I really don’t even know what to say. Where does one begin to capture the feelings when a beloved pet passes? It is hard enough when it is one, but in the last fifteen months in our house we have lost, not one, not two, but three of our senior dogs to Rainbow Bridge. That is a lot for a heart to handle.
In March of 2020 Pepe; our eighteen year plus old rescue Tibetan Spaniel went to the bridge. Many who read this blog already knew that, if not (see Pepe blog here). He was rescued at the age of ten plus and lived with us for eight years. He was a special dog who had many issues, and taught us so many things. Most importantly, he taught us that love can conquer almost any amount of abuse and neglect.
Then unexpectedly in May of this year our rescue Japanese Chin Yuki went to the bridge. We knew he had some health issues and we were treating them, however his airway disease got really bad, he also had CFH, he was struggling and went downhill very quickly. So again, we had to handle a terrible loss. In Yuki’s case it was really sad for us, because he did not have a good life before he came to us. He was a little over ten when we rescued him, and we were his third family (that we know of). His last people smoked and that did not help his lung issues. He lived the good life here with us and it was like he had always been here. He fit in so well immediately, and he was such a light in our home. He always did “Chin Spins”, he was so happy. I loved that little dog to the moon and back. I still remember going to get him from the Bronx. He was looking out the window, I have an image burned in my brain of him leaving that life and starting fresh in the country, in a home and a yard with grass. An end to apartment and city living, and off to a place where he could enjoy his golden years. I still remember him in the carriage at Petco getting his new name tag, and he was so happy. Which is why we named him Yuki, because it means “happiness” in Japanese. Little did we know it would only last two and a half years. Anyone who has had a Japanese Chin knows they are very special little dogs, like love with legs. I will forever miss that amazing creature.
That brings me to the third and probably hardest loss to date, my Punkin Pie. Unlike our other dogs, Punkin Pie was not a rescue. We got her as a puppy and she lived with us her entire life. Which makes me happy that unlike so many other dogs in the world, she lived in the same house her entire life, had the same people, and never had to endure the trauma of being rehomed or in a shelter.
Happy for that yes, but sad that I will not have that little face looking at me every day. She had such a personality from day one. She was the most photogenic dog I ever knew, and it was literally like she enjoyed being dressed up in silly costumes for Halloween and Christmas and any other time we felt like as she would say “exploiting her all over the inter web”.
In fact she had so much personality that we literally had conversations with her, and as many who read the blog or follow me on Instagram or Facebook saw that personality in her Caturday videos. It all started when she was little because she was so animated that she would sit there looking at you like she understood what you were saying, and then would respond with her stomping her little paws on the ground to get what she wanted or her vocally demanding her way (which she of course always got).
Most of her videos are loaded to my Facebook page or to my Instagram. I will admit I have not been good about loading to YouTube. She has a playlist on my YouTube channel, and I am slowly uploading as I have time. There are however, many older videos of her there from when she was younger, like the “Halloween Atrocity” parts, one, two and three… where she explains the horror of having her parents dress her and her fur siblings up in costumes.
Looking back now, I am so glad we did this, as it is a way to get to see her face and remember the good times we had with her. (See Punkin’s YouTube playlist here). I changed the title of the playlist to “Conversations With My Furkids”, as her little fur sibling Lulu is going to try to carry on her legacy and continue with the videos with the wisdom imparted to her by Punkin Pie.
Anyone who has cared for an ailing senior pet with multiple serious medical conditions requiring literal round the clock care can tell you that when that pet is gone, there is a terrible hole. Going from every minute of every day making sure all of their needs are met, medical, physical, etc., to them “not being there” is really quite an adjustment. I am lucky as I still have two other dogs, and four cats, so the house is not totally empty. It is not the same though, and it never will be. Time will help, I suppose.
One thing I do know, is that there will never be a another dog like Punkin Pie. There are so many funny stories I could tell about that little character, but that would not be a blog, it would be a book. Truth be told, she really did not mind the cats at all. Except that one time when Jaxson our first cat had been here a few months… she walked into the office and one side of her face was totally puffed up. It looked like all of the sudden her face doubled in size on one side. We rushed her to the emergency vet, and lo and behold… they found a little poke hole under her fur. She had an allergic reaction to the cat poke. So apparently there is truth to what she always said, “cats have poison fingertips”.
When she was little, she liked to eat baby carrots. We used to give them as treats until we discovered that she like to swallow everything whole… one time she was out in the yard as a little girl and she was struggling to do her business. My husband was with her and watching her, and she was looking at him like she needed help. There she is, she’s trying to do her business, and a little carrot end keeps popping out, and then going back in, then out, then in, and to hear him tell it, I die laughing. Anyway, after watching her do this for some many minutes and clearly she couldn’t get it out, the next time it popped out he reached down and yanked it. She ran away from it, and then looked up at him and barked as it if it were a “thank you daddy”. From that moment on, she always ran away from her poops. It was really funny. For all of those years she never forgot it.
Then there was the time she choked on a tiny piece of an apple, and ended up in the emergency vet for two days. So many memories, and so much of our lives spent with her. It is hard to imagine we will not have her around anymore, or singing her theme song to her all the time. Each of the furkids have their own theme song, and much to Punkin’s destain, yes even the cats.
What I do know is that she is now in Heaven with Jesus, and with all of her fur siblings who went before her. She is reunited with her original pack, Pookie, Bobo, and Itty Bitty. She is also reunited with all the foster failure dogs we took in that also went before her, that she never minded sharing her momma and daddy with; Pepe, Yuki, and Gracie. She can run and play, and breathe easy, free from the terrible awful disease of Collapsing Trachea, and Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome and all of the debilitating medical hardships that come with it. She can breathe easy and rest until that one day when we will meet her in the light.
Hug your furkids and cherish them while you have them, because one day God will want them back. When it is time, remember to please “Don’t Shop Adopt”, there are so many animals who need a second chance. Dogs, cats, puppies, kittens, nearly every breed there is. Simply visit petfinder.com and you can find practically any one of God’s little creatures your heart desires.