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Remembering Sheena

By Grant Published: October 27, 2009

It appears that Lexi and Murphy have crated Grant in their new offices of Perfectly Pawsible and are keeping him on a short leash until the renovation and the move are complete, which will be wrapped up this week. Grant will be back next week, but in the meantime, he has asked me to guest post today. My name is Michele Randolph, I am Grant’s Virtual Assistant, and I’d like to tell you about my best friend.

My Shepherd Collie/German Shepherd mix, Sheena, had been a faithful companion and loving family member to us for over 15 years. She grew up playing fetch, tag and frisbee with ‘the boys’, who were ages 2, 6, and 32(hubby!) when she came to us at eight weeks old. Her unconditional love and excited-to-see-you greeting would bring a smile to us no matter what our mood. Sheena happily shared her pack family with several cats over the years, always winning them over as best friends despite their initial instinct of fear. She also loved the many children who ran through our house and yard; neighbors, nieces, nephews and friends – the more the merrier - Sheena loved the fun and excitement the kids brought with them, and they all loved her.

As Sheena aged she developed arthritis, creating a challenge for her to get around, yet she never complained. Last year in early November, she suffered a stroke, rendering her unable to stand or walk without a great amount of assistance. After a three-day stay at the hospital, she came home in need of a tremendous amount of care while she regained full control for herself. Within weeks Sheena was back to normal, or so we thought. The day after Christmas she suffered another stroke. This one was actually milder and she did not have to stay at the hospital. We had her checked out, brought her home, and cared for her with love and patience. It amazes me that a dog can smile – even through pain and loss of agility – but she did – and often!

Some family members and friends wondered why we didn’t ‘put her down’ at the first stroke, and especially after the second. I believe Sheena wasn’t ready. There was still a lot of life in her, a lot of love to give, a lot of lessons to teach, and a lot of love to receive back. I asked a good friend how she determined when it was time to help her beloved pets on their way to the other side, as she had experienced it three times since I had known her. Lori shared a most recent personal story about Nike, her German Shepherd, and told me that Sheena will let me know when she is ready. (Thank you sooo much, Lori!)

Sheena turned 15 years old in June, and we sadly watched her heath decline over the summer months: the two steps up into the house became a challenge, standing and lying down became even more difficult, and loss of balance was happening more often. Finally, Sheena lost her appetite and was not able, or willing, to stand and walk outside. Sheena told us she was ready…..

That was just two weeks ago and it still hurts, of course. Her water dish is still on the floor, I can’t bring myself to put it away yet. Her favorite bandana is nestled on the shelf among sympathy cards from family members and friends, along with a beautiful poem sent by the veterinarian who had never before met Sheena until her last day. And Peaches, our cat, occasionally cries out at night for her best friend. The house seems empty without our beloved Sheena. The support, understanding, and love of family and friends have been greatly appreciated; but only time will heal our broken hearts…..

_______________

Grant Holmes is a Dog Obedience Professional and the owner of Perfectly Pawsible Dog Obedience & People Training. He loves working one on one with your dog in your home, working on the goals you've set for obedience & behavior! Any dog, any size, any challenge. 

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