MEMORIALS- updated March 26, 2018

...  letter from across the Rainbow Bridge



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 !!


~Author Anonymous~

Patron (Aneto del Viejo Paramo) 12/4/2009 – 3/6/2018 


My magnificent Spanish Mastiff Patron went over the Rainbow Bridge earlier this month. This giant dog in both stature and in presence, was such a blessing and a gift to live with. He came to me from Spain. When he reached about three years old, the EPI began. After many false leads and wrong diagnosis, a vet finally found what was wrong with him. With enzyme therapy he came back to his old self, and blossomed. He ruled my pack of livestock guardian dogs here on my small ranch with my sheep and cattle. He was unique, even for the breed, with a wonderful personality. Through social media and the Internet he helped educate people about EPI and served as a beautiful ambassador for not just his breed, but for what can be done to save a dog diagnosed with EPI. He leaves a huge gap here that will never be filled. Rest in peace, big guy, vaya con dios.....

The Angels took our Beloved Ruby Tuesday 

home on Feb 27, 2018

A Memorial To Ruby Tuesday

Beautiful Ruby girl.  You came to us 13 years ago in June because we wanted Max your litter mate to have someone to play with.  You were like bookends, one brain, one loving brain. You are with Max now after he crossed Rainbow Bridge 2 1/2 years ago.   You will no longer need the pancreatic powder, the daily butt wipes as you aged and that doggie diaper at night. When Max and then Baby Kal our rescue passed last April, then you became the Alpha dog to the other two GSD's and the black and tan coon hound.  We were sure to send your red Kong with you to be cremated also.  You never wanted to lie on the bed at night with anyone else that made it there before you.  You were always comfortable and content to be  on your pile of blankets on the floor at the foot of the bed.  You learned like all the others before you to ring the sleigh bells on the door when you needed to go out. You never in almost 13 years never chewed anything, never peed or pooped in the house, never was aggressive to anyone.  You loved your walks and the treats you would get on your walks on the days you thought your aching bones didn't want to go but yet you knew there would be treats along the way.We will miss you forever Ruby Tuesday.  You were so sweet, loving and we know you loved us also.  When your brother Max went before you we saw everyday when you would lie on the couch and just stare out the window with those big brown eyes, we knew you were thinking of him and of Baby Kal.  You were like the three musketeers always playing, guarding and loving the ear rubs and kisses that we gave you.

Run and play in heaven sweet Ruby Girl, run, play, no more pain, no more medicines. We will get those precious licks from you again one day. Good bye Ruby Tuesday and yes we sure are gonna miss you:(

 Love your mom & dad Hill


Sept 24, 1999 - Sept 23, 2017

The joy of my life. She will be loved and in my heart for all of eternity.

Natalie was diagnosed with EPI many many years ago. The vets could not diagnose her illness and she was close to dying. Then when I put in all her symptoms the EPI website came up. I had her tested the next day and confirmed EPI. She was placed on medication and began gaining weight overnight. She went on to live a long healthy and loved life. Thank you for saving my little girl. She lived to be one day short of 18!

Natalie...I will miss your sweet face, cuddles and companionship until we meet again in heaven. You've always been my Angel.. but now you've got your wings! And happy birthday, Love Mommy


Sept 6, 2007 ~ June 21, 2017

Kain was born on September 6, 2007. My recollection of his journey home is tattooed on my heart and in my mind. Asleep in my bed, he did not cry to go out, nor because he missed his mom. For now, I was his mom. Kain took well to my then 3 year old GSD, Angel. She would snarl and snap, but in the end she not only tolerated him, she was quite fond of him.

I often referred to Kain as one of my triplets as he was raised aside of my identical twin daughters, only months separating him and Eva and Mia in age. I thought my world was turned upside down when Kain was diagnosed with EPI. Kain was trained as a puppy, in basic training and Good Citizenship tested. He enjoyed agility and was a blood donor dog for Valley Central Animal Hospital. Kain and I worked together to create the PA/NJ EPI Dog Event which I was fortunate enough to have for 2 years at the Bethlehem Dog Park in Bethlehem PA. We obtained sponsorship from well know companies like Kong, Newman’s Own Organics, K9 Enzymes, Taste of the Wild, Honest Kitchen and many others. Hand feeding Kain became the norm and eventually Kain developed an eating disorder and was forced fed. I know that many others suffer with the same issue with their EPI dogs, so Kain and I decided to make an informational video to assist other families who suffer with the same. Not every dog will eat on their own. Sometimes teasers simply do not work. So when eggs or parmesan cheese fails you, you still have hope! If I could have force fed my boy for ten more years despite the time it consumed, I would still be doing it today. I always thought Kain’s journey in life would end when he decided to not accept the food at all. That simply was not the case. In March of 2016 we lost our 11 ½ year old German Shepherd Angel. Our hearts were aching and in May we brought home our new German Shepherd Karma. Karma filled the void Angel left for Kain. She gave him life again. 

