postheadericon A Tribute to Snoop

I came home from judging two full days last night and as usual was greeted by the mob.  My Snoop seemed subdued but he has had some kind infection in his sinus tract and I pinned it on that and the fact that I had just found a growth in his right nostril.  He was also having trouble getting up and moving. He was on meds and had seemed to be responding, but last night after I went to bed exhausted after two days of judging dog shows on concrete with my still recuperating rebuilt foot, I was awakened by his pacing and panting, pacing and panting—sure signs of pain.  His abdomen was rock hard and he cried when I touched it.  So at three a.m. I took him to my vet who came in did an x-ray which showed no suspected bloat and did blood work.  His pain was so bad we knocked him out. It he had a mass on his liver and a gall bladder problem. My vet, my hero always, Dr. Mark Harris of Annehurst Vet Clinic in Westerville, kept him to keep him sedated and out of pain.  He seemed to respond and so I picked him up late afternoon knowing the writing was on the wall, but was hoping for more time with him; as soon as I got him home he told me that he was still really in pain and ready to go. So I called Annehurst and my friend and vet tech came up and we put him to sleep while in my arms.  He knew and I knew that it was time and he knew and I knew that we loved each other.  He was loyal, devoted and always with me.  I am grateful to God that he became really ill at three o’clock this morning and was gone at seven this evening—no lingering and suffering.  He is buried in our grove of trees in the front and I will plant a dogwood tree on his grave.  What I will do without him is beyond me.  Like my Wendy whom I lost last July, his presence is all over this house. I see him beside the bed, in his favorite chair, everywhere.


Snoop was a character in every way.  He could take a Tupperware container off the counter by his teeth by the edge of the bowl, place it gently on the floor, get the top off, and dine.  He could get into the garbage even with child locks on the cabinets.  The day I found Wendy and him with the Thanksgiving turkey on the kitchen floor each pulling on a wing, I chased him out of the kitchen with a frying pan and only his quickness saved his ass. Then there was the day he took my thick, juicy T bone.  Only the thought of my having to go to confession for murder saved his ass again.  The amazing thing is he always knew when he did things to make me crazy as I would not have to say a word, just watch him slinking before I found his latest misdeed like pulling all the paper out of waste baskets. He knew what he was doing and knew he could get away with it.

He came into our life a rescue.  He was a year and a half old and was to stay only a couple of days until I could place him.  Twelve or thirteen years or more later, he was still with me.  I just wish he was mine for longer but he is waiting for me standing by Al, Wendy and all the others at the Rainbow Bridge waiting, just waiting . . .

snoop collage1


postheadericon This and That and Revisiting

I have not been blogging since my life has gotten a bit out of hand.  Since last June I have had seven hospitalizations including three surgeries: back; foot reconstruction (I am now the bionic woman with knees, neck, and foot—all metal); and colon surgery for diverticulitis. I am behind in everything and have not had a lot of motivation or energy.   Today is the third anniversary of my Al’s death; he would have been eighty four.  Time just goes so quickly.  It seems like yesterday we were in the hospital.  I feel so lost without him so much of the time.  He was a good guy. 

I am getting quite a few emails from Cavalier families losing their beloved pets.  I lost my Wendy a year ago this month and miss her terribly.  The loss of a pet is not the loss of a husband or loved one, but still it is a wrenching loss as the pet is often by one’s side physically and I for one miss that continual comfort that was my Wendy.  My others comfort me as they lay on or by me; but no one can replace another.  So because I have gotten so many emails, some from Rattlebridge families with old dogs and some not, I am repeating the sections on grief.

Please click here to read the Grief sections.

postheadericon Buster—More on the Journey of Grief

I often receive notes from the grieving owners of their Rattlebridge Cavalier that passed away.  Dogs simply do not live long enough and leave brokenhearted families behind.  This is a note from a family who just lost their beloved Buster.


” Very sad, but thankful for the  years we shared our lives with Buster. He was a special part of the family and we will miss him so much. As a puppy, he helped keep everyone’s spirits up when we needed it most and mom stayed with us recovering from surgery at the clinic. A few years back, he started barking in the middle of the night and woke us up…and right after, our CO alarms started going off. We got out more quickly and called fire department sooner because of his warning. He may have saved us. He rode all the way to FLA with us and we ran the beaches of Amelia island together. His tail was always wagging, or his little white belly up to be rubbed. He watched over Penny and was ‘her ears’ since she is deaf. He loved the neighbor kids, and enjoyed a visit to Normandy with Penny last year to congratulate the kids for meeting the school AR reading goal. To my sweet little buddy, I had to let everyone know that you were not ‘just a dog’ and this is my tribute to you. I hope I see you again someday, because that would be heaven to me."

postheadericon Across “The New Rainbow Bridge”

As this blog continues to feature grief about losing one’s beloved pet, I came across this heartbreaking and heartwarming "The New Rainbow Bridge."

Across "The New Rainbow Bridge"

Unlike most days at Rainbow Bridge, this day dawned cold and gray, damp as a swamp and as dismal as could be imagined. All of the recent arrivals had no a what to think, as they had never experienced a day like this before. But the animals who had been waiting for their beloved people knew exactly what was going on and started to gather at the pathway leading to The Bridge to watch.

It wasn’t long before an elderly animal came into view, head hung low and tail dragging. The other animals, the ones who had been there for a while, knew what his story was right away, for they had seen this happen far too often.
He approached slowly, obviously in great emotional pain, but with no sign of injury or illness. Unlike all of the other animals waiting at The Bridge, this animal had not been restored to youth and made healthy and vigorous again. As he walked toward The Bridge, he watched all of the other animals watching him. He knew he was out of place here and the sooner he could cross over, the happier he would be.

