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We lost Abby yesterday

Rick C
October 29th, 2010, 01:44 PM
We lost a great friend yesterday, my hiking buddy of 12 years, Abby.

We thought we had one cancer surrounded and she was improving with the prognosis of another 18 to 24 months of quality life but a second, more aggressive cancer burst inside her, causing massive internal bleeding and overcoming her within days. We could have extended her life by a few more months with another operation but her quality of life would have been fairly poor so the choice was fairly clear and we elected to end her pain.

Hoist a glass to Abby and a life well-lived. Her many adventures, as always, are at

Rick C

October 29th, 2010, 01:48 PM
Rick we were told earlier about your loss of Abby,,,our heart felt sympathies go out to you and your wife..You gave Abby a wonderful life and now she's playing and waiting for you two and keeper.


October 29th, 2010, 01:52 PM
OMG :grouphug: to you and your wife. Abby had a wonderful life with you. Not many dogs have had the adventures that she enjoyed. My thoughts are with you.

:rip: Abby

October 29th, 2010, 01:52 PM
Oh no, I'm so sorry :(. Through you and your wife, Rick, we've all come to know and love Abby, we will miss her too :cry:. Thank you so much for sharing her life with us.

:candle: Abby :candle:

October 29th, 2010, 01:55 PM
Yes as LP said we have all come to know and love Abbey through your wonderful photography...Rest in Peace.

My thoughts are with you and your wife during such a sad time.

October 29th, 2010, 02:02 PM
:rip:Sweet Abbey you were loved and will be missed. My thoughts are with you and your wife. She is running at the bridge pain free

Kodie's Mom
October 29th, 2010, 02:13 PM

My heart goes out to you and your family, Abbey was a gorgeous golden girl who was very lucky to have such wonderful parents. I believe in quality of life and for that although it's very tough I agree you did the right thing. I too lost a golden almost 4 years ago, they are so much a part of us it's so hard to let go, Abbey is now pain free, she would Thank You for that. Thinking of you!

Kodie's Mom

October 29th, 2010, 02:26 PM
I am so sorry Rick, I was praying that her health would have carried her further than the 2 years. :( :cry: :grouphug:

:rip: Abby :candle: I am sure you are watching down on Keeper :candle:

October 29th, 2010, 02:55 PM
This is a very sad day. :grouphug::pray: to you and your wife, give Keeper a hug for me. GB Abby run free with no more pain. You will be dearly missed. :rip: patti & sasha

doggy lover
October 29th, 2010, 03:06 PM
So sorry to hear about Abby, even though I have never met her its as if I knew her through your deepest sympathies, give Keeper a hug from me.:angel2:Abby:rip:

October 29th, 2010, 03:29 PM
Rick, I am so sorry to hear about Abby. Please know you, your wife and Keeper are in my prayers. It is devastating to lose a pet. We all share your pain. :grouphug:
:candle::rip: Abby :candle: You were very much loved here on earth.

October 29th, 2010, 03:31 PM
My condolences to you and your wife :grouphug: Thank you for letting us share in Abby and Keepers' travels...she is now pain free and watching over you.


October 29th, 2010, 03:36 PM
I am so sorry for your loss! What wonderful memorys we have of Abbey! SHe had an awesome life!

:rip: Sweet Abbey.

October 29th, 2010, 03:45 PM
I am so sorry for your loss. :( The images of her, her adventures and stories will always remain in my thoughts.

Thank you for sharing Abby with us all over the years.

RIP dear Abby.:rip:

October 29th, 2010, 03:52 PM
I am so sorry Rick :(

she will be missed..:candle:


October 29th, 2010, 04:02 PM
rick,i am so very sorry,we all loved abby..
abby had such a wonderful life,we will miss seeing her and all her adventures,with you,your wife and keeper..
i am certain keeper too will miss beautiful abby....
no dog could have had a better life than abby and she will be missed,in the beautiful pictures you post for us.
:rip:beautiful abby:candle:

October 29th, 2010, 04:05 PM
Aw this is so so sad :( There was so much hope after the last surgery...she sure was having a hard time :(
:grouphug::grouphug::grouphug: to you and your wife and sweet Keeper who will miss her too.

