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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Rainbow Week - Fourth Day

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.....

All the animals in this post shared their lives with me.


She was my pal. We roamed thru the fields together and watched Hopalong Cassidy together. She slept beside me and she ate the veggies I didn't like.

Snowball, Dusty and Spot

My three rabbits taught me about the daily routines and responsibilities of taking care of an animal.

Boots died in 1958

Boots was an adult dog when my pleading for a dog paid off and she became mine. She was patient and gentle, a perfect dog for a little girl. She put up with my dressing her up and she went everywhere with me. (no picture of Boots is available, this resembles her)

Cookie died in 1960

Cookie taught me a lot about life with a hound. She chewed everything and never outgrew it. She liked to bark and chase squirrels.

Cherry 1957 to 1965

Cherry was a small blue Budgie. He was the first bird I ever owned and I spent hours watching him and laughing at his antics. He was very tame and went all around the house perched on my shoulder. He loved molasses cookies and I used them to bribe him back into his cage.

Zelda Louise 5/9/1961 to 8/19/1978

Zelda was one of the puppies from my accidental litter. When you breed animals you learn that not all of them survive. Zelda's sister, Penny, didn't make it to her first birthday, but Zelda made up for it living to be 17 years old.

She was the smartest dog I've ever known. Show her something once and she got it. Zelda went swimming every morning in the pond, then spent the rest of the day with me, unless she got the chance to go hunting with her friend Chip. Zelda never barked until she was eight years old, then surprised us all, we didn't think she could bark. It was my privilege to have known her.

Burton 1961 to 1967

Burton grew up with Zelda and was much tougher than the dog. He chased dogs away from the house, caught rabbits and chased squirrels right up the tree. He was a big cat that liked to eat and learned to open the cabinet where we kept the cat food to help himself. I believe he thought he was a dog. (no picture of Burton is available, this resembles him)

Libby 9/12/1972 to 2/28/1988

Her name was Liberation. She was the first dog after I was on my own. I was young and single and living at the beach and she was my dog. She slept on my bed, she went to work with me. We walked on the beach everyday and she chased gulls and dug for crabs. She was happy in a car, a boat or on a train. She adjusted to living in a beach house, on a farm or in a high rise apartment as long as we were together.

She checked out my dates and let me and them know if she approved or not. She loved Rob.

I'm so glad we were able to make your last years comfortable with a house and a yard and a sunny window to sleep in and watch the world around you. You went to the park and chased squirrels that morning before your stroke. We all miss you.

Pylon 9/15/1986 to 12/3/1999

Our wedding dog. We found her the evening before we got our marriage license. She was a stubborn puppy that grew into a wonderful dog. I never heard her growl, though she had nightmares almost every night of her life. She could be trusted with the smallest child or animal. She was gentle and sweet.

Porsche 4/25/1988 to 8/31/1988

She was a mischievous little girl who would do something silly, then lower her head and roll her eyes up to look at me. I called her Mouse and was looking forward to lots of time together.

We didn't have enough time with her. We only had her for two days when she got sick. She had picked up Parvo virus in the shelter where we found her and after being in the hospital for six days she died.

We have A Secret
We have a secret, you and I
that no one else shall know,
for who but I can see you lie
each night in fire glow?

And who but I can reach my hand
before we go to bed
and feel the living warmth of you
and touch your silken head?
And only I walk woodland paths
and see ahead of me.
your small form racing with the wind
so young again and free.

And only I can see you swim
in every brook I pass
ans when I call, no one but I
can see the bending grass.
Author Unknown

Bentley 9/15/1988 to 12/17/2001

My heart. He was known as Boo to those who loved him and everyone who met him loved him. He was dignified, but had a silly streak. He had a sense of humor and liked to play tricks on people and other animals. There was never a more gentle dog. He's the reason I have Portuguese Water Dogs today and why I call my kennel Legacy. When he died I was in despair and I still think of him every day and see him in Samba and her pups. He owned my heart and always will.

