"We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our
own live within a fragile circle,
easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would
live no other way." ~ Irving Townsend
At the Bridge
Read Wayde's story.
March 28, 2008
We know little of Jessie’s life with her
first owners. We have heard she lived with an elderly lady and her son for
her first 9 years. The son drove a truck and left Jessie in the care of his
Mother for the most part. Things turned bad for this elderly lady as she
was placed in a nursing home, and Jessie was left to the kindness of a
neighbor’s care when her owner went on 5 day driving assignments. Her owner
soon realized that it was best to give Jessie up so she then went to a
kennel where she waited for GSRNE and a foster Mom. This we assume was with
great pain to Jessie’s owner and performed out of love for Jessie. Jessie
became ill while in the kennel environment with whipworm and wasted away to
61 lbs. Jessie’s angel came along via GSRNE and in the form of Foster Mom,
Dottie Paquet. Jessie was one sick lady but with the proper care and love
she was nursed back to health over a 3 -month period. Jessie added another
10 pounds and although still very thin was now up to 71 lbs. Jessie’s
foster Mom was caring for her in a method that provided discipline, exercise
Dottie had reservations about giving Jessie up to adoptive parents as she
had become very attached to Jessie. Dottie stuck to her guns as she had
made a promise to a German shepherd (Shane) that she recently lost to
disease. Dottie had promised Shane she would foster some German shepherds
and find them good homes.
We, as Jessie’s new adoptive parents, had
recently lost our German shepherd to disease and were searching on the
Internet via the GSRNE web site and saw many German Shepherds needing
homes. When we came across
Jessie’s picture and story (an elderly gal looking for a retirement home) we
knew we had a place in our lives for this sweet lady. We applied through
GSRNE and were approved. The first meeting with Jessie and her Foster Mom
went well, we knew from the moment we saw Jessie that we wanted her to enter
into our pack/lives. Jessie was very comfortable and secure in her present
Foster Home, receiving discipline, exercise (playing ball with her Foster
Mom when we first met Jessie) and love. We played some ball and took her
for a walk, wishing we could take her home with us. We know that GSRNE
wanted us to think it over and the same for them. We called a couple of
days later after giving this responsibility serious consideration and
expressed our interest in adopting Jessie. We knew Jessie was an older dog,
and we knew we would not have her with us for more than a few years. We
knew we had love to give, and we had a great home to share with her. We said
yes to Jessie and Jessie, GSRNE and Dottie said yes to us.
parting of Jessie and her Foster Mom, Dottie was a difficult event to watch
but both stood tough. Dottie had made a promise and Jessie seemed OK with
the separation. You wonder what a dog thinks at a moment like this. Dottie
had provided us with Jessie’s bed and a pillow case with Dottie’s scent.
The car ride home went well and then came the next ride, a boat ride in the
dark to our island house. Yes, Jessie was off to live on an island in the
middle of Lake Winnipesaukee in NH, Cow Island. We arrived at our island
dock; I remember helping Jessie out of the boat, and she almost stepped
right back into the water. I don’t think she was seeing all that well and
this was unfamiliar to her. We introduced Jessie to her new house/home and
set up her bed in our bedroom. After a walk outside she settled right into
her bed and remained there until daybreak. You can guess the next few days
of walks in the woods, swimming in the lake, drinking water from the lake,
chasing the ball, barking at ducks, chasing chipmunks and no danger of cars
(there are no roads on Cow Island) she settled right in. Now I can’t
remember if it was week one or week two that I was concerned about Jessie’s
weight (she was not eating well and our vet indicated she could stand to put
on another 10 pounds) so I started sautéing hamburger and chicken livers,
adding this to her dry food mixed with some cooked rice. Jessie ate like
this for the rest of her life, and we maintained her weight at 80 to 82
pounds. She usually finished all of her meal, both morning and evening.
Jessie was in seventh heaven, eating good food, free to roam (never strayed
far from our house), swimming at will, drinking lake water, playing with our
neighbor’s dog, receiving discipline, exercise (two to four, one-mile walks
every day) and love. Jessie joined our pack in September so by November we
discouraged her from swimming in the cold. Soon the ice would start and we’d
leave the island and head to our Killington home where she seemed just as
comfortable. She liked the fireplace, meeting new people and being with her
pack. Killington would last until Christmas and then we were off to family
until early January; Jessie fit right in here also.
brought us back to the island and a walk over the ice to the lake house.
