Country Living Series

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Guardian of the Garden is gone

Lydia, our beloved Great Pyrenees, died last night.


It happened so fast I can't quite believe she's gone. We had her stitches (and plastic cone) removed on Tuesday morning, and she was feeling fine and frisky afterward. I brought her into the garden as a treat, and she explored as usual. It was so good to have her back in the garden with me as I worked.



After exploring, she rested in the shade of the pear tree, looking glad to be free of the cone and glad to be in the garden with me once more.


Yesterday morning Younger Daughter and I went out early to pick strawberries and raspberries. Lydia, as Guardian of the Garden, surveyed her vegetative domain.



Then she moved herself to another favorite spot under the raspberries. This is the last photograph I have of her, looking pleased with the world.


But as yesterday progressed, I got more worried about her. She was eating absolutely nothing, but we tried to remember she was just two weeks after major surgery, so perhaps she still needed more recovery time...?

Then last night at 11:30, Don woke me up and told me Lydia was seriously ill. I threw on some clothes and came downstairs. She was panting, lying flat on her side, and her gums were pasty white and bleeding. Immediately we scrambled to get ready to take her to the emergency vet clinic (the same one where she had porcupine quills removed last year). When the car was ready, we went over to pick her up and carry her -- and found she had died. Quietly, peacefully, without fuss. She looked like she was just sleeping ... but she wasn't. Don thinks she had a stroke or perhaps a blood clot.

Darn it, I'm tearing up as I write this. I simply cannot believe she's gone.

Goodbye, beloved pet. Thank you for eight wonderful years.

125 comments:

  1. So sorry for your loss. I will miss seeing pics of her, I remember when you first got her.

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  2. Oh my gosh I am so sorry. I am bawling as I write this. We will miss pictures and stories about her.

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  3. Oh my. What a shock. My sincere condolences to you and family. It is wonderful to know though, that she had such a sweet and wonderful life, with a great family. She's at peace now. Prayers for you and family. Lydia's family.

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  4. As a long time lurker to your blog, I am sorry for your loss. Lost of a dear pet definitely hurts. I have been teaching my son that the animals in our house may be pets, but they are also tools for our protection. Respect what our pet has done for us, mourn the loss, and prep for the replacement. He has been hardened by the loss of some of our critters, but he has learned that our critters have a job to do as well. Again, I am sorry for your loss. John in California

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  5. I am so sorry for your family, and Elder Daughter who is probably heartbroken that she was not there. This never, ever gets easier. I picture her in gardens in heaven, waiting for all of you to join her. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  6. I,too, am so sorry for your loss. It's never long enough with our fur-buddies.
    SJ in Vancouver BC

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  7. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  8. Your family gave her lots of love and a safe place to call home. It's so hard to lose a cherished family member. Gentle hugs to you all. Melissa in 'da U.P.

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  9. I'm very sorry for your loss.

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  10. Oh, I am so sorry she is gone! What a shock after she'd pulled through surgery so well. I know her absence will leave a huge hole in your heart. I'll miss seeing her happy face in all of your garden pics, too. Rest in peace Lydia. She's chasing squirrels in heaven now.

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  11. It's the down side of having had such wonderful relationships with our Great Pyrs.....I feel your pain and have walked in those shoes. I pray you find comfort in sweet memories of Lydia.

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  12. I'm so sorry for your loss. Telling you that I've been through the same won't ease your pain, but at least you know that all the other dog folks out there mourn with you.

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  13. I am truly, truly sorry. She had such a great family who cared and loved her. She had a great life there on the farm and with you. I will miss Lydia. It's been enjoyable seeing her from the time you got her as a puppy and watching her life there with you. They always have a special place in our hearts,indeed. I have you in my prayers. God Bless...and Lydia too.

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  14. You have my sincerest condolences. Losing a pet is so difficult. They really are more like family. You guys gave her such a wonderful life. She was lucky to have you!

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  15. Sorry for your loss. They become such great companions. They really leave a hole behind when they pass.

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  16. I too am very sorry to hear about your loss. My prayers for peace and comfort for you and your family.

    Southern Gal

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  17. So very sorry for your loss. Lydia was a great dog and it has been wonderful knowing her through your postings. May God comfort you and your family at this time.

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    1. That says it all. We are so sorry.
      Montana Guy and Montana Gal

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  18. They are such true treasures for us. So very sorry for your loss. Wish they all could be as loved as your Lydia was loved.

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  19. May you find peace in knowing she loved you as much as you loved her. You were a good family and though dogs don't live as long as we do, the time she had with you blessed her as well as your family. May your memories always make you smile.

