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Saying Good Bye to a Wonderful Friend is Never Easy

Those of you who have frequented my shop at 21 Mathews Drive over the last five months have gazed longingly at Gerry while I've regaled you with stories of his 18 years, he was an amazing dog.

It is with a heavy heart that I must share that I made the decision to help Gerry get to the Rainbow Bridge on October

25, 2018.

Gerry started his life as a Puerto Rican street dog around about the year 2000. He came to live with me and my ex-husband in the summer of 2002 and proceeded to live a wonderful life. Hiking, canoeing, camping, road trips to just about anywhere we traveled.

In 2014 Gerry, and his "brother", Kermit moved with me to Charleston, SC. In Gerry's 18 years he lived in 7 different places and always adjusted well.

Gerry started his life with a broken femur, most likely caused by a collision with a car in Puerto Rico. The rescue removed an inch and a half of the bone and fused things back together. He later encountered an attack by an unfriendly dog, old dog vestibular disease (3x), a grapefruit sized benign tumor requiring surgery (at age 15, no less), an arthritis and loss of mobility in his hind end. NONE of this EVER stopped Gerry, that dog taught many about perseverance.

In 2016 Gerry had the opportunity to work alongside me and Kermit with the organization, Healing Species. We went in to several Charleston area schools, as well as juvenile detention centers visiting children to teach them compassion education and violence prevention. Gerry LOVED people and everywhere he went, everyone was drawn to him. I remember visiting the juvenile detention center where one boy said, "He's from Puero Rico? I'M from Puerto Rico!!!!!" and proceeded to sit with him for the rest of the session, a connection made.

In 2017 Gerry went to Cape Romaine Environmental Education Charter School every day to "teach" in my classroom of 4th graders. They absolutely adored that dog and doted on him whenever they could, he helped them to relax so they could learn.

In June I started Paws On Learning and Gerry came to work with me every day, keeping a watchful eye over all the young bucks entering the shop.

I am blessed to have had a canine companion as long as I had Gerry. I got him when I was 27 and he passed when I was almost 44; that seems like a lifetime.

Thanks to my veterinarian, Southside Veterinary Hospital, in Charleston, Gerry had the perfect ending to the perfect life. But, that doesn't make it easy. He was my Velveteen Rabbit and will be forever missed.

So, hug your dog today, and take him/her with you whenever you can, wherever you can. They won't be here forever...

And, if you have recently lost a beloved pet I HIGHLY recommend reading the book, "Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die" by Jon Katz. I have read it multiple times and it has helped me to make peace with my decisions as a pet owner.

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