A Tribute to The Berto

Most days I carry on living my life as normal… I get up and get dressed, go to work, blog, shop, swing dance, meet people, etc.   On the outside I look just fine.

But I am not fine.  Sigh…  I am heartbroken.

It’s been two weeks.  Two weeks since the only constant in my life passed away. 😦

Friday morning, July 25, 2014 … I awoke to find my Berto in none of his usual spots.  Instead, he was sitting in the dark in my bathroom panting heavily and with a blue tongue.  And for the next 5-hours, I sat with him in my arms with 100% oxygen over his little face until the Vet and Heart Specialist talked to me about making that “tough decision” and end his suffering.

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He had been diagnosed with a collapsing trachea since his first surgery to remove bladder stones a few years earlier (poor lil’ guy).  This is why he’s (mostly)  seen wearing a harness in order to take any pressure off the trachea.  With the help of medication and modification of lifestyle, the collapsing trachea can be controlled but seldom cured. In severe cases, surgery to help open the airways may be beneficial, but most cases are managed medically not surgically.

Unfortunately, Bert’s heart condition wouldn’t be able to handle the meds needed for the trachea, and there was great risk with putting him through any other surgeries.  So I’ve been mentally preparing for the day when he’d have to leave me… I just thought I would have more time.

I’ve been feeling a lot of guilt.  Thoughts of “woulda, coulda, shoulda”  keep running through my mind.  If only I didn’t go swing dancing in the Beaches that night, maybe I would have noticed sooner. Had I noticed earlier that night, I could have taken him to the Emergency Pet Hospital at Davenport/Yonge with an ICU and the outcome maybe could have been different.  I dunno…sigh…

So, I’ve written this memorial post as a tribute to Bert aka The Berto aka Bertso the Flirtso, to his spirit and to the love, loyalty, laughs and companionship he’s given me  through the years.

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 The Beginning

2001 was a big year: I had just broken up with my first serious boyfriend and was about to live completely solo for the first time in my life.

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Growing up, my folks weren’t big on having pets.  I’ve always wanted a puppy!!!  Buuuut, having never owned any kind of animal before….. I got myself a hamster (named “Puppy”, of course) as training for dog-ownership.Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 6.49.36 PM

Now this lil’ pup wasn’t without his own style – in fact, there’s a bin devoted to housing all of his many outfits. Yup…I was one of “those” owners 🙂

Here’s a mini-collection of all his diva looks from Summers to Christmas and everything in-between over the years …

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puppy outfits

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1979670_10152004950954072_801448949_n 484811_10151262921804072_693946312_nJust a sample I said, there are MANY more outfits in his wardrobe I’m afraid 🙂

This year… 

Bert became a condo-doggie, creating a perch at the end of the sofa to gaze out at the city…

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Pee-pad training on the new balcony was a fail…

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Bert cheered on the Canadian Men’s Hockey Team as they won gold at Sochi…

1010990_10151993120839072_291410436_nWe got to spend the day together lounging in Trinity Bellwoods Park and he’s been featured in a blogpot or two...

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And, we got to take a mini-vacay to Sugar Ridge  a dog-friendly Yoga Retreat, where Bert got to hangout with the girls (and Turnip) for an extra long weekend.  This was the last trip we took together.  He lived it up like a king…

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10425114_10152227047299072_5076443535583390754_n He’s always been more of a “people” dog, than a “dog’s dog”. Check him out drinking water out of a proper glass. Diva!IMG_3720

Yes, he’s wearing a sun hat…because it’s AWESOME!

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Last trip with the pup….Yoga Retreat with the girls

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Bert & Turnip … all tuckered out after a long relaxing few days of beach and yoga.

Writing about him and all the fun memories we’ve had together has really helped.  I miss him so much.

Farewell my beloved pooch.

Thank you for reading.

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~ Bert ~ 2001-2014

Dogs may not be our whole lives.  But they make our lives whole. ~ Roger Caras

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Have you ever lost a pet? Do you know what it feels like to watch your faithful friend fade away right before your eyes? Are you familiar with the agony involved in deciding to have a beloved pet euthanized?

