In Memory of Skippy

Our Beautiful Skippy has left us.  Compassionate Care came to our home in the evening, Thursday, September 12, to put Skippy to her rest.

We thank family and friends who have emailed, called, and sent flowers. Your kind thoughts and gestures are so needed and comforting to us at this time.

Donations in Memory of Skippy can be made to Fences For Fido’s Smokey’s Fund at www.fencesforfido.org, the “Donate” tab will have “Honoree Information” and “Donation Designation” options.

We have many people to thank for their care and support, and I apologize if I overlook anyone, and please know we thank each person, mentioned or not, who has helped create a loving community for Skippy.

We extend heartfelt gratitude to:

Rubi Sullivan, at Heal Animal Massage, for her loving touch, and for helping us first find Skippy’s cancer tumor.

Dr. Kristin Sulis and all the staff and doctors at Mt. Tabor Veterinary Clinic, for the home-like space you created so Skippy was always so comfortable there.

Laurelhurst Veterinary Hospital and all the staff there over past years.  Thank you for the many years of love and care you provided Skippy.

Dr. Regina Tobin at Cascade Veterinary Referral Center, and all the staff there, for helping Skippy with her inflammatory bowel disease, and for guiding us through Skippy’s cancer medicine, too.

Dr. Amy Randall at Animal Allergy and Ear Clinic for her wonderful help in resolving Skippy’s allergy and skin health issues.

Dr. Christie Anderson, Oncologist at NW VCA Veterinary Specialists, for her sweet and caring way of guiding Skippy and her family through chemotherapy and pain medications during her last months.

To Compassionate Care, for making it possible for Skippy to leave us while she was home, and happy and loved and with her family.

No Bonz About It Doggie Day Care, for a fun place for Skippy to go socialize during her younger years.

Mollie Copeland, Tammy Going, Sarah Rosing, Judi and Marvin Duffy, and Kendal Peltier, all of whom babysat Skippy at various times in her life and quickly grew to love her too.  And we can not forget our deep gratitude to Anne Dryad, who contacted me to help rescue Skippy those many years ago.

To Family and Friends who shared our love for Skippy through the years:  Tommy, Tom and Zizi, for Skippy’s gifts at Christmas, including a special rain coat with Skippy’s name sewn on it and the large, soft bed that Skippy loved and upon which Skippy drew her last breath;

Ann Vandenberg for her outpouring of love and gifts through the years, including a special light-up collar for Skippy to help us keep safe while walking her on dark, rainy winter evenings;

Judi and Duffy, for the all the fun toys that Skippy loved, especially Hedgehog;

We are grateful to the kind support and understanding from our friends TK and Bill, and Chris.

My Dear Niece Elizabeth who thought Skippy was the best dog ever, and who gave Skippy fun pink toys;

We have found comfort in the picture-perfect sketched portrait of Smokey and Skippy together, and so beautifully framed, gifted to us by my My Dear Sister Patricia (who has since passed away) and her daughter, My Dear Niece, Angela.

We are grateful to My Dear Sister Kathy, who always sent Skippy gifts and even a wonderful, soft dog mat, which Skippy rested upon up to her last days.

My Dear Niece Natalie, who found comfort and support in Skippy during her visit.

My Dear Sister Marianne I mention last because her care and love is the most important to us and to Skippy.  Thank you for the portrait you painted of Skippy, which is so absolutely precious to us; for the photos, framed so nicely, of our last trip with Skippy to Manzanita; for the many times you came up to Oregon to take care of Skippy, to visit us, and for all the toys and love and treats for Skippy.  You were such an important part of Skippy’s life, and I know you will go on carrying her sweet memories, keeping Skippy’s spirit ever a part of you.

There is so much to Skippy and all her life.  I will share some here, to honor the story of her life with us.

Skippy became a member of our family in August of 2002.  She was rescued, and was thin with lots of missing hair due to an allergy to fleas, poor darling, and was only about a year old.  When I arrived to pick her up, her tail was wagging and she seemed as happy as any dog could be, despite her condition.  That’s how I knew right away that her name would be “Skippy”!  As I write this, I realize that she faced her cancer in this same way:  Despite any discomfort, she was always ready to wag her tail and find joy in life.

I was to foster Skippy, but by the time I drove her to the vet that day just over 11 years ago, I realized that she found us and that she was ours.  Since then, she has filled our home with her love and joy, and became our linchpin, our backbone, our “north star” for all of the fabric of our lives.

Skippy was a wonderful “big sister” to Smokey.  She helped Smokey — an older, rescued dog who had been chained many years — have a loving home with us.  She filled our vacations with fun outings, and we soon made Manzanita our happiest of destinations. Skippy has slept sweetly at the foot of our bed every night for over 11 years (we soon realized we had to upgrade to a king-size bed!).

We moved from our lovely Laurelhurst home in Portland — where Skippy enjoyed our neighborhood walks and small, fenced backyard and all its squirrels — to our rural acreage in the fall of 2011.  We made sure we had good fencing and happy, safe outdoor space for our Skippy, as well as for our two horses, at our new home before we moved here.  I remember the first time I brought Skippy into our covered arena to play fetch.  She was so thrilled to run and romp in there!  She was so happy!  We did not allow her to be loose around the horses, but when the horses were not in the arena or back pasture, Skippy loved being in those areas with us.  Skippy especially loved the back pasture where she could run free and sniff to her heart’s content during out pasture walks with her.

Skippy tolerated her two “kitty brothers,” Hoops and Yoyo, and never complained about the many cats and kittens we fostered; to the contrary, she gave me strength and support for helping animals.  The horses, Fritz and Jake, grew accustomed to Skippy’s presence when she would walk by or watch from the back deck as the horses were led to/from their stalls.  Skippy barked at our barn cats, especially BB, and enjoyed scouting for them from a safe and fenced distance.

Skippy was diagnosed with inoperable, metastasized osteo-sarcoma in June 2013, and we did not “see this coming”.  She was so healthy, and vibrant, and John and I had counted on her being with us for at least a few more precious years. She was 12 years old, but looked much younger, and her spirit and energy was always puppy-like.

We spent her last evening with us in our north lawn where she sniffed and watched, drank in life and all the smells, sounds and sights as she always has, in her sweet and passionate way. We hope that, over time, we can find comfort in that her last day was a beautiful day, sunny, and that she felt good enough to eat boiled chicken and rice and to have time with us outside.

I don’t know how we will face the turning season without her, let alone each sad day, morning, evening, holiday.  John and I are devastated beyond words.  Skippy will always be our Baby Girl, and she has known us better than any other being.  She was more than simply our family:  She was our heart and our compass.

We are sad, and also grateful, because our lives were made so much bigger, so much happier, so much richer, by Skippy.

If I could dip myself in Joy, it most certainly would be a day with my Skippy.

She was beautiful and uniquely sweet, and she had a happy life with us.

Skippy is, was, and always will be, our Angel.

Rest in Peace, Sweet Skippy.

jane and john