Blog post: Remembering Rainbow Bridge fur babies: Remembering my first greyhound, Wigwam Angela, aka "my Angie-girl"

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This thread is in reply to a blog post by gingin entitled "Remembering Rainbow Bridge fur babies".
Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
Plays in the sandbox Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Dog Lover Daylilies The WITWIT Badge
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fiwit
Sep 11, 2011 6:11 AM CST
Aug 29,2011 is the 4th anniversary of two of the hardest decisions I've ever made in my life. First, to be a grown-up and leave on my business trip when my heart-dog was at the vet's with an unexplained illness, and then to love her enough to let her go to the rainbow bridge three days before I could get back home to say goodbye.

I process things by writing (right, Sharon? Whistling ) and each year as the anniversary nears, I introduce a new group of people to the little girl who stole my heart, when I didn't think my heart was capable of being stolen.

So first, her tribute video. That took a year before I could even think about creating it. Click me! (but bring tissues) It's ok, go watch the video. The rest of this can wait. Big Grin


Next, my favorite photo Lovey dubby :hearts: (click to embiggen -- I took this about 4 months after she moved in with me)...

Thumb of 2011-08-24/fiwit/4361c8






And finally, some of my words about her.


I never really believed in "heart dogs." Well, not for me, at least. That was for other folks, who were different from me. I was too jaded, too cautious, and had lost too many pets over the years. I knew better than to lose my heart to a dog.

As an added protection, I adopted a senior - a retired brood who was over 10 years old. I knew that I wouldn't lose my heart over a dog that might only have a couple years left to share my life... it wasn't like the bonding you'd get if the hound had been with you for 10 years, or whatever. And she was a brood mama - a very independent, strong-minded lady who wasn't the least bit needy or velcro. Just what I wanted. Two independent women living together.


So I was safe, with my heart safely locked up, secure from canine capers.


That's what I thought, anyway. I had myself pretty convinced, actually.


Then I brought Angie home.


We had 4 1/2 years together, and somewhere in that time-frame, she became entwined all through my heart and my mind. I watched her grow older, and wondered what it would be like when she was gone, and how I would go on.

We went for a wellness exam in early August, and Doc said that if we just looked at her blood work, we'd think she was a 12yr old dog, not almost 15. Three weeks later I left her with Dee as I prepared to go out of town on a business trip.

Angie waited until I was safely away, and then let Doc and Dee know that she was ready to find that rainbow bridge she'd heard so much about.

It's been almost 4 years since she left me, eased to the bridge by her original foster-mom/dog-sitter and my favorite vet. And I still cry over her loss. But like all of us, I go on. I see her face, her traits, in other greys. and I smile, remembering the love I got from an independent brood mama who learned to open her own heart, and taught me to do the same.





Angie came into my life when I went to Dee's house to adopt a black retired broodmama. As Dee was introducing me to the other dogs, she said "This one's Angela." Angie got off her dog-bed and walked over to me. I knelt down, and she looked deep into my eyes. Then she licked my chin, and went back to her dog-bed where she stayed the rest of the time I was there.

I met the dog that I had gone to adopt, and she was wonderful, but she wasn't the one for me. I had already been chosen. Angie chose me when she licked my chin.


Because she chose me,
I have experienced the adaptability of an "old" dog as she learned new tricks.

Because she chose me,
I have learned how much love I can feel for another being.

Because she chose me,
I have experienced the joy of her behavior changing over the years
from aloof to affectionate.

Because she loved me,
she adapted to unstructured routines and routine absences.

Because she loved me,
she accepted the other dogs I brought into our home,
and let them share the space in my heart.

Because I loved her,
there were new beds at Christmas, and no walks longer than her aging legs could handle.

Because I loved her,
there were nights spent on the couch with interruptions every few hours.

Because I loved her,
there were home-cooked meals and special treats, and fewer nights away from home.

Because she loved me,
she stood up for me, balancing on tired legs to show me she was ok
and I could leave on my business trip with a clear conscience.

Because I loved her, I let her go.

My heart is breaking
because I couldn't be there at the end, but it was time to let go,
and I had promised her I would,
because I loved her.

And because I loved her and she loved me,
she will run forever in my heart,
Because she chose me.

-mvy 9/1/07-

Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Plays in the sandbox Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Gulf Coast Tip Photographer The WITWIT Badge
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Native Plants and Wildflowers Birds Plumerias Hummingbirder Dog Lover
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gingin
Sep 11, 2011 8:57 AM CST
Mary...thank you for posting this here. It was because of your post in sandbox that I deceided to do this. Lovey dubby
Each cloud has a silver lineing if only you look for it.
Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
Plays in the sandbox Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Dog Lover Daylilies The WITWIT Badge
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bluebonnets Birds Region: Georgia Composter Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
fiwit
Sep 11, 2011 9:04 AM CST
You're welcome. Smiling I figured it would be rude if I didn't take advantage of the opportunity you presented
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
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flaflwrgrl
Sep 11, 2011 5:19 PM CST
flaflwrgrl said: Crying
Remembering our Pepper who got to 15 1/2. They have so much dignity when they know it's time. Not like us.
Thumb of 2011-08-24/flaflwrgrl/d72cba


I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
Image
flaflwrgrl
Sep 11, 2011 5:21 PM CST
A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it suddenly occurred to him that he was dead.

