RUFUS, OUR LOVING FRIEND AND LOYAL COMPANION
Rufus came into our lives a very playful, loving, sweet, and gentle dog. He was always friendly to everyone and got along well with other dogs, and never hurt anyone. He loved people food, and always sat patiently waiting for some. He knew some tricks, liked to play tug-o-war, hide and seek, fetch toys, and ripped up toys he didn't like, or catch them in the air, or play ball, go for rides, loved to jump in the pool in the summer when someone was out, and was always there for us. He was always at the back door when we left, and always at the door to greet us. He loved to be around people. We raised him like a member of our family. We made sure he had everything, always had his check-ups, made sure he was comfortable, and loved by all. If I was crying or not feeling well, Rufus would come and sit by me for awhile, and lick my tears, and I would hug him, and kiss him, and even talk to him, and that made me feel a little better just having my friend by me. Then he would sometimes just lay by me, and I could pet him, which made me feel better and not alone. He gave off such a warm and friendly feeling that you could always feel secure with Rufus. About after a year with us, he started having seizures and needed to take Phenobarbital to help control them. He was on the medication for four years. He slept more because it made him drowsy, but that didn't change him from being our same loving Rufus. The last couple of months with us, Rufus wasn't acting himself. He seemed to be running out of energy, his appetite was almost nothing, he slept more, and a lot of times, wanted to be alone. We took him to the Vet, and they tested his blood, and did an ultrasound and biopsy of his liver and found out that he had chronic hepatitis, which went along with all the symptoms he had, and his liver was badly damaged. This illness hit Rufus awfully hard and fast. The Vet discontinued the Phenobarbital, and put him on Potassium Bromide. During this time, he was not eating well, drank some water, sleeping a lot, sick to his stomach, paced the floor, lost weight rapidly, and didn't have any energy. The morning of June 18, 2006, Rufus was very ill. He was sick to his stomach quite a bit, he staggered around running into things, and then finally collapsed, and could not see or move. We rushed him to the Animal Hospital of North Texas. After talking to us about his condition, there was nothing the Doctor could do, because he was having bleeding and/or fluid in his stomach, and not being able to move and his other symptoms were definite signs of liver failure. The central nervous system was being affected, and caused his blindness, which was Hepatic Encephalopathy. We were told that the medication he was on should have improved his condition in the past couple weeks. The Doctor told us that Rufus would not have any quality of life, and that it was best to let him go. That was the worst and hardest decision that we have ever had to make. I didn't want to let him go. I wanted Rufus with us forever and with all the medicine and technology out there, I thought for sure something can help him. We would have done anything to make him better. But they reassured us that nothing could have been done to improve his life. They took Rufus out of the room to prepare him for the injection, and brought him back to us so that we could say goodnight one last time. A short time later the Doctor came in and asked if we were ready, and we said yes, with hesitation, but also knowing that Rufus can no longer suffer, and he needed to be at peace, no matter how much we wanted him to stay with us. While the Doctor was giving Rufus the injection, which was the most painful thing we have ever watched, we were telling Rufus how much we love him, and thanked him for coming into our lives, and bringing us so much joy, and he won't have to suffer anymore. The last thing we wanted Rufus to hear were our voices, and not be afraid, and also wanted to be with him when he passed away, and did not want him to be alone. Then the Doctor told us his heart had stopped. I felt that my heart had stopped, and broke in a million pieces. I wanted to scream, but could only cry and cry. I couldn't believe this was happening, and wanted Rufus back so very badly. I didn't want to leave his side, but I knew they had to take care of him. The hospital kept Rufus there for a few days until Faithful Friends Pet Cemetery came to take his body back to the mortuary. We made arrangements to have his body cremated, and kept with us at home. On the day of his cremation, we went to the Pet Cemetery to see Rufus, because we wanted to be with him, and to tell him that we will see each other at The Rainbow Bridge, and be together forever. Rufus was lying on a table, in a very nice and serene room, wrapped in a blanket, just as if he was sleeping. He looked so peaceful and had no more pain. We brought his baby to lay by him one last time. We pet him, kissed him, cried, and told him how much we love him, and how we will miss him terribly. We thanked him for coming into our lives, and bringing us love, happiness, fun, friendship, comfort, and great times. I told him how sorry we were that he had to go through such pain, and how brave he was through this painful time in his life. Rufus never whined or made a sound if he didn't feel good, or even if someone accidentally stepped on his tail. He was so laid back he would let you do anything to him. He was always there with that smiling face and loving eyes. Now Rufus will be up in Heaven with God, running around with all the other animals in the beautiful meadows. Rufus loved to run, and got along with everybody and other animals. He was liked and loved by everyone. When it was time to leave his side, they wheeled him in another room to be cremated. Everyone gave him the dignity and respect that he so truly deserved. We returned later, and they had his ashes in a small cedar chest with his name on it, which was inside a blue velvet pouch, which read, "Until We Meet Again At The Rainbow Bridge". I held his box in my lap on the way home, which made me feel closer to Rufus. It's not the same as being able to hug and kiss, but we knew his loving spirit was with us, and will be always. It was a long journey home and very difficult to deal with, even to this day. We know that there will always be good days and bad, and reminders of Rufus along the way that will break our hearts, and make us sad, and even cry, but knowing that us nor God wanted Rufus to suffer. We know that he is healthy and happy waiting for us so we can all cross over The Rainbow Bridge together, and never be separated again. I have made a memorial for you, Rufus, at home with your urn, favorite toys and baby, a rosary, a crucifix, all your pictures, your paw print that was embedded in clay, and painted with your name on it, and flowers of Red roses for your courage and bravery while you were sick; White roses for your innocence and peace in Heaven; Blue roses for your perseverance, as you strived to do things in spite of the difficulty; and Yellow roses for your never-ending loyalty and friendship. We will never forget your sweet loving face and eyes and your fun-loving spirit, because you have embedded your paw prints in our hearts. You have been a ray of sunshine in our lives, and now you are Heaven's brightest star. We love you Rufus, now and forever.