Welcome to Juju Saleemi's Rainbow Bridge Memorial Residency
Juju Saleemi's Rainbow Bridge Pet Loss Memorial Residency Image
Memories of Juju Saleemi
How We Found Juju:

Juju first came into our lives on March 14th, 2013. It was a bitter cold evening and my older brother Farooq and younger brother Faraz saw him roaming outside my condo in Federal Way, WA. My mom had seen him roaming around in the neighborhood for a few days. They finally realized he was abandoned or a runaway. How he ended up in our backyard/patio area will forever be unknown but I am truly thankful today that it happened. Juju just lay in our living room almost the whole evening and wasn't much interested in food or anything. He seemed completely exhausted and out of it.

Juju's 1st Failed Adoption:

I (Waqas) arrived a little late that evening from a flight lesson. To be honest I didn't think much of the whole situation but both my brothers (full credit to them) were on the phone trying to get a home for him as my condo was too small for him and we already had a dog. One of our friends decided to take Juju in. Just a few weeks later he called us back stating he didn't want a dog blah blah blah. We quietly met him at a strip center in Puyallup and took Juju back.

That night we noticed for the first time that Juju was severely flea infested. He was biting and scratching like crazy and had bite marks and reddish spots all over his body but especially his front legs. It was too late in the night to get him any help but I was able to research and find a pill called Capstar that kills fleas immediately when taken with food. Juju scratched and bit himself the whole night. It was a very sleepless night. The next morning sharp at 8 AM I immediately purchased the Capstar pills from the PetSmart in Federal Way. Juju went to sleep within minutes of taking the pills. This was probably the first time he had slept so peacefully in God knows how many days & weeks

Juju's 2nd Failed Adoption:

We started searching for another home for Juju. We did take him to the vet and got all his blood-work done and he got his shots. A couple of his teeth were rotting from neglect and the vet guessed him to be around 10, perhaps even 12 yrs old. Who knows?

One of my friends, Leah finally found a couple in Seattle who were very interested in adopting Juju. They wrote many emails (some emails were many pages long) professing their love for dogs and how they were going to take care of Juju and provide him the best home possible. We thought they were a great match since they had lots of space and a backyard which would be very suitable for a Border Collie especially compared to my small condo.

On April 12th, 2013 we handed Juju over to this couple. We were very happy for Juju that he had finally found a good home but this was all very short lived. In less than 24 hrs they started complaining that he was not being very friendly etc and a few hrs later after a plethora of emails this "pet loving" couple emailed me back saying it was verbatim "game over" for Juju. I mean who even talks like that about an animal but especially a DOG? They stated that if we did not immediately take him back they would have to "get rid of him". My brother Faraz collected Juju for a second time around 11 PM at the Denny's in Federal Way on April 14th and brought him home.

This time we decided enough was enough and we would just keep Juju for ourselves.

We brought Juju up to date on all his shots and he had several tooth extractions done. Juju got along VERY well with our other dog Buppi (A Jack-Russell & Beagle Mix). She quickly became his boss and NOT ONCE till his last day did he EVER misbehave with her or show any aggression towards her or any other dogs that visited the house. A thorough Gentleman. It seemed that he only had a problem with humans, which to me was completely justified.

Juju was very untrusting of ALL humans including everyone in our family. Initially, he would snap at everyone and even putting a collar on him could be a challenge. Slowly and gradually Juju's attitude got progressively better. He completely stopped snapping at Faraz but would sometimes very rarely snap at me and everyone else in the family. He never hurt anyone. Towards the end of his life he completely stopped snapping. He also gained weight and went from being a mere 18 lbs to almost 25 lbs. With his rock-star like hairstyle and shining coat and such a fluffy flower shaped tail Juju was without doubt the cutest and MOST handsome kid in the world.

