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Alex

Alex, my pal I affectionately called Big Al, passed quietly and gently over the Rainbow Bridge today. I was glad to be his best friend and help him pass.  Dr. Jeff Owens and the good people at Elm Creek Animal Hopital were fantastic. A special thanks to them for being so kind and being there.  Writing this may be a cathartic experience, we’ll see?

Alex was an Old English Mastiff that exemplified the breed. We kidded that Alex was a force of nature, and were not far off.  He had so much heart, it was truly amazing watching him fight the indignities of old age. People probaby say I’m guilty of anthrpomorphism, giving human traits they don’t possess to dogs. I am most definitely guilty. However, I will argue with anyone that Alex had a dignity and special gentleness to him. If he set his mind on something he could be tenacious or dogmatic. Incredibly gentle, but woe be to anyone who he felt threatened me or anyone or thing in his home. He was as faithful a friend as you could know. Alex had a good life and never wanted anything but a good belly rub, some good play and his Bugs Bunny Rabbit. Alex slept with him in his mouth all night, every night. He knew where Bugs was at all times. He was always gentle with Bugs and never tore Bugs. Occasionally, I would recycle Bugs into the wash load or get him a new one. When in the wash, he would search the entire time until he re-appeared. When he was searching, a friend said, “Al is pretty intense about his Wabbit”. Alex had Linus beat in his obsession department with his “Bugs Bunny Wabbit”

Alex loved to go boating and was a strong swimmer. On the boat he loved standing at the front with the wind in his face. He looked like a hood ornament to the boat going across the water, a very large hood ornament! We often canoed.. Sometimes we would float a river with his Labrador Ret. buddy, Tex. They would float outside the canoe just cruising along with the current. They didn’t understand why people would rather stay out of the water in a canoe when they could be chilling in the water & cruising along. Alex and Tex floated the Illinois River 12 mile float, beginning at the flat rocks, many times.

Alex led a good full long life. Alex worked as a Therapy Dog and had his Canine Good Citizen Certificate and was a certified Therapy Dog with Therapy Dogs International. He loved going to work at the University of Tulsa’s Mary K Chapman Center. There, he worked as a Therapy Dog in TU’s Speech Pathology Depatment’s program with children. Until he became too old to work at TU, at home, each morning he would faithfully wait at the front door, anticipating their arrival to transport him to TU. He loved going. He worked with Dr. Beth Maculey as a therapy team. Alex had a Staff ID that specifically identified Alex as “Staff”, which proudly hung from his neck. The TU Football Players who came into the Mary K Chapman Center would introduce Alex to their teammates by having them challenge Alex to a game of “tug of war”. They laughed when they found that a 223 lb. English Mastiff with four paws and low to the ground with a thirty-four inch neck could generate a LOT of torque. It was a rite of passage after a while. Alex had friends all over the University of Tulsa. Several said they wanted him to be a TU Mascot for football games and wanted him instead of the present “Captain Cane” when they considered changing mascots in 2009.

Also, Alex loved the dog parks where he played tug of war for hours with anyone who would pull. If it was a person or a big dog he would pull hard, if it was a small dog such as Emma, his Pug friend, he would pull gently. If Emma started shaking the rope tug, he would gently lift her off of the ground. When someone stopped and let go he would toss it back to them to play some more. He loved the kiddie pools when they were there. Two of his very favorite places were Joe Station and Biscuit Acres Dog Parks. Alex was always a peace-maker and the little dogs would follow Alex around. One day it dawned on us that they followed Alex around for shade. We laughed that Alex “cast a BIG SHADOW”. He had lots of friends at both dog parks and loved to go visit his two legged and four legged friends. He worked with countless foster dogs through rescue programs. Alex helped steady dogs with aggression, separation anxiety, or just helping foster a dog waiting to find their forever home. Alex was “solid”. He was confident and at peace. Other dogs picked up on it.

Alex was a gentle soul who I’m going to miss. I’ll always have the memories and experiences that Alex has provided. When I hear someone say, “Wow, that’s a big dog”. I’m sure I’ll smile. Alex will come to mind.

