In Memory of Dearest Shadow
Born : April 5, 1990
Crossed over the Rainbow Bridge February 2, 2004

Our dog Shadow was almost 14 and a beautiful Samoyed. She had very bad hip dysphasia for the last several years that kept getting worse. Shadow could not get up from a laying or sitting position without our help and she fell down often when walking around. She also had cataracts and her hearing was going. Despite all this, she had a beautiful personality that, through all her struggles, never faded. She was such a good dog and we knew it embarrassed her when she had accidents in the house and when she fell down. As she got worse, Kevin and I had to come to terms with the fact that she wasn't getting better and it wasn't right for her to be so limited in her ability to move about. We did not want to let her go, but we knew we had to.

Shadow went to Doggie Heaven February 2nd. I believe somewhere she is running again (something she hasn't been able to do in several years), jumping, and running up and down flights of stairs. She is probably eating a big fat steak right now too.

Kevin and I both feel it was the hardest thing we have ever had to do, but we know we did the right thing for Shadow. It happened so peacefully and it was so great for Shadow. We hired a vet to come out to our house. Shadow went on a walk the morning of her passing, played with her favorite toy, and had her mommy and daddy with her nonstop for the last 48 hours. She was tired from all the playing and she laid down to take a little snooze. Five minutes later the vet pulled up. Shadow was half-asleep and looking into our eyes as we pet her and told her how much we loved her when the vet gave her the injection. She was never scared and surrounded by love.

Kevin made her a neat little casket and I decorated it with pictures, stickers, and lyrics to the song that reminds me of her ("Bigger than my Body" by John Mayer). We made a little bed for her in the casket and it was so hard to seal the top on. We buried her in the backyard. We miss her so much we can hardly stand it. We are comforted to know she had a good life and a very peaceful death. It also brings us comfort that Shadow knew how much she was loved and we know she loved us. Our prayer is that all of the dogs in Rescue can come to know that kind of love and trust.

MSR Would like to Thanks Shadow and her family for helping take care of our rescue Sammy's from all the way up at the Rainbow Bridge!

A Tribute To Sussie
Born: June 22, 1993
Crossed over the Rainbow Bridge May 20, 2002

We all at Michigan Samoyed Rescue are saddened to report that our dearest little Sussie has made her final journey across the Rainbow Bridge and is waiting for us to join her in play and fun. Sussie was a special little girl with a special attitude that set her apart from many dogs in her condition. When she came in to the Rescue in November of 1999 she was suffering from severe hip dysplasia and was on pain and joint medication. She was in my Foster care for five months and all I can say she had the most positive attitude on life that I had ever seen. Always good-natured, always trying her best to do what she could do. She never complained about how she felt. It was as if she was determined to live each day to the fullest and to make everyone around her happy.

In April of 2000 Sussie was x-rayed to find out the extent of her dysplasia and to begin the hip replacement process. Her front paw was also x-rayed because she had developed a limp. After extensive tests it was diagnosed that she had bone cancer. We were devastated. They gave her six months at the outside. It was decided that Sussie's quality of life was more important than having her leg amputated and with no guarantees any surgery was put on hold.
At that same time two wonderful people came and met Sussie and instantly fell in love with her. They volunteered to be Sussie's Forever Foster Home and give her all the love and care they could. Sussie was very happy to go to her new home where she was the sole focus of their love. Sussie improved daily under their care, but it was one thing that did a complete turn around in Sussie's life, a brother. A new Sammy puppy came to live with Sussie and they instantly bonded. Tundra brought the best out in Sussie. It wasn't long before they werre running and playing together and of course getting in to mischief. It was as if there was nothing wrong with Sussie. They were totally the best of buddies.

Several times the vet commented that Sussie was a miracle girl. I attribute it more to her human mom and dad and her new brother. The knew she had to be there for them.

We at the Rescue in the meantime had set up the Sussie Fund which was started by one of our club members as a fundraising project. Sussie was after all like a mascot to us. The Fund was set up to spin donated Samoyed hair in to yarn and knit stuffed animals or special orders to help as many dogs as we could. Thanks to two very caring and dedicated Sammy lovers the Sussie Fund has been a great success. The Sussie Fund will continue as the Sussie Memorial Fund in loving memory of this sweet little girl.

Sussie was so very special to everyone who met her and brought sunshine and happiness with her. I for one have lost a large part of my heart with Sussie's passing and I intent to retrieve it when next Sussie and I meet at the Rainbow Bridge.

Farewell, sweet Sussie. We will all be reunited soon to play forever in the fields beyond the Rainbow Bridge. You are so missed.

