DecemberThis page is dedicated to the many dogs who sadly gave their lives to EPI, and to their owners, who struggled with this horrible disease treating their faithful companions, some with success and some with failure but always with hope. Many of these EPI dogs are extraordinary souls who so deeply touched our lives with a love so strong and with such loyalty that they forever changed our lives. May their legacy never be forgotten.
All dogs may go to heaven ....
"My name is Melanie and I live in WV. I currently volunteer to foster dogs out of our high kill shelter until they find homes. Last summer a sweet little dog came to us. The vets in our small town aren't very familiar with EPI and after months of treating for worms, infection the works they realized she had this disease. She had recently been pulled from the pound and just missed euthanasia. She ended up coming down with Parvo and only survived by the dedication of several volunteers who stayed up countless nights giving her fluids. When she came to me she weighted and mere 20 pounds and hardly had the strength the walk. Most of her days were spend on my back porch lying in the sun with barely a tail wag. One day she couldn't even focus with her eyes she had this dead stare and I knew I had to do something. That is when I found the EPI site and through their guidance Abby started to play and flourish. She weighs an amazing 47 pound at this time. I also thought the group would put her down due to the expense of medicine since our only funding comes from hotdog sales and such. Thanks to Olesia and the wonderful group Abby has been blessed with much needed and appreciated enzyme contributions. I know that finding a home for this dog is going to be extremely difficult but you will never know how much your contribution of Donna's remaining enzymes has helped us. I am so sorry for you loss. Donna was such a beautiful dog and to think you were only blessed with her for 2 years is terrible. You gave Donna 2 years than many people would not have! She was very lucky. Thank you for the enzyme contribution, Melanie"
Tribute to Kona
June 13, 2006 - March 14, 2014
From the moment I laid eyes on you, I knew that you were the one, laying there under the air conditioner with the condensation dripping on your head.
When I spoke to you, you would look at me with those big brown eyes and cock your head to the side, knowing exactly what mommy was saying. You had
bilateral knee surgery, fought EPI for 2 years and also had perianal fistulas and pulled through those even though we had our ups and downs. Then you turned
around and went into kidney failure but you my dear boy fought even that as long as you possibly could. Now my sweetie you have no pain and you are running
through the beautiful fields of Heaven. One day my precious boy mommy will be there to join you so please wait for me and when I get there I want to see you cock that pretty little head when mommy arrives at those pearly white gates.
Love you always,
Mommy ( Teresa Vaseleck )
May 8, 2003 - Jan 8, 2014
"... Boo will always love ya "THIS MUCH" ... "
Boo came into my life in July of 2003...she had been born on the 8th day of May...prior to that, her older sister was born on the 8th...although bitsy was truly loved as well, you took it upon yourself to become my little "heart dog"...everyone who met you would fall in love with you unless it was someone you felt you distrusted for whatever reason and would not want them to come anywhere near me...wherever i walked, you walked in my footsteps...i never told you that in truth, i was just following your lead..i'm sure you knew that though....
we had many long happy years together before the bad times in November of 2011 and then for whatever reason, you suddenly became ill whereas before, you were a tower of strength and you were taking a downwards spiral that i was so afraid would surely take your little life, but thru it all, that unwavering glean in your little eyes was never lost...for almost 6 weeks, i watched you fight a battle for which we knew no cause and the vet here still did not have a clue what was taking you down...so, i did the only thing i knew to do and that was to try to find a reason myself...i combed the internet endlessly trying to find an answer, anything to help me understand what was taking you from me ounce by ounce and in a tiny little dog, those ounces mattered beyond belief...you went from a robust 4 lb. baby to 2.3lbs... you truly were just skin and bones..i took pictures of you in your bed where you were still trying to cut up with me and show me that you were not giving up, but i knew time was not on our side.. finally, on a Friday nite, i touched on a website that discussed malabsorption syndrome in dogs and then epi was mentioned...so, i went on to study anything that i could about epi...i had a friend that one of her dogs actually had epi and she had met Susan (buttersmom) thru another epi group as well as the epi4dogs website...it was there that Boo and i found a home and people that genuinely cared and would do anything they could to help get us through it...because of my extreme distrust with the vet here, i then called the vet clinic in Coleman, Texas and was put on the phone with Dr. Needham who would come to help me save your little life...it didn't anger him like it did the vet here that i so much as dared to find my own answers and the rest is history... with your confirmed dx, we then set out to do what it would take to hopefully help you regroup and you did that in amazing speed, actually...Dr. Needham thought at best i might be able to get you back to 3 lbs. but no, you had to prove him wrong and after about 2 months, you were back to 3.6 lbs. and for the longest time, continued to stay at that weight.. there is nothing like having a little 3.6 lb. Chihuahua with an "in your face" attitude to help prove you wrong....you were determined to prove every one wrong...you just had this undeniable attitude that "this was all about boo" and yes, you kept that same attitude for the longest... you were my towering strength through all my own health issues...i often thought you maybe liked seeing me less than 100% as then it would mean more time spent with you...you were already my little shadow and then tried to become my skin...i had never, ever loved any one critter as much as i loved you and am sure, i will never have those same feelings again...so many times in my depression, you would be there to lift me up and that precious personality shown thru each and every one of your pictures that i would take...
