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Farewell, Our Sweet Sandy

March 24, 2013

IMG_1061AFarewell, Our Sweet Sandy

Silence. Heartbreak and emptiness hit us as we unlocked the door to our home last night. Our dearest friend and family member living with us moved on without us. Her spirit was not strong enough to survive another day and at 5:30 P.M., March 22, 2013 our world was scattered as she passed on to a healthier life.

Sandy, wonderJuly 02-3Aful sweet chocolate Labrador with a heart of pure gold that never complained when hurt, loyal to all she loved, smart in every way has left our home empty. For almost eleven years she has filled our lives and yet we never knew that this incredible feeling always present in our family home was because of her love.  Each year Doug and Sandy celebrated their birthdays in May together having the same date.

Sandy- she earned her name when we first brought her home because hJuly 02-17Aer very first walk in lifJuly 02-15Ae was on the beach and the very place I find my peace, she too loved. Splashing in the waters, digging in the sand and of course, exploring what may be in the washed up seaweed! Running up and down the beaches as though there were no end to her energy or ours.

As she grew a little bit older not to stay in a play pen, she earned her stripes chewing up the remotes for our adjustable beds. Naturally the remotes had to be ordered from a distance away and we always had our beds stuck in a position not fit to sleep, for days at time.

We had always had poodles so she taught us well and trained us just to her satisfaction. We had decided she may grow too large and would teach her not to get on the bed as the poodles always had but Sandy had other ideas. Off to the pet store, we bought an outdoor fence and fenced ourselves into the bed at night since she seem to find a way out of her playpen and into our bed. That never stopped her as she somehow managed to always get past the fence and upon wakening, our sweet Sandy would be either starring into our face or fast asleep curled up against our chest or legs happy as she could have been. Her independence and drive to never give up was as if she had heard that was how I had lived my entire life.

Once we lost that battle, she became a regular in our bed giving us less room as she grew from what was to be a forty five pound dog to one that had become larger and weighing one hundred pounds!  Training was our next move so Sandy and the two of us took our child to obedience school and the only problem was that we became her students. All in all, we learned to take walks, Sandy style; eat with her sweet head tilted as if to say “where is my plate”  and watch the TV shows she most enjoyed.

Our lives with laughter and love were endless and such a delight even if frustrating at times. Sandy never met a stranger yet we knew that no one had ever dare enter our home with any ideas of harm. Her bark would set anyone on notice or if welcome, her gentle mouth would form a circle as in saying wooo and soft voice to follow with an expression of her feelings.

Her life was not an easy one as she suffered from seizures and allergies. I know that her feelings must have been hurt when those who laughed at her calling her fat but what they did not know was that she suffered from a Thyroid disease and although we protected her from those remarks, I believe she understood. Yet she always responded to them lovingly with a sad look but with a wagging tail and soft kiss. I figure it was their loss to be so dumb to quickly judge without knowledge or simply a cruel heart.

It was not much later in life she began to have issues with her feet and was IMG_0098Amisdiagnosed as having allergies. For the following two years she endured allergy shots which she did not need only to learn she suffered from a Cancer and lost half her foot. Now in her senior years she had to learn to walk all over again but never whined or complained of the obvious pain or frustration. She was determined to wear socks and bandages with dignity and the will to never give up.

Sandy’s favoscan0023Arite all time joy was to take a ride in the car. Her middle name could have easily been “Go” as we could not even spell the word and she was up and headed for the door.

Once she developed bone spurs to the hips and knees she was unable to enjoy the excitement of chasing squirrels or even taking walks she longed for whenever her leash was shook. But that did not stop this sweet stubborn soul from enjoying life. I have to say as she sat on the back deck, it seems there were a couple of squirrels that would always come to the edge as if to say “come play” but with hair that stood up on her back she just gently smiled back.

Sandy lived to watch the TV and very often spoke to the animals on the screen or if she did not like the eerie music, she would express her opinion. Her front room bed faced the TV so she was regularly able to watch and had her favorite shows.

It was not beyond Doug to sit on the floor with her and play their favorite game. Doug would take a treat and hold it in his fingers at Sandy’s mouth and as she would go for it, Doug would tuck it inside his palm. He would repeat this a couple of times and she would turn her head as if to say “I don’t want it anyway” and as soon as she felt he was not looking or paying attention go after it with gusto always to win! After she would go for the treat she always wrapped her little paws around his hands as if she would never let go. It was one of many games they shared and will be forever missed.