We did all that we could to sort of 'makeup' to Juju for whatever good things he had missed out on all his life. Faraz took him on several vacations to Astoria and Cannon Beach (Oregon) and for long walks. Juju loved the sun and really enjoyed laying in the sand on the beach. I think it helped soothe his arthritic limbs. In all honesty he bonded the most with Faraz and I could only dream of having that kind of a relationship with him. One time while walking at the BPA trail Faraz, Buppi and Juju encountered an animal that was a wolf or atleast a wolf-dog hybrid. He had probably been circling around them and tracking them since it was winter and it got dark quickly. Juju however was not intimidated by the wolf/dog hybrid creature at all. He led out a blood curdling scream and lunged for the wolf in such a manner that the wolf-dog ran away and they were able to leave that area and get home safely. We have pictures to prove this and this is entirely a true encounter with NO exaggeration at all. Faraz later on ran into another hiker who confirmed the presence of the wolf type creature on the trail.

Juju would also do lots of funny and silly things. One time during a walk near Celebration Park Juju tried to "steal" an old lady's purse from her stroller. The lady caught him and said "honey, I don't really have much". It was a very funny moment.

We would get him his most favorite foods like steaks from restaurants, and hamburgers and chicken. He was VERY fond of sweets and my mom would bring tons of sweets for him like pecan shortbread cookies, sugar cookies, snicker doodles, fortune cookies from Chinese restaurants and Sara Lee cakes. If Sara Lee knew he was such a fan (especially given how handsome he was) she could have used Juju in her commercials and probably doubled her sales. My mom also made high quality home cooked food for him like chicken with carrots and brown rice and steak sandwiches.

Juju was very picky about certain food items. For example he loved cheese but ONLY Kraft's sharp cheddar cheese. He wouldn't eat any other kind. He liked lots of mayonnaise and butter on his steak sandwiches. He also loved Pizza and french toast but only certain selective pieces. Who knows why? Maybe he was a food critic in a prior life!

Juju's style of eating was very unique. Except in his last days he almost exclusively would only let me feed him. He would eat one bite then pace around the house and then come back for more. This sometimes drove me mad but I always apologized to Juju for being mad at him and I am sure he forgave me too. He would almost always leave the LAST bite in the bowl and would rarely ever eat the last bite. He would also simulate burying some o the food on the carpet. Superstitious doggy?

Juju also loved nature. Being a border collie he was always VERY excited and happy after long walks. He also loved sniffing flowers and also liked chasing squirrels that would visit the patio. With good food, treats and lots of love and walks he quickly became a part of our family. His presence also helped his sister Buppi. She had always had major separation anxiety issues but after we got Juju she got a whole lot better and we could now even leave her alone in the house with him.

No one can beat ageing however and Juju was no exception. He started slowing down. Almost a year after we got him, Juju's arthritis started getting worse. He was no longer able to go up and down the stairs. We tried many supplements and fish oil but none of that made any noticeable difference. He also started having great difficulty walking on hardwood floor. We laid out giant rubber mats over the hardwood to help him in walking and this made things better. Faraz also shortened his walks because he could no longer keep up with his younger sister Buppi.

Towards the end of 2015, Juju also started developing vision problems. We could clearly tell that his right eye had a slight tear and the other eye was clouding up. We took Juju to the Northwest Animal Eye Specialists in Renton. The surgeon (Dr Kyle Tofelmire) was a very honest man and he advised against any surgeries since considering Juju's age, healing would be a challenge. Juju still had vision but it was only a matter of time before the retina in his right eye would tear totally. The left eye was still salvageable to some extent with prescription drops.

March 17th, 2016 - The late hrs of this day and early morning of March 18th, was the beginning of the end for Juju. Things never fully got better for Juju after this day. The retina in Juju's right eye tore completely and he lost almost all of his vision. He was bumping into everything all night and crying. We tried all we could to comfort him but it was useless. Finally in the morning we took Juju to Hawks Prairie Vet in Lacey upon a friend's recommendation. The Dr (Jo Wescott) was a very knowledgeable, kind and experienced doctor. She prescribed several pain killers for Juju like Tramadol and Valium so he could sleep peacefully as we continued Juju's eye treatment. Her focus was on improving his quality of life and to make it as pain free as possible. We took Juju back home the same day and he seemed to be getting a lot better. He slept VERY VERY peacefully that day.