your half-sister had to leave us in July of 2012 due to congestive heart failure and my best friend Bettye drove you and i in her van to Dr. Needham's so bitsy would not have to leave this world alone and she didn't want me to be alone doing that...Bettye was one of the people in this world that you loved the most and then we lost her in November of 2012 to stage 4 colon cancer...she had always told me that if she ever had to leave, i would have you there to take care of me...i had only lost my sister the February before that, so it was Mari, Bitsy and then Bettye that i lost all within a 9 month period...still, you were there for me helping me thru some of the hardest losses i had ever had to go through...what a pillar of strength you had been for me and what a heavy weight to have to carry on those tiny shoulders...
perhaps a year ago, you had started having more problems with the epi but once again, we would still be able to get you thru them...i know you hated me when i would have to syringe your water or enzymes to you, but the next day you would be wagging your tail for me and giving me puppy kisses to thank me....Susan had started sending you b12 tablets some time back when she would need to reorder them for butter...and yes, for a time, those helped as well.. then about a year ago, you had started to develop a partially collapsed trachea and we were once again on the road to Dr. Needham's... you didn't want him messing with you that day, so you decided you weren't going to "show" him what you had been doing and i know he must have thought i was nuts...we get back in the car to come home and each day that would pass, the cough and hacking would get worse.... we tried cough meds, allergy meds, just anything that might help you breathe a little easier.. you were always such a tough little girl....whatever got thrown your way, you would fight it!!!!!!! then perhaps 2 1/2 months ago, i noticed an unusual looking place that seemed to have come up over- night on your back left flank...i hoped and prayed it was nothing more than grossly enlarged anal sac and was not even willing to "go there" thinking it could be anything worse.... you had already shown your determination thru so many other things.. so, once again, we were back on the road to Dr. Needham's....as it turned out, it was a very large perineal hernia and yes, they can sometimes happen in older dogs...you were the bravest little girl while he checked out everything on you....you were far braver than i could ever be...we briefly discussed perhaps doing corrective surgery on you, but at 3.4 lbs., that just was not something your little system was going to be able to handle.. over the next few weeks, things seem to run hot then cold and then about 11 days ago, you decided to quit eating altogether...still, i would syringe you your water and enzymes to try to keep your strength up...i could only hope that you didn't hate me altogether...last weekend, i had to finally admit to myself that you were trying so hard to tell me how very tired you were and that i needed to find it in my heart to let you go... your little bladder had become entangled in the hernia and Dr. Needham had already told me that once that happened, it would not be something you could recover from...i made arrangements to take you over to his office on the 8th and my brother went with me as that was clearly something i would not have been able to do myself... the day before, i guess you wanted to give us one last thing to remember you by and in all the years my brother had known and loved you, you would never go lay beside him as you did for a few minutes that day... i guess you wanted us to remember the happier better times... you then came to me for the last time wanting me to pick you up which i did, but your restlessness would not allow you to sleep...i put you back on your blanket and there you stayed.. the next morning, i took you to the one place where i knew i could finally give you the peace and rest that you so deserved...your little eyes would not meet my own because i think you knew how much that would hurt me...even till the end, it was me you were thinking about..i'll never forget that precious face, how you loved me so very much, how you gave me something to live for when things had gone so badly wrong in my own life...if ever there was a little dog that gave someone they loved life, it was surely you Boo...i will love and remember you always..... mom
i want you all to remember this one very important thing....as horrible as epi can be, most times it is not epi that takes our babies from us...it truly can be managed and there is no better place for moral support for both you and your dogs(and cats) than this web site...Olesia has dedicated her life to her little dog Izzy and this very important cause...always believe in yourself and the knowledgeable members of this group to help you through your journey....i sometimes think without Susan, i would have lost it altogether... we all share a common cause...never under estimate the power of love and the sheer determination in your babies to help get themselves through this maze... as tiny as my Boo was, she was an amazing fighter..i have never had a better gift in my whole entire life as i had with Boo and i thank you all for traveling this road with me...thank you... Lynda
On November 20, 2013
...the Angels carried Biscuit home ....
Biscuit had a rough start in life...she came to us from a rescue that knew little about her background, only that she was left at a drop box, in the middle of the night at the county APL. Biscuit was in an extremely neglected state; with most of her fur missing, teeth broken and brown, emaciated, with a distended belly full of worms, and a dirt ring, where a collar should have been. They said she was most likely in a puppy mill for her first 8 years...housed in a crate. We believed them, because she could barely walk, and when she did walk, it was in a hunched over state, like most dogs that live their lives in crates.
But, Biscuit was a fighter...and she LOVED food. In fact, I’d call food “the love of her life.”
With many doctor visits, antibiotics, treatments for this-and-that, lots of food, lots of love and care... Biscuit recovered. She transformed into a very happy, chubby, spoiled little dog.
She lived a happy life with her humans and numerous other furry friends. No mouse hole was left “undug”...and she barked with unadulterated Jack Russell joy at clumps of cold mud or stone dug from these mouse holes. Biscuit never missed a meal or a treat. She sidled up to her humans during her daytime naps and curled up at night on her choice of pillows.
