This page is dedicated to the many dogs who sadly gave their lives to EPI, and to their owners, who struggled with this horrible disease treating their faithful companions, some with success and some with failure but always with hope. Many of these EPI dogs are extraordinary souls who so deeply touched our lives with a love so strong and with such loyalty that they forever changed our lives. May their legacy never be forgotten.
Hi, Mum.. Dad...
Now that I’ve been across The Rainbow Bridge for a couple weeks, they said I should write a letter home. Sorry, mum, but I’m so busy ‘across the bridge’ that I haven’t thought of home much. They said it’s okay and that you would understand. I hope you do. (I think you will.)
Remember that night when I wasn’t feeling very well and we were all crying? I don’t remember much, but I do remember seeing and hearing all of you and feeling your touches and hugs…I remember hearing “we love you” and that one last command of “Go through”. I didn’t know what you meant, so I turned around and walked through the fog that was in front of me. I saw the biggest bridge I’ve ever seen! And so many friends on the other side of it! They were all playing with toys and balls! You were right to tell me to go there!
My feet kept moving forward, but my heart kept pulling me back. Your touches became lighter and lighter and I wanted to come back and nudge your hands for more love, but I was overcome by this feeling of curiosity for the happy place over the bridge! My feet started moving on their own, like a gentle breeze was moving them forward for me! I can’t explain it, but I had no doubt that it was the right thing to do!
So, I walked across that big, huge bridge by myself! I looked for you, because you’re always by my side, walking with me, but this was different. I didn’t have a collar around my neck or a leash connecting me to you ~ I was ‘free’! Even though you weren’t there with me, I never felt alone! I actually felt like I had a huge cape of love wrapped around my body and the more I walked, the easier it was to breathe! So, I kept walking! And I would feel more warmth in the big hug, so I kept on walking! I eventually made it over the big bridge – I did it by myself, mum!
When I got here, all of my new friends greeted me and helped me walk off the bridge ~ it was so cool! They gave me a pair of wings and said that I was now a Guardian Angel!
What I’ve learned over these past few weeks has been amazing and nothing like I’ve seen before! We’re all the same up here ~ we all have wings and we all have Forever People to watch over ~ that’s YOU, mum!You’re my Forever Person and I’m your Forever Dog! We had such a great life together and I do miss you a LOT, but please know that I am so happy in my new home across The Bridge!
I’ll send you another Earth Angel so you won’t be alone. Give them your whole heart, like you gave it to me. I’ll check in every so often to make sure they treasure your love ~ I always did! When you miss me, think of a rainbow and know I’m on the other side of it, waiting to walk with you again. I’ll always be in your heart. I love you, mum! Time for me to go play
Here i am......see me !!
Rocco, our 12-year-old beloved dog, crossed over the rainbow bridge this week. We are heartbroken, to say the least. Deciding to put Rocco to sleep was one of the hardest decisions my husband and I had to make, but it needed to be done due to his illness. Rocco was a pug full of love and made us happy from the first day he came to live with us. I still remember the day we went to visit the litter to pick out a puppy. Rocco immediately broke away from other puppies and ran to my husband and licked his neck. I wanted a different puppy, but it was love at first sight for my husband. From that moment on Rocco became part of our family and soon stole my heart too. He was sweet, gentle, loving,funny, compassionate, and full of personality. Every kiss my husband and I shared, he had to be a part of and would join in and kiss us both. Rocco always made sure we knew when my son came home late at night by barking up a storm. At first, my son didn't appreciate it, but now it's one of the things he misses most about Rocco. My son thought how to go up and down the stairs. My son loved Rocco like a brother and has already tattooed his name and paw print on his arm. When my grandson, Elijah arrived, Rocco was there to welcome him. Rocco slept in the hallway between my grandson's and our bedroom to help us watch over him. Later, Rocco and Elijah developed a friendship of their own. Rocco was truly a blessing to our family and gave us many years of happiness. He was our heart and soul and truly a member of the family. He was a healthy pug until about 1 1/2 year ago when he developed diabetes and shortly after EPI. The EPI website was a Godsend for us. Managing the EPI became easy with the help of the members, especially,being able to get Diane Enzymes. Managing Rocco's diabetics was a challenge but now he's crossed over and at peace. We are heartbroken and our house is empty but I know Rocco will meet us at Heaven's gate.
Rocco, you will be in our hearts forever....
I lost my devoted, loving Cocker Spaniel, Raisin, 2 months ago on March 24, 2016. She'd suffered from chronic diarrhea for 4 months during which she lost half her body weight. The vet prescribed several medications but none were effective. I switched her diet to Hill's Science turkey, tried several different kibbles, but she was always hungry. The vet said she was starving and needed twice the healthy amount I was feeding her. I spent untold hours on the internet trying to find something to help her. I came across Epi4Dogs and the symptoms seemed in line with what Raisin was enduring. I told the vet about this, but he said she'd need tests which I couldn't afford. In March, the poor dog couldn't control her bowels in the house anymore. What she would eat just came right out of her. When she couldn't even eat anymore, I took her to another vet who told me she was down to 16 lbs (from her normal 32 lbs). He told me treatment would cost many thousands $ which I didn't have. Even then there was no guarantee of recovery. I made the awful decision to have her put to sleep and I've been racked with grief and guilt ever since. Raisin was only 11 years old and had been healthy until this thing hit her. I am 79 years old and had an accident 2 years ago and fractured my right femur. I'd had to depend on dog walkers, (the PAWS organization), to walk Raisin, and I'm still using a walker. I will pass out EPI brochures to the volunteers from PAWS who were so very kind to us and Raisin. I miss her terribly. If my story and handing out EPI brochures can spare just one more dog, then at least her death will not have been in vain.
Raisin, i will forever carry you in my heart,
your loving human companion, John.
Fancy, Forever in my Heart
Christmas Eve, 2015
When I first laid eyes on Fancy in Princeton West Virginia, she was the heaviest dog of her litter and as soon as I held her I fell in love. I took her home back home to Kentucky the following weekend, later she got a severe case of mange and I thought she wasn't going to make it. I treated her and gave her lots a love and persevered, once she got to feeling better we noticed she hopped instead of walking like a normal dog. So I took her to see what was wrong, I found out she had a broken tail but I always thought the hop was unique. When she got 6 months old I took her to get neutered and as soon as I got home the vet called and said he couldn't do the surgery. He thought if he put her under that she wouldn't wake up because she had a heart murmur. Oh but that didn't stop me and her we just adapted to her limits and enjoyed our lives and you couldn't tell anything was wrong with her.
Last December 12/04/14 she started dropping weight really fast and didn't have a lot of energy, so I took her to the vet and they did a fecal and drawee her blood. He said there was a bunch of fatty cells in her stool and it was very loose which is a sign of EPI but we wouldn't know for sure until the blood work comes back. Well the results came back and sure enough she had EPI, he gave me my options and I was devastated because I was 18 and just graduated high school and the way he was talking I was going to be spending hundreds of dollars. I made minimum wage so I was really upset because I wanted to provide the best care for my dog because I loved her to death. Things worked out the vet worked with me and I found a better paying job, so we started treatment and we saw some results but I wasn't happy with it. Then this August she started losing weight again so we amped up her treatment. We saw more results but at the end of November we were at a dead end and I had to make a hard decision to put her down. I was upset because Fancy was my baby, I called to schedule the date but hung up because I couldn't do it. My boss confronted me and said she did hours and hours of research and wanted to try the raw food diet and B12 shots. So I smiled and that gave me hope that we may be able to save her, so I ordered the B12 and started her shots. The December 12, 2015 I did something I didn't think I would do, I went to the butcher with my boss and we crawled into the bins filled with guts pulling out pancreas, stomach and liver. We stunk up to high heaven when we got back and she helped me cut them up and package them. I started feeding it to her and she responded really well with it and we thought she turned the corner. Every day she acted like a puppy and was full of energy, until 24th Christmas Eve, she played all day long nothing was wrong but at 5:00pm I found a bloody substance in the hall and I thought she was just coming in heat. So I cleaned it up and we went outside and she started staring off, I called her name several of times. Still no movement, I called again and she came up on the deck and collapsed. She started breathing heavy and clenching her stomach, so I knew something was up. I panicked and texted my boss Kathy and my friend Robin and my friend and office manager Kerri. Kerri was away from her phone and so was Kathy, but Robin replied and asked me what was happening and I told her everything. She got ahold of Kathy and Kathy got a hold of me and told me to go to the vet in Woodford, I called and they said they would me call me back. I was impatiently waiting, Robin called me and i was fighting back tears and she said "I'm coming to pick you up and we are going to the vet". I sat in the back holding Fancy trying to comfort her, we got to the vet and they said they couldn't treat her because she wasn't a patient there. We come to find out it was a just a misunderstanding and the admitted her. I picked her up and we went to the surgery room and put her on oxygen, she fought the mask a little but so I held it on there for her. The vet got there and immediately started to try to treat her, her blood pressure was already really low and could get and IV in her. He tried many times and just couldn't get it, 7:38 she stopped breathing, he tried CPR and many other things but nothing worked. Before I knew it my rock and my support broke and fell into the ocean, I was empty and fell into a dark hole and cried. Her body laying lifelessly in front of me, Robin comforted me but I was empty and cold. December 24, 7:28pm she passed but she was a strong and wonderful dog, always full of energy and on the go. She loved car rides and eating, she slept in my bed like a normal human being. The reason I told you her whole story is because her story is what made her Fancy, she had a lot against her but she kept going and was always loyal to me and my parents. She will always be in my heart and will always be my baby girl, she was my rock and support and will be missed deeply. Fancy, you will Forever be in my Heart, love Micah
I lost Dancer yesterday. I am less important in the world. I’ve had a lot of dogs I loved with all my heart but there’s something about this German shepherd. I was important to him; to Dancer. He loved me with all he had. He was my protector; no “home invasions’” here. I belonged to him. He would try to read my mind and I think I could read his. He was very intelligent, always did as he was asked, always a gentleman with me, always looking to defend me. Unfortunately his protecting cost me a lot of money. (Please see the humor in this.) Ah, let me explain:
Dancer was named for how he danced when got his dinner and Santa’s Reindeer. He came from a broken home. August 22, 2007 at 8 months I was his third family. I had prayed to have a German Shepherd again. A friend said, “My daughter is on her way, taking her dog to the pound because he knocked over the baby with his tail.” (He was full blown EPI Yellow Diarrhea cow patties then.) My friend told me his daughter’s marriage was in turmoil and addiction. “They did “crack” around the dog.” When I met Dancer he came with me right away. They were surprised. Dancer mourned them for months. Always taking a double look when a baby stroller rolled by.