Abby had a wonderful life and will sit up at the Bridge looking down and waiting for you all. I am sure there are equally wonderful trails at the Bridge as Abby walked on earth.

RIP sweet whole young and healthy again at the Bridge!

October 29th, 2010, 04:08 PM
Oh Rick, my condolences to you and your wife. Abby had such a spirit...You were lucky to have had her add so much joy to your life...:(

October 29th, 2010, 04:20 PM
Oh no, i am so so sorry.... I had really prayed that she would bounce back, she had a fighters spirit, and lived such a wonderful life with the two of you I have looked over and over the many pictures and tales you share on your website many times, and was so very loved...:rip: Abby my heartfelt condolences to the both of you, she is truly an angel now watching over you..

October 29th, 2010, 05:05 PM
Rick, I am so sorry to hear that Abby lost her courageous battle. :( :grouphug:

My heart goes out to you, Carol and Keeper :grouphug: and I hope your pain is soon replaced by all the wonderful memories you have of her. :goodvibes: :grouphug:

:rip: Sweet Abby :candle:

Dog Dancer
October 29th, 2010, 05:15 PM
I'm so sorry to hear about Abby. My condolences to all of you. As the others have said, through your wonderful stories and photo's it's seemed like both Abby and Keeper are part of our own families. We have come to know them personally. RIP sweet Abby, run pain free at the bridge now. In time you will all be together again. So very few dogs get the chance to live the type of life that you have given Abby and Keeper. They are very lucky pups indeed. Keeper is my thoughts today, she will be a very sad girl for a time I'd guess. :candle:

October 29th, 2010, 05:19 PM
Very sorry to hear that Rick....Abby's adventures will be sorely missed on pets.

:candle: Sweet Abby :candle:

October 29th, 2010, 07:01 PM
That's a beautiful photo of your lovely girl, Rick. So sorry to hear such sad news, big hugs for you both and I hope Keeper doesn't fret for Abby too much. They leave such a huge gap in our lives when they leave us.

the gang
October 29th, 2010, 07:18 PM
oh im so sorry.:candle: brenda and the pins

October 29th, 2010, 08:01 PM
So sorry to hear about your loss :rip:

October 29th, 2010, 08:21 PM
Glass hoisted, Rick, and a toast made in Abby's honor! What a life you gave her! I spent part of the afternoon on your site, rereading your many adventures together.

My condolences to you, to Carol, to Keeper, to Maude and all the kitties. May the good memories quickly outweigh the sad ones and fill your heart with joy!

:candle: Abby, pain free and young again at the Bridge

October 29th, 2010, 08:48 PM
I am so sorry for your loss. Abby was so beautiful and so loved. I will raise a glass to her tomorrow night at sunset.

October 29th, 2010, 08:59 PM
Rick, I am so sorry for your loss :(. Lots of hugs to you and yours and a special cuddle to sweet Keeper who will miss her buddy. Abby was very loved and had a wonderful life.

:candle: Abby :candle:

October 29th, 2010, 10:13 PM
Glass is raised!

My condolences to you and all of your family Rick.

Here's to beautiful Abby. :candle:


October 30th, 2010, 06:31 AM
Rick I am so sorry to hear about Abby's passing. :grouphug: to u, your wife and Keeper. Abby was such a wonderful girl and had so much fun on her many walks over the years. You gave her a wonderful life!

:rip: dear Abby

October 31st, 2010, 01:56 AM
Rick I'm so sorry :(

:rip: sweet :angel2: Abby :candle: She is playing at the Rainbow Bridge ( with those who've gone before :candle: :grouphug:

October 31st, 2010, 03:03 AM
Aw, she's beautiful Rick! Such a wonderful photo too. My thoughts are with you.

October 31st, 2010, 11:53 AM
I'm SO sorry for your loss rick c and i offer you my deepest condolences :sorry:

This picture of Abby is just fabulous and I hope you can focus on all the good times you had together even though this period is extremely painful.

