Category Archives: Loss and Grieving
~ Joins Turbo and Sophie
I haven’t talked to you guys in quite a while and I thought I would drop you a line or two. Hope guys are doing well. We are doing pretty good here but tomorrow will mark 2 weeks since we had to put our Hemi down. She was 13.5 years and pretty lumpy and bumpy. Her arthritis was getting pretty bad and she developed a chronic cough with sometimes bloody phlegm.
Our vet came out to the house and she went peacefully over the rainbow bridge.
Zoey and Magnum
Zoey and Magnum are now settling in with the new adjustment. Who will be the boss now? They are saying. Zoey still drags Magnum around by the collar at times. Do I think she might be the boss? They are very much like siblings.
Putting Hemi down was such a hard thing to do but I knew it was time. She still ate well and did her business outside and still wanted to go on walks, short ones. She was on pain pills 3 times a day and Rimadyl twice a day. We wanted to say thank you for such beautiful blessings in our lives.
What can we say? The passing of Hemi is a huge loss, but we all knew it was only a matter of time. You gave her the best of everything. Of course, she endured the new whipper-snapper crew of Magnum and Zoey. It is good those two had each other. I am sure it gave Hemi a bit of relief.
Thank you, Monica. You folks are more than OwyheeStar clients. It is like extended family to us. We have a lot of history, and I still chuckle at the stories of Turbo’s antics. All the joy and fun and yet it has to come to this. It is how the world works. Anyhow, we sincerely hope that Zoey and Magnum live a long and healthy life. Thank you, again, for being loyal and so much more.
~Not Easy on Any Level
You probably don’t remember us but we purchased our Weim from you nearly 14 years ago. I wanted to let you know that we had to put our beloved Dakota down today.
You raise amazing Weims and a breed that has taken my heart away. She was my best friend and wouldn’t have it any other way. Thank you for allowing us to purchase her and I will always remember bringing home the purple collar puppy from your litter.
~ Nathan (February 9, 2018)
We do remember you, Nathan. We are so sad to hear that Dakota crossed over the rainbow bridge. There are no adequate words. I realize this news will touch many of our followers who dread the day this event visits their home. Others who have walked that path before you know firsthand the hole in the heart scenario left by such a departure. There is no avoiding it. The wonderful gift of sharing life with the Weimaraner never will last long enough for those of us addicted to this breed.
We appreciate receiving the news. We know you gave her the best of life. Thank you, for everything you did for Dakota.
Your Weim’s Age
~ in human years
We’ve all see the charts that convert the canine companion’s age to the equivalent in human years. Recently, the last couple of days, I received one in my Email from the Farmer’s Almanac. You would think they would have it right; however, I knew it could not be accurate because they lump all dogs into the same chart. The AKC has a chart that breaks out the age according to the breed size–anything over 50 Lbs is considered Large Breed. Without a doubt, the Farmer’s Almanac is based on a small-sized dog. Here is the chart showing how to convert your dog’s age to human years compliments of the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Time flies by so quickly. It is hard to realize they will only be with us for a decade or more if things go well. (OMG) A few Weimaraner live to see sixteen years. I believe this is due to the luck of the draw and extraordinary care. Nonetheless, sometimes things don’t go as planned. We just learned that Dusty’s brother (Cesar) passed on in 2013 due to an issue with his spleen. I have heard of this happening in other breeds (mostly with the German Shorthair Pointer), but it could happen to any dog. I am going, to be honest, I am glad I didn’t know about this before now, for I might have worried way too much. That is a silly thing to do because all the pups in a litter are unique.
We all hope for sixteen years. It is not realistic. A few will get the extraordinary gift of sharing their lives for more than 14 years. What can we say? It is hard to talk about this topic and to realize that to love eventually means to let them go when the time comes. It is beyond painful for the reasons you understand. I am hoping Dusty will be around for a while longer.
I also learned that Cesar’s Mom was able to get a female (that they call Daisy) from Dusty’s lineage from a Midwest breeder that we have worked with over the last decade. Sometimes life is kind even when things don’t go as expected.
~ Part One
The last two blogs (Roxy’s story) and (Olli who lost his fur brother) have dealt with the loss of the Weimaraner. There are simply no words to cover such a loss. We can agree on this one thing—what we want to do is to push off the inevitable as long as possible.
This heartfelt desire begs the question of what we can do to make a big difference. We have some thoughts. Our suggestions cover the unexpected accidental loss as well as avoiding potential health issues. Our hope is for every OwyheeStar puppy to arrive at the Rainbow Bridge’s door late in life.