They neglected to tell me the guy was a “Biter”, a nipper really. He bit everybody: Friends, relatives, strangers. One man who came in the yard even though he was tied up. Once he had to go to dog jail for two weeks “quarantine”; A neighbor said he was innocent that time. When I walked him I attached his leash to a weight lifting belt around my waist and everything was double secured, two leashes, two collars, two locks, two gates. He still landed one on a wonderful lady, made a little tear in her jacket; I begged to pay for her clothes but she would not take any money. She said “I understand I have had dogs like this.” She disappeared when I glanced away. I looked for her. I wanted to make it right. I look for her still, 7 years later. Maybe she was an angel.
I did everything I could. I begged those nipped,”Please don’t call the dog warden, they will put him to sleep.” I passed out hundred dollar bills to the “nippies” and tried to train him with the “Illusion” collar. At a seminar for GSD show dogs the trainer used me as an example to teach him to heal. Afterward she said,” He is stressed from being sick. Look at him and smile every time he looks at you.” I did. He was in love with me. I wished he had the personality of a therapy dog. I had to remind myself he didn’t. He’s is just not that kind of dog, except with me and his dad.
In 2010 my Great Aunt Helen, at 100 years old, asked me to help her. She took care of her daughter who had a stroke in 1991 who has dementia, is incontinent and non-verbal and she took care of her grandson who is mentally handicapped. I had been helping her with groceries, doctors’ appointments, repairing her house and errands for 10 years. She made it clear she wanted me to take over their care after her eyes closed. So I left my house and moved in to care for them. I got chain link fence and fenced in the back yard for Dancer. We loved it. The last few years he did not want to walk much because of fear of fireworks and I feared kids would want to pet him. So we played in the back yard. Surprisingly, Dancer had many friends. “Your friend has come to see you!,” I would say to him. He would be so happy with those he knew. He has been happy and comfortable the last five years. My Aunt Helen died at 104 years Dec 3, 2013. I have been basically running a nursing home since she broke her hip in the summer of 2011. I was here for Dancer, never too far away.
Oh, the EPI journey; He was diagnosed at 10 months. He was down to 56 lbs. and looked like he had been in Dachau. But, once on the enzymes, the guy thrived. He got up to 124 lbs. and I had to start mixing string beans in his food to fill him up and get him to lose a little weight. He guarded the house. He looked after his mother. He was a champ at ball playing. He (yes, the dog) adopted a 4 week old Jack Russel Terrier who had been traveling around the frozen tundra in an old pickup truck, tucked in the jacket of a 19 year old friend of my grandson, who I let stay at my house. (Special Ed kids.) Dancer was so gentle carrying him around by his fleece coat. That would be my other dog “Dasher” 3 ½ years old. They had such a great time playing together and playing ball with me.
Around the time I moved into Helen’s, Dancer was diagnosed with Lupus and had bumps on his nose. (You can see it in his picture). In February, 2014 the vets thought he had cancer, Cutaneous or Reactive Histiocytosis. The biopsy and DNA test on Dancer was inconclusive. However, the bumps near his eye and in his ear and on his legs responded to Doxycycline and Niacinamide vitamin which I used for the lupus. He died of inhalation pneumonia, a megaesophagus and possibly had Myasthenia Gravis. He had been feeling so much better with his B-12 shots and my efforts to treat him for SID/SIBO suggested by my new friends on Epi4 Dogs. I fed him 2% - 3% of his weight in meats as I tried to treat his symptoms of growling stomach and regurgitation. In the end Dancer’s sickness happened so quickly. Just when my attention was on his cat brother with a lens luxation/eye removal surgery on the second day Dancer was sick. He was gone in three days.
I am so very glad to have been honored to be Dancer’s Mother. He was worth every bit of worry and pain, even that pain which I have now, in losing him. I have a hole in my heart. I loved him dearly. He was so good to me. Dancer, Thank You for being my dog. Lord, Thank you for giving him to me.
Thank you, all of you, who helped me with this end of journey. Who helped make his last four weeks great.
So the take away is that the symptoms of SID/SIBO can also be for Megaesophgus, he never did have the stool problems associated with SID. I did ask his vet about the symptoms but somehow he didn’t see what I saw.
God Bless Dancer and all the other sick dogs. And God Bless all the wonderful people who love and care for them. ~Jeanie
Mom and Pop and all the brothers and sisters you were so kind to when they entered our home in bad shape like you had once been in. ~ love you forever, mom Susan
A tribute to Colby
December 31, 2007 – June 29, 2015
All good things must come to an end
And on Monday, June 29, 2015 at 11:45 PM I said goodbye to my very best friend.
The house will seem so still now that my precious sweet boy is gone.
They’ll be no one to wake me up to go outside at dawn.
Your bowls will sit there empty, but I’ll leave them in their place.
No more will those bright little eyes awake me each morning
A friend through and through
How in the world can I live without you?
I’ve cared for you since you were just a tiny pup
You fought a good fight my amazing strong little man
And you never gave up in even your last days you never gave up
I watched you grow and cared for you with everything I had
I cannot imagine life without you by my side.
But now its over and you are truly gone
Somehow I’ll find a way to carry on
In my heart you will always stay
My love for you is forever and I will always remember you as my amazing, strong, precious little man who was and always will be my very best little buddy. ~Linda~
Mollie Bijou one of the brightest stars in the heavens above...
May 18, 2015
Queen Bijou on the couch throne with her baby- -she would growl if anyone tried to take her baby from her!
Mollie also LOVED going for bike-rides, even after i wrecked a couple of times. Luckily with only
a few scrapes, but Mollie was always ready to go for another bike-ride......
Mollie bijou was adopted in 2005 from Houston Humane
Society. She was kicked and had broken legs. We calculated her birthday as September 9, 2014. She learned to stand on he front legs to potty. It was really sad and funny. She got her name at a party. Other dog moms put names in a bowl and I chose Mollie (ie like mom Cherie) and bijou. Later when we traveled with my dad to Canada he added alberta to her name. When she was about 2 she lost all her weight and the tips of her beautiful little ears developed ulcers. It took a couple of months for the vet to diagnose EPI. We wouldn't have made it without all the amazing folks in the forum. These last couple of years we switched to Diane for enzyme. We foster often and it was MBs way of helping the family with expenses ;-)
She started getting bloated the last few months. She hated the B12 shots so I was always trying different things to try to keep some vitamins on board. She was looking jaundice recently and panting all the time. We could feel a mass in her belly. She had been through so much I just couldn't do a full work up. We used some sedation and let he go here in the house with her family and her bear. A brave little girl who always wanted a treat but knew she wasn't allowed to participate. That is such a hard thing when other dogs are in the family.
I know she would want to help another pup with EPI and we appreciate everything we learned from having her in our lives. I'm sure she crossed the bridge in the ever so sassy swagger with her sunglasses on. Bye my love.......
My body is gone but I'm always near.
I'm everything you feel, see or hear.
My spirit is free, but I'll never depart
as long as you keep me alive in your heart.
We will always carry you with us in our hearts, love your mom, Cherie
A a heart-breaking and yet heart-warming video of saying goodbye with love ...
My sweet Ruby Jean died last week, March 2015. It hurts to tell about it. But if feels good to share her story.
We rescued Ruby. My daughter helped me do it. Ruby was a little-bitty-ole thing, and she peed when I first walked up to the cage and looked at her, at the shelter. But she and I, just, made the right connection. She peed every time I walked into the house, for nearly a year. She was so happy to see me, though.
We got along real well. Better than my human family life. As things can go, my daughter’s mother and I found different ways. A family split can be confusing.
Ruby was about six, seven years-old when she began to shrink, physically. It became horrible. Ruby began shrinking. She looked like something you’d see in a bad fundraising commercial for starving African children. It was not a good situation. I spent a substantial amount of money at a veterinarian, and I was told to make preparations for Ruby’s death.
That did not go okay with me.
I searched the internet, as best I could. I found an article, on a scientific study, about endocrine failure in canines. I bought the very brief article for less than three dollars, U.S., and saved my dog. That was about the time Olesia was establishing the site, EPI4dogs.com.
