Most of the photos here at Rabbit Run Cottage
can be enlarged just by clicking on each one!
There you go...see? Easy!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Our Haley

Haley is my niece...okay, so she is a dog but she is still the only niece I have. And, for someone like me, a dog CAN be a niece. Haley is 11 1/2. She is loud and nosy and over protective of her family. She can maul a dog toy to bits or take a tiny morsel of food from your fingers so gently you never feel her doing it. She loves to run, to chase a ball, to get a Milkbone as a treat. The pure joy she expresses when she chases her worn, green tennis ball is infectious. "Come on Auntie Sue! Get into the game!" Grace and I just came back from a visit with Haley. I picked Grace up after her reading class and we went by McDonald's. Grace got breakfast, I got a Coke and we got an Egg McMuffin for Haley. Uh huh. We did. And she ate the entire thing. Grace sat there and broke off one tiny bite after another while Haley patiently waited on each gooey, greasy bite. I know, no veterinarian would approve a dog being fed an entire McMuffin for breakfast. Nor would they have approved the huge steak that my brother grilled her for dinner last night. Haley loved it and that is all that mattered. She enjoyed her breakfast immensely. She licked her lips and kissed our hands. We kissed her head and laughed as we talked about the silly things she has done over the years. My best memory? When Haley was just a pup (But a big, strong one), Danny took her for an early morning walk. It was Christmas Day and the family was spending the holiday with my parents in Tennessee. Dan took Haley down by the lake and who decides to pay them a holiday call? A flock of very beautiful, very noisy Canadian geese. Now this is just too much for poor Haley. She shook. She paced. She took off like a rocket with Dan hanging on for dear life. She chased those geese straight down the boat dock and into the water. Yes, she jumped into the water with Danny still hanging onto the leash. Uh huh. My brother looks out of the living room windows and sees them just as they hit the water. Splash. Icy, cold and wet. Okay, so water is *supposed* to be wet but you get the idea... Jim and Dad ran out to the lake and got there as Dan was struggling up the shoreline to dry ground. Still holding the leash. The kid wasn't taking any chances on losing Haley. I must tell you, we all laughed so hard it was awful. After a hearty breakfast and some hot chocolate, even Dan laughed. Haley never did figure out what all the commotion was about. There were geese. They had to be chased. There was water. So? It took Haley awhile to accept Grace and Grace to stop being afraid of Haley. Now they are good friends. Grace so enjoyed having her breakfast with "Haley, my cousin" as she says. As we were leaving the house, we tossed her some Milkbones which she happily crunched as we locked the door behind us. "Bye bye Sweetie. I love you. I have always loved you. I will always love you. I will see you later...." Haley will cross Rainbow Bridge tomorrow morning. She has cancer. A large tumor on her left leg. She has faced surgery once before and they doubt that it would be possible to help her again. Amputation and chemotherapy might help but is not recommended. She is 85 pounds and 11 1/2 years old. It would be terribly difficult for her to learn to be without her leg. Haley has never been the best patient....so we will let her go. She will go before the real pain sets in. It is the most loving thing to do for her. She will go quietly with her Mommy beside her. My brother can not do that....but Lisa feels she must be there. Jim will walk her to the door and then stay outside. This has been a horrible week for them. Please keep them in your thoughts. All of us who love our pets have faced this, or will face this. It always hurts. There is always pain. Still, I can not imagine a life without our furry friends beside us. We will miss Haley but I am sure there will be another puppy making it's home with my brother and sister in law eventually. But for now, we will mourn our loss and remember Haley with a bittersweet joy in our hearts. Bye bye Sweetie, I will see you again...

23 comments:

T*mmy said...

*tears*
Hugs and prayers for all!!

DebraK from ~the Bunnies Bungalow~ said...

It is so hard to do this....I have & still at times it haunts me.

Hugs to you & your family.

Rosemary said...

Sooo sad. What a sweet dog.
So sorry,
Rosemary

Kari said...

I'm so sorry that you guys are going thru this! So sad...it hurts so much when something like this happens. My husband cried like a baby when we lost our first chow...he was a part of the family. Heck, we ALL cried. I think I'm going to cry NOW over Haley. I gotta go. Sweet, sweet post.

Gretchen said...

Give your family a hug from me, Sue. What a sweetie Haley is. Tell her to say hi to Sara, our old retriever, spaniel, lab mix who crossed over 2 years ago at 13. Sara would love a new friend.
xxxooogretchen

P.S. the only good thing about putting them down is that it's quick. Good luck to your SIL.