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  20. Our 4-legged kids are as much family as our 2-legged kids are. So very sorry for your loss...

    Petra in SW Oregon

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  21. Words fail me. Losing a family member is so hard and I am sure you all now have a dog shaped hole in your hearts. She has passed across that bridge to heaven and will be waiting for you when you arrive. She had a good life and was loved, what more can be asked for in life.

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  22. You have my condolences, Patrice. I always liked reading about her and seeing her pics. Losing a good pet is so very difficult.

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  23. I am so, so sorry! She was a beautiful and beloved part of your family.

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  24. I am so sorry to hear this terrible news. We, too have been going through serious medical problems with our beloved female Pyr. We have nearly lost her 3 times in the past year and a half. She is now happy, comfortable, and stable. We know this will shorten her life, though, and are not looking forward to the day you just had to go through.
    Homesteading Guy in the UP

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  25. Patrice, I am crying as I write this. My heart hurts for you. I feel like lost a friend too. Thank you for sharing your beautiful girl with us all. Know I am praying for you.

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  26. We are so sorry to hear of your family's loss Pat. Our sympathy and prayers are with you. We also unexpectedly lost our beautiful golden of only eight years last year. We are grieving with you.

    Korwyn & MissT

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  27. Dear Patrice,

    My condolences to you and your family for the loss of your beloved pet Lydia.

    Prayers and hugs from Canada.

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  28. I am sorry for your loss. Our dogs give us so much love and companionship over the years. I really like seeing pictures of her and hearing the stories. She clearly had a real place in your family.

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  29. i am so very sorry for your terrible loss. Lydia was a great Dog. Her family will always remember her and tell wonderful stories about her.
    it is so hard to lose and Old Friend and our arms are so empty.
    Your friend,
    Kathy Miller

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  30. Well that sucks. Yeah, I teared up too. I need a beer.

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  31. I am so, so sorry to hear this! I'm grateful that she was at home with her family and that it was peaceful. That beings said, it is just so hard to lose our 4 legged friends!

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  32. So sorry for that sweet baby.

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  33. I'm so sorry. My wife and I both will be thinking of you and yours.

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  34. I am so so sorry for your loss. Remember the good times and treasure the memories. God Bless.

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  35. I know how painful it is to lose a beloved friend. So very sorry for your loss, we will all miss her.

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  36. I am so very sorry for your loss. I know the void they leave when they are gone.

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  37. I am sorry. Sometimes it feels like they sneak off on us as if to spare us that last moment. I will miss her presence in your stories and pictures.

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  38. Patrice,

    I'm so sorry to hear about Lydia. Lydia has crossed over the bridge and become an Angel. She will always walk beside your family silently watching over you.
    Blessings,
    Sandy

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  39. Oh my Patrice...I am crying along with you. Losing a dear pet is hard...Lydia will be missed by me. I always loved seeing her in your posts...She was beautiful.
    Love from NC

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  40. I'm so sorry. My Polly is very old, and I'm expecting her to go soon. Even though I'm expecting it, it won't be easy. Our pets are like a part of the family, especially our dogs, in my opinion. In many cases, they're our shadows. I know you'll miss her. Once again, I'm sorry.

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  41. I'm writing you from Nova Scotia to offer my heartfelt condolences on the loss of your beautiful family member. I need to believe she is frolicking in another field right now.......

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  42. So sorry for your loss. It is never easy. I can't believe how quickly this happened. We lost our wonderful Great Pyrenees at 7 years old to spleen cancer nearly 3 years ago and we still miss him. They are such a special breed. I will miss seeing your beautiful Lydia. ~ Amy

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  43. I'm tearing up here. She was a huge part of your lives and will be greatly missed. So sorry for your loss.

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  44. Words fail me Patrice. Prayers for comfort for all of you.

    Ouida Gabriel

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  45. RIP sweet Lydia. Your post Patrice brought tears to my eyes as we lost our 9 year old gentle German Shepherd 8 months ago. It stings.
    Such a sudden loss for you.

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  46. God bless your dear family in this time of heartache. Tears and prayers.

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  47. So sorry for you. I know you loved her.

    SHe is no doubt with God.

    Prayers for YOU and your family.

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  48. I am so sorry, Patrice. As a long-time lurker, I always enjoyed your Lydia posts. She was so beautiful and was well-loved by your family. There are tears here in Tennessee tonight.

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  49. Have lost 5 best friends. The hardest of days. Thoughts and prayers.