Although she was not well and in certain discomfort, she never complained but found the good things in life to be happy about.


The last few days have been extremely difficult again for her being unable to stand and walk on her own but with the bone spurs we prayed it was a temporary set back. We made an appointment with her new Veterinarian in hopes he would fix our baby. Again we found or feel that care she had been under before was not as it should have been. She had her hips and legs x-rayed learning about the spurs but never a mention she had the major tendon in her knees torn. Her new doctor told us it was like having two broken legs that she would never recover from. He gave us medicine and said she should not be walking at all except to go out until the inflammation was improved. He said that two to three weeks would tell us and if she got well enough to walk, we may have her another year. He gave her a dose of this medicine which had made her better before and we left the office. We drove to a pet store so I could buy a sling but because it was not sold there I was quickly back to the car.

When I returned to the car, Doug called my name to the side of the car where Sandy was laboring for her breathe. He started up the car as I called the doctor and told then we were on our way back. They were ready for us when we returned but it was too late. In spite of their efforts to revive her, Sandy just could not make this last journey.

Now our hearts are full of grief wondering what we could have done different. She had bled to death internally still never complaining as she died, while we were helpless to help our sweet Sandy.  I know that God’s mercy had been shared with our innocent baby of almost eleven years. We did not ever want her to leave us but her death came quickly and very unexpected.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERASandy loved us very much and had her routines she followed regularly each day. One of her all time favorite things to do each morning seven days a week was to greet each sunrise through the glass doors in our bedroom. That meant she had to push the vertical blinds aside, gently waking us to say “good morning, the sun is up.” That was Doug’s cue to hang his leg over the side of the bed and gently rub her tummy as she wrapped her paws around his foot.

Sleep was not possible while we mourned her presence as each place in our home rang out with the silence we hated to hear.

Today is a mixed day of emotions as we remember all the joy, laughter and sadness your life brought to ours.

But Sandy can now run along the beach again and we will watch for her each time we are there, and enjoy her chasing that squirrel once more always allowing it to escape!

The days will never be the same and nights unbearable as you are gone but your love that filled the rooms will be forever with us.

Farewell sweet friend, we love you so. Be at peace and know no other will replace the love we shared with you. Perhaps someday we will love another but in different way. You are our angel and will never forget you.

This year come May Doug will celebrate his birthday without his special friend , Sandy, we love with all our hearts.


Sandy Adkins

May 2002 to March 22, 2013

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  1. Rosemary, I’m am so sorry that your precious baby girl, Sandy was called to Rainbow Bridge. I know she will live in your heart and your life feels lonely without her. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. May the pain you feel now be replaced by loving, warm memories. Remember she is whole now, and fee of pain, frolicking in the beautiful meadows.
    Warm hugs and love, Cynthia

    • Cynthia, Our thoughts and feelings were numb tonight still in shock a sit happened so quickly. Last night as we tried to rest, her sweet memories flooded our hearts and minds and were how I was able to write this tribute for her. Thank you for keeping the thoughts of happiness in front of us.

  2. Oh Rosemary, I’m so so so sorry. I couldn’t imagine losing one of my kitties. You had eleven years of smiles, laughs and love, and she looked like one happy content friend. Your bff for sure (big furry friend) I know she was probably just like family and just as important. That is why I say kiss those you love the most then you won’t feel sad or guilty that you didn’t show the love you had while they were alive. I’m so sorry for your loss, but make this a time that will make Sandy happy. Rescue a puppy from a shelter, not to replace Sandy but to share the love you have with another puppy that might be put to sleep if you don’t rescue it. I know sometimes people say that they can’t replace their pet so soon, I don’t feel that way. I feel that it’s the best time to share that love that you will miss giving on a pet and trust me Sandy won’t see it as being “trying to forget her” it will be seen in her eyes as a beautiful thing to do in honor of her. I only wish you the best no matter what you do, but I know you are a kind loving woman and the loss you feel now is almost palpable with me. I’m so sorry but get out there and continue life in Sandy’s honor. Save a puppy and call it sandy2:):)
    Prayers and love Rosemary. Lori

    • Lori such a sweet message. Our Sandy is like a chid to us and saying goodbye to her is not possible. We prefer to think of it as we will see her again some day and catch up on our love and sweet kisses. Your kind thought are really appreciated and Sandy would most likely smile at that thought but we need to wait allowing time to grieve our special friend. For now, we say never again this pain is too great but to miss out on this kind o love and memory would be a shame. Thanks Lori.

