole in my heart. Honestly, thinking about it still makes me weep 4 years later.

    How is Kelly doing? Although Brooks was only with you a year, I'm sure she must miss her friend. I'm really glad Brooks got to have one excellent happy year as part of your family. You did good. Hugs x

  47. dear Peggy. I am so very very sorry that I didn't know that Brooks have passed on. I remember the time he came into your life.. with his gentle face and smile. Sometimes they only stay for a few seasons.. but the seasons of love that you gave him is a lifetime of joy for him. You are very kind to open your heart to a senior dog. Time will heal. Many hugs!


Kelly and Ike say thank you for your comments!