Animal Welfare Professionals

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  • 1.  Remembering our pets that have crossed the Rainbow Bridge

    Posted 11-10-2021 10:16 AM
    Overview:  Share a short story (including photos) of a pet that has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Tell us how that pet impacted your life and please feel free to leave positive comments to stories from our colleagues. 
    My inspiration for starting this thread comes from a beautiful conversation I just had with Aly Medina from One Tail at a Time.  She recently lost her pup and the story she shared about their bond brought me to tears.  I hope we can all slow down and take a moment to remember the special pets that drive our passion for the work we do. With her permission, I am kicking off this thread with Aly's story:

    My pup's name was Simba, he was a rescue. I used to work at an animal hospital when I was a teen, a breeder had bought Simba and left him tied to a tree outside the Clinic when he found out he was crypt and he wouldn't have much success breeding him. Simba also had hip issues at that time, he was only 8 months old. Being a giant breed, he was a presa canario, and sickly, the staff were going to euthanize. I showed up to my shift and asked what was going on and once I realized I asked to keep him, I didn't ask my parents I just knew he needed us, so I arrived home with a 90 lb puppy to the surprise of my family. Simba lived through so much with us, I didn't attend my prom to pay for a part of his Stem cell treatment, he survived GDV, and he had 4 dog brothers and sisters. He was a gentle giant and the best boy. I miss him so much everyday. I attached my last post on instagram from a few months ago and I included a piece of jewelry I got custom made of him to always have him near my heart.

    photo of a necklace
    Instagram post about Simba


    Bobby Mann

  • 2.  RE: Remembering our pets that have crossed the Rainbow Bridge

    Posted 11-10-2021 11:51 AM
      |   view attached
    Bobby I LOVE this post! Sorry mine is long!

    Joie – The love of my life

    When I first started working in animal welfare I was told by my predecessor to wait at least three months before adopting. And that's exactly what I did. My husband and I adopted Joie almost 14yrs ago. She was about 12yrs old when I watched her take her last breath. She went by a lot of different names, Joie, JoJo, Jo, Baby Angel Face, Sweet Baby Girl and My Love.

    I first met Jo when I went on my first rescue mission to another shelter. We went to large overcrowded shelter to transfer several cats and dogs that were slated for euthanasia. It was the first time I had ever seen what euthanasia row looked like. There were several dogs all vying for our attention.  Lots of barking, jumping and clawing on the fencing. There was one dog that was nestled as close up to the fencing as she could get, trying so hard to get our attention, but not making a peep or jumping up and down. She was one of the dogs we took back to that day, along with several others and the entire room of cats slated to be euthanized. She was named Joy. Several days passed and I noticed that this sweet dog was just looking for someone to please.  She never barked and never once jumped on her fencing or when you went in to spend time with her. She just waited patiently.

    A few adoption days passed and she kept getting over looked. I decided that there was something special about this one and that she maybe, just maybe she was meant for us. I took her home to foster her (knowing all too well that I was not going to bring her back). My husband just wanted to make sure she was the right fit for…this was something I already knew. It didn't take long for my husband to fall in love with her too. We decided to make her an official part of the family and changed her name to Joie.

    One of the best memories I have of her to this day, was when we took her to the beach for the first time. There were no other dogs there, just her new sister, Chloe, a 3 yr old and Jack Russell. We took the leash off and watched her run and run in these huge circles tossing sand in every direction. It was the first time I had seen her "let loose". It was the best feeling in the entire world to watch her run and feel free and happy for maybe the first time in her entire life.

    In the 10yrs we had with Jo, she had made three moves to different houses and accepted three human babies into her life. She had clearly never lived indoors, or had toys to play with or swam in water before. It took time for her to acclimate to those things. But she was a pleaser by nature and never asked for anything more than for us to just be patient while she learned how to live this new life of hers. I know for a fact that I could not have asked for a better dog. She never wined and hardly ever barked. She waited patiently to be let outside and to eat her meals. She had so much love to give. You could see it in her eyes. Being loved is all she ever wanted in this life and we were happy to supply her with that. 