But, alas, as he approached The Bridge, his way was barred by the appearance of an Angel who apologized, but told him that he would not be able to pass. Only those animals who were with their people could pass over Rainbow Bridge.

With no place else to turn to, the elderly animal turned towards the fields before The Bridge and saw a group of other animals like himself, also rly and infirm. They weren’t playing, but rather simply lying on the green grass, forlornly staring out at the pathway leading to The Bridge. And so, he took his place among them, watching the pathway and waiting.

One of the newest arrivals at The Bridge didn’t understand what he had just witnessed and asked one of the animals that had been there for a while to explain it to him.

You see, that poor animal was a rescue. He was turned in to rescue just as you see him now, an older animal with his fur graying and his eyes clouding. He never made it out of rescue and passed on with only the love of his rescuer to comfort him as he left his earthly existence. Because he had no family to give his love to, he has no one to escort him across The Bridge.

The first animal thought about this for a minute and then asked, "So what will happen now?" As he was about to receive his answer, the clouds suddenly parted and the gloom lifted. Approaching The Bridge could be seen a single person and among the older animals, a whole group was suddenly bathed in a golden glow and they were all young and healthy again, just as they were in he prime of life.

"Watch, and see" said the second animal. A second group of animals from hose waiting came to the pathway and bowed low as the person neared. At each bowed head, the person offered a pat on the head or a scratch behind the ears. The newly restored animals fell into line and followed him towards The Bridge. They all crossed The Bridge together.

"What happened?"

"That was a rescuer." The animals you saw bowing in respect were those who found new homes because of his work. They will cross when their new families arrive. Those you saw restored were those who never found homes. When a rescuer arrives, they are allowed to perform one, final act of rescue. They are allowed to escort those poor animals that they couldn’t place on earth, across The Rainbow Bridge.

"I think I like rescuers," said the first animal.

"So does God," was the reply.

Author unknown but I wish I had written it.


My prayer group has been talking about service; sadly, I do not feel I am serving God nor man right now in my selfishness of keeping my own life going.  In the new year, that is going to change.  I think I might serve best, by adopting an old rescue dog or two to ensure their quality of life at the end.  I know that God loves all his creatures and that He will take care of us in eternity, but easing the way for a few of them would be wonderful for them who have no families so that they would have a family for whom to wait at the Rainbow Bridge..  I took my Snoop in when he was very young until I could place him. Well . . . he is still here twelve years later: tearing up paper, stealing food from the counters including the Thanksgiving turkey a few years ago (not cooked so I washed it off, smoothed his teeth marks, and cooked the damned thing), and practicing his other endearing habits. I keep threatening that he will go to the Rainbow Bridge a little sooner than he might expect, but then he just gives me that look and a kiss and I am a goner as usual. 

If you want to read an outstanding book about how a dying rescued dog changes the life of a family and especially their mother as he finds new life and purpose, please read:
im listening broken ear
I Am Listening With A Broken Ear by Vicky S Kaseorg  I read this book on the way to china; did not sleep, just read it on my trusty Kindle which then in my typical fashion I left on the plane. (Oh, well I have my eBooks on my tablet and iPhone I am happy to say in preparation for my ADD losses—left my good glasses on the plane also).   It is a wonderful spiritual story of redemption both for the protagonist and her rescued dog.  I won’t say more, just Google Amazon and get it for it is very timely in light of the anniversary of our own Redeemer’s humble birth.


I have blogged the following in the past,  but in this series on grief, I thought it appropriate to blog it again.  Meredith


A Dog’s Last Will and Testament—Unselfish to the End     (Author anonymous)

When humans die they prepare a will in order to leave their home and everything they own to all those they love.

If I were able to write I would also make out such a will:

To a poor lonely full of longing stray I would leave my happy home, my food bowl, my cozy bed,

my soft pillow, my toys, and my beloved lap– The gently stroking hand, the loving voice, the place

I had in someone’s heart, and the love which at the end will help me towards a peaceful painless end

while being held in loving arms.

And when I die then please don’t say:

“Never again will I have a dog the loss is much too painful.”

Find yourself a lonely unloved dog and give it my place in your heart.

That is my bequest.  The love I leave behind is all that I have to give.



It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of my beloved “Wendy” who almost made it to 15. Ch. Rattlebridge Dutch Treat ROM—the first wholecolor ROM. She won the National Brood Bitch Class twice and helped retire two lovely Llardo figurines, which I treasure, of Cavaliers with young girls.  The awards do not matter; she was what mattered.  I loved her with all my heart and she loved me equally. Her heart was great but old age indignities got to the point when she needed to rest.  She rallied so often as she truly did not want to leave me to fend for myself as she was always with me to supervise. I was her total slave and she made sure that I knew it. What can I say?  She was my total heart and I cannot believe her diva bark isn’t ringing in my ears or that her ears are not in my face and her head on my neck.  Over the years her ears caught so many of my tears. I had to let her go one week before the second anniversary of Al’s death. Now she can order Al around and the other Rattlebridges at the rainbow bridge.  I always say that if  you cannot face the agony of losing them, you never have the joy of having them.  She was my joy, my heart, and my salvation after Al died. Rest in peace my Wendy.    Meredith


wendy collage 22



The following poignant says it all.  I have given my heart to many dogs to tear and with their passing my heart is truly torn.

"The Power of the Dog"

by Rudyard Kipling

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie --
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find -- it's your own affair --
But . . . you've given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!)
When the spirit hat answered your every mood
Is gone -- wherever it goes -- for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

We've sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we've kept'em, the more do we grieve;

For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as a long --
So why in -- Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?