Welcome to Josh's Rainbow Bridge Memorial Residency
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Memories of Josh
My little guy Josh was very special to me. He had a heart of gold and the spirit of a Dragon/Lion/Gentleman. Josh spread joy wherever he went. He especially loved when friends and family came to visit. Josh definitely had his favorites. My mom was his all time favorite person ever. Obviously, I was a little jealous, but to see the love he had for my mother made me feel proud more than anything. Josh was an extremely vocal little dude. Anyone who came over got a very special welcome into our home (Especially my mom).
Josh lived for 11 years and six months, and from the day I brought him home he was my everything. He was such a good boy. I didn't even have to train him to be good, he was just born that way. Even as a puppy Josh had an innate sense of right and wrong. Now, Josh was not perfect and we did experience a few hiccups during the puppy stages. We cant forget the night Josh toilet papered the house. As I walked into that mess, I was kinda impressed. Josh had one roll to work with and somehow... he made it rain :). Then, there was the digging holes in the grass phase. Also, I did loose a couple pairs of heels in the making. Other than that, Josh knew how to be good a boy. If anything, Josh trained me to be a better person. He showed me how to enjoy life and spread that joy for life with others. Sometimes Josh would even keep me in check. If I started to get upset, I would get the look. If I got the look... I was in trouble. It was kind of ridiculous. I couldn't even get away with a huff or a puff. But that was my boy, he wouldn't accept anything less than your best.
In all reality, I knew this day would eventually come. I knew that I would out live Josh and when that happened I would be devastated. But nothing can prepare you for what it truly feels like to have to say goodbye for real. The moment I said good bye to that sweet boy, I knew I would never be the same. But honestly, from the moment we met I knew my life would never be the same.
I miss you so much buddy! It has been less than 24 hours since I held you in my arms and I am afraid. I am afraid of having to live the rest of my life without you. I'm sorry we couldn't save you bud. Everything happened so fast. So suddenly you were sick and so suddenly you were gone. I love you so much Joshy boy! I am so sorry this happened to you. I love you and will forever be your mommy-

Josh, I can't believe I will never hold you in my arms again. I miss you so much buddy, I love you! Today the reality of my loss became evidently clear. Today was the day I picked up your ashes. Lets just say today was a very bad day. I'm so sorry buddy, I am at a loss for words. I love you Josh.

The days leading up to the worst visit to the vet ever I was away on a vacation with my mother and grandparents. While I was away Josh skipped a couple meals. I was concerned something was wrong, but he was in good health when I left. I hoped he was acting up because I was gone. But when I arrived home late on the night of Oct 30th, I and could tell something was seriously wrong. I was gone for 11 days and when I came home Josh's reaction to my arrival was not normal. He slowly got up with his head hung low and a very swollen belly. His tail was wagging slowly and he looked sick. The next morning I took Josh to the doc.
The Vet knew right away what might be wrong..... Hemangiosarcoma. I had never heard of it. Apparently, Hemangiosarcoma is very common in some breeds of dogs including Golden Retrievers. We had a couple of procedures done to be certain the vets diagnosis was correct. We did an ultrasound which showed Josh had two masses in his abdomen. Fluid was pulled from his belly that produced blood. The bleeding had caused Josh to loose about a litter of blood. The primary mass was most likely the mass behind his kidney in the mesentery (which is the connective tissue of the intestines). Because this mass seemed to be the cause of the bleeding, it had probably spread to the splenic mass. Given Josh's breed, age, blood in the abdomen, and mass locations, meant Hemangiosarcoma was the most likely cancer type. The vet said there was a 95% probability this was it. The fact that Josh had two masses in his abdominal area likely meant that one was related to the other. With this cancer type, regardless if there is more than one mass found, it has a 90% probability of spreading elsewhere. Because Josh already had 2 masses meant Josh had an even higher probability of his illness being Hemangiosarcoma. This was all very bad news. The vet gave Josh some fluids that would help replenish his body from the blood loss. We were given pain medication and told to take him home to provide hospice care until it was time to intervene.
I was in total shock. What do you mean Josh is sick? Everything happened so fast. Josh was in good health and acted normal before I left. He showed no signs of illness and gave no reason for us to believe he was sick. The vet told us that with Hemangiosarcoma, there is usually no signs of sickness until its too late or a dog collapses. I was so upset. All the information and statistics given about his illness were terrible. There was nothing I could do to save Josh's life. The fluids did help Josh feel better for a few days. We were given a short time to spoil and love him while he felt like himself. But in the end we choose to intervene when he started to suffer. Six days after the visit to the vet we helped Josh pass peacefully in his home on Nov 6th. This was the worst day of my life. I cant even begin to explain in words the pain I experienced.

I miss you so much Joshy, my beautiful baby boy!! I can't stop thinking about the fact that I will never hold you in my arms again. The thought makes me sick to my stomach. You know how much I love you Josh, and I know how much you love me. The love we share will never be taken away from us. Even though we are no longer physically together, the bond we share will never be broken. One thing I will never stop missing from our ridiculous reel of shenanigans was our "Bum Bum Scratching's" routine. This is one of my most cherished moments we shared. You knew what was coming when I got home from work and as soon as I walked in the door you came running up with a wagging tail. I sang our song I would sing every single day, "Bum Bum scratching's". I absolutely loved doing our little song and dance together. This was the highlight of my life. I am going to miss this moment we shared so much buddy. I will never forget it. I hope you will never forget it too. I love and miss you so much buddy. xoxoxoxoxo

This weekend was the fist weekend without my baby boy. Every weekend I would try and make it a point to go do something fun with Josh. We would often go to the dog park or up the canyon. Lucky for us we live 10 minutes away from a dog friendly canyon. Josh absolutely loved this time we shared. He was such a bad ass too. If we went up the canyon Josh always had to be in front to take the lead. When he got too far ahead I would whistle or call his name. He would come running full speed at me to check in. Once he made contact, off he would go again. The dog park near by was pretty awesome too. I call it Doggy Disneyland. There was a river that went through the park and Josh loved to jump in and swim. Josh never passed up the opportunity to swim. The only way he would ever play fetch was if it involved a river or lake. No water, no fetch. This weekend was terrible. I miss my best friend.

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