When her little brown and white streaked head started to turn grey, no one really noticed, because she was such a feisty little one. Heart medicine recommended for her “little dog” heart murmur didn’t make a dent in her energetic hustle. And, a few years later when she started to loose weight and itch from skin infections, she just took it all in stride. Thankfully we finally found the proper diagnosis for this new condition, Cushings Disease... and with her new daily Cushing’s pill regime, she was back to being Biscuit. A little slower, with a little more creak in her bones, but back to feisty Biscuit.
Then came the final test in Biscuit’s long life...her pancreas stopped working. Her weight dropped significantly. She had infections and was having accidents, everywhere. We had no idea what was wrong with her until we came across this website. We got EPI confirmation from our vet and placed her on Pancreatic Enzyme replacement. Like most dogs, she didn’t like it, but she loved food more, so we were able to find ways to trick her into taking Pancreatin Powder. Biscuit did well the first year and gained weight. In her second year, she had problems, but with the help of this website, we were able to solve many of them and pull her out of some rough spots, with B12 shots and Tylan. This past year, was really difficult on her. The body is built to live only so long. And with all her ailments, her advanced age, and her arthritis...we all decided it was time to rest.
We were so grateful to have the option to allow her to pass at home. The day Biscuit passed the sun was shining. She ate her favorite meal for lunch (without the yucky pancreatic enzymes). She was comforted, petted and held in everyone’s arms. She was carried for a walk in the back yard, with the sun shining on her, and given a last look at the field where over the years, she dug dozens of furious Jack Russell mouse-hunting holes. And then, spent the rest of the morning, slowly walking her last steps in the kitchen and living room, with her tough-as-nails JR attitude carrying her broken body. 20 years is a good, long life. She will be missed.
Thanks Again For Everything.
The definition of “moxie” is "to face difficulty with spirit and courage.” THAT was my Moxi! I know our pups find us for a reason. I have the assurance of knowing what that reason was. Moxi came to heal our family of our broken hearts after losing our 12 year old yellow lab, Biskit, a few months before.
We were blessed every day by our spastic little furball. Even on her darkest days Moxi’s spirit filled the room. She was never one to plan ahead where she would land when she jumped and constantly fascinated by all things bugs…fluttering, flying, and buzzing.
My poor baby had the deck stacked against her from the beginning. The runt of the litter, she contracted Parvo and survived, suffered through recurrent UTI’s, then EPI and even demodectic mange due to her weakened immune system. At barely one year old it was kidney failure unrelated to EPI that claimed our sweet girl. She fought through all of it with spirit, love, and yes, moxie! I always said she never gave up, so I wouldn’t give up on her, but I couldn’t ask her to fight any more. She was an amazing puppy willing to endure so much to teach us how to love again. Moxi’s journey is done, but our road goes on.
Moxi..you'll always be in my heart, Pat
FAREWELL SWEET RIGA
You came into my life
At such a small young age
You filled my heart with joy,
As I watched you pass each stage,
You had a special place
For each treasure that you found.
I would look for pills and glasses,
In the grass out on the ground.
You knew when time to stop
And not let daddy walk on.
His seizure you could sense
And only moved when it was gone.
You kept me feeling safe
And guarded us like sheep.
No harm would come to grandkids,
At night while they did sleep.
At four o'clock each day
I will look for you for fun.
But who will chase that ball,
Now that my dog is gone.
Sleep well my baby girl.
My heart now cries for you.
Your memory will always be,
In my soul, so alive, so true.
Farewell my sweet Riga!
Love your mom, Lora
Riga's final sunrise.....
I was an almost daily visitor back the first of this year (Jan 2013) when my American Eskimo baby, Dakota at 12 years old, began showing EPI symptoms. After lots of exams & the EPI test at Texas U, he was diagnosed. After lots of wonderful advice from Izzy's mom and other great members & the dedication of our wonderful vet, the amazing Enzyme Diane, lots of meds and dog food changes, Dakota began to turn around. By May 2013 his poop was firm brown down to just 2X a day instead of yellow, runny or cow pie and 4-5 times a day. His food was Taste of the Wild Dry Salmon - it was great for him. His coat was healthy and he was a happy boy. The only treats he got were made from pure salmon. In July of this year he began limping & stumbling and his hind quarters were weaker. Many vet exams and tests & Xrays showed bad arthritis - he could not take Nsaid's (he did in 2012 and after just 2 weeks of taking Carboprofen, it almost killed him - his liver failed but the vet saved him). We tried other meds but he got worse - we even did acupuncture in October of this year but it was too late. He got worse, panted constantly & was living on pain meds. No matter how bad he felt, he made the effort to meet me at the door when I came home from work. But sadly he was usually limping with pain, panted like a steam engine or conked out on pain meds. Sadly, surgery was not an option at $4,000.00. Much to my anguish, we made the decision to send him to the Lord yesterday, Oct. 31. Our dear vet came to the house and his passing was peacefully. His "sister" Chloe "his" cat is heartbroken as well - she will not quit searching for him. This hurts badly but we do whatever we can for our babies. In honor of Dakota’s memory, we are donating Dakota’s remaining enzymes to another EPI dog. I am so thankful for all of you who were such a support during Dakota's awful EPI early days. May the Lord bless you all! The poem below is dedicated to my beloved boy. Many thanks - Cheryl (Eskie Mom) & Dakota
LEND ME A PUP
I will lend to you for awhile a puppy, God said,
For you to love him while he lives
and to mourn for him when he is gone.
