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The Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. All the animals who had
 been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.... Author unknown


On January 10, 2011, I lost my best friend, Poppy, CH Terbo Poppy Lea O’Cloverdale, CGC, CD, RN, (and a Delta therapy dog of 4 years).  She became paralyzed in her hind legs after her boisterous daughter bumped her into a table in early December.
The vet’s diagnosis (after x-rays) was mid thoracic disc disorder or injury, so we treated her with IV steroids and extensive physical therapy.  Because at her age (11 ½), surgery was not an option.

After she came home, I continued the steroids along with 4 other meds, and did physical therapy on her 4-6 times a day. We fought hard and after 2 weeks, she could take about 17 steps by herself. Then, I was to wean her off the steroids. After only 1 day off the meds, she started to relapse, and went downhill from then on, even after re-introducing the steroids.

That morning, she gave me “the look” and I knew it was time. She could no longer even raise her head on her own, and moaned when I raised it for her. So, I did what was best for her, and hardest for me, and took her to the vet for the last time. She passed in my arms, and is now free from pain.

Both of my vets concurred that she should not have relapsed so badly after being weaned off the steroids, so they think she had a malignant tumor that did not show up on the x-rays. I did not request a post mortem.  I just could not have her cut open.
Poppy was my “once in a lifetime” dog.

As my foundation bitch, she was a BCSA “Noteworthy” bitch, producing at least 6 champions. Two of her grandkids are group winners, and her “get” have achieved numerous titles in other venues (obedience, agility, herding, therapy, and flyball).
She was the epitome of what a Border Collie should be: beautiful, intelligent, loving, eager-to-please, versatile…..and I will miss her every day of my life.  I love you, Poppy.


Spot passed on 9/16/2006, and we were very lucky to have had Spot in our family for 16 years, and 1 month.  He had been a 4H Champion obedience dog, and a Delta dog for eight years, and in that time had helped many patients, and even worked a few miracles.  He only needed 1 major to finish in conformation, but he hated it.   He is a Champion in my book, and for a multitude of patients at the Hospital, he was a Champion Therapy Dog.

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