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Lilac Passed Away-Non Opperable Heart Defect

Discussion in 'Emotional Support' started by wyvernfire, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. wyvernfire

    wyvernfire Puppy

    I am posting about Lilac, the pitbull puppy I adopted almost a year and a half ago. I took her in for her rabies shot at 1 year and the vet made a sad discovery, Lilac had a heart problem. The vet said her heart sounded like a sloshing water balloon, it was that bad.

    I got her an ultra sound and x ray but there was no way to fix it at all. I contacted the rescue and they were shocked, she had been fine at her 4 month check up except for a small murmur that their vet believed would close up on its own. The rescue was amazing and paid for all the diagnostic tests. Jennifer, one of the managers actually surprised me with a home visit bringing lots of baked goods the weekend of her diagnosis. The nearest the vet figured is that the leak actually got bigger as Lilac had her growth spurt and since she had no problems or symptoms earlier, it remained undiagnosed till her checkup. He gave her up to a year to live.

    I was really upset at myself. I thought it was somehow my fault, or something I did that caused her to get sick. I became depressed and pretty much stopped going out at all expect to take Lilac for an evening walk. I know it was a dark place and I should have reached out for support, but I couldn't. I was too upset and didn't want anyone's sympathy or the people who always said that Lilac was just a dog and I could always get another. I dropped out of my classes at Ivy Tech and nearly stopped going to work.

    Jennifer, from the rescue started calling to check up on me every weekend, must have realized what I was going through, and surprised my again by showing up at my apartment with even more baked goods than the last time. She sat down with my on my couch and told me if I couldn't handle it, the rescue would take Lilac back and care for her until her time on this earth was up. I was shocked, the thought had never occurred to me. Jennifer flat out told my I needed to pick myself up, and start facing the world again and that Lilac needed it just as much as I did. And you know what, I did.

    I finished my gen ed classes, got my degree in general education, started classes to be a dog trainer, went to two Karen Pryor Seminars, and started online vet assistant classes. This May I will take my final test for vet assistant, and graduate with honors in dog training. I never thought I'd be able to do it.

    Lilac and Jennifer helped my through it. I started pouring everything I learned into teaching Lilac new tricks. I couldn't take her for runs anymore but the mental stimulation tired her out just as much. The evening walks helped cement what she learned when she practiced for strangers we met. Lilac showed my how to teach her how to fetch objects when I pointed at them, roll over for belly rubs for kids when we met people on the street, taught herself give kisses to homeless people (much to my chagrin) but every encounter turned out amazing. One homeless gentleman named Max, started waiting for Lilac to come by everyday and it became a routine 20 minute cuddling session every day, and we'd buy him a McDonalds after. He was a Vietnam veteran, was institutionalized when he got back, lost everything and turned to drugs. We helped him contact his estranged sister from a payphone and she is helping him get the help he needs.

    Lilac helped so many people, I never realized how many. She passed away February 5th, in her sleep. Her heart gave out in the middle of the night and she didn't wake up. Jennifer was unable to make it out but she sent a friend and we got her cremated. I am planning to spread her ashes in the ocean when I go on vacation with my family this summer.

    I went for our evening walk alone for the first time. So many people asked where Lilac was. I hadn't told anyone she was sick and people were shocked. I started getting cards from people I barely knew who loved seeing Lilac on her walks. Max was really upset when I called him but he's in rehab in Chicago with his sister and doing well. He called to wish me a Happy Valentines Day and sent a dog biscuit charm in the mail as a memento. Lilac would have been just over a year and a half this month.

    Jennifer emailed my on the 7th with a surprising request. They had a couple drop off an 8 week old German Shepherd Rotwiller mix puppy. She wanted to know if I wanted to foster. I said yes without thinking and started fostering Zora on the 10th. She is way different than Lilac (her puppy teeth are so sharp) but I know I needed to do this. Zora is smart as a whip and has already learned, sit, down, pay, watch me, fetch, go to your mat, come, and her name. She will never replace Lilac but she has filled a hole in my heart and kept me super distracted. Dogs are motivation for the soul, puppies, motivation to keep the house clean.

    I am sorry I didn't tell you guys earlier but I love this forum and the help it gave me when I first got Lilac. Now it is helping me again with my loss. I guess I have to find a German Shepherd forum now, lol but don't worry, I'm sure the advice for puppies is universal and I'll keep reading articles on this website even if I don't post again. Have a great President's Day everyone.
  2. leavesofjoy

    leavesofjoy Big Dog Premium Member

    Wow, what a bittersweet story, how beautiful you have made something good of the hard time you went through. I am sorry Lilac is gone, sometimes we don't realize all the lessons and gifts they give us until after they leave. You gave her a wonderful life, and let her spirit open to everyone she connected with, which I think is so important with our wonderful outgoing bullies.

    Nothing like a puppy to pull you out of yourself and into a new (chaotic!) place!

  3. pitbulldogs

    pitbulldogs OHMUHGERD Staff Member Administrator

    Aww, sorry for your loss, poor little pup, i get way to attached to animals.
  4. Leslie H

    Leslie H Good Dog

    Beautiful tribute.
  5. Michele

    Michele Chi Super Dog Staff Member Super Moderator

    So sorry.....
  6. Cofla

    Cofla Big Dog

    Very sorry for your pup, we can see that you loved him so much, and that this little ball of Love has left you with a great spiritual legacy.

  7. Tiffseagles

    Tiffseagles GRCH Dog Premium Member

    I am very sorry for your loss.

    There are a few members here with GSDs (myself included). Everyone is welcome.
  8. Vicki

    Vicki Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    My condolences. It's never, ever easy to lose them. I am so sorry for your loss.
  9. BCdogs

    BCdogs Good Dog Staff Member Super Moderator

    I'm very sorry for your loss. I hope the new pup helps you heal.
  10. Jazzy

    Jazzy GRCH Dog

    I am so so sorry for your loss. It is never easy.
  11. Mollie's Nana

    Mollie's Nana Krypto Super Dog Staff Member Super Moderator

    I am so sorry for you loss... what a heart breaking story about Lilac! :hug:

    But I am happy for Zora! It is amazing how these dogs help us heal during our saddest times. And why look for a GSD forum?? Just keep using us! :lol: We have a lot of members here that have, or have had, GSD's and we can still help with a lot of basic dog behavior questions.

    RIP Lilac... into Paradise may the angels lead you.

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