This page is dedicated to the many dogs who sadly gave their lives to EPI, and to their owners, who struggled with this horrible disease treating their faithful companions, some with success and some with failure but always with hope. Many of these EPI dogs are extraordinary souls who so deeply touched our lives with a love so strong and with such loyalty that they forever changed our lives. May their legacy never be forgotten.
Hi, Mum.. Dad...
Now that I’ve been across The Rainbow Bridge for a couple weeks, they said I should write a letter home. Sorry, mum, but I’m so busy ‘across the bridge’ that I haven’t thought of home much. They said it’s okay and that you would understand. I hope you do. (I think you will.)
Remember that night when I wasn’t feeling very well and we were all crying? I don’t remember much, but I do remember seeing and hearing all of you and feeling your touches and hugs…I remember hearing “we love you” and that one last command of “Go through”. I didn’t know what you meant, so I turned around and walked through the fog that was in front of me. I saw the biggest bridge I’ve ever seen! And so many friends on the other side of it! They were all playing with toys and balls! You were right to tell me to go there!
My feet kept moving forward, but my heart kept pulling me back. Your touches became lighter and lighter and I wanted to come back and nudge your hands for more love, but I was overcome by this feeling of curiosity for the happy place over the bridge! My feet started moving on their own, like a gentle breeze was moving them forward for me! I can’t explain it, but I had no doubt that it was the right thing to do!
So, I walked across that big, huge bridge by myself! I looked for you, because you’re always by my side, walking with me, but this was different. I didn’t have a collar around my neck or a leash connecting me to you ~ I was ‘free’! Even though you weren’t there with me, I never felt alone! I actually felt like I had a huge cape of love wrapped around my body and the more I walked, the easier it was to breathe! So, I kept walking! And I would feel more warmth in the big hug, so I kept on walking! I eventually made it over the big bridge – I did it by myself, mum!
When I got here, all of my new friends greeted me and helped me walk off the bridge ~ it was so cool! They gave me a pair of wings and said that I was now a Guardian Angel!
What I’ve learned over these past few weeks has been amazing and nothing like I’ve seen before! We’re all the same up here ~ we all have wings and we all have Forever People to watch over ~ that’s YOU, mum!You’re my Forever Person and I’m your Forever Dog! We had such a great life together and I do miss you a LOT, but please know that I am so happy in my new home across The Bridge!
I’ll send you another Earth Angel so you won’t be alone. Give them your whole heart, like you gave it to me. I’ll check in every so often to make sure they treasure your love ~ I always did! When you miss me, think of a rainbow and know I’m on the other side of it, waiting to walk with you again. I’ll always be in your heart. I love you, mum! Time for me to go play
Here i am......see me !!
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