RIP Patches.
Angel Patches (01/17/1991 -- 01/18/2002) left her paw prints on our hearts

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Pictures from earlier, happier days with Lynnea and Pooh

Lynnea, Patches and pooh Patches and Pooh

For more of Lynnea, Pooh and their new friend Freckles <click here>

How Patches and Pooh Came to Stay or A Story of Three Berrs

It had been over twenty years since I had had a dog. Apartments in Cuyahoga county, Ohio, simply didn't allow them, and as I was going to college at night while working in the day, it sure didn't seem fair to have a dog at that time. Once I bought a house, however, and was living alone, thoughts returned to a day when I was two and burst in on my older brother and sister who had been hiding Fluffy, a Heinz 57 variety dog, for a week in the house we were renting in Strongsville. Someone had dropped her off at Doc Fuller's next door, where my brother and sister worked to raise a little money, and told him to euthanize the dog. My brother, 11 at the time, told Doc "You're not putting that dog down," and they conspired to bring it home, feed it, and take it outside. Well, the cat - er, dog - was now out of the bag, because I cried out, "A DOG!" Next conspiracy was to let little sister in on it, and have HER take the dog to Mom and say, "Can I keep her, Mom? PLEEASE!?" Of course Mom relented, but I remember the strange looks she gave my brother and sister. (When Doc Fuller died, Mom took Fluffy to Dr. Meister, and Fluffy was his first patient!) Fluffy and I were inseparable for many years, and it was my job to give her her food and water, play with her and, when I was old enough, to brush her. I guess she was the family's first rescue! After Fluffy came Daisy, a spaniel mix who was intended to be my little sister's dog, but I got to do all the work. After Daisy, my mother did not want another dog in the house. I think I was around 16 at that time, and in time I adjusted because I had to, not because I wanted to.

Then, in 1992, Patches, Pooh and I met during my walks to and from work. After having barked at me going to and from work for many days, I always told her what a good watchdog she was, not knowing her name. We finally met on a day in fall when leaves were swirling around, and the owner looked up at me while I was waiting to cross the street. "I really do have better things to do with my time than rake leaves," she said. I laughed and said I would be going home to do the same thing. I asked if she was new, and she told me how she came to be there with her two sons and their two dogs. I laughed again and said I was the one that the little one barked at every morning. She said that was Pooh and at that moment, Pooh bounded up, turned round in circles, threw herself down in the pile of leaves and rolled over for a belly rub, hitherto unprecedented behavior with a stranger! Patches approached with a more ladylike demeanor, and wiggled her little tail slowly in acceptance of me as a dog person. She said that their situation was definitely not ideal for the dogs, as they originally had had the run of their house in VA. I opened the door by saying: "If you ever need to find them a new home..." They were both females, and we had only had females.

On Mother's Day of 1993, this acquaintance gave me two English Springer Spaniels: Patches and Pooh, sisters from the same litter, then 2 years old. Her family had been through a divorce, moved from Virginia to Ohio and in with a person who had 6 cats. The two dogs were relegated to one small crate in an unheated garage. When the crate door broke on the small crate, she happened to locate a secondhand large crate the same day and purchased it, but both dogs went into the same crate again. Her boys took care of the dogs and played with them, but they had agreed if the family situation changed, both dogs would need to find a home. That day came within six months when one boy decided to live with his father.

