For the Dude

July 9, 2010

The risk of love is loss,
and the price of loss is grief –
But the pain of grief is only a shadow
when compared with the pain of never risking love.

-Hilary Stanton Zunin

There are so many ways this applies to life. But today it applies in a special way .My dear friend has has had to say goodbye to her beloved shih tzu, a dog that was the sweetest, happiest and most loving creature I have ever known.

Everyone loved the Little Dude. Everyone.

He was a sweet, loving and undemanding lap dog. He loved unconditionally and made an instant heart connection with everyone who crossed his path.

That’s the way it was with the Dude.

When I’d ask Riley “Do you want to visit Little Dude?” he’d run to his carrier, excited and barking. Visiting Dude and Auntie H. was an event!I have many happy memories of Saturday mornings spent on my friend’s patio, drinking coffee and watching Little Dude and Riley tear around the yard.

Dude was given a terminal diagnosis in April of 2009. In fact, it was pretty much “take him home to die.”

But that vet didn’t know my friend.

Dude won the doggie lottery when H. adopted him. No dog could have been more loved by his owner or had better care.

She gave him subcutaneous fluids twice a day and took such good care of him that he lived comfortably and happily 16 months longer than the vet predicted. Quality time.

And then, when it was time, she courageously gave him the gift of a peaceful death.

Our dogs are so much more than “pets.” Like the Scottish shepherd said last month, “you’d have to go a long way to find the kind of friend these dogs are.” The thing about pets is that we know when we meet them that one day, we’re going to say goodbye to them.

And that’s why The Rainbow Bridge has brought such comfort to pet owners for so many years.

And so, for the Dude, and for H, from me and Riley: we know we’ll met again at the 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.

Oh — and Dude? Say hi to Puddin’ and Tyler for us and tell them we miss them. And we’ll miss you. XOXOXO

2 comments on “For the Dude
  1. Carol, thanks for the nice tribute to Little Dude. I feel so bad for my sister Helen and know this must really be tough for her. Vicky and I were always so impressed with Helen’s love and determination to allow him a good quality of life in his later years. When they came to visit it was touching to see all that Helen went through to make him comfortable. Of course, Dude always acted as if nothing was going to interfere with his enjoyment of life – yes, Dude was a real Trooper. When they visited, we worried that my dogs were going to be too much for Dude. Not so! Dude, Tico and Dash will miss you as well!

    “The thing about pets is that we know when we meet them that one day, we’re going to say goodbye to them” is so true. But that endearing relationship is so worth the sense of loss and grief we must eventually face…

    I just hope with time and healing, another lucky little dog gets to experience Helen’s love, care and devotion.

    Thanks again, Carol.

    We’ll miss you Little Dude.

  2. Thanks for this, Robert. Such a special dog! They were perfect together and I am certain that another dog will find a home with H one day. In fact, since she is Riley’s guardian, I am certain he’s thinking seriously about having me knocked off so he can get some of that for himself!

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