He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight.

When he was standing before it, he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like mother-of-pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold.

He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side.


When he was close enough, he called out, 'Excuse me, where are we?'

'This is Heaven, sir,' the man answered.

'Wow! Would you happen to have some water?' the man asked.

'Of course, sir. Come right in, and I'll have some ice water brought right up.'

The man gestured, and the gate began to open. 'Can my friend,' gesturing toward his dog, 'come in, too?' the traveler asked.

'I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets.'

The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog.

After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road leading through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.



'Excuse me!' he called to the man. 'Do you have any water?'

'Yeah, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in.'

'How about my friend here?' the traveler gestured to the dog.

'There should be a bowl by the pump,' said the man.

They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old-fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled the water bowl and took a long drink himself, then he gave some to the dog.

When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree. 'What do you call this place?' the traveler asked.

'This is Heaven,' he answered.

'Well, that's confusing,' the traveler said.

'The man down the road said that was Heaven, too.'

'Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's Hell.'

'Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?'

'No, we're just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind.'


I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
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lovemyhouse
Sep 11, 2011 5:45 PM CST
Today is my Russell's 10th birthday. Yesterday, the vet said spinal cancer, nothing we can do. He is happy, healthy in all other respects, and not in pain. The vet and I both think he knows it's close to his time by some of his behaviors. He was "my" first dog. The one I got as a seven week old puppy and didn't have to share with anyone else. The one who slept by my side every night until Willie-dog came. He wasn't jealous, it almost seemed as if he was saying, "Okay, I can relax now and let the new guy share 'while-she's-asleep' duty. I hope I can be strong enough to take him myself to meet the bridge with Dr. Jan when it is time. I hope I can be. And he is such a goofy, gamboling, amiable dog, I know he would understand if it comes down to I cannot. They are so much stronger than we often are and infinitely more forgiving.
Thumb of 2011-09-11/lovemyhouse/0539fd
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
Plays in the sandbox Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Dog Lover Daylilies The WITWIT Badge
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Bluebonnets Birds Region: Georgia Composter Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
fiwit
Sep 11, 2011 5:56 PM CST
Oh, Debra... any chance Dr Jan could come to the house when it's time? And yes, he will understand.

Group hug Crying Group hug
Northwest Georgia Daylily Society
I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
My yard marches to the beat of a bohemian drummer...
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
Image
flaflwrgrl
Sep 11, 2011 6:25 PM CST
I'm crying Debra, for you, for Russell, but would like to say that when Pepper's time came our vet came to the house. I don't think I could have handled it if we had to go to the vets office. It was so much better at home, on her bed, cradled by me even though I was crying. They know & they have resolved themselves to the "it's time for me to go", they only worry about us. I swear Pepper told me she was ready & wanted to go. It came into my brain as if she had spoken the very words. And I said aloud to her, "I understand. Okay. We'll let you go." and she wagged her tail & her eyes told me she was glad I understood & was going to let her go.
When she was gone I left the room & went outside into the back garden while the vet & her assistant took care of things & drove off. I did manage to keep it together just long enough to get outside.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Sep 11, 2011 6:45 PM CST
Dr. Jan might do that for me. She has been Russell's vet from the beginning and he has been one of her most frequent visitors, with the weirdest stuff. Like strep throat. She said had only ever seen that in a dog three times before in her career. And she cares for my other two. She rushed the lab to get bloodwork results to her today and called me this afternoon. Everything else is normal and makes the cancer diagnosis virtually certain. Thank you both. I will ask her tomorrow.
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
Image
flaflwrgrl
Sep 11, 2011 6:48 PM CST
Group hug Group hug Group hug
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Ginger
Fountain, Florida (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Plays in the sandbox Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Gulf Coast Tip Photographer The WITWIT Badge
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Native Plants and Wildflowers Birds Plumerias Hummingbirder Dog Lover
Image
gingin
Sep 12, 2011 11:47 AM CST
Thank you for the new posts...it makes me happy that I deceided to do this so we have a place to remember our fur babies here at ATP Group hug

The vet came to the house for 2 of my kids the others I took. When Rhodie's time came we sent her off in the back of my jeep in the parking lot. Half the staff came out to help her on her journey. We all,including the vet, shared tears and hugs. Crying
Each cloud has a silver lineing if only you look for it.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
Image
flaflwrgrl
Sep 12, 2011 11:50 AM CST
Thank YOU Ginger for providing us this place to remember our fur babies. Lovey dubby
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



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