Jessie and her pack would settle down now for the winter. Lots of snow, lots
of ice and lots of cold, Jessie seemed to thrive in the cold. Now is when I
discovered that Jessie would ride anything with me, she even joined me on
the snowmobile. She seemed to like anything that involved the word walk or
ride. We now stayed on the island until there were signs of ice out,
usually April 1st. I set some rules when we had our previous
German shepherd, Jack. If you stayed out on the island for a winter you
earned the surname, Island. So there was Island Bob, Island Penny, Island
Jack and now Island Jessie.
Now the bad news: Jessie developed a small
blister type wound around her anal area and it broke one evening in December
2007. We were unaware of this blister until this break occurred, a little
liquid and some blood had appeared on the floor. Jessie seemed to treat
this wound fairly well by herself over the course of the evening, but we
took Jessie into the vets the next day as a precaution. Our vet examined
Jessie and indicated her anal gland had developed a tumor and due to the
hardness of this sac it was likely cancerous and had spread. Due to the
likelihood of spreading the cancer still more, the vet advised against an
operation. The vet gave us a time frame of 1 to 8 months and warned us about
cancer attacking the lungs. Cancer in the lungs would be fast-spreading and
a very unpleasant way of crossing that Rainbow Bridge. The vet indicated we
could explore and confirm this by taking Jessie to the cancer diagnostic
center in Manchester, which we did. Jessie had an ultrasound and this
confirmed our fears, the cancer had spread to her liver, spleen and lymph
nodes. They also indicated cancer was likely in her lungs and gave Jessie 1
to 6 months. After having Jessie in our family/pack for just a year and a
half we decided to make her remaining days as happy as possible. We were
praying Jessie could make it through another summer at the lake; she loved
the freedom at the lake and had only experienced one summer there. Jessie’s
remaining days consisted of three or four walks a day, stick gathering,
snowmobile riding and eating her usual meal (which she loved) of sautéed
hamburger and chicken livers mixed with dry food. Jessie lasted about 3
months before her breathing become very laborious. We also knew Jessie was
not sleeping well and she only went for walks to please us. After serious
consideration and thoughts of her suffocating, we decided
time had arrived to take that walk over the Rainbow Bridge. We were not
going to keep her alive just for us. So now she walks on that “other side”
with our previous German shepherd, Jack. They play, run, walk, ride,
breathe and eat; all the good things they enjoyed here on earth. And yes,
someday we’ll join them.
Jessie passed away March 28, 2008 and we
miss her every day. We want to hug her, kiss her on the nose, have those
two-way conversations and some day we will. We love you, Island Jessie.
Island Penny & Island Bob
Jessie's last day
Tribute To Ginger
is having her last night tonight (Feb 25, 2009). We adopted her in May of
1997 from the German Shepherd Rescue of New England. She was 9 months old.
From the moment she entered our home, she was part of the family. From a
skinny, pointed-nosed puppy, she grew to be a beautiful, loving, sweet
A lovely disposition, friendly to all but cats, skunks and squirrels, and
she loved to chase her tail with the command "Tail!"
Ginny took it upon herself to guard our home from these suspicious and
"dangerous" critters. She would sit in the room that overlooked the
backyard, alert, and ready to attack. Much to our amusement, Ginny never
caught anything. She would run with all her might, slam herself up against
the fence, and miss the squirrel...of course. This came as no surprise to
anyone...but Ginger. The father of the family, Mitch, insists that Ginny
did, in fact, catch two squirrels in her life; gutted them both and left the
skins in the small yard we have in the back of the house.
children, Genna and Matt, disagree. They'd like to know how a dog that
could not catch a ball could catch a squirrel. The daughter, Genna, often
would say to Ginger, "ready, don't catch this." She was amazingly talented
in this regard. A few times, the ball found her mouth, but never the other
Affectionate without slobbering, she was always thrilled to see us, whether
it had been five minutes or two weeks. Coming into the house late at night,
it was a soft thumping of her tail in the dark, the sound of her warm, dry
nose sniffing in the dark. We will miss her every day, especially curling
up with her on the floor.
