Monday, September 21, 2009

Today Dog Heaven Got Another Angel

Sadly we must announce that our beloved dog Frankie passed away quietly this morning in the shade of a tree in our backyard, she was 13 years, 8 months old.

She had been noticeably declining for the last few months. She slowed down and was not eating like she used to and started having 'episodes' suddenly. During the 3 weeks that we were in India to pick up our beautiful son Blaze, we were so blessed to have our wonderful neighbors Jack and Winnie and their Grand-Daughter Lauren take incredible care of her. She had been doing well, but then we received a phone call a few days before retuning home that Frankie had taken a turn for the worse, she had to be fed by hand in order to eat and appeared more lethargic. Rhonda couldn't get home fast enough to her girl. When we returned home from India on Tuesday, it was very noticeable that she was not herself. She had lost weight, she was having difficulty walking since her back legs were weak due to previous injuries, her breathing was a bit labored, and she was just laying around not doing much. But in her eyes I could see the spark. I knew that she was happy that we were home, I just knew it!! Rhonda spent the rest of the day laying beside her on the floor comforting her, telling her how much she was loved.

We took her to the vet the very next morning and she was checked out from head to toe. Everything seemed to be normal and the vet said her heart was strong. They thought that she may benefit from some pain medication for her legs and also suggested cooking her eggs, rice and boiled chicken to help her gain back some weight and some energy. When we got her home she seemed to pep up a bit and even more during the next few days. She was walking a bit better and even ate the cooked food we prepared for her. But she still wasn't herself. She was content with just laying around and we were just happy to have her with us.

Last night while we were changing Blaze after giving him a bath, Frankie came in and laid down on the floor of his room. She always liked to be with us wherever we went. She hadn't paid much attention to Blaze since we introduced him to her on Tuesday. The occasional sniff and even a little lick, but that was about the extent of it. She did though, lay on the floor right next to his play yard in our room when he slept during the day and night. I believe that she was there to protect and watch over him.

When I got up early this morning to feed our son, Frankie was laying on the floor in the living room. She usually makes her way to our bedroom to sleep but I thought that maybe she got up early or just slept there last night. After feeding Blaze and he fell fast asleep, I placed him in his play yard in our bedroom and came back out to the living room. Frankie was still laying in the same spot. I reached down and rubbed the top of her head and she looked up at me and I said to her 'you're a good girl Frankie, I love you."

I couldn't go back to sleep now, so I played around on the computer in the living room. Frankie got up and went outside through her doggy door. After a few moments, Rhonda went outside to check on her and noticed that Frankie had gone to the grassy area in our backyard. After a while she wandered back in on her own and then got up again and went back outside. Rhonda had been in getting ready for the day and kept peeking out the window to check on her in the backyard. After a few moments, she noticed Frankie lay over on her side like she does when she has an episode and so she once again went out to check on her and yelled in to me "Gerry come outside something is wrong with Frankie". I rushed outside to find Frankie over by the tree in our backyard, lying on her side and Rhonda cradling her head in her arms. Frankie took 2 deep breaths and then was still.

We both just broke down in tears, our girl was gone. I went in the house and got some sheets to cradle her as I brought her inside the house. I laid her gently on the floor by her basket of toys. I was crying so hard, I couldn't think straight. I was in shock. Frankie was not just a dog, she was a part of our family, and everyone that knows us, knows how much we loved her and treasured her. Rhonda laid down on the floor next to her and gently stroked her fur, she looked so peaceful. Frankie was Rhonda's world, She had been in her life for 13 years and 8 months, she meant everything to her, and to see her now lying on the floor having to deal with the loss of her beloved Frankie, just tore me up inside.

I called the vets office to tell them what happened. I needed to tell someone. They knew Frankie for the last 3 or so years and it broke their hearts to hear of the news. I asked them what I should do, I wasn't thinking straight. They gave me the contact information of a pet cremation service that they highly recommended if we decided to go that route. After a bit, Rhonda and I both decided that we would have our Frankie cremated and that we wanted to have her ashes returned to us. So I called the cremation service and told them that I needed their assistance. I got directions to their office as Rhonda and I wanted to drive Frankie there ourselves. Frankie always enjoyed going for drives in our vehicles and it was only fitting to give our precious girl one last drive.

