Welcome to Susie's Rainbow Bridge Memorial Residency
Susie's Rainbow Bridge Pet Loss Memorial Residency Image
Memories of Susie
Susie came into our life by chance in January 2008, as we found her on Petfinder the same day she was put there. We were so lucky that she ended up with us, as the first people who adopted her brought her back to Oasis Rescue on Whidbey Island. We made the journey up to Oasis Rescue just to meet Susie... we fell in love right away and took her home that same weekend.

Susie made herself right at home from the start. She was very happy and eager to explore her new world and live her new life at her forever home.

We never knew that sleeping and lazing around could be a talent, but it is what Susie did best! She enjoyed her nap times more than most things.

Susie attended a 10 week training course at Petsmart in Tukwila, starting in February 2008 and ending in April 2008. She came in knowing "Sit!" and she left basically knowing "Sit". But we still thought she was the best dog there!

If there was one outdoor activity that was a Susie Q favorite, it was the grass roll! We thought this to be unique, but apparently, all Corgis love this past time.

Memorial Day weekend, May 2008. We took Susie to Eastern Washington, and visited Leavenworth, Grand Coulee, and Lake Chelan.

We took Susie down to the Ballard Locks in July 2008, and besides being afraid of the ropes on the dock, she got to meet Captain Phil from Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch!

Susie was really a happy dog... she loved being with us, she really loved life in general. She always had a good disposition, and could always put a smile on our faces.

Susie made a miraculous recovery in time for the PAWS Walk in September 2008, with her kidney failure letting up enough for her to take part. She was our happy dog once again!

Halloween 2008 came and went, and Susie was still with us. She wasn't too appreciative of her Halloween costume, so we didn't make her wear it for very long.

In November 2008, we made a trip to Cannon Beach OR so Susie could experience the beach. It would be our last trip with our beloved Susie Q.

On November 18, 2008, at the age of 5 years and 10 months, Susie passed away as a result of kidney failure due to a birth defect that left her kidneys underdeveloped. She was only in our lives for less than a year, but she forever changed it. She will not be our last dog, but she will always be our first.

November 20th, 2008

I didn't know if I would write more about Susie after this initial posting, but I felt I had to. We miss her terribly, and there's a large hole in our hearts where Susie used to be. She was such a huge part of our lives... just the basic care seems to be what I find myself missing the most. She needed a lot of care... mixing her food just right so not only she would eat it, but she would get the nutrient supplements she needed because of her kidney deficiency. Breaking up her pills just right so she could swallow them... either masking them in a slice of turkey (her favorite), or in peanut butter when she wasn't feeling well enough to eat turkey. Taking her outside to go to the bathroom, and so we could walk in the fresh air... she loved that, because she could smell all the wonderful smells out there. Even when she wasn't feeling well enough to walk too much, she still enjoyed her time outside. All those little things... the little things are what my wife and I find missing the most.

One thing I have to mention is my mother... she was so great in helping to care for Susie, especially when she was really sick. My wife and I both work over 20 miles from home, so my mom (or Granny as Susie knew her) would go over there on her lunch break and after work to help care for her. She would make sure she ate if she hadn't wanted to eat earlier, she would make sure she got to go out so she wouldn't have to have an accident in the house when she was feeling sick and couldn't make it until we got home as usual. My mom really did so much for Susie, and my wife and I will always be thankful. We know the loss of Susie is just as painful to her as it is to us... Susie's loss is definitely a family loss, not just a personal one.

November 24th, 2008

It's been almost a week now since Susie's passing, and I have to say, it hasn't really gotten much easier. However, I will say that I am very grateful and very touched by all the wonderful messages that have been left in Susie's guestbook. So many of you didn't even know Susie, yet you took the time to send such caring and touching messages. Susie was a wondeful and amazing companion... and I'm glad that I'm now able to share how great she was with so many more people. And of course, Susie loved people... she was always so interested in meeting people we saw on the street, at the park, or at the store. I'm sure she would have loved to meet all of you who took the time to write a message. My wife and I are extremely greatful for your thoughts and prayers, and I know Susie is as well!

November 24, 2008 - a message from Susie's mom

It's been almost a week since our sweet Susie Q passed away. I can't really believe she is gone -- it seems like she ought to be sitting at home right now, waiting for us to come home from work to spend time with her.

Most of the time over the past week I've been able to think about and talk about happy memories of Susie and smile, yet there are still times when I picture her cute little face and get sad, realizing I'll never scratch her ears or kiss her forehead ever again. Then there are the occasional times when I feel frustrated -- Why was Susie's time with us so short? Why did she have to get sick with a terminal disease that took away her energy, made her feel sick, made it hard for her to enjoy life? Why do my husband and I have to deal with losing two beloved pets to kidney disease within 9 months of each other? Ugh, this has been a tough year for us.

