My little man, Wesley was 13 and suffered from Heart Dissease. My husband Charlie got Wes for me shortly before he was diagnosed with Esophigial Cancer. When he passed Wes was my little man. He went everywhere with me. Wes’ condition got very bad recently, I put him to sleep on Wednesday. I am a mess without him. Charlie’s 10 Year anniversary was today. We had no human children, so I am awfully sad and lonely. Wes always had me to take him for walks, play or just sit together. Wesley’s breeder and I spoke yesterday and he has a little one that he has been holding for me. I am not sure if I even would want another when ready (if ever) with my ataxia. I am concerned about walking etc which is needed for a pet. I have always had a dog in my life. I don’t know what to do. Any thoughts from fellow Ataxians would be great! HELP
So sorry about Wesley
So sorry to read about Wesley.
I know what it is like because we have just been through the same. Take time making your decision about the future.
Maybe you could help in some way with a dog charity, so that you still get contact with them, until you have thought more about the future.
I am really sorry for your loss. I understand because I have always had an animal of some sort. My present girl is nearly 17 and I know her time will be up very soon.
I also understand your concerns about a new puppy when you have ataxia. I don't think I could cope with a pup. They bounce and upset your balance. Just what we need!
I don't know what to advise you except take it slowly, and trust your "gut" reaction. Some people need time to mourn (I do) and some people benefit from a replacement quickly. To me, the big factor is how a new dog will fit in with the ataxia. Perhaps consider an older dog that won't need the exercise as much?
I was in the same position in 2009. My beloved Persian was put to sleep after 15 years, very happy years, and he was my much loved pet. Two weeks later I told my husband that I had a huge hole in my heart and needed another "friend". We went to the Breeder, and she had just had a litter of kittens, Short Hair Exotic. One little guy climbed up me and went to sleep on my chest. The rest is history. Go for it, it will make you feel tons better to have another little man or girl to look after, love and cherish. My boy Theo is in the process of writing his second book in aid of Ataxia. Theo's Diary is on Kindle. If you can download it, perhaps it will make you laugh and you may feel a whole lot better when you see what has happened for me. My best wishes to you and let us know how you are. Go for it, you will be great at being a new "mum"
Hi Suzi, I’m so sorry to hear about Wesley. The special connection with your
husband makes it doubly painful.
Like Lisa, my cat had to be put to sleep, he was 19.
It does leave a big gap in your life, in my case it was filled by taking in a stray
cat who just refused to move on
He’s now about 15, deaf and starting to feel his age, so it may not be to long
before the inevitable happens again.
Personally, although I love young animals, I would hesitate before taking one
on now, I just haven’t got the energy But everyone’s different, go with your
gut instinct. Consider the practicalities as well as the bonuses xB
It is dreadful when they go, I am so sorry.
. A new dog soaks up grief like a sponge, a will be a tribute to Wesley.
What about contacting your breeder, or the rescue society, you might be offered an older one which will suit you better as you are ataxic, the dog might be in desperate need of a new family. I was a breeder, & about 20 years ago I sold a tibetan spaniel to a lady in a wheelchair because of MS, (I promised to have him back if he did not suit) he was a success!
I had my spaniel put to sleep about 4 yearsago so I know how devastating it can be.It was all the memories attached.
I got another spaniel within 3 months and have made new memories. With a puppy you can get it to run alongside
a road scooter. I have had three or so happy years doing this-still am.I had some help with a puppy as I could not cope.
Sorry to hear about your news, you are obviously devastated.
How about getting a older rescue dog? That way you still get your exercise, companionship, and you don’t have to bother with house training.
Plus, you are giving a ‘rejected’ dog a loving home.
So sorry to hear about Wesley's passing. It is amazing how we connect with our animal friends. I know how you feel right now about adopting again. It feels disloyal to even think about someone to take Wesley's place. But give it a little time, and you will slowly come to realize how comforting a pet can be. We need it and so do they. I lost my Opie-cat in 2012, and it took almost a year before I began to respond to "cute kitty pictures". So, off I went to the animal shelter of choice, and returned with my newest friend, a silver gray tiger kitten. A year later, he is my constant indoor companion, and I am so glad I went to get him. I never gave it a thought, that the ataxia would prevent me from having a pet. With a dog, of course, you would need to arrange for a dog walker if you couldn't do any walks with it. The suggestion for considering an older dog sounds like a good one. It is sad to see the older animals sitting in cages while everyone goes for the cute baby. But, follow your heart.,
Suzi! I just realized it was you who posted about Wesley! Again, so sorry for your loss. We should get together for coffee again at Dunkin' Donuts and share photos. Call me!
I'm so sorry about what happened to Wesley. I think when you're ready for it, a new dog would be a great idea. If you're worried about not having the energy to walk the new pup, then you can try hiring a kid from your neighborhood to walk the dog.
Hello there Suzi
Having a rough time huh..I feel for you.The loss of dear ones stays with you forever. Nobody can fill in that special place. So try to cherish this void and I am sure your Charlie is still there for you..just talk to him. You'll feel him around. Death is only a transition: the body not there anymore, his spirit is, I promise.
A dog can be a GREAT companion, a best friend, right, You will have to look at both sides when considering a new little one. It will surely fill in the void you have now, asking for your attention, give your love, receive lots in return, which gets your mind off things. On the other hand you are looking at another 12-13 years of caring..How long have you had your ataxia? Can you still get around without walking aids, no need for a wheelchair in the near future? If that is the case, I would go for it and at the same time try to arrange something with good friends or family in case your ataxia worsens too fast. We all know it's progressive, but it took me 12 years before it is where I am now: in and around the house I can manage with a 4-legged crutch, outdoors I am in a wheelchair. So no more dogs for me and I grew up with them. My parents always had one and as an adult I've also had a few. Try to be objective, see what a new doggie can mean for you and what you can mean for him and in particular for how long. Need anymore of my words, just contact me, I'll be there. HUGE hug from Holland, Elle.