You can believe me or not. Turns out, Ruby and I moved in with my dear, late uncle. He was NASA’s Chief of Medical Operations, Cardiology and Aerospace Medicine during the Apollo and SkyLab missions, and established the NASA medical program for the shuttle business. He was on the way out, when we moved in with him. Ruby provided my uncle great comfort, as he died.
Later, I spent 11 months of my life on chemotherapy, in bed, crippled. Nearly the whole time, this dog stood by my side and stared, caring, for me, like nothing I can so easily put into words, waiting to figure out how she could do for me. She was a remarkable creature. I, just, really couldn’t do enough to try and explain how God smiled on me, providing this gentle animal that was, Ruby-Doo.
My local source for fresh pancreas shut its doors. After seven years of live pancreas, there really was no easy, local source for it. From live, bovine pancreas, I switched her to powdered, porcine enzymes. It just didn’t work. I witnessed her shrink down, again, within about six months. This time she was very old, 12-13-years.
And I lost her. Last week.
The best thing I can tell you is, and I swear it is true, she had been sleeping in the living room. She woke up, came in to me, fell at my feet, and died, within about 120 seconds. It was one of the couple most beautiful things I have ever seen. I got to spend her last few seconds, with her.
A couple years ago, my buddy bought a fancy, high-dollar German Shepherd. About a year in, his dog began to whither, and die. They were going to put it down. I got in the way and suggested the EPI thing might be the dog’s problem, and offered to take it, if they felt there was nothing to do, but put it down. A couple years later, the dog is doing great. They are providing the dog powdered enzymes, and are following the guidance on EPI4dogs.com, and things are going very well.
Rest in peace, Ruby Jean Bergman, kind soul.
A new angel has joined the Rainbow Bridge ~ Bobbie's beautiful Jake
He was my hero, my good strong boy. He was forever happy and ready to play or cuddle. He loved his ball and even after diabetes took his sight he ran after his Holey Roller ball that he heard on the grass. I miss him dearly but I look forward to seeing him again at the bridge.
Warm light coming from far below,
Twinkling, sparkling is the candle's glow.
All is well up on the ridge,
The place we know as Rainbow Bridge.
Furbabies sleeping in heaven's light,
Tended by candles in the night.
Peaceful dreams be theirs to keep,
As they slumber in this night so deep.
Hearts on earth that miss them so,
Take comfort in the candle's glow.
Watching for them in skies above,
Bound eternally by a cord of love.
Mickey, Jack Russell Terrier
Mr. Mickey came in to our lives in August of 1999, a two month old, out- of –control bundle of energy. After a couple of hours with the litter of 9 pups, I had narrowed down my choice between him and another pup, but at the last minute the other pup got in his water bowl and started digging. Well I surely don’t want THAT behavior!
I couldn’t have chosen better. The next 13 plus years were non- stop for him, only slowing down for a surgery now and then, or when he HAD to go to sleep. Even then I had to take the ball out of his mouth. He had so many antics that were his alone When we went to bed if he was not ready he would take his ball up in the loft, pitch it over the edge, run down the stairs and get it. Back up the stairs and repeat the process numerous times. When he felt he was sleepy he would hop on the bed and crash. Mickey loved the element of surprise. He would place his ball outside the door of whatever room you had gone into and shut. Then he would run and hide somewhere, and when you came out and kicked the ball he sprinted out from just the perfect hiding place, grab the ball and off he would go and played by himself. He would bring the ball and drop it at my feet when I was on the couch, then go behind the couch and wait for me to surprise him by throwing it somewhere over the couch into the kitchen. He had great fun!! Until I would have to leave him for a day or two, then he pined and made a problem for John to try to take care of! He was always in a good mood and ready to play with anyone, or by himself. All of our friends referred to Mickey as our Home Entertainment Center.
The only time Mickey was not himself was when I had to leave him for a day or two with John. Then he made sure John knew that no matter what he did, he was not doing it like MOM would. Don’t forget his pills, he would stand in the hall until you followed him into the pill cupboard and stare at it.
He was truly one of a kind, and his loyalty to us, his pack, and his love for life will be missed always. Play hard and rest in peace Mickey. You will be in our hearts and thoughts forever, Jill and John.
... the angels took Cooper home October 18, 2014 ...
My body is gone but I’m always near.
I’m everything you feel, see or hear.
My spirit is free, but I’ll never depart
JEDISMS The Final Chapter – A Memorial to Jed Ch. Fircrest Black Gold v Sunrise January 8, 2005 – September 29, 2014
“Every Once In A While, A Dog Enters Your Life And Changes Your Journey”
On Monday, September 29, 2014, I made the hard decision to put Jed down. To say it was hard is really an understatement. It was a decision that I knew was coming, but I had been trying so hard not to make. Jed finally made it for me. He knew me so well, and I’m sure he knew that I would never be ready to make that final decision, that final act of love as I have heard it called, that we all find ourselves forced into making. So, that morning when he was no longer able to get up and move, with a heavy heart and a heavy sigh I said goodbye to my friend and soul dog.
I am going to miss that spirit of his, that overwhelming desire to live in spite of the obstacles he/we lived with. He was really remarkable that way—dealt with EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency Disease), Perianal Fistulas, Pemphigus, and never doubted or made me doubt, that he would survive (though Pemphigus caused me some genuine concern). Jed handled it all with a calm, determined “this is just another bump in the road” disposition that I marveled at. Even as he became more and more crippled he would get himself outside, attempt to play with Summer and, when he was having a good day, he would attempt to take in a few small adventures. As you know, Jed loved his adventures.
Jed left me and this world in the exact way he lived: with peacefulness and grace. He truly was a special boy. I can’t imagine that I
could ever be so lucky as to own another dog like him. He was gentle and sweet by nature; he didn’t have to be taught to be nice. In public he was a great ambassador for the breed. I was very spoiled by his personality.
I was thinking about just how remarkable Jed was in his battle against these auto-immune diseases. By God’s grace, we managed and were ultimately able to stabilize and/or beat them all into remission. And throughout, he remained a happy, cheerful, and amazingly healthy looking dog.
Our daily routine included many pills and supplements given twice daily and he took each one without problem or hesitation. He waited patiently for the timer on the stove to count down the 60 minutes it took for each meal to incubate in enzymes before he could eat. I have always regretted that I did not take a picture of him watching the clock because he would sit in the kitchen and stare that timer down until the very last second ticked off. Then he would remind me that it was meal time.
To watch him become crippled at age 9 was truly painful because his mind, his person, and his zest for life remained until our last day when I knew that he was utterly exhausted and ready to say goodbye.
The title of this Jedism was borrowed from a friend of mine because it perfectly describes the story of Jed and Leslee—every once in a while, a dog enters your life and changes your journey.
Jed and I first met when he was three months old and was competing against his litter sister, Lexi, and brother, JD, in his first puppy sanction match at Carco Park. I fell in love with that darling and vivacious solid black
German Shepherd Dog puppy. At that time I did not consider purchasing Jed because I already had three German Shepherd Dogs at home.
As time passed, a couple of people in other parts of the country attempted to purchase Jed but for various personal reasons had to back out. Donna Gonzalez, Jed’s co-breeder, then approached me and I remember her saying “you and this dog are meant to be together.” She was right. I drove to Helen Word’s home in Olympia where Jed lived (Helen was Jed’s other co-breeder) and purchased Fircrest Black Gold v Sunrise. The rest is history.
Jed introduced me into the world of conformation showing, which I had always had an interest in. Thanks in great part to Donna Gonzalez, Lorry Bellah and Julie Hamasaki, Jed was trained for showing and went on to achieve his AKC Championship at age 2.
Donna, Lorry and I traveled all over Washington, Oregon and California showing Jed. He loved it and his fan base loved him.
There were moments in this journey that I have always pondered and proudly held on to: When Bill Basu, a professional handler from California, dropped his 6-9 puppy class winner to take Jed back in for Winners, Jed having won the 12-18 class, at his first specialty show in 2006. Bill was willing to handle him saying “I think this dog could actually win this so I’ll take him in for you.” Donna and I looked at each other in sheer amazement! He didn’t win and when Bill brought him back to me his comment was “this dog needs discipline.” When Jerry Guzman, a professional handler, and Karen Taylor, a professional trainer, from California told me “you have a good one,” my chest probably puffed up more
than it should have. When Kent Boyles, a professional handler and trainer from the mid-West, complimented Jed, I was over the moon with pride!
Jed won his first two points at the Enumclaw shows under Judge Kay Raemensnyder in August 2006. He won a 4-point major under Judge Gloria Birch at the German Shepherd Dog Club of Washington State specialty in May 2007, a show many told me not to enter because Ms. Birch would not look at a black dog. I entered anyway and, I believe, he was the first black German Shepherd Dog she had ever awarded Winners Dog. His second major win was a 3-point show under Judge Kathy Casteel back at the Enumclaw shows in August 2007. It was this win that gave Jed his Championship. The next day, his first day out as a Champion, Jed was awarded Best Opposite Sex to the Best of Breed winner.
We always said “Enumclaw loves Jed.”
He placed third in his Futurity class in the Northwest Regional Futurity 2006 under Judge Tedi Ginsberg and fourth in his Maturity class at the 2007 Mid-Pacific Maturity under Judge Joe LaRosa.