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  50. I am so very sorry to all. Tears and prayers in Post Falls also.

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  51. So very sorry for your loss. To people without pets, it's just a dog. But to us who have dogs, It's a family member. She always looked like she was smiling. She will be missed but she is in a better place.

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  52. I'm so very sorry, my friend. There's no easy way to say goodbye to our beloved family members. <3

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  53. All who have lost a beloved pet know your sorrow and the hole left in your hearts. Will Rogers expressed it best for me..."if dogs don't go to Heaven, then I want to go where they go." The love and devotion that is shared between our pets and ourselves is such a special bond. My heart aches for you but my hope is that you will not wait long to bring another beloved pet into your family to share the abundant love that is so obvious to all who read your blog. Lydia, I feel sure, would second this thought. Share the love!

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  54. I am so so sorry for your loss

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  55. So sad. So sorry.
    RIP Lydia.

    Huggs..

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  56. I am so sorry to hear of Lydia's death. I have four dogs and two have recently been diagnosed with cancer. There is no truer friend than a dog. She was a great dog and I know that she will be sorely missed by you and your family.

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  57. Patrice and family-We recently lost our little dog and know the heartbreak you are going through right now with the loss of your beautiful Lydia. God bless.

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  58. I am sorry for your loss of Lydia...I can hear your pain through your words. Hugs and prayers for you and your family.

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  59. “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life – like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?”

    “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”--A Dog's Purpose According to a Six Year Old.

    Patrice, Me and my black lab "Sadie" are sending love and prayers during this time of sadness.

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  60. Like you I always believe my pets will be with me forever. Lydia was given such a sweet life with your family. You all "done good" with her, as my husband would say.Pat, I am so very sorry.

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  61. I am really sorry to hear it, pets become a member of the family.
    I lost my mixed breed Buster a couple of months ago and I know it hurts.
    She looked like her life was happy.

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  62. We are so very sorry for the loss of Lydia. Hugs to you and your family.

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  63. So sorry for your loss, have very much enjoyed seeing pictures of her.

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  64. I am so very sorry. Older daughter has left, younger daughter is about to leave, and now Lydia. 2017 is not a good year for you. I wish you all the best. Take care.

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  65. I am so very, very sorry to read of this. Lydia was special to so many of your readers. It's like I have lost my own beloved dog. Thank you Jesus for a peaceful day for her.

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  66. So very sorry for your loss. They're never "just pets." Hugs.

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  67. They're never pets when they're loved. They're family. And it's always hard to lose a family member. My thoughts will be with yall.

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  68. Patrice we are so sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved Lydia. We just recently lost our lab who was with us for 15 years. Hugs to your family!
    Janae @ Creekside Farmstead

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  69. Having lost two dear pets in the past years, I tear up reading this. The following poem was at the pet cemetery where our loved ones are buried.
    Ron NY
    ***********

    Tear Drops
    They say memories are golden,
    Well, maybe that is true;
    I never wanted memories,
    I only wanted you.

    A million times I needed you,
    A million times I cried;
    If love alone could have saved you,
    You never would have died.

    In life I loved you dearly,
    In death I love you still;
    In my heart you hold a piece
    No one could ever fill.

    But now I know you want me
    To mourn for you no more,
    To remember the happy times
    Life still has much in store.

    Since you'll never be forgotten
    I pledge to you today;
    A hallowed place within my heart
    Is where you'll always stay.

    If tears could build a stairway
    And heartache make a lane;
    I'd walk the path to heaven
    And bring you back again.

    Our family chain is broken,
    and nothing seems the same;
    But as God calls us one by one,
    The chain will link again.

    By: Author Unknown

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    1. Beautiful! Ron, Thank you for posting that which says it all. I'm sitting with my two 7mo. old border pups chocking down a piece of toast, thinking of Lynda, Chinook and Lacy. I'll miss seeing her in the posts. Patrice, you, Don and the girls are in my heart and prayers.

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  70. I am so sorry for your loss. I too remember when you got her. We just lost our 14 yo Golden last month. We will include your family in our prayers tonight.

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  71. So sorry for the loss of your beloved pet.

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  72. Lydia was such a pretty ,happy girl.I enjoyed her pictures ! It is hard , we just lost our "Blackberry" lab, 17 yrs old. Brings tears to my eyes, they are family. Karen Jones

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  73. Our sincere condolences! They are like family. We're sorry for your loss. May God comfort each member of your family!!!

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  74. Crying as I'm reading this... Not being religious in the typical sense, I have a slightly different take on things. I think Lydia was in "heaven" when she was with you... What a lucky girl. So sorry for your loss.

