In Memory Of
PASSED – 2020
Dear sweet Hedwig has left us. He came to us with so many problems and worked his way into the hearts of all of us. Special thanks to a very special lady for figuring out exactly what this little guy needed and becoming his “savior”. Thank you, Beryl Fisher, for all the special attention and love that you gave Hedwig while he was in our care.
Sadly, Hedwig’s health condition deteriorated and we were unable to keep him free from pain. We will always remember how he was transformed to a sweet, loving little guy as he had the opportunity to bond safely. I will always remember the joy he brought to so many….
A Silent Tear
Just close your eyes and you will see
All the memories that you have of me
Just sit and relax and you will find
I’m really still there inside your mind
Don’t cry for me now, I’m gone
For I am in the land of song
There is no pain, there is no fear
So dry away that silent tear
Don’t think of me in the dark and cold
For here I am, no longer old
I’m in that place that’s filled with love
Known to you all as “up above”
PASSED – 2021
Our big, hairy, wobbly boy… he brought us joy every single day. His playful antics belied his age. He was such a happy fellow.
And then, he just got tired…
The medical issues continued and worsened to the point where we could no longer keep him comfortable.
Max took a little piece of all hearts when he left us. We will never forget how he made all our lives just a little bit better….
Until We Meet Again
We think about you always
We talk about you still.
You have never been forgotten
And you never will.
We hold you close within our hearts
And there you will remain.
To walk and guide us through our lives,
Until we meet again.
by Robert Bruce Rowe
We love you…
PASSED – 2019
Is it ever easy to say good-bye? Perhaps what makes it so difficult to say farewell to Keats is that I marveled at how this dog lived her life while she was at Dog Lodge. I believe that everything happens for a reason. And so, I believe that Keats came into our lives for a reason – she came into our lives to teach us something, to remind us of something.
It is inevitable that we will face challenges in our life – what is telling, is how we respond to those challenges…
Keats lived her last year on her terms. She was a wonderful old German Shepherd whose life was full of challenges. She dealt with one medical condition after another but she was brave and fearless and fought her way through it all. She recovered when we were told she wouldn’t; she walked when we were told she couldn’t. She even became a comforting and compassionate companion for Jet when Jet first entered our program.
Keats had a beautiful soul that shone through all her troubles and the obstacles she endured. She epitomized courage and resilience. I cried when she let me know that it was time to say good-bye and I cry as I write these words. This is the very difficult part of what we deal with at Dog Lodge. But past the sadness of loss, there is the knowledge that we were so very blessed to be able to care for Keats to her end.
Keats… Always in our hearts…
When Tomorrow Starts without Me
When tomorrow starts
And I’m not there to see
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
Are filled with tears for me…
I wish so much you
Though I know your heart aches so.
It was for the best
It was my time to go.
I know how much you love me…
As much as I love you.
And each time you’re thinking of me
I know you’ll miss me too.
When tomorrow starts without me
Don’t think we’re far apart
For every time you think of me
I’m right there in your heart.
PASSED – 2020
She started her life in California, moved to North Texas and then was surrendered to a shelter in Dallas. But thanks to Holly Dool and Camo Rescue, Cleo came to live at Dog Lodge at the end of June, 2018. She was so small and she had so many medical problems to deal with. Unlike so many diabetics who manage to keep control of glucose levels with insulin, Cleo’s diabetes was pretty much unresponsive to insulin. It took a year of investigation by our veterinarians, trying different insulins and feeding routines, but we were finally able to get her reasonably stable. Diabetic cataracts reduced her vision significantly. Mammary tumors led to mammectomies. And the list went on…
Such a tiny girl with so many problems. Sure, she slept a lot and sometimes she preferred to be left alone. However, it was not uncommon to find her checking out what was going on in amongst the big dogs who were always so careful around her lest she get under foot. She never did. But at other times… Well let me tell you that she could be an absolute munchkin – most especially at meal time. She was transformed from a sweet, docile, cuddly sweetheart into a she-devil. About an hour before meal time, she started yipping and yapping and pacing back and forth (unless she was outside, in which case she would go through the picket fence and into the flower bed and begin digging and digging and digging some more for no other reason than to let us know that we were not prepping her meal quickly enough.) Then she gobbled down her food, got her insulin injection and her diabetic cookie and promptly changed back to the cuddly sweetheart of old. Cleo lived life with enthusiasm and more often than not, that little tail was wagging even though she may not have been feeling all that well. Then, quite suddenly and with no warning at all, Cleo couldn’t breathe. Her bloodwork was completely normal but x-rays of her lungs showed something suspicious in both lobes. She was admitted to hospital where she spent 5 days in oxygen. Because the “masses” were bilateral, surgery was not an option. She was unresponsive to antibiotic treatment. Despite all of the efforts of a team of wonderful veterinarians, there was nothing that could be done to save her.