Accident Related Loss
Every few months we get a note about a Weimaraner who has lost their life due to an accident. These events vary–by nature each is unique; however, the underlying cause is similar. Some of the standout scenarios are listed here along with suggestions on how to avoid this type of thing. Eating or ingesting various non-edibles is a common theme. There are other dangers too, but we often forget the Weimaraner will eat anything.
1. Toys — Even rubber toys lose their integrity. Depending upon your Weim’s chewing strength, you may need to (always) supervise their chewing. Other toys have squeakers that can become an issue and the rope bones, which are a good choice, don’t work for every Weimaraner. Bits of ingested string can build up in and along the intestinal wall leading to a blockage or irritation. A blockage can happen fast and be hard to discover in time to save your pet. Vomiting and not passing a stool are indicators–but these two symptoms are not a sure sign. The same signs for other ailments and sometimes are just mean it is an upset tummy. It is best to get your Weimaraner checked if this is a prolonged event. Taking their temperature (rectally) might not seem all that pleasant, but it can help you determine the seriousness of the event. (The normal dog temperature is 101.5°F (38.6°C). A rising temperature is alarming –-you need to know the standard temperature for your pet because it is much higher than for humans.
2. Medications and things sink side — One of the most heartrending stories involved a Weimaraner that ate someone’s medication–kept at the kitchen sink for convenience. The counter-surfing Weimaraner nabbed the bottle and ate it, and the contents. By the time they got him to the Vet office, it was too late. The Weimaraner might eat anything it seems–we have had others report sponges, dishrag, food, food-scented trash, etc. Sponges and the dish rag could lead to a blockage. Food has all kind of potential risk–bones can puncture the intestine wall, and some food (even the most innocuous kind like the avocado) are potentially toxic.
3. Around the House –There are many things to mouth and ingest. Some are shocking to us. One such item happens more than you might guess. Certain Weims are so obsessed with you and your scent that they may raid your laundry basket. Undergarments have the strongest scent, and some Weims will ingest these–another potential intestinal blockage issue. More often than not, they will pass, but you might discover something hanging out the back end. A hankie, undies, or the sock that made for a quick snack. (oops)
4. In the Fenced Yard –These are multifaceted. The Weimaraners are known for ingesting rocks; sometimes they pack them around in the mouth, and this is hard on their teeth. Pica (ingesting items such as rocks) seems odd to us, but it happens a lot. Marble-sized rocks to those the size of a large plum (such as river rock) are ideal. Rocks sometimes will travel through without a hitch; other times (all too often) they cause an intestinal blockage. Sharp edged rocks can irritate or puncture the intestinal wall. Rocks are not the only culprit in your yard. There are a plethora of toxic plants commonplace. Ones we would never suspect. Anything in the yard (including your house siding) could be chewed. We have known of a Weimaraner left in the yard that dug up a sidewalk, and she ingested bits of concrete. While we are discussing the backyard, some Weims can open gate latches. Others dig and can tunnel out of the yard. Then there are those that if they want to get out to explore, they can easily bound over a 5′ fence. Another danger is a collar that would catch them and strangle them. One extreme dog lover tied his and his brother’s dog to a tree. They didn’t have a fence, and they were only going to the corner store for a moment. Both dogs climbed the tree they were tied to–the young men came back to find the Weimaraner’s collar had caught on a branch she slipped, and you can guess what happened. This haunting experience will never be forgotten (the young man is a practicing Veterinarian). May this serve as a warning to others who think to tie their Weim for a few moments would be the safest solution. It didn’t work out in this situation.
5. Road Dangers—
A six-acre yard and a well-trained Weimaraner should not be a problem; however, the devastating loss of their family member proved them wrong. A deer or something spurred the Weimaraner to give chase. Later they found him on a road even though they lived in a remote Northern Idaho location. The inherent desire to give chase (also known as the prey drive) is always lurching in the background–even when you have achieved the seemingly unfailing recall. Traveling with the Weimaraner is not without risk either. Some folks believe it is OK to have them ride in the back of their pickup–some tie them in, so they won’t fall out. Others let them roam free. More than one Weimaraner has seen something that sparked their sudden urge to give chase, and over the side, they went. Not everyone lost their life, but some did. One Christmas Eve in warm Arizona a woman was traveling with her Weimaraner. She had the windows down–the breeze blowing in their faces. She was on the way to a family dinner when her Weimaraner jumped out the window. He rolled down a bank breaking several bones. He lived, but they spent the night at the Emergency Vet Office instead of having a family dinner. He had traveled with the window frequently open; she had no reason for concern until this happened.
Others types of accidents happen but are less commonplace. Day two–we will discuss the other random things that may well shorten your time with your beloved friend and family member. The Weimaraner’s human must look out for their well-being on every level. A watchful eye for the seemingly puppy-like nature and the dangers to this breed are required. We thank you for your vigilance.