I placed several sheets in the back of my truck and laid Frankie in the back along with her favorite toy, Hedgehog and 2 photos of Rhonda and I with Frankie. I then buckled Blaze into his car seat. Rhonda wanted to ride in the back with her, so she sat next to her and continued to stroke her fur as we proceeded to the cremation service. It was a very sad drive, all of the memories of our times with Frankie through the years rushed around inside my head, so many emotions, I was just so devastated.

We arrived at the cremation service and I went in to speak with one of the representatives. Rhonda wanted a few more minutes alone with her beloved Frankie. After a few moments, I came out to see how Rhonda was doing and you could see that her heart was truly broken, she was a mess. Shortly after, the representative from the cremation service came out to pick up our girl. We weren't ready to let her go, but we knew that we had to. I said to him to "please take good care of our girl" which he replied "yes sir I will". We both gave Frankie one last kiss on the side of her head. It is a truly sad day, we have lost a member of our family. And those of you that have a bond and a love for your pet like we have with ours, will totally understand us.

I believe that Frankie waited for us to return from India, so that she could see us and that she could let us know that she wasn't suffering, that she was just old, and she needed a rest. Our precious Frankie is in heaven now, looking down on us. All of her aches and pains are gone and she is running and jumping. We love you Frankie, thank you for being a part of our lives. We will miss you, and we will never, ever forget you. You are forever in our hearts.

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Joy and Kelly said...

Oh you guys I am so so sorry. I know how much you loved Frankie and how she was your true companion and best friend.
I am so so sorry.....

Mike and Mike said...

Gerry, Rhonda,

Our hearts go out to you. As I read the news, I could not help but begin to cry as I know the pain I went through watching June decline and the eventual heartbreak when I had to put her down. I remember thinking how sad it would be that our girls would never know her.

Although brief, Frankie was at least able to celebrate the arrival of Blaze with you. And as one chapter closes, another begins.

Again, our hearts to you and Rhonda. Frankie was well loved and will be sorely missed. Take comfort in one another and the birth of your son.

Mike and Mike

Johnny and Darren said...

Rhonda & Gerry, we are both so sad for you all. We both know how terribly sad it is to lose a pet. Just using that work doesn't truly represent what these wonderful creatures mean to those of us who understand their impact on our lives.

We have both been through this terribly sad time in life too and we still think of our two girls always.

You're both in our thoughts at this sad time.

Johnny & Darren

Terry & Steve said...

Oh you guys, I am devastated. You know that we just went thru this in February with our Max and this just brought it all back. I am so, so sorry. Nothing can prepare you for the loss. Will be thinking of you guys often...I know it is cliche but Frankie was so lucky to have you love her and give her such an amazing life.

Kate said...

I am so sorry- I have tears streaming down my face for Frankie. I am so glad you have some pictures of Blaze with Frankie.

I will give my dogs extra hugs tonight for Frankie. RIP sweet girl.

Jackie said...

Such sad news...I am so sorry. I shed a few tears with you guys while reading your blog. All of us who have lost a beloved family pet know exactly how you feel.

I am so glad you were all home and it sounds like he went very peacefully and he had a WONDERFUL life with you!


Anonymous said...

Dear Rhonda and Gerry...

Just a little note to send you our love, and to let you know how very, very sorry we were to hear of the passing of Frankie. Like any family member, it is so hard to say goodbye to someone who has been a part of your life for so long, even though you wouldn't want them to stay and suffer. No matter how much we try to prepare ourselves for something that we know is going to happen, it is still devastating.

I know you both have so many years of wonderful memories of her. She was so blessed to have found you Rhonda, and to have been loved and cared for by you both, as you were also blessed to have her. She was well aware that she was not just a 'dog' or a 'pet'....but that she definitely was the special girl in your family .... and she endeared herself to everyone who met her, even those (like me) that have always been 'cat' lovers.

Wish there was something we could do, but I know there is nothing anyone can say to help ease the pain of your loss at this time. Just wanted to let you know that we are thinking of you guys. It's definitely an emotional time for you - no doubt elated to be back home with your beautiful baby boy and now so saddened by Frankie's death.