Our hearts are broken yet again. We mourn the loss of a little dog who was so dear and loved by all of us who were blessed to be able to care for her. We will remember her for the kisses and the cuddles; we will remember her for the way she greeted everyone when they entered Dog Lodge; we will remember her for the meal time antics that always made us smile; most of all we will remember her for her courage…
Love to you Cleo…
We will miss you…
Her Journey’s Just Begun
Don’t think of her as gone away –
her journey’s just begun,
life holds so many facets –
this earth is only one.
Just think of her as resting
from the sorrows and the tears
in a place of warmth and comfort
where there are no days and years.
Think how she must be wishing
that we could know today
how nothing but our sadness
can really pass away.
And think of her as living
In the hearts of those she touched
For nothing loved is ever lost –
And she was loved so much.
by Ellen Brenneman
PASSED – 2020
Florence was one of the first dogs in residence at Dog Lodge Sanctuary. When she arrived, she was already a senior and had an extremely difficult time walking. She didn’t want to be touched because severe arthritis made all her joints very painful. It took some time, but we were finally able to get her reasonably comfortable and with that came a wonderful change in her personality. While she was never one to pal around with the others dogs, she did warm up to her caregivers and then to the volunteers. It was wonderful to see her get up from her bed in the living room and waddle slowly over to greet whoever was coming in. Everyone understood that in order to give Florence any attention it had to be on her terms. With all of her little quirks, we loved her dearly. But with advanced age came the inherent health issues and finally there were just too many for her to cope with. Her bed is empty now and everyone who knew her misses her terribly. Good bye sweet Florence….
My eyes are getting heavy now, my time has come to leave,
But one thing I must tell you as you stay behind to grieve…
You always did your best for me, your love it knew no end,
I really was a Lucky Dog to have you as a friend.
I see how much you miss me now,
Your days seem bleak and bare,
I know you well, your heart is big,
You still have love to share.
So please don’t sit and cry for me,
We’ll meet around the bend,
‘Til then another Lucky Dog
Is waiting for a friend.
PASSED – 2019
Once again, my heart is filled with sadness. Jasper has left us. Such a gentle soul… We will miss seeing him roll in the grass with such joy; we will miss his gentle nudging to get more rubs. But as much as we feel the loss, his very best buddy, Max, who keeps looking for Jasper in all the places that they used to spend time together, is going to need time to adjust to his absence.
Jasper was with us for almost a year and brought absolute joy to all who knew him. There was an aura of gentle peace that surrounded him and enveloped all who spent time with him.
I found a poem that gives me some degree of comfort at this difficult time. I can close my eyes and picture Jasper in his new forever home where he will never have another thing to worry about.
I Made It Home
I just wanted to let you all know that
I made it home. The journey wasn’t an easy one,
But it didn’t take too
Everything is so pretty here, so
White, so fresh and new. I wish that
You all could close your eyes and that
You could see it too.
Please try not to be sad for me. Try
To understand God is taking care of
Me… I’m in the shelter of His
Here there is no sadness, no sorrow,
And no pain. Here there is no crying
And I’ll never hurt again.
Here it is so peaceful when all the
Angels sing. I really have to go for
Now… I’ve just got to try my wings.
Good-bye Jasper – you were loved – thank you for spending time with us – we will all miss you….
PASSED – 2017
A sweet girl who never had a chance. She had been hit by a car and her spine was fractured. Long before we were asked to take Josie into our program, the fracture had healed incorrectly and the consequences were devastating. It is no wonder that we were told that she cried every time she was put into her wheelchair and refused to move when she was in it. When she came to us, our veterinarian immediately began an evaluation, calling in multiple specialists all of whom came to the same conclusion. There was no way that we could care for Josie to allow her to have a happy, pain-free life. The injury was so severe and so painful that it would have required mega doses of pain medication to keep her comfortable. The problem then would be that those heavy doses of pain meds that she would require, would keep her so sedated that she would never be able to function normally.