It's been hard seeing my husband so sad over losing Susie. We both loved her so very much (and still do!) and he, in particular, really put in 110% effort to take care of her and give her the food, pills, etc. that she needed to keep going. It took a lot of dedication and patience on both of our parts. I wish there was more that I could do to comfort him besides share fond memories of Susie, offer reassurances that we did everything we could for her, and hug him. I know that he has taken great comfort in writing on this website, sharing pictures and stories of Susie, and especially reading all of the wonderful, supportive and understanding comments that have been left by family, friends and even total strangers.

We loved our sweet Susie Q so very much. When we adopted her in January we joked that she was our "trial run" to see if we are ready to have kids. Like my mother-in-law wrote in the guest book, Susie showed us what a huge capacity we have to love and nurture our family, which is quite a gift. While her time with us was short, I really think we made the best of it. We spent as much time with her as we could, took her with us everywhere we could, and generally showed her how devoted we were to her in any way we could think to do so. She was just the best dog in so many ways, and she was the perfect first dog for us. I swear I fell in love with her at first sight, that evening in mid-January when my husband found her listing on Petfinder.com.

December 6th, 2008

Our little family has some news... we adopted a young Cardigan Welsh Corgi by the name of Joshua. He's very different from our beloved Susie, which is good. I'd almost forgotten what it was like to have a healthy dog, one that would run and jump and play, one that would eat his food without it being made "special". Even though he's much more "normal" in that respect, I still miss my beloved Susie so very much.

Some people who see us with Joshua, give us a smile and say things like "See, I knew you'd get over Susie and love another dog again". Those kinds of comments hurt, because it makes it seem like we're cheapening Susie's life with us... which isn't the case at all. Joshua doesn't replace Susie... no dog could ever replace Susie. No matter what, Susie will always be in a special place in our hearts, and no doubt, she took a piece of it with her when she left us. Just because we have a new dog doesn't mean we're over Susie... far from it. However, that doesn't mean we don't have enough love in our hearts to love another wonderful animal companion, and at the same time cherish Susie's life with us and keep the memories of her close to our hearts. Susie might have been weary of Joshua's youthful demeanor and carefree attitude, but I know in my heart that Susie wouldn't want us to be sad for her for too long. She always got upset if we got sad or mad, even if it had absolutely nothing to do with her... she still felt our pain and wanted to help. Because of that, I know Susie would understand Joshua being here with us... he does help give us something positive to focus on, and we can use our time thinking of Susie remembering the good times, rather than dwelling on the time we will never have with her. No matter what, Susie will always be our baby, and we will always wish we could have had more time with her... and no matter what, we will love her forever.

December 26th, 2008

Today's the day after Christmas... we had a good one, lots of snow made it a white Christmas for the first time in a long time. There were lots of presents, and the kitties (Ginger & Milo) enjoyed it, and our new dog Joshua also had a good Christmas and a big outdoor adventure afterwards.

I still viewed Christmas wistfully though... we still miss Susie dearly, and everywhere I looked during this season, I was reminded about Susie not being here with us, and not being with us for Christmas. In a way, I feel cheated we didn't get a Christmas with her... but I realize that's selfish of me to feel that way, because even if the time with Susie was shorter than we wanted, we had the privilege and honor of loving Susie, and having her love us back. No matter what, 2008 will be the year of Susie, as her entire life with us was contained in this one year. In a way it is sad to think about, but it also means we will never, ever forget 2008.

Joshua has been adjusting well... he has some setbacks in his training every now and then, but he is a good boy and wants to please. I just hope that I'm able to give him the same amount of love as I dedicated to Susie. My wife already is, and she's adjusting to our new baby faster than I have been. I just feel like that somehow, if I move on completely with Joshua, I'm leaving Susie behind... and I am so scared of leaving her behind. But I know she is in my heart now and forever, so no matter what, she will always be with me. But still... I have been dreading moving on. It's just so hard, because I miss her with all of my heart. She was really the best little dog that we could have hoped for.