Schroeder and Vandal

Schroeder was a gift in 1994. Rob had heard me speak fondly of Cherry and surprised me with a little blue Budgie. He was sweet and fairly tame but seemed lonely so Vandal came to live with him. She was named Vandal for a reason. She tried to destroy everything she came in contact with. I remember the day I gave her a strawberry and left the house for a while. When I came home she was red, the inside of the cage was red and the white wall behind the cage was red. We had to repaint the wall, but I bet she enjoyed that strawberry.

Peri and Broc

We were having so much fun with Schroeder and Vandal that Rob surpried me with a pair of green Budgies. I called them Peridot and Broccoli. They weren't as tame as the other two, but we bought a huge cage and put them all together and they seemed to have a great time together. They were always a pair and died within a few months of each other.

Flirt and Bean

Bean was a joy. He was tiny and he loved to swing. Each morning when I uncovered them he would head for his swing and you could see his little head bobbing as he swung higher and higher. We made the mistake of putting him with Flirt who was homicidal. She had been brought in as a mate for Schroeder after Vandal died, but then Schroeder died mysteriously. Then one night we came home just as she was killing Bean. She lived the rest of her life in solitary. I'm sorry, Bean.

Buckley (the yellow one) died 2005

Buckley and Cloud were brother and sister. They joined our little group of birds and fit right in. Cloud still lives in the dining room.

Holly and Buddy

Buddy's owner gave him up because he had learned to call the cats and he wasn't safe. We took him in and he was a real character. He loved the ladies and any woman who came to visit us would hear, "Hello, pretty baby." He had a funny little voice and he would see the dogs and call, "Here kitty, kitty." He died in 2007 at the age of 25 years.

Holly came to keep Buddy company and they were a strange couple. She was quite fat and wore herself out laying eggs. Buddy loved those eggs and sat on them for hours, but none ever hatched. She was much to young when she died from breaking her neck against the perch.

Lucy 11/20/1994 to 8/12/2008

She was the smallest dog I ever had and taught me to respect small animals. Their life is not easy. Imagine living in a world of giants. Lucy quickly took over the house and bossed everyone around. Nobody messed with Lucy. Boo was her very best friend and they went everywhere together. He protected her from bigger dogs. After Boo died, Monty took over the job of Lucy's guardian.

Lucy let it be known that she was Rob's dog. They bonded the first day on the ride home and nothing ever changed that. She was a very obedient girl who loved to go for rides and to sleep in the sunshine.

Monty 3/5/1999 to 12/23/2008

He had a traumatic puppyhood, suffering disfiguring beatings before he was six weeks old. He never was able to trust people except for his immediate family and a couple of women who earned his trust. He was our self appointed guard dog and taught all the other dogs the rules of the house.

He adored puppies and forgot his fears when he was with a puppy. He would let them crawl all over him and pull his ears and tail. It was wonderful to see him play with Samba's pups. He never was rough with them.

He left us much too soon. It all happened so fast, then he was gone. I think about him every day and I miss him so much. The pain is still too fresh.

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

When all the world is a hopeless jumble
And the raindrops tumble all around,
Heaven opens a magic lane
When all the clouds darken up the skyway,
There's a rainbow highway to be found

Leading from your window pane
To a place behind the sun,
Just a step beyond the rain.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high.
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream

Really do come true.

Someday I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far
Behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops

Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly.
Birds fly over the rainbow.
Why then, oh why can't I?
If happy little bluebirds fly
Beyond the rainbow

Why, oh why can't I?

Someday I'll wake and rub my eyes
And in that land beyond the skies,
You'll find me.
I'll be a laughing daffodil
And leave the silly cares that fill
My mind behind me.

E. Y. Harburg

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Rainbow Week - Third Day

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.......


Otis had a back yard to play in and a great walk to the lake during the summer. No problem behavior and no fear of anything. On walks he would meet some dog four times his size, and he would stop and greet with his wagging tail, then march on.

He loved to play and made up lots of games. He would place his ball on the kitchen rug, then pull the rug over it. He would go off, wait a few minutes, then come back to the kitchen and grabbing the rug in his teeth, give a pull. The ball would fly off and he would give chase, then start over again.

One day I gave him a biscuit. His pal, Eddie, a Lhasa mix, heard the crunch and came looking for his. Otis dropped half on the floor and nosed it over to Eddie. It was the first time I had seen a dog share food.

