Saturday, March 28, 2020

What Happened....

It may be Saturday, but the events of this past Wednesday are still fresh in my mind.  I'll start by saying that I'd noticed changes in Rhett over the last several weeks. Of course it had me very concerned, and so I was keeping a very close eye on him.
Wednesday began with what could have best been described as a perfect day for Rhett. As I was leaving to run errands, Rhett, who loved a car ride, stood at the door and wanted to go along. It was a cold rainy day, so on a whim, I decided to take him and Max with me. I occasionally rolled down the middle windows so Rhett could stick his nose out and smell the air. He didn't do that so much, but he seemed happy to be along for the ride.

Before going home, I made a last stop at "Chick Fil A" to get a quick lunch that I shared with Max and Rhett. Just as we were finishing, Rhett who had been laying in between the seats, started gagging, and when he put his head way back, I saw his tongue and gums were pale -- He wasn't breathing. I quickly got out and pulled him from in between the seats and I laid him flat, got his airway open, and did an equivalent of CPR, by blowing into his nose and shaking him - And I can't be sure, but I'm pretty sure I was yelling and begging him to not go.... Time seemed to be standing still, and so when I saw Rhett blink and take a breath, I just started crying. Max was sitting on the backseat, shaking and when I started cheering for Rhett, we both felt a huge sense of relief.

A blur of phone calls and within minutes we were sitting in the parking lot of a nearby vet. Because of the virus, I had to wait outside while a vet I'd never met, but I knew by reputation, assessed Rhett, and took x-rays. Those x-rays showed an enlarged heart, (a possible tumor) and a mass on his spleen. Several phone calls with the vet and the what ifs followed. But in the end, as devastating as it was to hear, there was nothing that could be done - This was all made harder because from outside, I could hear Rhett barking inside. The vet, who was showing us nothing but kindness and patience, of course allowed me to take Rhett and spend time with him.

I'd been told that what happened earlier, could and probably would occur again. Or, that Rhett could pass away on his own, in his sleep, or without me there. This all weighed so heavy on my heart and mind. I knew that what the vet was telling me was the explanation for all that I'd seen happening with Rhett the last few weeks.

That feeling of total helplessness that I'd had in the parking lot of Chick Fil A was still so fresh in my mind. Of course I didn't want any of that to happen again. What if I could not revive Rhett again? What if I wasn't there? None of this would be fair to Rhett. Along with having a big personality, he was also truly a dog that had a great deal of dignity. I felt strongly that his life should be one that ended that way. Not one filled with panic or chaos.

So, as I sat on the floor, next to a snoring Rhett, in the early evening of Wednesday March 25th, he left this life with all the dignity and peace that he deserved. And of course, breaking my heart, and taking a piece of it with him, but leaving so much more behind.

Our candle has been lit since Wednesday to both honor and remember Rhett and to help him find his way on his journey. However, I have a feeling that Rhett has been able to find his way to that on his own. Thinking that, somehow lifts my spirit.

Finally, as is our tradition, giving Rhett his color for the Rainbow. I've thought about that over the last few days. Not long after Rhett came to us, I bought him a new collar. I found what I thought was the perfect one for him -- A tie-dyed/multi-colored one that I thought said something about him.

With so many colors to consider, yellow has been a color I've seen all over the last couple of days. It's  practically everywhere right now.
And so, I have decided that Rhett's color is yellow. Yellow is the third color from the top in a rainbow. Yellow is vibrant in itself, and it represents the color of the sun, full of energy.
It also represents brightness and happiness.
~A carpet of yellow flowers along the tow-path near the Potomac~
And now, it represents my beloved Rhett.


  1. Oh Kim.... tears are streaming down my face upon reading this hard story about Rhett. What a trauma for everyone involved, my goodness. Yes, I think.... I KNOW..... you made the right decision about Rhett leaving this world with dignity. No other choice could have possibly been made. You done good, girlfriend.... you done good! Whenever I see yellow I will also think of Rhett... and know he's shining down on you, with thanks & love! Gentle hugs & many prayers for your healing heart, Andrea XOXO

  2. Sending hugs to you ..... I have had 3 dogs in my life with enlarged hearts and you did the right thing .

  3. One of my Labs had an enlarged heart, and we managed it well for her time with us. Sadly she died in kennels and we were far away. I still regret that I wasn't there to hold her and comfort her, in what must have been such a distressing time for her.
    So glad that Rhett went with dignity, and that you were with him - it's the least we can offer our faithful friends.

  4. Hugs Kim
    Yellow is my favorite color too!

  5. Kim. a Golden captured your heart. and it will be forever.
    and a perfect color for his beautiful soul. the color of the sun.
    these pictures are treasures. thank you. bless you darling girl.