Joshua's little adventure... well, he managed to run away and break out of his collar when Granny (my mom) was trying to take him for a walk tonight. My mom called me in a panic, because we live a block off a busy four lane road and he was crossing it... he wouldn't respond to her, as he was in a terrible fright. My wife and I were in a movie theater at the time, and we left as the movie started and drove him immediately, scared out of our minds that he was lost. We walked and drove up and down our neighborhood along the busy road, praying that he wouldn't get hit by a car or anything. To make matters worse, he slipped out of his collar, so now he was wandering around collarless.
Long story short, we found Joshua after an hour or so of searching... he was hiding in a big dark property behind some houses. We were so grateful and lucky to have found him, as he really could have been anywhere, and lots of bad things could have happened to him. But I truly believe that we had a little Rainbow Bridge guardian angel looking out for him... I believe our little Susie didn't want us to lose yet another beloved doggie, and she kept Joshua safe. In fact, he managed to stand under the only street light for blocks so we could see him... almost like someone was making him stand under a light so he could be seen. It really was amazing and at least a minor miracle that we found him. Now I know for sure that my dear little Susie was watching over us from above.

-Jason

January 19th, 2009

Happy Birthday Susie! Well... we don't know exactly when Susie's birthday was, but January 19th 2008 was when she came to live with us for the rest of her all-too-short life. For my wife and I, today is Susie's birthday. Today means so much for us... today we celebrate the life of a beloved family member, one that taught us so much about ourselves. She taught us how to love unconditionally through the toughest of times, she taught us how much we're capable of loving, how far we would be willing to go to give a good quality of life, and our depth of our love and commitment. Taking care of Susie was almost a full-time job for much of her life with us, but we wouldn't trade it for the world. In fact, I would give almost anything to have her back with us. Days like today, I miss her so much.

Today, I'll celebrate her life... the good times, and will try not to dwell on her not being here. Because really... is she truly gone? She's in mine and my wife's hearts, and I know she's in a better place, strong and healthy, and awaiting us to come for her someday.

So again... Happy Birthday my beautiful little girl. Mommy and Daddy still love you very much and miss you terribly.

-Jason

February 10th, 2009

Been thinking about Susie quite a bit the last few days. It was just a couple of days ago that we started Joshua in his first Obedience training class over at Petsmart. It's so strange, since this is the same class we took her to at the same time last year. It seems surreal, sitting there once again, with the same trainer (Sheila), listening to the same lessons, only with a different dog. We had to explain to Sheila that Susie was no longer here with us, and it was sad to tell the story... when Susie was in training class, she was healthy, as her kidney problems didn't start showing up until a couple of weeks after the last training class.

Sometimes, it feels like Susie was just with us yesterday... other times, like this weekend during Joshua's class, it feels like Susie was with us long ago. The perception of time can be strange... it felt like so long ago that we took Susie to class, and it felt like she was with us for so long. But it was only 10 short months, and she only passed away 3 months ago.

Susie... we do miss you very much. It was so hard telling Sheila about you and the issues you had to face after that happy time in class from February to April of last year. But we did tell her about the good times too, and that you really were the love of our lives then, and we did everything with you and tried our best to give you the best life we could in that short amount of time. I hope we did right by you, and that you are happy there at Rainbow Bridge, knowing that we loved you (and still love you) so very much... and if we could do it all over again, we would in a heartbeat.

-Jason

March 7, 2009 - a note from Sarah

Today I joined a wonderful new website - www.mycorgi.com (definitely the place to be if you need a corgi fix!) and after posting some pictures about our fun, goofy new pup, Joshua, I added a bunch of Susie, too. Every time I look through our photos of Susie from last year I feel a mixture of emotions - some make me smile because they are cute or funny or sweet and they bring back fond memories, but others make me tear up and feel such a sense of sadness about the fact that we lost such a wonderful pet so soon after bringing her into our lives, and that I can never snuggle with her or laugh at her rolling around in the grass ever again. Susie made a huge emotional impact on me and my husband. She definitely claimed a part of our hearts for herself, and she will forever hold that special spot with us, no matter how many pets and children may follow her in our home and family. It has been quite an adjustment, bringing a new dog into our lives so soon after losing Susie.

I think the fact that Joshua is so different from Susie (in terms of looks as well as personality) has made it a little easier to love him without feeling like we are betraying Susie's memory. He is a terrific little guy, very energetic and fun-loving. He is not nearly as well-behaved as Susie - we have to actually work with him on obedience training, whereas Susie pretty much knew her stuff from day 1 (taking her to obedience classes was more for our benefit than for hers.) :)

Anyway, I just wanted to stop by here to visit Susie's Rainbow Bridge page and add a little note since I've been thinking about her. I will always love my dear Susie Q more than words can say.

- Sarah

May 19th, 2009

Was just thinking this morning that this is the time of year that would have been perfect for Susie's favorite outdoor activity, the grassroll! That was definitely one of my favorite memories of Susie, as she looked like she was just in heaven when she was rolling around in some nice, warm grass out in the sun. I haven't been here in a while to write, but I still think of Susie every day... there's always something that reminds me of her, reminds me of the things she liked, remind me of her very unique personality.

