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Are Heart-Dogs made, or are they born?
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Green Bay, WI


Forum Posts: 939
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16 January 2019 - 9:02 am
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I loved reading each and every response and thank you all for giving it a lot of thought. When I set out to figure this out in my mind/heart, I think I wanted the answer to be “a heart-dog is born”; I wanted that never-had-before kind of love, that to-the-moon-and-back love, that stronger-than-death love, to be something I had all along for Nitro. In reality, I think the answer is more along the lines of what Tina said:

“When you put all your focus on the care for and the survival of your dog and when that is pretty much all that occupies your mind for all that time and when you face despair inside all the time – how can that not change the way we feel towards an animal, or anyone, for that matter??”

I have trouble remembering our life pre-amp…I know he was a breathtaking athlete who would run and roller blade with me for miles. He was my Velcro-dog from day one, a clown of a puppy who jumped like a frog when excited. A typical Doberman who had to follow me everywhere, who always sat on my lap and gave me hugs. Sadly, those times have faded into the shadows with the advent of the cancer diagnosis.

And like David said, and I’ve said many times before, that journey was  like going to war with someone; those circumstances are what created the “heart-dog” bond. That 3 1/2 year journey, full of the lowest lows and the highest highs, brought out the Warrior in Nitro (and, I’d like to think a little in me), and bonded us like nothing I’d experienced before, or since. And if I’m totally honest, I don’t think I want to experience that ever again. One heart-dog in my lifetime is really enough for me. I’m thankful and blessed to have the “Terrorist Trio” in my life now, but they will never be Nitro….no one will ever be Nitro.

Nitro 11 1/2  yr old Doberman; right front amp June 2014. Had 6 doses carboplatin, followed by metronomic therapy. Rocked it on 3 legs for over 3 years! My Warrior beat cancer, but couldn't beat old age. He crossed the Bridge peacefully on July 25, 2017, with dignity and on his terms.  Follow his blog entitled "Doberman's journey"

http://nitro.tripawds.com

"Be good, mama loves you".....run free my beautiful Warrior

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16 January 2019 - 12:10 pm
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I don’t know whether heart dogs are born that way, but I do think they enter our lives that way (love at first sight?), and when we have to do battle together, it simply strengthens the bond.  Ann and I have had six dogs, and now we are down to two, and having lost Casey so recently, my perception may be skewed, but he was our rock.  He was the alpha dog, but in a very low-key way, and he was absolutely Ann’s heart dog from day one.  His battle with cancer did not strengthen that bond (it couldn’t), but it definitely strengthened our bond, and really, the whole family’s bond.

I may have posted earlier that when Casey chose us, his breeder had two or three litters, and there were wonderful golden retriever puppies everywhere.  Casey was the oldest at 17 weeks, and he entered the fray late in the game, but once he came running in dragging that blanket, it was all over for those other pups.  We’ve always been so grateful that he waited for us, because we’re sure he could’ve chosen many other families. 

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16 January 2019 - 4:33 pm
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Well stated heart and I could not agree more.

(Right now) One heart dog is enough for this poor old heart to handle, lol… I still have lots of love, and have loved many but there are just a couple that tugged at my heart strings until it was almost unbearable. On the other hand.. I still have plenty of love in my heart to care for the ones I have now. I think they just enrich our lives, fur, drool, and all. I have thought about how clean my house would be and how much easier the housework would be, but I love our companions. 

heart

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Mitchell, Bo, Andy, Oscar,and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

https://paws120.....pawds.com/

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16 January 2019 - 6:10 pm
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While walking Baxter in the dark tonight I was thinking about the heart dog question some more. And I found, not just one but two, pennies in separate locations.  The first time in months, maybe even a year, that a penny has shown up. 

I guess that’s Rocky putting in his two cents, literally. 

David and Rocky (and Baxter now too!)

Rocky had his right front leg amputated on Valentine's Day 2017 after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma.

He joined the September Saints on September 3, 2017.

He is the toughest, bravest, sweetest and best friend I'll ever know. 

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16 January 2019 - 7:58 pm
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Omd David, really?!?!??❤️❤️❤️

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Mitchell, Bo, Andy, Oscar,and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

https://paws120.....pawds.com/

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16 January 2019 - 8:00 pm
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Shoot, my eyes are tearing up. Dang…❤️

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Mitchell, Bo, Andy, Oscar,and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

https://paws120.....pawds.com/

Virginia




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16 January 2019 - 8:30 pm
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That Rocky sure knows how to make his presence known!  😎  He has made our jaw drop time and time again at the various ways he grabs your attention and says “Hi Dad!!  I love you!”❤

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

The Rainbow Bridge



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16 January 2019 - 9:17 pm
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I’d say he was definitely leaving you a special sign, David. Clearly, Rocky wants his voice heard!

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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17 January 2019 - 11:26 am
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We need a “Like” button.

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17 January 2019 - 11:32 am
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Yes, lol… That deserved a LOVE button!!!😊😊😊

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Mitchell, Bo, Andy, Oscar,and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

https://paws120.....pawds.com/

Here and Now


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17 January 2019 - 12:16 pm
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tlahaye said
We need a “Like” button.

We’ve tried that…everypawdy liked everything! way-cool

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17 January 2019 - 1:24 pm
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Rocky just confirming he’s my heart dog. They were each in the middle of the sidewalk and underneath a street light so I could see them. I’ve put them in the box with the rest of the pennies he’s left. 

On the walk, I think I decided that heart dogs are probably rather than born that way. Maybe because every dog is born with the potential to be a heart dog but they need something else to really grow into that role. It had already happened with Rocky before the cancer diagnosis, amputation and everything that went into his care. That just solidified it in stone. 

Not trying to be a downer, but Baxter will likely never be a heart dog. Rocky already has that title for me, and I don’t plan on ever giving Baxter up. But if Rocky had never come into my life, who knows, maybe Baxter could have been my heart dog? 

David and Rocky (and Baxter now too!)

Rocky had his right front leg amputated on Valentine's Day 2017 after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma.

He joined the September Saints on September 3, 2017.

He is the toughest, bravest, sweetest and best friend I'll ever know. 

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17 January 2019 - 1:28 pm
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🤣😂🤣😂 Admin….

I think it’s a theraputic thing 😁

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Mitchell, Bo, Andy, Oscar,and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

https://paws120.....pawds.com/

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18 January 2019 - 7:41 am
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We call that a “postcard” from Rocky saying hi and telling you he’s ok and reminding you that he is always with you. Postcards usually turn up when you need them the most.

My best postcard was 6 months after I lost my 2 yr old Brady to IMHA, I found my old Nikon SLR camera tucked away which I very seldom used anymore in the age of digital cameras and cell phones. When I looked to make sure I had taken the batteries out, I saw film in there that was half used. Snapped the rest of those remaining pictures immediately and ran to Walmart one hour photo. Sure enough they were all Brady pictures, some as a puppy. Best postcard any of my dogs ever left me.

Virginia




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18 January 2019 - 10:15 am
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Awww….love the Brady story.  Even more, would love to see ,some pics of that pupper🤗🤗

One thing for certain, no matter what “label” we ascribe to our dogs, we will always be their “heart hooman” 💖💖💖😎

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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