Because of his winning personality and stable temperament, Jed was invited by Kay Raemensnyder to be the German Shepherd Dog representative at the Judges Education Association of Washington, an educational conference for all-breed judges. Kay and Jed knew each other from Jed’s days of training with Julie Hamasaki. Kay wanted the judges to see a black German Shepherd Dog and knew that Jed would be able to handle standing for the participating judges to perform their examinations as
they would have to do in a show environment. Then we all went outside so Jed could perform a gaiting demonstration. Of course he won their hearts.
These are just a few of the many compliments and moments in history that Jed allowed me to experience.
Due to Jed’s subsequent health problems we joined several German Shepherd internet health chat groups, nationally and internationally. Jed and I bonded with people and their dogs easily and we had, and continue to have, friends all over the country who are, likewise, mourning the lose of this special dog. I was recently contacted by the creator and owner of the epi4dogs website, Olesia Kennedy, who is a pioneer in the world of EPI research and education. She has asked to honor Jed with a memorial page on that website. He would be so pleased.
Jed awoke in me a creativity for writing that I did not know existed. As a result the monthly article “Jedisms” was created for the Northwest Shepherd News. Jed never ceased providing me, his ghost writer, with stories to share with the world about his life, and at times, our lives.
Thank you, Jed, for the journey! What a journey it was. I enjoyed every minute of it.
So, as Jed was often fond of doing, I will use this, our last movie quote, and say to all of you “we have enjoyed being a part of your lives.”
Leslee and Jed in spirit
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
I would like to say thank-you to Jed’s friend and veterinarian, Joseph Richter, DVM. Dr. Richter became aware of Jed through the German
Shepherd Dog Club of Washington State and our Jedism articles. Before Jed became Dr. Richter’s patient, he had been studying and researching Jed’s EPI and Perianal Fistula conditions, simply because he found Jed fascinating and the research interesting. He would send me information on current studies and treatment ideas for me to suggest and pass on to my then veterinarian, never once attempting to solicit our business. That spoke volumes to me. When I finally grew frustrated with Jed’s treatment we made an appointment with Dr. Richter. Joe calmly and professionally helped Jed and me through many obstacles. He described Jed as a “gentle soul” and told me that Jed was making him a better vet. Jed would reward him with a kiss and a smile.
The staff at VCA Pacific Avenue Animal Hospital are also deserving of a word of praise. They were always kind, helpful and, in particular, made our last appointment a calm and peaceful one. Thank you!
June 12, 2014
I am saddened to say that Holly passed away unexpectedly June 12, 2014. She was 13 years old. She was fine when we first got up, but shortly thereafter, she came to me and acted distressed. I petted and hugged her and she walked away and then came back. Her back end collapsed, then she lost her balance and struggle to get up a bit. On her side, I thought she was having a little seizure, but after petting her for a short time, I realized she was not moving or breathing.
The vet said that he thought it was most likely a stroke. She had done the same thing once before (back end sink, then fall over), but had been just fine afterward. She may have had little strokes before. Although she didn't hear well and could not jump very high, she was otherwise doing well, including running when she wanted to play a little "chase", so we really expected her to live for several more years.
Holly was a great "off leash" dog. We practiced agility in the neighborhood field near the school bus stop and entertained the children. My favorite trick was to ask her a question like "Are you smart? Are you?" She always answered to "Are you?" or "Do you?". :-) She did not care to be pet or snuggle, but she would be your "bed buddy" all day if you were sick in bed or taking a nap. I taught her "speak" to call her hard-of-hearing mom, then taught my younger dog "speak" to call Holly when she got hard-of-hearing. She was always very patient and would let you do anything to her, including removing a tick.
A tribute to Foxy
May 20, 2014
I miss my dog
I miss the jingle of her tags when she scratches her ear.
I miss the clatter of her claws as she walks across my wood floors.
I miss her earthy smell.
I miss her hair on my floors, furniture, and clothes.
I miss having to be careful where I step in the backyard.
I miss her greeting me at the gate when I come home.
I miss preparing her food at 7am and 5 pm.
I miss her big brown eyes watching me eat as if to say “are you going to eat all of that?”
I miss her laying on the floor beside the sofa where I could reach down and touch her. She would raise her head as if to say “you know I was sleeping don’t you”.
I miss her sleeping at the foot of our bed and waking me at 4am.
I miss everything about my Foxy. My house and heart are empty. We had her for seven years and nine months. Not enough time. She was taken so fast, at least that was merciful. We gave her the best we could and she gave it back. Thank you Foxy, RIP.
You will forever be in our hearts, Mary
All dogs may go to heaven ....
...angels gave Grizz his wings May 3, 2014 ...
Our dear Grizz came to us during a difficult time of our lives. While driving by the SPCA it came to me that today was the day to go in and get a new dog. The pull was strong, so in we went.
Grizz was in a pen talking as fast as he could, there was an instant connection with my husband and he said "What about this one? He'll do." So started our life together, and what a good life it was.
Grizz' very first job was to look after the girls camping up the river. When we went to check he came running around the corner, across the bridge with his hackles up. He was on guard! That turned to a toothy grin and that grizzly head shake when he saw it was us. Hence the name. Looking after everyone when Dad was away remained his biggest job.
He was a smart fellow who could almost talk. His dad came home and asked "Where is Mum?" Grizz ran to the answering machine and barked. I had called and left a message. He would point his nose to tell us what it was he wanted, and if we didn't figure it out, he would pull us over to it.
His Dad didn't stand a chance of staying in bed or on the couch if I told Grizz to "get Dad up". All the covers would be on the floor - along with Dad. He would wake us if we slept through the alarm, some one came through the night or if anything was different. Grizz was great at grabbing his dad and pulling him away from things if Grizz thought Dad was going to get into trouble. (cakes, turkeys roast, fresh bread, bugging Mum too much)
His favourite thing to do was go with his dad in the truck, anywhere, even if it was just to the back yard. Once he even got to go to work with Dad.
He loved to go hunting- never barked at the wrong time. Once he even used his nose to push the gun towards his Dad when saw a deer and nothing was happening. Fishing and cutting wood were high on the list as well.
He was always proud of his job feeding the cows, being the gate man and keeping those pesky critters away from the hay and Dad until Dad said it was OK.
Grizz - Grizzabeth -Grizzwald, you helped us heal, you made us laugh, you loved us all and we love you still. We miss you more than I thought possible. The house is quiet without you. Thank-you for being our friend. I am sorry you were hurting. Now the pain is gone, you can run with Sassy again and meet the rest of the crew. Wait for us dear one. We will see you again. Chris.
"My name is Melanie and I live in WV. I currently volunteer to foster dogs out of our high kill shelter until they find homes. Last summer a sweet little dog came to us. The vets in our small town aren't very familiar with EPI and after months of treating for worms, infection the works they realized she had this disease. She had recently been pulled from the pound and just missed euthanasia. She ended up coming down with Parvo and only survived by the dedication of several volunteers who stayed up countless nights giving her fluids. When she came to me she weighted and mere 20 pounds and hardly had the strength the walk. Most of her days were spend on my back porch lying in the sun with barely a tail wag. One day she couldn't even focus with her eyes she had this dead stare and I knew I had to do something. That is when I found the EPI site and through their guidance Abby started to play and flourish. She weighs an amazing 47 pound at this time. I also thought the group would put her down due to the expense of medicine since our only funding comes from hotdog sales and such. Thanks to Olesia and the wonderful group Abby has been blessed with much needed and appreciated enzyme contributions. I know that finding a home for this dog is going to be extremely difficult but you will never know how much your contribution of Donna's remaining enzymes has helped us. I am so sorry for you loss. Donna was such a beautiful dog and to think you were only blessed with her for 2 years is terrible. You gave Donna 2 years than many people would not have! She was very lucky. Thank you for the enzyme contribution, Melanie"
Tribute to Kona
June 13, 2006 - March 14, 2014
From the moment I laid eyes on you, I knew that you were the one, laying there under the air conditioner with the condensation dripping on your head.
When I spoke to you, you would look at me with those big brown eyes and cock your head to the side, knowing exactly what mommy was saying. You had
bilateral knee surgery, fought EPI for 2 years and also had perianal fistulas and pulled through those even though we had our ups and downs. Then you turned
around and went into kidney failure but you my dear boy fought even that as long as you possibly could. Now my sweetie you have no pain and you are running
through the beautiful fields of Heaven. One day my precious boy mommy will be there to join you so please wait for me and when I get there I want to see you cock that pretty little head when mommy arrives at those pearly white gates.