As we continued giving Juju his medicines he seemed to improve a lot. He started being himself (sort of), didn't seem to be in much pain and miraculously his left eye which had been all clouded up started to clear up. He could all of a sudden see again. This made things so much brighter and happier for him and for us. We retook him for another examination with the eye surgeon and he was also very positive about all these developments and advised to continue his medicines and to be cautious with Juju. Juju started his usual routine but his walks kept getting shorter and shorter.

July 16th, 2016 - On this day we noticed that all of a sudden Juju was having trouble keeping his balance. We had never seen him do this and weren't quite sure what exactly was going on. Juju would get up and then just either fall on his side or just kind of "roll over" and then couldn't get up on his own. We monitored him for a few days and also setup an appointment with Jo Wescott. Faraz took Juju to the doctor that morning. Tests run by the doctor showed that Juju was experiencing acute kidney failure which is why he was having muscle weakness and trouble holding his balance. The prognosis was very bleak and Juju's chances of survival were extremely slim. The doctor advised us that less 5% of dogs ever recovered from kidney failure. Juju had lost considerable weight. He was down from approx 25 lbs to under 15 lbs. The only option was to flush his kidneys and see if he would recover. Knowing that Juju would be sedated throughout the process (and therefore not in much pain) Faraz opted to have the kidneys flushed. We also discussed with Dr. Wescott and she agreed that we should give Juju every chance we could to make it. She also promised us that she would let us know if and when in her opinion it was time to let go. For the next 4 days every morning we would take Juju to the vet so they would flush his kidneys all day and then pick him back up in the evening. We also had to give him two dosages of the SubQ fluids at home to keep flushing the kidneys. Dr. Wescott let us know that she would run tests on Juju again Saturday morning to see if his kidneys showed any signs of improvements.

On the afternoon of Friday July 22nd, Dr. Wescott called with some wonderful news. Juju's kidney values had returned to almost normal. She just wanted us to bring Juju one more time the following morning for a followup. The next day Juju was ready to go home and he could resume normal eating. The doctor was hopeful Juju would regain at least some of his balance. Upon coming back Juju seemed reasonably pain free. He would try to walk and sometimes he could walk a few steps. He was eating normal. We did have to carry him out but he seemed happy. Faraz would take Juju out with him to work also and Juju would mostly sleep through the day. Some nights Juju would get restless but this was mostly because he was restless as a result of not being able to walk and just getting bored. Border Collies bore easily. Faraz even ordered a very comfortable stroller for Juju in which he would take Juju out for short walks. Sometimes I would take Juju out and just let him sit and play on the front lawn. He loved being outside.

We continued trying our best along with Dr. Wescott to try and make him better. Medicines, SubQs, and regular checkups with the Doctor. We got him his most favorite foods and he was enjoying it. Steaks, burgers, chicken, and even Creme Burlee. My mom fixed him his favorite steak sandwiches. Faraz took him out for walks in the stroller. Juju would keep Faraz up at night but Faraz never complained about it once.

On Saturday Sep 17th however something changed. This is the day Juju stopped eating. His health seemed fine. Just 3-4 days ago he had had all blood-work and kidney values tested and all was normal. Faraz tried everything on Sunday also but Juju would not eat. The night of Sunday Sep 18th and morning of Sep 19th, Juju cried all night almost non-stop. I went to bed that night a little worried that Juju had basically not eaten anything for more than a day but I tried to put this feeling behind me. However Monday morning Juju was going almost delirious. We tried everything to calm him down. Offered food, gave him painkillers and food. NOTHING. Juju would not calm down. Faraz and I even texted each other that we had a really really sick feeling that the TIME may have come.

