Australian Shepherd Lifespan

by Debra Watson
(Eden, NC)

We lost our beautiful red dog, Abigail, a couple of days ago. She was thirteen years, eight months, and ten days old. She was the runt of the litter, and I first held her when she was a week old.

She brought much joy to us as she went on long walks with my husband Andy, played catch with me, acted protectively, chased the cats, ate the cats' food and ours when it was left unattended, loved eating napkins and tissues, and served as our faithful companion.

She had begun to slow down a couple of years ago. When we had her groomed over a year ago, her fur was slow to return. Finally the vet diagnosed her with Cushings disease (tumor on her adrenal gland), plus she had thyroid issues. My husband faithfully gave her medications.

A few days ago she laid around (a little more than usual, ate very little, peed (bladder control had been an issue for sometime), but no poop. We were busy and didn't take in the signs at the time.

A few nights ago she came in from the dining room to greet us in the kitchen where we were eating supper. She did not bark, as she usually did and left without eating. She went to our bedroom and laid down where she had been sleeping for some time. Later we went to bed, assuming she was asleep. Later I went to the restroom and stopped to greet her. "Hey, Abigail !", my standard greeting, and I petted her head as she panted lightly.

The next morning around 9:00 am my husband and I agreed that he should wake her to give her the medication. He said, "She's stiff. I think she's dead!" She was.

We put her in the back seat of the car, wrapped in her drying-off towel, and I left her at the vet's office so they could cremate her. Our hearts are broken. We are sad for our loss and yet rejoice that she didn't suffer. She had seemed sad, and for her sake it was a blessing to find relief from the challenges she had. We were glad that we did not have to make a decision later to have her put to sleep.

I had wished that she could have lived to her fourteenth birthday (September 9), but she had regained most of her beautiful red fur and died as a sweet, precious lady. We thank God for allowing us to share a number of years with her.


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Your loss
by: Nancy

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your Aussie. They are so special. A true companion. My heart goes out to you, Debra

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together...

by: Jamie

I am so sorry for your loss. Last September, our 14 year old red Aussie Jett died suddenly after developing a cough. He was walking around our yard with me and collapsed. He died a few days later when I left him to go shower.😢 We miss him so much! We have since adopted another red Aussie from that was left at a N. Carolina kill shelter. We named him Perry after my ancestors that lived in N.C. in the 1800's. He is an amazing dog like our sweet Jett was. He is such a part of our family too. We feel so blessed that after the sadness of losing our wonderful dog Jett, we were able to save such a loyal dog that had been abandoned.😊

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