~ Shela and Cliff
PS: We bemoan the lack of photos; however, we were at a loss for which one to put here. We also didn’t cover things like Holiday Mishaps–and the dangers posed by the 4th of July and such. It was a lengthy post, and we have written on these topics many times.
~ He has never known life without Rudi
Yesterday we made the difficult decision to put Rudi down. He was 14 and his back arthritis was worsening. It was the right thing to do and one of the hardest decisions we have ever had to make. It was our turn to love unconditionally and he is now stalking rabbits with his buddies.Olli has not yet figured out the permanence of the change. He knew something was going on and that Rudi was not doing well. He wanted to snuggle with him on Rudi’s bed but Rudi was not having any of it. Re picture below is one we took several months ago in the distillery. Two very different temperaments and we love both of them dearly for their personalities and joy that they bring.Hope you and Cliff are doing well. ~Mary
PS – when we got Olli we started both dogs on Nuvet. Rudi had horrible allergies but they steadily improved over the last 2 years to the point of not needing any medication. Coincidence? I think not. We are sold on the benefits.
Eventually, something is going require us to let them go. This gut-wrenching experience is a personal one. A loss is never easy–it affects each of us differently. We process it in our way–honor them in a way significant to us. Some folks grieve for a long time and cannot entertain the thought of getting another. Others feel free to move forward. They are almost driven to find another and begin a new journey. Their take is the departing Weim would want nothing less for them.
Most of us want to extend the journey together as long as it is feasibly possible. With insurance knee replacements, hip replacements, and other major surgical procedures are within reach.
How Long Do We Have?
That is a good question. No one can guess. There simply is no guarantee you will get 14 years, or even 11. The only way to approach this risky relationship is to count every day as a special blessing.
From Our Side
If you sat where I sit you would feel what I feel. I read notes from people all the time; ………not always OwyheeStar people. In fact, these are usually not from our clients but people who are seeking and searching for other than what happened to them. They look to avoid whatever health issue took their fur baby away. I am quick to tell them that anything could happen. It scares me when we place a puppy with someone who writes me that they lost their last Weimaraner to a rare form of cancer. I secretly fear that rare cancer could strike again—even many years ago when it had never happened. Honestly, I only remember once it happened –cancer of larynx took a client’s six-year old Weimaraner. She got another from us, but it didn’t replace the first OwyheeStar in her heart.
This concern of someone having an untimely loss is only one of the many stressors in my life—I do care. I think when you adopt a rescue anything can happen. Also, when you bring home a puppy things can happen as well. The risk of loving our beloved Weimaraner is huge but worth it.
It is Just a Matter of Time
~ 14 Years is Not Enough
I’ve been thinking of sending you a few pics of this year. She’s such a strong girl – as soon as we start to think this is it, she bounces up like a puppy and proves to be as healthy as ever.
The Beach is Out!
~ This is the Last Trip
This trip to the beach will probably be her last, as she could hardly move when we got home. The vet says it’s that nerve in the hip area that’s ready to give out, so we know it’s just a matter of time before she won’t be able to walk at all. Thank you for staying in touch all these years – you gave us a gift for over 14 years & we’re so grateful.
Dear Friends, if you can say a little prayer for Roxy’s family, we would appreciate it. We all know that eventually, we will face something life-ending with our Weimaraner. It could come as a surprise–out of the blue in a shocking manner that doesn’t allow us to say goodbye. Or, it might require a gut-wrenching decision.
Holly Haffey who is a frequent OwyheeStar contributor (and her mother is Terri Robinson who delights us with her photography) faced a decision such as this with her first Weimaraner, Emma. Emma was a rescue Holly acquired that lead her to the breed. She was able to extend Emma’s life through great sacrifice on her part. I won’t speak to what it cost her personally, and it is most certainly not something everyone could or would do, but it is a testimony to what folks do to extend days together.
The crossroad we all reach (when our beloved lives on) takes us a place no one wants to go. It is a place we celebrate all we have shared and how our life was changed in the process. It is a painful decision that leads us through the valley of loss and grief. It is a very personal decision. If you have not been there, don’t even imagine saying to someone what they ought to do. If your travels include the valley of sorry and the rainbow bridge, then we know you can feel the agony.
One year ago today, we said our final goodbye to the beloved Deli. She was right at the 16 year mark. Her life was full and well-lived until the very end. The photo and the video was taken nine days before her departure. You know (if you have walked this path) about the breath holding and wondering when the inevitable will come. It is never delayed enough.