Maybe for 12 or 14 years, or maybe for 2 or 3
But will you, till I call him back
take care of him for me?
He’ll bring his charms to gladden you and
(should his stay be brief)
you’ll always have his memories
as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise that he will stay
since all from Earth return,
But there are lessons taught below
I want this pup to learn.
I’ve looked the whole world over
in search of teachers true,
And from the folks that crowd life’s land
I have chosen you.
Now will you give him all your love
Nor think the labor vain,
nor hate me when I come to take
my pup back again?
I have heard them say,
“Dear Lord, Thy Will Be Done,”
For all the joys this pup will bring
the risk of grief you’ll run.
Will you shelter him with tenderness,
Will you love him while you may?
And for the happiness you’ll know
forever grateful stay?
But should I call him back
much sooner than you’ve planned,
please brave the bitter grief that comes
and try to understand.
If, by your love, you’ve managed
my wishes to achieve,
In memory of him that you’ve loved,
cherish every moment with your faithful bundle,
and know he loved you too.
Apollo was the sweetest, most sensitive dog you could ever meet. He had the bad habit of bounding up to strangers, barking loudly. People would widen their eyes and stop in their tracks. Apollo was 108 pounds and a German Shepard ~ who wouldn't be frightened?! However, within a few seconds you would know he was just so excited to meet you! "Hi! I'm Apollo! Who are you? Do you want to be friends? I do! I like you! Do you like me? Do you?"
Apollo was also the most beautiful dog I have ever laid my eyes on. This includes the many dogs I had growing up, as well as the four dogs in my family as an adult. Every person that met him would comment, he was that stunning.
Most important was Apollo's heart. I believe he loved us with same fierceness that we loved him. He was devoted to fault. He faithfully laid by my side at night and followed me around like a shadow. He loved his dad and was always trying to get his attention. He adored his brother, my son Chandler, and loved to roughhouse with him. He loved to snuggle with his sister, my daughter Tatum, who would bestow upon him just as many hugs and kisses as i did! He was adored by my kitties. They were always following him and rubbing his face when he was resting, which he good naturedly tolerated. He had a love/hate relationship with his yorkie sister Grace, but he too, tolerated her snuggling with him...at least for a few minutes.
Goodbye my sweet love. A huge piece of my heart will always belong to you. Although I know I have more work to do here on earth, and possibly even more doggies to love, I cannot wait see you again. To kiss your eyes as I did when I said goodbye, and say "Hello again, baby boy. I missed you so much". Forever your human companion, Tonia
Lewis enjoying life to the fullest......
Lewis.... giving Helen 110% of all of his attention!
Lewis enjoying digging, Digging & DIGGING!
~ Lewis ~
Sadly crossed the Rainbow Bridge
July 30, 2013
The Life of Lewis
From the beginning, Lewis would prance into the room as if to say, “I’m here, I’m lookin’ good”. And he was looking good. He had an air of supreme confidence, yet he was the sweetest, most sensitive and gentle dog. He was the smartest dog I have ever known, which added to his charm and got him into trouble too.
He was also known as Lewie, Lew Lew, and Lew Lew Larue.
I met Lewis’ brother, Guy, at my grandson’s birthday party in 2002. Guy’s humans told me there was one puppy left in the litter, and it was Lewis. Their mom was a Jack Russell short smooth coat, and their dad was a standard Dachshund. All six puppies in the litter looked alike.
He came into my life at a very difficult time, and it was the best thing for me. He is an Idaho guy, and was named after Meriwether Lewis, of Lewis and Clark. The first thing Lewis taught me was that if you are ever going through a bad time, get a puppy. He will give you comfort and unconditional love that you can’t find anywhere else.
He has always loved little children.
Lewis was enthusiastic about everything he did. He played tether ball, he dug trenches, he rolled in dead geese, laid down to cool off in a puddle of horse pee, and was intensely loyal and loving. At the dog park, he delighted in getting big dogs to chase him, then he would zig zag and reverse directions, leaving them scrambling to change directions.
He was a Houdini-level escape artist, scaling a six-foot chain link kennel with ease, and digging under the fence to go play with the dog next door.
When Buddy came into Lewis’ life, they were best friends from the start. Lewis, just a puppy, instinctively knew that Buddy was old and must be treated gently and with respect. When they played mouth-bite, Lewis would just nudge Buddy with the side of his head.
Lewis loved to stretch out and run in wide open places, like the beach and in the snow. It was wonderful to watch his pure joy at those times. He would zig zag and leap for the pure pleasure of doing so.
