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Ripley 7/21/97 - 8/12/08


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I know that I don't post here very often and it has taken me a few days to do this. But we had to let our red headed girl go this Tuesday the 12th. It started out with weight loss and sporadic eating. We brought her into the vet on July 23rd and had some blood work run. She had lost 6 lbs at this point. Her kidney values came back as elevated so we started to treat her for kidney failure. Then her leptospirosis panel came back as positive for exposure to three strains. We started her on antibiotics at that point. She kept losing weight and would refuse to eat more often, sometimes skipping three meals in a row. Then the horrible, watery diarrhea started along with some vomiting. We weighed her last weekend and she had lost a total of 10 lbs.


We took her in again on Tuesday. She had gained 7 lbs in spite of not eating and having all of that diarrhea. I did not think that it was good as I was thinking of internal bleeding and/or fluid accumulation inside of her. They took a chest x-ray and found fluid in her chest cavity. She was having some difficulty breathing and would tire very quickly. She still felt very skinny as you could feel her ribs and spine way too easily, yet her stomach looked full. She did not not look good, even the vet said that she looked like she really got worse over the three weeks. We decided to let her go so that she would not suffer any more and get any worse. It was a very difficult decision as I don't think that we were fully prepared for it at that point. They take a look at her afterwards and found that she had some type of GI cancer, the vet figures that she had lymphoma as it was infiltrated throughout her small intestines. This all happened so quickly, she was just fine in June and even the beginning of July. It was three weeks from when we first took her in to when we lost her.


We do miss our little red head, Ripley. She is the one who got me first started in this herding addiction. She also had so much personality, she would talk to me. She also kept all of the rest of the gang in line. She is in my avatar to the left. That picture was taken 5 - 6 years ago when she was sitting on the bench on the porch looking in the window into our kitchen. I am sure that I must have been making supper as she loved to eat!


On our way home Tuesday we saw a rainbow just before we made our last turn down the county road. I think that she sent that rainbow to tell us that she is okay now and that she is waiting for us at the bridge. We also saw one of the most beautiful sunsets that night, the nicest one in quite awhile.


I like to think that she is up working the sheepies and helping to keep the flock in order. Run free, Ripley and God speed my little red head.


Thanks for listening.



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I am so sorry for your loss, Kathy. I have an old girl myself who likes to keep the boys in line, and, in memory of Ripley, I'm going to give her a big hug after I post this note. (She doesn't much care for hugs, but she's getting one anyway.) I hope your memories of Ripley and your time together will continue to give you comfort.

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It breaks my heart every time I see a new string in this section, because it always means that someone who loved a dog as much as I loved my Missy, and still love my Annie, has lost a beloved friend. It is also difficult to type, because focusing one's eyes when they are filled with tears is hard, as the pain that you are feeling brings back, with too much grim reality, the pain I myself have felt too many times in my life. I hope the following feeble attempt at consolation brings a bit of comfort.


My precious girl passed away, no more to breathe a sound.

I held her for the last time, then entombed her in the ground.

Day and night I wept so much, in tears I thought I'd drown.

I searched my soul for comfort, but no peace therein was found.


In great despair, I hit my knees and then began to pray.

"Father, will I ever see my dog again someday?"

I raised my eyes and saw an angel standing near a gate.

I sensed an inner peace I'd never felt before that day.


The angel smiled and said to me, "Oh ye of little faith!

God sees every bird that falls; He knows your puppy's fate.

I have met your little dog, I saw her pass my way.

Your precious dog is still alive; she just walked through this gate.


Paradise is lovelier than you can comprehend.

No pain or grief, no tears or fears, and life will have no end.

God gave to man His only Son, to cover all his sins.

So why would God withhold from you, your pure and loving friend?”


The angel took me by the hand and said, "Now come with me.

A glimpse of paradise I'll give, to you so you can see."

Through the gate and o'er the Rainbow Bridge we did proceed.

Through green valleys filled with flowers, rolling hills and trees.


“Wow, so this is paradise!” The place was filled with joy.

I saw my puppy playing there, with dogs and cats and toys.

She also had some doggie treats, and food that she enjoyed.

She'd made a lot of new friends there, including girls and boys.


Then I saw a child come near, and hug my little mate.

She said to her, "I love you so," and kissed her on the face.

The angel said, "The child just crossed the Rainbow Bridge today.

Now she needs a little friend, to love and help her play.


God’s love for her would be enough, in that make no mistake.

But in His love, He knew full well, the child would want a mate.

This is why God called your dog unto this splendid place.

God’s entrusted her with your baby, ‘til you pass through the gate."


I pleaded, “May I hug them both?!” The angel answered, “No!

You’d violate a sacred site, and now it’s time to go.”

He led me back across the Bridge and through the gate to home.

He left me there with new-found hope and peace within my soul.


If someone ever asks what happens to a dog that dies,

Just give a gentle smile of joy and look them in the eye.

Take their hand and comfort them and tell them not to cry.

For dogs don’t die, they simply cross a bridge to paradise.


Ripley loves you and is waiting for you; but in the meantime, she has important work to do. Via con Dios, little one.

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