Skip to comments.Baruch crossed over the Rainbow Bridge
Posted on 11/25/2006 12:35:01 AM PST by Bobibutu
Baruch / Rookie,
Some of the Bay Area Freepers met and knew him ...
His spirit left this world at 10:20AM November 24, 2006 peacefully, without a struggle - in my arms staring, as usual, into my eyes.
The dysplasia and various other ailments we battled over the years finally took their collective toll when Degenerative Myelopathy (similar to MS in humans and no cure) left his rear legs paralyzed and useless. It was sudden. The eve of Thanksgiving he sat down and was unable to fully rise ever again.
I had tunnel vision for over eight years focused on hip dysplasia diagnosed at 2yrs. Baruch had such heart that he kept the Degenerative Myelopathy hidden from me and his vets until Thanksgiving eve. I thought it was his hips finally giving out after 8 1/2 years of continuous therapy and had started a new therapy as a last ditch effort that day to avoid surgery while the day before had discussed with an Orthopedic vet in the area about getting together in 2 weeks to evaluate Rookie for a hip replacement. His vets and I fully expected him to at least make it to 11 yrs. And possibly longer.
He was kept warm, hydrated and catherized. He was in no pain.
Thanksgiving day was spent with my telling him how thankful I was for his companionship over the past 10 years and how I adored and loved him. I recounted my memories of our adventures and discoveries over the past 10 short years to him.
From his Ambassadorship of Service Dogs traveling nationwide educating others with his amazing behavior to going places a dog had never gone before deep into a Minuteman Missile Silo Complex; the top of the St. Louis Arch; The Lincoln Memorial and many, many more to just having fun- swimming in 4 of the 5 Great Lakes; the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; the Gulf and countless lakes, rivers and bays across this great country. Hiking the Appalachian Trail or back to a hot spring deep in the Oregon forest.
Many who had met him only once were profoundly touched by this noble dog. He visited nursing homes, hospitals, hotels, restaurants, airports and had taken 457 commercial flights in the passenger cabin at my feet except on one small airplane where he laid in the isle with his head resting in the pilots cabin (that was the only place with room for him) the pilot jokingly announcing to everyone that this was his first time to have a dog watch him fly.
He was a joy to be with and to be around.
I learned much from him. The most important best expressed 2000 years ago by Aristotle.
All men seek one goal, success or happiness. The only way to achieve true success is to express yourself completely in service to society.
As my personal Service Dog he empowered me through and beyond my limitations. He loved to work. So much so that I began to share his versatility and uniqueness with others. The culmination of this sharing was a few weeks ago while serving as a volunteer at Laguna Honda Hospital (hiding his physical discomforts from everyone) he interacted with well over 100 residents one-by-one in 3 dementia wards teasing smiles, animation and floods of questions out of most. It was quite an exceptional afternoon.
His vet and I discussed possible options before making the decision of euthanasia. He simply stated in that he had helped remove and carry Rookie from my car to the stretcher that he need no more proof that he was paralyzed and would not argue against euthanasia if that was what I asked for. A doggie wheelchair would be an option for a much smaller dog. However, at well over 100 lbs. it was not a practical one for Baruch with all criteria considered. He then performed a gentle exam Rookie still had reflex action in his rear legs but no feeling and no ability of movement beyond the simple reflex.
Rookie rolled his upper body to me for his German Shepherd Dog chest and tummy patting his lower body limp to one side. I obliged him he moaned in his usual ecstasy whenever I demonstrate my affection for him in this way.
We spent quality time there was no time table set by his vet.
It is strange now to be alone after spending 24/7 with all but a few weeks out of the past 10 + years with him.
Baruch is Hebrew for Blessing. I have and now again count mine over and over for having the opportunity of caring for and being cared for by this magnificent animal.
His body will be cremated. His ashes saved to be mixed with mine when I pass on.
A memorial service will be held in Oakland.
Baruch April 15, 1996 November 24, 2006
God bless, neighbor- it's so hard to say goodbye to a dear friend... nobody loves you like your dog.
I'm so sorry on your loss.
Sounds like he had a wonderful life and a loving owner. You are both in my prayers.
Bless your sweet boy, and you as well.
My sympathies. Sounds like he was a most remarkable companion...
I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Your puppy dog loved you and will continue to watch out for you.
I'm sorry for your loss of a great friend.
My support to you in your time of sorrow. Rookie was a true companion dog. (((( Hugs )))).
I'm so sorry. I'm sure he was a blessing to you & many others as well. Prayers.
I am so very, very sorry and sad for your deep loss. You'll be in my prayers. :O(
Thank you all so much. I have been pushed to reach out to others and have resisted all my life (I'm 64). Now in his final gift to me I am moving through even that limitation. I am humbled.
Here is another response I would share with you all...
Oh, my dear, my heart goes out to you this morning. What a beautiful letter, what a great companion and friend you had for so long. I also took the liberty of sharing your missive with the folks at Laguna Honda Volunteers, the board, Diwata Ico, Linda Acossta and Bill Frazier.
Here is a quote I share with those who have lost someone dear. Baruch certainly qualifies on all levels.
Please let me know about the memorial.
"To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exaltation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived... this is to have succeeded."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you would like the readings I used, I can send them to you. Just FReepmail me your email..or better yet.I will FReepmail you MY email & you can respond.
I am not sure if they are in word or works format..
Thanks Dolly, Any format is ok - I have PCs and Macs and xlators.
Your tag line has given me new found strength.
Till you meet again.....
Put sound on....
So very sorry for the loss of your beloved pet.
It is so hard, is it not, to have to make that final decision, even when you know it is the kindest one.
God bless you and your dear Baruch - a real blessing you were to him as well; when you meet again, it will be face to face as children of God, in the City of Light...
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