Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Drought is Over, and Goodbye Angel Belle

Some bloggers take the summer off from blogging and I guess most of you think I did the same. Truth be told I never really intended to take most of the summer off from this blog but things sort of happened to cause this to occur.

Just as Tropical Storm Isaac, then Hurricane Isaac and once again Tropical Storm Isaac helped end the drought in the midwest (way too late for the farmers) I'm hoping this post will end the drought of blog post for the Brese Plane blog.

So this is what happened.

Julie and I attended a family wedding in Florida and we decided to extend our stay in Daytona. I've never been to a place where cars were permitted on the beach. I have to admit the tradition at Daytona creates an interesting view when you look down the beach and cars are parked as far as you can see.

( I know there's supposed to be a picture here of a beach with cars but of course we forgot the camera)

When we returned from our beach trip we jumped into preparation mode for a visit from the little guy in the picture below. This was our first time keeping our grandson for a week sans parents. His parents dropped him off and headed for some fun in Savannah. It's been a long time since we were the responsible parties for a 2 year old in our house. We quickly learned it was a wise thing to take a nap whenever he did.

When Everett and his parents had returned home we fell right back into our work schedule and my focus was purely set on producing planes which I immediately set about doing. Things were going well and I was making some real progress on several tools which was also spawning some ideas for blog post. Just when I thought I was ready to settle back into regularly posting to my blog something occurred that I could never have foreseen.

I was painting some garden furniture out behind the garden house on a Saturday morning. Angel Belle was making her rounds in order to account for the whereabouts of everyone. This is her job and she takes it seriously even though she goes about it with a rather jovial attitude wagging her tail as she goes about her duties. As usual when she found me it required a greeting that included a neck rub and profuse petting. As I was rubbing my hand down her side I felt a firm mass just behind her right front leg that I immediately knew  was not a good thing.

A trip to the vet the following Monday confirmed my worst fears. By Monday the mass had grown noticeably and the vet informed me that it would continue to do just that. Angel Belle was 13 years old and surgery was not really an option for a dog her age. The vet sent us home with pain medication and his cell phone number.

I spent all my spare time during the next three weeks just being with Angel Belle. She had been a remarkable friend and companion and the most fun of any canine that has shared our home. There have been many but she was that once in a life time dog for me.

Over the next couple of weeks the mass continued to grow and she was quickly losing the use of her right front leg and laying down was becoming quite a painful ordeal. She would literally stand for hours at a time in lieu of laying down. I sensed she was about to lapse into a period of real suffering and I just could not allow that to happen. A scant three weeks after I discovered the mass she was gone.

That was about a month ago and her absence still looms quite large around here. Maybe I'm revealing a bit too much about myself but frankly this shook me to the core of my being. You may have noticed I never referred to her as "my dog". I rescued her when she was 9 months old, she had already bore a litter of puppies and was in the worst possible shape you could imagine. She had good breeding in her favor and with a new home where she was cared for and loved she blossomed into the dog she always had the potential to be.

You see it was more like "I was her person",



  1. Ron, please accept the sincere condolences of someone who has been through it. I cried like a baby. You have the solace of having allowed her to be, as you put it so well, the dog she always had the potential to be, and she loved you for it--in a way that we humans, I think, are mostly incapable of.
    Best wishes,

  2. I'm so sorry.

    I lost my first dog at 15 1/2 years, three years ago.

    It feels like it was yesterday.

    The only silver lining is that when one dog passes, it opens up a hole that another dog in need of a home can fill.

    My thoughts are with you...and her.

  3. Ron, they are family members, not dogs. I lost my black lab, Amos last year. He was my shop dog and traveling companion. I am grateful for having him and sharing life with him. I know exactly how you feel.

  4. My sympathies to you and Julie.

    When learning the lyrics in preparation for recording "Hey Packy" late one night, I was sitting quietly in a room on the other side of the house from the master bedroom where our great Paz (who passed this Spring) was sleeping on his LL Bean bag. My eyes were closed and in my mind were all the great dogs of my life. My heart was filled with gratitude for these wonderful friends. Then my arm was nudged by something warm and wet, Paz's nose! He'd woken up and pushed through two doors because he could feel my feelings. I opened my eyes and saw him smiling.

  5. Deepest sympathies Ron, like it has been said above, so many of us have been there and understand that bond deeply. All the dogs I have lost are still fresh in my mind and that ache never goes away. I just look at it as another opportunity to rescue yet another dog who needs love and a good home.

  6. Sad to hear that Ron, sincere condolences and my thoughts are with you.

  7. So sorry Ron. Children are our blood, but dogs (& cats) are something special. They bring so much joy to a family that it's hard to explain especially to someone that is not a dog lover. I lost two of my three dogs last year and it hurts, but we now have two new ones. They are not the two I lost but completely different in some ways and alike in others. I think about the others everyday but I'm glad I have the new ones because they all bring us so much joy it would be sad with none here.
    Sorry to ramble on but I just think pets are such a great part of our lives that I couldn't be without some.

    Rusty Miller

  8. Hey Ron, As you know I lost one of my three boys about six weeks before Angel Belle and it is still killing me. He was 13 years old also and was just not there anymore. What hurts the most and kills me every time I see it is when my two big boys keep looking for him. Coalie Bear,my big Rottie, will come in the kitchen and lie down next to Triscuit's cage. This is something he has never done before. Rocky, my half GSD, half Rottie, rescue boy, will open the door to Triscuit's cage and go lie down in it. Also something new.

    Because, I have my two big boys and must take care of them as well as show them how much I love them, I feel like my loss was/is easier than yours. The thought of you losing Angel, your friend, your shop mate, your constant companion, makes my heart drop thinking of the pain you are going through by yourself.

    I hope that you get another pup and fairly soon as I know that the love that we receive from our animals always help us heal. And the love that we give them is also a large part toward our healing.

    Speaking of rambling, I apologize to all of you for going on.


  9. I appreciate all the wonderfully kind comments. Many have called and emailed as well I appreciate those contact as well. Seems most woodworkers are also dog people. Just another reason why woodworkers are neat people to know.


  10. So very sorry, Ron. Angel Belle was such an incredibly sweet dog. You did right by her, and you are both the better for it.

  11. So sorry for your loss Ron. Dogs have a way of becoming those 'silent companions' that are there to cheer us up and listen when we need an ear.

    13 years provides a lot of memories. I'm sure you cherish them.

    Condolences to you and Julie -


  12. Ron ,
    my eyes are welled as I write this,we accept our loved ones moving on ,the 4 legged companion I think is another matter ,my girl Daisy is 2 I dread the day .heartfelt sorrow for you.I cannot imagine the feeling for Angel will ever leave you .G

  13. Ron - I am so sorry to hear this sad sad news. We lost our Lab a few years back and I still miss him like it was yesterday. A friend sent us the poem below and it really struck a chord with us so I wanted to share it with you.

    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
    There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
    There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
    The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

    Author unknown...