Nigel was a big, beautiful, shaggy, Old English Sheepdog.|
I had been Nigel's walking buddy for over 9 years now. I'd take charge of Nigel while my good friend Wayne took charge of Nigel's brother, Simon.
It started out in a neighborhood near Wayne's law office, then in my eastside neighborhood, and eventually ended up in a park that is midway between my house and Wayne's. Over half the walk took place on the green grassy soccer fields at Udall Park, hence the soccer ball by Nigel's residence. At the end of our walks, which lasted around half an hour, both Simon and Nigel could always count on getting doggie snacks from me, their Uncle Jeff. It became almost a ritual and they knew to expect it.
Whenever Wayne was out of town, Simon and Nigel could always expect a visit from me, each visit beginning with their favorite doggie snacks and ending with a few more before I left. In between those feedings they could count on me sitting on the patio at their level so I could rub their bellies or scratch behind their floppy ears. In return I would get the most loving of wet, slobbery dog kisses, which I was only too happy to receive.
This past weekend, August 17, 2013, Wayne called me at home to deliver the sad news that Nigel had died unexpectedly the day before. Nigel had been taken to a veterinary emergency hospital Friday morning. While being examined, x-rays were taken and they revealed internal bleeding. During surgery the doctors found Nigel's liver was ravaged by cancer. After Wayne was informed of the situation, he did what any loyal dog owner would do and let Nigel go peacefully while he was still under anesthesia. I give Wayne a lot of credit for making that very painful decision.
I was devastated by the news. I spent all day Saturday thinking of my beloved Nigel dog and how much he meant to me. I'm one of those people who has trouble letting my true emotions show. Instead they get bottled up inside me and create physical illness. I had trouble eating and sleeping.
One helpful event was that our walk on Sunday had not been canceled. However, it was difficult to watch as Wayne pulled up and only one dog exited his car. All the routines we have come to know have all been changed. Wayne handed me Simon's leash and allowed me to walk him around the park. It also gave us a chance to talk in person, to console one another, and to remember all the good things about our time with Nigel.
I am most grateful and thankful for finding Rainbow Bridge. It gives me a place to go to when I am feeling lonely for my precious, dearly departed Nigel. Wayne has unlimited access to Nigel's resting place since his ashes will be kept at the house where he spent his whole life.
Goodbye for now my gentle giant. I'll help look after your brother until it is time for him to join you at the Rainbow Bridge.
Sending you hugs and kisses, belly rubs and ear scratches, Uncle Jeff.
08/21/13 COPING THROUGH CREATIVITY: "MY OES NIGEL"
My heart aches for you,
Not a day goes by
Surely you remember your brother
Selfish when it came to love and affection,
We met on the internet
And in less than a month
Joining together on almost