is dedicated to all the dogs of our lives. Those dogs that have
enriched our lives and that wait for us on the Rainbow Bridge...
this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
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.
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.
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.
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.
you cross Rainbow Bridge together....
Bea 1992 - 2008
At 16 and 1/2 years old Bea met with complications after
slipping and falling on the ice.
of Bea I met my wife and this has had a huge impact on
my life for which I am eternally grateful.In 1997 Bea
earned a TDX (on my birthday of all days) which at that
was the top tracking title available from the AKC and as I understand it only
a small percentage of dogs who earn their TD Title ever go on to earn a TDX.
I can say with much certainty that tracking was Bea's best thing. Bea was also
trained in herding. Bea was able to round up sheep or ducks and pen them fairly
reliably (it was a great love of hers to do). Bea was a regular feature at
our Lenexa offices and everyone who worked there knew her. One of her favorite
things to do was walk or hike. Amazingly at the age of 14 she was still climbing
mountains and I know that her hiking buddies will want to know about this because
the long roads we have traveled together.
Bea will leave a huge hole, but I have very much enjoyed
running with her and have appreciated every day we have
had. Thanks Bea for the awesome journey and the great memories.
My heart is
still in pieces..one huge dog print in the middle of
I so clearly remember the night I found Gem was coming into my life; we were
out fishing, on the Walnut River, when Greg, Gem’s breeder, announced to
the group that I had a female Border Collie pup coming. No, No, I said, I’m
not ready for a new dog; I had too many as it was!
And so, Gem
entered my life, and of course, my heart, my soul.
Bit, her mother, died when the pups were only not quite
two weeks old, of a ruptured lung abscess, caused by
a grass awn; Gem came to me then.
I was introduced
to the world of working stock dogs in a huge way; Gem
turned on to sheep at a mere six months of age, and
I became hooked. Hooked on the breed, the ease of working
sheep with a good dog, and I learned so much. And each
day, became closer and closer to this little waspy,
opinionated dog of mine. I learned I had basically
no clue how to work livestock, although I thought I
did. I learned to read pressure, and I learned the
toughest job of all, to trust my dog. I was privileged
to work with some of the best stock dog handlers in
the Nation, and drug around by my shirt collar to my
correct spot more than once. I learned, sorta, to get
tough with this little opinionated dog, and to make
her do it my way…although, many times, she was
right, and I was, as she thought, wrong.
For over 15 years, this dog and I were seldom separated; she opened my life
to hundreds of friends and causes. We trialed, we won some, we placed some,
we lost a lot, but we had a grand time together! Some of the memories of
various trials bring laughter, some joy, and some tears; but all of them
She was my friend, my workmate, my left leg, and my right arm. My co-pilot
in the truck, and very much the fun police with the rest of the dogs here.
She was, as I was told, very much a hard dog for a first time handler, and
although I considered placing her with someone with more experience, I’ve
never regretted the decision not to. Well, except the “what might have
been”s for her sake…because she had way more talent than I do,
and deserved better. She’s gone now; and buried underneath a baby Cottonwood
tree, that when I planted it, told her she would have to wait to leave me,
until the tree had grown. Gem, as always, was impatient to get to her next
flock, and couldn’t wait
Thanks to Greg, Geanna, Kevin, Bill, Chuck, Kathy, Jack, to all of you who
helped me learn with her. And who will help me in the future, with other
decided to get our first dog together –a Border
collie named McGuffin. After poring over books we were
this dog would
be perfectly trained-and he was the perfect dog. He learned
to help me with the laundry, put my shoes away, get the
paper etc. He existed without a fence as he totally respected
boundaries of our yard even stopping on a dime in mid-chase
of a trespassing dog. He was an incredibly smart dog and
we had many visitors who simply came to meet McGuffin having
heard about him.
Thinking we had discovered the secrets of dog training
we got another Border collie when McGuffin was around seven.