  3. I’m sorry to hear about your loss. What a beautiful dog.

    • Thank you Yves. We loved her and had the feeling somehow she was a special gift we were able to share for however long as she blessed our lives.

  4. My dear friend,
    You know how heartsick I am for your loss. Dogs like Sandy are special. All pets are , of course but a lab actually believes they are human and I sometimes thought mine actuially was–they are so into our feelings. I told you before, Sandy has not yet left this realm and you will feel her presence in so many ways. Be open to them and believe they are real–because they are. Sandy will leave for Heaven’s realms when she feels that you and Doug will be okay without her. There are no words of comfort that I can give you, except to say the day will come when it’s meant to come, when you will think of Sandy with the good memories and the pain of loss will turn to peace.

    Love, Micki

    • Hi Micki,

      We have surely been the receivers of her love and know she is still with us. Her love filled our home but we have felt a huge loss while we are unable to embrace her.

  5. Rosemary,

    I am terribly sorry to learn of your family loss. Our pets are a part of our family, so we grow to love them so much as you and Doug did Sandy. What beautiful photos. Anyone can tell how much you all loved each other.

    I’ll be thinking of you and Doug at this time – Cherrye

    • Cherrye thank you for your prayers as we have been praying for her memories to refresh themselves in our hearts and minds so we can find comfort knowing that for almost eleven years she given us unconditional love.

  6. The family dog- the only four-footer with the rudiments of altruism and a sense of God.
    -John Galsworthy

  7. The loss of a dear pet is so sad. Still the memory of the years of Sandy’s love will stay with you always.

    • Thank you Ken. Our pets have always been as though they were apart of our hearts and lives. This is a very sad time for us as she filled our lives with much love.

  8. I am so sorry for your loss. I believe that sometimes our pets are messengers sent from God to comfort us and bring us the healing power of laughter. You Sandy sounds as if she was one of God’s messengers. Take care of yourselves while you grieve for this loss.

    • Oh Delinda,thank you for that message. We have always believed she was a special messenger or angel sent from God. Her loss has just broken our hearts making it so hard to return our laughter and leaving us to feel empty.

  9. Doug and Rosemary, my heart goes out to you both. Our pets are our children, especially as we grow older and kids are grown and gone. I am sure Sandy brought laughter, love and tears to your eyes through the wonderful years you shared together. While she may no longer be with you in the earthly state, her spirit will remain with you always. The memories you shared will bring smiles in the days to come as you reminisce over the fun times and antics. Hugs across the miles! Sharla

    • Hi Sharla, You are right about kids leaving home and off on their own. Our daughter lives in Colorado and we are out here alone. Sandy filled that void and now we are alone and feel so empty. Thank you for caring. Our prayers are with you and Jim and our Sandy, so please also take care of yourselves as well.

      Many Blessings,

  10. So very sorry you have lost your dear Sandy. She is surely happy and free on the other side awaiting you in Bliss. Sandy was such a special family member and am sending her blessing, as well as to you, dear Rosemary, and Doug. I loved reading all about her and her heart of pure gold.
    Martha Love

    • Thank you Martha. I just read your e-mail too and how special you have sent a flower out to sea for her. This may sound strange but we know she is still her from the fw events that have happened. She always would tap the bottom of my foot at night to tell me she was going to bed and last night, my foot was tapped as usual.

      Our hearts feel as though they are in shock but we are happy she is no longer in pain but wish she could be pain free here with us.

      Love ya lots Martha,

  11. Jon Magee permalink

    so sorry to hear your news. She would have been a very special part of your family, but you clearly have some special memories to cherish in the time ahead

    • Jon, Thank you so much. We have buckets of special memories with this sweet and adorable soul. I tried to share her with everyone so you could see what an amazing friend she is to us. Mamie

  12. My heart breaks for you and your family with the loss of your loved one. They are never “pets”. They love their way into our hearts and lives and become just as close as a human family member. She is in a better place now and out of pain, but you will miss her so much. My thoughts and prayers are with you. God bless.