The cabin was Lewis’ favorite place, and I am glad that he got to spend the last three years of his life there. It was his territory, and he assumed responsibility to keep the area clear of moles, voles, birds, squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, ducks and geese. Twice, he was almost killed by raccoons and had to be rescued. He remained confident in his abilities, even though he had only limited success. His best talent was digging, and he dug with a vengeance, leaving deep holes and trenches. It’s a good thing we live in the forest and don’t have a lawn.
Lewis always loved a good fire, whether it be inside or out. When he wanted a fire in the fireplace, he would stand on the hearth and look at us until we complied with his demand.
The creek was part of his domain. He was not a swimmer, but did wade regularly, and followed up by rolling in the dirt.
He was a dog with no boundaries. He assumed that he could go wherever he pleased, and be welcomed. He regularly jumped onto the dining room table searching for treats, could sometimes open cupboard doors, was adept at breaking into the garbage can, and everybody’s lap was fair game.
He was such a handsome dog, loved to cuddle and we believe that he was Prince of All Dogs in the World. Each evening, he jumped into my lap, leaned against me and tucked his head under my chin.
There will never be another dog like you, Lewis. Thank you for eleven years of joy, laughter, tears, cuddling, comfort, loyalty and companionship. I will love you forever, Helen ........
How do you say goodbye to something that has given you nothing but pure love, loyalty, redeemed your humanness?
How do you say goodbye to that thing that wakes you up each morning and snuggles with you each night?
How do you say goodbye to something that has taught you so much, but asked nothing in return for the knowledge you received?
How do you say goodbye to a friend, family member, partner, protector and one of the most important things in your world?
How do you say goodbye to sloppy kisses, midnight nudges and sappy looks?
How do you say goodbye to love, unconditional from beginning to end?
My goodbye is a warm hug, an unbridled ride in the car, a walk in the woods, an ice cream cone, pizza, a bowl of spaghetti and goldfish.
My goodbye is carrying your memories with me wherever I go.
My goodbye is being everything you wanted and needed me to be.
My goodbye is one last track.
My goodbye is a tear drop falling on your face as I bend to kiss you one last time as you leave this world.
GOOD BYE MY SWEET GIRL, SKYE.
She was my world, my heart, my everything and I will miss her dearly.
Always in my heart, Christa
Skye lost her fight with Lymphoma on Saturday and I had to leave her go. While her EPI had been under control the Lymphoma was just too much. She fought a good fight. I was told that due to her being a working dog (did SAR-mostly tracking) that I needed to give her that final command otherwise she would still continue to fight and I really could not see her suffer. Working dogs will truly die while working.
Saturday morning she had pizza, gold fish, ice cream and food with out enzymes, I had to give her her hearts desire and I figured at this point, what was the harm. I dressed as I would when going out tracking and put her harness on her. As the vet was administering the final meds I held the scent article up to her nose while holding her head in my hand and told her to "check it" and "go find". Her commands when tracking. My mother's scent was on that article and I told my mom when she reaches Heaven, Skye will find her.
So for now Skye is tracking with the angels.
Skye doing what she loved best.... Tracking.
went on her final journey March 2, 2013
Hope crossed over to the rainbow bridge at 10:47am on March 2/13 in Sarasota Florida. She fought as hard as she could. However despite all the efforts of 2 vets at the emergency clinic and their staff, I had to make the hardest decision of my life to end her suffering. Judy, Emilie, Chance and Winnie and I were with her as she went to sleep.They say she had pancreatic cancer and her convulsions were becoming nonstop and even surgery would not save her. It is just coincidence it happened here and that the trip did not affect her outcome.In her life vest. Last Sunday was her last Westie play day. She will be cremated. Her ashes will come back home and be buried in her original wagon that her Uncle Harold rebuilt for her last year.She didn't get to ride in her wagon on the beach and show people here how amazingly fearless and brave hearted a Westie she was. She will never ride on the back of my bicycle again nor swim in the pool but....She is watching over all of us now, my little beloved Hopey.Forever in my heart, Nancy
~ Oliver ~
January 8, 2013
The last few days have been so hard for our family. We have watched Oliver go between bouncing around in the snow like a puppy, to throwing up everything we try to feed him......to brushing him gently last night and finding it hard to brush over the prominent bones left from starvation. He is at the point where he cannot eat.....he is a german shepherd...he is stoic and his entire life has been about keeping us happy. When we have suffered, he has suffered with us. When we have celebrated joy, he has been there with us. He has been our rock and our strength throughout his 10 years of life.
We picked Oliver out when he was 8 weeks. Our daughters were only babies. Oliver was chosen to be a search and rescue dog.....and over two years that he trained, he was amazing. But then our lives changed and his job evolved as our precious young daughters were diagnosed with combined immune deficiency disease. Oliver became a service dog for them. He was a mobility dog so the girls could go to Disneyland....to zoos and museums and he was there for them to lean on so they could be children. Oliver has graced not only the hearts of our family....but everyone he has come in contact with. He is truly and angel. Oliver was featured in the Aquarium of the Pacific magazine after he had a long and beautiful nose to nose interaction for almost 45 minutes with a family of seals. What no one knew was that the seals were dying and left our world the night after the interaction. It was so beautiful and the aquarium moved to have a day dedicated to service dogs and their handlers. We always joked that Oliver was more popular than Micky Mouse at Disneyland. Every time we would stop for a break, a line would form. But the most beautiful interaction I remember with Oliver was with a young boy with Cerebral Palsy. He was only 10, but the two fell in love. In front of a crowd, we stood by as the young man was lifted from his chair and placed on the ground next to Oliver. Everyone was in tears watching as the two shared their hearts and love with eachother. On another occassion,, we watched Oliver with a severely autistic boy who was having a crisis. Oliver lay on the ground next to him and, within minutes, the young boy had come full circle and was calm and quiet as he and Oliver shared time together. We spent much time sharing with people the value of service dogs in disability....whether it be physical or emotional. We taught people how much dogs can do.
