I was digging through our study this afternoon because I needed to re-purpose a plastic drawer organizer thing into our linen closet because I saw this on Pinterest and have reached a new level with my Type A-ery by doing things like labeling our medicine cabinet and folding Walmart grocery bags, but that is besides the point here. I also came across a stack of old photos – you know, the kind that went onto actual film and you paid like $15.00 to develop in 60 minutes, heyyyyy – and they swooned my heart because they were of beloved pets that have crossed to the Rainbow Bridge. And god forbid I do something that I don’t feel a need to post on the interwebs, I immediately scanned them for sharing!
This is Bo, an amazingly patient, loving, protective, tolerant 100+ lb German Shepherd we rescued from our shelter when he was a few years old. He is one of my “childhood pets”, the ones who make my childhood memories, and one of my first special needs pets. When he turned 9, we thought he was developing hip dysplasia, but several tests later showed he was developing lower body paralysis and wouldn’t be a candidate for hip replacement surgery. He became our first “wheel chair dog” – and is the reason we donate annually to Pets with Disabilities! And I was totally wearing underoos, but I’m like 6 here, so… modesty patch!
This is Hammer, after MC Hammer, and we ended up his family after some neighborhood kids could no longer keep him. Part rottie, part pittie, part lab – all chunk and love. We had more tea parties than I can count, more adventures than I thought possible (including sailing the Pacific on a routine basis wearing a stupid hat?), and ruined more of my dad’s nice shirts playing dress-up than I care to recall. He lived to the ripe ‘ol age of 17 and passed away in his sleep – he deserved nothing less.
This is Michelangelo, our duck. Yes, our duck. He was part of one of those horrible school ideas of having kids raise eggs that hatch (YAY – the miracle of life!) and then the class finds themselves with a bunch of baby ducks no one wants. My mom couldn’t bear the thought of where they might go and thus, we kept ours. He spent his years consistently untying our shoe laces and was quite convinced he was one of the dogs.
This is Ferris and Sean. I say that together because that’s how they worked. Though he had a dog growing up, Sean didn’t really become an “animal person” until he met me and I
drilled it into rubbed off on him. We scoured the shelters of Southern California for his ‘first’ dog. Although I reminded him that many dogs are so excited to be out of their kennels that they take a few minutes to warm up to potential adopters, Sean had decided his first dog would run right to him and want nothing but kisses. On a repeat trip to a shelter in Orange County, we came across Ferris, who we had somehow not seen the day before despite his being there. He was old, he stank, and he had clear tumor growths along his mouth. In fact, he was so ill that the shelter vet had decided he wouldn’t have much longer to live and he wasn’t for adoption. But a volunteer missed that tidbit on his info card and out Ferris came — and like a scene from a cheesy Disney movie, he ran straight into Sean’s arms with sloppy, hideously scented kisses. Sean decided there was no way this little senior citizen would die alone, confused, on a metal table in the back of the shelter and deserved his last days to be spent with a family. After a very long conversation with the staff vet, a lot of begging, a big warning that he was on his way out, and a special waiver – he was Sean’s. He came home that night, hanging his head out of the window, not a care in the world – he was saved and he knew it. And he would have nothing to do with anyone else — Sean was his boy and that’s all he cared. We didn’t have long before his cancer progressed past where it could continue to be treated, and a little over a month after adopting him, Ferris passed in the arms of his final family. He was loved.