I've loved every dog I've ever had, but Otis was the dog of my heart.


Casey belonged to my aunt. My aunt lived on a farm and always had working dogs. When she retired, her granddaughter was looking for a home for a little poodle mix and Aunty said she'd take him. She said she had never had a 'play dog' before. He was full of fun and the two of them adored each other. He lived to be 14. Every dog she ever met got compared to Casey and was always found wanting. (Though no picture of Casey is available, he looked much like this)

Beau sometime before 12/19/1996 to 12/21/2009

He wagged his tail to the very last
And he smiles in his last, long sleep;
The troubles of life, for him, are past!
A shrine in my heart I'll keep.
His soul -- for I feel that he had a soul
And he thought real thoughts, I know--
Has found the ultimate end, life's goal,
In the heaven where good dogs go.

He has lived with me and suffered with me
Shed tears, in his dog like way;
He has placed his paw at times on my knee,
In a vain attempt to say;
"God never gave us that wondrous power,
To tell all the things we feel,
But, I want to say, in my canine way,
That my sympathy is real."

So I loved my dog to the very end,
And he in our daily walk,
Was never just a dog, but a constant friend
And we had no need to talk.
And I hope, when the summons comes, for me
To embark on the unknown tide,
I shall find his eyes in the Paradise
They say is the other side.

James Clarence Harvey

Beau, you were there when there wasn't anyone else. You always provided me with companionship and a good laugh. I tried to provide you with everything you ever needed; but this time I just couldn't fix it. I'm sorry, Buddy.

I will forever miss you, my friend. May you always have a warm place in the sun.

Nibbles died 12/22/2008

Nibby was one of those kitties who loved everyone, very dog-like. She was as adorable as she was loving.

Kiwi 9/19/2007 to 4/26/2009

From day one, she lit up our lives. I knew the day I met her that she was supposed to come home with us. The connection was instant and the moment I met her I knew I could not live without her. I knew I needed her as much as she needed us. I was right.

Shelby died 8/3/2009

There will never be another Shelby, my heart rat. Shelby wasn't like a rat, she was like a mini-dog in a rat's body. We lost her much too soon and very unexpectedly.

Trixie died in May 2009

Trixie was our foster dog. It makes me happy to know that we found her the perfect home, with a retired couple who adored her more than words can say. Trixie really needed to be an only dog and they really needed a dog to adore.


Morgan's best friend, he let her lead him around on his leash when she was only a tiny pup. He was always patient with her and she loved to run away to visit him across the street. She'd race up the front steps and scratch on his front door. He'd come running to welcome her.

When Tsar came along, he and Toby became best buds. They would sit side by side on the hill looking out over the neighborhood and seemed to understand each others need for space.

Fred 5/2/1996 to 10/5/2007

A big, sweet boy who accepted that pesky pup, Mugsy, into his life and became his best buddy. They shared a love for games and trips to the beach and even snow.

Mugsy 10/5/1995 to 8/23/2008

The little guy who captured so many hearts. He was ready for any adventure as long as his people were there beside him. When he lost his friend Fred, he happily accepted a crazy new puppy, Sissy, into his life. Although he will always be his Mom's heart-dog, he took pieces of many other hearts when he left us, too soon.

I'm Still Here

Friend, please don't mourn for me,
I'm still here, though you don't see.
I'm right by your side each night and day,
And within your heart I long to stay.

My body is gone but I'm always near,
I'm everything you feel, see or hear.
My spirit is free, but I'll never depart,
As long as you keep me alive in your heart.

I'll never wander out of your sight.
I'm the brightest star on a summer night.
I'll never be beyond your reach.
I'm the warm moist sand when you're at the beach.

I'm the colorful leaves when fall comes around,
And the pure white snow that blankets the ground.
I'm the beautiful flowers of which you're so fond,
The clear cool water in a quiet pond.

I'm the first bright blossom you'll see in the spring,
The first warm raindrop that April will bring.
I'm the first ray of light when the sun starts to shine,
And you'll see that the face in the moon is mine.

