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My little Orange Belton English Setter girl "Annie"

It is with indescribable despair that I am again writing a tribute blog for one of my English Setters, this time for my little girl, Annie, who died at approx. 5am today, Monday, 25 June 2012. Annie would have turned 13 weeks old today.

When you purchase a purebred puppy from a registered breeder, this is not supposed to happen. The reason I purchased a purebred puppy was so that I did not “live” at a veterinary practice, as I have done over the last few years because of health problems with my English Setters, Hammer, Rose and Hobson. The reason I purchased a puppy was so that I did not have to suffer the terrible pain of grief again for a very long time.

I understand others have suffered, but my little girl died today and this is my grief and she was my girl, and Hammer was my boy and Rose was my girl and Beau was my boy. I was speaking to my friend, Jean this morning after Annie died and she said to me: “Susan, you have to try to stay strong” .. but, sometimes the losses become so great, as has happened to me, that you are pushed over the edge with your grief and you cannot go on.

This is a photo of Annie and Hobson taken on 27 May 2012. Annie had been living with us for 5 days. She was almost 9 weeks old. Maybe you might notice how tiny she is. Annie almost did not make it up to Hobson and I during her travel from New South Wales to Queensland. Dogtainers was unable to load Annie on the plane because of excessive diarrhoea. I was shocked when I saw how tiny and frail Annie was. She was covered in vomit, urine and diarrhoea when she eventually arrived at Coolangatta airport. I phoned my vet the next day. Annie only weighed 3.5kg! She was full of worms. She defecated and urinated in her own bed and she ran in her faeces because this must have been the way she lived during her first 8 weeks of life. I have been taking Annie to see my vet every week because of all her health problems. As well as being malnourished, she is 50% under-size and under-weight for a normal English Setter puppy of her age.

Even though I like the strong-boned English Setters, Annie was my little girl and I was prepared to do everything in my power to help her. I would never have parted with my Annie. Never!

This is a photo of Annie on the evening of Sunday, 24 June 2012. She was sitting on top of my one and only couch checking out what I was doing in the kitchen. She was starting to develop her front legs. Her hind legs were still very frail. I felt she was starting to improve.

Less than 12 hours later my little girl was dead. I feel completely and utterly traumatised. I am in shock. Hobson knows his little sister, Annie has died and he is also suffering. Annie’s death is totally unfair and I honestly do not know how I am going to cope with Annie’s tragic loss.

I re-covered the deck chairs on the verandah and bought new woollen dooners for Annie’s arrival. She loved to sit on the purple deck chairs. I look out onto the verandah now and Annie is not there. I bought her a soft mauve blanket. She slept on Benmore’s bed (my long-haired daschund) because she was so tiny she “drowned” in the normal beds. She took one of Rose’s toys to bed with her. When I covered her up to keep her warm, she looked up at me with so much love. When she looked at me, her tiny face softened so much because she loved me, and I loved my little girl so very much. But, now, I will never see my little girl again, and my heart is torn apart. I do not understand why my life has to be so hard.

The reason I love my English Setters so much and the reason each one of them love me so much is because our feelings run deep. We are not made from “froth and bubble”. We are made from "deeper stuff".

Except for my beautiful Hobson who continues to suffer ill health, my time with English Setters is now over. I never thought I would ever say this because I love this breed of dog so much, but the pain and the heartache has become too much for me. I honestly do not know how I am going to even get through this day.

Today is the birthday of my beautiful English Setter boy, Bandit. He suffered so much before we found each other just prior to his 7th Birthday. When my English Setters suffer, I suffer. Our hearts and our souls are connected. When one of my English Setters dies, a piece of my heart dies. This is the way it is with us. Many people have assumed that I loved Beau more than my other English Setters and my horses because of the extent of my search for Beau. They were wrong. My search for Beau is only an example of what I would do for each and every one of them. They are my life, and I love them so much, but the big problem is that I am now struggling very hard to cope with their deaths. I miss them. I still cry every day for my beautiful Hammer. I miss him so much. I miss my Rose. I miss my Beau. I miss all my beautiful animal children in Heaven. And now my hope in Annie has been taken away from me. My little girl Annie is gone.

I wish to thank all the kind friends I have made on ES. I know you will understand my pouring out my heart and my despair.

Views: 1798

Comment by Myra Thomas-Rhodes on June 24, 2012 at 9:34pm

My goodness, how terrible, Poor baby Annie - very, very sad for her and you.Just hope you find some solace as time goes by, and from the support of ES members.

Comment by Pat Aldridge on June 24, 2012 at 10:37pm

Susan, I am so sorry for your loss of little Annie.  (((hugs)))

Comment by Sharyn Latchford on June 24, 2012 at 11:22pm

I am so sorry for you loss, so very very sad.....

Comment by Cornelia on June 25, 2012 at 12:06am

Words just fail me, Susan, after reading your very sad story - little Annie lost her battle far too soon ... thinking of you...

Comment by Dawn Riddell on June 25, 2012 at 12:50am

Susan, no words can console you, I'm shocked and so sad to hear this most awful news. It's clear you are torn apart, take one day at a time. God bless Annie and all your lost 'babies' sleep tight.

Massive hugs to you Susan. xx


Dawn R.

Comment by Cheryl Gorey on June 25, 2012 at 1:46am

Susan, I am so devastated to read your terrible loss.  As I sit here in tears, I can only imagine what you are going through.  Such a beautiful little girl and such a short life.... filled with your love for her. so very very sad.

Comment by Catherine Carter on June 25, 2012 at 2:33am


I cannot believe this has happened to you... I am really really sorry, I am thinking of you and sending you hugs from me and lots of licks from my reds xxxxxxxxxxx

Comment by Sue Paterson on June 25, 2012 at 3:32am

There are no words to tell you how deeply sorry I feel for your tragic loss. I know you will feel your world has ended, but you will be strong for your beautiful boy Hobson who needs your strength and love now. Thinking of you and that dear little soul Annie...now free of suffering.

Comment by Barbara on June 25, 2012 at 3:40am

Dear Susan! I am so really sorry to read your very sad and heartbreaking news!!! Thinking of you. Hugs to you and Hobson. Love B + T

Comment by Ellen Turberfield on June 25, 2012 at 3:49am

I was so sad to read about your beautiful Annie, at least she had you to love and care for her, but it's not fair such a short time here with you, i was told my 2year old boy had 6weeks last december he's still with me, but i know how you feel you bring this puppy home and into your heart you dont expect to loose them so soon, Ellen&Finlay xxx


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