One day on a long walk last May, I noticed Kain’s paw pads were raw and bleeding.  His nails were worn.  I dismissed it as too long of a walk on too hot of a day.  Once his paws were back to normal he attempted another walk and yielded the same results.  I started noticing some dragging in the rear legs and a ten pound loss of weight.  He was losing muscle mass rapidly.  I knew it was Degenerative Myelopathy and I knew it was a matter of time until my boy would no longer walk.  In January Kain got his cart also known as a doggie wheelchair.  With the snowy Pennsylvania weather it would be some time until I could get him out in it.  The first day in his cart was AWESOME!  Kain was like a puppy again and was pulling me at a fast pace.  As weeks went by I noticed he would slip on the hard wood floor but had traction on the carpet.  Stairs were off limits so we slept together on the first floor.  When I left for work Kain and Karma stayed in my office and typically Kain was found on the couch when I walked in.  He started to have trouble getting up on the couch and his rear legs looked pigeon toed and crossed over one another as he walked.  He loved to play with Karma, he was still alpha to her.  It pains me to type this as I think back to remember Kain’s final weeks.  As days turned into weeks, Kain slowly could not walk.  I put him in “hospice care” in my home.  No stranger to tweaking things or making things easier for those who are suffering, I applied the same logic to caring for Kain as I did for my own parents before they passed.  I fenced off a greater part of my fenced in yard not allowing Karma or Kain to have access to a large part of the yard.  They exited to the yard via the garage floor which was painted and was easy for Kain to “slide” on.  With assistance he managed to get in and out of his back yard with ease.  

I knew that Kain would tell me when it was time, and he did.  When my boy was barely able to take a step and was forced to drag his body to move, he and I both knew it was time. I attempted to make his last summer was his best summer filled with assisted walks, pool parties and on his last day he ate his “normal” meal followed by an untreated steak, bone and all. A piece of my heart will always be empty.  I’ve learned that every dog holds a special place in your heart. Kain will never be forgotten.   

                                                                                         Forever in our Hearts, Nicole, Eva & Mia

Darcy (aka Farfel)

1/23/2004 ~ 7/19/2017

 This dog. I fell in love with Darcy (aka Farfel) from the moment I saw his sad eyes looking out from that giant kennel, bright pink skin from allergy and infection, neglected by his owner for reasons I cannot fathom. Darcy was a once in a lifetime dog. I was his person and he made sure that I knew it. He made me laugh most every day in the 9 years I got to have him. He was a troublemaker - he liked to hump the other dogs, start scuffles, engage them in mischief, always getting into something -, but was equally as sweet.

His watery eyes, crazy fur from the allergies he suffered, sway back and flipper feet only made him cuter, only made me love him more. He had the most joyful soul of any dog I’ve ever known. He sang, not because of sirens in the distance, but from the sheer pleasure of it. A regular serenade that I’m sure made the neighbors wonder. He was always wherever I was, staring at me until I would notice, and then swirling his tail as if to say, ‘just making sure you’re ok’. 

I have thought many times of the email I received from KC Sheltie Rescue titled, “the saddest dog I’ve ever seen” with photos of Darcy, sick, sad, struggling, and in need of a foster. Who would have guessed looking at those photos that he was really the happiest boy and full of joy for life?

What else can I say about a dog whose entire life was spent trying to make mine more joyful? I’m not quite sure I will ever stop missing him. I can’t imagine it right now.

Farfel, you were the gift of joy and happiness that I didn’t always deserve. How I wish I could have fixed you. Rest now, sweet little man. 


    You will forever be in my broken heart.  

            Your loving mom, Mary Ann


Feb 15 2015-June 11 2017

We rescued Khaleesi at the age of 1. She was diagnosed with EPI 3 months after we got her. 6 months ago, she had a bout of HGE, and we almost lost her. Unfortunately, it happened again, and she was not able to overcome it this time. Khaleesi was a part of the EPI Metabolic Research Study conducted by Dr Parick Barko at the University of Illinois. She was only on this earth for a short 2 years, but she left her mark, not only in our hearts, but in the world of EPI. Her contributions will hopefully shed some light into the diagnosis and treatment of EPI for others that follow in her footsteps. Khaleesi had so much love to give, she absolutely loved to be loved and love right back. I have never met such a loving and snuggly dog. We gave her the best life while she was on this earth, and she filled our hearts with her sweetness. It is not fair that she had to endure all that she did, but we pray that she has brought awareness and helped others. Khaleesi was our world changer and we will really miss her.    

                                                                Forever in our hearts,

                                                                      Shannon & famly



23 January 2008 - 10 June 2017

I first met the boy who would later be called Kobe, when he was only one day old. I got to watch him eat, sleep and play with all his siblings and referred to him as the "boygirl" because my oh my, was he affectionate. He always wanted to be held, rocked to sleep like a baby with his piercing green eyes and silver colours, it was impossible to not fall in love with him. When the day came to welcome him to his new home, he met the love of his life, Brandi. She was 5 when they fell in love. Being a staffy herself she was affectionate towards him, unless it involved food. She instinctively wanted to protect him, even when he was big enough that she would stand under his belly. They would play, sleep, lick each other and get up to all types of mischief together throughout the years. Nicknamed Bonnie & Klyde as it seemed they would suddenly grow hands, open doors, cupboards, furniture.. you name it. If he was up on the couch with you and if he wasn't already laying on you, he had to be touching your hand, leg, anything. That's also the reason he was called Kobe the cat, the affection he showed was unwavering, combined with his majestic ears.

