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Contact John Lundrigan Email:

Heartbroken in the Valley

This is so surreal, I can’t believe it, as I was getting ready to post another short story about our beautiful dog Friend going to the vet for her annual check-up, I have to tell you that we had to put her down on Wednesday. In the space of five days including the weekend, a common canine condition of spinal arthritis that attacks larger breed dogs in the lower part of dogs spine took hold of Friend and wouldn’t let go.

She was probably harboring the disease for some time, but it exploded over the past week. On Thursday she seemed fine, on Friday she was a bit listless, on Saturday night she fell and by Monday afternoon the results were in. Friend could no longer control her own bladder or bowls. She was in pain trying to lift herself up and would fall from time to time like a rock in water. She seen the Vet Monday afternoon who confirmed the disease/old age. We were told that in some cases the disease is treatable and the best place for her would be to be at home with some pain medication.


But after two days of some heavy duty drugs, the people who loved Friend the most made the decision – we didn’t want to put her through any more. She would have been twelve in July and the best case scenario would have been a slow few months of medication and blood tests. I could see it in my baby girl’s eyes that she was hurting. There was no fight in her, her breathing was laboured and she couldn’t stand up without help.

She was scared to death and as crazy as it sounds, she looked almost embarrassed or ashamed that she was in such a state. But that was Friend, she lived to please us. It was a tough couple of days, debating back and forth as to whether we continue to treat her. Even then, with her weak back-end chances are she’d have trouble getting up off the floor forever.

After speaking with the Veterinarian once again, it was said she is not herself and would never leap of the dock into the water again. Something so hard to take for a Newfoundland Dog.
So no more running in the park, no more chasing squirrels along the fence and no more walks around the block. No more lazy days at Bear Lake in Noelville in Northern Ontario. And no more rides in the truck with the windows open.

We knew our girl and as hard as it was to accept, her time was up.

She was a great dog who had a great life with a family who didn’t know how much they loved her until her last day.
And beside our sweet little ‘baby girl’ in the cool temperatures of February 2017, with all of us hugging and kissing her we said goodbye to the most wonderful dog on earth.
Goodbye Friend and thank you.

  1. Andre 1 year ago

    Oh ..John and family…it breaks my heart to have to read this and to think how precious life can be..I m sure your Friend will be missed and forever in your hearts. To love a dog is like no other. They love you unconditionally.I wish u happy memories of your companion.

    My deepest sympathies…André

  2. Brian P. Vendramin 1 year ago

    I am sorry to read the sad news in your blog, Lundrigan family.
    We have owned dogs for 35 years and have had to make similar decisions with 4 of them – it is never easy.
    Cherish all of the wonderful times, some of which you have pictured above.

  3. Paul Tereshyn 1 year ago

    I am sorry for your loss….
    I saw a 12 year old answer the question..
    ” why do dogs live short lives and humans live long ones….she said…” because when dogs are born they already know how to love….
    Speaking from personal experience (s)…only time will soften the ache…
    But even then…..a dog truly is ..a man’s best friend..

  4. Helen 1 year ago

    Dear Mr. Lundrigan, please accept our condolences, what you did was an unselfish act and you did the right thing for Friend. We had to do the same thing for our Nikka a beautiful malamute, same side effects as Friend, she was 14 yrs old. RIP Friend and go join our Nikka over the rainbow…

  5. Jennifer Jones 1 year ago

    Am so sorry for your loss. It brought a tear to my eye reading this post, as I too, have furry companions so I can only imagine how heavy your heart feels. Xoxo

  6. Glenn Murray 1 year ago

    Very sorry for your loss. Was there myself 3 months ago and last night my cat passed away. If you’re not an animal person you’ll never get it. You will never understand the devastating sense of loss and the helplessness you feel at times like these.

  7. Regina hHealey 1 year ago

    So sad for you. As a previous owner of beautiful Newfoundland dog I know what you are feeling. We found our dear Sheba dead in the yard. It was around the time that the parvo virus was active. Newfoundland dogs are the most gentle loving loyal pets. We miss our Sheba big time

  8. Tammy Denomme 1 year ago

    So sorry for your loss! I know exactly how your family feels! We had to put 2 of our dogs down 3 years ago within 5 months of each other. We had Dakota and Bear since they were pups for 11 and 13 years. We were devastated but it does get easier as time goes on. R.I.P Friend!

  9. Anne 1 year ago

    This breaks my heart………..they love us unconditionally for many years and it is a very sad day when we have to say good bye. I know what you went through. I have been through this and seeing all of the wonderful comments you have many supporters……Your beloved family member has crossed over the rainbow bridge

  10. linda kosiba 1 year ago

    so sorry my golden retriver was like that also my little zhi zhu also its hard it does get easier has time pass by but you will always have those precious memories take care

  11. Jo-Anne 1 year ago

    With tearful eyes I would like to express my deepest sympathies for the loss of your loving faithful Friend..😢