Saying goodbye in stressful times

Hello,

I am Jennifer Williams certified dog trainer and I killed my dog… Please read the full story.

I know it has been a long time from my last post.  Ranging from aggression cases, pet sitting, dog walking and regular dog training classes it has been hard to sit down and do a decent post.  I ended up coming to a quick stop in January when I ended up in a car accident and a car on top of me breaking my back.  I had moral support from family and friends but once again my amazing dog Nyssa who had work beside me (In dog training) became an emotional support dog.  When my PTSD kicked in during the night she would wake up and come to my aid until I was able to fall back to sleep.  When my fiance had to go to work she kept a watchful eye on me.

Nyssa was helping me just as she had always helped everyone who she ever meant, she was more than just a dog she was my daughter.  Some dog trainer’s may tell you not to look at your dog as a family member like a human I am here to tell you do so!  You will form a bond stronger and know that you have a dog that will always be with you and willing to work their hardest to please you without being in fear.  You will get to know your dog in more detail than those who just view them as lower being.  Dogs are amazing, and when you view them in a higher light they become even more amazing and are able to reach higher goals you have for them.

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Within a week of me returning from the hospital, in a back brace and stuck in bed Nyssa all of the sudden took a turn for the worst.  She would still be willing to go outside and go to the bathroom and eat, but as soon as she was done she would come in and lay down and go to sleep.  The joyful playful five year old Golden was now sleeping more than our 8 year old Golden.  It was like something had sucked the life force out of her.  The first vet had no idea what was wrong and my fiance was sent to the CAVES emergency room.  It was there she ended up having an ultra-sound where the vet saw liquid in her heart sac.  That liquid was crushing her heart, they stated they can drain the liquid and there was a good chance that this was a fluke and would not fill up again.  As soon as they removed the liquid from the heart sac she was back to herself but the vet wanted to keep her over night just to make sure she was stable.        20150223_143508

It was at this point the hell weekend began, her heart sac would keep filling and they would have to re-drain the sac.  we were waiting for another expert to come in on Monday to see what a spot was on her heart.  Most of the vets believed it wasn’t cancer and my fiance and I wanted to know what was going on before we decided what to do next.  She was comfortable and mostly stabled with a few dips here and there.  For some god unknown reason this emergency vet did not have on call ultra-sound readers for the different body parts.  To me, they should always be on call, after all emergencies do not just happen during the week.  Monday came, and we were still waiting to hear what was going on with Nyssa, half of the day was gone and we finally called getting sick of waiting.  We wanted our girl back home with her family.  Once they had finally finished reading her scans we got the phone call.  It was the hardest phone call I have ever had to take.  I was informed that the spot was cancer, and it was a rapid form of it.   It wouldn’t have even matter if we had brought her in a month ago the tumor wouldn’t have even shown up.

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We asked if there way anything that could be done.  The vet said, yes a $10,000 surgery to remove and repair the heart, then chemo, and radiation.  This would give her at most 6 months to live three of which she would be trying to heal from the surgery and cancer treatments.  It was at this point I had to hand the phone over to my fiance as I felt like someone had stab me in the heart.  Once we got off the phone, I got help out of bed, got my back brace on, and went out with my walker.  I did not care about the pain ranging from the car ride to even walking I was going to see my daughter.  Once we got there we waited in a private room and the vets brought Nyssa to us, she was having a good moment, and had enough energy to run up to me and give me a lick on the face.  We talked to the vet some more making sure that what they stated was true, and there was no other way.  We were told to take our time, which then we asked if we could take her for a walk around the building outside.  She loves walks, it was a freezing cold day in January but Nyssa loved the winter.  While my fiance walked her on leash I trailed behind with my walker, once in a while taking a few pictures and videos of the two of them together

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  After the walk we went back inside to warm up in our private room and spent a few more hour with Nyssa.  We told her how her older sister was doing, what was happening at the house.  We also made her some promises.  When I was in the room with her by myself I told her what an amazing dog she has been and I only wish that we had more time together.  We started to noticed she was loosing energy and we knew from what the vet told us she was losing too much blood at this point.  When I looked at her gums they were white and I knew it was time before she had a heart attack.  We called in the vet, and while I wasn’t able to get down on the ground with her my fiance held her close and we said our goodbyes.  The vet told us we were doing the right thing, and her honestly would not put her own dog through the treatment that she told us about.