In October 2009 things changed, although he was still doing the things that he would always do, he started having constant diarrhea, up to 6 or 7 times a day. What went in, went out, rapidly. After multiple vet visits, I was googling Kobe's symptoms and came across the life changing website and forum, epi4dogs. From the moment he was diagnosed with EPI, I would spend countless hours on the forum, talking to the many other owners that had experience with it first hand. Being in Perth, Australia, I would stay up until 4 or 5am. It was one of the most daunting experiences I had yet to encounter in my life. My vet didn't seem to have much knowledge so I was relying solely on people at the time such as Olesia, Ann, Lynn for their guidance and recommendations on what to do. It took 6 months for Kobe to get stable, throughout that time we tried 4 different antibiotics, B12 therapy and changed his food. I knew first hand that there were others that had conquered the EPI diagnosis and I did everything to be one of those. Even when my vet at the time said I should start to think on what's right for Kobe, also known as, he isn't responding you should think about letting him pass. Nope. Nothing is going to stop me, I knew there was a way to get him stable I just needed to find the right balance. And I eventually did and I also changed vet clinics. 

From there he remained on B12 injections, Creon of course and his diet. Before Kobe started having these symptoms he was a solid 40kgs, which dropped to just over 33kgs. It took time for him to regain the weight that he had lost. For 7 years I would come home from work every day to feed him lunch. 

Kobe lived with EPI for almost 8 years. There were hiccups along the way, SIBO which we would battle with Tylan every 12-18 months or so, but we had a grip on it. The daunting days were behind us, we knew what to do and when to do it. We also knew that we had epi4dogs to turn towards for comfort, confidence and guidance. And when we needed them like a bell, the epi4dogs angels were there.

As May 2017 came around, something changed. Although Kobe wasn't having frequent episodes, the quality had deteriorated. After 2 weeks of weekly B12 and Tylan, there was no change. We went to the vet on 16 May and she recommended increasing Creon as all results were normal. I tried this for a week and went back to the vet on 24 May. Something is not right, and although it may look like a symptom of EPI, I know it's not. The following day Kobe had an abdominal ultrasound which didn't show too much, apart from water in his belly as he had begun to drink more which I had also noted to the vet and slightly enlarged adrenal glands. Following the ultrasound he started vomiting. For a boy that vomited about 5 times in his life, once again I knew something was not right. On 26 May I took him back to the vet for LDDST tests to test for Cushing's disease. He was still unwell and they kept him on fluids that afternoon. The following morning he was very, very low and did not want to eat. I took him back to the vet and his white blood cell count was very high. They were also going to do further analysis on the WBC to determine which was the contributing cause. By the early evening that same day I took him to emergency and he was in shock, so was admitted and remained there until Monday morning when I could meet with the internal medicine specialist. He was of the opinion that based on what had been happening, it was a case of gastroenteritis. Kobe came home with various medications for the nausea and we kept at it for a few days. 

Within 3 days, he was vomiting, passing stools without knowing and wouldn't eat again. I took him back to emergency. Another ultrasound that day showed various, significant changes in his abdomen, including disease and severe ulceration, to the point where perforation was highly possible. The sudden changes in an ultrasound in 1 week took everyone by complete shock. Our plan from there was for an endoscopy and further ultrasound to be done, following the long weekend as a scope at that time would be high risk. During that time I decided that hospital was the best place for Kobe, for him to remain hydrated and under careful observation given the state of his insides. On 6 June a repeat ultrasound was done which showed a vascular mass on Kobe's pancreas. In less than 2 weeks, something was there that wasn't there before. A CT scan was done which showed the size and impact of the mass. Removing it would result in death, biopsy of the tissue and surrounding tissue would likely result in death. And there would be nothing to gain for it, as what they believe it was, Gastrinoma, could not be treated. Although it wasn't 100% confirmed, based on Kobe's clinical symptoms and the aggressive, sudden, severe intestinal disease and ulceration, it was highly probable to be the answer. 

Kobe came home that night and he was as full of life as ever, chasing his ball, playing, eating, sparkling eyes and of course his gorgeous happy face. The only treatment I could provide to him was anti nausea medications and a gut protectant, which was merely treating the side effects of the tumour temporarily. No cure, no hope.

Kobe lived his last days doing what he loved the most, being surrounded by those that he loved and loved him unconditionally. I decided he had been through enough in those 2 weeks alone and wanted to spare him from any further pain that would be coming to him. I didn't know what it was like for him to eat, did it hurt, was it uncomfortable, does it burn, why does he drink straight after he eats, is that because he feels something on the inside? No one knew the answers, but presumably as he was eating and clinically stable, that meant he was doing okay. His stoic nature made that impossible to know as he had to get very, very low to the point of being in shock, to show me he wasn't okay. And I couldn't do that to him again. 

Kobe, my Superman, passed to the rainbow bridge on Saturday, 10 June 2017 in the comfort of his own home, wrapped in my arms on his favourite blanket with his favourite toy. My heart stopped with his.

Please always remember that EPI is not a death sentence. Kobe as well as many other fur kids on epi4dogs are living proof of that. We feel the strain on your heart, the worry, the uncertainty, the dark days. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. Our babies with EPI can have a normal, happy, love fulfilled life like any other. We devote our lives to them and they rely on us as owners that no sickness, illness or diagnosis will ever change that. There is proper, manageable treatment available for EPI with the use of enzymes, antibiotics and B12 therapy and I would do it all again, one hundred millions times over and would encourage anyone and everyone else to do the same. I learnt from him what unconditional love is. What it does, what it means, how it makes you into the person that you are. 

Run free my love, we miss you with our every heartbeat. Sam and Brandi.