Love you always,
Mommy ( Teresa Vaseleck )
May 8, 2003 - Jan 8, 2014
"... Boo will always love ya "THIS MUCH" ... "
Boo came into my life in July of 2003...she had been born on the 8th day of May...prior to that, her older sister was born on the 8th...although bitsy was truly loved as well, you took it upon yourself to become my little "heart dog"...everyone who met you would fall in love with you unless it was someone you felt you distrusted for whatever reason and would not want them to come anywhere near me...wherever i walked, you walked in my footsteps...i never told you that in truth, i was just following your lead..i'm sure you knew that though....
we had many long happy years together before the bad times in November of 2011 and then for whatever reason, you suddenly became ill whereas before, you were a tower of strength and you were taking a downwards spiral that i was so afraid would surely take your little life, but thru it all, that unwavering glean in your little eyes was never lost...for almost 6 weeks, i watched you fight a battle for which we knew no cause and the vet here still did not have a clue what was taking you down...so, i did the only thing i knew to do and that was to try to find a reason myself...i combed the internet endlessly trying to find an answer, anything to help me understand what was taking you from me ounce by ounce and in a tiny little dog, those ounces mattered beyond belief...you went from a robust 4 lb. baby to 2.3lbs... you truly were just skin and bones..i took pictures of you in your bed where you were still trying to cut up with me and show me that you were not giving up, but i knew time was not on our side.. finally, on a Friday nite, i touched on a website that discussed malabsorption syndrome in dogs and then epi was mentioned...so, i went on to study anything that i could about epi...i had a friend that one of her dogs actually had epi and she had met Susan (buttersmom) thru another epi group as well as the epi4dogs website...it was there that Boo and i found a home and people that genuinely cared and would do anything they could to help get us through it...because of my extreme distrust with the vet here, i then called the vet clinic in Coleman, Texas and was put on the phone with Dr. Needham who would come to help me save your little life...it didn't anger him like it did the vet here that i so much as dared to find my own answers and the rest is history... with your confirmed dx, we then set out to do what it would take to hopefully help you regroup and you did that in amazing speed, actually...Dr. Needham thought at best i might be able to get you back to 3 lbs. but no, you had to prove him wrong and after about 2 months, you were back to 3.6 lbs. and for the longest time, continued to stay at that weight.. there is nothing like having a little 3.6 lb. Chihuahua with an "in your face" attitude to help prove you wrong....you were determined to prove every one wrong...you just had this undeniable attitude that "this was all about boo" and yes, you kept that same attitude for the longest... you were my towering strength through all my own health issues...i often thought you maybe liked seeing me less than 100% as then it would mean more time spent with you...you were already my little shadow and then tried to become my skin...i had never, ever loved any one critter as much as i loved you and am sure, i will never have those same feelings again...so many times in my depression, you would be there to lift me up and that precious personality shown thru each and every one of your pictures that i would take...
your half-sister had to leave us in July of 2012 due to congestive heart failure and my best friend Bettye drove you and i in her van to Dr. Needham's so bitsy would not have to leave this world alone and she didn't want me to be alone doing that...Bettye was one of the people in this world that you loved the most and then we lost her in November of 2012 to stage 4 colon cancer...she had always told me that if she ever had to leave, i would have you there to take care of me...i had only lost my sister the February before that, so it was Mari, Bitsy and then Bettye that i lost all within a 9 month period...still, you were there for me helping me thru some of the hardest losses i had ever had to go through...what a pillar of strength you had been for me and what a heavy weight to have to carry on those tiny shoulders...
perhaps a year ago, you had started having more problems with the epi but once again, we would still be able to get you thru them...i know you hated me when i would have to syringe your water or enzymes to you, but the next day you would be wagging your tail for me and giving me puppy kisses to thank me....Susan had started sending you b12 tablets some time back when she would need to reorder them for butter...and yes, for a time, those helped as well.. then about a year ago, you had started to develop a partially collapsed trachea and we were once again on the road to Dr. Needham's... you didn't want him messing with you that day, so you decided you weren't going to "show" him what you had been doing and i know he must have thought i was nuts...we get back in the car to come home and each day that would pass, the cough and hacking would get worse.... we tried cough meds, allergy meds, just anything that might help you breathe a little easier.. you were always such a tough little girl....whatever got thrown your way, you would fight it!!!!!!! then perhaps 2 1/2 months ago, i noticed an unusual looking place that seemed to have come up over- night on your back left flank...i hoped and prayed it was nothing more than grossly enlarged anal sac and was not even willing to "go there" thinking it could be anything worse.... you had already shown your determination thru so many other things.. so, once again, we were back on the road to Dr. Needham's....as it turned out, it was a very large perineal hernia and yes, they can sometimes happen in older dogs...you were the bravest little girl while he checked out everything on you....you were far braver than i could ever be...we briefly discussed perhaps doing corrective surgery on you, but at 3.4 lbs., that just was not something your little system was going to be able to handle.. over the next few weeks, things seem to run hot then cold and then about 11 days ago, you decided to quit eating altogether...still, i would syringe you your water and enzymes to try to keep your strength up...i could only hope that you didn't hate me altogether...last weekend, i had to finally admit to myself that you were trying so hard to tell me how very tired you were and that i needed to find it in my heart to let you go... your little bladder had become entangled in the hernia and Dr. Needham had already told me that once that happened, it would not be something you could recover from...i made arrangements to take you over to his office on the 8th and my brother went with me as that was clearly something i would not have been able to do myself... the day before, i guess you wanted to give us one last thing to remember you by and in all the years my brother had known and loved you, you would never go lay beside him as you did for a few minutes that day... i guess you wanted us to remember the happier better times... you then came to me for the last time wanting me to pick you up which i did, but your restlessness would not allow you to sleep...i put you back on your blanket and there you stayed.. the next morning, i took you to the one place where i knew i could finally give you the peace and rest that you so deserved...your little eyes would not meet my own because i think you knew how much that would hurt me...even till the end, it was me you were thinking about..i'll never forget that precious face, how you loved me so very much, how you gave me something to live for when things had gone so badly wrong in my own life...if ever there was a little dog that gave someone they loved life, it was surely you Boo...i will love and remember you always..... mom
i want you all to remember this one very important thing....as horrible as epi can be, most times it is not epi that takes our babies from us...it truly can be managed and there is no better place for moral support for both you and your dogs(and cats) than this web site...Olesia has dedicated her life to her little dog Izzy and this very important cause...always believe in yourself and the knowledgeable members of this group to help you through your journey....i sometimes think without Susan, i would have lost it altogether... we all share a common cause...never under estimate the power of love and the sheer determination in your babies to help get themselves through this maze... as tiny as my Boo was, she was an amazing fighter..i have never had a better gift in my whole entire life as i had with Boo and i thank you all for traveling this road with me...thank you... Lynda
On November 20, 2013
...the Angels carried Biscuit home ....
Biscuit had a rough start in life...she came to us from a rescue that knew little about her background, only that she was left at a drop box, in the middle of the night at the county APL. Biscuit was in an extremely neglected state; with most of her fur missing, teeth broken and brown, emaciated, with a distended belly full of worms, and a dirt ring, where a collar should have been. They said she was most likely in a puppy mill for her first 8 years...housed in a crate. We believed them, because she could barely walk, and when she did walk, it was in a hunched over state, like most dogs that live their lives in crates.
But, Biscuit was a fighter...and she LOVED food. In fact, I’d call food “the love of her life.”
With many doctor visits, antibiotics, treatments for this-and-that, lots of food, lots of love and care... Biscuit recovered. She transformed into a very happy, chubby, spoiled little dog.
She lived a happy life with her humans and numerous other furry friends. No mouse hole was left “undug”...and she barked with unadulterated Jack Russell joy at clumps of cold mud or stone dug from these mouse holes. Biscuit never missed a meal or a treat. She sidled up to her humans during her daytime naps and curled up at night on her choice of pillows.
When her little brown and white streaked head started to turn grey, no one really noticed, because she was such a feisty little one. Heart medicine recommended for her “little dog” heart murmur didn’t make a dent in her energetic hustle. And, a few years later when she started to loose weight and itch from skin infections, she just took it all in stride. Thankfully we finally found the proper diagnosis for this new condition, Cushings Disease... and with her new daily Cushing’s pill regime, she was back to being Biscuit. A little slower, with a little more creak in her bones, but back to feisty Biscuit.
Then came the final test in Biscuit’s long life...her pancreas stopped working. Her weight dropped significantly. She had infections and was having accidents, everywhere. We had no idea what was wrong with her until we came across this website. We got EPI confirmation from our vet and placed her on Pancreatic Enzyme replacement. Like most dogs, she didn’t like it, but she loved food more, so we were able to find ways to trick her into taking Pancreatin Powder. Biscuit did well the first year and gained weight. In her second year, she had problems, but with the help of this website, we were able to solve many of them and pull her out of some rough spots, with B12 shots and Tylan. This past year, was really difficult on her. The body is built to live only so long. And with all her ailments, her advanced age, and her arthritis...we all decided it was time to rest.
We were so grateful to have the option to allow her to pass at home. The day Biscuit passed the sun was shining. She ate her favorite meal for lunch (without the yucky pancreatic enzymes). She was comforted, petted and held in everyone’s arms. She was carried for a walk in the back yard, with the sun shining on her, and given a last look at the field where over the years, she dug dozens of furious Jack Russell mouse-hunting holes. And then, spent the rest of the morning, slowly walking her last steps in the kitchen and living room, with her tough-as-nails JR attitude carrying her broken body. 20 years is a good, long life. She will be missed.
Thanks Again For Everything.
The definition of “moxie” is "to face difficulty with spirit and courage.” THAT was my Moxi! I know our pups find us for a reason. I have the assurance of knowing what that reason was. Moxi came to heal our family of our broken hearts after losing our 12 year old yellow lab, Biskit, a few months before.
We were blessed every day by our spastic little furball. Even on her darkest days Moxi’s spirit filled the room. She was never one to plan ahead where she would land when she jumped and constantly fascinated by all things bugs…fluttering, flying, and buzzing.