We were heartbroken…
Our mission at Dog Lodge is to provide quality of life and here was Josie, so sweet, sensitive being who was suffering terribly and we couldn’t help her. Our veterinarian and the consulting specialists would have done anything they could to help Josie. When they told us that there was nothing that we could do to give Josie a meaningful life, the decision was made to let her pass with grace…
We had her for such a very short time. We loved her just the same. Goodbye sweet, Josie…
I held you in my arms
For such a short while
But you will forever be in my heart.
PASSED – 2022
Everyone is taught that
Angels have wings, but
The lucky ones of us find
They have four paws.
Nigel was our little angel. He had been wondering the streets in the heat of the summer of 2020 until he was found by a wonderfully compassionate gentleman who reached out to us and asked if we could help this little senior who definitely showed a lot of wear and tear.
Nigel lived life on his terms. He settled right in at Dog Lodge but though there was never any issue with the rest of the residents accepting him, Nigel kept pretty much to himself. He just did his own thing. He really gave us the impression that he just tolerated being held and loved on. A little bit of attention was ok, but if you patted him for too long, he would just get up and walk away. Actually, he did that with everyone so no one felt slighted.
Nigel made us laugh. He was perky, independent, and quirky! His front legs were stiff from arthritis – that didn’t slow him down, but he trotted around with a funny gait that made us smile.
Then, all too soon and all too quickly, Nigel’s health began to fail. In his case, it was not a gradual decline. The biggest problem was his loss of vision. The problem that he developed was so severe that one eye had to be removed. The surgery went well and he healed nicely. All the other issues were handled with medication. But over time, Nigel began to change. He lost his spunk. He lost his spark. He just began to withdraw.
Finally, it was as though Nigel just gave up – it was though he was ready to go. We said goodbye to our little angel with four paws.
Run fast, run far, sweet Nigel…
Be happy where you can see all, where there is no pain, where only fun and frolic await you….
PASSED – 2022
When you see the sunrise, think of me.
When the cool breeze touches you, know I am free.
When you feel the sorrow of us being apart,
Know I am not lost; I am a part of your heart.
by Stephanie Laird
He came to us in January of 2020. At the time, he weighed in at 104 lbs – large soulful eyes framed by huge ears and standing on long, long legs. From the day he arrived, there was no doubt that he was going to be a medical challenge. There were just so many things that he was dealing with including heart failure. Our goal was to get him to the point where he could have a good quality of life, where he could be happy and enjoy some of the simple pleasures of a dog’s life like rolling in the grass and going for walks in the pastures and getting excited when the deer passed by the yard. And he got there!! He ate very special food and had to take a lot of medication. He got up to a healthier 117 lbs and settled in to live life on his terms. It took a dedicated effort on the part of our staff who loved him and attended to all of his daily needs and our wonderful veterinarians whose medical care kept him comfortable. But truly, the rest came from him…
Maximilian was an inspiration to us all. He just never gave up!! It was as though, despite everything that he had to deal with, he was going to enjoy every minute that he had. Perhaps that was a large part of why he beat all of the odds and, despite the prognosis of 6 to 8 weeks that he was given in 2020, he was with us for 2 ½ years.
And now he is gone. We will mourn his loss, each in our own way. And as time passes, we will be able to remember his goofy antics, how he loved his walks, how he enjoyed his baths, how his idea of a fun time was to bump his 117 lbs of bulk into you and perhaps most of all the spirit and love of life he showed us every day. We were blessed to have Maximilian in our care. We are richer for having had him in our lives…
PASSED – 2022
I’ve grown old, my health is bad,
It is hard to walk and stand.
It’s time to go – you understand,
my life is no longer grand.
Please think of me with loving
Thoughts, and wipe away your
Tears, for God in all His wisdom
Has counted out my years.
Be assured you’ve done the right
Thing, you’ve ended all my pain.
Your heart will hurt for just a
While, then learn to love again.
Goodbye my wonderful family,
Goodbye my very best friend.
I thank you for this time we had,
You loved me to the end.
Missy and her full sister Jade came to us at the end of 2019. They were already 13 years old when they arrived at Dog Lodge but they were in pretty good health. Both of them loved to play and could get pretty rambunctious.
