Tag Archives: rainbow bridge

The Dog Who Could Do All

This is probably one of the hardest blog entries to write right now because it means the finality to the loss of one amazing shelter dog who crossed the rainbow bridge barely twenty four hours ago. This story, however, is one of the main reasons that we work on putting high drive dogs into working homes with people who can handle a dog like this – to give them that job that they crave and need to be canine ambassadors.

Nubs came from a local shelter near where his owner, Cindy Coffman, lives in 2007. He had been surrendered after his former owner had joined the military. He sat there and waited for three months before Cindy happened upon him after letting her past APBT mix, Carter, cross the rainbow bridge. Despite the fact that Nubs didn’t have an amazing tale of battles fought before finding the perfect home, he was still burdened with the battles of being an under-socialized adolescent dog. Cindy definitely had her hands full from the beginning.

Despite the uphill battle the pair faced, Nubs showed he had what it took to be a budding sport dog. He had all the right drives and he, thankfully, had landed in the hands of someone with the crazy dedication needed to turn Nubs into a performance dog – the blood, sweat and tears type of dedication that many can’t or won’t provide.

Nubs was UKC registered as DM’s Nutter Butter Nub and that redhead fit the name to a T – right down to his best feature, a docked tail that furiously wiggled at the thought of getting to do something with his owner and “doggie mom.” He did well in anything Cindy asked him to do until the fateful day that changed it all and not on the weightpull track as many naysayers to the sport would have you believe but on the lure course field.

Nubs had torn his ACL. It’s not an uncommon injury in high impact sports, unfortunately, but given the fact that Nubs was an incredibly active dog proposed a problem or two for Cindy after having it repaired once the cause was isolated. Unfortunately for Nubs, he never returned to what he once was pre-injury and was never truly able to return to what he loved to do and so he was forced into an early retirement.

This didn’t stop Nubs from enjoying life as a pit bull breed ambassador as his “mom” and “sister” kept him doing small, low impact things to keep his life fulfilled as he aged. His little sister, Peanut, even succeeded him as a working dog by getting certified as a SAR K9 with the MISAR team and his newest little brother, who is also a rescued pit bull like Nubs and Peanut, is following in her footsteps too.

As with all good things though, there is an end. Nubs was diagnosed with CHF and had to go on medications to help his heart and continue to give him a good quality of life until he told Cindy it was time to go and join Carter. This was all good until a few days ago when Nubs took a turn for the worst and told Cindy it was time. He spent the night before his last ride cuddling and enjoying his time on this world – with many of us who had known him sending kind words to his Mom. This was no easy task to look forward to as Cindy and Nubs had been one helluva team for so many years but it was the right call and he was ready.

We lost a good dog. We lost one helluva sport dog and pit bull breed ambassador. In the end, no matter of papers or accomplishments mattered but he sure put some large paw prints on the world and the hearts of those whose lives he touched and those he will continue to touch with his story of rags to riches and landing in world that needed him.

Rest peacefully, Nubs.
A heart may heal slowly but you will NEVER be forgotten.
2006-2018

Two Weeks Too Long

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It’s hard to believe that just two weeks, three days and four hours ago, I said goodbye to a dog I had barely begun to get to know.  It seems like only yesterday an old, crotchety pit bull mix known at the shelter as Pugsley weaseled his hobbling mannerisms and dislike of any dog he couldn’t domineer and push around stole our hearts.

In the ten short months that Gus called our home his, we learned many valuable lessons – like the patience and unconditional love and trust of a dog who hadn’t always had the good life which showed through on the many scars and healed old wounds on his old body.  He allowed us to fall truly, madly and deeply in love with his aged soul with utter abandon and his passing three weeks after being diagnosed with lymphosarcoma knocked the wind out of our sails as if we had been blessed to hold him in our hearts for the thirteen odd years he had walked this earth.

Gus was a truly special dog.  He was dignified, stubborn, tenacious and all bulldog even when his body began to fail him.  He pressed on even on those days where he hurt so badly that even a heavy dose of pain medication couldn’t touch.  He always wanted to be the good dog in our house.  He strived to always be with us – as close as physically possible – at all times.  He was a good dog – even when he was being horridly naughty.

Gus was the heart and soul of what a ‘pit bull’ should be.  He loved children and adults of all walks of life.  He had never known a stranger and was as polite as a gentleman when he was asked to be – even if he encountered a rude, ill-mannered creature in our daily walks of life.  He will always be remembered for what he was and not what the cancer stole from us in those last three, short weeks as a member of our crew.  That hole will always be there where he took a piece of our hearts and the hearts of those who knew and loved him with him across the Rainbow Bridge to wait for us and teach those lessons to those who waited along with him until we are able to join him.

There is never ‘goodbye’ in Gus’s world only ‘see you later’ because tomorrow was a new adventure and a new journey on a path that will lead to something amazing.

On Love and Loss

It’s been rather quiet here over at Work-A-Bull for a few weeks now.  I’ve unfortunately had some personal thinking, rationalizing and soul searching to do involving my beautiful senior cat, Mindi.  Those thoughts lead me to the realization that being selfish and not helping her cross the bridge was for selfish reasons when it was apparent that she was ready to join her brother, Teddy, who left us last year.  It was one of the hardest decisions of my life to let my childhood best friend, confidant and companion go.  I know it won’t get any easier when I have to let any of my beloved companions go but at least I was able to enjoy her company until she took her last breath in my arms.

Mindi (and her “brother”, Teddy) joined our family in June 1997.  This darling little ball of tortishell-colored fur who would growl and snarl at the sight of our Shih Tzu and grow seemingly into this furious cat beast was one of the most loving and sweetest cats I have been blessed with knowing in all of my years.  She and I were best friends throughout my high school years.  She got me through a lot of high school break ups, late night cram sessions for midterms and finals and my awkward struggling as an adolescent odd ball (and don’t get me wrong, I’m still odd but not quite so awkward!).  I truly don’t know what I would have done without her then or up until her passing.  I’m honestly still lost deep in the threshold of my mind.  I’m functioning outwardly but inwardly I’m still losing it.

The day after her passing, I went to a dog show.  I put on my bravest face and I kept myself surrounded by one of my passions – three of my beautiful dogs.  I lost it a few times and had to compose myself but I made it through the day.  A few people who knew what had happened probably thought I was nuts for going (even I questioned myself!) but I knew that if I didn’t get out and do something, I would be useless and lost in my grief.  Many people shared their condolences, passed on hugs of sympathy and let me know they knew how I felt.  It was good to be surrounded by so many caring individuals – especially the one who coaxed me to get out and make something of the day in honor of Mindi’s memory.  It was one of the most mentally painful things I’ve done in a long time but it was the right decision and has allowed me to realize that my best friend wouldn’t have wanted me moping around the house crying over her loss.  That isn’t how she lived and I doubt it’s how she’d want to be remembered.

Mindi will live forever in my mind and always hold a piece of my heart.  Her spirit may be gone and her physical body left behind but she is with me.  Her ever patient, soul-searching gaze and the gentle rumbling of her purr are something I see deep within my subconscious every night before I finally fall asleep.  One day we will be reunited but until then, I know I have a little feline guardian angel watching over me and mine.

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I miss you, sweet girl, in more ways than you could ever imagine.
Play hard at the Rainbow Bridge.  I’ll see you again one day.
April 1, 1997 – March 9, 2013