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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

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I brought Betsy home on July 15, 2008 to be a companion to Daisy. She was about 10 years old then. We called that date "Betsy's Day" and each year afterward celebrated it as her birthday. She was the most precious little thing and we had such good times together. She loved to go for rides. I remember looking over as I was driving and Betsy was standing up on Daisy looking out the window. Daisy didn't care. Sunday mornings she went with my husband to get a paper. He was sure she knew what day it was because she was always ready to go before he was, leading him to the door. She loved the grandkids and they loved her.
Then just before Christmas 2011 she showed the first signs of canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome - dementia. She would wake in the night and coming running up to me, happy as she could be and ready to get up. She had always been such a good sleeper. After a couple nights of that, I took her in to have my vet check her and he found nothing wrong to explain it. She seemed much the same otherwise. She had arthritis and already was on a med for that but life was still good.
Because of the arthritis, the walks had become shorter but she had still wanted to go. We carried her up and down the garage steps to go out/in. Then at some point she started to became lost or to get stuck in corners in the house so we kept her in 2 rooms unless we went with her. The waking at night became more frequent and she paced, both day and night. Prescriptions and OTC meds to help for sleep had limited success. I had my vet on speed dial. She still ate well but periodically would refuse a food she had been eating so I became creative finding foods she would eat. She wanted nothing to do with dog beds but laid under the kitchen table instead from the first day she was here. As the dementia progressed she stopped doing that. I made a soft bed on the floor in the kitchen for her and she started sleeping there during the day, many times with her pal Daisy beside her. She slept more and more during the day.
She stopped barking, stopped responding to her name, stopped wanting to play or walk, stopped being able to eat her beloved Greenies or the carrots that she loved. She lost everything, ever so gradually. The one thing she remembered to the end was going into the living room in the evening. She would still go over and put her little nose against the gate and wait. In good times she sat with me on the sofa while I read or watched TV. Later she would pace and then lay down on a fluffy blanket on the floor and sleep. The last few weeks that's where she and I slept. I no longer even tried to take her to the big bed. When she slept I slept what I could on the sofa. When she woke I took her out and then she paced until she slept again. 
My long time vet left and I had to depend on a new one, which literally brought me to my knees. Lab work done on her not so very long before she died showed her kidneys, liver, glucose levels still okay. But before the end she started drinking more and more and the newer vet believed her kidneys were failing. She was so weak and thin that we could not go on. She died on February 11, 2013. 
Ronald  Reagan said many years ago after his diagnosis of dementia that it was "the long goodbye". Even though we went through it for more than a year with her and I knew how it would end, my heart is broken. I tried so hard to keep her comfortable and loved her so much. We were blessed to have found her at DDR.  

Brady was an amazing Doxie. He was the first double dapple deaf dachshund we had seen. He was such a puppy when he first came into our home with Gus and Bernie in 2007. He was adopted for many years but returned to us this year as he had developed bladder cancer. We tried so hard to save him, one thing God has taught us in rescue is you can take great care of a lot of dogs but you can't save them all :( Brady so loved his been by the back patio door so he could bask in the sunshine and look outside, when he was feeling better he loved being outside with us. Yet another boy that took a big piece of our hearts. Rest in peace our furry friend.

5/22/92 to 2/23/09 Exactly 15yrs ago today, he came into my life.

I now know that Bruno was my first Rescue Doxie. I had been thru a divorce and Beth had kept the 2 doxies that we had at the time. When my Dad died, I took over his condo that included a small back yard; perfect for a Wiener Dog.

I began to scan the Arizona Repulic Pet Classifed Section and one day the following ad jumped out at me:


I was on the phone in a heartbeat and got directions. After work that evening, I drove 30 miles west of Phoenix to small little desert town. I found the address which was a run down corner house that had a 10ft high wooden fence surrounding the backyard. I found the gate and entered the backyard and stopped dead in my tracks! The yard was crammed full of about 10 to 15 rabbit caged each about 3 ft off the ground; surrounded on top and back and both sides with plywood while the floor and front were made out of heavy duty chicken wire. It was 90 degrees that day and there was no shade for these cages. I had never seen anything like this before!

The back door of the house opened and out came this man at about 5'7" and probably weighing 400 lbs. Shirt open, greasy black hair and a beer in hand. "You here about the dog?" and motioned me to follow him. I realized by this time, that each of 3'x4' cages had 5 or 6 dogs inside. He stopped in front of one of the cages and I could see at the back a dog crouched in the corner; a vacant look in his eyes!