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I can’t tell you how much those final moments seemed to slow down.  The vet with the needle, I wanted to scream and stop her before she did anything to Nyssa but  I knew if I did I would only cause  Nyssa more suffering in the long run.  It would be selfish of me to keep her going only to have the cancer come back somewhere else in her body.  It would be selfish for me to put her through a surgery after going through four tappings (to remove the liquid) and then chemo and radiation only to have her last few months feeling sick from the treatment.  This form of cancer was the worst from what they told us, and easily travels around in the blood system just to find a new location to grow.  My mind was spinning in those final moments, those moments where she cuddled into her daddy and those moments where her ears perked up as I said her name and that we loved her.  It was so unreal, and then just like that her body became still and heavy in her dad’s arms.

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It was at this point we both lost it, we lost Nyssa and there was a huge hole left in our heart.  We left the vet’s with her collar.  We came home, Aya her older sister seemed to look for her which was the hardest thing to see.  I couldn’t eat for a solid week and could not stop crying for close to a month.  It just seemed unfair for the universe to take her during the time we needed her the most.  And it was hard to accept that she was gone for all of us in the family.

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So how do you deal with the loss of a family member?

A lot of people have asked me this over the years.  Each person is a little bit different and each person takes a different amount of time to saying goodbye fully.  I started to realized that even though she was physically gone I knew I had all those great memories we shared.  I focused more on those memories instead of the “Oh we never got to…”  For myself I found it very helpful to have her ashes, as well as have a photographs placed on canvas.  Too often have I seen families lose a dog, then it almost seems as if that dog never existed.  If we have photos of family who have passed away why can we not do this for our k-9 family members.  Next to her picture we have her collar hanging up and her CGC medal on the other side.  I want to remember she was here and I want others to know she was here on this earth, and she did make a difference to my family and others.

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Other ways I have seen people deal with their passing is having a tree planted with a little name plate next to it.  This is a lovely way of remembering your dog as the tree grows.  Others I have seen make facebook pages for their dogs to share photos and memories.  Do not let anyone tell you or push you to “get over it, its just a dog”.  This person has no idea what you family member meant to you and it is clear that they have never had the connection you had with their dogs.  Like I said before it is ok to take time to deal with the loss.  The biggest thing you have to remember which took me a while to accept is that I did do the right thing for her.  I made sure she wasn’t suffering in the end.  Most of all if you are having such a hard time you can not function get help from your Doctor, it has been proven the humans bond with their dogs in the same way and level as they do with human children.  It is understandable if some suffer from depression just don’t stay alone in that dark place.

1625780_207117620261_1525527_n(Nyssa with Aya when she was a pup)

Is it ok for me to get another dog?

Yes, it is ok.. for some it may take months, years, or even weeks once again it depends on the person.  Myself I waited until I felt some peace with what had happen.  It was also true with how quiet it was we felt we needed some new life in our home.  On top of that we knew Aya was becoming depressed being alone, matter of fact she went from a solid red color to whiting out on her face within a month of losing Nyssa.  We waited until we got the right feeling about a litter and did our research.  Once we brought her home we had a whole new set of challenges not just potty training and training in general.   We started to catch ourselves trying to compare our new family member to Nyssa.   Catch yourself ahead of time and understand this is a new life and soul.  There will be differences and there will be things that are the same but this is a new family member.  Remember that they are just starting out in life with a blank background and are learning from the beginning do not freak out or be disappointed because dog A used to be able to do this but our new dog B is not.  When you let go putting down your new puppy or dog this is when your relationship will start to grow and learning with take place for the both of you.  You are starting a new dance with a new partner in this life and you both got to support yourself.

Always remember your past family member would want you to be happy and that they will always be watching over you.

To read more about what has happened to Jennifer Please go to my Gofundme page:

http://www.gofundme.com/Jenniferwilliams

We love you Nyssa and we miss you.  You will always be part of our family!

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“Good Girl!”

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Please help even a 1.00 goes a long way. If you can not donate please share! Nyssa’s Emergency surgery

Hello,

Nyssa is a English cream Golden.  She helps out her mother during dog training in aggression cases as well as a demo dog.  She also helps with educational sessions with young children.  Before her emergency she was learning how to work along side her mother during a massage session to help out clients who are in physical and mental pain.  Any amount would help out and even sharing would help as well.
For more information about Nyssa please go to her Gofundme page:

http://www.gofundme.com/jj490k

Once again thank you  and happy new years!

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Purebred owners being bullied?

Mixes vs purebred dogs.  Buying from a ethical breeder or going to a shelter, does one make you a better person?

