Holly’s Story

Sweet Holly, I don’t even know where to begin.  After being a big part of our lives for over 17 years, you left on your journey to Rainbow Bridge yesterday, February 1, 2018 at noon. Just a year ago you were fighting liver failure and the vet told us to prepare to say goodbye.  But he wanted to try treating you with Predisone as he felt you wouldn’t be any worse off.  But you rallied and fought the hard fight and bounced back, regaining the 6 pounds you lost.  You had a wonderful year given as a gift not only to you, but to me and Dad and the rest of your pack.  But 17 years is a long time and try as hard as you did, eventually things caught up with you.  It wasn’t your liver or your kidneys or any other vital organ.  It was simply a matter of old age.   You lost your hearing first and then your sight.  It was so hard watching you walk into things constantly.  But you took it all in stride and continued on.  But soon your poor body could no longer hold your weight and you started falling down a lot.  We just couldn’t understand when you lost weight again.  All your tests came back normal, which really surprised the vet considering your age.  You ate 4 large meals every day and still lost weight.  This week we gave in to the fact that old age won even though you fought so hard.  The night before you left us I sat up with you all night feeding you Milk Bones.  Eventually you curled up in my arms and fell asleep.  I laid you into your doggie bed next to me on the big bed and your baby sister, Jennie, crawled in with you.   Do you think she knew this was your last night?

I know you are at peace now and have your sight and hearing back again.  And you aren’t falling down anymore.   You are with your mother, Bailey, and your sister, Sarah again.   I keep telling myself that letting you go was for the best.  But for us your leaving has left another big hole in our hearts.  Run young and free again and wait for the day we will all be reunited.  We love you.

Holly’s original story continues below

Sarah and Holly are Jack Russell Terriers — sisters from the same litter.  Sarah is a longhaired Jack Russell like her mother, and Holly has smooth hair like her father.  They really don’t look alike at all, but to watch them one would swear they are joined together by some type of invisible line.   They play together, they sleep together, and they even walk around together.  If one of them is running across the yard, the other will be running right along side of her.

Our daughter, Shelly, is a Jack Russell Terrier breeder and rescuer.  Her dog, Bailey, gave birth to eight puppies on November 5, 2000.  Mom, John, and I happened to be visiting her the Sunday that the puppies arrived.  I don’t think I ever saw that many puppies come out of a dog as small as Bailey.  All eight of them seemed to be very healthy but one of them was exceptionally small compared to her siblings.  At the time I didn’t think this tiny baby would make it, but Shelly said she would feed her supplemental feedings by bottle until she was stronger.  Shelly presented us with a special gift on Christmas Day, 2000.  That was the day Sarah became ours.

A week after Sarah came to live with us, Shelly and Nick planned to take a short vacation All the puppies had gone to new, permanent homes except one.  Shelly asked if the pup they named “Noel” could stay with us for a few days.  We picked her up and Sarah was very happy to be with her sister once again.  The name “Noel” just didn’t seem to work for me.  I was constantly finding myself saying “NO, NOEL” or just calling her name with her thinking I was telling her “NO”, so the name “Noel” had to go.  I spoke with Shelly on the phone and told her about my dilemma.   She said to change it but it had to be a Christmas name because Noel was a Christmas puppy.  Nick suggested HOLLY, so Noel’s new name became Holly.  At the same time, Holly was given a new, permanent home — our home.  We saw how Sarah and Holly interacted with each other, and it would have been cruel to separate them again.

Holly has grown up to be a very elegant Jack Russell.  If she were a person, I could actually imagine her sitting with her legs crossed, sipping tea out of a little cup.   Actually, neither Sarah nor Holly display the traits of a true Jack Russell Terrier.   Rather than bounce off the walls, they prefer to just lie on the sofa and cuddle with whoever is sitting there or just with each other. Either way, they will always be found together.

Sarah and Holly are very important members of our family and I hope to have many more memory-making years with them.   After all, what could be better than receiving doggie kisses on both cheeks at the same time?

HOLLY – 2003

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