Get another because you will benefit just as much as them and it will occupy your mind and keep you happy.
I just opened my e-mail, you know us people from the previous generation put things like this off sometimes. To be honest, I was driven to open your e-mail even though I thought better of it. I have an excruciating headache today and feel emotionally raw. As an animal lover myself, who wept so hard when I put my cat down not two years ago, he was a Ragdoll who seemed more dog than cat and was by my side, snuggling me as my health deteriorated. I wept so hard that the vet could barely contain himself as he put him down. He had cancer and was always a robust boy, big, round thighs and body. His fur was so fine and soft that it felt like rabbit fur.He was losing weight and shitting everywhere, he was sick and being a humane person, I had him put down to ease his suffering. I could have selfishly kept him alive for myself, but would never do that. I wish humans would grant humans the same consideration.
I am a very empathetic person and have gone through almost a box of kleenex writing you as tears stream down my face and my breath comes erratic and fast. Please get another dog. I have two Corgi's now, plus a tortie cat. I cannot imagine the pain that I will go through when they pass but better to love and lose...
Anyway, I was worried about walking them as it has been a challenge, one that I meet most days. I have severe spinal injuries as well as the Ataxia (I HATE capitalizing that word) but when I posed this concern to my wife, who also loves animals, she very wisely stated that when they go we would indeed get more, that I could walk them in a motorized scooter if necessary. I am so happy she said that. Who knows how much they have given me. Who knows if I would even want to live without them. The thing is, puppies are not a replacement but a place to put your love after the others have gone.
It sounds as if your Wes had a life full with every ounce of love that you had to give. Get the puppy for your own good. Soon, you may realize that you are fulfilling him (or her) as well. Too many animals suffer and never experience such love. As you know well, they give back ten fold. Do not deprive this puppy of your love. You are still a valuable person and will be even in the life after.I am not religious but KNOW that energy never disappears from life, just changes. I have had to make many corrections whilst writing this. Forgive me for those that I missed through my tears. Do it!-Randall
Dear Suzi, My deepest sympathies to you on the loss of you beloved dog Wesley. I was in the same boat as you three years ago as, my Bichon Teddy died at 13 years (he had liver disease). I miss that little guy as he was "family" to me! I understand how you feel about getting another dog, as I have yet to decide if I could handle one with my ataxia (it's progressed compared to how I was when I had Teddy). If I was to get another dog, I'd seriously consider an older one (a rescue), as there are so many that need a "forever home". I love all animals and would even consider getting a kitten or cat, as no walks necessary, as well as they use a litter box. Give yourself a bit of time to decide, as you're grieving right now. I'm certain you'll make the right decision for you! Hugs..., ;o)
Hi Suzi, I'm very sorry to hear about Wesley. I know that it can hurt so deeply. I have a snoodle (Schnauzer and poodle mix) 8Lbs. So I'm wondering how big did Wesley get?
I'm thinking if Wesley was smaller than maybe you wouldn't have to walk him quite as much as you would a larger dog. Yes dog's like to be walked.. Walking a dog would keep you moving too though.
My vote would be to get another dog soon. Not necessarily the same kind, unless you want to that is.
For me, I love the company, companionship just knowing there is something else in the house running around helps.There are studies too that prove that having an animal helps our health too. :-)
I can relate. In 2001, I began walking funny. Mostly my toe bumping into my heel.
Later that year, I picked up my puppy Phoebe from the Phoenix airport.
As my condition got worse, she became a constant source of support and unconditional love.
She made me accountable for my actions when ruminating about work or my disorder.
She died February of 2011 from cancer of the spleen.
I fell apart, and soon realized I needed a change of venue and a source of support in my worsening
I had not realized how much a part of my everyday life she represented.
Upon moving to St. Louis, I was exposed to 9 loving Labradors that my mother breeds.
At first, I was tentative about bonding with them. The pain of Phoebe's death still haunted me.
I did not know if I had the time or energy to take on that responsibility. I was scared and uncertain.
After nearly a year, I started interacting with them. The rest is history.
I am with the little boogers 4 hours a day. Their distinct personalities and unyielding enthusiasm can turn a 'blah'
day upside down.
Should you get the puppy? ABSOLUTELY!!!
How much joy and unconditional love have they given you in the past? BUNCHES!
Don't worry so much about the exercise, running around the house or the yard is fine.
Just so they can have fun and keep fit. Their main happiness comes from you.
Dogs can and WILL adapt to any situation they find themselves in.
Healthy and happy is the name of the game. Don't treat them out of guilt. That's not yours to own.
Dogs don't miss what they never had. Their world is where you are.
I might suggest a dog park where they can go nuts, while you relax.
All the best.
Really sorry for your situation. However, go for it! If you've always had a dog, you should continue! My father's got ataxia, and even if we had a big dog (she as well put to sleep recently), he always coped with her. Dogs adapt to their family.
Suzi - I'm sorry to hear about Wes.
Nothing will replace Wes,, but you will know when you are ready for a new animal in your life.
If you are ready to consider another dog a pup can be hard to have because of the ataxia. Maybe considering a dog that is a little older and doesn't jump. Why does it have to be a pup? There are plenty of shelter dogs that might be better. The shelter can probably help you find a dog that doesn't jump.