We were very
wrong. Jenny was a very different story. She considered
our obedience training as merely suggestions
to consider and had an interesting form of deafness that
manifested itself only when my voice became too loud or
too firm. She also perfected what I called the “Gandhi
move.” Whenever she deemed passive resistance the
best strategy she would go limp. This coupled with her “deafness” pretty
much completed our training (as opposed to hers) and Jenny
ruled us and all others she met with good humor, joy and
Jenny was not
a typical Border collie. Her reaction to meeting a herd
of goats was to stand in front of them bouncing
up and down waiting for one to throw a ball. When enlisted
to stand at the back of a pen to make the exercise of another
dog practicing driving sheep into a pen more challenging-Jenny
spotted a Ewe with a wound on her nose. Jenny left her
post and began licking the wound. Although this was a bit
of an embarrassment to her breeder it was totally consistent
with Jenny’s chosen life’s work as a therapy
dog and a nurse.
Jenny was also
a bit of a politician and was always most interested
in adding more constituents so she would pay
the most attention to new people and animals being assured
of the loyalty of the old admirers. Jenny often went to
work with me when I worked at a psychiatric day program
serving as our activity therapist and relief psychotherapist.
Her techniques were simple. She would arrive in the first
group in the morning and greet everyone. Then she would
identify who was the least happy person that day. She would
assign herself to that person and would not leave their
side until that person’s mood had improved to her
satisfaction. Usually, her ministrations were welcomed
But some didn’t want to let go of their negative
moods and found her irritating. Jenny was undaunted. She
would cheerfully persist until they relented and “got
happy.” She would take a brief break from her duties
to retrieve the mail bag each morning then it was back
Jenny was also available for private duty work. After I
had had a couple of surgeries Jenny assigned herself to
me and stayed on the bed reluctantly leaving to eat and
go outside until I was well. She would bring me items she
could safely carry like the mail and the paper and then
back to the bottom of the bed.
Jenny herself became very ill one night. I had come downstairs
to check on her as a terrible storm was going on. I had
put her in the laundry room as she had thrown up that evening.
A quick trip to the vet and some antibiotics seemed to
make things better but to be on the safe side I thought
her kennel would be the best option. I found her almost
comatose surrounded by pools of blood.
We raced to
the emergency clinic and her white blood cell count was
astronomical. Antibiotics and IVs were administered
but her prognosis wasn’t good. She had Septicemia.
Infection was raging through her body affecting all of
her organs. But she did make it through night and we transported
her to our regular vet clinic where they kept her through
the day and then back to the emergency clinic at night.
She wouldn’t eat so she began coming home at night
where I would feed her with an eye dropper and watch her
all night. She lost a third of her weight and again almost
died at the vet clinic one night. Finally the crisis passed
but the raging infection had created other problems. She
developed an ulcer and had surgery for that. She also latter
developed huge lumps on the outside of her body which abscessed
and her entire midsection were shaved. Then she seemed
to have neurological problems, staggering and running into
the wall. After much diagnostic work (including a test
done in the “human” hospital”) a liver
shunt was identified. The toxins in her body weren’t
being filtered through her liver but instead were going
to her brain from this blood vessel and she had encephalopathy
of the brain.
Once again she
went to surgery and a metal clamp was put on the vessel
to cause it to slowly shrink. Her chances
of survival once again weren’t good. After three
days in intensive care it was decided she would do better
at home. And she healed sleeping by me at night, accepting
the four shots a day and the special nutrition I hand feed
her. Through out this ordeal her sweet and accepting nature
She became a
favorite at the vet’s office and even
more precious to me. It took close to a year but she healed
and resumed her duties as nurse, therapist and chief morale
officer to anyone who was lucky enough to be part of her
world. And she taught me that expecting the best from people
and the world could result in the best happening. This
was a lesson I sorely needed and always will.
A short two
years latter we lost McGuffin to the infirmities of old
age and I held him as we let him go soon before
his fourteenth birthday. Jenny had let us know the time
had come. She lay beside McGuffin with her paw across his
then walked to me looking earnestly into my eyes. He went
to the vet that day and none of us not even our vet of
many years questioned Jenny’s wisdom.