Onza 2005 - 2017

We lost our beloved Onza, a Kirschental line of German Shepherd Dogs, on March 31 due to complications from cancer which was diagnosed 6 weeks prior. Onza was always a very happy dog. She was stoic, strong-willed and so determined to live. She did many things in spite of EPI, double hip dysplasia, elbow surgery, autoimmune disease and bloat with volvulous last summer.

Onza was diagnosed with EPI at 4 years old and we were devastated to realize our young GSD could die because of this. Finding the epi4dogs website, Olesia and the forum as a support group gave us hope and support. With the help of our vets, the epi4dogs website and keeping a log of medications, food, meals and enzymes, we were able to successfully manage her EPI and make adjustments in her regimen when indicated. Never once did we dread or get frustrated at having to make four meals for her each day for seven years because we knew this was giving her life. We knew she realized the extra care and love we gave her, and she returned that love ten-fold each day of her life. Onza loved all our friends and family and was quite sure they always came to “see her” and not us! She really loved and was always excited to see everyone, even both of her vets.

We have always tried to spread the word about EPI and the website. We have handed out countless pamphlets and talked to total strangers about EPI. Through the forum we became friends with people we never met, even in other countries. At our mountain cabin 200 miles away, by telling the local pet shop owner about EPI and the website, she relayed the information to a client. The German Shepherd Dog, Ranger, tested positive for EPI, and we have become very close friends with Ranger’s mom. She reminds us often that we “saved her dog’s life”. Unfortunately, Ranger passed away this past December at 11 years old due to hip issues. With our dear friend, we continue to share stories and things about our experience with EPI and now we are sharing in the loss of both of our German Shepherd Dogs.

We did Schutzhund training with Onza to help focus her intense alpha-female energy, and she always loved to work and please us. She was an excellent tracker and liked bite work as well; we enjoyed the obedience. She always amazed us with her intelligence and ability to figure out things.

At 11 years old we knew her time was limited on this earth. At night when we wanted to relax and read or watch TV but she wanted to play, we’d look at each other and say ‘let’s get up and play because she will not be here forever’. It is impossible to believe that now she is gone. Onza was our once in a lifetime dog of 47 years with German Shepherd Dogs in our family. She was the closest thing that we will ever have to a child and the loss is devastating. Our house now feels very empty and is missing the heartbeat that gave us so much joy. So please hug your dog or cat for us and never once regret having to do the extra things for them because they have EPI. They are all so worth it! Onza, forever in our hearts, Donna and William


Rescued Feb 2009 ~ Departed January 13, 2017

In 2008/2009 I had to visit local farms here in the UK, for official business. At the time, we had a 20(!!) year old rescue lurcher cross and we had decided that when she passed, we'd have no more dogs for a while.

However, on one particular farm I came across a tiny, skeletal and terrified 6 month old farm collie pup, kept alone, outside, in a filthy, ramshackle cage. She looked at me, I looked at her and I found myself asking the farmer if he'd let me take her.

He did, and all the way home, my mind was frantically thinking-where will we put her, what will my husband say, will she survive, will this be too terrifying for her, how can I feed a pup so emaciated ....

She came home, I put her in a soft bed next to our warm boiler and started to quietly hand feed her little pieces of chicken every 20 mins or so. She was so scared of people that I closed the door in between to give her peace and quiet. Every time I opened the door, I expected to see her dead, she was so ill and weak, emaciated with a swollen belly of worms.

Over the next few days, she slowly learnt we meant no harm, warming to our children first, then us, she curled up with our old dog, Hollie, and she started to learn about being free to walk around our house and garden. She had a gentle bath and had her first play with a toy. She was weighed (3.2kg-tiny and stunted) and had a blood test. The vets were suspicious of EPI (very pale faeces, pica and ravenous) but also wondered if she had dwarfism.

She WAS confirmed as having EPI and started immediately on Lypex. She grew in confidence, health and happiness day by day and eventually reached her adult weight of 10.5kg. Always such a tiny girl! People we met on walks always used to comment on what a sweet 'puppy' she was-even when she was 8 years old!

Some time later, she started to drink a great deal one weekend, so back for another blood test and yes...diabetes as well! Again, she stabilised really well, fortunately. Over time, she developed slow growing cataracts, and as she was down to 10-20% of her vision, we booked her in for surgery this January to have these removed.

A heartbreaking 3 days before the cataract op, she passed away in the saddest situation and we are all bereft at losing our most wonderful and beautiful little girl. She loved nothing more than a run about in the field behind our house. She was joyfully galloping along and ran headlong into the side of the old solid metal sheep trough in the field and died instantly.

We have never known such grief, yet how much joy to have had her in our lives for the past 8 years. She truly was the sweetest little soul and overcame such a terrible start.

There is a huge Pippin shaped hole in our lives, but we are so grateful, somehow by some stroke of luck or fate, to have had our little girl for the precious days we did and that we could look after her as best as we possibly could with her diabetes and EPI. She was an absolutely amazing dog.

