It has been a couple of days now since Bob crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. I still miss his greeting me when I come home. It feels strange to sit in "our" chair and not feel him in my lap. And it is very hard to sleep at night without him curled up in the middle of the bed.
It has been almost a year since we wrote about our last adventure. Bob was getting older and it was becoming more difficult for him to travel. He was almost 20 years old when he passed! That's an old pup! We have spent the time since then sitting in the sun on the porch, working to help other shelter dogs find homes, serving as fosters for a steady stream of dogs and cats that were waiting to find their forever homes. He kept me company when my husband was away. He offered comfort when I was sick. He was a warm, loving presence when my husband was in the hospital. He chased cats off our chair and birds out of the cat's bowls. And he was always quick to announce when something strange was going on outside - strange cars, strange kids, strange animals, even the occasional strange leaf skittering across the porch.
Bob made lots of friends during our adventures. Pixel and Aspen were his favorites. But he had many others. Many of them are featured in stories right here on this blog. And he did finally grow to appreciate "the rat", Austin. And he was a friend to other animals too - cats, rabbits, horses, guinea pigs. Bob loved them all. We championed many of their causes right here on this blog.
Although we cared him and spoiled him rotten, nothing lives forever and old age finally did catch up to my boy. A nasty tumor in his jaw and an enlarged heart combined to finally end his time here. He passed peacefully with his family and his favorite vet, Dr. Karen, around him. I know many of you will not understand how we grieve for a little ball of fur with a sometimes snappy temper. To you he is just a dog. To me, he was a friend, a traveling companion, a comforter, a playmate, and yes - even a business partner. (His CafePress shop does very well, thank you!). He was unconditional love with four legs and a tail. I will miss him.
And so we come to a close. From the little bit of a mutt we brought home twenty years ago. To the night at a jvAlert event that this blog was started (thanks to some inspiration from Ronda Del Boccio). The first t-shirt in our store (who knew a bug on a leash could launch a business?). The many trips we took, the friends we met, the fun we had.
I do not know where we will go from here. The travels stopped as Bob got older. Austin was willing to go but somehow it wasn't the same. I still do not know whether my heart is in continuing this without my boy. The CafePress shop will remain since most of the proceeds go to help animal shelters and rescues. He would want that, I think. As for the launch of "It Should Be A Dog's World" - I am still unsure of that as well. That was our project. I love Austin dearly. But Bob was special. I will see where my heart takes me.
Many of you have sent messages of condolence at Bob's passing. My thanks to all of you. Now go do something in his honor. Go adopt a little fur ball of your own. Bob would like that.