Welcome to RUFFY's Rainbow Bridge Memorial Residency
RUFFY's Rainbow Bridge Pet Loss Memorial Residency Image
Memories of RUFFY
This is the hardest first step for us Ruff. We will write our memories in a day or two. We love you with all our hearts, Mommy & Daddy 8-27-04 It has been 15 weeks since we kissed Ruffy goodbye and each time I sit down to write, the tears flow so freely that I must stop. Tonight is THE night because this little dog was such a testimony to us and he deserves a memorial. For the first three months it felt like our hearts were bleeding to death, the pain was so intense.
Now, the realization is beginning to settle in that he is really gone and we feel numb. However, our memories are beautiful and loving and take us back to a wonderful time. We are overflowing with thankfulness to the Lord for entrusting us with such a precious gift as Ruffy. In 1991 he was a mangey fleabitten mutt, trembling in the back corner of a cage at our Vets office. Our Vet. felt we would make a good home for him because we had lost two beloved dogs the year before. I asked Dr. Meenen to put the broom handle away that he was going to prod Ruffy forward with, and I talked baby talk to the little dog and slowly, painstakingly, he crept to the front of the cage and right into our hearts. I had heard somewhere that rescued dogs are so good because they are so thankful and I truly believe that. He never misbehaved, messed, or showed ungratefulness from the first moment forward. Ruffy was here for the births of all six of our grandchildren and many family milestones. He traveled, literally, thousands of miles with us when my husband was a sales rep. covering eleven states. We were the Three Muskateers. In 2001, in a freak accident, he was crushed by a diesel truck in front of our home in a very rural area. His 'Daddy' had let him off the leash and he ran to the sound of barking dogs as the truck came over the hill. From the midsection back he was crushed. He was rushed to our Vet. who opened him up and tied off the bleeders but said it was almost hopeless. He said our only slight chance was to get him to the Univ. of Missouri Vet. School, 7 hours away. Ruffy did not have 7 hours. It was three weeks after 9/11 and the airways had just been reopened. My precious husband chartered a plane and got to Columbia within an hour,with Ruffy still opened up and secured to a board. Our daughter drove me to Columbia where I stayed for 31 days while Ruffy was in intensive care. He was admitted in shock, with extreme blood loss, abdominal wall penetration, tendon ruptures, multiple pelvic fractures, a number of internal injuries and his temperature would not register on the thermometer. He was clinically unresponsive and stuperous, had cold extremeties, he exhibited harsh lung sounds and his pupils were fixed and dilated. He suffered two typically fatal blood clotting disorders, his abdomen was filled with fluid and his urine was thick and the color of ketsup for weeks. We took it moment by moment for 3 weeks. No one would give us much hope but everyone was becoming bonded to Ruffy. His pelvic fractures were the worst that Dr. Laura Dvorak had ever seen. He had seven major surgeries while there. He had two hip replacements but only one held. He depleted the on sight blood supply from the precious greyhounds who are kept for a short time as blood donors at the school. Students began bringing in their dogs to donate blood. The three students assigned to him over the 31 days were angels; Carla Miller, Erica House & Sarah Bailey. Everyone gave so much more than was expected. Dr. Dvorak was on call 24/7 for a month with him. Before it was all over he had lost his back left leg and his beautiful bushy tail. He developed pancreatitis, septicemia and then e. coli in his bladder. But on the 31st. day he walked out of the hospital in his little wheel-chair cart amidst the cheers of everyone who had grown to love him. The hospital even gave him a going away party with balloons and a cake. Those kind folks are friends forever and we will be eternally grateful for them. I tell you all this as a tribute to a little "mutt" who refused to give up and who showed such character and spirit through it all. I tell you his story also to give glory to God. We asked the Lord to give us a year more with Ruffy: to just love him to pieces and try to make up for all the trauma. God graciously gave us 2 1/2 more years. We gave him love every moment and Ruffy gave love back to everyone. Cancer developed in his remaining back leg and took him quickly within a month. We sent him back to God on May 12th. .................. Ruffy has been the object of several newspaper articles, he won the Arkansas Gazette Pet of the Year and was on the front of the 2002 Pet Calendar, he was on the front of the Missouri Alumni Magazine with a big article about his recovery and now he is in a new text book called Companion Animals - Their Biology, Care, Health and Management. It was delivered in the mail yesterday. ................. The Rainbow Bridge site has been so painful but it is also bringing healing. Thank you Ginny and also, you many kind folks who have e-mailed us. ................. Several books have helped greatly: Cold Noses At the Pearly Gates - Will My Pet Go To heaven - There Is Eternal Life for Animals. Thank you to you authors of these books for your exhaustive research and for sharing it with those of us who want to learn eternal truths. ................. Those who love deeply, grieve deeply but our grief is not in vain. The picture above was taken just last summer. We love you, our precious Ruffy, and we wait for the day when we can again cup that sweet little face in our hands and look into those wise and loving eyes and give you kisses. ................. 