Back to Back Issues Page
February 25, 2019

There is no 'Gardening For Wildlife' newsletter this week

It is with great sadness, tear stained eyes, and a broken heart, that I write this letter today.

Last Monday, at 5:30 PM. , I had to take my little Akita to be put to sleep.

We buried her on Tuesday.

Kita's last two pictures, taken February 18.

You can see in this one how she is bent and crooked to one side.

This was her favorite position in her day bed for the past few years.

Sunday evening she started acting real strange.

Like a series of mini strokes or seizures (no need to go into details).

She could hardly stand, walk, and had to be helped for potty breaks.

We knew her time was up.

Our final act of kindness.

(A much younger girl.)

Keet slept with us one last night.

She was lavished with love and treats all morning and afternoon (she never lost her appetite).

I cherished the time with her, yet waiting all day was so hard on me.

Anyone that has truly loved a fur child knows what this past week was like for me.

Our Animal Hospital does things different than the past vets.

Akita was first put to sleep, as I got to hold her, love her and comfort her.

After she was out of it, the final injection was administered.

She died around 6:00 PM., in her sleep.

There were plenty of 'Bye Baby', 'I'm Sorry', and I Love You.

(I am crying as I rehash the memories as I write.)

Our pets are just as much a part of the family as I am.

We believe in proper burials.

We were shocked when we were asked if we wanted to keep her or have them dispose of her.

I'm sure there are some circumstances, but for crying out loud, a family member deserves a proper burial, or cremation.

Not treated like yesterdays garbage,

I digress.

Monday, before the final moment, I was attempting to dig a hole.

The ground was frozen and ice covered.

Needless to say, I'm bawling my eyes out and getting very frustrated.

I would've taken a hammer and chisel to break through the solid ground if I had to.

Then I look out and see those wonderful bags of leaves I place on the tender perennials to keep from freezing.

I removed a bag "Thank You Lord".

Tuesday morning I dug the hole.

Nice and soft, covered with worms.

(Even a robin enjoyed a few worms.)

The night before, (we had a just right sized box).

We placed her day bed in, had her wrapped in her blankie, and placed her leash and a toy with her.

I placed her in her final resting place, and we cried.

Right in the middle of the back yard, where I can see out the window everyday.

A much better location than I had planned.

We knew her time was approaching, we were hoping for spring and thawed earth.

For anyone that lives where the winters get rough, and you have pets, a nice bag of leaves comes in handy.

Why am I sharing so much?

First off, we are animal lovers, period.

Karen and I grew up with pets.

As long as I can remember, there was at least one dog and one cat in the family.

I grew up with German Shepherds.

Small dogs fit our lives now.

And always at least one cat.

I am 100% dog lover through and through.

When we adopt a fur baby into our home, we know they become a member of the family.

Nothing less.

We know we are taking on a big responsibility.

Feeding, nurturing, potty training, teaching manners, etc.

We take them to the doctor for checkups, and when they are sick.

We love them and discipline them.

We worry about them.

Sound familiar?

In return, we are loved.

No matter what we look like or where we live.

Unquestioned love.

Yes, almost like a child, they depend on us.

Family members aren't to simply be disposed of.

Though we understand for apartment dwellers and such, but try to find a proper burial place for your loved one.

If for some reason you can no longer afford your fur kid, call your county's humane society, or animal shelter so it might be adopted anew.

Don't drop it off in a field or road somewhere.

Bad things happen.

If you see animal abuse, even farm animals, report it.

Animals feel joy, pain, fear, loneliness.

My hope is one day people that are cruel to animals will finally feel the weight of the law.

I mean real fines and jail time.

There are monsters out there parading as humans.

Pets and animals fall prey all the time.

You adopted your fur baby, take care of it.

Love it, and respect it.

(Akita and a young Miss Penny.)

At times, Akita was as stubborn as they come.

But she also loved me unconditionally.

She wasn't a good lap dog, however she would lay be me for hours, snuggled as close as possible.

She tolerated being held, but enjoyed a good ear and belly rub.

She freely gave doggy kisses, and I freely accepted them.

She was my walking partner for several years, until she couldn't do it anymore.

If I took an article of clothing off, she promptly made a nest and laid in it.

She was a big sister to Snickers and for the years we had Ziggy.

She slept with us since she was a pup, the last few years between our pillows.

When the weather allowed, she would sit, or lay on the back porch and steps for a nice spell.

Sometimes as if she was surveying her 'Keetdom'.

When she wanted in, she would let out a certain pitched bark.

Even the week before, she would show spunk and have short bursts of energy.

There were short play times and unknowingly, one last short walk she wanted.

Keet was about 13 years and eight months old.

We were blessed for 13 years and five months.

A spoiled little girl.

You know it.

Snickers feels the emptiness as well.

Why do I hurt so much?

She was just an animal right?

No, she was my loyal companion, a fur child that grew old.

She was a part of our family, trough and through.

Many of you have shared your losses with me

Now it is my turn to cry on your shoulders.

Thank you for your time.

(She loved to lay on pillows.)

About 11 years ago, Pookie our Lhasa Opso died suddenly.

A reader back then sent me the poem 'Rainbow Bridge'.

It meant a lot to me, and I have shared it many times.

Here it is again.

'Rainbow Bridge'

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of
days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

With that said, I believe we will see fur kids in heaven one day, but the poem was vary helpful at the time.

Figuring we would have to deal with this this spring or summer, Karen has already ordered her a little red toy poodle (girl).

So now we will get a new puppy in about 5/6 weeks.

A marker will be placed on Keet this spring.

She holds a central spot in the big flower bed.

She will have a place in my heart forever.

After I'm done crying/mourning, we will recall all the fond times we shared with our little fur child.

Akita, my stubborn little girl

I Love You.

You are missed.

See you in heaven.

Well, thank you for putting up with my blubbering.

There will be no positive thought for the week.

"Treat the earth well:

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors,

We borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb.

A Blessed week to you .

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson

PS. If you enjoy these letters, please forward them to friends, family and co-workers.

Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.

Gardening For Wildlife.

Back to Back Issues Page