I will have a glass of wine in Abby's honour (and all the other pets that have passed around here recently) tonite.

:rip: sweet beautiful Abby :candle:



Rick C
October 31st, 2010, 01:01 PM
Unfotunately, Keeper is not dealing with Abby's departure very well. She's fallen into a pretty deep funk - classic depression signs including lethargy, no energy, staring vacuously into the distance for long periods - and was sick to her stomach through the night, throwing up and peeing her pants.

Vet says the physical symptoms are probably related to missing Abby and we'll be watching her today . . . . if the same physical things are there tomorrow we'll take her in for a check-up.

Fortunately, Keeper is still drinking and eating but with little enthusiasm.

I'll take Keeper to Chain Lakes today to sit on the shore . . . . she can walk around if she wants to. This has always been one of their favourite walks.

Keeper, a few years ago, running free . . . .

Rick C

October 31st, 2010, 01:34 PM
Rick, I'm so very sorry for your loss. Abby fought so courageously. You gave her such an adventurous life, one any dog would envy.


October 31st, 2010, 09:19 PM
No doubt that dogs grieve for their loved ones as much as we do. Hang in there, Keeper. Give her a big hug for me, Rick, and take one for you and Carol, too! :grouphug:

November 1st, 2010, 11:43 AM
rick,i am sorry,i thought keeper was a boy..
i hope she will recover from her grief,i am a firm believer that animals grieve after losing a friend.
a beautiful pic of keeper:cloud9:

Dog Dancer
November 1st, 2010, 02:17 PM
Rick I'm sorry to hear Keeper is having such a hard time of Abby's passing. Of course I'm not surprised. I suspect mine pups will have a terrible time when one of them goes also. You are all in my thoughts and prayers but especially Keeper at this time that she doesn't understand. Your love and patience will get her through it I am sure. :grouphug:

November 1st, 2010, 02:19 PM
I am so sorry for your loss ...

:candle: Abby :candle:

November 1st, 2010, 03:00 PM
It's always so hard when you have dogs that were so close and one of them passes as they grieve just like we do but don't comprehend as well. :( :grouphug:

I hope the trip to Chain Lakes will help to lift Keeper's spirits up. :fingerscr :goodvibes: :grouphug:

November 1st, 2010, 05:32 PM
:cry: God speed Abby:pray:...thank you so much for sharing all your wonderful adventures with us! :angel::candle:

So very sorry for your loss Rick. :grouphug:

November 2nd, 2010, 11:20 AM
My most sincere condolences to you all Rick. For years, I've followed your wonderful adventures and lived through all the beautiful pictures of Abby and Keeper. May you and Keeper find peace at Chain Lake, we send you all our love.

November 2nd, 2010, 05:45 PM
Abby will live on in your heart and in ours thru the wonderful pictures you have shared with us for so long. I always look forward to seeing the photos you post.

My heart goes out to you in the loss of your wonderful Abby.


Rick C
November 3rd, 2010, 12:06 PM
I am sorry to tell you that we are going to lose Keeper as well.

Only five days after Abby's passing, we've learned Keeper has a large mass, probably Hemangiosarcoma, along her liver . . both sides.

She is bleeding into the mass, which is enlarging, hence her low red cell count. The only difference between Abby and Keeper is this mass has not burst as was the case with Abby.

As the mass is close to a very large, important vein and is filled with blood a biopsy is basically impossible . . . it's an all or nothing operation to biopsy the mass but also to remove it.

Without an operation, the mass could burst at anytime but most probably within a month . . . . Keeper would then weaken and suffocate through about six to eight hours.

If Keeper had the operation there's a fair chance she would die on the operating table. If she survives and it's Hemangiosarcoma, then the best case scenario is eight months of life of which about four months would require intravenous chemo. And if it's Hemangiosarcoma, there's a pretty good chance it would return someplace else within that time frame, requiring further surgery.

There's a slim chance its a more benign form of cancer but the opinion and experience of the specialists we've talked to is a high probability it's the worst kind.

