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We let Keeper go today

Rick C
November 23rd, 2010, 04:06 PM
We let Keeper go earlier today. . . .

She had a good weekend but had crashed pretty hard in the last 24 hours, but particularly this morning.

She was somewhat disoriented earlier in the morning, wanting to go outside a few times but standing, seemingly lost and the last time, laying down on the deck in the minus 31 temperature. Carol had to carry her back into the house and, when I got home, I carried her to the Durango and then into the clinic.

Obviously, quality of life was no longer there. The cancer had likely burst inside her. We feel we did the right thing and the outcome was a certain one in any event. She was three weeks to the day into the one month time frame we had been given.

It was a peaceful passing and our vet was in tears as well having known Keeper a long time.

Keeper was the most innocent being I think I've ever known, completely without guile or pretense. It was a privilege to have known such a beautiful, unguarded soul.

She came to us as an owner surrender at one year of age, kicked out of town where she'd been exiled to her back yard, loving to bark at anything that happened to pass in the night . . . . but that loud carefulness wasn't too much appreciated in town while, in the country, she fit right in.

The time of her arrival sparked this story at Goldentales, written for my two godchildren at the time:

Keeper a few years ago, showing a joy for life . . .

She saw many adventures . . .

. . . . but this was Keeper a week ago, near the end, an iconic and soulful image . . . .

It's been only 26 days since Abby passed and we'd like to think Keeper and Abby are off adventuring together again . . . .

. . . . but, in any event, I'll always remember Keeper as a ghostly presence when I'm out walking our place . . .

As with Abby, raise a glass to Keeper and a life well-lived and one that was well-loved.

Forever is a long time.

Rick C

November 23rd, 2010, 04:17 PM
Rick, I am so sorry for your loss.
Your words are so poetic and spoken from the heart - obviously your soul is as beautiful as Keeper's, and Abby's too.

I know and understand the pain you feel, and I hope that time makes it easier for you and your family.

God bless.

November 23rd, 2010, 04:24 PM
Through tearfilled eyes I offer my condolences to you and Carol :cry:

Keeper and Abby were such a joy to get to know on this site through your stories and pictures. Such a beautiful life you gave them both.

Somehow it is bittersweet that they are together again running at the Bridge and snuggling close together. :cloud9:

I hope that some day soon your pictures and stories will bring you comfort and joy and not just the tears and heartache you both must be feeling today.

November 23rd, 2010, 05:11 PM
Rick,even though we knew the end was near for Keeper,I cannot hold back the tears.
I think we all felt we knew Abby and Keeper through your beautiful pictures and we will miss them,it is some comfort thinking they are now together again.
You and Carol gave these two beautiful pups the best life any dog could wish for.
My condolences to you and Carol:grouphug:

doggy lover
November 23rd, 2010, 05:19 PM
Rick my heart goes out to you and your wife, to loose two such lovely dogs in such a short time. I love the picture of them both walking in the snow leaving foot prints, like the ones they have left on all or our hearts...:rip:Abby:angel: and Keeper:angel:

Dog Dancer
November 23rd, 2010, 05:19 PM
OMG, that picture of Abby and Keeper walking away together, killed me completely. That is how I will always think of them. My heart breaks for you and Carol both. How empty the fields must seem right now. The girls are back together though, running pain free at the bridge, knowing they have had the best loving and best life any dogs could ask for. There is nothing on earth you two could have done to give them any more. One day perhaps, when the time is right, a new pup may be in those fields to bark away the invaders at night. Bless you both for all you gave to the girls, and Bless Abby and Keeper together again.

November 23rd, 2010, 05:25 PM
Rick and Carol I am so sorry but you were blessed to have such wonderful souls in your life in Abby and Keeper. I am sure they are running together and playing pain free. I look it as our lives are enriched by the pets that come into our lives.

