Thursday, March 29, 2018

More: Over The Rainbow Bridge

Last Saturday we had to put our Rusty Doggins down.  It was a very  hard thing to witness and especially hard to do.  Rusty is no longer suffering, and we have started to understand the reality of it.  We cried and hugged and said goodbye to a dog we had spying on us for 11 1/2 years.  I say that lovingly, because anyone who has had a dog knows that they follow you around and watch every move you make.  They bounce up and come running at the slightest noise in the next room.  You're just opening a package or opening a can of soup, but they have to see what you're doing.

So now, as with our loved ones, we are remembering the fun times we had with Rusty.  I will (but I won't) miss his habit of pestering me about 4:00 or 5:00 pm for a walk outside.  It didn't seem to matter if it was 9 below zero, Rusty wanted a walk and would persist for about an hour until I gave in or simply ignored him.  Sometimes he snorted at me after an hour of trying.  All I had to do was say the word "walk" and Rusty was bounding around the house anticipating a walk. Oh, and you couldn't say "talk", or "clock" or "taco" or "sock" or any word with the "awk" sound in it. They all meant "a walk", and he would come running.

 He didn't seem very interested in walking the last few months, though.  I think he had pain when walking.  He reluctantly took a walk with me, although it seemed like he enjoyed it toward the end after he limbered up a little.

We got a really nice sympathy card from our favorite pet doctors with some paw prints of Rusty to remember him by.  We'll probably put it in a "shadow box" on the wall.  So ends the saga of Rusty Doggins.  ~JN

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Over The Rainbow

We have a rescue dog named Rusty Doggins.  My daughter named him Rusty, I tacked on the Doggins because his goofy antics reminded me of Bilbo Baggins in the Hobbit.  The Hobbit movies were popular soon after we got the Boxador almost 13 years ago.

Recently, Rusty Doggins has developed doggie Alzheimer's, cataracts, hearing loss, weight loss, arthritis, and weakness in his hind quarters. He gets confused in the dark at night in the house and can't find his bed.  We've actually positioned a night light next to his bed so he presumable can find it in the dark.  We often wake up at night to hear him walking in circles (to the left) for a long time, until we get up and intervene, helping him to his bed.It's heartbreaking to watch. We put him outside to do his business, but he often does his business inside instead.  So we spend alot of time cleaning up after him and airing out the house.  Rusty is banned from all the carpet and we have a wall of chairs across the opening to the living room.  He is restricted to the vinyl floor in the kitchen and dining room.  And we are also restricted to closing all the doors and moving chairs to go from one room to the other.

 He used to be a robust strong dog who could drag me along easily on a walk.  Now you bump him, and he almost falls over.  It takes him days to recover from a weekend stay at the kennel. He used to play with us and do tricks  on command.  Not any more.  In the evening, especially, we look into Rusty's eyes and it seems as though there's "nothing there".  They don't sparkle like they used to.  Of course, we've had him checked out, and the vet says there's basically nothing wrong with him.  "It's just old age, and there's really nothing we can do."

So, we've made an appointment for Saturday morning to help Rusty across to the "Rainbow Bridge".  This isn't how we thought Rusty's life would end.  In fact, I don't remember us every talking about what would happen if or when Rusty would have health issues to the point we would need to think abut end of life decisions.  I think it's something every family should talk about at some point in a pet's life with kids who can understand.  It's a hard reality, but a necessary fact of life.

Here's the "poem" from which the Rainbow Bridge came. ~JN

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....
Author unknown...

More: Over The Rainbow Bridge

Last Saturday we had to put our Rusty Doggins down.  It was a very  hard thing to witness and especially hard to do.  Rusty is no longer suf...