The man and I could no longer stay together and I agreed
to let Jenny go with him knowing her life would be the
quieter more predictable life that would be the best for
our now 14 year old girl. As a finale act of anger that
seems to accompany too many of these endings he refused
to allow me to see Jenny again.
So I said goodbye to this wonderful girl knowing the space
in my heart for her would never be replaced no matter how
many dogs followed her.
Two years latter I received a kind call from our vet letting
me know that Jenny was gone.
I look back
on my life to this point where 60 isn’t
so far away I think of the people and happenings that have
led me to where I am now and that have helped forge what
I believe and where my path leads, Jenny has played no
And so I say goodbye to her for the second time. I feel
so lucky to have had her in my life.
I feel lucky not only that she was part of my family for
so long but that I had the honor to be the caretaker of
this compassionate, sweet and delightful little Border
collie that brought joy and healing to so many.
When we went
looking for a dog, we didn’t realize
we would find an angel on earth.
Our Danny Bear was a rescued stray. He came to us about
6 years ago. The vet thought he might be around 7 or
8 years old. He was skittish and shy from being abused.
The tip of one ear missing. The tip of his tail was
gone. He had a bee bee behind his right shoulder
was recovering from heart worms and he had arthritis.
He was also going blind. Quite a catch wouldn’t
you say? But he was the most beautiful animal, inside
and out, I had ever known.
He gave us years of love and devotion. We knew he might
not be with us very long but we wanted to give this baby
all the love and attention we could. He slowly came around.
When we first got him, he would only eat off of the ground.
Obviously beaten for eating off of a plate or dish. But
we got him to finally eat out of a bowl on his own place
Our Danny Bear left us on August 24th, 2007. He was so
ill. Having him put out of his misery was the hardest decision
I have ever had to make. But I know it was the right one.
I will meet you at the Rainbow Bridge my friend.
Lucky was a
stray from rural Missouri that was within hours of being
when a Border collie lover, Aaron,
stepped in and saved him. He was a
gentle guy with eyes so solem and sad until he realized
there was hope and love in his life from his new foster
Lucky was diagnosed with Heartworms and had complications
during treatement. He was fortunate to know love and
kindness from his foster family.
One year and 5
months is all I got with this wonderful Border Collie....he
made me laugh and had such a wonderful sense of humor. He
instigator of all things fun and loud. He loved to play.
He was my second "rescue" and gave this household
the surprise of a
lifetime by impregnating Boo (who we thought was spayed).
From that union
came four, gorgeous puppies..two girls and two boys...Sophie,
All but one puppy is in a new home, with Edgar still here
with me. He will
be moving to Overland Park, soon, with my son, Ted. So,
he goes on.
Just as it was to put his front paws around my neck and
give me kisses.
Everyday. My 45 pound lapdog.
I will miss him forever.
and Fynn--Adoption Day! April 2005
Fynn April 2005
In the short time we knew you, you learned to trust, and to love...to visit
our sides for attention, and that your food bowl would once again, have
food in it. That houses were pretty good places to live in, and that computers
were really cool to watch. You discovered what you were bred to do, and
Although our dance together was much to short, I treasure the memories
of it. What might have been, my friend Trace.
She was the light of my life for 13 years. It was not long enough.
She was born on my Dad's 60th birthday. They both had an impact on so
lives...maybe they are together now.
She brightened every life she touched. Her sparkle could light up a dark
room and bring sunshine to a rainy day.
She was the closest thing to perfection I have ever known. I would be
like her, if only I could.
Talon lost a short battle with cancer on Sun. Jan. 12th. Her passing
peaceful and in a manner that she deserved. She did not linger. They
she did not suffer. Alan and I stepped in to see to that. Our hearts
torn in half. There is a chill in the house that announces her
absence. Even with the activity of our other two dogs, the stillness
Rest in peace little Sweetie-Bug. We miss
you. We love you.
Wild Again UDT
Jan. 8, 1990 - Jan 12, 2003