November 23rd, 2010, 05:27 PM
I am so sorry, Rick, I just can't imagine the pain you and Carol must be feeling losing such two beautiful souls so closely together. I am sure they are now together watching out for you and running free as they did in beautiful Kananaskis country. Your pics have captured their souls so wonderfully. They were both lucky to have you and Carol. :grouphug:

November 23rd, 2010, 05:36 PM
Rick our sympathies go out to both you and Carol,,you were the best family any pup could have asked for.

:rip: Keeper you're running free with Abby waiting for mommy and daddy.

November 23rd, 2010, 05:37 PM
I'm so sorry, what a hard time for you. We lost two a month apart and it hurts more than twice as much. Thinking of you and Carol.

The Lawren Harris shot is beautiful and sad. Keeper and Abby off adventuring together

November 23rd, 2010, 05:44 PM
Oh Rick I am so sorry for your loss, the picture of them walking off together in the snow had me in tears:cry:... I have no doubt they are somewhere just like that off on another adventure together to bide their time until the rest of their family arrives. :pray::goodvibes:

November 23rd, 2010, 06:17 PM
We are left behind to feel the pain, the joy of loving two such special dogs, the agony of knowing we will never share those moments of unbridled happiness that shone through in all of your pictures. If we are feeling so much pain I am sure yours is intensified one thousands so. Please Rick and Carol, know we are all sharing a small part of that pain; hoping to lessen it for you at least a little. :grouphug::grouphug:
Your girls are together again. They will forever be so. Until you meet again.. run free sweet Keeper. Meet Abby and share many more runs up mountains for us sweetie. For us.
:candle::rip: sweet Keeper :candle: :candle::rip: dear Abby :candle:

November 23rd, 2010, 06:17 PM
My deepest condolences to you and Carol. Words cannot express the sorrow we all feel for you and your family but let it be known, that I personally, have enjoyed every picture you have posted of Abby & Keeper.

They will live long in our hearts and now they're together again. :angel2: + :angel2:


November 23rd, 2010, 06:38 PM
I am so sorry about Keeper - and even more being so soon after your hearts must ache.

After just having to let Rudy go last week, I know part of your pain very well -

Your photos have always been such a treasure to see.

RIP Keeper - run with Abby.


November 23rd, 2010, 07:21 PM
I am so so sorry for your loss, you have so many beautiful memories and pictures on your golden tales site of them, and I will always visit there and smile. They are definitely running free together and out of pain with the same spirit they did in life. You were blessed to have them in your lives as they were to have come into yours. I hope the pain subsides more quickly for you both, and the love and the smiles replace that as I know they would have wanted you both to celebrate their lives. And what lives they had :angel:
:rip: keeper

November 23rd, 2010, 07:44 PM
I am so sorry for you and devastating to loose both wonderful souls so close together... I shall always think of them and smile whenever I pass thru K-Country :candle::candle:

November 23rd, 2010, 08:23 PM
My deepest sympathies :(.

:candle: Keeper :candle:

November 23rd, 2010, 08:49 PM
so sorry to hear keeper has lost her fight :(. My thoughts and tears are with you as well.


November 23rd, 2010, 08:52 PM
My deepest sympathies go out to you and many have said Abby & Keeper I am sure are checking out some trails until you meet them again.

Abby and Keeper I will raise a glass in both your honor!

RickC your stories and pictures of those girls are engraved in all of our hearts!

I wish you both peace.



November 23rd, 2010, 09:48 PM
My heart broke tonight for Keeper and Abby. Such beautiful companions. How you must miss them. You have many beautiful memories that will make you smile, once the pain has ebbed. We know how much you hurt right now and we all know how much love these pups gave and received. My deepest condolences to you and your wife.

November 23rd, 2010, 11:09 PM deepest condolences to you and Carol :( Keeper and Abby are together once again.....


November 23rd, 2010, 11:10 PM
Another toast, this time to both Keeper and Abby! May they forever accompany you on your treks and watch over you and Carol. :grouphug:

Listen! I think I hear Keeper teaching Abby to Bark at the Dark!

