Friday, April 15, 2011

Goodbye for now Rita

Hello friends. I come to you with a heavy heart because today, our family lost Rita, our 14 year old black lab. She has been a loyal and constant companion to our family since I was 8 years old.  Like it was when I turned 16 and my Dad let me "borrow" HIS car, Rita was really HIS dog. So, I thought the best way to pay tribute to our 6th family member was to ask my Dad to be a guest blogger:
What a privilege to be a guest blogger on the Daily Adventures of Sage Blog. Thanks for your readership and support - sharing the journey with my daughter, Erin.

I introduced Erin to the wonderful world of water dogs (black labs) and to duck hunting at the age of three (I would have done it sooner, if it had been possible).
Erin, age 3
Back then, I had a great big, wonderful male lab named: Primo.
Erin & Primo
Erin & Primo
He went everywhere with me and retrieved so many ducks that he became pretty good at it. He could read hand signals and he could read my mind.  When he died, I was heartbroken so my family bought me a new female lab named Rita.  She was much smaller, never slobbered and was always happy to see me.

Dad & Rita
I was pretty careful with my heart as I got to know Rita - knowing that someday, she too would die. Nevertheless, Rita won me over and became my constant companion on trips to the beach, on hunting trips and on walks.

Rita at the beach

My kids grew up with her and she made my wife feel safe when I was not at home. Her big, brown eyes, her wagging tail and her willingness to go with you anywhere made her irresistible.

Marie, age 3, with Rita at the beach
Marie, age 10, with Rita
Still, as she grew old and blind and cripple, I kept my heart prepared in case something ever happened to her.

Well, it happened last night.

I tried to warn Erin not to buy a puppy until she was totally prepared for the ENTIRE experience of owning a dog.  But, what a joke that was!  (not only would Erin not listen to my reason, there was really no "preparing" for life's disappointments). Life just happens and we live this adventure with HUGE blessings like our beloved pets and lots of amazing adventures and the best way to "prepare" is to enjoy each day - one at a time... thanking God always for both the ups and the downs.

Thank you God for Rita!

Rita & Izzy
 My favorite dog poem is by Jimmy Stewart (please watch):


  1. We are sorry for your loss -

    BUT so thankful for such a great post in tribute!

    I am smiling at the goodbye for now title -

    And I'll follow with what I always 'paw'

    Just for now - not furever...just for now -

    We'll light a candle to help guide her on the journey -

    Khyra and Her Mom

  2. That's pretty awesome. Thanks Dado!


  3. Well said...our hearts go out to the entire family. We know what it means to lose a part of the family...

    - Jen & Joe

  4. Terry - sorry to here about Rita. It takes me way back to the beginning with Primo and all those great hunting trips! What a fine dog and the same with Rita. Tough to lose a dog, a constant companion and friend! Sorry for your loss.

  5. A wonderful story about Rita. Then I watched Jimmy Stewart, while my big puppy Chi, wiggled into my arms. I've sen Jimmy Stewart read that poem before. It still made me cry. We love our dogs, and so there will always be that day when we cry.

  6. Terry and Family - What a sweet, patient and humble dog, that Rita. Probably sounds weird to describe a dog as humble, I think it's appropos for her. Terry, Carrier and kids - You gave Rita the dream life for a black lab: a loving family, kids to help raise, a cool name, an occasional duck in the mouth, wind in the face, and lots of loving hugs and pats. Rest in peace, sweet Rita. Mark Winter

  7. I am so sorry, for your entire family!
    No matter how old they are, they never last long enough.
    RIP Rita!
    Hugs to you Terry,