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The prelude to losing my beloved Lynne was us packing a "hospital bag", then leaving, as had been done a number of times before, so it was nothing new to our dog Merlin. For the next 29 days, I only saw Merlin twice a day, for a few minutes to feed him & let him out to "do his business". 

At dawn on "Day 29", I left the hospital for the last time, came home an utter mess, profoundly exhausted, yet very much unable to sleep. I was now a widower. Merlin sensed my distress, came to me, leaned his head against my leg. He knew something was very wrong, but had no idea what it was. He just wanted to help.

Merlin was adopted from the local Humane Society in early 2008, he has given Lynne & myself a huge amount of love & companionship. 

At home over the coming weeks, his unconditional love was a great source of comfort as I dealt with this "new reality" that had been forced upon me. I came home to a house that wasn't silent and dark, but had a small, happy face looking up at me. I know it wasn't some grand "fix", but it was a definite help!

My beloved Lynne was on 24/7 oxygen the last few years of her life. After she passed, the leased oxygen concentrator and 24 or so 2-liter oxygen tanks needed to be returned to the supplier. I opened the front door, began carrying them to the porch, where I would later transfer them to my truck. Merlin stared at this operation for a moment, hung his head, began pacing quickly in a tight, small circle. He then went and pressed and held his "hung head" against the front wall. After all of the cylinders were out on the porch, I sat on the floor, held him, gently, silently, rocking back & forth.

He knew, I knew, we knew.

Gotta go now. Cherish your loved ones- Nick

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My humble opinion- If your beloved wife Lupe is in Hospice, and your beloved family cat and Lupe want to cuddle in bed, the nurse should LET THEM. A really GOOD hospice nurse would not be UPSET, but would give the cat a lift if needed!!

About 25 years ago, when my Dear Wife Lynne's grandfather was hospitalized during what was pretty obviously his last few days, we smuggled his cherished poodle "Ike" up the back stairwell of the hospital in a canvas "carry-on" bag. We crossed paths with a couple of nurses in the stairwell, one noticed that our bag was "squirming", she suppressed a grin & said nothing. 

When we got to his room & unzipped the bag, Ike poked his head out. Lynne's Grandfather's face lit up- "IKE! My dear little boy"! Ike was freed from the bag, began licking his daddy's face. There were no adequate words for the pure joy for all involved.

Lynne's Grandpa passed a couple of days later. Lynne & I were both very proud of our "crime".

I wish you comfort and peace as you care for your beloved pet.

I have not had a pet for years, but I cried when I read the original post. Dogs and cats know SO much more than we give them credit for.

Our Aussie came to us after her previous people had passed away.  She stayed very close to Dan during his illness and slept under his hospital bed after that awful day when it was set up in our living room and we knew what that meant.  Abbey was depressed when Dan passed away and was not the same dog for some time. She felt the loss for sure. She stays close to me now.

Gosh, this post has brought tears to my eyes, but also makes me want to tell my story, which is long... so will try to make a long story short. My husband and I had two cats and a dog. Boomer, our dog was almost 16 and had many geriatric problems: hip dysphasia, loss of appetite, etc. I was expecting Boomer's time was coming.

However, one morning I woke up and my husband was dead. This, totally, unexpected.

His favorite cat, Zenith, would not get off his body even while the guys in black suits were moving him out of the house, I had to grab the cat and hold her, so she wouldn't run out the door. She began vomiting and two weeks later died post surgery (I took her a vet and an ultrasound showed a tumor in her stomach which was removed successfully) but she had a heart attack, post surgery.

Now all that was left of "my family" was Boomer and Ripley (the other cat) and Boomer close to death at 16. My vet came to give Boomer a check-up and while she was talking to me, she get's a call from the local Labrador Retriever Rescue Society as she is the vet "on call" for their rescue. She gets off the phone and looks at me and says, "you ever thought of adopting a pure bred Labrador Retriever?" and I said "no" as I always had mutts -- but she tells me she is going to a "rescue" of 5 labs in a backyard puppy mill being turned over to this rescue society and they all need foster homes. And she says, maybe you need some "new life" in this house, and maybe a companion for Boomer will "perk him up" in his old age --- anyway she sends me pics of all the dogs being taken by the rescue and asks me if I want to "foster" one and of course tells me if it doesn't work out, etc, just have to call and the Rescue will pick the dog up so no commitment -- and says they all have medical issues issues but one so --- I agree, a bit unsure, but say I'll take the one without medical issues --

So! I go to pick up a "foster dog" and the one I said I'd take it's NUTS, bouncing off the walls, barking, acting crazy, growling when I try to pet her and I think, what the F-- have I gotten into --- I'm actually in the owner's apartment with five dogs, about 10 volunteers, the owner and her three sons, plus Rescue people and I'm thinking I cannot take that crazy dog and am actually looking for a back door to escape with no one noticing when I feel this very slight pressure on my knee.

I look down and see this yellow lab, paw on me knee, looking at me with soulful eyes. And I ask the rescue volunteer closest to me, "who is this?" and she says "well that's Kona."  I was supposed to pick up dog named "Kiki" and I tell her so and ask if I can take this one instead. She says make your decision now, cause someone is coming for Kona, but they are just a "regular foster" so --- I say, I'll take her... not a minute later some woman comes to door and the volunteer yells "Give her Kiki's paperwork" and I went home with Kona.

Who did have health issues, obese, ear infection, UTI, stomach issues, diarrhea, okay, lots of vet bills .. but damn, this dog saved my life. Especially when Boomer died a month later. 

I remember she was scared, she was used to a small stinky apartment and being crated and used to produce puppies ---  and she would lie by the door and I remember just lying next to her, hugging her, saying "You lost your family and I lost mine, let's rescue each other."

I guess the "long story short" got long --- but the point is that I rescued a dog but truthfully -- she rescued me.  I don't know how I would've survived without her. Losing a husband, then cat and dog all in a few months.

And that's Kona on my profile pic!

Dee what a beautiful story! They really help us...dogs and cats! We have someone  who need us ....thank for share your moving experience  take care ciao Roxi

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