:candle: Keeper and Abby, together, forever young

the gang
November 23rd, 2010, 11:24 PM
my heart goes out to you both :candle: run to the bridge little one, god speed , brenda and the pins:rip:

November 23rd, 2010, 11:31 PM
My thoughts are with you tonight.


November 24th, 2010, 05:06 AM
I am so sorry for your loss, the best buds are together again, going on their adventures

November 24th, 2010, 08:10 AM
I'm so sorry Rick and Carol :cry:


November 24th, 2010, 08:44 AM
I'm so sorry to hear this Rick, please accept my (and my wife's who is now tearing) deepest condolences :sorry:

It's such a difficult time around here lately with many new and long-time members losing pets that we've all come to know and love. Nothing good to say here except that we understand what you are going through and are sad right along with you :grouphug:

:rip: sweet Keeper :candle:



November 24th, 2010, 08:46 AM
Lots of tears for your two Golden angels a world away in Oz, Rick and Carol.:cry: It doesn't take much to start them flowing seeing 4 of my beloved dogs left us this year, I know exactly what you are going through. I also know your dogs were blessed the day you walked into their lives, what a truly great life you gave them.

November 24th, 2010, 09:33 AM
I'm very sorry for your loss of Keeper and Abby as well.

November 24th, 2010, 10:35 AM
I am so very sorry to hear about Keeper. Knowing it's coming does not make it any easier when it happens. You gave both Abby and Keeper wonderful lives filled with love and the most beautiful playground any dog could ever wish for. They will both live on through your stories and pictures. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. :grouphug: :grouphug:

:rip: beautiful Keeper :candle: :angel2:

November 24th, 2010, 10:49 AM
Really sorry to hear about your loss. I can identify.

What beautiful creatures. I hope you can find strength in the fact that they are together again.

November 24th, 2010, 03:29 PM
So sorry to hear about Keeper :( goldens are dear in my heart, I've had the pleasure of having two of them. Your pictures are stunning. :rip:for your two angels......

November 24th, 2010, 07:37 PM
My heart goes out to you both Rick and Carol. :grouphug::rip: Keeper.

November 24th, 2010, 07:50 PM
I am so very sorry, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family during this very difficult time.
Be free sweet Keeper :rip: :candle:

November 25th, 2010, 01:50 AM
I love the picture of Abby & Keeper walking together on the ice :lovestruck:. I am so sorry for your loss Rick :goodvibes:.

November 25th, 2010, 06:54 PM
im so sorry to hear that both your dogs have recently passed over, they are both wonderful animals and you miss them dearly maybe youll see them in your dreams. memories will live forver in our hearts till the end of time
my deepest sympathy to you and blessing to keeper and abbey in heaven:candle::grouphug::rip:

November 25th, 2010, 08:21 PM
I am so so very sorry for your loss :( my heart goes out to you and your wife... what a beautiful tribute in words and pictures you have provided here... :grouphug:

:candle: Abby and Keeper :candle:

Rick C
November 25th, 2010, 09:35 PM
Thank you for your sentiments everyone.

I was just outside in the pitch black of the evening, running downhill to the fence in my big boots through the deep snow under the crystal clear, starry night . . . . . and then I remembered Abby and I used to do that when she was a puppy, before Keeper even, although I had a leash on her as it was before our fence was up. She loved to do that.

And then I came back and there were Keeper's last footprints still embedded in light covering of snow on the deck . . . . . still don't have the heart to take the shovel to them. I'm sure I'll just let nature gradually wipe them away.

Little memories.

Here they were, below, Keeper and Abby, a few years ago, a happy moment. What was riveting their attention? It was a warm Spring day in King Canyon, Kananaskis Country, and they were watching tiny snowballs - mini-avalanches - coming off the nearby cliffside.

Thanks again.

Rick C

November 26th, 2010, 05:40 AM
Rick, I'm so very sorry to hear about Keeper's passing. She was a beautiful pup. You and Carol gave her a wonderful ife. :grouphug:

:rip: Sweet Keeper :candle:

November 26th, 2010, 12:18 PM
Rick my deepest condolences.