Kelly

Jock

Jock

“My best boy … my golden boy … my mighty lionheart … you emerged from the wilds as a zany whelp, and your spirit remained free and untamable, the trait I most cherished about you. It was an honor to have shared your radiant life for 14 sublime years. There will never be another like you, and I miss you beyond breath. Heaven would be Hell without you;  Hell would be Heaven with you. I’ll find you on our sun-stippled path once again. Just don’t go where I can’t follow … don’t go where I can’t follow….”

From a happier time: Brushing Jock and Angel

Mark

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CC

March 17, 1998 - June 21, 2011

I remember the first day I met you so vividly. You were in your kennel at the pet shop in Lawton, OK, just a little furball with an adorable face. I petted you as best I could through the bars and you were purring so sweetly. When I tried to walk away you let out the most adorable meow, so I came back and petted you. This went on for a while and then I realized, I believe this cat and I were meant for each other. I couldn’t have been more right. You were the sweetest,  friendliest cat I have ever known. You loved to cuddle and follow me around the house.  For 13 beautiful years, you brought me so much joy and love. It’s so hard to believe that you won’t be there when I get home from work. So hard to believe that you won’t be there when I wake up. But, please know that you will ALWAYS be in my heart today and forevermore. You will always be my baby girl and I will always be your momma. I love you so much and I miss you terribly. Until we meet again…..

Sylvia Pike

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Max “Moose” McKnight Byrne

7/4/1998 - 3/19/2011

Max came to us a 2 year old from Golden Retriever Rescue in Wichita. I saw his picture on the website and knew he was the one that would become our other golden Erins best buddy. I still remember the ride home, you were so happy to be going to your forever home and chowing down on your McDonalds hamburger. You became a beloved member of our family and are so missed. You helped me through some really bad times for the past few years and I tried just as hard to help you through yours. Unfortunately you lost your valiant battle with cancer and it has broken our hearts. You are forever in our memories.

Angna Byrne, Logan & Holly McKnight

Helen Keller

Helen Keller

Helen came into Sooner Golden Retriever Rescue in June 2009. She was both blind and deaf, hence the name Helen Keller. Despite her disabilities, her foster parents were able to teach her how to “Sit” and “Lay Down.”

Helen had a great last year and a half of her life in a foster home with an abundance of treats, toys, and belly rubs. She was the sweetest girl. She sure loved her Nylabones and Kongs!

When it was time for Helen to cross the Rainbow Bridge, it was sad and devastating for all of us.

We were blessed to have her in our lives. She will certainly be missed.

Sooner Golden Retriever Rescue

Bobbie Jo

Bobbie Jo

February 7, 1998 - January 28, 2010

This is the day that the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!

How can this be the song on my lips and in my heart when I open my eyes on the morning I know we will lay our precious Bobbie Jo to rest? And then I realized… we have nearly thirteen years of life to celebrate and, by the grace of God, it has been a joyous time. We are just very sad to see it end.
Bobbie Jo was born in Oklahoma on February 7, 1998. She brought us great joy and even made us laugh through sometimes chaotic moves to Northern Germany, Houston, Arkansas, Washington and back to Arkansas again. She traveled to four countries and eighteen states in her short life! Bobbie Jo came to us at our time of ‘empty nesting’ and reaped the benefits, one of which was she never spent a night outside. Some would say she never really got to be a dog. We think she liked it that way!
Bobbie Jo loved to play in fallen leaves and in the snow. She loved her toys and never quite learned to share them…she was not aggressive about them, but would simply move them under the bed or to higher ground depending on who or what was a threat. Her favorite was a pink stuffed bunny (she actually had three…one of her own and the other two she snatched from Chelsea and The Babe and stashed under the bed!). She had very vocal and active dreams and we were entertained watching her sleep.
Bobbie Jo leaves behind a multitude of two legged friends who will miss her very much, her housemate yellow dog Sarah Beth, and Cupid, her very best doggy friend and swim buddy in Houston. Thanks to Drs. Kevin Christiansen, Julia Gillespie, Jayce Lineberger , Melinda Upton and all of their support staff who went above and beyond in helping us navigate cardiac challenges and cancer over the past three and a half years. Thanks also to our Sugar Creek Animal Hospital family who welcomed Bobbie Jo into their fold and helped care for and spoil her for the last year… she was quite content there.
Bobbie Jo died peacefully January 28, 2011 after a day of napping in the sun. Our hearts are heavy with this loss while we rejoice that Bobbie Jo brought such happiness into our lives!

Tim and Stephanie Ensley

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