Trepur Fearless CDEx UDEx WDEX (Freddie)
26/6/96 - 7/10/06

It is with tremendous sadness that I have to write this obituary for my beloved GSD, Freddie.

I think losing Barney simply sent Freddies thyroid into chaos. All his other bloodtests came out very well but I suspected Freddie had gone hypothyroid again because his skin and coat condition deteriorated really dramatically. My vet initially disagreed with me on this because Freddie was losing weight so he advised against overstimulating his thyroid but the blood tests, unfortunately, proved I was right. Although we adjusted his dosage of Soloxine, Freddie, sadly, continued to go into a decline. As a last ditch attempt, I saw my homeopathic vet and Freddie had acupuncture and a 1M Nat Mur for deep grief, having had Ignatia some time before, but my vet was very concerned for him and held out little hope. I agonised over what to do for the best and tried very hard to bury my head in the sand but Freddie, bless him, forced my hand and ensured that I made the right decision by waking up with a huge haematoma on his ear. He definitely would not have been up to an operation so I guess Freddie knew better than me that it was his time. Both my vets were in agreement that there was going to be no way back and we all wanted him to go with dignity. I was not going to let my boy suffer in any way. I preferred to be the one to carry the pain.

Special gift
You're giving me a special gift,
So sorrowfully endowed,
And through these last few cherished days,
Your courage makes me proud.
But really, love is knowing when
your best friend is in pain,
And understanding earthly acts
Will only be in vain.
So looking deep into your eyes,
Beyond, into your soul,
I see in you the magic that will
Once more make me whole.
The strength that you possess,
Is why I look to you today,
To do this thing that must be done,
For it's the only way.
That strength is why I've followed you,
And chose you as my friend,
And why I've loved you all these years...
My partner till the end.
Please, understand just what this gift
You're giving, means to me,
It gives me back the strength I've lost,
And all my dignity.
You take a stand on my behalf,
For that is what friends do.
And know that what you do is right,
For I believe it, too.
So one last time, I breathe your scent,
And through your hand I feel,
The courage that's within you,
To grant me this appeal.
Cut the leash that holds me here,
Dear friend, and let me run,
Once more a strong and steady dog,
My pain and struggle done.
And don't despair my passing,
For I won't be far away,
Forever here, within your heart,
And memory I'll stay.
I'll be there watching over you,
Your ever-faithful friend,
And in your memories I'll run,
... a young dog once again

Freddie enjoyed a final breakfast of chicken drumsticks (his favourite) and went for a last walk with all his doggy friends. Then, with a very heavy heart, I said goodbye to him on Saturday 7th October. He obeyed one final command by lying down for me and he drifted into his final sleep as I cuddled him. Freddie is now at peace at Rainbow Bridge with Barney. I am very lucky as I have 2 very good vets to support me but it just was not meant to be. I did try to convince myself otherwise for a couple of weeks and Freddie knew it so he forced my hand. He knew I would never let him suffer. A friend once said better a week early than a day late and I have never forgotten it. I think the writing was probably on the wall the moment I lost Barney and Freddie stayed just long enough to help me through his loss. This is almost exactly what happened 12yrs ago when, after losing 3 dogs, Barney came to me as a little puppy. I had lost a GSD (Rags) to CDRM, Tessa, also a GSD, comforted me for a month then Rags called her and she went too. A month later Honey, my sweet old golden retriever, also went to the Bridge. Barney had been born on the day that Rags died. He was the runt of the litter & should never have survived but he did and he was definitely destined to come to me.

The next year I lost another GSD, Abbey, to CDRM and my dear old lab x GSD, Bobby, to old age. The following year, Max, our GSD started to have severe heart problems so the writing was on the wall for him too, sadly. One morning my Working Trials Monthly arrived and fell open on puppies for sale so we drove to Lincoln that day and chose Freddie (Trepur Fearless, our own Fearless Fred, who perfectly matched Barney. They were our own Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble). Shortly after Freddie arrived, we lost both Max and our old collie X, Lucky, which left just the 2 and they were inseparable. Despite his skin problems, Freddie loved doing working trials and got as far as TD, always ending up in the cards when he qualified. His career was, unfortunately, cut short because of the foot and mouth epidemic which virtually called a halt to trials for several months and put out several of the older dogs that were competing. Freddie was a wonderful dog, very dignified, almost serene. He was my right arm man. He was a gentle giant and very wise, definitely an old soul. He was the sensible one whilst Barney was the comic who made everyone laugh. I loved them both to bits and I miss them terribly but, much as we would love to have them forever, we just borrow them for a little while.

Freddie taught me so much and without him and his vaccine induced autoimmune illness, I would have never learned about the dangers of vaccines etc or about the wealth of complementary treatments that can help. His story has been very well documented and he has helped many other dogs along his way by drawing attention to many veterinary issues. Hopefully, his story will live on and he will continue this important life's work. I know that, had we trod the conventional path, he would have been very unlikely to have lived much past two so that gives me a lot of comfort and I can't thank my Homeopathic Vets enough for all their help over the years.

I received a special message

Barneys red begonia in the house has just bloomed again as has his rosebush in the garden. I also found a 2p piece the day after I said goodbye to Freddie which tells me they are very happy to be reunited. Since Barney went to the Bridge, I have regularly found single pennies in the strangest of places. Subsequently a friend sent me this poem:-

I found a penny today
Just laying on the ground,
But it's not just a penny
This little coin I've found.
Found pennies come from heaven
That's what my Grandpa told me.
He said "Dog-Angels toss them down."
Oh, how I loved that story.
He said, "When a Dog-Angel misses you,
He tosses a penny down,
Sometimes just to cheer you up
To make a smile out of your frown."
So don't pass by that penny
When you're feeling blue,
It may be a penny from heaven
That your dog has tossed to you.
Author Unknown

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2006 Irish Retriever Rescue UK