I make sure to drink all my water, not to leave any, as you might tip it over in the night. I roll my pillow into a ball, to leave for a spot for you to lay, when you come in later tonight. In the morning, I reach over to touch you, eager to feel the kisses on my face. Sometimes, if you are feeling sassy, you bite my nose. You follow me around for most of the morning, until it’s hunting time. During our morning walk to the park, you follow us most of the way, talking as you go. I’m not sure what you are saying. Maybe it’s, “wait for me”, or “watch out for those pesky dogs on the way”. You are waiting for us when we return. I pick you up, and carry you on your back, like a baby. For some unknown reason, you love this part. You even reach up with both paws, as if trying to bring my face to yours. You bring your face to mine and kiss my neck…
I’ve been following the same routine for the last 22 days. It’s been 22 days since I lost you. 22 days since you went to the bridge. The kids are very candid about the way the way they remind themselves about you as well. They ask, “where’s Leroy?” and then, “oh yeah, he died.” It’s hard to hear those words, but it is a reality that we must face when we choose to rescue a pet.
Leroy was a 10 year old tabby cat. The grips of multiple diseases followed him for 3 years. We treated him the best we knew how, but we all lost the battle on Aug 26th. It felt unfair that we only got to share him for 10 years. But they were 10 awesome years! Rest in peace, buddy. Leroy 6/05/03-08/26/13
Tonight I found a really great place to find support. It’s called RainbowBridge.com is a virtual memorial home where you can share your story, and place a memorial for your pet. belovedhearts.com is very helpful for all phases of grief. You can learn how to talk to your kids about losing a pet, or how to support someone else going through loss. It has references on how to memorialize your loved one. And even a chat room, to talk to others.
I leave you with this poem that I received from the crematorium when we brought Leroy home.
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….
Massage for my dog? Seems weird. Not anymore. Canine massage is widely used to increase circulation, flexibility, and boost the immune system. According to local dog trainer, Adele Delp, from Helena Montana, you can attend a workshop, or even watch a video to learn how to give your own dog gentle massage. And most dogs really enjoy it.
Benefits of Canine Massage:
- Improves health by increasing blood circulation, lymph circulation, and immune function, while improving tissue metabolism.
- Enhances all systems as a whole. These include the circulatory, lymphatic, respiratory, nervous, digestive, and immune systems.
- Improves sleep. Relieves stress and tension by increasing relaxation and reducing anxiety. Also helps with behavioral issues.
- Helps the body eliminate waste and toxins. Improves skin and coat.
- Relieves muscle spasms. Improves muscle tone, and increases flexibility and range of motion. Prevents the formation of fibrous bands in the muscles. Decreases inflammation and pain in joints.
- Balances body structure.
- Improves athletic performance by increasing speed, jump height and stamina.
- Reduces muscle weakness in times of inactivity, speeds rehabilitation from surgery, illness and mental or physical injury. ( this benefit is particularly important if you have a dog in a wheelchair)
- Prevents and treats injuries due to repetitive motion and sports injuries.
- Prepares dogs physically and mentally for work, including athletic performance, competition, and training.
- Increases acceptance of grooming.
- Increases the bond a dog and their person; builds trust.
The regular act of canine massage is not only a great way for you and your dog to develop a deeper bond, but it also provides an ongoing assessment of your dog’s body. This is a perfect time to make yourself aware of any changes in his or her condition, or recognition of any early symptoms of bodily changes. ( like a lumpy, bumpy mass)
Massage, for most dogs, is safe and effective, but experts do give a few warnings about massaging a dog with certain health complications. These include open wounds, unusual rashes, fractures, jaundice, fever, or serious illness. If there is any question as to whether you should perform massage on your dog, it is probably a good idea to consult with your veterinarian.
Puotinen, CJ; Delp, Adele (2013, September) What Massage Can Do for You and Your Dog! Natural Life News and Directory, 34-35.
“I cannot tell you how much easier you made our lives… now we get to spend that time walking and sniffing and watching rabbits run around. It might sound silly, but it’s a very big deal and I am extremely grateful!”
Hello Sierra and Jason,
As you can see from the attached pictures of Desi, he is happy with his wheelchair. We feel it has really helped to rehab his walking ability. After using it for about 2 ½ weeks, he is starting to walk very well on his own. He gets tired but is soon ready to go again!!! We are really glad we found you folks and the Ruff Rollin’ wheelchair!!
We will keep in touch.
Here is a short article written about one of our latest builds for a LabX named Lucky. Lucky is a 9 year old, front amputee. This is a Front Support Wheelchair, custom built for Lucky. He is currently a resident therapy dog at Blaine Manor in Idaho. He really has brought a lot of joy to the residents at the facility! Check out the link!
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When asked “WHY DO YOU DO WHAT YOU DO?” I say “I GET TO ADD THE SPARKLE BACK!” “If I could have taken a picture of the sparkle in my dog (GSDX) Mindy’s eyes when she realized that those wheels where giving her the freedom to move, run and play ball again, it would have said it all! She had become depressed because of her Degenerative Myelopathy and was not able to chase squirrels or play ball anymore and Ruff Rollin’ changed all that for her. She was sick for 1.5years with DM and she used her wheels [... more]
All of our Rear Support Wheelchairs are convertible into a Full Support Design. The typical case where this might happen is with a progressive disease such as degenerative myelopathy. Degenerative myelopathy of dogs is a slowly progressive, non-inflammatory, and painless, degeneration of the myelin sheath that surrounds the spinal cord. It is most commonly seen in German Shepherds and Welsh Corgis, although is occasionally recognized in other breeds such as Boxers The cause is unknown, although genetic factors are suspected. The early onset usually occurs later than age 5 and usually begins with a slight knuckling over of the rear feet. You [... more]