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  75. I am so sorry to hear this. She was a beautiful dog and truly seemed part of your family. Prayers for everyone from MN.

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  76. I am so sorry. Our Pyr is 3 1/2 yrs and I don't look forward to having to go through this. My beloved little terrier passed in April and I still can't go out where she is buried without crying. Hold on to Lydia's memory. Donna in Texas

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  77. I also am so very sorry for your loss. Take comfort in knowing she had a very good life, was well loved & went so quickly w/o suffering. Maggie in Indiana

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  78. So sorry for your loss. No words can ease the pain. We know you will always remember her.
    - Mark S.

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  79. So sorry for your lost.

    Kathy in Mississippi

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  80. I'm so sorry for your loss. How incredibly difficult. We will pray for you all as you mourn a beloved friend.

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  81. I am crying with you. I know you will miss her dearly and I am so sorry. She was blessed to have you as her family.

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  82. I am so sorry for your loss. Our fur-kids leave us all too soon. Take comfort in knowing that she had a wonderful life and surely felt your love for her.

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  83. There are no words that can make you feel differently about the loss of your beautiful Lydia. I was shocked at your diagnosis blog, and then this sad one. She was such a lucky girl to have your family love and take care of her through her 8 years. I have lost several "furry" four legged kids along the path of life and it is so difficult each time. She was a lovely dog and it is sad to think she will no longer grace your blog pictures with her smiling face. So very sorry for your family.

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  84. “The dog is the most faithful of animals and would be much esteemed were it not so common. Our Lord God has made His greatest gifts the commonest.”

    Martin Luther

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  85. I am so sorry for your loss Lewis Family.
    A job well done Lydia, good girl...

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  86. I am so sorry, she has been like a family member here on our homestead in TX, we have Pyr's and have lost a couple. Just remember she is still watching over HER family from a distance. She will always be there. Prayers and best wishes for you and the family.

    Randy in Texas.

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  87. My heart is aching for you and I;m holding back tears for your loss > I believe everyone here has come to love Lydia . I have to believe that there truly is a " Rainbow Bridge " and you will see her again.

    Dee in the South West

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  88. Patrice, I haven't been to your blog for quite a while but when i saw your column at WND I had to come here and offer condolences.. I remember you posting about her when you got her so it saddens me. I feel like you're an old friend from reading your posts over many years. What a lovely tribute to Lydia and may God bring comfort to your family. ~~ Tricia

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  89. So very, very sorry about your loss and your pain due to this sad loss. She was a good dog and you all were a good family. I wish you much healing. Deb k

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  90. Sad, sad, sad...but how comforting that she had the cone off and got to spend one last happy Tuesday in the garden with you before she left. Condolences from Kansas.

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  91. So sorry for your loss, and my heart aches for you all. Sending prayers for you as well

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  92. I just read your tribute to your beloved Lydia and couldn't stop crying. I pray God will comfort you and your family during this sad time.

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  93. What a devastating loss, you have my heartfelt sympathies.I have watched Lydia grow up into the beautiful dog she was through your blog like many other readers. She looked so happy in those last few photos of her. In my imagination I see her sitting next to our Lord while her scratches her head. He will keep her safe untill you are all together again. Nothing is lost and all will be renewed when He returns. You will see her and Major again.
    Be blessed
    Sue xx

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  94. Lydia had such a good life with a family that loved her unconditionally! She was one very lucky dog and I'm sure all the wonderful memories of her will bring a smile to your hearts and make the ache of losing her less painful.

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  95. Have been reading your blog for sometime and was saddened to learn of the loss of your precious Lydia. We lost our German Shepherd decades ago; although there are happy memories, that hole in one's heart never goes away completely. I did read in the Bible, forget where, that all life returns to God which has given us comfort. So glad she could be happy up to the end. Prayers go out to you and your family.
    Ramona in NC

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  96. So sorry to hear about Lydia. She passed where she was happiest and she will be waiting on the Rainbow Bridge.
    Mary Ellen

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  97. I am so sorry for your loss. They leave us to soon.
    Annie in Ocala

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  98. Awww...so sorry to hear this! I hope the good memories are a comfort to you. Will miss seeing her in your pics--she was a sweetie!

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  99. If there are no dogs in heaven, I don't want to go. I'm so so sorry. when I had to put my Ginger down the vet asked, "what can I do for you?" I responded, "Please hit me across the head with a 2x4 it'll hurt less." (maybe) Again I'm sorry. It hurts terribly. We are crying with you today.