There are many OwyheeStar notables. Possibly few are as foundational as Deli. Many of our clients have her lineage weaved into their pedigree. Here a few pups we saved over a period of fifteen years (and three generations).
- Callie (Deli X Zeke) <–retired
- Moxie (Deli X Zeke <–retired
- Pepper (Mollie X Zeke) <–retired
- Mollie (Deli X Dash) <–retired
- Ginger (Callie X Zee) <–retired
- Cindee (Callie X Zee) <–retired
- Midge (Callie X Benton) <–retired
- Millee (Moxie X Benton<–retired
- Bernie (Millee X Stackhouse)
- Wilma (Mesquite X Stackhouse)
- Mesquite (Moxie X Benton)
- Hollee (Deli X Zee) — Deli’s last baby
- Mousse (Callie X Zee)
Weaving the DNA
You might understand more clearly what our DNA weaving involved. We used different sires with the females over time to gain our outcome. Ultimately, the pedigree will contain one or more of our foundation Weimars–Dash, Dusty, Stormy, Blue, Zee, Zeke, True, and Topper. I am sure there are others that should be mentioned but those are the most prevalent. It was a costly venture on every level to do this type of thing rather than to stick with a narrower process–only adding a new Stud Dog as the need arose.
The Two of Us!
As you probably heard, my old dog was put to sleep on Oct 11, 2016. I was concerned for Raein at first, but I believe she knew he was sick and is taking it quite well.
She has been my backbone for this past week. I strongly recommend always to have two dogs. When one gets sick you have another one to cry on. Raein even might like it better now that she is the only dog and can get all the attention for herself. Lol Raein and I have been back at running this past week also. We haven’t been out due to a sick dog but things are looking better. Thank you for a dog that needs attention. Because she is soaking it all up right now. Lol
We have known each other for some time. I don’t remember exactly how many years ago you got Raein from us–some time ago, though. At the time, you needed a running partner. The two of you have run more than a few miles. I always worry about the Weimaraner holding up to the long distance running, but amazingly they seem to do it. They are prone to ACL tears and joint damage just like their human counterparts. I always recommend insurance to cover such an issue because the cost is in the thousands. We have heard of people putting down their running companions because they could not afford the surgery. Oh my gosh–so sad.
Anyhow–for now the two of you back to running. The memories of your departed family member are fresh on your mind. It seems running in honor of Riley is a good thing. We send our heartfelt condolences (and I believe we also posted on Facebook–but that is less personal). There simply are no adequate words to cover such a loss. Our hearts go out to you and Raein. You have each other during this time and it is a good thing.
Memories of your Journey
I’ve thought about you guys often over the years. Sadie was born on Sept 12, 2003. I just lost her yesterday. She was the most amazing dog ever and I’m so unbelievably devastated with her loss. Her ½ sister Moxie is doing great and full of health and muscle and I cannot see the pain in her yet with the loss. Max was another we adopted along the way as well and I’m sure both will find it hard not to have her around. It was so funny how many dogs were attracted to Sadie. Something about her was so appealing to them. My wife and I would always comment how good she smelled and how good her temperament was.
She Did It All
She was everything I asked for in my initial application for her. She was and is beyond a perfect match. She got to enjoy lots of mountain time and ultimately probably beat her up too much but she did enjoy an abundance of fun times hiking, biking, swimming, boating, wondering around, playing in the snow, going to the lake and going on appointments all the way through Monday to house showings.
My Constant Companion
It was so neat to see how she never wanted to be away from my side. I could sit in my chair with her at my side and it was amazing to see how she would sit and just gaze in my eyes for hours.
On a cold winter day, it was always comforting for both of us to have cuddles on the couch. She always wanted to be between my legs and on the bed she always wanted to be in the crease of my armpit and chest.
How I will Miss those Kisses
Something else about this lovely girl is how she’s always raised her nose to the sky and ask you to give her kisses on her neck, face, and ears. I’ll miss those greatly along with how she would always smile.
Are you guys still breeding? It may be another 6 to 12 months before I am ready but am interested in another great family member to build another great friendship and bond with.
Out of the 1000 photos I have of my furry’s I hope you enjoy these two.
Thank you so much. I’m ever grateful to you as breeders for giving me something so special and for God to allow me 13 great years with her. She can never be replaced and will never be forgotten.
In LOVING memory of Sadie 9.12.03 – 9.27.16
We are sad to hear that Sadie had to depart our world. We are positive that her trip over the rainbow bridge was provided for in the same manner she lived. Thank you for all you did with and for her during the 13+ years she lived and played with you.
Yes, we still raise the Weimaraner. Thank you for allowing us to post your testimonial and this tribute to Sadie.