Pippin, you will forever live in our hearts

                         Always, Roz and family

My little man, Buddly Lee, Boo, said good bye on

September 20, 2016   

Buddy Lee was so special...a little grumpy dog who hardly wagged his tail, never rolled over on his back, yet loved beyond compare. He came into our lives in August 2004. I had never owned a small dog and I carried him around for an hour saying "what will I do with this dog??"  We had him for a little over 12 years and they were the best years ever. For the first 3 years he was sickly and I searched for a vet who would take me (and him) seriously. We finally found them: Dr. Pauly and Dr. Cox of Conway Springs Veterinary Clinic. He was dx'd in 2007 with EPI...and little did I know where that would take us. We never let his illness stop us from taking him places. He traveled widely and often. He was loved by everybody. His vets, his Grandma and Grandpa...and of course, by us. We had him stabilized and he saw the vet every other week; he was doing so well. In January he developed a cough that just got worse. Radiographs showed he suffered from "Old Dog Lung" or chronic bronchitis, which turned into a couple of infections. We valiantly tried to bring him back but with 6 meds and 2 inhalers he just wasn't able to. I asked him a week or two earlier to tell me when he was ready to go. He did. I let him go Tuesday, September 20, 2016. My life will never be the same. (I am crying as I write this...) I hope you enjoy the pictures...I do have 3 cameras full! As my husband said, Buddy Lee is the son I never had. Man, I miss him...    Kate


Beloved Gabi 

Took her Final Journey 

on September 30, 2016

On 9-30-16 I had to lay Gabi to rest and she is going to be dearly missed.  She had an enlarged heart that gave her more complications then what medicine could cure.  She was cursed from the beginning, near death a few times but still made it 9 years.  When she was stable she weighted a whopping 91 lbs.   God Speed My Sweet Gabi, you will forever hold a piece of my heart.  Your human dad, Ted



 Rocco crossed the Rainbow Bridge
August 2016



 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....
Always, Josephine  



The angels carried Raisin home
March 24, 2016


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. 



3/24/12 - 1/23/16

We brought Shaka home when he was a three-month-old puppy. In his short life, he brought our family an enormous amount of joy.

He was a very active dog and even a diagnosis of EPI and later on, another diagnosis of hypothyroidism did not slow him down. He was always up for a walk, a romp in the yard, or a game of foot wubba (a combination of soccer and fetch).
He loved chasing squirrels, bunnies, and leaves on a windy day. He also had a group of neighborhood dog friends whose company he enjoyed. 
My husband taught him to drink from a glass, which he loved to do when we were watching TV at night. He also loved cats, but it was rarely reciprocated.

Things that were not his favorite included smoke alarms, doorbells, vibrating cellphones, and any kind of contact sport on TV. I think that he thought people were hurting each other and it would make him bark like crazy. He really was quite character.
He was with us for 3 years and 7 months, which was not enough. He passed away from a muscular infection that did not respond to treatment.

He was a very good dog and we will love and miss him forever.
Forever in our hearts, mom Trisha and our family... we miss you dearly Shaka!


 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  





Dancer's final journey...
August 7, 2015


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 



My Sweet, Sweet Addie
March 18, 2008 ~ July 20, 2015




It takes us back to brighter years,
to happier sunlit days
and to precious moments
that will be with us always.

And these fond recollections
are treasured in the heart
to bring us always close to those
from whom we had to part.

There is a bridge of memories
from Earth to Heaven above…
It keeps our dear ones near us
It’s the bridge that we call love.

~Author Unknown~




My Brie
May 10, 2009 ~ February 20, 2015 

I received an email sent to many about a 6 yr old GSD that needed a home badly.  She had been a product of divorce and suffered horribly because of it.  I looked at her face and into her eyes.. we were not looking for a dog.. but I knew she needed us.  She came to us on mothers day 2009, hardly able to walk, sunken face, ribs showing.  After a few trips to the vet, I asked the doctor to test her for EPI.  She had it and we began her journey to health with the help of Enzyme Diane. I cared for her, we got her weight up, spayed her, replaced a hip and continued her special diet. She gave us in return, the sweetest love on earth. We let her go February 20, 2015, as her pain was not controllable any more and she was slipping away. As much pain as I knew I would be in when she left, I could not let her suffer because of it. We spent many days together doing therapy work with the elderly and children, she was a very special girl.
 I miss you every day sweet girl and I will love you forever.  

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

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



Saying goodbye with Dignity and Love

 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.


Mr. Mighty Mickey

  Mickey, Jack Russell Terrier

 August 1999-August 2014



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  

as long as you keep me alive in your heart. 


Cooper, you will forever be in our hearts,
Kim & Mark 



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!



 Ann's Holly
 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.

We didn't start performance training until she was 7, and had to quit for back trouble when she was 9, but her final AKC name and titles are: 


Trilliant Soul Searcher RN BN NJP CGCA
Rally Novice
Beginner Novice (obedience)
Novice Jumpers Preferred (agility, lowered height)
Community Canine (CGC Advanced)

I'm glad I was there for her in the end and that she did not suffer. We will miss her.  She was such a good girl and.
will forever live in our hearts,
Holly's mom, Ann 




 Mary's Beloved Foxy....


 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



Hospice consideration ....


  ...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.


Seth's beloved Donna.....

 Home is where the Heart is.......... 

Thank you Seth for donating Donna's enzymes to us!

"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" ... "

when i see the sun light, i will be thinking of the light in your beautiful little eyes...
when i see the grass, i will follow your every step and remember what an amazing gift you always were and are to me
when night falls, i will warmly remember you following my every step, when in fact you were the  leader
when i cry, i will remember all the happy times and how very much you gave of your own little life to make my own worth living...
when i sleep, i hope there will be dreams filled with love and joy for each and every day that we had together...
you truly gave your life for me and i hope you won't hate me for having to take yours as what i did, i truly did in love and my baby girl, i hope and pray that some day, i will see you again......you will forever be a part of me... 