I read an article in the Seattle Times the other day that talked about the belief that dogs have souls. I know for sure that Susie has a soul... the only thing I needed to see that was to look into her dark, expressive, and quite soulful eyes. And I also know in my heart that Susie is still watching us with those eyes, and has watched over Joshua, protecting him for us as his guardian Corgi-Angel. We still love you, Susie! :)

-Jason

October 26th, 2009

Haven't been here in a while, but I was thinking about Susie with Halloween coming up. We have been toying with a "Mexican Burro" costume for Joshua, and it made me think of the little Pumpkin outfit we put on Susie last year. She really hated it, and she looked so sad when we put it on her... it was really quite funny, and a great example of "Corgi Woe". Memories like that make me miss Susie quite a bit, because she was a great little dog... the best friend a person could hope for in a canine companion. She was sweet, loving, and ever faithful. In fact, I remember once when she was sitting downstairs on the landing and would come up, I pretended to fall down... so she came racing up the stairs to sniff my face and make sure I was ok. How many dogs would do that? She was definitely one of a kind, and even now, as we get ever nearer to her one year anniversary at the Rainbow Bridge, we still miss her dearly.

November 18, 2009

Today is a sad day for me and Jason because it is the one-year anniversary of losing our sweet Susie-Q. I have visited and posted about her several times online today on various websites - my online blog, a corgi group on LiveJournal, my own and Jason's Facebook pages, and now here. Every time I start writing about her or look at her pictures I tear up again (not so great since I'm at work!) but I am trying to remember and write about the good times and fond memories we have of Susie, rather than focusing on the saddness of losing her. Despite how sick she was for much of her time with us, we do have quite a few fun and heartwarming memories of her - her happy dance when we would come home from work, her funny ARRRROOO corgi bark, the way she'd roll around in the grass, etc. Plus it always makes me smile to look at the photos we first saw of her on Petfinder.com in January of 2008. They make me remember how instantly we fell in love with Susie and how happy and excited we both were when we first met her and the day we brought her home to join our little family.

We're really enjoying our new dog, Joshua (who did make a really cute Mexican burro on Halloween, by the way!) but we still feel such a sense of loss whenever we think of Susie, which is often for both of us, I think. We have a framed photo of her in the living room along with a pretty little wooden box that contains her ashes, so we can always look at our little Susie memorial whenever we need or want to. Life does go on and we're doing well, but we still - and will always - miss our beautiful Susie-Q.

- Sarah

As Sarah wrote above, today is the one year anniversary of Susie's passing on to the Rainbow Bridge. It is a sad day, but as I look at the memories we have written over the past year, I realize how many good times we had with her during her short time with us. It is obvious that while she was only with us for a few months, she had a profound effect on our lives. From the moment she entered our lives in January 2008, she made us "dog people". There will no doubt be a long line of dogs in our lives that will owe her thanks for being part of our family. Susie will by no means be the dog that will have been with us the longest, but she will always be our first, and that is something that can never be taken away, no matter how many years pass since she was in our lives. Susie continues to live on in our hearts, and we can always look at Joshua (and every dog that comes after) and see Susie there... because if it weren't for her and the love she brought into our family, they would not be with us.

We love you very much Susie!

-Jason


October 21st, 2010

I look back at these memories and realize that I've written less and less as time has gone by. I feel guilty about it, because I feel like maybe I've let Susie fade from memory. But really, that isn't the case... not a day goes by that I don't think about and remember her. There are things that Joshua does that reminds me of Susie, from things he does similarly, to the ways he's completely different.

Random thought that led me back here... the things I've read recently about death and what happens to us afterward had me thinking about the rainbow bridge. I really do believe that we go somewhere after death, whether that's the Christian view of a "heaven" or something completely different, I do believe there's more for us after life. It is comforting to think our beloved pets like Susie as well as our loved ones wait for us on the other side. Personally, I like the explanation that the show "Lost" gave during it's season finale. In that other place, time has no meaning... so while Susie is waiting for us on the other side, because time has no meaning there, we were waiting for her as well. It's a strange concept to wrap your mind around, but it's an oddly comforting thought to me.

As it gets closer to the anniversary of the day Susie went to the Rainbow Bridge I'll probably write more... in the meantime, we miss you and love you Susie Q!

