21/01/2000 - 3/01/2014

Ricky passed peacefully, cradled in my arms, at 2.30pm on Friday 3rd January.
His brother Eddie had stayed by him all morning until the vet arrived and then said
his goodbyes, as did all the others, once he was gone. The boys would have been
14yrs on the 21st of this month.

Despite doing all we could, Ricky was still struggling with mega-oesophagus and there
was only one way to go to save him from any unnecessary suffering. You know it is
the kindest thing to do but it is still the hardest decision to make.

A friend remembered a line from a really sad film Shadowlands which really sums up
love and loss  “the pain then is part of the happiness now – that’s the deal.” 
If you give your heart completely and utterly to a person or an animal and love them
to the best of your ability, it is the most wonderful feeling in the world. Of course, this
makes it that much harder when it comes to say “goodbye” but, for all that, it would be
far worse not to have given your love completely just to try to save yourself the
heartache at the end

Two things miraculously happened which gave me great heart. On my everlasting
angels’ calendar, the thought for the day for 3rd January was ……….. Angels reflect the
magnificence of Heaven, the spectacular home that God has prepared for all those who
belong to him. The picture is of a heart almost identical to the special one in my
memories corner. The other thing which really helped was, within a few moments of Roger
(our lovely vet) leaving, there was a rainstorm at the same time as the sun was shining.
I rushed outside just in time to see the fading rainbow which was arched over the
field opposite our house.

I know Ricky was extremely lucky in many ways. He wasn't a badly treated rescue
but simply a failed show dog so he never knew anything other than kindness in his life.
He was never vaccinated, except homeopathically, never had a conventional worm pill
or flea treatment and, until he reached old age, he was extremely healthy, never needing
to go to the vet for anything.  He was always surrounded by close friends, canine and human,
and knew what it was to run free and play whenever he wanted to. He ate the best of
food and treats all his life and, thanks to his Aunty Ali, more recently, he also had
regular Bowen treatments which he really enjoyed. Being cuddled and stroked all day
was his idea of Heaven.

On the evening that Ricky passed, I heard that a favourite IRR foster dog (Marty who
became Buddy) had gone to Rainbow Bridge on New Year's Eve. He was so much like
Ricky and Eddie that he could have easily been another brother and he was one of the
most difficult for us to let go to his forever home as we really fell in love with him.
Still feeling devastated by that news, the next day, we heard that dear old Alice had also
gone to the Bridge, at 11.30am, just a few hours before Ricky. So much devastating
news was almost too hard to bear but, for sure, Alice, Buddy and Ricky will all be
together now and reunited with Josh, Danny, Barney, Freddie, Carrie and Alice’s
stillborn babies, Angel and Hope.

Fly free Ricky sweetheart, go join all the other very special dog angels xx

You gave Eddie and me a home which we have loved very much,
and we have always enjoyed your loving touch.

We helped you with all the foster dogs too,
they were so grateful for all the love they got from you.

We have had some very happy times together,
and we've been for our walks whatever the

I used to have some lovely runs in the field
some time ago,
but I as I got older I began to get slow.

Eddie will miss me, but knew it was my time to leave,
and now he will need time to grieve.

I will always stay very close to you,
you will feel all the love that I have for you.

My body has been restored and I can run once again,
I am feeling good and no longer in pain.

I have met Danny, Josh and Nanny Jean too,
we all got together and talked about you.

Thank you for being my very best friend,
and for staying with me at the end.

I will never forget all that you have done,
to me you were such a ‘Special Mum’

Lots of Love from Ricky xxxxx

(with help from his Aunty Wendy)

Back to the Rainbow

2012 Irish Retriever Rescue UK