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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Topper, My Gift From God

by Lori Gill
(Oak Hill, WV, United States)

We got Topper November 29, 1997. He was born on October 29th, 1997. He was a red merle. I fell in love with him the first time I saw him. He was so special, so loving, smart, and such a giving dog. So very willing to please us. As the years went on I grew closer and closer to him. He was someone I could talk to and knew wouldn't tell anyone. LOL. If I were sick, lonely, sad he knew and would be by my side at all times. He was my best friend. My life revolved around Topper. He didn't know he was a dog. He got Christmas gifts and birthday gifts. He was a brother to my children. The kids in my neighborhood loved him. He loved them too.

As he grew older I noticed him slowing down and he started getting stiffness in his legs and joints. But it never stopped him from being with us. He was always there. He loved having his ears rubbed and just being touched. And I loved being with him. As he got even older. We noticed how hard it was for him to get around, but I just loved him so much I just couldn't let him go. He was my best friend after all. He loved me as much as I loved him. When he turned 14 years old he seemed to take a turn for the worse.

He came in the room one day, stiffened up and fell over and started shaking. I panicked and ran to him and held him. After it just seemed he had them all the time. He got weaker and weaker. I still couldn't let him go. Everyone kept saying it's time to put Topper down. But I couldn't, I just loved him too much. My husband finally said we had to put him down. I thought I'd die. We took him to the vet and I begged her to save him. She checked him and shook her head no. I told my husband to just drive away, if we just took him home everything would be ok. Topper was just tired that was all. My husband wouldn't go he said Topper had had enough. We put him on the table. The doctor shaved him put the IV in his arm and let us say our good byes. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do.

I held him in my arms as he took his last breath. He died with his beautiful amber eyes wide open and looking at me. We just couldn't stop crying. We took him home. wrapped him in his blanket and buried him in the yard with a picture of us with him at the beach. It was raining as we put him in the ground. I walked over and put the first handful of dirt on his body. It's been 5 months since he has passed away. I still feel him around me. I still heard him. I still look for him when I come home from work. And I long to see him every day. The only comfort I have is that one day we will be together again one day in heaven. He will meet me at the rainbow bridge and together we will pass over and well never be a part again. Until we are together again. I'll be missing you.

Comments for Topper, My Gift From God

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Apr 26, 2012
You brought teas to my eyes
by: Anonymous

I am so, so sorry. I wish I could take away your pain. A pain I know all too well. we too had to put our Luke down, the difference is that he went into a comatose state after his last seizure, it was a cluster of them, lasted for an hour, the most horrific thing we have ever had to witness; he started getting them when he was only 2, and he only lived to be 5. Your pain, and lost is real. all I can say is it will get better in time, it will hurt less, but don't worry, you'll never forget him. we have our boy in an Urn, on the matle with his picture and collar. I wanted to put it in the ground, bya pretty flowering tree. we did in time get another dog. his name is Cooper, he looks alot like our Luke, and it helps alot. I can laugh and smile again, and when I call Cooper, Luke by mistake, he does something outrageous as of to remind me. lol
I wish you healing, and new joy.

Apr 26, 2012
by: Millie

i just read your story and it was like i reliving my own story of my tri aussie, sparky. he was also 14 and so very much as you described topper. i did exactly what you had done and then had to go and put sark down, i still feel the last breath on my left hand as i held him on the floor at the vets. 3 1/2 yrs ago. cried nonstop for 5 mos. and then rescued my red merle, merlin. isn't spark, but here i go again, loving another aussie so very much. give yourself time and god will provide another for you, promise. yes, they are all waiting at the bridge! god bless you. millie

Apr 26, 2012
by: Colin

What a beautiful tribute honoring your boy, Topper. What a wonderful dog. You were so lucky to have him as your baby dog. Just as he was extremely lucky to have you has his person. <3 <3 <3

Apr 28, 2012
by: Gayle-- Big Run Aussies

My Nellie was the same age as your Topper and we lost her at 13 1/2. I still miss her so much. And I just lost my almost 15 yr old cat last week that was Nellie's best friend. Nellie would protect Bella from anything and everything-- especially puppies. Nellie trained all the pups not to chase our poor kitties. Before Nellie had her 1st litter of pups, she practiced cleaning up Bella just like moms do with their new pups. What a special relationship they had. I definitely feel your pain now that both of them are gone.

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