My poor baby had the deck stacked against her from the beginning. The runt of the litter, she contracted Parvo and survived, suffered through recurrent UTI’s, then EPI and even demodectic mange due to her weakened immune system. At barely one year old it was kidney failure unrelated to EPI that claimed our sweet girl. She fought through all of it with spirit, love, and yes, moxie! I always said she never gave up, so I wouldn’t give up on her, but I couldn’t ask her to fight any more. She was an amazing puppy willing to endure so much to teach us how to love again. Moxi’s journey is done, but our road goes on.
Moxi..you'll always be in my heart, Pat
FAREWELL SWEET RIGA
You came into my life
At such a small young age
You filled my heart with joy,
As I watched you pass each stage,
You had a special place
For each treasure that you found.
I would look for pills and glasses,
In the grass out on the ground.
You knew when time to stop
And not let daddy walk on.
His seizure you could sense
And only moved when it was gone.
You kept me feeling safe
And guarded us like sheep.
No harm would come to grandkids,
At night while they did sleep.
At four o'clock each day
I will look for you for fun.
But who will chase that ball,
Now that my dog is gone.
Sleep well my baby girl.
My heart now cries for you.
Your memory will always be,
In my soul, so alive, so true.
Farewell my sweet Riga!
Love your mom, Lora
Riga's final sunrise.....
I was an almost daily visitor back the first of this year (Jan 2013) when my American Eskimo baby, Dakota at 12 years old, began showing EPI symptoms. After lots of exams & the EPI test at Texas U, he was diagnosed. After lots of wonderful advice from Izzy's mom and other great members & the dedication of our wonderful vet, the amazing Enzyme Diane, lots of meds and dog food changes, Dakota began to turn around. By May 2013 his poop was firm brown down to just 2X a day instead of yellow, runny or cow pie and 4-5 times a day. His food was Taste of the Wild Dry Salmon - it was great for him. His coat was healthy and he was a happy boy. The only treats he got were made from pure salmon. In July of this year he began limping & stumbling and his hind quarters were weaker. Many vet exams and tests & Xrays showed bad arthritis - he could not take Nsaid's (he did in 2012 and after just 2 weeks of taking Carboprofen, it almost killed him - his liver failed but the vet saved him). We tried other meds but he got worse - we even did acupuncture in October of this year but it was too late. He got worse, panted constantly & was living on pain meds. No matter how bad he felt, he made the effort to meet me at the door when I came home from work. But sadly he was usually limping with pain, panted like a steam engine or conked out on pain meds. Sadly, surgery was not an option at $4,000.00. Much to my anguish, we made the decision to send him to the Lord yesterday, Oct. 31. Our dear vet came to the house and his passing was peacefully. His "sister" Chloe "his" cat is heartbroken as well - she will not quit searching for him. This hurts badly but we do whatever we can for our babies. In honor of Dakota’s memory, we are donating Dakota’s remaining enzymes to another EPI dog. I am so thankful for all of you who were such a support during Dakota's awful EPI early days. May the Lord bless you all! The poem below is dedicated to my beloved boy. Many thanks - Cheryl (Eskie Mom) & Dakota
LEND ME A PUP
I will lend to you for awhile a puppy, God said,
For you to love him while he lives
and to mourn for him when he is gone.
Maybe for 12 or 14 years, or maybe for 2 or 3
But will you, till I call him back
take care of him for me?
He’ll bring his charms to gladden you and
(should his stay be brief)
you’ll always have his memories
as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise that he will stay
since all from Earth return,
But there are lessons taught below
I want this pup to learn.
I’ve looked the whole world over
in search of teachers true,
And from the folks that crowd life’s land
I have chosen you.
Now will you give him all your love
Nor think the labor vain,
nor hate me when I come to take
my pup back again?
I have heard them say,
“Dear Lord, Thy Will Be Done,”
For all the joys this pup will bring
the risk of grief you’ll run.
Will you shelter him with tenderness,
Will you love him while you may?
And for the happiness you’ll know
forever grateful stay?
But should I call him back
much sooner than you’ve planned,
please brave the bitter grief that comes
and try to understand.
If, by your love, you’ve managed
my wishes to achieve,
In memory of him that you’ve loved,
cherish every moment with your faithful bundle,
and know he loved you too.
Apollo was the sweetest, most sensitive dog you could ever meet. He had the bad habit of bounding up to strangers, barking loudly. People would widen their eyes and stop in their tracks. Apollo was 108 pounds and a German Shepard ~ who wouldn't be frightened?! However, within a few seconds you would know he was just so excited to meet you! "Hi! I'm Apollo! Who are you? Do you want to be friends? I do! I like you! Do you like me? Do you?"
Apollo was also the most beautiful dog I have ever laid my eyes on. This includes the many dogs I had growing up, as well as the four dogs in my family as an adult. Every person that met him would comment, he was that stunning.
Most important was Apollo's heart. I believe he loved us with same fierceness that we loved him. He was devoted to fault. He faithfully laid by my side at night and followed me around like a shadow. He loved his dad and was always trying to get his attention. He adored his brother, my son Chandler, and loved to roughhouse with him. He loved to snuggle with his sister, my daughter Tatum, who would bestow upon him just as many hugs and kisses as i did! He was adored by my kitties. They were always following him and rubbing his face when he was resting, which he good naturedly tolerated. He had a love/hate relationship with his yorkie sister Grace, but he too, tolerated her snuggling with him...at least for a few minutes.
Goodbye my sweet love. A huge piece of my heart will always belong to you. Although I know I have more work to do here on earth, and possibly even more doggies to love, I cannot wait see you again. To kiss your eyes as I did when I said goodbye, and say "Hello again, baby boy. I missed you so much". Forever your human companion, Tonia
Lewis enjoying life to the fullest......
Lewis.... giving Helen 110% of all of his attention!
Lewis enjoying digging, Digging & DIGGING!
~ Lewis ~
Sadly crossed the Rainbow Bridge
July 30, 2013
The Life of Lewis
From the beginning, Lewis would prance into the room as if to say, “I’m here, I’m lookin’ good”. And he was looking good. He had an air of supreme confidence, yet he was the sweetest, most sensitive and gentle dog. He was the smartest dog I have ever known, which added to his charm and got him into trouble too.
He was also known as Lewie, Lew Lew, and Lew Lew Larue.
I met Lewis’ brother, Guy, at my grandson’s birthday party in 2002. Guy’s humans told me there was one puppy left in the litter, and it was Lewis. Their mom was a Jack Russell short smooth coat, and their dad was a standard Dachshund. All six puppies in the litter looked alike.
He came into my life at a very difficult time, and it was the best thing for me. He is an Idaho guy, and was named after Meriwether Lewis, of Lewis and Clark. The first thing Lewis taught me was that if you are ever going through a bad time, get a puppy. He will give you comfort and unconditional love that you can’t find anywhere else.
He has always loved little children.
Lewis was enthusiastic about everything he did. He played tether ball, he dug trenches, he rolled in dead geese, laid down to cool off in a puddle of horse pee, and was intensely loyal and loving. At the dog park, he delighted in getting big dogs to chase him, then he would zig zag and reverse directions, leaving them scrambling to change directions.
He was a Houdini-level escape artist, scaling a six-foot chain link kennel with ease, and digging under the fence to go play with the dog next door.
When Buddy came into Lewis’ life, they were best friends from the start. Lewis, just a puppy, instinctively knew that Buddy was old and must be treated gently and with respect. When they played mouth-bite, Lewis would just nudge Buddy with the side of his head.
Lewis loved to stretch out and run in wide open places, like the beach and in the snow. It was wonderful to watch his pure joy at those times. He would zig zag and leap for the pure pleasure of doing so.
The cabin was Lewis’ favorite place, and I am glad that he got to spend the last three years of his life there. It was his territory, and he assumed responsibility to keep the area clear of moles, voles, birds, squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, ducks and geese. Twice, he was almost killed by raccoons and had to be rescued. He remained confident in his abilities, even though he had only limited success. His best talent was digging, and he dug with a vengeance, leaving deep holes and trenches. It’s a good thing we live in the forest and don’t have a lawn.
Lewis always loved a good fire, whether it be inside or out. When he wanted a fire in the fireplace, he would stand on the hearth and look at us until we complied with his demand.
The creek was part of his domain. He was not a swimmer, but did wade regularly, and followed up by rolling in the dirt.
He was a dog with no boundaries. He assumed that he could go wherever he pleased, and be welcomed. He regularly jumped onto the dining room table searching for treats, could sometimes open cupboard doors, was adept at breaking into the garbage can, and everybody’s lap was fair game.
He was such a handsome dog, loved to cuddle and we believe that he was Prince of All Dogs in the World. Each evening, he jumped into my lap, leaned against me and tucked his head under my chin.
There will never be another dog like you, Lewis. Thank you for eleven years of joy, laughter, tears, cuddling, comfort, loyalty and companionship. I will love you forever, Helen ........
How do you say goodbye to something that has given you nothing but pure love, loyalty, redeemed your humanness?
How do you say goodbye to that thing that wakes you up each morning and snuggles with you each night?
How do you say goodbye to something that has taught you so much, but asked nothing in return for the knowledge you received?
How do you say goodbye to a friend, family member, partner, protector and one of the most important things in your world?
How do you say goodbye to sloppy kisses, midnight nudges and sappy looks?
How do you say goodbye to love, unconditional from beginning to end?
My goodbye is a warm hug, an unbridled ride in the car, a walk in the woods, an ice cream cone, pizza, a bowl of spaghetti and goldfish.
