Tribute to Sheyanne (06-20)

Tribute to Sheyanne

By Gregg Christensen

May 23rd (Memorial Day weekend 2015) marks the one-year point since my beloved Sheyanne succumbed to cancer. She had been fine when I dropped her off at the groomers a few days before but when they tried to get her out of the kennel to bathe her, she could not stand. They tried to reach me but the call went to voice mail so they left a message and rushed her to Dr. Hal Smith, who had been Sheyanne’s veterinarian since the day I adopted her. I listened to the message, called Highlands Clinic with my heart in my throat, and rushed to check on her.

After X-rays, it was clear that Sheyanne had a large tumor that was bleeding and had weakened her significantly. Dr. Smith explained the prognosis and suggested that I take her home, watch her closely and indicated that sometimes the bleeding stops and that extra time with her might be possible. Her condition did not improve over the next two days, and wanting to find out if there was anything possible I could do, I was able to schedule a consultation at VCA Animal Hospital in Omaha. The prognosis was the same and, not wanting her to suffer, I called Dr. Smith to see if he would assist her over the Rainbow Bridge. Their offices were closing but he agreed to return to meet me later. There has never been a longer, sadder drive…and the rain and mist that was falling matched how I felt. Difficult? Heart-rending? You bet, but Sheyanne was dignified, beautiful, and sweet, so allowing her to waste away because she could not eat was just unfathomable. She left me peacefully and with dignity…with my tears to send her on her way.

Sheyanne was rescued by GRRIN from a bad breeder situation. The foster family caring for her shared that she was probably bred several times. It was also likely that she had been beaten because of her fear when approached by someone holding any “stick-like” object.

I had been encouraged by friends (Brad, Gena, Laticia and Heather Anne Burwell) to check out GRRIN when I thought about adopting a dog…and I’ll always be grateful for that encouragement. I was amazed and pleased that GRRIN was so careful to make sure there was a good fit. Two phone interviews, a home visit by a GRRIN volunteer to check out my house and fenced in yard (a requirement) and asking more questions, culminated in a trip to her foster home in Iowa for a meet and greet with Sheyanne. Let’s just say it was a perfect match. Sheyanne walked up to me, lay down on the deck where I was sitting, and gave me that perfect “golden grin.” Who could resist THAT??!!

How could I have known at that time that Sheyanne would carve out a permanent place in my life and in my heart. She was an amazing companion, a gentle soul with an ever-present “happy grin” that touched my heart each and every day.

I feel incredibly blessed to have had Sheyanne as part of my life, for what seems like far too brief a time. There may be a day when I bring another Golden home, but for now, Sheyanne seems like a one-of-a-kind companion that can never be replaced.

Thank you GRRIN, for all you do for Goldens like Sheyanne. Your impact is far-reaching. I will continue to donate in her honor. It is one small way of “paying forward” and paying tribute to Sheyanne.

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