Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The One with the Rainbow Bridge

Mom once read to us, "If you are true to the love of one you cherished through the many joy-filled years, you may find that a soul - a bit smaller in size than your own - seems to walk with you, at times, during the lonely days to come. And at moments when you least expect anything out of the ordinary to happen, you may feel something brush against your leg - very, very lightly."

If anyone can do that, Ginger can. She was protective of us all and constantly teaching and comforting us - two and four legged. She was tough through to her final moments on earth. She likely had hemangiosarcoma, a splenic tumor, which we didn't know about. This is a very rapidly progressing disease, explaining the rough two weeks we've had. I think she may have been trying to make the decision easier on mom and papa.

After giving us each a few moments to say goodbye, they brought her to Dr. Mitchell at precisely the right time. She walked herself into the clinic, which was important to mom, papa AND Ginger. But they could see she didn't have many more steps in her. Not only could her spleen have ruptured, it was taking Ginger everything she had to keep going. Papa told her she could stop being tough and fighting everything life presented to her and she did, with Dr. Mitchell's loving help.
Mom and papa said that, in a way, it was peaceful.

In true circle of life fashion, in the room next door, a dog was having a c-section. Two of the pups didn't make it and I believe Ginger will be a good big sister to them in heaven. That's how she is, always looking out for everyone else.

Dr. Mitchell, as I've said before and will say again, is our saint. She was nearly as teary and sad as we were about losing Ginger, her enigma. Ginger was one of her first patients when she opened her private practice in late 2000 after leaving active duty with the US Army Veterinary Corp.

Ginger touched so many lives. This photo montage is a tribute to her. Though it feels like it's insignificant in comparison and cannot begin to capture how deeply she touched each of us, I believe she knows how much she is loved.

The opening song is by Faith Hill from 2001. Mom happened to hear it on the radio on Monday morning, as she prayed we could make it through the week, and I thought it summed up our feelings.

Click play arrow to view slideshow.

If It Should Be

If it should be that I grow weak,
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then you must do what must be done,
For this last battle cannot be won.
You will be sad, I understand;
Don't let your grief then stay your hand.
For this day more than all the rest,
Your love for me must stand the test.
We've had so many happy years-
What is to come can hold no fears.
You'd not want me to suffer so;
The time has come so let me go.
Take me where my needs they'll tend
And please stay with me 'til the end.
Hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time that you will see
The kindness that you did for me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I've been saved.
Please do not grieve-it must be you
Who had this painful thing to do.
We've been so close, we two, these years-
Don't let your heart hold back its tears.

Author Unknown


  1. That took a full box of tissues!
    Wonderful tribute for the supreme wonder-dog. ((((hugs, hugs and more hugs to all of you both two and four leggers))))

  2. Beautiful tribute, to a loyal companion
    George and Jan xxx

  3. What a beautiful girl and such a wonderful tribute. Mom loves that song.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara



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