A single working within 2 miles of my house, I promised I would keep Patches and Pooh together always and welcomed both girls into my heart and home, and within a week they knew I would be home every lunch hour, would be fed on schedule, and they would get daily walks of a mile or an hour, whichever came first -- together. At first that was kind of like watching Marmaduke chasing the ice cream truck with his "master" in tow - me flying along behind while they pulled, pulled, pulled! Eventually I found the pro-stop harnesses that put a gentle pressure on their legs and the pulling stopped being uncontrollable. But, with them having first been used to the run of a house, and then crated in a garage, I decided their walks should truly be theirs - sniff and snuff all they wanted to. They taught me that I needed to adapt myself to their schedule (I gotta go NOW, Mom!) too. I had them spayed, fenced my small yard (lot size 50' X 123'), and devoted my life and purse to them. (During this time, Dr. Meister retired. Patches and Pooh were the first patients of their new vet.) Various cysts were removed from Pooh over the years. There was a constant battle with ear infections, finally a surgery restructuring of Patches ear ended the continual infections. Patches somehow injured her left rear leg, tearing ligaments front and back. She had surgery for that, and at that time, I moved my bed from the upstairs bedroom in my Dutch Colonial into the dining room. (I knew she would cry all night if Pooh and I went upstairs without her and no one would get any sleep at all.) Having two has been a joy as they were company for each other during the hours I was at work, although there was some sibling rivalry.

On November 6, 2001, Pooh was diagnosed with diabetes and I thought my world had ended! However, I waded in and learned what I could, joining the PetDiabetes mailing list, and I give her twice daily insulin injections and a special diet. At the tender age of 11, she still is afraid of squeaky toys! So, we simply do not have them. She steals my socks while I shower and runs into the other room with them! I feign shock and disbelief, pretend to look and she loves every minute of this game.

One week later, Patches was trying to sit down in the middle of the street during our walks, so off to the vet again. She was diagnosed with a bone cancer tumor called chondrosarcoma. We were referred to a veterinary oncologist and surgery was performed on 11/16/2001. Chemotherapy followed, but during the aftermath of a session particularly hard on Patches, she fell off the bed (box spring and mattress directly on the dining room floor since her ligament surgery the previous year) and injured her spine, as well as developing anorexic neutropenia. She required assistance to get up and go outside; I brought her water and food to her, waiting on her hand and paw 24/7 during my vacation during the last two weeks of 2001. In spite of trying to cook for her for three hours every night, trying to find a flavor of the day she might want, and in spite of appetite stimulants, I believe it was the knowledge that she would be an invalid, unable to go on our beloved walks, that prompted her to give up, stop eating and drinking, and she gave up her ghost on January 18, 2002, one day following her 11th birthday. Angel Patches is out at the front of a leash laughing her beautiful Springer laugh with my brother Jack and our Mom, Angel Daisy, Angel Fluffy, Angel Lady, Angel Missy, Angel Cinders (out of Daisy), Angel Ginger and Angel Mugsy (out of Fluffy) and Uncle Wally's Angel Beauty at the Rainbow Bridge, with many more angels I have not mentioned here. She is not in pain and will never be an invalid again. She had been looking toward the heavens for about a week and calling for the angels. She went to her long sleep, still looking toward the heavens, taking a couple of deep breaths and never once closing her eyes. Her ashes came back to me the first week in February 2002. At that time, I finished reading to Pooh "The Dog that could Swim Under Water: Memoirs of an English Springer Spaniel" by George Selden. Our angel, Patches, had to listen to the end of the story from Rainbow Bridge.

Her gentle sweet temperament and profound beauty shall forever be missed. On walks she would stop and wiggle her little tail when we encountered people. She was interested in meeting other dogs, too, but Pooh was always jealous and would bark at them.

Patches used to kiss both our faces and wash ears, and cuddle up next to me at night, while Pooh would tend to move her sleep spot, sometimes coming to the foot of the bed and laying her head on my calves. During the day, Pooh would sit on the sunporch and look out from a table, and sometimes curl up with her sister. They were together since birth, except for occasional overnighters at the vets. For the first time in her life, she is having a bit of separation anxiety, due to the lack of a presence in the house. So, I know she misses her sister and is mourning her, as am I. I felt we had a breakthrough when she finally came up and napped next to me on the pillow. She's also getting a little bit verbal after mostly being the silent one (save barking at the mailman or other dogs) and I "talk" with her. Pooh and I are readjusting our lives, walking like crazy, but Pooh has small cataracts and we have quarterly appointments with her veterinary ophthalmologist to keep tabs on her sight. Since she has always loved looking out at the world, I feel that to her, seeing is life itself, and any money spent to keep her enjoyment of life keen is a good investment. We are attempting to restore our lives to some semblance of normalcy: the bed, which was in the dining room for two years, is back in the bedroom upstairs. In essence, the house is being made the same as a house for a blind person. I'm doing catch-up on many items neglected during Patches long illness, and pitching lots of stuff. Pooh is my priority, and we are developing a one-to-one relationship that we never had before experienced. When her time here is done, her ashes will be mixed with her sister's, fulfilling my promise to keep Patches and Pooh together always.