 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 doctors 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.
-Biscuit’s Humans

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.

-Biscuit’s Humans




 7/16/2012 - 8/15-2013




 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 



Our Beloved Riga
gave us 11 wonderful years...
but bade her final farewell on November 11, 2013 




 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..... 




 The angels brought Cheryl's beloved "Dakota"
home on October 31, 2013


 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


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. 






Angels gave him Wings
August 10, 2013


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 ........ 




left us March 23, 2013

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.


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.



 King Kitty

May, 2003-December 12, 2012 

Forever in my hearts, forever in my soul......

MaryJo and Jim 




Fall time 2012 


 You will forever be missed my sweet boy, Amy




~ Black Jade Angel ~
Gone too soon from us 11/08/2012


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.


Thank you EPI for letting me have her longer than we all thought could ever be. 
Jade you will forever own a piece of my heart,
Love your earth-bound mom, Nadine
My Picaboo book dedicated to Jade's memory:  JADE





January 1, 2003 ~October 30, 2012
You were the most amazing dog on the planet! We will forever miss taking you for walks, playing with you and loving you!  You brought us so much joy and laughter!  You were a sweet girl but at the same time, you were a tomboy!  You had a feisty attitude and we loved to hear you roar!  We will never forget you Abby, you were our little girl and will always hold the key to our hearts!
May you rest in peace and know that one day we will all be together again!
Momma, Daddy, Austin, Brother and all your friends......... 



~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, 2012

 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 ~

October 24, 1998 – June 18, 2012

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 
You will always be my "pretty girl", Craig





1-1-2003 - 3-22-2012




....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



Some more of our dogs.....

 ~Dakota- Nov 2007-Feb 2012~
~Rochelle April 2004-Oct.2011~

What can I say about these two faithful friends except to honor them in the way they honored us with love, devotion and affection. Rochelle and Dakota were two inseparable pals that were so different in personality, yet so lovingly similar. Who would have ever guessed that we would have to say goodbye to these  two companions so soon and so close together. Rochelle, who was a little older than "Cody", she was 9 and he was only 5, just could not take the toll that the EPI did to her body and gave up her fight about a month and a half after her diagnosis. Thankfully it did not take her dignity with it and she died peacefully with her head in my lap. "Cody", however never planned on giving in to his symptoms and fought them as long as his body would let him. Unfortunately it wasn't meant to be and he also lost his fight about two months after Rochelle. We are saddened by their loss, yet surrounded by their loving memories. We were so blessed to be loved by these wonderful Rotties and they will forever be in our hearts! We miss you so much! Love, your mom and Dad (Carol and Joe) 

Our girl Dottie

"There's sadness now, we cry, we weep,
our gentle Dottie has gone to sleep.It's quiet, yet we hear her sound,
her feet still dragging along the ground. She asked for nothing but gave her all,
right to the end, to that final call.When it's time for us to take that final ride,
that fearful trip to the other side,our journey there will bear no strife,
we know she'll be waiting, as she was in life. "

~ you will always be in our hearts, Betty ~


My Beloved Codi

Still missing you every day......
Your loving mom, Phyllis

3-1-2007 to 9-14-2011
  RIP My Girl

Daph went peacefully this morning; she is no longer in pain, last night she cried all night from the pain even though heavily medicated on pain killers. I put her in bed with me and just rubbed her back and sang to her. I love her and will miss her so much My little girl.    Rhonda

"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.

Griffey – Golden Retriever
June 14, 2009 ~ April 4, 2011 

Griffey Jr. was named in honor of my favorite baseball player, Ken Griffey Jr. from the Seattle Mariners. I believe he could have even played for the M’s as well considering their desperate need for wins and decent talent. His devotion to the sport of ‘catch’ was epitomized by his uncanny ability to make ridiculous ‘golden’ glove grabs at the park, in centerfield of course. He taught me so many things, and as I trained him, he trained me, to be a better owner, son, and person.

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



We named him "Yasha" cause it's Japanese for Demon... and he was a little hellion when we first got him. (Second Chance Rescue Sioux Falls, SD) Shiba Inu's are very independent dogs but they can imprint on one person within the family and in my case it was me. Yasha basically became my kid in the short time I had him. He was extremely loyal, bold, strong willed and stubborn. He was my perfect dog, and yet his personality really grasped the hearts of my entire family. We miss him terribly and there will always be a little corner of my heart that will be forever reserved for all the special Yasha memories and special bond that we had.
Love your mom, Heidi