Alice said...

I'm glad you know about the Rainbow Bridge. It helped me a lot to think of that a few months ago when my old dog died.

Andi said...

Oh Sue, my heart is breaking over Haley but I know your family is doing the right thing for her. And what wonderful treats and special days she has had. Hugs to you all. Love, Andi

Naturegirl said...

Oh Susie I was so enjoying reading all about sweet Haley....I did NOT expect the ending! I sit here with tears for Haley for all the pets that several of us have lost in these past weeks...including my Freddi.
Our fur friends are on loan to us but for a little while and I am so pleased to hear that Haley was spoiled and loved so much. She lived a full happy life and shared so many happy memories with you and your brothers family.
She is in your heart forever..now crossing the bridge..Peace be to sweet Haley. Sending comfort to you and your family hugs NG

Sheila said...

Awwww Sue, I'm SO sorry to hear this. Here I was reading your post, and smiling because of all the cute things about Haley; then it turned to sadness when I came to the end of it. My heart is breaking for you all. That's the hardest part of having pets - when we have to say goodbye.
My prayers are with you and yours.

Valerie said...

i hate that.
and the grinches in the world who say that pets aren't family are horrible people.

poor Haley's family. poor you. hugs and prayers for you both that tomorrow goes easy.

and the next time i get an Egg McMuffin, i will leave the first bite for Haley.

love you.

TK Angels said...

Give Jim and Lisa my love. It is hard to do-we all know this. Our beloved Clyde was put to sleep on a Tuesday and on Saturday I tried to get another cart. Actually we did-but it just wasn't the same.

Take care,
Love,
Terri

Michelle said...

I'm so sorry...hugs and prayers to your family as you all are going through this difficult time.

Susie said...

It's always hard to say goodbye to a beloved family member. Haley looks like a sweetheart :)
((hugs))

Jill Gross-LaFaye said...

My goodness..I started your post off..lauging..the way you spoke about your "neice" and all the cute things she does..and then..tears..oh the tears..we had to put our Kodiak (Akita) down a couple of years ago..for the longest time I still could hear him barking even though he wasn't there..I would look for him when I got home from work..but he wasn't there..gosh I know it hurts..but the pain does ease. *Love & Prayers*.

mockingbird hill said...

Susie,
They will not go quietly, the dogs who've shared our lives. In subtle ways they let us know their spirit still survives. Old habits still make us think we hear a barking at the door. Or step back when we drop a tasty morsel on the floor. Our feet still go around the place the food dish used to be, And sometimes, coming home at night, we miss them terribly. And although time may bring new friends and a new food dish to fill, that one place in our hearts belongs to them... and always will. Sometimes it helps just to know someone cares... and I do.

Cassie

Mama P said...

You did it again. You managed to make me think this was a nice post about goofy animals and then BAM. I am NEVER looking at a post where you feature a dog again unless you start out the front sentence with Mama P, it's okay.

So sorry for everyone's loss.

Sophie Honeysuckle said...

It is the worst thing to have to do....I'll be thinking of them all xx

Marie said...

What a heartbreaking tribute to a special friend.

Like Nature Girl, I was enjoying reading about Haley and now I have tears streaming down my face...

Hugs
Marie x

SusieQ said...

Farewell Haley. Tell our Tootsie dog hello in doggie heaven.

We had to help our little Lhasa pass over to the other side when continued living for her meant pain and suffering. Both my husband and I were present when she passed over. I cried and stroked her as she died. It hurt.

A year or so later we acquired a collie (you've seen photos of our Max at my blog) from Collie Rescue. I don't think I could ever be without a dog for a pet.

Hugs on this fine day from the other Susie Q.

Deb said...

Susie - you write such beautiful posts - your tribute to Haley & her beautiful pictures was really lovely.

Cheryl Wray said...

Ahh, so sad to hear about Haley. But it sounds like she lived a wonderful life filled with love!

Pamela said...

I cry (inside & out) a little each time I think of when I had to put my huge and lovable rottweiler down. His name was Karl...like in the book but spelled differently...and he was my rock.

He had cancer, too.

Someone once said to me "a pet does not understand death, but a pet DOES understand pain."

and so, as God has ordained, we must take dominion and make decisions that are best for our beloved creatures.

Then we must remind ourselves that because of our friendship, they had a wonderful life.

Jen said...

Sorry for missing this important post Sue. I realized I must've after reading Bill's post.

So sorry....