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Today is the Anniversary of the day Hammer and I came together. He was almost 6 years old. Each year we celebrated this special Anniversary until Hammer died in 2011. Today I am filled with sadness and the tears have been streaming down my face. I miss my boy, Hammer so much. I will never stop missing Hammer. I will never forget this special day. This photo of Hammer is one of my favourites. Hammer hated to be bathed, but he loved to be groomed. When he first arrived, he did not really know what connection he was supposed to have with birds. His English Setter brother, Hobson taught him. 


This is a photo of Hammer taken at Coolangatta Airport the day he arrived on 22 November 2006. It was an exceptionally hot day. I was worried about Hammer all day. He flew from Melbourne and had a stop-over in Sydney. I phoned Dogtainers in Sydney to make certain Hammer was alright. I was so relieved when Hammer arrived safely.


This is a photo of Hammer taken the next day on 23 November 2006 with Hobson and Rose. Hobson (on the left) was not happy with me at the time. He was worried and he was jealous of Hammer, but Hobson was always there for Hammer, and he always loved Hammer, as did Rose. Hobson has not been the same since the day Hammer died. Rose also grieved deeply for Hammer. She had a terrible battle ahead of her. 

Those who have read the book Dogs that Know when their Owners are Coming Home and Other Unexplained Powers of Animals by Rupert Sheldrake will understand that animals can telepathically communicate with each other and with humans. 

A couple of months after Hammer died I had a reading with a psychic medium who does not usually communicate with animals. She connected with my mother who had died in 1977. She provided me with accurate information about my mother she could not have possibly known and which no one else knows. She said there had been a recent passing, a male. Hammer came through to this psychic medium as a male child being comforted by my mother. This psychic medium knew how Hammer had died. She asked me what importance the date 22 November had. 

Even though I feel extremely disillusioned, particularly since the death of my baby English Setter girl, Annie, I do believe there is life after death. This does not stop my tears for Hammer, and I will always miss him. His brother, Hobson has his head on my foot as I write this.


I believe Hammer had only recently been de-barked before he was re-homed with me. Understandably, Hammer was emotionally traumatised by having his voice taken away from him. Hammer should never have been de-barked.


This is a photo of my vet, Ian with Hammer on 19 December 2006. Unfortunately Ian retired in early 2008. He was a wonderful vet and a decent human being. He was part of our family. I will never forget the day he told me, with tears in his eyes, that he had made a mistake with my English Setter, Bandit. He had missed his enlarged kidney in a physical examination after which Bandit was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease. I would never had known about this mistake. I respected Ian more for his honesty. 

Unlike Ian, the holistic vet I trusted with Hammer’s care was arrogant and greedy. He charged me a great deal of money to misdiagnose Hammer’s blood tests, his x-rays and his ultrasounds. He diagnosed Hammer with a minor liver problem when Hammer had developed leukaemia. He ignored Hammer’s chronic airways problems. He saw Hammer’s distress but he did not care. I did not realise this at the time.


After Hammer died I met many dog owners who had had similar experiences with this holistic vet but it was too late. I blamed myself for trusting this vet. 

The other day I met a lady we have come to know on our daily walks. Her 3 year old Cocker Spaniel, Cody has been diagnosed with cancer. She and Cody were referred to the veterinary specialist who was looking after Hammer. He recommended that Cody not have chemotherapy because his cancer was too aggressive. Weeks later Cody developed many more tumours. She was grateful this vet specialist was honest. He has told her what to expect and at the moment Cody is happy. 

Even though the tears streamed down my face when this lady was speaking to me, what she told me restored my faith. This vet specialist told me that Hammer did have a good chance with chemotherapy. Without chemotherapy he was going to die. I trusted him, and now I know I did the right thing by trusting him. I tried to do everything I possibly could to give Hammer every chance to live. Hammer was fighting with all his might to live. After one chemotherapy treatment the cancer cells had almost disappeared but Hammer was also fighting his chronic airways problems from being de-barked. This is what ended Hammer’s life. I believe it is likely that Hammer developed leukaemia because of the stress he suffered from having his voice taken away from him. Hammer should never have been de-barked.


While Hammer was fighting for his life, our new family member, our English Setter girl, Misty was born. Misty is comforting Hobson and I.

I will always miss my boy, Hammer.

Views: 239

Comment by Chantal McIlveen-Wright on November 22, 2012 at 8:43am

This is a very nice tribute to your wonderful boy Susan!!!  glad I did not miss it

Comment by Catherine Carter on November 22, 2012 at 10:10am
I dont know how you have the strength to write such a lovely tribute to Hammer....we will not forget Hammer and I am thinking of you and sending you hugs and kisses xxxxxx
Comment by Ellen Turberfield on November 22, 2012 at 11:47am

Hammer was such a beautiful dog, lucky he found you (",)

Comment by James Doran on November 22, 2012 at 3:02pm

Susan, ''Those we love don't go away, They walk beside us every day, Unseen,unheard,but always near, Still loved,still missed and very dear. (Anonymous) This poem was posted on ES by Julia, in tribute to her boy Dudley (Duke of Lancester). I have never forgotten it and i just hope that it will give you the same comfort that it does me. God bless.

Comment by Lynn Spencer on November 22, 2012 at 10:12pm

Susan, I'm sending you lots of love & comfort on this special day.  A very lovely tribute & beautiful photo's.  Your love for Hammer & your other Setters shines through.  You are a special person who loves her animals more than anything.  Huge hugs.  Thinking of you xxoo.

Comment by karen chesher on November 24, 2012 at 10:01am

your love for your wonderful dogs just shines through in your blogs Susan,been reading your story and i cant imagine how youve coped with losing Beau,so very sad

Comment by Cornelia on November 25, 2012 at 2:56am

A very nice tribute to a very special friend, Susan!

Comment by Dianne cook on November 28, 2012 at 5:43pm
Special fur friends, find special people. You are one of these special people Susan, there are not many that are like you. A quote I found recently. "Saving an animal won't change the world, but it will surely change the world for that one animal". Take care x


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