But in the summer of 2021, Missy had to deal with a medical condition called vestibular disease. This is a disease that affects the vestibular system which is responsible for balance. Luckily, her symptoms were only moderate and within a couple of weeks, most of them had resolved. But Missy was just never the same after that. It was as if her whole personality had changed. She could no longer stay with her sister because Jade who sensed Missy’s weakness, began to pick on her. So, we accommodated the separation.
For the most part, Missy was still enjoying her walks and lying in the sun in the yard. She still ate well and liked being in the company of some of the other very quiet dogs. But, as the months passed, Missy began to enjoy all of those things less and less. She began to have difficulty walking, and then had trouble getting up. She became less interested in finishing her food and then she just wasn’t interested in her food at all.
At the end, Missy told us that she was ready to say goodbye. She was 16 years old and unlike some, she had been well-loved in her life. Her end was peaceful in my arms.
Missy was a special girl, and yes, we loved her dearly to the end….
PASSED – 2021
First came diabetes… then Cushings…and then she lost her sight. The insulin injections controlled the diabetes but with the onset of Cushings matters became far more complicated. This spunky little pug/schnauzer mix lived most of her senior years on her terms, enjoying life, always with her sister Mia very close. But the last few months of her 15th year her health worsened and it seemed that she no longer enjoyed doing the things that used to bring her so much happiness. She just got tired… the spark was gone…
We miss you, Bella. We miss your quirky personality; we miss giving you the belly rubs you loved so much…
You will live in our hearts forever…
“Rainbow Bridge” you went,
I always knew
you were Heaven sent.
I cherish our time spent together
Til we meet again…I love you forever!
By Angelina LaFera
PASSED – 2021
Mia and Bella were twin sisters. But their health problems were totally different. Mia suffered seizures, the cause of which was never determined. She took anti-seizure medications and for the most part they significantly reduced the number of seizures and also the severity of them. Like Bella, Mia was a happy senior who could be just a little bit stubborn but who would sit beside you to get her pats and paw you continuously if you stopped patting her before she was ready for you to stop. But like her sister, halfway through her 15th year her health took a dramatic turn for the worse. Her liver failed, her sight failed and she became very, very confused. When she lost here sister, it was as if she lost all interest in living. She told it was time to go…
I choose to believe that Mia is reunited with Bella in a wonderful place where both can run and play and always enjoy good health. We will miss Mia as we miss her sister and never forget the joy she brought to all of us.
Your memory is a beautiful joy
That will live in our hearts
PASSED – 2021
The moment that you left me
My heart split in two
One side filled with memories
The other side died with you.
I often lay awake at night when the
World is fast asleep, and take a
Walk down memory lane with
Tears upon my cheek.
Remembering you is easy,
I do it every day.
But missing you is a heartache
That never goes away.
I hold you tightly
Within my heart
And there you will remain.
As my life goes on without you, but will
Never be the same.
Paolo passed at the age of 15. He was a Golden Retriever that gave new meaning to the description “Velcro dog”. He made friends with everyone – the other dogs and everybody who worked at or visited Dog Lodge. He was so clever and definitely loved to cuddle.
But time caught up with Paolo and his health began to decline. Soon he let us know that it was time to go.
He took with him a piece of my heart…
He took a piece of all of our hearts…
PASSED – 2020
God saw you getting tired
When a cure was not to be.
So, he closed his arms around you
And whispered “Come to me.”
In tears we saw you sinking.
We watched you fade away.
Our hearts were truly broken,
You fought so hard to stay.
But when we saw you sleeping
Peacefully and free of pain,
We could not wish you back
To suffer that again.
So, keep your arms around him, Lord
And give him special care.
Make up for all he suffered
That seemed to be unfair.
So many times we’ve needed you,
So many times we’ve cried.
If love could have saved you,
You never would have died.
How would I have described this wonderful old boy? Independent, single-minded, sweet and gentle….
This was a dog that came from a loving home. But circumstances were such that his owner had to make a brave and desperate decision. He asked if we could take his old boy and love him the way he did and make sure that he had everything that he needed to make his very golden years special. Remy fit right in with the rest of our residents even though he towered over most of them. They all just accepted this new hairy guy and so… Remy was home.
Remy lived with us for 2 years. The time went by far too quickly. We feel blessed to have had him with us – to be able to care for him and love him.