Rescued Breeder from Puppy Mill September 2006 ~ December 3, 2010

This first day i got brought Pebbles
   and held her in my arms                                            Mindy, Foxy & Pebbles                                                 Pebbles with best friend PeeWee    
4 1/2 years ago I heard of 2 puppy mill breeders who needed help and I already had 2 rescues.  They spent 7 years in a horrible puppy mill.    I was a dog trainer for 23 years and knew I could help.  Pebbles the Papillion was the little white one both about 8 years old.  She came from Nebraska with a trucker who offered to transport her to NJ.  After the rescue she went to a foster home for clean up vets etc.... then went to Pap haven rescue...short layover at fosters... and then I was able to bring her home.  The first thing I noticed was those big black eyes...sad, wide open and so frightened, stiff and shaking.  Pic link above is the first time I held her.  She blossomed over time and grew a beautiful coat  and became the love of my life, she always made me smile with that one ear up and one ear down.. just made her more special, she loved to run, play but mostly dance at the site of a treat..  She was lovable, cuddle-able and never made a peep...  she would fall asleep under my arm and bury her head ...  she would jump as if in the olympics and when the big dogs ran in the yard you always saw little Pebbles about 10 feet behind running to keep up.  She had no fear of the crazy bigger dogs and they were gentle with her.  I have had many dogs, cats, birds... but Pebbles sure was my special Golden Girl...   her fur glimmered in the sun.  I can't think of one thing I miss but I think of everything I miss....  she had her health struggles but did good until the last few days.....  To know her was to love her.... always.  If I had one wish it would be to turn back time.....  still can't imagine life without my lovely, soft golden girl..  my heart is bleeding...  I will think of you and love you forever Pebbles.... we all miss you.... especially your pal Pee Wee...   she's looking for you... someday I will hold you again...  rest in peace and DANCE..
Love your mom, Susan

26th of February 2002  ~  18th of October 2010

My beautiful, sweet Megg has left us after 8-1/2 years together.

 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



 Adopted  2004 ~ November 7, 2010

I adopted Nola in 2004 from Blue Dog Rescue in Austin, TX.  I had adopted a dog the previous year from the same rescue.  I had actually seen Nola then, with a very sad story saying she was not yet ready for adoption, she had severe heart-worms and a pancreatic disorder that was being diagnosed.  Her story involved a life of homelessness and probably abuse.  She was found scavenging at McDonalds and was taken to a shelter, where her foster, Debbie Tolany, found her, took her in, and fought tirelessly to diagnose and treat her heath issues.  She named her Nola becauseshe was part Catahoula Leopard Dog, the state dog of Louisiana. 
    I wound up adopting another dog, Henry, who was old, very severely abused, and in the year I owned him, even with intense behavioral training, just became more and more aggressive.  He eventually bit a friend and I made the decision to put him to sleep.  The trainer I used had a dog, a deaf dog, who she had originally fostered, and just kept because she said she never met anyone she trusted enough to adopt him to.  She said she saw my commitment to Henry, and if I wanted, she would be happy to give me Mojo, who she thought would be happier in a home with less dogs (she had 4 others then).  So I took him. 
    However, as that year wore on, I notice Mojo never seemed content when I was not home.  He seemed to be on constant patrol, I thought because he was not able to hear.  I also noticed that if I left him at my house with a friend's dog, he was content and usually asleep when I came home.  I thought "This dog needs a dog."  So I went and looked again at Blue Dog Rescue.  Well, there was Nola, almost a year and a half later, still there, healthy, heart-worm free and diagnosed with EPI, still not adopted.  I brought Mojo to meet her at an adoption event, and tried out a weekend in my house with her.  They got along great and I adopted her.  
    Nola came already diagnosed, already a member of the EPI enzyme co-op, and already a lover.  She did, in fact, provide the companionship I was looking to give Mojo.  And over the 6 years we were together, I got married, we lived in England - dogs included - had a son who is 3 and a daughter who is 18 months.  She loved my kids and my family unconditionally, as dogs always do. 
    I was always told that the heart worms probably severely weakened her heart, and although she was diagnosed at Texas A&M, the fact is the veterinary community does not know a ton about EPI, and my vets, here and in the UK, said they just did not know what long term effect that disease can have on a dog's other organs, etc.  But Nola was always happy, and healthy, so I did not worry about the future.             
About a month ago, she developed a cough, which the vet initially treated as Bordetella.  That made no sense to me since she did not go to dog parks, or kennels, and really had no opportunity to catch Kennel Cough.  I also had a nagging feeling for the month or so previous that she was dying.  She had slowed, a lot, suddenly, and just was not completely herself.  But I tried the antibiotics, and it did seem to improve the cough.  Then on Sunday, November 7, she started really coughing again.  So much so that I was going to take her to the Emergency Vet.  Then she settled down and I figured I would take her to her own vet in the morning.  We left to go to dinner at my parent's house, and when we returned, she had passed away.  My 3 year old had thankfully fallen asleep on the way home and went right to his bed.  She had passed very soon before we came home - she was still warm, so I did not have to see her looking much different that I always saw her, which I think was another blessing.  Even in her death, she did me the favor of making it as easy as possible.  She was not out of sorts for long; she did not leave me to make that awful "quality of life" decision we pet lovers so often have to make.
    We will miss Nola terribly.  She was such an important part of our lives.  She was a great friend to my children.  My 3 year old knows Nola went to Heaven, but my 18 month old is still spending part of the day wandering around calling "Nola" with her goldfish crackers out to give her.  She is too young to understand where Nola went, and only knows she does not come when called anymore.   I know that will stop, and the pain will ease as time goes by.  And it has brought us closer to Mojo, who I think we all feel the worst for.  We spend every minute we can with him, taking him everywhere we can, and I think that has been good for him and us.
    I am not the typical EPI owner.  I adopted my EPI dog knowing the deal.  And if I knew then what I know now, about her sudden death, I would absolutely still have made the same choice.  Nola's presence in my life for 6 years was worth the pain I feel at her passing. 
We love you Nola and you will be missed.
~Shannon Basore~

            February 2001 to October 10, 2010

My sweet little Chewie... you will never be forgotten!
                       Love your mom, Cynthia


Aug  2002  ~ September 2010 

Beloved EPI rescue dog of Vicki and Simon
Holly we miss you so much!



