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 Shimmer was a very good dog

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shimshim14
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Female Join date : 2016-03-01
Location : Northern Michigan

PostSubject: Shimmer was a very good dog   Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:23 pm

Hi All, I just wanted to post and share my thoughts and love for my first dog Shimmer "Shim Shim" who passed last week. I am sorry this is no long but I just cant help it <3 Shimmer was a very good dog. I got her when I was 23 and she was 8 weeks old, and she became best friend for the next 11 years. I have never missed anyone so much!

Shimmer had a good life living in northern Michigan. She was born Feb 14 2005, to a family who races sled dogs. She was an AKC black and white husky with an almost purple coat and brown eyes with blue stars. She grew up for her first few years on a 160 acre farm and learned how to play, hunt, run, swim, and was truly the master of her world. We have lots of coyotes around here and she formed a relationship with them, she howled back and forth with them at night. I work in biological sciences and she came to work with me every day surveying natural areas, parks, and forests. We spent our days together hiking through the woods and lazy summer afternoons at the Lake Michigan beach collecting sand in her fur. She loved to bake herself in the sun then go for a cold swim. She loved mucky ponds and hated to be washed! She really stunk when we had to surveys swamps and between the sand, mud, water, and fur, my car got totally trashed. I take 4 months off in the winters and I spent every moment of that time with her. We skied, and if the snow was too deep for her, especially when she was older, we hiked along the lakeshore or across the dunes. I just bought 40 acres for us to move out to and spend her old age. At 11 she acted young and full of energy and when people met her they thought she was 3 or 4.

Its amazing how when you spend that much time with an animal, human or not, the level of communication that you form with them. She knew my rules and she followed or pushed them, and she let me know what she wanted and needed. We made compromises. She also had her own life with her own prerogatives, and she taught me things and showed me things all the time. We communicated really well so much that at times I felt like we could read each other's minds! She was truly my best friend.

Shimmer developed allergies when she was 2. She developed a lot of mucus and would reverse sneeze and it got so consistant that the only thing that controlled it was Prednisone. We could never figure out what she was allergic to and tried exclusionary diets and she got the best dog food and whole and raw foods. She loved sugar snaps and would eat them off my vines! I took her to 6 vets, including ones that worked with huskies, and no one could give me an alternative treatment. This truly broke my heart over years and years of seeing that she was uncomfortable, but as she got older she actually seemed to get better and I was giving her a very small dosage.

This is why it broke my heart to have her suddenly die on Feb 24th, just last week. She seemed so healthy, she had a good coat, good teeth, hips, eyes, and spirit. I noticed she was slowing down for about 2 weeks and attributed it to just getting older, then for two nights in a row she peed in the house and I noticed she was drinking excessive amounts of water. The next day I took her out and she was running around and seemed fine. She wanted to sleep outside that night which is normal, so I let her. The next morning she had very labored breathing. I called the vet at 7 am but she couldnt stand up, her back legs wouldn't work. My boyfriend, her dad, rushed over and when we picked her up to carry her to the car, she looked in our eyes and took her last breath. She died there in our arms. It was truly unexpected.

I have thought about what happened a lot. I didn't get an autopsy, as she is gone and I didn't want them cutting into her, but now I cant help but constantly wonder why she died. She had fatty tumors on her body and perhaps they blocked an organ. The vet said it sounded like a heart attack. Maybe she had vet-induced Cushings from a lifetime on prednisone. Maybe someone on this forum has insight, but I know I will never know for sure. But I have learned I will never ignore even the smallest signs of discomfort again and I feel terrible for not being able to help her.

I buried her by the compost pile at my parents house so she can haunt the animals and she can see the house and know she is home. I am very sorry that you died Shimmer and Im sorry that you never were able to grow old out on our 40 acres. You will be missed every day. You were a very good dog.

Shimmer at 8 y.o with a deer bone


Shimmer at 5 y.o. listening to an animal stalk us in the swamp
http://i84.servimg.com/u/f84/19/43/07/75/20100610.jpg
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aljones
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Male Join date : 2014-08-18
Location : Terlingua, Texas

PostSubject: Re: Shimmer was a very good dog   Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:32 pm

Liana May, I can't even begin to tell you how much your story about Shimmer touched me. I can relate to how much we share with our dogs which turns into a major hole when they leave us to wait a the Bridge.

I'm sorry that Shimmer had to leave, but think of the good times - as you related them here - becasue as lomg as you remember him, he'll be there, right beisde you.

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“Properly trained, a man can be dog’s best friend.”
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jbealer
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Female Join date : 2009-05-29
Location : Denver, CO

PostSubject: Re: Shimmer was a very good dog   Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:43 pm

I am so very sorry about your loss of Shimmer, that was a lovely write up about her. try not to think about why but about the life you did give her while she was with you. and remember she will always be by your side now.

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TwisterII
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Female Join date : 2013-06-14
Location : Missouri

PostSubject: Re: Shimmer was a very good dog   Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:48 pm

Sounds like she had a wonderful life. You gave her more opportunities than most and went above and beyond for her when others might not have. She was beautiful. I am very sorry for your loss.

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amymeme
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Female Join date : 2013-12-20

PostSubject: Re: Shimmer was a very good dog   Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:49 pm

I am so sorry for your loss...especially at a time when you had bought the land and thought of a long old age. Your write up touched my heart...and released the tear ducts. You have my deepest sympathies.
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Artic_Wind
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Location : San Diego, California

PostSubject: Re: Shimmer was a very good dog   Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:53 pm

Such a beautiful write up for a very beautiful little girl, I'm just so sorry for your loss Sad

I can relate to so much to your last two paragraphs. Although mine passed away from different circumstances, like you, they were so healthy and I expected many many more years from them. You dread that one day you have to make the decision to put them down, but when they die suddenly, really without much of a hint it's going to happen, you're just left in a daze and question everything. The "what ifs" and the "should have dones" are overwhelming. Two of my huskies passed away unexpectedly coming up on 3 years now (in April) and the third 8 years ago, and like you, two of them took their last breath in my arms. ..so let me say this to you...don't let the what ifs, and the should have dones, eat you up, instead ,just know you gave her the best life possible and she loved you as much as you loved her. I know it's easier said than done, but ...she would only want you to treasure the happy, good memories, and not question or blame yourself for anything.
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shimshim14
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Location : Northern Michigan

PostSubject: Re: Shimmer was a very good dog   Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:21 pm

Thank you so much for your kind words, there is something about expressing this to others, and hearing back as well, that really helps. A big shout-out to the world and maybe she'll even hear us I love you
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