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.