A Personal Note


Today I’m asking your indulgence as I depart somewhat from stitching subjects, and share something strictly personal. This week we made the devastating decision to put our dog to sleep, after she lost the use of her back legs in what was probably a neurological incident last weekend. Those of you who are owned by pets understand the aching loss we are experiencing right now.


Mandy was a tri-color Sheltie, born April 1, 1999. She was a unique personality, like all dogs, our funny companion who obeyed when it suited her agenda, who was always ready to go camping because it meant long walks, who loved her cookies at bedtime every night. We were never able to break her of shredding used tissues or napkins, and while she showed remorse at being caught, she was never sorry for the shredding.

She was the “heartbeat at my feet”, and followed me around throughout my day. She shared my breakfast and my lunch. For a time, until she got too big, she shared my stitching nest. She had a fascination for stitching paraphernalia: she could destroy a ball of pearl cotton very quickly, she once ate a tomato pincushion without ingesting any of the pins or needles in it, she carried my bead storage system into the back yard and scattered beads everywhere, and even ate a mostly finished Hardanger bell pull. But I quickly learned to keep my stitchy things out of reach, and the carnage stopped.


In recent years Mandy had been slowing down, struggling a bit with her back legs, losing a step or two. We stopped taking the long walks because she couldn’t go that far, got a rug for the kitchen so she could get up and down since she couldn’t get traction on the tile floor. Then last Saturday night her rear right leg quit working entirely, and her left leg was too weak to compensate. She could not walk at all, and was struggling to sit up; she couldn’t turn over, and was obviously in distress. The last ditch effort by the vet didn’t work, and we decided to let her go. We spent a few hours with her, talking to her and petting her, telling her what a good dog she was. We were with her to the end, our precious girl, as she went to sleep for the last time, her pain and struggle over.

There will be other Shelties in our life, after a time. For now, we really miss our girl in so many ways. Those who have loved and been loved by their pets will understand. Thanks for indulging me in this post. I’ll resume regular stitching topics next time.



6 thoughts on “A Personal Note”

  1. Debbie, I am so so sorry to hear of your Mandy. Know that she is no longer suffering and you will always have her in your heart and your memories.

    1. Thanks so much. We’re still pretty raw, but getting a little better every day. When we are ready, we’ll get another dog because we just can’t live without one. But for now we’ll cherish our memories of our quirky, precious Mandy.

  2. I am so sorry for your loss… I know how hard it is to lose a loving friend and companion… Our beautiful Sheltie had the same problem, one day she could just not get out of her bed and we to knew it was time to let her go..

  3. I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Mandy. I’m in a similar situation with our 13 year old Chesapeake Bay Retriever named Dan’l. It is a hard situation for everyone. I wish you the quickest recovery. When you are ready for another Sheltie (or other pet), you’ll know……

  4. I just read about your beloved Mandy. I am happy to hear that you will have another furry kid in your life when those jagged edges of your loss smooth out a bit. None will be able to replace her, but you will always have the memories of her perfect quirks in your heart and who knows what joy the new family member will bring.
    My heart is with you.

  5. Chicago Mermaid

    I just read about the loss of your dog. My dog was a Beagle named, Doggie Woggie. I went to an animal shelter in 2005 and as my youngest Daughter and I were leaving, some woman came up to me with an 8 week Beagle that “cried too much”. I had lost our Golden Retriever, Mo Jo about 2 years earlier. It took me 1 minute to decide to take this cute puppy. I have had 4 dogs in my life, loved them all, but she was different. She and I loved each other like no other dog ever did or, ever will. I had to have several back operations and the replacement of both knees. Doggie would wait for me on our second landing as we would go down the stairs. She would go down and then come back to make sure I was OK. She sat next to me , or at my feet , with her paw or some other part of her body touching me. I took her to a new Vet for her rabies shot and yearly exam. This “Vet” told me I should run a blood test because Doggie had turned 9 years old in January. That was the beginning of our nightmare. She called the next day and said there was a platelet problem and we should re-do the blood test. I did and she told me that “we would be lucky to have her alive by the end of the week ” if we didn’t do what she said. She started her on shots of prendisone and told me to give her 40mgs of it daily. I found out later that that amount was enough for a 200 lb man not a 40 lb dog. All the next 3 weeks there was a blood test EVERY day . The money was well over $3,000.00. My husband said it was getting ridiculous and that there was nothing wrong with her till we brought her there. Then, her left leg went lame. This Vet said she had sprained it and was in a lot of pain but the amount of the steroids she was getting wouldn’t mix well with a pain med that would be too strong. My poor baby cried all the next 2 days till her other leg went out. That was at 6:00 AM, I am so disabled my daughter and husband were putting her in this carry cage that she was insanely afraid of but, she would NOT pee on the floor even though prendisone makes the patient so thirsty. We called at 8:00 AM when they opened and were told they couldn’t see her till 3:00 pm. I called another Vet and he did XRays. The amount of steroids had affected her cruciate ligaments .They said the operation would be $4,000.00 and both legs had to be done 12 weeks apart. That they would not guarantee she would ever walk and it would be in humane. We kept bringing her outside to “her back yard” where she sat like a lump. Every time she went to run after a squirrel,she fell on her face. I had to decide to put down an animal that I thought of as my 5th child. The new Vet actually came to our home to put her to sleep. We can not prove anything with this other Vet. She was put down on may 19, 2014 and all I can do is think about my poor sweet baby looking for me but, I am not there. I feel as if I am losing my mind . Like you, this was a special dog. A part of our family and my heart. My husband went and bought me a “Teddy Bear” dog that is 1/2 Bichon frise and 1/2 Shitzu on my birthday on 6/25. I have never had a small dog that barks all the time, tries to bite, and growls at all of us. I miss my REAL dog. I love her with all my heart but now I have to try with this new puppy I didn’t want. Anyway, I am so sorry about your dog. There are many of us that have or had our stitching buddy. Perhaps your next dog will help you with all your designing.. I sure hope so. I love your designs.

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