Thank you for operating this fine service. We've had a decade of enjoyment
and love with a wonderful dog, a real sweetheart.
Be right back, Ginny.
Mitch, Joanne, Genna and Matt Lyons
10, 2000 - July 18, 2010
My heart is broken. My beloved Akaysha (GSRNE #155) went
to the rainbow bridge on Sunday, 7/18/2010.
Akaysha was a God-send to me. I had lost my precious GSD,
Nikki, the year before and things were plain lonesome around here. I found
GSRNE and went through the adoption process. I met Akaysha at her foster
home with Lynda and Warren at the end of 2003. She loved them and their
Clinty. I almost felt guilty driving away with her, because she was so
happy in their home. Thanks you guys!
Akaysha had been through quite a bit in her life before she
came to me (her third and forever home). While at her first,
hit by a car and broke both front elbows which didn’t heal properly; her
second home did what they could to help; GSRNE had her evaluated for further
treatment when it was determined that nothing further should be done.
She walked with a splayed gait but that just added to her charm.
Akaysha was a delight, although her soon-introduced kitty
sister, Skeeter, strongly disagreed at first. Within the first couple of
weeks they were fast friends, running and chasing each other all over the
house. Akaysha was not overly fond of the outdoors. She would agree to go
for short walks or would fetch a ball in the backyard but always headed to
the door after the first throw. She was my snow baby; she loved the snow
and would chase snowballs and lie down in the snow piles. It took forever
to pluck off all the snow that stuck to her fur she was quite a sight!
Akaysha loved to ride in the car. She was always pleased
when shed hear her leash and was asked to go for a ride. It didn’t matter
if it was just to the end of the street and back or if we were going to
visit my parents or my sister and her husband. She loved it all. She was a
well-mannered visitor. just curious enough to amuse, but never to the point
where she wouldn’t be invited again.
favorite place to hang out was in my home offices doorway, and she always
insisted that I be sitting in my chair in that office. I think she figured
that there was no other way out except over or around her she kept track of
me that way. She was content to lie there chewing on her tennis
ball…something that had to be closely monitored, because she was always so
pleased when she popped one and could start to tear the cover off. Of
course, that wasn’t allowed, so I would have to perform a slight-of-hand and
convince her that the new one was as good as the old. She didn’t mind she’d
throw it to me; Id toss it back; this volley would continue for a little bit
and then she would get to work chewing the new one! She loved that ball.
When she heard my sister, Robin, on the phone, her ears would perk up and
you could see her thinking. She would scurry off to retrieve the ball so
throw it for her:
it was one of Akaysha’s favorite games that became a nightly ritual.
Akaysha had another endearing fetish. She loved to
collect my shoes and place them in the very back of her crate (I sometimes wondered if she ever had puppies). I never
could convince her to go in and bring them back out though. Not so
good for her mom's knees, but you just couldn’t be irritated with this
behavior that sweet face would get to you every time!
Akaysha had surgery a little over two years ago she had
bloat. Thank God I recognized it and rushed her to the emergency vet who
operated on her within that critical first hour. It was scary but my strong
girl made it through and did very well. She was one tough customer!
During last year's annual check-up, the vet thought that
Akaysha's spleen felt enlarged. The x-ray didn’t show anything conclusive,
so we had an ultrasound done. Again nothing was evident. We were
monitoring her. During this year’s exam, nothing readily presented.
However, this past Sunday night, Akaysha appeared to be in distress and
couldn’t stand. I rushed her to the emergency vet where the bad news was
delivered. They could readily see a tumor on the new x-ray and that there
was a rupture. The vet didn’t feel that Akaysha would make it through this
surgery, so I had to make a very difficult decision¦ I opted to do the
kindest of kind things, I elected to let her go peacefully into the night,
so that she could run free and unencumbered with her sister kitty, Skeeter,
and Nikki and the others who had gone on before.
Its very quiet here now; empty.
Thank you GSRNE for entrusting Akaysha’s care to me. It
has been my distinct honor, pleasure and joy!
With a very heavy heart,
Kristen J. Bradbury
East Hartford, CT