With Sympathy & Lots of Love,
Aunt Myrna

Intended Parents said...

Rhonda and Gerry,

I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Frankie girl -- your fur baby. I know that Frankie has been by your side every step of the way through the long winding road of infertility. As a true companion, she waited for you to return from India with your long awaited bundle of joy. I'm glad that Frankie had a chance to meet Blaze and that you have pictures of the two of them together.

xo, Tracy

Amit said...

Hey there,

My heartfelt condolences at the news

I am at a loss of words!!!, but the way i look at it as that now you have a guardian angle somewhere up there to look after you both and Blaze.

I will call you soon

take care and stay +ve



Amy said...

Rhonda and Gerry I am so very sorry for your loss. I have lost a beloved dog and I know it is truly like losing a family member. But I'm sure Frankie will always be with you in spirit! It sounds like she had a good life being adored by loving parents and I'm happy that at least have your adorable little son to help you console you as you mourn her.

We're thinking of you and will say a little prayer for Frankie!

-Amy and josh

Mandy said...

Oh dear god, myheart melted as i rad this post and cried along with you. It reminded me of our beloved dog Lady, who past away at age 9. She was not just a dog but a companion and BEST friend. I understand how guys must feel.

Take the time to heal and comfort each other, some days will be harder than others but please be stong.

Love, Amanda

Anonymous said...

Oh you guys. I have not stopped crying. I thought I was going to stop and then I read you beautiful sentiments on your Blog on our beloved Frankie and the river of tears have not stopped.She will always hold a special place in Dad & my heart. She will always be a close spirit in your will know what I mean when you experience her presence.I will never be able to thank her enough for all the love she gave to us all.
God Bless you Frankie and God Speed.
GrandPa & GrandmXXXXOOOO

kristin said...

Dad and Rhonda, I am so sorry, Dad I wrote you an e-mail, I hope you got it. My heart feels so sad for you as I read this beautiful description of all that she meant to you both. She was absolutly beautiful, more than you could ask for in a dog, and she will be remmebered greatly. What beautiful timing that as one beautiful life passed on, you were blessed with one beautiful life just beginning. I am praying for you both, walk on in strength and boldness that She is well now and you have beautiful things to come...BE strong and trust, in Him who provided you with a child!
Love you both heaps!,

Bobby said...

We know what you are going through. I can't really type anything here because I get too teary eyed. Just know we're thinking of you guys.

sarah said...

im so so sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved frankie.
im thinking of you a lot, this must be such a tough time. i feel so sad for you, im at a loss for words.

hope you are both ok
love you loads

Mark said...

Dear Rhonda and Gerry, I am so sad for you losing your Frankie. You never really get over a special dog like Frankie you just get around it. I had a Yorkie that lived till 19 - Chloe - she was my first baby and broke my heart when I lost her. They prepare us for the love we will feel when we have that baby in our arms. They are a special gift of selflessness. I deal with people putting their dogs to sleep regularly as a veterinarian and it is just the saddest thing. Our thoughts are with you
Mark & J

Mary said...

Dear Rhonda and Gerry, we are so sorry to hear about your loss. Hakon and i have also lost dearly loved pets and know the pain you are going thru.
We are thinking of you.

Marianne & Hakon

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry guys. I cried so much as I read your post. Only people like us will ever know how much our pets mean to us.

Frankie was a good dog, and so loved. x


Anonymous said...

I am SO incredibly sorry. I can't help but cry and cry and cry as I read your post. I can 100% empathize with you as I went through the same thing with my beloved dog, Demetrius, 2 years ago. It is such a heartbreaking event/loss. I believe that Frankie definitly waited for you to return home, and maybe once she saw how happy you were with Blaze, she knew it would be OK for her to let go now. Dogs are so amazing.

Got to run now so I can take some Tylenol from crying here : (

Thinking of you.


Anonymous said...

What a lovely eulogy for beautiful, loving Frankie! We all know how very much she meant to you and how she brought such joy to your lives. She truly was a blessing that will never be forgotten and live on forever in wonderful memories.
We look so forward to seeing you next weekend and giving you big hugs of comfort...
Thinking of you...
Tracy, Micaela & Megan XXXOOO