Would I again take two raised together? In a heartbeat! I wasn't sure about having two in the beginning, but they are so wonderful together, and they are family.

Lynnea and Pooh Berr
Angel Patches (01/17/1991 -- 01/18/2002) left her paw prints on our hearts

The Loss of a Heart-Dog

I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep.
I could see that you were crying, you found it hard to sleep.
I whined to you so softly as you brushed away a tear,
"It's me, I haven't left you, I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here."

I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea.
You were thinking of the many times your hands reached down to me.
I was with you at the shops today, your arms were getting sore.
I longed to take your parcels, I wished I could do more.

I was with you at my grave today, you tend it with such care.
I want to reassure you that I'm not lying there.
I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key.
I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said, "It's me."

You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.
I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.
It's possible for me to be so near you everyday.
To say to you with certainty, "I never went away."

You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew...
In the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.
The day is over now ... I smile and watch you yawning,
And say, "Goodnight, God bless, I'll see you in the morning."

And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,
I'll rush across to greet you and we'll stand, side by side.
I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.
Be patient, live your journey out ... then come Home to be with me.

~Author Unknown ~

I Only Wanted You

They say memories are golden Well maybe that is true.
I never wanted memories, I only wanted you.
A million times I needed you, A million times I cried.
If love alone could have saved you You never would have died.

In life I loved you dearly, In death I love you still.
In my heart you hold a place No one could ever fill.
If tears could build a stairway And heartache make a lane.
I'd walk the path to heaven And bring you back again.

Our family chain is broken,
And nothing seems the same.
But as God calls us one by one
The chain will link again.

~ Author Unknown ~

The Rainbow Bridge inspired by a Norse legend

By the edge of a woods, at the foot of a hill,
Is a lush, green meadow where time stands still.
Where the friends of man and woman do run,
When their time on earth is over and done.

For here, between this world and the next,
Is a place where each beloved creature finds rest.
On this golden land, they wait and they play,
Till the Rainbow Bridge they cross over one day.

No more do they suffer, in pain or in sadness,
For here they are whole, their lives filled with gladness.
Their limbs are restored, their health renewed,
Their bodies have healed, with strength imbued.

They romp through the grass, without even a care,
Until one day they start, and sniff at the air.
All ears prick forward, eyes dart front and back,
Then all of a sudden, one breaks from the pack.

For just at that instant, their eyes have met;
Together again, both person and pet.
So they run to each other, these friends from long past,
The time of their parting is over at last.

The sadness they felt while they were apart,
Has turned into joy once more in each heart.
They embrace with a love that will last forever,
And then, side-by-side, they cross over… together.

Monday Night Candle Ceremony

The Monday night candle ceremony is a non-denominational ceremony held world-wide each Monday night in honor of our Bridgekids and those with special needs as well as lost and homeless animals. You do not need to be online during the ceremony, within the privacy of your own home you light your candle(s) in a way which is most comforting to you. As you do so, rest assured that the glow from your candle is sending a special message of love to your Bridgekid. This soothing light also gathers strength from candles lit world-wide to illuminate love, blessings and good wishes to all Bridgekids and special needs, lost, abandoned and neglected animals everywhere. Candle lighting times: 10:00pm Eastern Standard Time 9:00pm Central Time 8:00pm Mountain Time 7:00pm Pacific Time Central Europe - 10:00pm Greenwich Mean Time United Kingdom - 9:00pm Greenwich Mean Time

Rainbow Bridge

PetLoss Grief Support Website

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