I hugged Juju a lot and tried my best to calm him down. For a while he did. I had to leave for work so I left Juju in Faraz's care. On my way to work Faraz texted me that he was taking Juju to see Dr.Jo and if she thought the TIME had come he would go along with that. I realized the gravity of the situation and I called and canceled my work appointment. The lady was very understanding. I started driving back and when I got home everyone was crying. We all talked for a while. Juju was in Faraz's room. I was very tired and broken and so was everyone else. Dr Jo had agreed to see Juju at 11. I went to sleep right next to Juju who was also sleeping except for every 10-15 minutes or so he would cry. This was the last time I slept alongside Juju and the last time he slept in his bed and this house. At approx 10-1015 we decided to leave. We all knew what was gonna happen. I picked Juju up and hugged and kissed him. I dont think he was in his senses. My sister, mom, and my brother in law all were crying like crazy. My sister had been taking remarkable care of Juju the last few weeks since she her visit. I will never forget how much she helped and can't thank her enough. My brother in law kissed Juju and petted him. He was all tears. I stepped outside with Juju in my arms and Faraz volunteered to drive. It was a 45 min drive. Juju started crying and screaming but he quickly calmed down. I have NEVER EVER in my life felt so powerless and sick in the stomach as I did throughout that drive. Juju was pretty peaceful throughout the rest of the drive.

When we arrived at the hospital Faraz went inside and came back with Dr.Jo. She looked very worried. She checked Juju's heartbeat. She commented "his heart always sounds so good or strong". She even stated how good his blood work and kidney values had been just a few days ago. She was confused. I looked up at her (crying) and asked her what she honestly thought and how much time we had. She replied calmly "we are very close". She had tears in her eyes in spite of the fact that she had seen and done this probably at least many 100s of times. She stated that we could give Juju 24 hrs to see if he would start eating again but we realized she was just having a hard time letting go. I was 100% sure it was pointless and so was Faraz. I mean you know these things sometimes instinctively. Faraz realized this actually more so than I did and we decided that it wasn't worth it this time. We would simply be prolonging Juju's misery for our own selfish reasons. According to Dr.Jo, Juju had dementia and he was completely lost ad confused and scared. He basically didn't know what or where he was. He had lost his identity. Would anyone want to live like that? Was it humane to keep any living thing alive in that condition (especially such a handsome and once proud and active dog like Juju)?

Dr. Jo agreed and said she would make the necessary arrangements.

We all went inside and Dr.Jo setup a separate room for us. We put Juju on a separate bed. Everyone was all tears. Dr. Jo explained the procedure to us. It would be completely painless. First she administered some kind of a drug that made Juju completely "high", relaxed and euphoric. She then injected Juju with a second medicine which basically stopped his heart. I was hugging and kissing Juju throughout. I also took a few pictures of Juju (which I now regret as they have become ingrained in my mind). Juju passed away almost immediately after the "lethal" injection. Dr. Jo checked Juju's heartbeat and informed us that Juju was no more at approx 11:20 AM Monday, Sept 19th, 2016.

We kept talking after this gut wrenching, sick episode. Dr. Jo was very kind and patient with us. She had canceled all her appointments for the day and told us she was there for us as long as we needed her. How may vets out there would do that? She asked us if we wanted to bury or cremate Juju and we decided to cremate. She also told us she would have Juju's paw-prints taken on clay which we could keep along with his ashes. Dr. Jo tried her best to make us feel better by reminding us of all the happy times we had with Juju. She also told us to go celebrate Juju's life by going out and eating steak (since Juju LOVED steak). She also consoled us by reminding us that we had many many happy years ahead with our other dog Buppi who was extremely healthy. We left the hospital approx at noon.

The drive back was quiet. I promised to myself I would never ever ever get another dog or for that matter any pet again. I simply don't think I am strong enough to go through this again. I cannot even imagine what I would do if anything ever happened to Buppi. I hope I die before I have to see anything happen to her.

In the days and weeks following Juju's death we have all been deeply affected and depressed. We often look at his pictures, and videos. We have literally thousands of his pictures and many videos. There is not a single day that we don't discuss him. There are so many subtle reminders all over. For example when eating steak or sweets since Juju loved both. Faraz even left Juju's bed intact in his room. Even Buppi has been affected I think. She has become quite clingy again and her separation anxiety (which she used to have before we got Juju) seems to be back. Right after Juju's death she would go downstairs in his room and even cry out loud like a wolf and she did this several times and sometimes in the middle of the night. I try not to think of Juju but there are so many things that just remind me of him everyday. Initially, the only image of Juju stuck in my mind was his final picture lying lifeless (a picture I greatly regret taking). Slowly though its fading from my mind, being replaced by all the happy, funny and extremely silly moments we were lucky enough to have shared with him.