My goodbye is carrying your memories with me wherever I go.
My goodbye is being everything you wanted and needed me to be.
My goodbye is one last track.
My goodbye is a tear drop falling on your face as I bend to kiss you one last time as you leave this world.
GOOD BYE MY SWEET GIRL, SKYE.
She was my world, my heart, my everything and I will miss her dearly.
Always in my heart, Christa
Skye lost her fight with Lymphoma on Saturday and I had to leave her go. While her EPI had been under control the Lymphoma was just too much. She fought a good fight. I was told that due to her being a working dog (did SAR-mostly tracking) that I needed to give her that final command otherwise she would still continue to fight and I really could not see her suffer. Working dogs will truly die while working.
Saturday morning she had pizza, gold fish, ice cream and food with out enzymes, I had to give her her hearts desire and I figured at this point, what was the harm. I dressed as I would when going out tracking and put her harness on her. As the vet was administering the final meds I held the scent article up to her nose while holding her head in my hand and told her to "check it" and "go find". Her commands when tracking. My mother's scent was on that article and I told my mom when she reaches Heaven, Skye will find her.
So for now Skye is tracking with the angels.
Skye doing what she loved best.... Tracking.
went on her final journey March 2, 2013
Hope crossed over to the rainbow bridge at 10:47am on March 2/13 in Sarasota Florida. She fought as hard as she could. However despite all the efforts of 2 vets at the emergency clinic and their staff, I had to make the hardest decision of my life to end her suffering. Judy, Emilie, Chance and Winnie and I were with her as she went to sleep.They say she had pancreatic cancer and her convulsions were becoming nonstop and even surgery would not save her. It is just coincidence it happened here and that the trip did not affect her outcome.In her life vest. Last Sunday was her last Westie play day. She will be cremated. Her ashes will come back home and be buried in her original wagon that her Uncle Harold rebuilt for her last year.She didn't get to ride in her wagon on the beach and show people here how amazingly fearless and brave hearted a Westie she was. She will never ride on the back of my bicycle again nor swim in the pool but....She is watching over all of us now, my little beloved Hopey.Forever in my heart, Nancy
~ Oliver ~
January 8, 2013
The last few days have been so hard for our family. We have watched Oliver go between bouncing around in the snow like a puppy, to throwing up everything we try to feed him......to brushing him gently last night and finding it hard to brush over the prominent bones left from starvation. He is at the point where he cannot eat.....he is a german shepherd...he is stoic and his entire life has been about keeping us happy. When we have suffered, he has suffered with us. When we have celebrated joy, he has been there with us. He has been our rock and our strength throughout his 10 years of life.
We picked Oliver out when he was 8 weeks. Our daughters were only babies. Oliver was chosen to be a search and rescue dog.....and over two years that he trained, he was amazing. But then our lives changed and his job evolved as our precious young daughters were diagnosed with combined immune deficiency disease. Oliver became a service dog for them. He was a mobility dog so the girls could go to Disneyland....to zoos and museums and he was there for them to lean on so they could be children. Oliver has graced not only the hearts of our family....but everyone he has come in contact with. He is truly and angel. Oliver was featured in the Aquarium of the Pacific magazine after he had a long and beautiful nose to nose interaction for almost 45 minutes with a family of seals. What no one knew was that the seals were dying and left our world the night after the interaction. It was so beautiful and the aquarium moved to have a day dedicated to service dogs and their handlers. We always joked that Oliver was more popular than Micky Mouse at Disneyland. Every time we would stop for a break, a line would form. But the most beautiful interaction I remember with Oliver was with a young boy with Cerebral Palsy. He was only 10, but the two fell in love. In front of a crowd, we stood by as the young man was lifted from his chair and placed on the ground next to Oliver. Everyone was in tears watching as the two shared their hearts and love with eachother. On another occassion,, we watched Oliver with a severely autistic boy who was having a crisis. Oliver lay on the ground next to him and, within minutes, the young boy had come full circle and was calm and quiet as he and Oliver shared time together. We spent much time sharing with people the value of service dogs in disability....whether it be physical or emotional. We taught people how much dogs can do.
Oliver was retired as a service dog two years ago when his health became an issue. But this has not stopped him from sharing his precious spirit with everyone. We are all so sad to be at this moment in his life....one we all knew would come....but we hoped not so soon. There will be such a void in our lives without him. We came to realize this morning that asking him to suffer in order to give us time to accept the inevitable is unfair to him. We realized it is more important for us to remember how beautiful, loving and silly he is today than to remember him suffering on his deathbed....starving.
It is with such a heavy heart that we approach our day today. I pray for strength in all of us, especially our young daughters that have been so in love and connected with our precious Oliver for the past 10 years. The girls have asked that we return to Disneyland and dedicate a street tile to him in honor of all of his beauty and love.
I miss her like you cannot believe. She came into my life at a most crucial time of need. I was experiencing heavy loss and she picked me! She was extraordinarily special - - to a person they recognized her, not as a dog, but as a fellow traveler, an inspiration, the Buddha Dog.
~Kaiya (Ky,Baby,Pretty Girl)~
February 2007-Nov. 5, 2012
Kaiya- From the moment you came into our lives, our lives were never dull. You accompanied us on many outings and we had a summer filled with camping, swimming, and running just before you left. We enjoyed a 5 mile run just 2 days before your passing. The lord decided your suffering needed to be over and he took you peacefully in your sleep. Your 'little brother' Easton was with you in your time of passing and his presence I hope was a comfort to you. There is an empty hole in all of our hearts that cannot be filled. You were everything we needed and more. Thank you for getting me through the last year and half while 'dad' was away. Your constant comfort to me helped me survive a difficult time. We promise to take good care of your 'little brother' and when the time comes and our hearts have mended some we promise to provide a good home for another puppy/dog in need. Kaiya we love you and the memory of you will never die. Run free in heaven girl and wait for us on the other side. Keep a watchful eye on our family as we move through this life without you.
Love, Brock, Stefanie, Aspyn and Easton.
who sadly left us on November 9, 2012
I so miss you little gal, my time with you was the best, I couldn't see you suffer, so I had to let you rest. The sparkle had gone from your eyes, your tail no longer wagged, I loved you so much my sweetheart, I miss you and it makes me feel so sad. But you will always walk with me, and you will always be my fave, I have other dogs, I love them all, but not like I love you babe. xxx 'til we meet again,
Your beloved companion, Ashley
Sadly left us on Nov 4, 201
Sophie was a beautiful & goofy girl who was loved dearly by her big family The Dames as well as her brothers Axel Spot Pongo Tonka and her sister Autumn. Gone way too soon but never forgotten, We all love you Sophie Rest in Piece baby girl. Your suffering is over...Jared
Ilus was diagnosed with EPI at 23 months and lived an active, full life.
Sensitive, intelligent, noble, expressive, stoic, intuitive….and beautiful beyond words.
Ilus was a solid presence whose passing has left a huge void.Forever in our hearts, Krista
....born 19th March 2007 fell asleep forever on 20th March 2012 aged 5yrs old...
...Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you... I loved you so -
'twas Heaven here with you.
~Forever missed by Tricia, Ade, Rhys and Megan Sykes~
~ Pepper ~
July 21, 2000 - March 19, 2012
Pepper was a rotten puppy, comical teenager and wonderful adult. She was intuitive, tolerant, enthusiastic, and my best friend who taught me so much. She was a canine blood donor until her EPI diagnosis in April 2008, then developed diabetes two years later. She lived a long, healthy life with the help of Enzyme Diane and our EPI family. Early this year she became unwell, and I fought for her. When Pepper told me she was too tired to fight, I held her gently in my arms and showed her the way to the Rainbow Bridge. I miss her terribly but have a lifetime of memories to remember my best friend ... Tracey, Pepper's mom
~ you will always be in our hearts, Betty ~
Griffey – Golden Retriever
June 14, 2009 ~ April 4, 2011
I will remember how he used to lick every inch of my face in the morning, hoping that maybe my sweat might magically turn into gravy.
I will remember how he used to eat every morsel of food, or any substance for that matter placed near his nose or mouth in less than 4.6 seconds.
I will remember our dance parties we used to have in my living room, where Griffey gave new meaning to the style ‘running man’
I will miss his puppy hugs and how he used to rest his face on my knee when he needed to go outside.
I will miss his smiling face and his happy go lucky attitude towards any other dog or person he met.
I will miss how you destroyed every new toy or bed or stuffed animal I purchased, only to smile at me when I would find it, to say ‘hey dad! Look what I did!’
I will miss his alarm system barks that warned me of any intruders or just to show me that he had a big dog voice now.
I know he is not suffering any more and that he is making so many new doggy friends along his journey over the bridge. I will always love him, miss him, and cherish is memories, good or bad. So god speed little Griffey, you were only here for a short time and gone way too soon. You were my best friend and always will be.
I will meet you soon.
Love, your best friend and partner in crime, Sean.
Simon "The Boy"
1/11/2002 - 2/1/2011
You never complained, and were
always a fighter. We loved you so
much and cried a million tears for
you. Our prayers are that you are
free of your suffering and are
playing once again with your new
doggie friends in heaven. Oh how
our hearts hurt and we will always
miss you. We love you!
...Bob & Karen...