I'm the hot salty tears that flow when you weep,
And the beautiful dreams that come while you sleep.
I'm the smile you see on a baby's face.
Just look for me, friend, I'm everyplace.

Author Unknown

Monday, December 28, 2009

Rainbow Week - Second Day

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge..........

Winnie the Bulldog

She was a sweetheart who was only with us four years when she died of lymphoma. Broke our hearts. A gentle giant with children...and a first class snorer.

Dutchess 1988 to 2000

A much beloved Doberman rescue, who though riddled with arthritis, stayed by my side day and night when I tore my ACL and was homebound for two months. She seemed to wait until I was able to get up and around before dying shortly afterwards at the age of 12. I spent many nights sleeping on the floor beside her during her final days, trying to give back some small measure of the love and comfort she had given me. A great dog.

Oscar 1990 to 2003

A Daschund devil who gave me no end of pleasure at his antics. My husband learned not to yell at Oscar or he would later find his slippers filled with a 'deposit' from the boy. Dutchess and Oscar were a sight to see when they were together, as their coloring and markings matched, even if their height didn't. Oscar died at the age of 13, a wonderful little rascal.


A sweet natured Boxer who came to us shortly after we lost Dutchess, when her former owner had to go into a nursing home. Her first night in our house was hilarious as she tried desperately to play with Oscar, the Daschund - the first time she had ever played with another dog. They became great friends and in their time together, Lodie and Oscar spent many a winter night curled together before the fire. Lodie-girl was 12 when she died not long after Oscar.

W had three yellow Labs at the same time we also had Dutchess and Oscar- it was a very full house with 5 dogs and four children under 12. Jo-Jo was mother to the other two labs, Red and Jake. Another bunch of wonderful pups. Jo-Jo actually saved two of my children from falling out a two story window. Obviously, she holds a very special place in my heart.


The neighbor came home with his new black and white puppy, a cute little fellow. The pup kept coming over to our house to play and just hang out. He seemed very attached to my husband. Soon the pup was waiting when he walked out the door and followed him everywhere, even jumping in the car to ride with him. One day the neighbor came to the door and said, " I think this dog was supposed to be yours, you two have something special going on." For the rest of his life, they were never apart.


Allie and his littler mate Jess were adopted together. Jess had a sleek black coat with neat little white feet. She was small and dainty and a fine mouser. Allie was large and messy and clumsy. Jess would jump from the floor to the bookshelf, then walk the stair rail to a sunny spot. Allie would jump and miss and crash to the floor taking picture frames and books with him. Once on the stair rail, he would lose his footing and tumble down the stairs. He preferred to hide from mice. He died several months after Jess.

Dylan (on the right)

He was a silly pup who loved to bound thru the snow with his dog friends. He could clear a room with his snoring and he could catch a bird on the wing. He went crazy at the sight of water, a wading pool, a hose or a lake, it was all the same to Dyl, a place to play. He accepted Ellie into his life in his later years and taught her to chase the cats, Allie and Jess.

To Love Again...
Oh what unhappy twist of fate
Has brought you homeless to my gate,
The gate where once another stood
To beg for shelter, warmth and food?
For from that day I ceased to be
The master of my destiny,

ile she, with purr and velvet paw
Became within my house the law.

She scratched the furniture and shed
And claimed the middle of my bed,

She ruled in arrogance and pride
And broke my heart the day she died.
So if you really think, oh cat I'd willingly relive all that.
Because you come forlorn and thin
Well don't just stand there - come on in.

Author Unknown

Cat died 11/16/2009

We don't know where he came from or what sort of life he had lived. We know his people let him down and didn't deliver on the promises they made to him as a kitten. He was a pretty cat, smokey gray with white markings, but he hid from people and stole food to exist.

We don't know why he chose us at the end, maybe it was the stray piece of dog food overlooked by our pups, or the bird feeders that distracted the fat sparrows and made them easy prey, or maybe it was just the comfortable porch furniture that offered a soft spot to spend the night and a place to bask in the sun in the afternoon.

Maybe he knew he needed help when he became sick and sensed that we wouldn't turn our backs. We're sorry that we only knew you when it was too late, but maybe we helped end the pain and fear.

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