Wednesday, January 19, 2011

And Then There Was One

Yesterday afternoon, my dearest friends Andy and Kim sent their 14-year-old greyhound Bree to wait for them at the Rainbow Bridge. 

Bree is in the center, with Daniel on the left and Howe on the right.

Bree joined their family in October 2001, an alpha-bitch clear to her core, and she promptly took her place as the leader of the dog pack.  She and Kim would frequently have 'discussions' about who was in control of the household ... and Bree found out each time that NO ONE can out-alpha-bitch Kim.

Bree and Kim were a superior Therapy Dog team, mentoring dozens of new dogs and handlers. 

When I saw Bree last Saturday, she looked so tired ... Kim told me on the phone Monday that Bree told her that her work here was finished and it was time for her to go. 


Andy and Kim's Howe passed away in July.  Howe was one of the last remaining Therapy Dogs who visited the families of victims of the Pentagon attack at the Family Assistance Center in September 2001.  He was also the first greyhound to be certified as a Disaster Stress Relief dog, a grueling certification at which only the most determined Therapy Dogs succeed.  Howe was THAT kind of Therapy Dog.

Happy TJ!

... and now there is one, TJ.  He was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in July (shortly before Howe's death), and he has sailed through amputation surgery and six rounds of chemotherapy, and he is doing very well so far.

I spent yesterday trapped inside by the results of Monday night's ice storm, spending time with my own dogs.  Emma will be 14 on Friday .... I don't want to think about it.

Hug your fur-kids ... be they dogs, cats, or whatever.  They are with us for such a short time, and there is such sadness left behind when they are gone.

Godspeed, sweet Bree.


  1. This breaks my heart.


  2. Oh, I've got the chills. So sad when we lose our canine companions... I'm often asked by my husband if it's really worth the grief, and I say absolutely because not having them would be far worse.

    My sympathies to Brees' family-

  3. So sad. Losing a dog hurts so much. I never forget to love mine as much as I can.

  4. Please pass on my condolences on the loss of Kim's family member.
    My cat, Wilbur, is 16, and is also very tired. I just can't imagine life without him.
    I've hugged all of mine today and will hug them again now!

  5. How wonderful that Bree paid back the kindnesses shown to her by helping others, canines and humans alike. Their passing always brings great sorrow, but their lives with us are always worth that pain. Ann

  6. So very sorry to hear this Connie! Please send my sincere sympathies to Andy and Kim!

    Kat (hugging her gang a little tighter)

  7. I will be hugging by fur baby as soon as I stop crying. These losses are so hard but it is a part of the circle of life.

  8. I am sad to hear of your friends' loss. Last week my friend in MA lost her precious corgi girl (I posted pics of her on my blog during the holidays). Animals are such a special gift to us and it's hard to let go of them. Tonight I'm going to give all three of my girls extra belly rubs before we go to bed.

  9. Many condolences. I have a greyhound and, as I watch him age, I always worry about osteo. I belong to the Greytalk forum and have since adopting Sammie--great resource for questions and support--but there are rare days that go by when someone's grey isn't posted in rememberance.

    I am very sorry for their loss.

  10. There will be extra treats and lovies here today.

  11. Thank you for this
    message, Connie....
    It's one I needed to
    hear, loud and clear.
    Our fur-babies are on
    this planet with us
    such a short time....
    We truly need to cherish
    them and tell them we
    love them every single
    day! You can see the
    soul in these beautiful
    dogs in each one of your
    pictures. My heart goes
    out to Kim. I know it
    is so hard to lose these
    xx Suzanne

  12. Oh, I'm so sad for your firned. I can never understand it when people say that pets dying shouldn't make you sad.

    They become such an intimate part of your life, I think. These look like really wonderful dogs. It looks to me as though your friend gave them a wonderful end of life.


  13. Connie - they have had such good lives because of you. And our lives are so much better because of them. Win win until they have to go. Ugh. I'm so sorry.

  14. My poodle (Scooter) will be there to greet him on the other side of the bridge. I lost him 2 years ago at age 15. I never had any children so this was doubly hard on me I think. I also said was it worth all this pain? My sister made me feel better with well, someone had to buy him and love him...if not you then someone who might not have treated him as well as you did. I hadn't thought about it like that. Letting them go is an ultimate act of love on the owner's part. I have another maltipoo named Pixie that has brought such joy to me and Glen...she is our baby "together." My prayers to Kim during this difficult time that her sorrow will lessen with each passing day.

  15. Oh Connie ~ my heart is breaking after reading this. I can surely empathize with Andy & Kim after losing my 14 yr old Tessa right before Christmas. A part of your heart is just torn out and there is a void in your home for a long time. But one sweet blogger comforted me with this thought: "There is one more angel up in heaven telling all the other pets what a wonderful life he had." Prayers and hugs to them both...

    xoxo laurie

  16. I'm so sorry to hear that.

    You are so right. It is such a short time.... and they bring us such peace and happiness. Best part of my day is going home to my pups.

  17. What angels you and your friends are to rescue these amazing greyhounds. Blessings to you all. I am so sorry for the loss of sweet Bree, and for losing Howe this summer. The very first greyhound rescue dog?!! That is simply amazing.

    With my deepest sympathy,

  18. I am so sorry for your loss. I know how much it hurts.

    One day I hope to rescue a greyhound but am still tending to my beloved whippet mix.

  19. I was so sad to read this story, but it is a part o life. And the reason I still have not gotten another dog as of yet. A hard decision to make.


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