-Jason

11/18/2010

Today is the 2 year anniversary of our beloved Susie's passing to the Rainbow Bridge. Every day something reminds me of that wonderful little Corgi. Whether it's a picture in the house, a mannerism of Joshua, or just some random memory of one of her quirks, she's never too far out of mind. In a manner of speaking, because she's always so close in heart and memory, she lives on with us. Thank you Susie, for 10 great months that we will always cherish... you taught us so much about our capacity to care and love, and that we are in fact dog people for life. Joshua and all of our future dogs owe it all to you, and we owe you for showing us the joy of dog companionship.

We love you very much Susie, and we hope all is well with you at the bridge... you are always with us in our hearts!

-Jason

01/19/2011

Happy Birthday to our beloved Susie Q! Today is actually now the three year anniversary since we brought Susie into our lives... the day really that our lives changed forever, as she showed us the wonderful joy and love that is dog companionship. So today we celebrate both Susie's birthday (we think she would have been 8 years old this year, which is just an estimate from the shelter we adopted her from) and her 3 year anniversary with us. One of my favorite memories of Susie was her cute "ARROOROOROO" bark she would give us when we first came home, the way she would dance around and beg for loves... that's definitely the thing I miss the most when I think about Susie.

We know Susie is up there at the Rainbow Bridge, smelling all the great scents, walking in the sunshine, and getting all the tasty treats she can eat. We will always love you Susie Q, and we will always remember the wonderful times we had with you in our lives! Happy Birthday!

-Jason

5/12/2011

Jason got me a digital photo frame for Christmas last year, and I loaded a whole bunch of pictures onto it before taking it to work to put on my desk. All of my favorite photos of Susie are on there, and every time one of them comes up in the random scroll of photos it makes me smile. In fact, five Susie pictures have come up already just as I'm writing this! She must know I'm thinking and writing about her right now. :)

1) Susie sitting on our hotel bed at Lake Chelan (she was always nervous when we'd pick her up and set her on the bed...unlike Joshua, who jumps up and sleeps on our bed every night)
2) Susie smiling at the camera with her graduation cap on after her final dog training class
3) Susie posing like the beautiful corgi that she was with a dog toy (she wasn't much interested in playing with toys, so this was an unusual moment)
4) Susie gazing up the stairwell at us, wondering why she's been made to wear a silly Halloween costume
5) Susie at the 5K PawsWalk we took her on in Sept. 2008

I will always love you, sweet Susie!

- Sarah

10/24/2011

Renewed our beloved Susie Q's Rainbow Bridge page today. I told myself that I would probably only renew it for a couple of years, but the thought of not renewing it makes me sad. This is really our only real memorial for Susie, and to me it's a (almost) tangible place where her memory can live on. I don't know if I will ever be able to let go of this place, as it did so much for us in the days and weeks after Susie passed. It's always nice to be able to sign in here and look at the pictures, read our thoughts, and read the kind thoughts of others in the guest book. If it helps to keep Susie's memory clear in our minds and hearts, then the $25 a year is well worth it. We love you Susie!

-Jason

11/18/2012

Wow, can't believe it's been over a year since we last wrote an update for Susie's page. It's inevitable I suppose... as time passes, the pain of loss ebbs while the wound of losing our beloved little corgi finally heals. However, still there aren't many days that ever go by without at least a thought or two popping up about Susie. That's how much she affected our lives in only 10 months. Still hard to believe it's been 4 years since Susie was with us. In some ways it does feel like it's been so long, in others it's like she was with us just yesterday.

This week, we'll be celebrating Susie's life with us by going to the Skamania Lodge, our first trip back there since went there with Susie on Labor Day weekend in 2008. This will be Joshua's first trip there, and I'm sure he'll enjoy it like Susie would have had she not been so sick when we took her there.

Susie, you know that mommy, daddy, and granny all still love you and all still think of you regularly. As long as you're in our thoughts and hearts, you aren't really gone... and that's what's most important.


11/5/2014

Today I renewed the Rainbow Bridge page for Susie. It's still not easy to come to this page, see her pictures and read what both Sarah and I wrote about the very short time we had with Susie. Even though I don't visit here as often, a day rarely goes by where Susie isn't at least a passing thought. She would have been around 11 or 12 years old this year, so most likely even if she had been perfectly healthy, she would have been entering into the twilight years with us, and we would have had to prepare for losing her anyhow. She had such a profound affect on us, and even 6 years after she passed, it still brings tears to my eyes to see her pictures and read her story again. She was our first dog, beloved with us and even though she was with us for a far shorter amount of time than we would have liked, she made a wonderful home and loving family possible for Joshua, our dog that has been with us for the last nearly 6 years. I know he's very thankful for her, as are her mommy and daddy. We love you Susie, and even though we don't visit as often anymore, you are always in our hearts and minds!


-Jason

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