I only hope & wish that there is indeed an afterlife, that there is indeed a Rainbow Bridge. A Rainbow Bridge not just in our minds & thoughts but an actual one. I hope Juju is making LOTS of friends and I hope he hasn't forgotten about us. I hope Juju and all other cute little innocent fur-babies like him are playing & running & eating without ever having to worry about anything ever again. I sit here and count the days as they pass by. I hope that each passing day is taking me closer to meeting Juju again and be reunited with him for eternity. I hope.................

11/11/2016: Hi Juju. Its my birthday today and I miss u very much. Have been thinking about you. Also got a birthday card this morning signed by everyone including u. Its a Friday so we will be going out. Wish you were here so you could ride in the back of the pathfinder as usual and then we would share steak or hamburgers with u later on. Buppi is doing well and misses you also. Hope u r having a great time. Take care of urself - Waqas -

11/24/2016: Hello my baby. Its Thanksgiving and since yesterday I have been thinking quite a lot about you. Hope you are doing well and enjoying lots of turkey and treats. This will be your 1st Thanksgiving at The RainbowBridge. Mom's making lots of great food. Wish you were here to enjoy with us but I am sure food in Heaven is much better. If you can Juju please show me a sign you are out there somewhere. Lots of love from me, Faraz, Farooq, Saba, Ami & BUPPI - We all miss you so soooooo much Juju. I feel very empty without you Juju. I sooooo wish I could pet u right now. - Waqas -

12/14/2016: Hi Juju. Hope u r doing well and having LOTS of fun. On Sunday 12/12 we welcomed into our family Barley. Hes a sweet 8 yr old Lab/Rotweiller mix and came from shelter. His previous human passed away on Sept 20th. U passed away on Sept 19th. Coincidence?. Hes very gentle and has lots of energy. I miss you even more now since we got him. Take care of urself. - Waqas -

12/25/2016: Hello Juju. Merry Christmas. I am sure u r getting LOTS of treats and turkey up there today. We r all doing well and miss u every single day.

03/29/2016: Hi Juju. Its been a few months since I have posted anything here. Please know I think of u every morning. Catherine's baby Austin (AKA AWESOME AUSTIN) passed away today @ 3PM. He will be joining u @ The Bridge.

Please welcome him. He had been sick for a while. All this reminded me of ur last days. Life can be so painful. Please Take care of urself and Austin. - Waqas -

05/02/2017: Hi Juju. My baby. I haven't posted in a while but very sad news. U know it probably already. Barley passed away on April 27th. He came down suddenly with a very deadly aggressive cancer. We tried everything but he could not make it. Barely 4 months since we got him and this happened. Life is so cruel. He was such a good dog. Please please welcome him to the Bridge. This was such a cruel joke that life has played on us. I will be creating a separate residency for him shortly. Please make him feel welcome. Hes very very playful. I am sure you will love him - Waqas

06/29/2017: Hi Juju. Hope u r having lots of fun and have made lots of friends. Hopefully you ran into Barley. I am in the process of writing his memorial here as well. We all miss u both so much. We have a new addition to the family. Cooper. Hes a 6 yr Bluetick Coonhound/Rottie mix and so so playful. He is a lot like Barley. Have fun. I think of u and Barley every SINGLE day.

