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Sad Goodbye to Abbi and Rootbeer – The Rainbow Bridge

Today is completely, utterly sucking for my immediate family.  Today they are saying goodbye to two close friends, Abbi and Rootbeer, their awesome family dogs.

Abbi

About 14 years ago, while my dad was helping to build a plant of some sort, my mom adopted the cutest Old English Sheepdog puppy ever.  Seriously, she looked like a cross between a giant hamster and a raccoon.  My parents, sisters, and I were living in Argentina and this puppy was an absolutely awesome addition to the family.  We didn’t need to know Spanish to talk dog.  :-)  I was around 16, Ambi was about 8, and my youngest sister was about 3.  We all loved this little, furry creature but the baby named her – Abbi.

Abbi

We all helped a little to raise her, but Abbi was obviously mom’s pet.  Mom took care of her the most (as usual with family pets, right?) and Abbi took to mom like a fourth child.  She was a great hunter (sad for many not-fast-enough birds) and a fun playmate.  And she grew fast.  Who knew a tiny puppy can turn into a 70 pound herding dog?  It is a little like magic.

Her weight meant that she took Ambi and me on a ton of walks, lol.  She was always willing to sit on us while we whined too.  The years have gone by but Abbi has always been the same, great dog.  I went off to college in late-2001 when she was still a young upstart, but as all family pet stories seem to go, Abbi got old faster than we humans do.

The larger the dog, the less time she has.  The last year or so has been pretty bad.  Abbi’s hips have given out and she can’t get up on her own anymore.  She has lost most of her bladder control.  She just isn’t herself at all.  So my parents and youngest sister have decided that today she’ll go to the vet and cross the rainbow bridge.

Rootbeer

But today won’t just suck because of Abbi.  About 7 years ago (after I left for college), my younger sister talked my mom into adopting a dog of her own.  They took a trip to the SPCA and Ambi fell in love with a Chow/Chesapeake Bay Retriever, middle-aged pup.  His fur just screamed bubbly to her, so Rootbeer was his new name.  I always thought he loved it – fit him perfectly.

Rootbeer

Rootbeer was Ambi’s best friend and another pet to add to my family’s household, lol.  Ambi went off to college about 4 years ago, but Rootbeer was able to tag along the last year or so.  His joint custody between my parents and youngest sister in the Houston area and Ambi in Austin meant that Rootbeer is loved by all 4 of them.  He and Abbi took a few years to really like each other, but now they are best buddies.  And he was maybe even a better hunter than Abbi…freaking impressive.  The real problem is that he was about Abbi’s age, is a big 75-85 pound pup himself, and he just had less time to spend with them all.

Rootbeer has developed some major tumors that are restricting his airways.  Those tumors have been making it hard for him to eat, swallow, or even walk too far.  Given that and the fact that he is at least 13 or 14 himself, surgery is just not a solid possibility.  So Abbi and Rootbeer will be crossing the rainbow bridge together.  Ambi is taking the day off work to be there.

So yeah, today sucks.  My best wishes are with my family right now.  My own Miss Doxie is 15 years old this year, so I know I will be writing another sad post sometime in the near future.  I truly wish dogs had more time here than 10-18 years.

Heaven will have some pretty awesome company heading their way today.

And in case you were wondering why I keep referring to a rainbow bridge…

Rainbow Bridge

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

Anybody else need to share some sorrow from loss?  Any great pets you want remembered?

 

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11 comments to Sad Goodbye to Abbi and Rootbeer – The Rainbow Bridge

  • So sorry to hear about the family pets. It is always rough because they really are part of the family. Hopefully we don’t have to experience it anytime soon but at least they won’t be suffering anymore.

  • I’m really sorry to hear of your family’s pets…this type of situation is never easy!

  • I am very sorry for your family’s loss. Those of us who love animals know that they are as much a part of the family as the 2-legged members! Incidentally, the Rainbow Bridge poem was a favorite of my cousin (the one whose pets I inherited) and we read it at her funeral… it is a wonderful poem and a good message to take comfort in at times like these.

  • I went through this when we had to put our dog down last year. It is similar to losing a family member.

  • I’m so sorry for you and your family to have to go through this. It’s really rough losing a family member – almost as bad as losing the 2-legged variety. I’ve lost many cats and dogs in my relatively short life, some that claimed my parents, and some that have claimed me. My two cats are getting up in age, and I’m not looking forward to when I’ll have to say goodbye to them – or teaching our daughter to say goodbye.

  • I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Rest assured in knowing that your dogs had happy lives and happy homes. They spent their days on earth in joy. And they won’t have to suffer in their older age.

  • Thank you all for your warm wishes.

    @Denise, your cousin sounds like she was a very sweet lady. Sorry she passed. :-(

  • I had a great cat named Cuddles, and when I was away for a few days, he died. He was 5 years old, and died of a seizure. I miss him, and hopefully i’ll get another cat someday, but in the meanwhile, I have a cat shaped hole in my heart.

  • So sorry about your family’s pets. It’s really sad when a pet passed away , but the great times and the joy they’ve given us will always make us smile, maybe not now, not yet in your case, but in time it will.

  • PW

    A sad day to loose such friends. I lost my last cat at age 19 in Aug. 2012 and still am grieving. This litle guy died in his sleep one night in his baby bed so we didn’t have to make that trip to the vet. But I have with many other pets. I always thank God for the privilege of having them spend time with me and making my life so happy.

  • Not to downplay my relatives, but I actually cry more over the dogs we’ve had to say goodbye to. There is something so wrong, but so right about having to make the decision to send them over the Rainbow Bridge. Sadly, our dog, Ralph, is on borrowed time and we’ll have to decide probably within the next few months. I hope he can get to enjoy one more season of warm weather, but I don’t want to make him suffer if it get’s to that point. So sorry about Abbi and Rootbeer, but at least they will be together.