Lifestyle

Saying Goodbye to Rainbow

Just writing the title of this makes my heart sink and my eyes fill with tears.

To love a dog so deeply and unconditionally, it’s so special and once you’ve done it, you’ll understand.

My perfect white fluffy dog named Rainbow, she was the highlight of my life.

I was the kid who begged for a dog for years. Every Christmas list was just “get me a dog and I’ll never ask for anything again”.

I remember being so excited when the newspaper came each weekend as I would look at the classified section for puppies and present my findings to my parents.

We brought this perfect little dog home on September 28, 2002 from a farm called Rainbow Park.

All the way home we looked at this incredible cute floppy eared puppy and debated some names.

Then my mom said Rainbow, her ears perked up and we were sold.

Bringing home this precious face was a dream come true.

 

We grew up together. My brother and I took pride in our little dog named, Rainbow. She was the highlight of many days.

She would come to my elementary school volleyball games, was at my grade 8 graduation, my prom, high school plays and many football games.

I would sneak her into my university dorm at Laurier and my roommates would love it. She was at the finish lines of my marathons, made a few TV appearances and even found herself on a postage stamp ! Thanks to my mom for that one.

 If I could bring her, I would bring her. That’s how it always went.

There was something about Rainbow that everyone loved too.

She was a popular dog. People enjoyed her loving nature, her ability to get along with humans and dogs, her quiet presence and the way she happily curled into a perfect ball on the couch or on your lap.

She was always happy and almost always healthy.

4 years ago she was diagnosed with kidney disease. Which is ultimately fatal in dogs but with the right diet and medication the worst of it can be delayed.

I remember going to the vet for an annual appointment and getting this diagnosis. I was not ready for something like this. I had to go into work right after, I was a VJ that day so thankfully working solo. I cried the entire day as I drove the TWN truck around Toronto getting the shots I needed for a story.

 

I knew from there that handling Rainbow becoming older and ill was going to be very hard for me.

There were many years after this diagnosis that were great years ! Some bad days, but overall the good outweighed the bad by a lot.

 

She still trotted around the GTA with me. She celebrated some great birthdays, had a ton of impromptu photo shoots, went camping, cottaging and provided me with the type of love that knows no bounds. And for that, I’ll miss her forever.

 

She also completely fell in love with my amazing boyfriend Daniel, we shared him. The love they had made me love Dan even more. So thanks for that Rainbow, I know I’ll keep him around.

Have you ever taken a nap with a dog ? If you plan on it being just an hour think again ! The way they curl into you, calm you and look so incredibly cute – you’ll be stuck there for hours ! And after a long week of mornings shows, every Friday I couldn’t wait for that.

I’ll miss the simple things the most. Picking her up for a hug and kissing her tiny little head, that warmed my heart so much. And now it breaks knowing it won’t happen anymore.

She always wanted to be around me and I always wanted to be around her. And when a dog walks into your room uninvited and whimpers to jump on your bed, well that’s true love. And we had a lot of it.

Things rapidly changed. Over Christmas she was tired and I noticed it. She also quickly developed an awful infection in one of her eyes. We took her to the vet and got some drops to clear the infection but there was so much more to tackle. The eye infection was just another sign of her failing health.  She then refused all food. I even put, one of her lifetime favourties, pizza on the floor and nothing. Her weight continued to drop and eventually she lost her ability to walk.

We started making her dog food by hand hoping it would spark a change. We didn’t get any results, her appitite was gone. Her fluffy soft coat started to fade, and she didn’t look like the same dog who bounced around as I walked her for so many years.

She became blind, evidently deaf and kidney disease took over. You could tell by the smell of her breath, her energy and her zest for life – she was fading away.

My entire family got together and went to the vet. We knew what was coming. Our amazing vet, Dr. Smith in Mississauga, told us it was time.

I was so thankful to hear him say we did a great job managing kidney disease. We followed his guidance on diet and medication which allowed Rainbow 4 more years of happiness. We managed kidney disease and she remained youthful until her final few days.

Living for 4 years after diagnosis is not always the case, we did all we could to make it happen.

My emotions when it comes to Rainbow are so hard to control. When you love something so much it seems impossible to let go.

We were the perfect pair with an incredible bond. My heart truly hurts knowing our time is over.

Our final days were filled with tears. And the final night, we went back to where it all started, my parents home. The sadness we all felt was like nothing we could imagine. The dog who gave us years of smiles, photos and love is going to leave. A beautiful life coming to an end.

So how do you celebrate the life of such an important loved one ? An ice cream cake made of her favourtie peanut butter and champagne. Daniel is awesome and always knows how to make me smile.

It was time to say goodbye. This sweet dog gave me 15 & a half years of happiness, love, adventure, friendship and has always been the greatest part of my life. She taught me how to love something so deeply, freely and unconditionally. Rainbow, I’ll use that love in the future. You’ll be with me forever Rainy. Sleep well…

9 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye to Rainbow

  1. Rachel, even with 8 siblings somehow we always had pets in the house and it was always tough saying goodbye. The worst was when I was in grade 5 because my class faced the back of my house and I could see my father out back digging one day. When I got home I found that our dog Goldie had died and he could not bear to let her go so he buried her in our back yard. My niece still owns that house and I still think of Goldie. I am sure Rainbow will continue to bring you fond memories especially at the end of every race.

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  2. Rachel
    I also lost a much loved pet some time ago, so I can say I know how you feel.
    Unfortunately, time does not heal everything. However I often chuckle remembering the fun times.
    You were lucky indeed to have Rainy for so long, and, she was lucky to have you!

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  3. Hi Rachel: that was beautifully done. I am still crying. Bruce and I have had to put down two dogs and we were lucky because they made it to 14 years. Dixie and Duffy are hanging on our wall in memory.
    Two beautiful Golden Retrievers. Diane Haslett

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  4. Hi Rachel, I am so sorry for your loss..I had a golden retriever that almost made it to his 15th birthday.. He is my soulmate, if there is such a thing..
    You will find that will you feel your doggie’s presence in a real way from time to time..I know I do..
    they are never really gone..
    Thanks for making the mornings a little brighter 🔆

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