07/26/2017: Hi Juju. I have been missing you and Barley so much last few days. Just wanted to drop in and say Hi. Hope u r doing well and making lots of friends. Esp Barley. He can be so much fun. Take care - Waqas -

08/13/2017: Hello my baby. We discuss u so often. Your 1st 1 year anniversary is coming up. Time flies by so quickly. Just know that we haven't forgotten about you and never ever will. I just finished ordering a river stone with your pic on it. Take care - Waqas -

09/24/2017: Hi Juju. My baby. Its been more than a year now. Dont think I forgot. I was very much aware of your Ist anniversary. Faraz took a bunch of toys and treats etc to Homeward Pet for all the unfortunate doggies over there. I miss you so so much. Last week your river stone arrived. You look so so handsome on it. I have placed it in the living room for now. I cant believe its been more than a year already. Time just flies doesn't it? I hope u r having lots of fun. See you soon . Take care. - Waqas -

11/25/2017: Hi baby. its been a while but I think of u every single day. I hope u had loads of turkey on Thanksgiving with cranberry. everyones doing good and Buppi & Cooper are also doing well. - Waqas -

01/01/2018: Hello Juju. I hope u r doing well and having loads of fun. we all talk about u so much still. How time has passed. I cannot believe here we are in 2018. I wish u a very happy new year Juju. Rest assured we WILL meet again - Take care - Waqas -

01/01/2018: Hello Juju. I hope u r doing well and having loads of fun. we all talk about u so much still. How time has passed. I cannot believe here we are in 2018. I wish u a very happy new year Juju. Rest assured we WILL meet again - Take care - Waqas -

04/27/2018 - Hello my little man. Just wanted to stopby. Today is barley's Ist death anniversary so the whole weeks been difficult. I hope you have met Barley by now and are good friends with him. Everyone here is fine. I wish u doggies lived just as long as humans did. Wouldn't that be wonderful? Or maybe not because u r in a better place? Cannot wait to be reuited with u & Barley. Take care Juju. - Waqas -

06/27/2018: Hi Juju. On my way back from work today I saw someone walking a border collie form a distance. I spotted them from a distance and when I got close I realized their dog looked so much like you. So beautiful. Reminded me so much of you. I even stopped and chatted with him for a bit. I think of u and barley every SINGLE day but running into a border collie was so different. Hope u and Barley are having a great time. - Waqas -

08/26/2018: Hi Juju. I have been meaning to write to u. Just been so so busy. 2 Mondays back I ran into a woman who had a Border Collie who looked EXACTLY like u. Cudnt believe it. Petted him a lot. That same week farooq and Faraz also ran into Border Collies EXACTLY like u. Anyways just wanted to share this with u. I hope u r jumping ad playing and having a great time - Waqas -

09/19/2018: Hello Juju. Today has been 2 years since u left us. Time just flies. I can hardly believe it. Seems like yesterday. That terrible day when U left us forever. We all still miss u and think about u every single day. I hope u r having fun and getting loads of food and are playing with other fur babies like u. I wish I Could meet u one more time and hold and cuddle u. maybe some day - Waqas -

09/19/2019: Hi Juju. My baby. Today is ur 3rd anniversary. Miss u a lot. V talk so much abt u still and share pictures of u. I remember u & Barley almost everyday. Sure hope that someday I get to meet u again. take care - Waqas -

09/19/2020: Hi Juju. Today is ur 4th death anniversary. Unbelievable isnt it? How time flies. I hope u r doing well if u around somewhere out there. V all miss u a lot and discuss ur antics so much. Wish I cud hug u and meet u again. - Waqas -

09/19/2021: Hello Juju. Today is ur 5th death anniversary. And here I m. I haven't forgotten and never will till my last day here. As always I hope u r doing great. I so wish I cud pet u and touch u. Feel ur beautiful silky fur. V all discuss u often and ur antics. Hopefully, Ill c u again someday.

Bye - Waqas

09/19/2022: Hi Juju. Today is ur 6th anniversary. Amazing how time flies. If u r out there I hope u r doing great.

V r all fine. Buppi & Coops both r ok also for now. Both have cancer but seems to be under control for now.

Anyways just wanted to drop in and write a few words. Take care - Waqas

09/19/2023: Hi Juju. 7rs today. Wow. But none of us have forgotten. With Buppi & Coops both gone this year the house seems to be so lonely. I hope u r all there somewhere and playing & enjoying together. Take care - Waqas-

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