Dog ownership is the type of thing that comes with very few downsides. Sure, it’s a lot of work, but a furry friend’s loyalty makes cleaning up any accidents or losing the occasional half of a sandwich more than worth it.
Perhaps the most difficult part of dog ownership is the knowledge that it will someday come to an end. There is nothing more heartbreaking than having to say goodbye to your loyal best friend too soon, and it’s always too soon when it happens.
As hard as it is, there are things you can do to make the loss a little more bearable — to send your canine companion to doggy heaven in the proper fashion.
One dog to get such a proper send-off was 5-year-old Sheldon, who wowed people all over the world with his impressive diving skills.
A special dog deserves a special goodbye, and that’s exactly what Sheldon’s owners did — by putting together an under-the-sea funeral to honor the seafaring dog in the place he was happiest.
Since Sheldon shared a special place in the hearts of so many people, his owners were nice enough to share the details of the pup’s extraordinary life and funeral on Facebook’s Love What Matters page.
Sheldon’s owner Danny shares:
It took me a while to post this because every time I start I just break down and I can’t do anything else…
Sheldon’s 5 short years were full of love, friendship and great memories with friends and strangers. He was always approaching people and was almost dog-napped several times because of his friendliness.
He was the runt of the litter and we almost lost him but we made sure that he got fed and, after a few days, he started fending for himself. Growing up, he had difficult times… he had eye issues (Doc Alfredo noticed that) but soon overcame it and gave him that sweet, droopy tender eyes.
When he started diving that’s when he became famous in our little community of divers, windsurfers, paddleboarders, swimmers and free divers in Anilao. It was only recently that his videos and photos became viral and our little secret that is #sheldondivingdog was on several shows on national television and we got to share him with more people all over the world.
A month later we had to bring him to the vet because of a suspected tumour, or Ehrlichia. He had to be operated on, and his spleen was removed because it was infected and swelling. Thanks to Doc Mace for making sure Sheldon gets the best treatment and Elaine for helping out with the costs.
He was okay when he got out of the clinic after a few days and spent almost a month in Manila, where my mom Eva enjoyed his company (and Sheldon enjoyed her aircon and company too … I asked Doc Mace if I could bring Sheldon to Anilao after a month and she said yes.
That day, Sheldon went home to Anilao. Everyone welcomed him back and we went swimming with Jasmine. Before getting out of the water I hugged and held him so tight for a long time. I left him in Anilao after that weekend and I had to travel for work. Then he got sick again and we had to rush him to the clinic, this time with desperation since he tested positive for distemper.
That night I left him and saw him having seizures, I had to tell myself: do what’s best for Sheldon and give him all your love before you leave him. So I gave him a big hug and a kiss before the vet staff took him. 2 days after, I got the dreaded message that he is gone.
As my friend Laura said, he was like a star who shone so bright for a short time…
One can never describe the feeling of loss and the empty space your loved ones leave behind. There are times you try to think of ways to bring them back, to change a thing or two so things would happen differently…
Only a few days ago I had a nightmare with Sheldon and Fiona in it where they were suffering and I kept saying please don’t let them suffer… I miss them more.
To those who have shared the sea with Sheldon and have known him, please don’t forget him and visit him once in a while at Sheldon’s Rocks. He’s waiting for the white rocks you used to throw for him.
To those who were there during this last tribute to the wonderful life of Sheldon, thank you.
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