Megg was one of those once in a lifetime dogs. She came home with us at 8 weeks old. A chubby little freckle faced ball of fluff. We loved her instantly. She had the most beautiful nature, loved everyone, especially kids. She was always happy, funny, & just the most wonderful pet that we could ever have wished for.
She had a very special relationship with her Irish Setter sister Tess. Both were baby puppies together & were inseparable. They did everything together & there was never a crossed word between them, not ever. Tess’s life, as ours, will never be the same without her.
We miss her scrunchy happy smile, her forever wagging tail, her ‘bossy boots’ attitude. We just miss her so much & will love her always.
My beautiful Megg will live in our hearts forever.
Run free beautiful girl. Go chase those birdies.
Your loving Mum & Dad, Lynn & Derek
and your sister, Tess
Aug 2002 ~ September 2010
Beloved EPI rescue dog of Vicki and Simon
Holly we miss you so much!
In my Dreams
In my dreams I see you Bonnie, you are never far away
I hold you close and smell your scent and wish we could stay
Forever together but the night moves so quickly and is nearly done
The misty dawn approaches and is waiting for the sun
So I cup your sweet face and kiss your silken head
My eyes fill with tears and my heavy heart feels like lead
But then I remember and smile as to myself I say
Brush away those tears as another night will follow this day
I kiss you once again and my heart lifts it seems
With the promise we’ll meet again…….. Forever in my dreams
In Memory of Bonnie
"Her paw continues to guide me"
6th September 2007 - 23rd September 2009
31st July 2008 - 23rd August 2010
It was short lived though - soon after she began to lose weight again and stopped responding to any treatment.
Daisy will always be remembered as the happy go lucky pup she was - she will always be loved and will be forever missed.
If it wasn't for the amazing people on this website i don't think we would have had these past few months with Daisy. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for giving me more time with my girl - i couldn't have done it without you all. ~ Mandy
October 2005 ~ July 27, 2010
What can one say about an animal that was so much more than a pet. We adopted Dutch in 2006 and from day one there was an incredible bond that began like no other. Dutch was that one of a kind animal that makes such a long lasting impact on your life. He was so smart you would almost think he could read your mind. So strong in body but so gentle and caring in mind. We often wonder why he was taken from us at such a young age. Why this dreaded disease robbed him of so many years ahead. The heartbreak and grief we suffer will slowly decrease over time but Dutch will forever remain within our hearts. “Dutchy” you have crossed over that “Rainbow Bridge” free to run with no illness and no pain. We miss you so much and wait for that day when we will see you again. Our hearts will no longer ache, the tears will no longer flow, and the joy will be brought back into our lives.
Chuck & Peri
1-29-2001 to 5-25-2010
Zeke came to us almost 4 years ago, full of life and vibrant energy. He brought along with him a considerable bag of charms to steal our hearts away. It is these charms and the memories we created while he was with us that will give us solace in our grief now that he is roaming the grounds at the Rainbow Bridge. Zeke also came to us with a medical condition that led his previous family to surrender him, and when we were asked to bring Zeke into our family, we promised to shelter him with tenderness, love him while he was with us and care for him in the very best way possible. Zeke taught us many things and we learned many more while treating his condition, but the most important thing we learned was to enjoy each day to its fullest as we do not know which will be the last. While the grief at times seems unbearable and we still often get a tear in our eye when we are reminded of him, we do not consider the investment of love that we gave him to be in vain. We will forever treasure the memories of Zeke and the happiness that he brought to our family, and one day the grief will pass and we will be able to rejoice in his antics with all those whose life Zeke had such an impact on. Give your dog a hug and do something special with them today, it will be a memory that will help carry you through the grief that will come when God comes calling and your friend passes to the Rainbow Bridge to wait for you there.
Loved by Mart, Cindy & BJ Ratliff and all those who were ever blessed to know him
5/14/1996 -to- 4/15/2010
December 21, 2001 ~ April 12, 2010
You were a small flower I rescued from a thorny field
I brought you home and planted you in my heart
Here you grew to know what real love was
Though you weren't a perfect flower
Your uniqueness made you special
Your favorite place was on our bed
You liked to lay your head on our pillows
Because you wanted to show us you were like us
You hugged me by rubbing your head into my chest
I hugged you by holding you against me
When it was time to pick mommy up from work you raced
To the end of the yard to see if it was okay to go
Your back leg flying out to the side as you ran
You'd look back at me and if I said okay, you'd scoot under the gate
When I took you for a walk you didn't need a leash
You'd never go far ahead of me
At each curb you'd stop to see if it was okay to go
You needed no training because you loved me
Then your imperfections began to show
And your uniqueness made you even more special
You could no longer hug me, so I hugged you
God wanted to pick his Daisy
I had to let you go
You will always be planted in my heart
~Daisy's Daddy Tony~
For Kelly, in memory of Boomer,
from your friend Debra, and all the members on the EPI FORUM
My friend I know you’re hurting
with sorrow deep and true;
I wish that there was something
I could do for you.
To simply say “I’m sorry”
just doesn’t seem to be
enough to adequately express
my heartfelt sympathy.
Night has fallen on your heart
and cast a shadow long;
Your world is changed forever
you can’t believe dear Boomer is gone.
You lost a family member
who was loved like all the rest;
A loyal, loving companion
who always gave his best.
But time will heal your broken heart
though it may take awhile;
Sweet memories will replace the loss
you’ll think of Boomer Boy and smile.
Roz, you were the sweetest girl with the most gentlest soul.... and you will be forever missed....your brother Bailey, the cat, is so lost without you!
God Speed my girl ...
My girl, Willow. She was my partner, my companion, my friend. I have had five dogs during and since her time on earth and none have come as close to the love and devotion she gave to me. I found it easy to manage her EPI with Pancrezyme even during the time she was actively competing in Obedience, and so I feel we were lucky; even when her poops turned gray and with mucus she was still willing to work as hard as ever. She now lives in the very heart of my heart and I am a better person for it.
Vibrant, Strong, Tender and Sweet
Run free with the wind at your back,
unfold your wings and soar through the heavens.
Forever in my heart,
Maddox was diagnosed with EPI, SIBO, and IBD in August of 2008. He fought a hard fight for such a tiny little guy. He had such a loving, caring personality along with the mischievousness that EPI dogs get into in their search of food. Needless to say, there was never a dull moment in our house. He was such a Mommy's boy, and my constant companion. He wouldn't even let me brush my teeth by myself. His favorite things were doing laundry, going to day care and school with his teacher, Debbie, and eating cookies in the lobby of the PetsHotel in PetSmart. Even in his last days as he sat a week hooked up to an IV in the hospital, he never lost his loving personality and never stopped wagging his tail no matter how weak and critically sick he was. On Good Friday, God took my precious baby boy home. He is missed terribly. He had so much love to give. Goodbye my little sunshine. Mommy loves you forever! Amy
December 16, 2005 ~ April 10, 2009
♥ To Jacko, my heart of heart dog. 2/22/00 to 5/12/09 ♥
Jacko was a kind soul that loved all people and loved his pack. He dealt with EPI all his life and courageously met all of its challenges. We will miss his sensitive face and loving eyes and sweet kisses.
Cinder was named Cinderella when we first adopted her. We were her fifth home due to her EPI because no one thought she was worth the trouble. She was on her last day at a kill shelter when GDS rescue took her in and we found her. My 5 year old son, Samuel, decided that she had found her "happily ever after" home so we should call her Cinderella. Cinder gave more than she ever asked for. She learned to play again and not fear making mistakes or accidents anymore. She learned to wag her tail and enjoy life. She gave so much joy to our family. She was Samuels best friend ...always ready to go down to the "creepy basement" to get a toy ...and Samuel needed protecting from the "scary things" that might be down there. Each night after bed-time I could always find Cinder sleeping beside Samuel on the floor of his bedroom. We had four short years with Cinder but I would do it all again for the love and joy we had in those years with her.
Cinder, you are missed so very much and will forever be in our hearts! With all our love, your mom Helen.
~ Our Beautiful Shadow 3/8/05 - 2/4/09 ~ You were the most gentle, intelligent and sweet natured dog that I have ever known. We miss you so much Shadow and life will never be the same. May God bless you and take care of you until we are all reunited one day. You will never, ever be forgotten .... With love always, your mom Joanna.... and your brother, Tikaani (Tikaani pictured above with Shadow), who is so lost without you...........
Weylin, beloved and treasured companion and friend of Debra C, who is now waiting for her at the Rainbow Bridge, was lovingly released on 12-12-2008. He is sorely missed every passing day....
Sabre, beloved GSD of Deb Zsuccumbed to EPI March 2009. It is with heavy heart that many say "good-bye" to Sabre.... because of his multitude of EPI struggles and shared experiences, so many others were helped. We will always hold a very special place in our hearts for this extra-ordinary gentle soul.
Freyja, a beautiful German Shepherd Dog from Louisiana, born October 16, 2007, diagnosed with EPI one year later in October 2008, sadly passed away the end of 2008. Freyja's owner, Hallie, hopes that this memorial to Freyja will help bring EPI awareness to other GSD owners.
They say memories are golden, well maybe that is true.
I never wanted memories, I only wanted you.
A million times I needed you a million times I cried.
If love alone could have saved you, you never would have died.
In life I loved you dearly, in death I love you still.
In my heart you hold a place, no one could ever fill.
If tears could build a stairway and heartache make a lane,
I’d walk the path to heaven and bring you back again.