“Rip was a great guy, stubborn, hard headed when he wanted to do something, loving, a champion cuddler. I'm going to miss him for a long time.” -- Becky Dodge
She wrote this tribute to Rip on Tuesday while the tears were still fresh. This is both a message and a memorial to a great dog. Becky wrote:
“I wanted to let you know that today the lovely Rip died in his sleep.
“On Sunday, just over a week ago I had him at the vet for what I thought was only a bad cough. She did some x-rays and discovered at least two tumors in his lungs. I made the decision then, based on his age and the fact that the tumors were fairly well-grown not to attempt any extraordinary measures but to keep him as comfortable as long as possible. He came home and even as late as yesterday was doing a small amount of trotting around the back yard as he was following Hershey.
“Today when I returned from running an errand he came up to me while I was sitting on the couch and wanted some loving. After that he walked about 2 feet away and laid down on the carpet for what I thought was a nap. At that time I went into the kitchen to fix lunch, returning about 10 minutes later. I glanced over at Rip and noticed that something did not look right so I went over to him and discovered that he had stopped breathing. He had not made a sound and had not moved from where he went to sleep.
“It's only 9 days since the diagnosis and he left with no apparent struggle. I guess he was ready, but I really hoped for more time.
“I'm going to really miss watching him and his constant harassment of Hershey - that never stopped, even last night he did what he usually would do - take Hershey's bed until forced to move to his own smaller one. He always had this really satisfied look when he did that as if to say ‘See, I can to make the big dog move.’ He enjoyed that so much, just as he really enjoyed trailing Hershey and nipping at his heels -- literally, I could hear his teeth snap together as they came within fractions of an inch of Hershey's heels.
"I adopted him when he was 12 so he'd been here for almost 4 years. He was a lover, a snuggler on the couch who loved to lay with his head in my lap (the more to encourage me to love him). I'm going to miss that as well as hearing him bark -- just once at each mealtime -- to tell me to hurry the food up. A lovely, gentle man who was greatly loved.
“There are three pictures attached -- the third one is the first pic of Rip that I saw when you mentioned him in your column as he was looking for home.”
He found that home -- and a heart.
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