    It was Thanksgiving break three years ago that we said goodbye. She was running free, chasing squirrels one day and the very next limping and holding her leg up. We knew something wasn't right. We learned she had progressive bone cancer and was in a lot of pain. We knew we had to say goodbye. We set a date for the vet to come to our house, so she could leave this world in the comfort of her own bed, her own home and with her family. We had an "I love Jojo" party the night before and cooked her everything a dog could ever want. We shared stories and memories, cried and laughed. Then the next day we watched her take her last breath. It was in that very moment that I truly knew that she was my soulmate in this world and I would never ever forget her...that I would never forget why I'm in the field I'm in or the importance of the work I do. 

    Erin Ellis
    Community Engagement Director
    Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe

    Volunteer & Community Partnerships Specialist

  • 3.  RE: Remembering our pets that have crossed the Rainbow Bridge

    Posted 11-10-2021 02:10 PM
    I wrote this post when I lost my first dog Huey in August 2017:

    I'll never forget the day I got you. You were my first dog. Not a family dog; not a dog my parents were responsible for. You were mine. I remember putting you in the car and driving to my downtown apartment, excited and terrified all at the same time. I had only moved to Memphis a month earlier, and little did I know, in this moment, I had made a choice that would help define the next 13 years of my life.

    At first I was a really bad dog mom. I would go out at night and leave you, a puppy, alone too long and you would have accidents. You would get bored and chew up my stuff. But that was about me learning to be a good dog mom, not you learning to be a good dog. You were already the best dog.

    As we got older, we moved, multiple times. You got one sister, then another one, and then your first human one. You adjusted to each life change as if it was your own decision; always happy, excited and sweet. The definition of the perfect dog.

    As the years passed, your back legs started to fail you; surely because they carried you through all of life's adventures with ease for so many years.

    When the time finally came to make the decision to let you go, I wanted only one thing- to be with you at home, and for you to have peace in that moment- for it to be easy. Easy like you made life for our family for 13 great years.

    I'll never forget you Huey. You will always be my first born. Goodbye my son. I love you forever.

    Alexis Pugh
    Director, Memphis Animal Services

    Organizational Management
    & Pet Support Services Specialist

  • 4.  RE: Remembering our pets that have crossed the Rainbow Bridge

    Posted 11-10-2021 09:59 PM
    When I lost my rescue borzoi too young to a sudden neurological event I was devastated. 
    The only small thing I have left to remember him by is because I thought to save some of his fur.  This is my memorial of him.    I now also save the fur of my currently living dogs, so that I don't risk forgetting when the time comes.  
    Starry Night, aka Starry:
    Rain Jordan, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP Fearful Dogs Specialist

  • 5.  RE: Remembering our pets that have crossed the Rainbow Bridge

    Posted 11-12-2021 08:41 AM
    How beautiful. May I ask where you had that made?

    Lisa Girardot
    Colorado Animal Rescue

  • 6.  RE: Remembering our pets that have crossed the Rainbow Bridge

    Posted 11-12-2021 03:10 PM
    Thank you Lisa.  I made it myself. But my husband's business lets me offer custom orders through it, here:
    Here's a photo of my much-missed boy, too. 
    Rain Jordan, CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, KPA CTP Fearful Dogs Specialist

  • 7.  RE: Remembering our pets that have crossed the Rainbow Bridge

    Posted 11-11-2021 09:30 AM
    These stories are so moving. Thanks all.
    My Stanley, aka Stan the Man, became the family dog when his previous family gave him up. He was about 5 years old. Then at age 12 he came to live with me in San Francisco. He passed away in my arms at age 17, after being my constant companion for 5 years. He was pure love. Because he became "my" dog as a senior, when he passed I showed up at Muttville (senior dog rescue) with his meds to donate. I was a wreck. They took me in with such kindness and let me just sit on a huge couch with a bunch of old mutts. I signed up to volunteer that day. Later, I applied for a job and was hired, switching careers from public health policy to animal welfare. Stanley brought me to my new career working with and for old dogs and the people who love them. I will never forget him. His paw print, photo, and collar with all the tags from all the addresses he lived with me, sits on my desk.

    Sophie Cheston