My sweet boxer, Haley, has been with me through the fun college days to the lonely graduate school days to happily married life and more. We always said that she was like a cat with nine lives because we kept thinking that her time was up, but she always managed to pull through. She lived through two knee replacements, several tumor removals, two heart episodes (where she actually stopped breathing and turned blue!), and many other ailments. Through everything, I could always count on Haley to be a smiling face at the door. No matter where we were or what we were doing, Haley always thought that everyone was there to see her and everyone loved her like we did. She had the longest tongue and loved to use it! Haley loved the water and jumping off the dock into the lake. There are so many things that I can say about Haley and a few sentences can’t say enough about her amazing personality and how much I cared for her.

For the past couple of weeks, Haley hadn’t been feeling good. A few weeks ago, I took her to the vet because she just didn’t want to get up and had of pain in her abdomen. They said she had a UTI and probably some arthritic pain in her back. She took her antibiotics and pain medicine and seemed to do okay. Then on Sunday, she had a little episode of “weakness.” I called Dr. Shannon and she seemed to think it was pain from her back so I picked up the stronger pain medicine on Monday morning. Monday and Tuesday went by without any problems. Wednesday morning was different. Haley was so slow coming in from outside. She was usually slow, but this was definitely slower than usual. She laid around all morning and I could tell something was different. Roxane and I were working on the Shelter Business Plan, but I was too distracted by Haley’s obvious worsening condition. So, Evie and I took Haley to Shannon Vet Services. After some discussion of the actual problem, Dr. Shannon came back to the office and said that it was time to let her go. Apparently, she was bleeding into her abdomen from a tumor somewhere inside. Obviously, that’s my non-vet language. For several hours, I stood next to Haley and loved on her. Brian came over. Roxane was there and helped with Evie. I’ll never forget burying my head in neck and saying goodbye. We all said goodbye and held her until the end.  After much discussion, we decided to have Haley cremated by Northeast Georgia Pet Cremations. For some of you this may seem strange, but I really wanted her to be with my other family dogs in Tennessee so we felt this was the easiest way to make that happen. It was a very easy process and it should be when people are dealing with a loss. I would definitely recommend this route if it fits your needs. So, many thanks to Dr. Shannon, her wonderful staff, Northeast Georgia Pet Cremations, and Roxane for helping to ease the process.

The tears begin to flow every time someone posts on my facebook wall or comments about her. I knew it would be hard to lose Haley and her time was coming, but that still didn’t make me ready for it or make it any easier. I know many of you have lost pets and can sympathize with me. I appreciate all the warm thoughts and comments and I apologize if you are tired of hearing this story. I promise I won't tell it for too much longer.

Many of my friends and family have said they want to donate to the HSJC in Haley’s memory and because of that I have decided that the perfect way to honor Haley is with the shelter naming opportunities.  With the help of my friends and family, I would like to name a “Large Dog Run” after my sweet friend.  Brian and I will be making up the difference between the donations and the cost of the run.  The memories of Haley will never fade from our hearts and we will greatly miss her. I sure hope the rainbow bridge story is true and she will be waiting on me.

One of our favorite Haley pictures ~ Spring 2008


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