My life changed dramatically and forever when I lost TJ.

I welcome you to follow along as I adjust to my "new normal".

It is not all puppies and ice cream but it is my life....real and honest.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

RIP Shiner

Late Friday night after not eating his dinner Shiner became very ill.  This was somewhat common for him and at first I wasn't concerned.  I watched him for a bit and got him to eat a scrambled egg, which usually helped.  This time it didn't help and he got worse.  Around 9:00 p.m. I decided to take him to the 24 hour emergency vet.  The moment I got him out of the truck at the vet's office he had a Grand Mal seizure.  I ran into the vet office and screamed for help, immediately there were 4 people at my truck and they quickly scooped Shiner up and ran him into an exam room.  I stayed out front to fill out paperwork.  They gave him medication to stop the seizure and a muscle relaxer.  The vet suggested blood work and that he stay overnight in the event of another seizure.  I agreed, but my concern was that once I left I would not see him alive again.  I said my goodbyes to him just in case and headed home knowing that he was in good hands in the event of more seizures.

I had not been home for 30 minutes when the vet called. She had the result of his blood work.  I really don't remember exactly what she said because as she was explaining his ailment I was quickly coming to the realization that I would be putting him down.  It wasn't diabetes but it did have something to do with his blood sugar, pancreas and his brain.  His blood sugar drops so low, so quickly that it affects his brain and causes seizures.  In order to stop the seizures he would have to be fed every hour around the clock and even then he might still have seizures.  With his history of being a picky eater and just not caring much about food I knew that was impossible.  Not to mention the fact that I could NEVER be away from him for more than an hour, or sleep for more than an hour at a time at night. I stopped her before she finished the explanation and said "So, I really should just put him down?" she said, "That would be the humane thing to do". I got back in my truck and headed back to the vet.

I knew losing Shiner was going to be hard on me.  He was TJ's first dog, other than family dogs, and they were inseparable.  TJ took him to work with him every day and during TJ's illness Shiner barely left his side.  He was even by TJ's side when he passed.  Every time I looked at Shiner I saw a little bit of TJ in him.  It was like losing TJ all over again.

I would be remiss if I didn't thank my twitter friend and fellow widow, Boo, for being there with me (in spirit at least).  She may be in the UK, but I felt as though she was right there with me the whole time.

For those that aren't familiar with the breed, Shiner was an Australian Cattle Dog, also called Queensland Heeler. They are very popular in the western United States. They are generally either Red Heelers or Blue Heelers, but Shiner was what they called Tri-Color, which is very unique. TJ did such a great job of training him we could take him anywhere. He got to go in restaurants, bars, hardware stores and various other places. Very rarely did we go out of town without Shiner.

Once, when TJ had gone on our roof to repair something Shiner literally climbed a ladder to be up there with him.  I had turned my back and didn't see it, but I did hear TJ yelling, "Sandy! Why the hell is Shiner up here with me!?"  Getting him down proved to be quite difficult as he was scared.  I sure wish I would have seen him climb that ladder.

 Rest In Peace Shiner.  I will miss you more than anyone knows.

No louder shrieks to pitying heaven are cast, when husbands or lap-dogs breathe their last. ~ Alexander Pope


  1. you have my deepest sympathies. losing a friend like very hard. with tears in my eyes i say, i am so very sorry. i will cherish the photo of the Ambassador Bun with Shiner. putting it up on Facebook now with my regards. again, i am so very sorry to hear this. i wish you peace.

  2. Oh Sandy, I feel for you. My old dog who died a while back was a Red Heeler, I know what loyal creatures they are. It must be so hard for you, losing that link with TJ. My love and sympathy to you, dear girl.

  3. Sandy, Tears came to my eyes as I read this. I am so sorry for the loss of your dog. It seems like a double-edge sword, as you are still grieving your husband. Sending a cyberhug and prayer your way.

  4. Sandy; I was so sorry to hear about Shiner's passing. This post is a beautiful tribute to him, though. I'm sure it helped to write about it, like it's helped you to write about TJ. Just wanted you to know I'm thinking of you and wishing good things for you in the future.
    Big HUG!

  5. Sandy, I am crying right now. I am so sorry for your loss and my heart breaks for you. Well, all I can say is that TJ probably met Shiner at heaven's door. Hugs! I feel so sad.

  6. Sandy I'm so sorry to hear about Shiner. My dog Dawson passed away Easter Sunday and he's still sadly missed.

  7. I'm so sorry Sandy! Shiner was a gorgeous dog. I've always liked Australian cattle dogs - and they are so smart.

    Making the final decision to put our friends to rest is so hard. Know you're in my thoughts. (((hugs)))

  8. God, Sandy, I am so sorry. We just lost Holly, our 14 year old black lab, shortly after losing my MIL, and man do those losses hurt. Also, I thought Shiner looked so oldest daughter has a Blue Heeler mix named Libby who is the fastest and smartest dog I know! I'm sending her the link to your blog. She would give her right arm for Libby. So sorry about Shiner.

  9. Oh, Shiner is so beautiful. I am so very sorry. I am crying for your loss. (another loss)
    Shiner has been reunited with your lovely husband. I know this to be true.
    Thinking of you today...& Shiner. Xxx

  10. Oh Sandy, I'm so sorry. How sad this must be for you. I cannot imagine what you are going through but my heart is heavy and thinking of you. Hang in there.

  11. So sorry Sandy, you had to lose another family member so soon. Shiner was a cool dog with alot of personality. We'll miss him, too. The little bit of comfort is he's reunited with his best buddy TJ.


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