  6. Sending hugs, Kim! It is always sad to loose one of our furbabies, Rhett will be missed. Yellow is a perfect color for beautiful Rhett.

  7. Rhett was such a sweet boy. Yellow is the perfect color for him because it's obvious he was a ray of sunshine in your family.

  8. Tears in my eyes as I read all the beautiful and outstanding words written so full of love for a beautiful fur baby. So glad you were with him when this happened. It would have been to much shock for you if you had come home and found him. You would have had no answers. You were with him and brought him love and comfort as he left for Rainbow Bridge. At this moment that really doesn’t help the đź’”. Truly so sorry.

  9. Kyla, the rescue Scottie, left doing the thing she loved best. Eating treats. It's been over five years but we still miss her.

  10. Run free sweet boy. Hugs to you at this difficult time.

  11. Sweet sweet Rhett.
    Hugs to you dear Kim.

  12. We totally understand how it feels to lose an angel like that! You never totally get over it. Sending hugs and POTP.

  13. I am crying so hard I can hardly see. You were the biggest blessing he ever had, and he was yours. So much love between you. Hugs and blessings.

  14. My heart and tears are with you. I could feel the emotion every step of that story. Yellow sounds absolutely perfect for Rhett, it's my favorite color, and so joyful. He will love to be remembered that way. ♥
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

  15. I read your words last night, and for once, I could not write any for a comment. Rhett might have had that feeling, and really wanted to go with you, and I am so thankful he was with you, the other vet was thoughtful and caring, and you made a heartfelt decision right there. Darling Rhett, Yellow, the colour of gold, and you were indeed a ray os sunshine. Love and many hugs, virtual is all we can do down here, as I think of your day, the tears as you wrote, and the loving memories.XXXXX

  16. Yellow is the most appropriate colour for Rhett and his wonderfulness. Almost 5 years ago, I spent a night lying beside Bogart on his last night. Still am not able to revist that night in my mind but am so glad I was there with him. Once again, thank you for being you.

  17. What a beautiful soul he had, your Rhett. I'm so sorry you had to go through all that. I'm so sorry for your loss, but he left with dignity and no suffering. Whenever one of the old dogs pass, I'm so happy that you have Todd in your life. I look at his picture and I smile, because this is hard for us, your friends, too. The sadness just stays with one, even though we have never met them personally.

  18. I'm glad you were there when he needed help.

  19. As painful as this was for you I have found it helpful for me.
    Of course this post you did, is about you and about Rhett.
    I have heart ache for your loss. And joy for the life you gave him.
    As I have said . . . you are GOLDEN.

    Back to me/us . . .
    Our Snickers has been having various, “issues.”
    So far we have continued with meds to see if we can stabilize
    her and hold on to her longer. She is 15 years. Of course we don’t want her to be suffering. I fret about being away and her having an episode alone. I can’t bare to think of it. So your words/thoughts helped me! We are at the “door” of decision making. She can be as perky as can be and then her awful choke like cough, waking up, and us 2-3 times at night. She has a blood test next week again, to check her liver enzymes. So we are in a wait and see mode. I am so very thankful for our wonderful vet and his care, plus the. team in the practice.
    I will keep you “in the know” about our sweet girl!

    Caring about you Kim . . .

  20. Such a sad day for you. But thankful you were there with Rhett when things went so bad. It could have been so much worse if this had happened when he was alone. Rhett was so lucky to have spent his best years at Golden Pines with you. Godspeed, Sweet Boy.

    Woos, Lightning and Timber

  21. Yellow was his color for sure. So happy he spent the end of this life with you.

  22. Bless you for your compassion, empathy, and love for all these animals that you care for and love. How hard it is to lose them.

  23. What a lovely, glowing tribute to Rhett and as heartbreaking as it was/is to say good-bye, I am sure you made the right decision Wednesday evening.

    Yellow is a perfect choice for Rhett as was that glorious tie-dyed collar.


  24. It sounds as if he had a hemangiosarcoma much like our Ellie. Hard as it was, I know it was better for him to cross over with dignity with you by his side. Our Ellie collapsed as we were coming back from a walk. She did not appear responsive although she licked my hand in the car on the way to the animal hospital. Unfortunately she died on the operating table so we were not with her. I miss her every single day. Godspeed dear Rhett. Enjoy your new life over the bridge.

  25. With tears and incredible sadness for you, I applaude you for doing the best by Rhett. You will continue to immortalize Rhett's spirit in the blog. Stay well. Stay safe. & know that you have been a great dog parent. - Lorian of

  26. I am so sorry, Kim. I admire the decision that you made. You gave Rhett some love-filled years. He wouldn't have traded that for anything. You bathed him in love and light.


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