Oliver was retired as a service dog two years ago when his health became an issue. But this has not stopped him from sharing his precious spirit with everyone. We are all so sad to be at this moment in his life....one we all knew would come....but we hoped not so soon. There will be such a void in our lives without him. We came to realize this morning that asking him to suffer in order to give us time to accept the inevitable is unfair to him. We realized it is more important for us to remember how beautiful, loving and silly he is today than to remember him suffering on his deathbed....starving.
It is with such a heavy heart that we approach our day today. I pray for strength in all of us, especially our young daughters that have been so in love and connected with our precious Oliver for the past 10 years. The girls have asked that we return to Disneyland and dedicate a street tile to him in honor of all of his beauty and love.
I miss her like you cannot believe. She came into my life at a most crucial time of need. I was experiencing heavy loss and she picked me! She was extraordinarily special - - to a person they recognized her, not as a dog, but as a fellow traveler, an inspiration, the Buddha Dog.
~Kaiya (Ky,Baby,Pretty Girl)~
February 2007-Nov. 5, 2012
Kaiya- From the moment you came into our lives, our lives were never dull. You accompanied us on many outings and we had a summer filled with camping, swimming, and running just before you left. We enjoyed a 5 mile run just 2 days before your passing. The lord decided your suffering needed to be over and he took you peacefully in your sleep. Your 'little brother' Easton was with you in your time of passing and his presence I hope was a comfort to you. There is an empty hole in all of our hearts that cannot be filled. You were everything we needed and more. Thank you for getting me through the last year and half while 'dad' was away. Your constant comfort to me helped me survive a difficult time. We promise to take good care of your 'little brother' and when the time comes and our hearts have mended some we promise to provide a good home for another puppy/dog in need. Kaiya we love you and the memory of you will never die. Run free in heaven girl and wait for us on the other side. Keep a watchful eye on our family as we move through this life without you.
Love, Brock, Stefanie, Aspyn and Easton.
who sadly left us on November 9, 2012
I so miss you little gal, my time with you was the best, I couldn't see you suffer, so I had to let you rest. The sparkle had gone from your eyes, your tail no longer wagged, I loved you so much my sweetheart, I miss you and it makes me feel so sad. But you will always walk with me, and you will always be my fave, I have other dogs, I love them all, but not like I love you babe. xxx 'til we meet again,
Your beloved companion, Ashley
Sadly left us on Nov 4, 201
Sophie was a beautiful & goofy girl who was loved dearly by her big family The Dames as well as her brothers Axel Spot Pongo Tonka and her sister Autumn. Gone way too soon but never forgotten, We all love you Sophie Rest in Piece baby girl. Your suffering is over...Jared
Ilus was diagnosed with EPI at 23 months and lived an active, full life.
Sensitive, intelligent, noble, expressive, stoic, intuitive….and beautiful beyond words.
Ilus was a solid presence whose passing has left a huge void.Forever in our hearts, Krista
....born 19th March 2007 fell asleep forever on 20th March 2012 aged 5yrs old...
...Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you... I loved you so -
'twas Heaven here with you.
~Forever missed by Tricia, Ade, Rhys and Megan Sykes~
~ Pepper ~
July 21, 2000 - March 19, 2012
Pepper was a rotten puppy, comical teenager and wonderful adult. She was intuitive, tolerant, enthusiastic, and my best friend who taught me so much. She was a canine blood donor until her EPI diagnosis in April 2008, then developed diabetes two years later. She lived a long, healthy life with the help of Enzyme Diane and our EPI family. Early this year she became unwell, and I fought for her. When Pepper told me she was too tired to fight, I held her gently in my arms and showed her the way to the Rainbow Bridge. I miss her terribly but have a lifetime of memories to remember my best friend ... Tracey, Pepper's mom
~ you will always be in our hearts, Betty ~
Griffey – Golden Retriever
June 14, 2009 ~ April 4, 2011
I will remember how he used to lick every inch of my face in the morning, hoping that maybe my sweat might magically turn into gravy.
I will remember how he used to eat every morsel of food, or any substance for that matter placed near his nose or mouth in less than 4.6 seconds.
I will remember our dance parties we used to have in my living room, where Griffey gave new meaning to the style ‘running man’
I will miss his puppy hugs and how he used to rest his face on my knee when he needed to go outside.
I will miss his smiling face and his happy go lucky attitude towards any other dog or person he met.
I will miss how you destroyed every new toy or bed or stuffed animal I purchased, only to smile at me when I would find it, to say ‘hey dad! Look what I did!’