August Von Imatru", (Auggie)  ~May 24,2010~

I love you, Auggie, I will never forget you, and, I will always have Shepherd's. They just won't be able to reach up and be 'you.'Rest well, now, my sweet boy....Blessings, your one and only friend, partner, defender, and, love of the German Shepherd Dog.    

Paula Stephanie Hooks' 'K-9 Obedience School'~ Owner 
Licensed/Certified  K-9 Trainer

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

                                                         Daisy Sullivan 
                                                  31st July 2008 - 23rd August 2010

I never imagined that our girl would end up here on the Memorial page - but after months of ups and downs we knew it was time to let her go.

Daisy was an active healthy pup who always seemed to be smiling. She was full of life and with that she made me feel full of life. I can't thank her enough for that.

She was always up to mischief - be it ripping her new toys apart or rolling herself on the rug when i had just cleaned it. I don't think she ever had a toy that lasted longer than a week!

She always knew how to make us smile though.

At the end of October 2009 Daisy lost a dramatic amount of weight and it took until March to find out it was EPI. She seemed to stabilize and became happy and full of life again.

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


Blitzkrieg (Krieg)

July 2, 2005 to June 11, 2010

Krieg was adopted from rescue on April 3 , 2010 and diagnosed with EPI shortly after that.....Although we had him a short time, we loved and adored this dog so very much. He jumped through a trough of water to greet me at the rescue event where we met him.  From that moment forward, he was ours.
Krieg loved to play ball more than most retrievers and would run and run endlessly. He loved his squeaky toys and was always busy hauling them around, squeaking so loudly that watching TV was a challenge! His favorite activity was riding in our ATV with Dad around our vacation home property in the mountains. He would sit in the ATV and refuse to get out until all the chores were done.
He was such a happy boy...always ready for an outing, an adventure.  
When we brought home our new golden retriever puppy, Ginger, he played so kindly with her.  She adored him and would jump on him, walk under him and bite at his ears. Everything she did was tolerated.  He played sweetly with her even in his final hour.

You are woven into our hearts and we will never forget you, our dear sweet Krieg.



~Zeke Ratliff~
  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 t
o 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

Diagnosed with EPI on 10/21/1996. Let her provide hope to all with EPI that a long and beautiful life is possible. 
My friend, my guardian, and my girl, may your playful spirit know no bounds.  Until we meet again….Jeff





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


Luma was a treasured family member and along with Buddy our lab-chow mix they made a great team. He will be badly missed by many with whom he always had visits from and of course Buddy who misses him most of all. Pretty soon Buddy will have another friend with who he will spend the rest of his days with and love him like he loved Luma. Luma will forever be in our hearts and minds and all will be pleasant memories and we will meet again in time..... John





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.




      07/01/1997 – 11/19/2009

    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. 
Debbie Stanton



 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.  

My deepest wish was to see my Bandit again one more time, hopefully he'd come to me in a dream to let me know he was o.k.....but that hasn't happened. I asked God to please take care of my baby....and I've left it at that. Until this afternoon- - -something incredible happened.....
I came home after work today, and the urn I had ordered for Bandit had been delivered to my door by FedEx. I anxiously opened the package to see how the urn would look, it was lovely... a fine oak wood with the gold plaque at the bottom, which I had them engrave: "In Memory of Bandit 2001~ 2009" It has a picture frame on the front - - I had Bandit's picture selected already that I was going to use - - so I put it in and it looked very nice indeed.
Now, in my apartment I have a west-facing window that catches the sun's light each late afternoon quite strongly, and it streams in through my dining room area, where I have a glass chandelier hanging. As I set Bandit's urn down on the side table by my sofa, the light from the dining room window shone down into the room-through the chandelier and hit down exactly where I placed Bandit's urn with a prism of rainbow colored light, red, yellow, orange, blue, green...right across my Bandit's picture. It was a rainbow!!
I have heard people make reference to the "Rainbow Bridge"....but I thought it was more of a sweet - but kind of "fairy tale" idea for us humans left behind -- But when I saw that unmistakable rainbow on Bandit's picture, I dropped to my knees crying with relief---and thanking God.
I knew in that moment that Bandit was at the bridge - this was my sign, at least that's how it felt to me - Bandit was letting me know he was safe and secure at the other side. I always prayed that there was a world beyond this one that we all will go to some day ....and somehow seeing this rainbow appear across Bandit's picture the way it did just made me even more of a believer.
I also believe that it is no small coincidence that "DOG" spelled backwards is GOD. For I learned more about loyalty, devotion, unconditional love, and selflessness from my Bandit than from anyone else....and aren't those all qualities that are considered "Godly"? I will always cherish the time we had together, and the love and joy he brought into my soul. Rest easy my angel until I make it over the bridge myself and can see your sweet face again.
~You will always own a piece of my heart, Amy

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.

~author unknown~




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EPI Memorial Frames & Urns

If you would like to pay tribute with a laser-crafted personalized Memorial Plaque, Urn or Frame, 4x4 Engraved Granite please consider visiting RugPal North’s website http://www.rugpalnorth.com/. The proprietor, also an owner of an EPI dog, will contribute a portion of the memorial item sale towards EPI Research in hopes of finding the cause of EPI so that one day no more dogs will suffer from this insidious disease.

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