In Memory of Laika
Crossed over the Rainbow Bridge July 31, 2002

On May 12, 2002, the Michigan Samoyed Rescue was blessed with the presence of a 7-year-old female named Laika. Her previous home situation was less than ideal and she was picked up by a representative of the Animal Placement Bureau. After being in foster care with them for one day, Laika came to us.
Laika arrived in desperate need of a grooming, suffering from a bladder infection, hearing loss, hip dysplasia and, sadly, mammary cancer. She stayed with Jim for almost a month before going to her permanent "retirement" home with me. It's devastating to think that if Laika had only been spayed, she never would've gotten this cancer. Spay and neuter your pets!!

In addition to being a cherished member of the rescue family, Laika became an inspiration and teacher to all those she came into contact with. Despite her horrible odds, she remained happy, upbeat and determined to do what she wanted, when she wanted. She taught us the true meaning of spirit. Her courage and bravery were unrivaled, as were her gentility and sweetness.
Sadly, Laika's cancer spread faster than anyone imagined. Laika was taken from my arms and the hands of her doctor into the arms of angels on July 31, 2002. She spent her last months with a true family, complete with 2 other dogs, a toddler and a mommy and daddy who spoiled her rotten. She enjoyed soft cuddles, naps in the sun and macaroni and cheese. We enjoyed her.

The decision to send Laika over the Rainbow Bridge was not an easy one; it never is. Her vet was willing to do whatever it took to give this girl any kind of quality of life possible. Unfortunately, her poor body couldn't take it. I agonized over the decision and wondered if she could get "just one more good day". I held Laika in my arms and put my throat on her head so that she could feel the vibration from my words of comfort. Being almost deaf, I wanted to be sure that Laika felt my love even if she couldn't hear it. I decided that Laika's last day should be a good day and that it would be tragic to allow her final days to be ones of pain, frustration and fear. Her last day was beautiful and peaceful as was her passing. I sobbed into Laika's recently regrown fur for a few moments after she was gone and then kissed her goodbye until we might meet again over the Rainbow Bridge. Actually, I sobbed the whole way home.

I know that when I do see her again, she will be healthy, beautiful and whole. I hope she will give me sweet kisses of recognition and forgiveness as I still wonder if I made the right decision. This little girl had such a rough life that I wanted to give her every good moment that I could. I think I did. I hope I did.
Thanks to Laika, one of our other rescue dogs is having many more good days. Jim babysat Laika for me while we went away for a weekend and kept her crate in a special spot in his living room. After she left, he was inspired to put Liberty there (see Liberty on our success page) and he thrived. He was among all the action and really started coming out of his shell thanks to Laika.

The Michigan Samoyed Rescue would like to thank everyone who helped in making the last days of Laika's life so full. Thanks to the Animal Placement Bureau and the rep who rescued her, to Sheri Cooper, her one-day foster mom and of course, Jim, who would have stopped at nothing to give this girl the world. We would especially like to thank the West Flint Animal Hospital and Dr. Baes who treated Laika so sweetly and generously. I would personally like to thank them for the lovely sympathy card and Rainbow Bridge poem. Thanks to all of you, Laika had the best. Thank you also to Laika for teaching us all so much.

You will never be forgotten.

For Love of Tommy
Crossed over the Rainbow Bridge November 2002

Tommy entered the Michigan Samoyed Rescue in pretty sad shape. He was very small for a Samoyed, at around 30 pounds, and had all kinds of health issues. The two biggest problems were that Tommy was blind and deaf. He could see shapes and shadows and feel/hear only vibrations. Despite these obstacles, Tommy had a lot of spunk and vigor left in him and we waited, hoping someone might adopt him.

Tommy spent about a year in rescue, passed over for the healthier, prettier dogs, before going to his "long-term" foster home. He spent his last weeks there, among a pack of 5 other Samoyeds and a real family. Unfortunately, Tommy's mind was trapped in a body that kept him in eternal darkness. He spent hours barking at, seemingly, nothing. It was at this point that we decided that his quality of life was limited. His family spent hours and days loving him, petting him, grooming him and just being there with him. When he crossed over the Bridge, they mourned for him. We all did.

Tommy is dearly missed by everone here at MSR. He is especially missed by a certain 5 year old little girl who claimed him as her own the day he came to their house. We know that he is now healthy, whole and waiting for us over the Rainbow Bridge. We hope he's chasing balls of brilliant red and hearing the sweet sound of his own bark.

Good-bye Tommy...
Everyone at MSR....

Cherished Memories forever with Maui
Crossed over the Rainbow Bridge in August of 2003

Maui came to the Michigan Samoyed Rescue in 1998 as a ten year old female and she was in perfect health although rather over weight. She spent about a year with Jim before he went to live with the Kimmerling family.

She got to live with the Kimmerling's as a part of their family for about four years and in that period of time the entire family grew very attached to Miss. Maui. She had high seniority in the house for the last couple months she got to spend with them and she held her role well.

Maui was not feeling very well in her last week but we all know she was given all the love and attention she could have ever wanted while she lived with the Kimmerlings AKA the doggie palace.

You are forever loved Miss. Maui,
All of us here at the Michigan Samoyed Rescue
Especially Rich, Sue, Katie and Holly