I hope you know:
- You were never really a 'foster' in my heart. You were an integral member of our pack.
I couldn't have loved you more.
- You taught me more in two years than I could have EVER taught you.
- I never realized how many times I reached for you in the night - until you weren't there.
- I was never - EVER - angry or annoyed with you when you had accidents. I, too, will be old someday. I know that you would never do that on purpose. The mortified look on your face when it happened made my heart sink. No matter how profusely I would reassure you, I know it made you sad to think you disappointed me. You didn't.
- You were instrumental in rehabbing many fosters, but I got the credit. From obnoxious puppies to terrified adults, you broke through to each with your calm, steady energy. You knew exactly how much correction to give each, without ever being aggressive or mean. Too Much Bear was the exception, and I know how hard you tried, but he lived in a hell that only he could understand.
- I always gave you one more Goldfish than Loose-E got.
- I took you off of the adoption site because someone was interested in you. It wasn't fair to offer you for adoption when I had no intention of letting you go. The finality of removing your silly pictures bothered me a great deal, but perhaps helped me work through the realization that someday soon, I would have to let you go for good. But know that you will ALWAYS be a member of OUR Pack...a shining example of how wonderful rescue dogs can be!!!
- I will always have a vengeful rage for the idiots who discarded you. To leave a faithful companion of 10+ years in a high kill shelter, with opened tumors, hooks and whips, kennel cough and resulting pneumonia because he is "too old" is unconscionable to me. I am sure that you forgave them, long ago. I cannot.
- If it weren't for you, I would never have given Tank a chance. You showed me how wonderful pits can be.
- I always thought 'Otter' was the dumbest name for a dog - ever. But it was yours, so we kept it. I don't think you sounded like an otter at all. You just had a distinctive bark.
- The decision to send you on to Rainbow Bridge was a monumentally difficult one for me. So many other times, when you were sick, you managed to bounce back. But that was not to be this time. Once I knew, in my heart, that you weren't going to get better, I did everything in my power to alleviate your suffering as quickly as possible. I pray that I didn't cause you one second of unnecessary pain.
- We all appreciated the incredible patience you showed us on your final day. So many people were coming in and out, just to say goodbye to you. You made such an impact on so many! Even when you couldn't wake up, I hope you could feel their love as they said their farewells and stroked your head. It meant the world to me that you were able to go outside in the sunshine for a bit, with LuLu, and spend a few minutes. I know it probably wasn't easy for you, but, as always, you handled it like a champ. I wish you could have said goodbye to all the furkids then, but I didn't want to stress you out too much. They all got to say goodbye afterwards, one at a time, so they knew that you were gone, spiritually, but your body was returned to the pack. I hoped this would give them some measure of peace, but LuLu is looking all over for you, Tank is laying on top of your grave and won't move and Momma Dog has just been crying all day. If you could send a little bit of that calming energy you have, we sure could use it.
- Gabe finally gave you up and told me that you were the one who was jumping up on the nightstand to look out the window. He said he saw you doing it, more than once, and it was hysterical, with you having all four paws smashed together to balance on that little table. All this time, I have been scolding Loose-E for it. Silly boy...I only wish that I would have gotten to see that. I bet it was comical, indeed, especially since I thought you did no wrong. I hope you had a little snicker at LuLu's expense every time I growled her for knocking all the stuff off of the table; you certainly deserve it for putting up with her over-bearing attitude for so long.
- I never expect to meet another dog like you. You were definitely a "once-in-a-lifetime" dog!
- I hope that Rainbow Bridge is everything we have heard it would be. I hope it is full of plush, green grass for you to kick with your back legs, the way you used to do before you got stiff. I hope that Ian was there to meet you, as I'm certain he was. He will never get tired of playing ball, even if you chase it, but never bring it back. He'll take care of you until I get there...