I will miss his alarm system barks that warned me of any intruders or just to show me that he had a big dog voice now.
I know he is not suffering any more and that he is making so many new doggy friends along his journey over the bridge. I will always love him, miss him, and cherish is memories, good or bad. So god speed little Griffey, you were only here for a short time and gone way too soon. You were my best friend and always will be.
I will meet you soon.
Love, your best friend and partner in crime, Sean.
Simon "The Boy"
1/11/2002 - 2/1/2011
You never complained, and were
always a fighter. We loved you so
much and cried a million tears for
you. Our prayers are that you are
free of your suffering and are
playing once again with your new
doggie friends in heaven. Oh how
our hearts hurt and we will always
miss you. We love you!
...Bob & Karen...
Megg was one of those once in a lifetime dogs. She came home with us at 8 weeks old. A chubby little freckle faced ball of fluff. We loved her instantly. She had the most beautiful nature, loved everyone, especially kids. She was always happy, funny, & just the most wonderful pet that we could ever have wished for.
She had a very special relationship with her Irish Setter sister Tess. Both were baby puppies together & were inseparable. They did everything together & there was never a crossed word between them, not ever. Tess’s life, as ours, will never be the same without her.
We miss her scrunchy happy smile, her forever wagging tail, her ‘bossy boots’ attitude. We just miss her so much & will love her always.
My beautiful Megg will live in our hearts forever.
Run free beautiful girl. Go chase those birdies.
Your loving Mum & Dad, Lynn & Derek
and your sister, Tess
Aug 2002 ~ September 2010
Beloved EPI rescue dog of Vicki and Simon
Holly we miss you so much!
In my Dreams
In my dreams I see you Bonnie, you are never far away
I hold you close and smell your scent and wish we could stay
Forever together but the night moves so quickly and is nearly done
The misty dawn approaches and is waiting for the sun
So I cup your sweet face and kiss your silken head
My eyes fill with tears and my heavy heart feels like lead
But then I remember and smile as to myself I say
Brush away those tears as another night will follow this day
I kiss you once again and my heart lifts it seems
With the promise we’ll meet again…….. Forever in my dreams
In Memory of Bonnie
"Her paw continues to guide me"
6th September 2007 - 23rd September 2009
31st July 2008 - 23rd August 2010
It was short lived though - soon after she began to lose weight again and stopped responding to any treatment.
Daisy will always be remembered as the happy go lucky pup she was - she will always be loved and will be forever missed.
If it wasn't for the amazing people on this website i don't think we would have had these past few months with Daisy. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for giving me more time with my girl - i couldn't have done it without you all. ~ Mandy
October 2005 ~ July 27, 2010
What can one say about an animal that was so much more than a pet. We adopted Dutch in 2006 and from day one there was an incredible bond that began like no other. Dutch was that one of a kind animal that makes such a long lasting impact on your life. He was so smart you would almost think he could read your mind. So strong in body but so gentle and caring in mind. We often wonder why he was taken from us at such a young age. Why this dreaded disease robbed him of so many years ahead. The heartbreak and grief we suffer will slowly decrease over time but Dutch will forever remain within our hearts. “Dutchy” you have crossed over that “Rainbow Bridge” free to run with no illness and no pain. We miss you so much and wait for that day when we will see you again. Our hearts will no longer ache, the tears will no longer flow, and the joy will be brought back into our lives.
Chuck & Peri
1-29-2001 to 5-25-2010
Zeke came to us almost 4 years ago, full of life and vibrant energy. He brought along with him a considerable bag of charms to steal our hearts away. It is these charms and the memories we created while he was with us that will give us solace in our grief now that he is roaming the grounds at the Rainbow Bridge. Zeke also came to us with a medical condition that led his previous family to surrender him, and when we were asked to bring Zeke into our family, we promised to shelter him with tenderness, love him while he was with us and care for him in the very best way possible. Zeke taught us many things and we learned many more while treating his condition, but the most important thing we learned was to enjoy each day to its fullest as we do not know which will be the last. While the grief at times seems unbearable and we still often get a tear in our eye when we are reminded of him, we do not consider the investment of love that we gave him to be in vain. We will forever treasure the memories of Zeke and the happiness that he brought to our family, and one day the grief will pass and we will be able to rejoice in his antics with all those whose life Zeke had such an impact on. Give your dog a hug and do something special with them today, it will be a memory that will help carry you through the grief that will come when God comes calling and your friend passes to the Rainbow Bridge to wait for you there.
Loved by Mart, Cindy & BJ Ratliff and all those who were ever blessed to know him
5/14/1996 -to- 4/15/2010
December 21, 2001 ~ April 12, 2010
You were a small flower I rescued from a thorny field
I brought you home and planted you in my heart
Here you grew to know what real love was
Though you weren't a perfect flower
Your uniqueness made you special
Your favorite place was on our bed
You liked to lay your head on our pillows
Because you wanted to show us you were like us
You hugged me by rubbing your head into my chest
I hugged you by holding you against me
When it was time to pick mommy up from work you raced
To the end of the yard to see if it was okay to go
Your back leg flying out to the side as you ran
You'd look back at me and if I said okay, you'd scoot under the gate
When I took you for a walk you didn't need a leash
You'd never go far ahead of me
At each curb you'd stop to see if it was okay to go
You needed no training because you loved me
Then your imperfections began to show
And your uniqueness made you even more special
You could no longer hug me, so I hugged you
God wanted to pick his Daisy
I had to let you go
You will always be planted in my heart
~Daisy's Daddy Tony~
For Kelly, in memory of Boomer,
from your friend Debra, and all the members on the EPI FORUM
My friend I know you’re hurting
with sorrow deep and true;
I wish that there was something
I could do for you.