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I tend to stay very far from this topic, as a lot of times it causes a heated debate between two sides.  First of all I have no issues with adopting mix breed dogs, matter of fact I have had many in my lifetime and plan on having many more.  I also enjoy my purebred goldens as well.  I don’t view myself as a evil person nor have ill will towards shelters.  I never buy from a pet store but research a great deal for a ethical breeder even if that means I have to drive to Canada even to find one.  Which I have done… A ethical breeder to me is one that:

1: Has a strong contract with the new pet parents

2:  IF the puppy at any age can not be kept the dog must be brought back to the breeder and no a shelter 

3: Both parents are health and behavior checked

4:  Female or Male parent isn’t bred every heat cycle. ( Once a year or once every other year would be best)

5:  The female is retired at a good age (breeding shouldn’t be happening at age 7 and above)

6: Breeder keeps in touch with the owners, this allows the breeder to check in on the health of the litter.  This gives the breeder an idea if there is a sickness being passed onto future generations and can stop breeding the pair if this comes up.

7: The breeder wants to better the breed of choice. 

8:  The breeder focuses on one breed

9:  The dogs are part of the home life.. not out in a kennel all day

To me when a owner decide they wish for a purebred dog this is them being responsible by following this list.   I understand there are dogs in shelters, and some shelters are kill zones.  However, everyone has the right to decide what kind of dog they want and what type of dog fits their needs.  It would be like telling humans, no one can breed unless all children are adopted.   And with this right a person should not be bullied on the internet or off the internet by people who view rescues is the only way to go. Screen-Shot-2012-10-08-at-2.24.54-PM

All dogs have a right to a home it doesn’t matter if they are purebred or mix dogs and owners should not be judged by who they decide to add to their family.   What made me surprised is how harsh some of the rescue people really are.  I was asking questions about a new law that was going into place  the discussion can be found here.

I was a little bit confused because how this shelter had posted it, made me worry if I had gone to get my Golden now from Canada I would not be able to bring her home, nor if I was to rescue say a potcake dog.  Others asked more into about the law as they were worried as well.   Then one person stated that you can still get a puppy if its six months old.  As a dog trainer, I know that is a lot of missed time, so I asked for more details again.  This law is supposed to stop puppy mills WHICH IS A GOOD THING..  With how they had posted it, at first it seemed to have a lot of holes, that could cause owners a lot of issues to work with a responsible breeder thus why I was worried. TippyKalik

The poster from the facebook got back to me to let me know as long as no one is reselling the dog you still can import dogs for your own family.  That is great news.  It was after they had gotten in touch with me when things went down hill the first post was:

Colleen  R Why would anyone need to go to Canada to get a dog? Millions upon millions need homes in the USA. I am proud to say I am the Mom of 2 rescues!”
 
Thats great, I am all for adopting.. I responded with a quick:
 
“That is great that you are a proud rescue mom but some families are looking for a certain breeds that you can not find in a shelter. That doesn’t make a dog who comes from a responsible breeder any less worthy of a home.”
 
The witch hunt has already started at this point… I was a evil person for wanting to work with a breeder, they had no clue I have adopted many dogs, cats, horses…. but the fact that maybe one  of my family members came from a breeder was unforgivable.  It didn’t matter that I help out local shelters to train their dogs so they do get adopted quickly, nor did it matter that I even give shelters some money as well.  Another person quickly jumped on the hate wagon
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Ann  G I can’t understand why there is a need to breed animals. Other than money. And how many healthy dogs and cats are euthanized every day because they don’t have a home?!! Don’t breed, Adopt!!!!
 
Thats great, but I was looking for at a time for a certain dog with certain traits and in the future I highly doubt that I will find a Tama or even a Shikoku in a shelter when I come to that point in my life to look for another dog.
 
I tried to keep it relax and then another poster decided to degrade me even more so
 
Andre A J, get an education… We euthanize millions of dogs in the US, and many are purebred dogs. You have every right to buy anyAndre designer breed you want, but we have every right to think you are selfish, ignorant and ultimately part of the reason that dogs that come from breeders are often overbred and held in abusive conditions. 
 
Once again these flared up people tend to forget there are good breeders out there that do not over breed nor hold their dogs in abusive conditions.  All breeders who I network with are very protective of their dogs and their offspring and many even donate money to local shelters.    Yes there are crappy ones out there and yes puppy mills are bad.  But NOT all breeders are evil beings and its true not all owners who work with the good breeders are evil. 
I did respond 
 