8-30-04 Over the weekend I couldn't get out of my mind all the things I'd left out of your story. How do you condense a precious 12 1/2 year life into words? How could I have left out how much you love M&M's, spaghetti and the last few drops in my cup of coffee each morning? We'll never forget how you communicated with your eyes and a tilt of your head. How could I have left out how our neighbors, the Moores, stepped in at a moments notice and took care of our home, the mail, the papers and the yard for 31 days while we were in Columbia with you? Or how, even though you wore Poise Pads for 2 1/2 years, you rarely soiled them or made a mess because you are such a gentleman. The doctors did not think you would be able to control either one of your functions but they did not, at that time, know our Ruffy. You held on to your dignity right to the end........ Remember when Daddy told the little girl that you were a 'Wookie', because you look like Chewbaca on Star Wars and how she ran to tell her parents? You were a 'Wookie' from then on. ........How could I have left out Whisper, the little throw-away puppy they bonded with you in the ICU? She returned home with you and became your therapy puppy. When you wrestled with her it was about the only exercise you got. She still searches for you and her little ears perk up at the mention of your name. Thank you for choosing her. This house would be so empty without a fur-baby........ Thank you for all the friends you made us in Missouri: Stephanie, Jill, Nora and those mentioned above. They still walk beside us and hold us up. Thank you also to Sarah and CeCe for shedding tears with us when the end came and to Dr. Meenen for being such a wonderful Vet. and friend to all our fur-babies, especially the Ruff. The tears are flowing as I write this. Sometimes I wonder where these oceans of tears come from. When will they dry up? A life so well lived, our beloved Ruffy. We will never stop loving you or forget you our Wookie Bear. Mommy and Daddy CHRISTMAS 2004 = Our beloved Ruffy. Our hearts are still so very tender and we miss you so much. Christmas will not be the same without our Wookie Bear beside us. Your ornaments are hanging on the tree and we'll tell everyone of your death in our Christmas letter, which I haven't been able to bring myself to write yet. We'll say a prayer and ask Jesus to give you an extra hug and maybe a few M & M's so you won't forget us. Your best friend Annie passed over December 14th. Did you see her running across the bridge? Tell her we love her and miss her too and you two take good care of each other until we're all together again. Thank Jesus for us and wish Him a Happy Birthday. All our love, Mommy & Daddy DECEMBER 31st, Precious Wookie, it is New Years Eve and it is crushing to think of going into a new year and leaving you behind in 2004. Do you hear us speak your name almost daily and can you feel the love that still fills our hearts for you? Be patient little one, we'll be together again in God's timing. All our love, Mommy & Daddy
June 14,2005 It is summer now and your 1 year anniversary has passed. The sting of death is growing fainter but our love for you is as strong as ever. You will always be our precious baby boy and we will be together again. July 23, 2005 Ruff- it's no special day but Mommy is just missing you particularly hard. Your beautiful pictures have finally found their special places on the garden room walls where we can smile at you everyday. I love you with all my heart Wookie Bear......Christmas 2005 is almost here and your presence still lingers in this house. Merry Christmas precious Bear, we love you more than you can know. Each year we are a little closer to being with you, our beloved Wookie. June 10, 2006 - Hello Ruff. I haven't visited you in a while but I think of you daily. I know you can look down and see that we have a new Lhasa mix little dog named Bear. He is 5 years old and we got him from a rescue group in Tulsa. He has many quirky traits and abuse issues and we are trying our hardest to give him a stable and loving home. After 6 months, Whisper is finally accepting him but I know she misses you just as we do. Sometimes I really think you are whispering to Bear how to behave. You will always be our precious Ruffy.We love you. May 12,2011 Well Ruff, I simply cannot believe you have been gone from us for 7 years now! Our hearts smile each time we think of you and we know we're just 7 years closer to being with you again. We still have Bear and though he fills your spot in our home, he does not fill your spot in our hearts. He tries to be good but he is still a little psychotic and carries a lot of baggage. You're still our #1 fur boy and we love you, Mom May 13, 2013 Hello Ruff. It has been awhile. The anniversary of your death was yesterday and it just happened to be Mother's Day. I tried hard not to concentrate on you and give full attention to the kids and grandkids but when the memory letter from Rainbow's Bridge came last night, I caved. Then today I went to your site and it said it had expired....I really began to lose my breath. Your site is all renewed now and I just thought I'd call out to you. We still have your best pal, Whisper, with us and good ol' Bear is still here. We're closer now to seeing you again than when we spoke 2 years ago. I'll be 70 in August and Daddy is 72 now. We love Jesus and we know you are with Him and we'll be so happy to see you again. I'm crying again. We love you Ruffy!

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