It all started with a gift. It was Christmas Day 1997 and my mom and her little sister only asked Santa Claus for one thing that year. A puppy. They wrote to Santa, talked to him at the mall (several times), and prayed together every night that their wish for a puppy would come true.
So you can imagine their disappointment when there was no puppy under the tree on Christmas morning. It didn’t matter that there was plenty of other shiny packages with pretty ribbons and bows. There was no puppy. But a surprise lurked under the tree that later proved to be even better than a puppy. It was a package with a promise inside. “This coupon is good for one rescue puppy.”
It wasn’t from Santa either. It was from mom’s parents. They wanted mom and her sister (who were 12- and 8-people-years-old at the time) to be part of the process of picking the perfect puppy. And they wanted the puppy to be a rescue dog from the local animal shelter. It didn’t take long before they found her. Pheobe. It was love at first sight. Pheobe was the one.
Phoebe counseled mom and her little sister through their remaining years as little people as only us canines can do. She got dolled up in all sorts of clothes, learned most of the same tricks mom would later teach me (give kiss was a favorite of hers), and made mischief that brought joy to the hearts of the entire family. She was the very definition of the gift that keeps on giving.
Later in her life, she went to live with my mom’s great-grandma to keep her company after great-grandpa went to heaven. She’d grown a bit less spunky then, but had a gift for simply being there. She was an extra set of ears to listen. An extra set of eyes to see. An extra heart to love.
Sometimes it happens suddenly. Other times it happens over time. I’ve seen it happen both ways and I don’t think one is any easier than the other. Loss is loss. When it happens doesn’t fill the gaping hole left in the hearts of those left behind. It was a gradual decline for Phoebe, but that doesn’t negate the truth that the world lost another canine treasure today. Pheobe went to doggie heaven today, after 18 years of bringing all sorts of joy to the hearts of many.
But it all ends with a gift. And, just like Phoebe, it’s not wrapped in pretty paper or tied up with ribbons. It’s nothing fancy. In fact, it’s about as simple as it gets. We never got to meet in person, but we didn’t have to for me to know the gift Pheobe granted me. My gift from Pheobe was the same as that one my mom opened all those years ago. It was a promise. This coupon is good for one rescue puppy. Thanks to the relationship my mom had with Phoebe growing up, it turns out that coupon was good for more than one rescue puppy. So far, it’s been good for two. I will always have Pheobe to thank for that.
Rest in peace, dear Pheobe. You will be missed.
Lots of love and prayers for Phoebe! The Rainbow Bridge Poem: http://www.newrainbowbridge.com/NRB/rbpoem.htm
I love this Rainbow Bridge poem. It’s not the first time I’ve seen it and it touches my soul every time!
Rest in peace, Pheobe. Much love goes out to your family during this difficult time. May your memory live on forever in their hearts. Much love, The Scottie Mom.
Her legacy will definitely live on through memories and lots of love. Thank you for your thoughtfulness dear Scottie Mom!
Long live Phoebe in our hearts – and may the rescue coupons be good for life. The Red Man and all the Pack at Casa de Canterbury are rescue coupons, too.
I love that idea about the rescue coupons never expiring! I’ll see to it that’s how things run at Casa de Schmidt at least. 🙂
Rest in peace, sweet doggy mommy. My old girl went to doggy heaven a few months ago and I still miss her sweet face. http://suburbanprincessteacher.com/2013/04/21/bark-bark-barkin-at-heavens-door-a-tribute-to-the-worlds-best-beagle/
p.s. Rescue dogs RULE! People need to stop paying for designer dogs and take care of the precious animals we already have who need a home.
Maxie sounds like a sweetheart. I have a soft spot in my heart for Beagles, so I know she had a huge heart with lots of love to share with you. Just making sure you’re familiar with the Rainbow Bridge poem? If not, it’s worth checking out. 🙂
Oh yes. I am familiar with it. It always makes me cry.
Rest in peace, Phoebe. Thank you.
Love and licks,
Thanks Cupcake. 🙂
That was such a great post Wiley. Your grandparents did the right thing – what a fabulous idea, to avoid a store and to give a homeless puppy a home. I bet your mom and Pheobe had a wonderful time together and Pheobe has always a place in your hearts.
From what I hear, mom and Pheobe had a lot of wonderful times together that will remain in her heart forever. Thank you, dear brother, for your comment and your friendship. 🙂
Leaky eyes over here at Casa Lola. Lots of love to you and your family, Wiley. Phoebe will always be in your hearts, and she’ll be at the Rainbow Bridge, waiting for you.
I’m sorry I made leaky eyes happen…that is never my intention. Thank you for your love, encouragement and reminder about the beloved Rainbow Bridge. 🙂
Wow! That is one great story! Thanks for sharing it! I think that all of us lucky canines with happy homes have had a previous occupant that we owe our joy to.
You’re probably right about that…it’s the whole paw it forward philosophy. I’m hoping to ensure my replacement is in place well before I move on to doggie heaven, and I’m going to insist that it’s a rescue situation then too. 🙂
My sincere condolences go out to your family, Wiley! It always amazes me how much of a legacy each dog leaves us as he/she crosses The Rainbow Bridge! RIP Sweet Pheobe!
Thank you, dear Jessica. Your words warm my heart. 🙂
This is a lovely tribute to Phoebe, who was obviously very special.
My mom loved her so I love her by proxy. She was special indeed.
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Thinking of you today, dear Pheobe.