“It drives me nuts, when other pet owners, want to judge and pass judgement on a family who may want to get a puppy from a responsible breeder. Yes there are dogs in shelters, and yes there are breeders out there aiming to do good for their breed of choice. It comes down to this.. even if we fixed ALL dogs in the USA or the world, within 15 -20 years all the shelter dogs that get adopted will die out (due to age) and in turn the population of dogs will be no more. There needs to be a healthy balanced between breeding and shelters plain and simple. Genocide, is not the fix all for the population issues in shelters. And its not right to make people feel like crap when they decide not to adopt. If you also want to see the results of humans stopping breeding of a species look of the population decline in humans in Japan. Both male and females are starting to move away from giving birth and their age rates have shifted. It is the same concept for dogs, if all of the sudden we stopped all breeding.”
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It is true if we do fix every dog in the USA do not allow importing, under 20 years dogs would die off from age.  And even if everyone tries to adopt from a shelter there is no 100% chance the shelter will let you.  My sister and her room mate works full time 8-4:30 mon-fir, after their dog had past away they went back to a shelter that they had adopted from.   Due to the fact they worked a full time job they were NOT allow to adopt… mind you, you would think it was a good thing they had full time jobs…it means that their dogs were well taken care of, and never in need when it came to medical care.   I was shocked to say the least.   After that post I did I figured that would be it…after all the witch hunters were coming in for the kill no need to stick around and try to prove a point or give them anymore of my time.  
 
Here is some of the  documentaries about the Japanese population decrease due to lack of births. 
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwUIKDTErNo
While I try to find the really good documentary on youtube you can search for more information about it.. It was called No Sex Please, We’re Japanese  was a BBC one
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So why would I use this to make a point about dog population.   Well the Japanese have been decreasing their birth rates some stated it started in the 1970s, which leads them to the issues they are facing now which is a low population to the point they may run out of a population (they have even closed down thousands of schools).  If we were to fix all dogs and only have shelter dogs we would run out of dogs, we would see the same issues that the Japanese are seeing only at a faster rate as dogs do not live as long.   This tells us there needs to be a healthy balance in everything.  
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It was then at this point:
Patricia E ^^ Justify it all you want with your weak points @J W- #BREEDINGSUCKS.#adoptdontshop
 
I rolled my eyes, after all if we stop all breeding there won’t be any dogs but whatever, I was going to let it pass clearly there is no talking to these people who only want to lash out and use me as a whipping boy.  Then all of the sudden I had gotten a nice comment….I was starting to think there was only trolls and bullies left on the internet. 
 
S K J Williams keep writing your reasonable position! I’m proud to be a dog breeder AND I rescue dogs AND run a State of Ohio charitable horse rescue. Yes it is time for education that breeding and rescue are not mutually exclusive and to support responsible breeders will decrease consumer purchasing from puppymills.
 
So thank you SK for also speaking out.
 
My last comment mind the mis-spells it was starting to get hard to read everything on the facebook chat as the posting became long:
 
I am starting to think the people who are lashing out and cyber bullying tend to forget there is a difference between puppy mills and ethical breeders… Bullying people for keeping their options open as to where they find their next family member is not going to help the cause of getting dogs out of shelters. I have adopted from shelters and I have gone through ethical breeders for some of my dogs. It doesn’t make me stupid, uneducated or unethical. It doesn’t make me a bad person, I’ve put time into shelters training dogs for free, I have supported my local shelters during their events by giving money. Puppy mills are bad, however if you are staying we should one fix all dogs or two run out all breeders even the ones who are trying to make their breed of choice a better one. Thats not right, often times these breeders who are ethical are even giving information about their dogs health and pups health to science to help find cures for different diseases in the k-9 community. Many breeders who i know also make sure their pups never see a shelter. And the dogs who they do retire they keep or find homes for them with the same written agreement that the puppies have gotten. There needs to be a healthy balance and a supportive community for breeders who are ethical. Most of all I think that the bulling from people need to stop, its not your right to judge someone, its not your right to damn their dogs and it doesn’t make their dogs any less special if they don’t come from a shelter. I support mix breeds or also know as all American breeds, however I also support ethical breeders who don’t over breed and who are trying to do good for their breed. So far all I have seen from just asking a simple question about a law is hate and that doesn’t make your cause look noble.
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When it comes down to it, it doesn’t make you a great pet parent if you only get your pets from shelters, it doesn’t make you a great person specially if you spread hate for your cause.  There needs to be a healthy balance.  There needs to be a support for great breeders so we weed out the puppy mills,  the backyard breeders and there needs to be support for shelters dogs.
 
No one is righteous or better than another person just because you only adopt.  No dog is better than another dog because it pure bred or a mix.  When it comes down to it find a dog mix or purebred that fits into your family and most of all love that dog until the day they go over the rainbow bridge.
 
Do not forget… do not spread hate to others, it doesn’t help your cause it drives people away from it…