God Bless you Rick and your family for providing such a wonderful life for both Keeper and Abby. I have thoroughly enjoyed your pictures and the stories behind them. What wonderful keep sakes to remember both by.

In rescue, it is people like you that keeps that drive going for people like me and others. I am taking this opportunity to celebrate their lives as what you have given is truly inspirational.

RIP dear Keeper. Hugs to Abby. We will miss you both so very much.:rip:

Rick - I wish you much peace and strength. It truly has been an honor knowing who Keeper and Abby were...are. Bless your heart.:grouphug:

doggy lover
November 26th, 2010, 04:34 PM
You should market your pictures into postcards or something they are so amazing...The footprints in the snow remind me of the dog fur I use to find weeks after my dog died use to make me cry, I kept a little of it for the memories

November 26th, 2010, 09:03 PM
Rick, I'm so sorry. I haven't been here for a while and was sad to see the posts about the loss of both of your beautiful dogs. They had an amazing life with your family and I always loved all of your pictures of them. May they both rest in peace.


December 15th, 2010, 10:37 PM
Rick I'm so sorry to hear that Keeper has passed as well :( :grouphug: for you & Carol.

:rip: sweet :angel2: Keeper :candle: She is undoubtedly playing at the Rainbow Bridge ( with Abby leaving more tracks behind :candle: :grouphug:

December 16th, 2010, 07:50 AM
Rick and Carol, accept my condolences...what a beautiful pair they were. They seemed like two peas in a pod..always meant to be together, which is how they are today...still looking at tiny snowballs running down a mountain..painfree and carefree.
Bless you both for loving them

December 23rd, 2010, 04:55 PM
Hello....My heart was so heavy reading your these posts. I too just lost my best friend recently. I had to put down my dog King on Dec 6th who was 14 years old, due to deterioration from severe osteoarthritis in all his limbs, hips, etc. We had tried everything over the years right down to replacing his ACL's, in order to prolong his life...which worked for a while. Anyhow, letting him go was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. I knew it was going to be devastating, but I didn't realize it was going to be THIS devastating! My heart is still aching for my pal. When I read your post, and saw those pics you put up, it was reading exactly how I someone else out there knows what I am going thru. I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you....and that I hope my King is spending the holidays with your beloved pets at the bridge....take care! And Merry Christmas!

doggy lover
December 23rd, 2010, 10:57 PM
friendlygal I think we all feel the same when we lose a pet that we have been so close to, I still miss my dog that was put to sleep 7 years ago next month, its never easy sorry for your loss:rip::dog::angel:

December 24th, 2010, 02:22 PM
Ric, my deepest condolences. I haven't been around much and just discovered that both Abby and Keeper have passed on.:cry:
I have always loved reading about their adventures and looking at your pictures. Both Abby and Keeper, had the most amazing lives with you and your wife.
RIP Abby and Keeper :candle:

December 26th, 2010, 10:25 PM
Oh, Rick, I am so very sorry. I too haven't been on in way too long and so just now saw your post. I am smiling through tears at your beautiful tribute. It has been such an honor to share your amazing girls with you over the years through your beautiful stories and pictures. Please know we are thinking of you during this difficult time.

January 12th, 2011, 11:57 AM
I know how you feel about your dog Keeper, as I had to let my lab go on Dec.26,2010. He was full of arthritis and unable to even stand anymore.So after 11 years it was time to end his pain and suffering.On Dec.31,2010 we adopted a german shepherd from a rescue group. We love this dog as much as we loved our Lab.Our lab will always be in our hearts and we have the pictures to help us along.

January 13th, 2011, 04:06 AM
I am new to this list.
I hope you will allow me to send you all our love from all our furry family.This is a memory for me. Sad time.
I had a keeper of my own long ago. And I have an Abby now.

How lovely that they filled your heart and made you happy. How lovely that you filled there hearts and made them happy