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  100. Our hearts go out to you and your family. My Wife and I both cried at reading of Lydia's passing. My Wife really loved your pics of Lydia (big, white, fluffy animals are her Kryptonite).

    I agree with one of the earlier replies - If there are no pets in Heaven, I don't want to go. Thank you for sharing Lydia with the rest of us.

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  101. We truly weep with you... Losing a pet is nearly as bad as a child. Especially, one who inhabits your home. Pets do not live forever... sad to say. Yours was also so much more in that she was also a family protector and guardian. Pyrenees are indeed a special dog breed.

    We had a pet who also had surgery about 3 and half years ago and died the day after Christmas a week after surgery. Their will to live is drained from them when they have major surgery often. We have yet to replace him. Soon, though.

    We are greatly mourning with you about Lydia. May she RIP!

    Oh, and if there can be horses in Heaven.. There must be pets. Our Lord has promised to return on a horse. My wife's favorite name is Shadowfax and you know where that comes from! LOtheR...

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  102. So very sad....my thoughts are with you on your loss. I will as well miss the pics....

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  103. My wife and I have had several dogs as family members over the years. Nine, to be exact. Most of them have been black Labs. All big dogs, too. Every time we lose one it tears us to pieces. We only wish they had all lived a longer life. We currently have two Labs who share our lives. The oldest of the two is thirteen. She still gets around quite well for a large dog. Her hearing is gone a bit, but she still brings us much joy. Dogs are the nicest people we've ever known! --Fred and Deb in Arizona

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  104. I'm sure sorry you lost your friend and furry family member. I'll be praying for you and the family to find peace and comfort. God Bless.

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  105. I, too am sorry for your loss, Patrice and family. I have loved and lost 4 (of 5) wonderful dogs in 45 years. The current one is almost 11. I have great memories of them all, but know had I not lost one I would never have met the next great one.

    I see your articles in magazines and online and immediately know they are yours before I read them if Lydia is there. She will be missed by you and your "blog" family. Godspeed Lydia and may you be romping through the pastures of doggy heaven with your littermates and other dogs you have known. Natokadn

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  106. I am saddened to hear of your loss. May your family feel our Lord's comfort as you continue without her.

    Steve,
    Morrow, OH

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  107. Patrice, Don and Girls,

    Wow! We were very, very sad to hear of the passing of Lydia. We’re weeping with you. She was a wonderful, beautiful, loyal friend and guardian of you all. We're all groaning and mourning inside with you over your loss of her.

    We’re sending to you all, our love and condolences.

    J, K and the girls

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  108. Patrice, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your fur baby. Our wonder cat Tiger, died almost 2 months ago. He too, spent his last day outside, in the sunshine, in the shade in his favorite spots. I'm sure you miss Lydia immensely. Our prayers for your family. -Bettina

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  109. I too shad tears. Condolences, xox...

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  110. So sorry...keeping you and the family in my prayer.

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  111. So sorry....keeping you and your family in my prayers..

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  112. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  113. Prayers to you all for comfort at this time. I still choke up after 2 years, I had to put down my Cockatiel, after having him for 28 1/2 years.

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  114. This is very sad.... I am so sorry.

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  115. So very sorry Patrice. praying for you and your family.

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  116. Oh Patrice this is terrible news. I'm so very sorry you lost Lydia so suddenly and so soon. It's great you take tons of pictures and that you got some good ones of her on her last day. She looked happy and content. Obviously she was well-loved. I'm sure you all will miss her and I pray the Lord's presence gives you comfort. Blessings to you and yours, Mary Beth

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  117. I'm so sorry for your loss. I understand, as I've lost many dear dogs of my own, and have cried for your Lydia too. How lovely that she had such a beautiful day with you and was able to pass quickly and quietly in her beloved home. I lost a wonderful border collie a few months ago, and though I took her for treatment trying to save her life, I really regret that she died there alone. Lydia really did have a beautiful end to a blessed life, but they never stay with us long enough.

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  118. Never easy losing a family member like Lydia. I have followed your blog for years and she was always such a big part of it and your life. She will never be far away, cherish her memory and know she is never far from you and your family....

    Had Enuff

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  119. Oh Patrice, I'm sobbing as I type. I've just opened your blog to read this terribly sad and shocking news about Lydia. Over the years, how I've enjoyed seeing the pics of her, always close to her beloved family. How blessed she was to be so loved and cherished by you all. I know you will miss her terribly and pray that you will be comforted as you reflect upon the joys she brought and the beautiful memories you have of her. I am so very very sorry. Jenny

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