We're talking to Abby and Keeper's most excellent surgeon this morning, the chap would would do a surgery, but, frankly, we expect nothing different than the above. If surgery is to happen, it will probably have to happen today or tomorrow.

Our decision is likely that we'll not have surgery but we do not know how long we will keep Keeper. It may be a few days or a few weeks or the cancer might burst and decide for us.

Keeper was down about Abby missing but has chippered up a bit. She's outside right now, barking at the morning light.

She is comfortable although easily tired and will probably be that way until the cancer bursts. Or until we decide to help her along.

As you may remember, Keeper is a cancer survivor, having endured three operations two years ago . . . . so having another two years with her was a blessing.

This news came only five days after Abby's passing so obviously, this has not been a good week for our little family. Carol is devastated of course.

We have some decisions to make but it's pretty sad.

Keeper at daybreak this morning. We're not sure how many sunrises she has left. . . .

Rick C

November 3rd, 2010, 12:12 PM
OMG, this is just horrible :cry: :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:. My heart goes out to you and Carol, how devastating. :(

November 3rd, 2010, 12:14 PM
Oh Rick...I am very very sorry to hear about Keeper :cry::(:(
Sending lots of :grouphug::grouphug: to you and is definitely a hard decision to thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.

November 3rd, 2010, 12:21 PM
Rick & sorry to hear about Keeper and you will make the best decision for all of you.

I am sitting here with tears running down my face, knowing we won't get to go on any more walks with you and Abbey and Keeper thru your wonderul photography.

I always look forward to seeing your pictures and the incredible scenery..........:grouphug: I can't imagine how you and your wife will get thru this but I know the memories of the good times will help eventually.

Keeper you will be in my heart thru your wonderful pictures..bless you.

November 3rd, 2010, 12:48 PM
Oh No ....I am so very sorry to hear about Keeper. :( How heartbreaking for you and Carol to lose them both so close together. :grouphug: :grouphug:

November 3rd, 2010, 01:00 PM
This is unbelievably sad RickC. I am in tears as I write as I feel so terribly horrible for your family.

I wish you strength dear friend. I wish there was something magic to happen for you all. I wish.:grouphug:

November 3rd, 2010, 01:28 PM
omg, this is just horrible... my heart goes out to you and your family... this is so heartbreaking :cry:

Dog Dancer
November 3rd, 2010, 01:45 PM
Oh my Rick. I came on here hoping to hear that Keeper was getting over losing Abby and this is what I see. Heartbreaking to say the least. I am so sad to hear this and totally in shock. :( I know that in your wisdom you and Carol will do what is best for Keeper. What a very sad time for your family. Bless you and I wish you strength in this most trying time. :grouphug:

November 3rd, 2010, 02:41 PM
I am heart broken...Rick I am so sorry, words escape me right now...

November 3rd, 2010, 03:01 PM
omg... this is so so sad and shocking offering you both prayers of strength, and faith that there are higher forces at work when something like this happens and so close together... no question how deeply you both love Abby and Keeper and will do the best thing possible for Keeper now:grouphug::grouphug:My heart goes out to you both

November 3rd, 2010, 03:50 PM
oh no,rick i too have tears streaming down my face,we feel like we know you,carol and your beautiful goldens through all your wonderful pictures.
cancer is such an ugly devastating disease and when it takes your loved ones,your world falls apart.
:grouphug:to you and carol:grouphug:

November 3rd, 2010, 04:21 PM
Oh how unbearably sad...there are just no words :cry:

I can't imagine how numb you must feel right now as you try to understand different opinions to make the best choices possible. I pray for strength and guidance for you both as you go through this sad sad process.

I guess Abby and Keeper need to be Abby and Keeper...together at the Bridge some day hopefully not too soon :pray:


November 3rd, 2010, 05:17 PM
OMG...I am so sorry. My heart goes out to you both. Both Keeper and Abby were such a wonderful part of all of our lives. The pictures, their strolls, ...etc.
I am so sorry to hear this.:(

November 3rd, 2010, 05:42 PM
I guess Abby and Keeper need to be Abby and Keeper...

