Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Walk away slowly, old friend

First, I'd like to say thank you to all of you special people who have left comfort and encouragement here at the Lilypad in the last few days. I appreciate it so very much.

I write this post with a heavy heart, and with tears in my eyes. We laid our sweet Pepper to rest here on the farm this morning. It was the hardest thing I think I've ever done, to look into her eyes and say goodbye.

The vet said that there was no way she would survive the treatment needed in order to "jump start" her kidneys  -- her gallant heart would have stopped, just as her kidneys had. Her liver was failing, and there were evidences of cancer, as well.  Instead of "all systems go" as Pepper wanted, it was "all systems failing."

It has helped me to look at some old pictures, and I thought I would share them with you. Pepper was a rescue pup of about eight or nine weeks of age when we became friends . . . this is what she looked like thirteen years ago:

She grew to adulthood scampering around the pastures, playing with the kiddos in the creek, and letting every skunk and raccoon know that she was the boss, if they dared to stop by in the nighttime.

Smart? Oh, boy was she smart! We were soft-hearted about all of the bunnies around here,and one evening while we walked in the pasture, Pepper took off after one. One word from hubby and she stopped in her tracks. And never chased a bunny again.

Those of you who have followed here for a while probably remember the story of how at one year of age, Pepper  rescued a kitten from the horrible conditions the litter was in . . . the kitten she gently carried back in her mouth and deposited in the cedar shavings in her own house, became Moses the studio cat. (See? At one day old, he had to be syringe-fed!)

He obviously has thrived under Pepper's care, and does a good job at holding down my sewing chair:

She also has been a very tolerant nursemaid to eight ducklings:

Who loved to stay close to her:

And when winter came, she loved to play with us in the occasional snows that we experienced:

And did I mention that she was an awesome wide receiver? (Grin)

In the midst of all of her other responsibilities, she took the time to train our second rescue pup, Kooshie, who we nursed through Parvo to excellent health:

Many of these memories came back to me today, as I looked through these pictures. In the last few days, she clung to life just as tenaciously as she did to the towel when we played tug of war . . . but there was too much to fight all at once. Even a fierce contender like her found it difficult to wage war on so many fronts at one time.

So, old friend, walk slowly as you approach that rainbow bridge. Pause one more time to look over here at me. Wag your tail and lift your head high, like when you caught the scent of deer coming to the spring for water.
Give me more time. Please. I don't want to lose you.

Rest in peace, Pepper. I love you.

It will be quiet here at the Lilypad for a few days. I hope all of you will understand.