Rainbow Bridge News

Rainbow Bridge News

Rainbow Bridge News

I hate writing this post. Flash and Patches will be crossing the Rainbow Bridge tomorrow. It’s been a long time coming, in some ways, but a rapid decline on their part, in other ways. While it breaks my heart to have to do this, it’s also a relief. My babies have been in pain for awhile. I wrote about “knowing when” a couple of months ago, and I’ll detail how that applies and doesn’t apply.

Flash and Patches enjoying a car ride prior to the Rainbow Bridge
Taking a car ride is one of Flash and Patches’ favorite things to do. We went out yesterday. I make sure to keep plenty of Jones Natural Chews in a bag in the car, just for fun.

Knowing When It’s Time

The Rainbow Bridge is a heartbreaking reality of pet ownership. We all face it eventually if we’ve loved an animal. I’ve been down this road many times in nearly 50 years, with some pets being tougher to lose than others. But how do we know when it’s time? I wrote about that here, based on my vet’s advice, but I’ll give you the bullet points, adding one I left out, which I’ve taken into account with Flash and Patches.

  • Muddy colored tongue and gums – this indicates that not enough oxygen is circulating through the system
  • Dog stops eating and drinking
  • Incontinence – peeing in the house, or in the place which it sleeps
  • Can’t make it outside to the bathroom – with tiny dogs it’s easy enough to carry them outside, but with 60 pound dogs, not only is it difficult for me to get them in and out every time, it’s uncomfortable to the dog, being lifted and taken in and out multiple times a day
  • Weight loss – I assume this doesn’t always happen when the dog stops eating, but can happen for other reasons
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Coughing
  • Dementia – the dog wanders around the backyard without remembering how to find the door is what she mentioned as a sign
  • This last one is mine – they have more bad days than they have good days

Do Dogs Need to Exhibit All of These Signs?

No. No, they do not. That would be sheer misery for a dog, having to wait until they all align. So how do you know? I’ll tell  you which ones my own dogs exhibit, and how we made the decision we did.

  • The eating and drinking has slowed down considerably,  though they’ll still take a Jones Natural Chew pretty quickly – I mixed raw hamburger with their kibble yesterday and they finally ate
  • Incontinence – Patches is dribbling just a little wherever she is – I’ll be mopping the floors today and tomorrow
  • Weight loss – their waists are thinner than usual
  • Can’t make it outside – Patches can’t get up without help, and now can’t stay up – I heave her onto a throw rug and drag her to the back door, where she’s somewhat mobile once she’s on cement, but the lifting hurts her (I’m as gentle as I can be)
  • More bad days than good ones – this has steadily progressed with both dogs
  • Dementia – in and out, in and out, with a quick turn around at the bottom of the steps

Patches is in worse shape than Flash, but he’s always in pain, and his dementia has increased. Plus, I’m 99% sure he wouldn’t survive more than a few days without his sister. They’ve been together since birth.

Why Am I Writing This Today?

I’ve resolved, from the beginning of this blog, to be as transparent with y’all as possible. I don’t want to sugar coat what’s going to happen tomorrow. My husband and our oldest son will both be there for the end. But I also know that I won’t be able to write about this tomorrow. I may not be able to write about it next week. But I wanted y’all to know. Next time I write about this, I’m liable to be an emotional mess. Or maybe not. Like I said, this has been a long time coming. I’m glad the dogs will finally be at peace and pain free. How about we just catch up on some photos of my babies? Before they cross the Rainbow Bridge.

The treats were good. Very good.
Laying out in the sun is one of their favorite things to do. Lately, though, Flash only turns around and comes right back inside.
Selfie with my Aussie mix
I’ll be missing my big babies, Patches (seen here) and Flash.
Flash, senior Australian shepherd
I’m not gonna lie – Flash is my heart dog. I’ll be broken hearted when he’s gone.
A sweet senior Aussie
Definitely the pretty one, Patches gets whatever she wants

Saying Goodbye

Thank you all for following the antics of my babies. I may or may not post tomorrow. Hug your dogs for me, will ya? I know my little ones will have a tough time with this. They’re going to grandma’s house this weekend. I hope that helps them with the transition and loss. I hope it helps me, too. Saying goodbye is the toughest part of any relationship. I hope we do it well.

Spreading the good chews …


13 thoughts on “Rainbow Bridge News

  1. i am so very sorry. Evie was my heart dog. i still mourn and cry everyday. Evie had some of the symptoms. Evie also had dementia but she was on 2 meds for them. Evie’s downfall was the terminal cancer otherwise she was fine according to both vets. She was not in pain. yes, she did have accidents in the house but she knew where the door was but sometimes could not get there in time. i guess my thoughts differ from yours and your vet. i think of my girls as humans and will not put them down b/c we dont put humans down for these problems. my vets agreed with me as well. i wish you peace in your decisions. i know how broken you feel. your insides feel ripped out. i regret not holding Evie longer b4 the time came and not holding her longer afterwards even though i held her for several hours. please accept my deepest condolences and i will pray for your family and for Patches and Flash. in the picture, they look fine. they seem to be really enjoying themselves.

  2. Oh Flea I am so sorry. It is one of the greatest heartbreaks of loving a dog as well as the greatest gift you can give to them. I will be thinking of you tomorrow, and your family. It seems I just do not have anymore words for you today. I know the bridge will be brighter with their souls residing. Deb

  3. Flea, I am so sorry. This is the tough part of having pets and loving them so much. But it’s always worth it. I think it is sweet that you are letting them go together. That right there shows how much you love them, and are thinking of them first. Losing one is tough enough, so I can only imagine how difficult that will be for you and your family. Our hearts will be with you, and we’ll be thinking of you and those two beautiful souls as they go to a place with no more pain and suffering.

  4. I’m so sorry. It will be so hard to lose them both at once – especially your heart dog – but I’m sure you’re right and it’s time and will be the best for them to go together. This is by far the worst part of being a dog parent. You guys were lucky to have each other. Sending big hugs your way.
    Jackie Bouchard recently posted..A Pup & A Plant, Part DeuxMy Profile

  5. We are so sorry, Flea. Mom didn’t ever want to let Katie go. Even the last day when she could not get up or stand and she eliminated all over herself, Mom wanted to find a way to keep her going, but we saw the light in her eyes had gone out and she had lost her will. It was not the life she wanted to live, just as your precious babies don’t want to live in their current state. It’s hardest for those left behind, but it is the right thing to do and in your heart you know it. Huge hugs to you. Flash and Patches have led the dream life living with a stash of JNC. They know how much you love them. They were there for you in your struggles, and now you need to be there for them. Hug them tight one last time and you will meet again.
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  6. I’ll be with you tomorrow in spirt. May they quitly drift off to sleep and stay in your hearts forever. Bless you!

  7. I’m so sorry. It is so sayong goodbye to one, I can’t imagine two at once. You and your family are in my prayers.

  8. Such a hard decision for any dog owner to make, we all feel your heartbreak and loss. We will all be thinking of you at this very sad time. But you have done what is best for your dogs and that is the one gift we can give our dogs, after all the unconditional love they give us. Sending love to you all. X

  9. I have already been an emotional mess because yesterday, 31st was our T-Chiens death anniversary and it still hurts after 4 yrs of her passing. She was the best. My heart breaks for the grief you will feel. But as I know you, those furbabies had a grand life.

  10. With tears streaming down my face, I can only say I’m so very sorry ‘that’ day is coming for you. Sending oodles of poodles comforting thoughts and tail wags. May all the tender memories of two sweet pups provide some measure of comfort in the days ahead.

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