    • Thank you Marion. You are so right. There is no such thing as a “pet” if you are an animal lover-They are a family member as Sandy was. She is our family and we will be grieving her loss for a long time to come. We are so happy we is in a place with no pain but wold love to hold her and love her ourselves. I guess we are just not ready to loose her.

      Many Blessings,

  13. Our black lab was lost last year in much the same way. It started with a limp from an 11-yr old lab, who never complained, ever. A trip to the vet told us Jax had a bone cancer in his shoulder. It was such a radical type of cancer, the vet said Jax would likely die before the blood work results came back. He also said Jax was in terrific pain. We never even knew he was sick, because he never complained, until that day. But that day, the pain had grown too much for Jax to keep to himself. We had to put him down because he was suffering horribly, and he only had days, not weeks, to live, anyway. We took Jax home, brought the dog feather bed out to the living room and gathered the other dogs around. Our vet made a house call for us. Since this was how we put down our cancer-ridden, 14-yr old Brittany Spaniel a couple of years before, Jax knew exactly what was happening. He walked over to the bed and lay down. When the vet put the drug into the IV, Jax looked at me and thumped his tail 3 times. He was ready. I was not. I’d hugged him fiercely until the vet could no longer hear his heartbeat.

    I think what broke my heart is, I just wasn’t ready. It happened too fast. Maybe that’s where you’re at, and why the loss of Sandy hurts you so badly (I could feel your grief, Sweetie.) You weren’t prepared for an empty home, among other things. I grieved for my Jax as though he were human. He was “people” to me. But the pain has lessened, and now I can remember Jax fondly without crying. It gets better. Maybe adopting a new dog who really needs a good home (dare I suggest a Pit Bull?) is the best thing you can do for you, and it’s a tribute to Sandy. I will pray for an ease to your pain of loss. I’m really so sorry for your loss.

    • Hello Anne and thank you for such a loving message. Sharing your story helps but so sorry you had to experience a loss like this as well. Sandy was like people. She watched TV and talked to us with her eyes and emotions.She formed her sweet lips as if to talk and listened to us when e spoke. We were not ready. We had no time to hold her until it was too late or to say goodbye exchanging glances or words. She was our world and the only passion we had time to share was when she was in throws or dying.

      When we returned home, what was full, loving in atmosphere was cold with walls closing in. Her scent was in each room and blankets laid about with her favorite pillows. No we were not ready but had no choice. Yes, she is in a better place but we wanted that to be with us. The only good thing is that she is no longer in pain and that is a great thing. We are not ready for a new dog or family member as yet but today we stopped into the Rescue center of the Humane Society. Not for a new friend-we did not even look but for looking at volunteering there-I also wanted to see if they needed funding. I have written a book about childhood abuse and want to donate part of my proceeds to both children and animal abuse cases on behalf of Sandy. This is as far as we are ready to journey.

      Thank you for your comments and caring compassion.


  14. Dear Rosemary. I’m so sorry for your loss. I know so well how this is!! I therefore don’t make too many words… I just do hug you in thoughts.
    Sandy is at such a great place now. She’ll be as happy as she can be!!
    She still will be part of your heart!

    • Raani,

      Thank you for your comments. Sandy will be forever in our hearts and I happily accept your hug. Nothing else feels as good. Today we had to select an Urn and it was like starting over again in the grieving process. Her special life endured many trials but she always came through with her pride intact. Her legs just must have ben too great. Now, she can already walk, eat what she likes and be free of Cancers.
      Hugs Back,

  15. Margot Filley permalink

    Rosemary, I know what it is like to lose a loved pet. Our family had 10 cats and missed every one of them…the last was my old orange tiger cat, “Hobbes.”He lived to be 20 and it was very sad to have to euthanize him. He was very much loved. Margot

    • Hello Margot,

      How very sad to put one down. I prayed many times for all of us in our family to include Sandy that when our times comes to please just let us close our eyes and sleep. In some ways though it killed us inside, it is how Sandy passed on-I think we were all spared because we could not have put her down. I’m not sure we will ever get over this.
      Thank you for your comments.

  16. Yes Ms. rosemary, pets are people too, and looks like you did all you could too!! Sorry for your loss!! Day by day, it will get better!


    • Thank You Louise,
      It will be one week today and our world is still filled with much sadness. She is/was our only family living close and we treasured her every breathe. She will always be missed.
      Thank you again for caring,

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