If you’d like to share your story with me, I’d love to hear it…use the Comment Section below.

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From now until the end of the year,  My Beaded Designs will be donating $5 to the Pomeranian and Small Breed Rescue (PSBR) in honour of Bert’s memory from every Swarovski PAW sold!!:)

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20 thoughts on “A Tribute to The Berto

  1. I never met Bert, but I was one of his biggest fans. I loved how he was so much more stylish than the average puppy and how he made your eyes light up whenever I’d ask about him. I understand your heartbreak and I’m here to tell you that it’s going to be okay, but it’s okay to not be okay right now.

    You will feel guilt, you will doubt yourself, you will curl into a ball and cry because you miss him. This is perfectly okay.

    Please know that it wasn’t your fault and that Bert wouldn’t have wanted you to stop living your life on the off-chance that you might have been there a bit earlier.

    I truly believe that you will see Bert again.

    If you need to talk to someone at any time, let me know. Even if it’s at 4AM on a Tuesday in the middle of a rainstorm.

  2. What a beautiful tribute to The Berto…He brought so much joy to your life and I’m so happy you shared it with us…I now feel like I knew the little guy even thought I only met him once. It is obvious he was a very special pooch and so lucky to have a Mama so loving as you. Xo

  3. Irene, I have lost two dogs in my life and it was incredibly difficult both times. It will be hard, but with time the pain will get a little bit better I promise. Your blog post is a beautiful tribute to your little man.

  4. I loved looking at all Berto’s outfits and adventures. I think he was the luckiest dog in the world to have you for a Momma. I hope that you can find comfort in your best memories of him, hugs!

  5. Oh Irene. I’m so sorry.

    I never met Bert but he must’ve been a pretty special guy. I loved seeing your pictures of him and it was clear he was the light of your life. I can only imagine the pain and heartache that you’re feeling. Our dog is 6 so I know at some point he will have to leave us but it makes me sad just to think about it. If you need an ear or a shoulder I’d be happy to come offer one up.

  6. Oh, Irene. I think about you & Bert every day since he’s been gone. When my soul kitty had to go (in similar circumstances), I spent years on the woulda, coulda, shoulda. I miss him and his brother every single day, still. I feel their presence with me always and I don’t cry all the time any more. One day, your sadness will feel more manageable. Bert was so lucky to have you & I can see in the photos that he felt your love; what a sweet, happy little guy. Only someone who knew he was loved could look so happy.

    • Thank you for sharing your story…and for your kind words. Today is one of those days for me…where I cannot stop weeping. But sharing pictures and stories seem to help. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Xo

  7. Hey hunny,

    I’m so sorry you’re hurting. This made me so sad. I know what it’s like to lose a pet…a member of your family and a source of unconditional love. I can’t even imagine the day I lose my pooch Porter…I will be just devastated. Take the time you need to grieve. I’m glad you felt better after blogging and even though I cried a little 🙂 I’m glad I got to read about him 🙂

    A

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  8. The few times I’ve spoken to you about Bert, who honestly looks much to distinguished not to be Mister Bert (as I will now refer to him) it is safe to say the pure love and joy you feel for him radiates. Notice how when someone dies suddenly it’s all pass tense? Like because they are gone all thing were ‘felt’ even though it still hurts, you still love him, he still brings joy to you daily. You will still ‘see’ him perched on the back of the couch and laugh about that time. I realized recently that sometimes we need ‘permission’ to do what we’re doing. So even though we don’t know each other well. As one dog mum to another (let’s be honest here). Feel it, cry, laugh he was a funny dude, yell cause it’s not fair, scream cause it hurts and just comfort yourself, hug that place that hurts and soothe it. You will always miss him but he loves you and you love him and no one can take that time from you, it’s yours always.

    • Oh Raynbow…you totally called it. I do still feel like I see him perched on the sofa and right behind my every footstep while I’m in the house. He was my shadow. Thank you for taking the time to write. I really appreciate your kind words. Xo

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