The man opened the cage door, reached in and hauled this poor animal out by his choke chain! As he did this he simply said "His papers say mini but he is really a standard and throws big puppies and no one wants to buy them!" Without even taking a good look at the dog, I grabbed him from the man's arms, threw the $100 on the ground and literally ran for my car. I put Bruno on the passengers seat, directed all the ac vents on him, stopped at a Circle K and bought 6 bottled waters and a cheap bowl, and as I headed back toward the interstate, Bruno was lapping up the water as fast as I could open the bottle.

I drove 90 miles an hour back to Phoenix straight to my Vet! Bruno had fleas, ticks and was about 5 lbs under weight. Over the next 6 weeks, we took care of his physical problems. But, no matter what I tried, I couldn't reach him emotionally. He wanted no interaction of any kind. He would lie in the far corner of any room I was in and watch me! At night, I lifted him up on the bed and he would lie down at the foot in the corner with his back to me!

After 6 months of this, I had just about given up the thoughts of ever having a lap and cuddle buddy. I took comfort in knowing that at least he had good food, clean water, an air conditioned home, regular medical care, walks in the park and car rides. But, the 2 years of neglect coupled with the unspeakable horrors of cruelty and abuse had destroyed his spirit and his ability to trust and love.

Then... one bright sunny morning, I woke up with a 16 lb weight on my chest and nearly choking on the wet sloppy kisses from a long dachsie tongue! Somehow, Bruno had found the emotional energy and courage and had decided maybe he could trust me. He had learned what love was and and that he could trust in that love! From that moment until today, he has never left my side. He was my shadow, my protector and loving companion. He only tolerated any other human in the house. At night he would growl when my partner came to bed! He had assumed the role of protector and if his warning growl didn't work, his next move was to nip.

He,also, was our resident Alpha Dog. When Willie came to live with us, Bruno let him know who was boss! Willie was a dedicated couch potato and didn't want the Alpha job anyway so he crawled up on the couch and ignored Bruno for the next 10 years. Every morning, I would lift Bruno down from the bed and put him outside. When he came in, he would gallop through every room the house loudly announcing to the world that he was once again in charge!

About 4 years ago, I began to notice that when I gave him a treat, he would sometimes nip a finger which got worse over time. About that same time, he would start to run for the door to go potty and wouldn't make it; leaving a trail in his wake. At his next Vet checkup I told our Vet what was going on? Her answer was "Bob, Bruno is going blind"! He can't see the treat so he nips at your fingers. He can't see the door but instinct points him in the general direction ...but is afraid to run too fast and running into something. And, as a senior gent, when he has to go...he has to go right now! At the same visit, during his dental, he lost all but 4 teeth! Up until early 2008, each morning, after "going outside", he still did his morning gallop, growl at Willie and Scooby, eat his breakfast and then a single loud bark was the signal to me that he needed to be lifted onto the couch for the first of his 12 daily naps!

Over this last year, with tears in my eyes, I watched him growing more and more frail. He had become incontinent in his sleep and each morning his bed would be soaked. I learned to cover his bed pad with plastic shopping bags and then slide them into an old pillow case. That way, I didn't have to wash his complete bed 3 or 4 times at day! He began sleeping 23 1/2 hours out of every day. The other half hour he would be awake for meal times. I knew in my heart that we were coming to the end of our Journey together. But, I put off that one final act of love that all animal guardians commit to when the take a Fur-Baby into their lives.

Until this morning, as I took him out of his soaked bed, put him in the sink for a bath so the his skin wouldn't be burned by from his urine. I discovered that he had a "bed sore" hidden under a clump of hair. I called All City and made an appointment to have this sore tended too. As I fed him his breakfast, I watched him struggle to chew his canned food which I had mashed to a pulp. And...suddenly a waive of guilt washed over me as I realized that my Beloved Friend was suffering because of my selfishness! When I got to All City, I showed Dr Heitman his sore. In a gentle voice Dr Heitman asked "And how is he doing otherwise"? Thru tears, I said "It is time to send him to the Bridge". And, 20 minutes later, I held him in my arms and told him what a good boy he was and that I was so sorry I hadn't helped him on his journey last year". And then, without a sound, he began his journey to wait for me at The Bridge". He will be welcomed there by the 14 other Dachsies that have passed thru my life since 1946! He will always be my special one...My First Rescue... My Protector...My devoted and loving Friend. Run and play with all the others, Bruno while you wait for me!

Your Loving Daddy Bob

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