Monday, November 28, 2011

It's been three years...

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....

This story, as corny as it is, always help me get through this time of year. Three years ago today, Joshua & I said goodbye to our sweet Brittany Spaniel, Mac Daddy.

Unlike our crazy Sookie, Mac was calm and docile. The people who run the local kennel (and bought my family's old house) gave us Mac my freshman year of college. They knew we wanted a dog but didn't have the time or space to raise a puppy, so Mac became ours. 
He wasn't much on playing, but he did like to run and snuggle. Him and my roommate's dog Chloe were partners in crime. They would take turns ripping the stuffing out of their toys and get into all kinds of mischief together when left unattended.
Despite being so young (he was 3), Mac I took Mac to Albermarle Animal Hospital on Monday, November 24th after he'd been vomiting and having horrible diarrhea for a few days. This wasn't abnormal for Mac since he (like Sookie) ate everything in site and had a sensitive stomach, but we decided it had been going on too long. 
On arrival, our vet Dr. Gregg, immediately thought that maybe Mac had gotten into some antifreeze, which is a common cause of kidney issues. But, our baby hadn't gotten near any antifreeze and didn't have the drunken-like stature like most pets who have ingested it. 
We were so blessed that a pet urologist was at the clinic that day, so they shaved off Mac's beautiful white & orange hair on his swollen tummy and did an ultrasound. 
Mac's pancreas was swollen and inflamed and because of the pancreatitis, his kidneys had also started malfunctioning. Dr. Gregg told us that he would do his best to treat Mac and to leave him over night to push IV fluids and monitor his progress.
The next day Mac wasn't a lot better. He was still lethargic and shaky and hardly noticed when Josh and I came to visit.
Wednesday, Dr. Gregg had to go to Mississippi to visit family for Thanksgiving so Mac was transferred to Tarboro Animal Clinic, another pet clinic in our area. Dr. Fong told us she would continue treatment and hope things got better.
They didn't.
We visited Mac Wednesday before Thanksgiving at the clinic and he looked terrible. He was swollen from the fluids, his eyes were glassy and he didn't even want to walk or stand up. I cried and cried the whole way home. 
Thursday during Thanksgiving dinner, one of the vet techs called to let us know Mac's enzymes hadn't gotten any better. We knew a decision was ahead of us.
The next day, we had a home ECU football game, Josh and I visited the vet together and after seeing Mac we decided he'd been through entirely too much and we were being selfish to keep him here suffering like he was. We told Dr. Fong to put our 3-year-old dog to sleep and we rubbed him while Mac took his last little breath. 
It was BY FAR the hardest decision I have ever had to be a part of. We had Mac cremated, we just didn't think we'd be able to handle driving his body home to bury. 
Josh and I went on to the football game in attempts to get our minds off of the sad events of our morning. 
We still miss our first dog, but Sookie does a great job of trying to fill his shoes. We saved a lock of his fur and have it inside a little tin with his ashes. People may think we're crazy for paying so much money to cremate an animal, but Mac was our fur baby and he was a huge part of our lives. 

Me {and the freshmen 15}, Mac & Josh - Christmas 2007

Mac, snuggling with his daddy


  1. awe...bring tears to my eyes!! i couldn't even imagine losing peyton!!

  2. Aw this made me miss Mac like crazy -- I will ALWAYS keep the Rainbows he ate <3

  3. Awwww.. Losing pets is so SO sad!! :((

  4. Oh this just brought a tear to my eye! I grew up with the most hyper brittany spaniel. He was so precious and loveable! We had to put him down on Dec. 6, 5 years ago.
    Thanks for sharing your story!