On Friday, Draeanne wasn't the only dog in my life to go to the Rainbow Bridge. Shasta, a big, furry, sweet, loveable seventeen year old dog belonging to my neighbours, decided it was time to go. I don't have many photos of Shasta, yet I saw him almost every day. His dad, Dave, would be walking slowly along the pavement, often with his two children, and there would be Shasta plodding along with them - checking out the sniffs and smells along the way, stopping to gaze at who knows what, saying hello to other dogs and their owners.
Shasta always made me laugh - I once, ONCE, gave him a treat when I stopped to chat and he never forgot it - forever after he would come up to me and stick his big nose in my hand or check out my pocket. Usually they were empty, but every so often I would have some treats in there, and he and whatever dog I was walking would each get one.
Shasta was a full-fledged family member - a couple of years ago, at age fifteen, he even went on a three month camping trip across the continent with them, sleeping in the trailer, seeing the world. When his back end began to fail him last year, they built him a long ramp from their second-floor living quarters to enable him to still come and go. The night before he passed away, he could no longer get up and so Dave slept on the floor beside him all night.
I shall miss seeing him plodding down the street. I shall miss saying hi to him as he lies in the sun in his front yard, watching the world go by. But I know his own family will miss him more than any words on this blog can express.
Dave, Jen, Finlay and Pippa, I am so sorry for your loss.
Shasta was a wonderful dog and you gave him A Wonderful Life. No dog could ask for more.