The Dog Crosses the Rainbow Bridge

A guest post by The Animator's Wife.

Tonight we said good bye to our beloved Vincent. I wanted to say something meaningful in remembrance of him, but now I'm finding it impossible to express just how much that dog meant to our family.

When we first met him, he was already full grown but weighed a mere 7.5 lbs. He was extremely malnourished, but ready to love. Nick and I had been dating for about a year when we brought him home in 2002. Nick had wanted a min pin. We got him instead, and we will always consider him to be our first born.

After he regained his strength and an appropriate weight, I never met a dog who led a more full and adventurous life than Vinnie.

He was quite comical, and fit in just perfectly with our quirky family.

He even did a brief stint as spokesdog for Best Buy (this is when Nick was working there during college and for a brief time after).

In 2005, when Nick and I said "I do," Vinnie was my Dog of Honor.

After that, he came everywhere with us. He was always ready for a road trip.

He tolerated our obsession with Halloween and let us dress him up in costumes, although we suspect this was because he was such a big ham and loved the attention.

He had MANY friends.

With his cousins Cocoa and Righley
With his feline siblings, Selena Kyle and Osiris
Jessica has known him since the beginning
The PAWesome Crimefighters
Two of his aunts
(These are just a few who I don't think would mind having their pictures on the internet; there are plenty more.)

Everything was perfect until a few years ago when he was diagnosed with degenerative valve disease of the heart; a condition which the cardiologist assured us that many dogs could live with comfortably for years, although it was going to depend on how well he could compensate for it. And sure enough, as the years passed, his little ticker kept on ticking. He showed no signs of slowing down.

Then last year, a blessed event happened. Nick and I had our first human child, our Little Lovely. This did not upset Vinnie in the slightest, who was only too happy to be her chew toy.

And so, we thought, our family was complete.

Then last month things took a turn for the worse. Vinnie was diagnosed with kidney disease, which is extremely difficult to treat simultaneously with heart disease, as the treatment often causes heart failure in cardiac patients. We tried to treat him for a time, but he almost completely stopped eating. He dropped 3.5 pounds in a matter of weeks. He became lethargic, starting having accidents in the house, and this afternoon he started having difficulty breathing, an indication that his heart wasn't handling the kidney treatment very well. We knew it was time.

I wish I could communicate to Vinnie, in a way he could understand, just how much we loved him. Nick commented at the hospital that in the last 10 years Vinnie had become his best friend. The house won't be the same without the click-clack of his toenails running across the floor. And it still doesn't seem real to me that he's not here anymore.

I'm glad we were at least able to give him the yard we had always promised him before he left us. And I'm glad he got the chance to meet our daughter. I'm only sorry she won't remember him. It does seem somehow appropriate, however, that he should leave us now. He was our first born, and now we have the Lovely. Perhaps he felt his mission here was complete. I would have preferred he continued to live on forever, but I know he will live on forever in our memories. And someday we will see him again, just on the other side of the rainbow bridge.

We love you, Vinnie.

First Born, Traveling Buddy
Sunrise Circa 1999 - Adopted May 2002 - Sunset June 13, 2012
Forever in our hearts.


  1. What a great life and such a wonderful tribute. My heart goes out to you.

    With deepest sympathy,

  2. Vinnie was every bit as sweet as the tribute. Thanks for sharing such personal feelings.


  3. AnonymousJune 14, 2012

    always heartbreaking to say farewell to the furry loved ones... wonderful tribute to your Vinnie and he WILL be there at that bridge and so happy to see you then. <3

  4. He was very lucky to have found his way into your lives. I've known Vinnie a long time and will always remember him as having an amazing personality and never failing to be the center of attention. Great tribute and wonderful pictures, thank you for sharing. He will be missed dearly.


    1. Thank you, Mike. You were one of his oldest friends and I don't think he ever forgot that.

  5. I am so sorry to hear this. I know you miss your little guy like anything but remember him and the smiles will come, and your love will never fade. What a lovely boy, those pictures made me smile so much. What a beautiful tribute to a marvelous WONDERFUL dog.

  6. AnonymousJune 14, 2012

    I am so very sorry for your loss. It is a terrible heartbreaking decision that is the only downside to owning a pet. But you will meet again at the rainbow bridge.

  7. Thank you, everyone, for your sympathies.

  8. AnonymousJune 15, 2012

    I send you my sympathy my prayers and my best wishes sorry for your loss know that your little guy is now in heaven with the Angels looking down after you. He may be gone but he will always take care and look after your family I send my love and respect I'm sorry for your loss I can relate my German Shepherd felony her health is declining and I have less than six months to a year with her and I'll be going down the same road with you soon I send you my love and respect best wishes to you and your family God bless

    1. I'm sorry to hear about your German Shepherd. I hope she's getting all the treats she wants. That was important to us our last week with Vinnie.

  9. I remember Vinny when I knew nothing about veterinary medicine and he came every Sunday in his Broncos jersey ready to root and be a sport. I am sorry for your loss I can't imagine how hard it is to lose such a special family member.

  10. I follow your blog and just wanted to send my condolences to you and your family. I am sorry for your loss ~ as a huge animal lover myself, I completely understand how you feel. What a beautiful tribute to Vincent and may all those wonderful memories warm your heart and put a smile on your face.
    ~ Adriana

  11. AnonymousJune 20, 2012

    I am so sorry to hear about your Vinny. It is always hard to lose a pet. He will forever live in your heart and memories. I lost my Angel dog in October and still think about her everyday. I;m sure she was one of the first ones to greet Vinny at the Rainbow Bridge and they are running and playing with a healthy heart and for my Angel, healthy legs and back. They will be there when see them again someday.