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Our Pets at Rainbow Bridge

Boots was born in the Spring of 1987.
All paws and claws, hugs and kisses, he ate with his paws from our favorite dishes.
Boots drank from the faucet, and always missing his collar, feigned he'd lost it.
My Boots was a shy, gentle and Loving guy.
Bright yellow eyes, and black velvet fur, he had the strongest, heartwarming purr.
But heavens angels gathered to greet my pet, he had seen his last sun set.
Of that last painful, heartwrenching day, as I held him close to quietly pray,
He tucked his nose beneath my chin, assuring me we'd meet again.
So one last time he clung to me, his Loving way for me to see,
That God's Rainbow promise shall be kept, our journey together isn't over yet.
Boots crossed over the Rainbow Bridge Thursday, 2:10p.m., October 28, 1999.

Smokey was born on Halloween 1984
Smokey was a Princess and right fom the start, with a quiet meow, she stole my heart.
They had no idea when they said she wouldn't live, how much life and love she had to give.
Gerber Lamb baby food and a warm heating pad gave her the first restful slumber she ever had.
So she climbed and played under her first Christams tree, by this time she could finally see.
She traveled across country on a 747, more content with the ground, decided she'd wait for heaven.
A neighbor stole her shen she was just three and the neighbor regretted it when he had to deal with me.
She disappeared again when she was eight - this time loosing a leg was her fate.
A rubber band had been put on her paw, probably retribution for being swipped with a claw
I'll never know who it was - that's a fact - but she survived it with her dignity and pride intact.
Oh, the debts mounted - I'll be paying on it forever -but in the end it gave us seven more years together.
Those years have now come to a close, and I miss the gentle nudge of her soft, wet nose.
In the year 2000 on March the 3rd I held her in my arms as she softly purred.
Gazing up at me with light green eyes, we both knew it was time to say our good-byes.
She suffered a heart attack at 1:30 a.m. and reached out for me to begin again.
I know she's there with Boots today. In a beautiful green meadow, together they play.
At Rainbow Bridge near a gentle stream, where animals go to play and dream
Of the moment when we'll be together forever more. After all, isn't that what the here after is for?

Penny was born in the Spring of 1988
Anthony found her broken and bruised. It was terribly obvious she had been abused.
The old woman told this boy full of dread, you'd better take her or tomorrow or she'll be dead.
So, this beautiful puppy - her age a few months, hobbled behind him, so sore from the lumps.
Each step was a struggle up the long, dusty drive. But they knew that there, she would survive.
The gleam in her pain filled, wet, amber eyes spoke so much louder than human cries.
Soon we were off to see the vet, a new course for our future had been set.
They said she wouldn't live long, perhaps 6 years. She was 12 when we shed our good-bye tears.
Our little copper colored Penny was a Shepard-Husky blend - and to us - she was a God send.
Every moment she could be - she was at our side, and never again - did she have to hide.
She saved my life in more ways than one. If her love were a light, she'd be as bright as the sun.
Sometimes I can still smell the scent of her fur. Its hard to describe how much I miss her.
In the end, she could barely see. But it was cancer that finally took her away from me.
The pain in my heart makes the days hard to start. But its the nights that I curse - they are so much worse.
I miss her gentle breathing at my side and the warmth of her fur since that day she died.
It was Saturday morning, the 15th of April 2000, her breathing became labored and to walk was a struggle.
Our last trip to the vet gave us the news we never wanted to get.
To keep her alive would have been cruel and selfish. To be released from the pain - we knew was her wish.
So I held her and told her of our ever lasting love and how God has a special place for animals up above.
I laid down by her side and gave her one last, long hug.
Then she licked my face and put her paw on my hand.
And her journey began to to the promised land.

It had been a very sad and lonely year, for both of us. We both hated it here so much after losing our animals that when school let out we packed up, determined to be away from here, to go home again if possible. It wasn't to be. By August we were back here in another house and both beginning a new year of classes and barely holding onto hope.

How could we have known that a very special baby had just been born, and in just a couple months she would become our miracle, our sweet pea, my baby girl, Sierra. It was as if the heavens above knew, because just about the same time, Anthony began asking for a Black Lab. That was August the 8th, 2000.

Then on an autumn day in October, a student of mine came to ask, if I would please take the last of his Dogs litter. Its the runt he remarked, a girl, and if I can't find a home for her . . . and that was that. The very next day, Anthony and I were on our way to get her.

I will never be able to express how much love, and joy and laughter Sierra brought into our house. She was shy, curious, but cautious, was housebroken and learning tricks within days and loved us with all her heart. She was exactly what we both needed. Anthony often reminded me that I spoiled her rotten, and I did. She ate a healthy diet that was supplemented with bites of steak, chicken, carrots, peas (that she could shuck herself), pizza crust, and the occasional walnut she snatched up in the yard. She was also welcome to jump on the furniture, sleep in my bed and sneak peaks into the kitchen whenever she wanted.

Other than the great grape scare (she picked some grapes of a vine near the farmhouse on day and had eaten the grapes by the time we found her) that had her on a special dog food (for years) to protect her kidneys, a bug bite twice she lived the next eight years totally loved and spoiled. She travelled with me every opportunity I got and she just loved going bye-bye. Even today when we all knew it would be the last bye-bye.

In October,2008, eight years after we brought her home she developed a sneeze. The vet thought it was an allergy. On Christmas Day 2008, after a tussle with Anthony I noticed her nose bleeding. Trips to the emergency and regular vet and a testing (Endoscopy, Anaesthesia, and X-Ray that made the bleeding and swelling worse) and medication fiasco (shed been given Rimadyl - deadly for her) resulted in her almost dying January 5th, but she fought back and I held on, even after I got the diagnosis of Terminal Cancer; an aggressive nasal tumor that had metastasiszed and spread to, her neck, both left legs, right front leg and right side in a matter of days. The most dangerous one on her head was inoperable. Radiation was even out of the question. So rather than have her be a test subject anymore I tried everything in my power, diet, palliative meds and an experimental one that has had amazing results (Artemisinin) on every other kind of cancer but hers. By last weekend she was sneezing blood, and was refusing to eat. By Monday she was reverse sneezing so violently it made her shake. She had to be coached to go outside, eat and take her meds (Prednisone and Tramadol). By Tuesday she was having trouble breathing, she was gurgling blood, and I could tell it was filling her stomach.

Wednesday February 4th, 2009 Sierra was encouraged to eat whatever she wanted, and she got what she had always wanted Anthony's breakfast of Pancakes and Bacon. We went out and patrolled the yard one last time, and she laid on the couch in the sun holding her ball between her paws, and enjoying one last massage and scratch from me. . . The appointment to put her to sleep was 10:30 but when we got there we just has to go for a little walk first, something she always enjoyed and never got enough of. The vet was running late and we tried one last time to relieve the pressure by tapping the tumor on her head. It didn't work.

At 11:00 am February 4th, 2009 at the young age of 8 and a half, Sierra took her last breath. God, I miss her so much.

Tolladay Family

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