Thank you, Peter, for entrusting him to our care. I know you miss him. We will miss him too…
PASSED – 2019
Don’t grieve for me
For now I’m free.
I’ve left behind some misery.
My days of youthful agility
Were no longer a possibility.
My weak joints and cloudy eyes
Were longing for the heavenly skies.
Before I lost all dignity
You let me enter eternity.
Don’t grieve for me,
You’ve set me free.
Just remember how I used to be!
Maxtoo has left us.
I will never forget his hoarse, little bark. I will never forget how he ate every meal as if he’d never eaten before. I will never forget how he loved his long naps in the same place on the carpet in front of the sofa. And I will never forget how he would bump my leg with his forehead when he wanted attention.
Maxtoo was a sweet old dog who brought us joy every day. We were so fortunate to be his caregivers for his last year. Goodbye dear Maxtoo – we will miss you…. Run free, run fast, run far…
PASSED – 2018
I am deeply saddened to tell you that Rocky passed away in his sleep early on Sunday morning, October 21, 2018. He had been admitted to the clinic for further evaluation of his severe arthritic condition on Monday the 15th. On Friday he suddenly began suffering from syncopal episodes. In addition, he had an increased heart rate even at rest, and increased cardiac irregularities called premature ventricular contractions. It is believed that these changes were associated with right-sided heart disease due to his heartworm infection. Dr. Fisher, Dr. Roset and Dr. Michalec were in constant attendance but Rocky did not respond to medications. Many thanks to the doctors who tried so hard to save Rocky’s life.
Rocky was only with us at Dog Lodge for a short time but he was dear to all of us. Even with all of his problems, he wagged his tail and was always ready for hugs and rubs. We will never forget how he loved his slow walks and found joy in putting his nose in the air to pick up whatever scents he could catch. We will never forget how gentle and loving he was…
So, my heart is heavy. Rocky’s passing is a sad reminder about how difficult our job is – trying to provide quality of life to a dog that has possibly never known a gentle touch, a kind word or enjoyed the care that each and every dog deserves. At least Rocky had some time living with people who quickly came to love him and admire his courage….
Goodbye Rocky… We will miss you…
I miss you my sweet dog.
I look at my tears fondly though
For each tear
Represents to me
One minute of you
One minute of me loving you
While you were
Here with me.
I’ve cried an ocean.
PASSED – 2018
This is the second time in a month that I have had to say good-bye to one of our beloved Dog Lodge dogs. When Riley came to us in the spring of this year, he was very sick. Our wonderful veterinarians were able to get most of his problems under control but the one thing they couldn’t fix was his enlarged heart that was having to work way too hard. He was taking a laundry list of meds to help him cope and, in fact, was stable throughout the summer and into fall. But time was not on Riley’s side. His heart was just too fragile.
As is always the case, we wish we could have had Riley with us for much, much longer. We will miss having him on our laps asking for more hugs and rubs. We will miss his quiet tolerance during all of the many medical examinations. We will miss how he loved his baths and especially sleeping in the dryer unit with lovely warm air gently blowing over him.
I found a prayer that I would like to share in Riley’s name. I don’t know who the author is, but the thought is written far more eloquently than I could have done.
Heavenly Father, Creator of all things,
Thank you for having entrusted us with such a loyal friend.
Thank you for letting this beautiful animal teach us unselfish love.
Thank you for the memories we can recall to brighten our days for the rest of our lives.
Finally, in gratitude, we return our cherished companion to you.
Goodbye Riley…. You will be missed……
PASSED – 2018
She was a very small dog and she was so sweet. She was surrendered to a shelter and the shelter reached out to us. We took her to our veterinary clinic for immediate evaluation. An infection of some kind but of immediate concern was the huge mammary tumor that hung to the floor – it had to be removed. Complications during surgery from a reaction to anesthesia. Cerebral hypoxia… Despite the heroic efforts of the veterinary team working on Paris, she lost the battle.
Paris never made it to Dog Lodge. We never had the chance to care for her and love her and make up for her abandonment. A painful reminder that life is so fragile and so very precious. Despite our best efforts, she couldn’t come home.
Goodbye sweet Paris….
Whenever I feel sorrow come over me,
I imagine you’re racing beyond the Rainbow Bridge
With all the beloved dogs I’ve lost in the past.
My sadness quickly turns to delight;
You deserve this joyous afterlife.