In Memory of a Friend at the Bridge
Raggs Monhart-Capers
May 18, 1986 (Gotcha Day) - December 16, 1998 (Bridge Day)

As written by Melinda in January 1999 after Raggs went to the Rainbow Bridge on December 16, 1998:

"On December 16, 1998 I sent the best friend I ever had to the Rainbow Bridge.  He will always hold the biggest spot in my heart.  He was the one constant in my  continually changing life.  

Raggs was a poodle/terrier mix that we brought home when I was in the sixth grade.  I still remember the first time I held him in my arms.  He was there when I moved from Cleveland to Brunswick, Ohio - a very traumatic move - all through my teenage years - the transition to life away at college - he was always there when I came home.  When I moved from Brunswick to Grove City, Ohio after graduating from college, Raggs came with me and lived here with me in our first apartment.  He was there when I got married, and then moved into the first home I have ever owned with my husband.  

While we were still living in our apartment, we adopted Maya, a red/white 10 month old basset hound female.  I was in love, and knew nothing about Bassets.  If only I knew then what I know now, however, the joys of learning about the basset mystique would not have been as adventurous.  Raggs hated Maya from day one.  After fourteen months of continually seperating both dogs day and night, I made the first most difficult decision of my life, to send Raggs back to live with my parents.  Their house was empty now because my brother was away at college and Raggs slid right back into his old routine.  I wanted to be selfish and keep him with me, however, that was not fair to him.

Raggs' health had slowly been deteriorating over the span of October - November.  I told my mom to get blood work, urinalysis and x-rays done to find out what was going on.  At age 14.5 yrs. old, we found out that Raggs was in the very beginning stages of kidney failure.  Everything they said would happen over the next year, happened within three weeks.  At 13 lbs. he dropped 3 lbs. in less than two weeks.  Continually sick, not eating, always going to the bathroom, we knew it was time.  This is the second most difficult decision I ever had to make.  It still pains my heart to think he's gone.  

Like someone said one time, even though something horribly upsetting has happened life still continues on as it was before, as if nothing had ever changed.  Christmas was very hard this year.  I was numb that day, I knew it had happened, and as I held him one last time, I wished him a swift journey to the bridge.  It didn't really hit me hard until the night I finally brought him home to be with me forever.  I went by myself and the rain was pouring down just as hard as the tears from my eyes.  I didn't want to let go, I just sat there and hugged him until my eyes were dry.

This was a very brave decision to make one vet told me.  I appreciated his honesty.  To all those of you who have someone at the bridge, there will be a terrier mix there now with a bark loud enough to wake them all up.  He learned to be a basset lover eventually.  Send an entra thought and bone cookie to him tonight, as bones were his favorite thing in the world.  If I could just hug him one more time."