That's what's so bittersweet about this, isn't it? It's both a comfort and a great sadness :(. Rick and Carol, I'll be keeping your family close to my heart :grouphug:. Please give Keeper a gentle hug and kiss from me.

doggy lover
November 3rd, 2010, 06:55 PM
Rick my heart goes out to you and your wife, bad enough to lose one dog but now Keeper:cry:the tears are running down my cheeks and I only know these guys through pictures. So sad, my thoughts are with you both, you know what is best for your friend:grouphug:

November 3rd, 2010, 07:02 PM
Rick & Carol my heart and prayers go out to both of you. May I say that both Abby & Keeper will live on in the memory's of so have shared their wonderful lives with us and for that I cannot thank you enough!

I will have your family in my prayers. I wish you peace.


November 3rd, 2010, 07:19 PM
OMG I'm soooooo sorry Rick and Carol this must be heartbreaking for you both.

:grouphug: for you Rick and :grouphug: for Carol



November 3rd, 2010, 07:53 PM
Hi Rick, I'm so sorry to hear of the passing of Abby.

I'm sending my thoughts and prayers to you and your family. I hope Keeper is coping ok.

:rip: Sweet Abby :angel2:

November 3rd, 2010, 09:29 PM
Words cannot express my deep sorrow for you and Carol.

Abbey and Keeper...they sure sound (and look) like they were two peas in a pod. :)

We can only hope and pray Keeper stays comfortable and her spirits are kept high.



Rick C
November 4th, 2010, 08:42 AM
Thank you for your thoughts. . . . .

A portrait of Keeper (left) and Abby, great chums through more than a decade . . . .

Keeper was out barking at the dark again this morning as I was leaving for the office . . . . just like this from a few years ago.

Rick C

November 4th, 2010, 10:03 AM
Beautiful picture Rick... hope you framed that one :lovestruck:

November 4th, 2010, 10:21 AM
Rick and Carol. This is so sad I too have tears running down my cheeks after reading about dear Keeper. As was said before Abby and Keeper and Keeper and Abby it appears that the two of them belong to each other.

Do you think that Keeper was trying to hide her illness so that Abby could have more attention in her last days? I am sending prayers to Carol, yourself and Keeper.:pray:

November 4th, 2010, 01:55 PM
we feel like we know you,carol and your beautiful goldens through all your wonderful pictures.

:cry: I too can't help but cry, I am so sorry for what your family is having to endure right now. And I can't thank you enough for sharing your two beautiful girls with us through your stories and photos. :grouphug:

:candle::pray: for Keeper and your family.

November 4th, 2010, 04:54 PM
Oh, Rick, this is just heartbreaking! I hope Keeper surprises you and sticks around a longer than expected. :grouphug:

At least the girls will have each other again soon. And you know when you take your hikes they'll still be with you, watching over you.

You're all in my thoughts and prayers. Pass on some big hugs from hazel, please.

(btw, that black-and-white portrait of the girls is absolutely stunning!)

November 4th, 2010, 07:41 PM
Rick, I am so sorry to hear about Abby, and now Keeper. How devastated you and your family must be. I can't even imagine.

:rip: beautiful Abby :candle:

And I will definitely have Keeper and your family in my prayers tonight :pray::grouphug:

November 5th, 2010, 03:21 PM
Oh no i'm so sorry to read about Abby and now keeper! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Rick. Hope keeper is still coping and hanging in there.

:grouphug::goodvibes: Keeper

November 5th, 2010, 06:56 PM
:sorry: Rick and Carol, my thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. I have looked through your site on more than one occasion and always had a peaceful feeling....Abby and Keeper were able to bring smiles to so many of us.

:rip: sweet Abby and :grouphug: to Keeper

November 5th, 2010, 07:12 PM
This has to be one of the hardest threads for me to read that i can remember.
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss of Abby and now the uncertainty of Keeper.
I have you all in my thoughts.

November 5th, 2010, 10:39 PM
I am just reading this now and wanted to offer my deepest condolences on the loss of Abby and wish you strength and courage in the light of developing events with Keeper.. This is beyond sad, I think this is one of the hardest threads to read in a very long time.