To simply say “I’m sorry”
just doesn’t seem to be
enough to adequately express
my heartfelt sympathy.
Night has fallen on your heart
and cast a shadow long;
Your world is changed forever
you can’t believe dear Boomer is gone.
You lost a family member
who was loved like all the rest;
A loyal, loving companion
who always gave his best.
But time will heal your broken heart
though it may take awhile;
Sweet memories will replace the loss
you’ll think of Boomer Boy and smile.
Roz, you were the sweetest girl with the most gentlest soul.... and you will be forever missed....your brother Bailey, the cat, is so lost without you!
God Speed my girl ...
My girl, Willow. She was my partner, my companion, my friend. I have had five dogs during and since her time on earth and none have come as close to the love and devotion she gave to me. I found it easy to manage her EPI with Pancrezyme even during the time she was actively competing in Obedience, and so I feel we were lucky; even when her poops turned gray and with mucus she was still willing to work as hard as ever. She now lives in the very heart of my heart and I am a better person for it.
Vibrant, Strong, Tender and Sweet
Run free with the wind at your back,
unfold your wings and soar through the heavens.
Forever in my heart,
Maddox was diagnosed with EPI, SIBO, and IBD in August of 2008. He fought a hard fight for such a tiny little guy. He had such a loving, caring personality along with the mischievousness that EPI dogs get into in their search of food. Needless to say, there was never a dull moment in our house. He was such a Mommy's boy, and my constant companion. He wouldn't even let me brush my teeth by myself. His favorite things were doing laundry, going to day care and school with his teacher, Debbie, and eating cookies in the lobby of the PetsHotel in PetSmart. Even in his last days as he sat a week hooked up to an IV in the hospital, he never lost his loving personality and never stopped wagging his tail no matter how weak and critically sick he was. On Good Friday, God took my precious baby boy home. He is missed terribly. He had so much love to give. Goodbye my little sunshine. Mommy loves you forever! Amy
December 16, 2005 ~ April 10, 2009
♥ To Jacko, my heart of heart dog. 2/22/00 to 5/12/09 ♥
Jacko was a kind soul that loved all people and loved his pack. He dealt with EPI all his life and courageously met all of its challenges. We will miss his sensitive face and loving eyes and sweet kisses.
Cinder was named Cinderella when we first adopted her. We were her fifth home due to her EPI because no one thought she was worth the trouble. She was on her last day at a kill shelter when GDS rescue took her in and we found her. My 5 year old son, Samuel, decided that she had found her "happily ever after" home so we should call her Cinderella. Cinder gave more than she ever asked for. She learned to play again and not fear making mistakes or accidents anymore. She learned to wag her tail and enjoy life. She gave so much joy to our family. She was Samuels best friend ...always ready to go down to the "creepy basement" to get a toy ...and Samuel needed protecting from the "scary things" that might be down there. Each night after bed-time I could always find Cinder sleeping beside Samuel on the floor of his bedroom. We had four short years with Cinder but I would do it all again for the love and joy we had in those years with her.
Cinder, you are missed so very much and will forever be in our hearts! With all our love, your mom Helen.
~ Our Beautiful Shadow 3/8/05 - 2/4/09 ~ You were the most gentle, intelligent and sweet natured dog that I have ever known. We miss you so much Shadow and life will never be the same. May God bless you and take care of you until we are all reunited one day. You will never, ever be forgotten .... With love always, your mom Joanna.... and your brother, Tikaani (Tikaani pictured above with Shadow), who is so lost without you...........
Weylin, beloved and treasured companion and friend of Debra C, who is now waiting for her at the Rainbow Bridge, was lovingly released on 12-12-2008. He is sorely missed every passing day....
Sabre, beloved GSD of Deb Zsuccumbed to EPI March 2009. It is with heavy heart that many say "good-bye" to Sabre.... because of his multitude of EPI struggles and shared experiences, so many others were helped. We will always hold a very special place in our hearts for this extra-ordinary gentle soul.
Freyja, a beautiful German Shepherd Dog from Louisiana, born October 16, 2007, diagnosed with EPI one year later in October 2008, sadly passed away the end of 2008. Freyja's owner, Hallie, hopes that this memorial to Freyja will help bring EPI awareness to other GSD owners.
They say memories are golden, well maybe that is true.
I never wanted memories, I only wanted you.
A million times I needed you a million times I cried.
If love alone could have saved you, you never would have died.
In life I loved you dearly, in death I love you still.
In my heart you hold a place, no one could ever fill.
If tears could build a stairway and heartache make a lane,
I’d walk the path to heaven and bring you back again.