November 5th, 2010, 10:46 PM
I am so very sorry Rick and Carol. What a horrible horrible thing. My heart is breaking right along with yours. To lose one girl is bad enough. To have to lose both so close together........... I'm sorry. :grouphug:
I will keep you all in my prayers.

November 8th, 2010, 05:59 PM
im so sorry to hear of abeys passing what a lovely looking animal you must of havemany wonderful years of happiness and companionship
at least she lived a happy life but the loss is greater.
may she have such wonderful loving days at rainbow heaven where all bridgekids reunight
love to abey
xxx wendy:grouphug::rip::angel2::candle:

November 9th, 2010, 05:31 PM
Rick and Carol, I'm so sorry to hear about Keeper's illness. :(

Please know that I'm thinking of all 3 of you and sending prayers and hugs to you all. :grouphug: I'm not good with words, but know that I have tears falling for your beautiful girls and am so sorry for the heart break u are going thru.

Give Keeper a big hug from me. :grouphug:

Rick C
November 15th, 2010, 09:06 AM
FYI . . . . . . Keeper in an introspective moment yesterday. She continues to weaken but we've enjoyed our time with her, knowing what we know.

and below, Keeper sees another sunrise. A few minutes before we headed outside fo this scene, 10 panicked Elk, including two well-adorned bucks, had jumped the fence and run through the scene above, silhouetted against the morning glow, probably seeking to escape some nearby bowhunters. I'm glad that happened when Keeper had been inside!! The bucks would have stomped her out of hand if she'd been in the way.

We're not sure how long Keeper will be with us but she's not in evident pain and can still look after herself and move about . . . . but the nature of her illness is she could turn abruptly worse at anytime. We'll try to find the right moment to release her.

Rick C

doggy lover
November 15th, 2010, 09:34 AM
Rick enjoy all the time you have with Keeper. You will know when its time,but for now she is comfortable and still has quality of life so enjoy. Go buy her a big t-bone steak for dinner..
I got to spend a week with Travis from the time we found out he had bone cancer until we had him pts, in the end he laid on the table let me rub his ears and he went to sleep peacefully. We couldn't leave him any longer as he was on perc's for pain and didn't want to see him suffer.
My thoughts are with you and your wife, I know its a hard time for you both now.

doggy lover
November 15th, 2010, 10:18 AM
I found this poem and just wanted to share it with you, warning it made me:cry:
Just A Loan
An angel came to me one day,
A ball of fur in hand.
 The angel gave the ball to me,
 As we stood there in the sand.
 She said to me, "It's just a loan, 
For only a short time. "
She told me she would return one day,
 For the ball of fur wasn't mine. 
I looked down at that ball of fur,
 Two eyes stared back at me. 
I fell in love upon that day ,
As I held it close to me. 
Time went by and my love grew, 
As close friends we became. 
Then I hugged that ball of fur, 
Life was never again the same.
 No matter where I found myself,
 My friend would be there, too.
 Then one day the angel came, 
I didn't know what to do. 
She said that now the time had come,
 To take my friend back home. 
I watched her leave with tear filled eyes, 
As I remembered "It's just a loan"

November 15th, 2010, 10:31 AM
Beautiful picture Rick. I wish I could reach through the screen and give you and Carol huge hugs. The pain you must be going through...... Losing one is bad. Losing two in a short time..... :cry:
Stay strong for Keeper. Know that we are feeling your pain too. We came to know and love both Keeper and Abby through your amazing pictures. :grouphug:

Dog Dancer
November 15th, 2010, 12:58 PM
You are all in my thoughts and prayers Rick. I hope that Keeper is doing well, and she knows fully well that you will do what is best for her. Bless you all. Enjoy every moment.

November 15th, 2010, 04:59 PM
She's such a beauty, Rick. And 'sunrise' is one of her best colors! :lovestruck: She looks so good in it!

November 15th, 2010, 08:50 PM
Keeping Keeper in my thoughts Rick.

She's a beautiful strong girl. :cloud9: