I would say WARNING: THIS IS GOING TO BE A LONG POST, but I think if you knew our Ryder Pup...you're going to want to read it!
I don't even know where to begin...if you saw my post on FB on Thursday then you knew we needed your prayers. If you continued to follow the posts then you know that Ryder crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Friday morning.
Ryder was a member of our family. But before he was a member of the Thomas family he was a member of the single Born family. After graduating college I moved home. Once I began teaching I was ready to get my own grown up place! So I moved to an apartment in the Village in Dallas. It was nice, but I was lonely...my friend Leslie had recently gotten a dapple dachshund, and my neighbor Sara had a red dachshund. I was ready for a puppy, and thought a dachshund would be the best buy!
I began doing my research, and found this sweet face! I immediately contacted the breeder, and we exchanged information for me to make this purchase! Upon seeing him I knew he was mine! I hugged him, and told him I was going to love him more than anybody ever could...and boy was that true!
As my little puppy I took Ryder Pup (as he became to be known) EVERYWHERE! I treated him just like my baby! He went to North Park Mall, my school, friends houses, EVERYWHERE!
In 2009 Ryder's daddy Ryan came into our lives. He immediately loved Ryder, and welcomed him as his child also! At this time I was living in the Mercantile in Downtown Dallas. Ryan would volunteer to take Ryder on his walks, and loved snuggling with him! My happy little family was complete for this season of our lives. :)
I really wanted Ryder to be a part of our wedding, but Husband objected...understandably...Ryder was such a momma's boy that he would not have left my side! He would have wanted to be the one to marry me! :) Ryder adjusted well once we bought our home, and Ryan was with us every day. Puppy (as he later became known) would sleep with us in the bed, or in his bed on the floor right next to our bed. We loved taking him for walks, taking him bye-bye to get donuts, again...we took him EVERYWHERE!
When I was pregnant Puppy started acting a little different. He sensed the pregnancy before I was really showing. He got to where he didn't want to have anything to do with me. :( He clung to Ryan! He no longer slept in our room, and didn't socialize with us much...he started coming around to the idea of a new baby coming, and then once again wouldn't leave my side! I could not complain though...he was so sweet the way he would lay his paw or head on my belly to hear or feel his sister move. :) He took on the role of a protective brother quite well!
Once Prestyn was born I was still worried about Ryder. I wanted to make sure he stayed in our home so he wasn't taken away from his home, and then we brought a new baby home. I cried in the hospital because I wanted to make sure he was well taken care of while we were away. He was...thankfully to friends of mine, and then my parents taking such good care of him! We were a little nervous bringing him around Prestyn, but he did so good! He just wanted to check her out! In the beginning he would just smell her, but the more active he got the more interested he got. Before Ryder passed Prestyn began noticing him. She would follow him, and laugh when he licked her feet. :)
I just knew that Prestyn would grow up as Ryder as her puppy. In the mornings after her feeding I would say, "Ok let's go let Puppy out." We'd say good morning to him, and let him out to go potty. He was such a well behaved puppy. He would talk to us, we would talk to him, we really treated him as a member of the family! He had a little adjusting to do with Prestyn here, and would mark his territory around her bassinet...
So back to taking Ryder EVERYWHERE! One of things we loved doing as a married couple was going for walks to talk about our day...and we always took Puppy along! He even did the Turkey Trot 5K with us! We tried a couple walks with Puppy & Prestyn, but he'd get ran over with the stroller so Ryan would take him on their own walk after we took Prestyn. Such a good daddy!
So this is how it happened on the day that forever changed our lives..(6/20) I was in training all day, and Ryan kept Prestyn for the day. When I got home after a exhausting day Ryan said he was going to go work out, and I was going to nap while Prestyn napped. He then said he would just go for a run then said he would go for a walk. Ryan was in Ryder's room (the laundry room) refilling his leash with poop bags ;). I asked him if he had told Ryder yet that he was going. He said no. So I said, "Puppy! Do you want to go for a walk?!" He of course got so excited! He LOVED going for walks! So Ryan leashed him up, grabbed his shoes, and went out the door.
I noticed that Ryan had left his phone inside when he was outside putting his shoes on, but thought oh he probably didn't grab it because they're just going for a quick walk. So I laid down for a nap while Prestyn napped. I woke up when I heard Ryan come in the door with Ryder. He was holding him. Ryder didn't look well. Ryan said he got too hot, and needed water. I could tell from the way he looked that he needed to go to the vet so Ryan put him in the truck, and took him! I then noticed that Ryan didn't have his wallet. I knew he was going to need it to pay for whatever they would need to do to care for him. So after I fed Prestyn I went up to the vet. I really felt like a calmness overcame Ryder when I saw him, talked him, and petted him.
When he was brought in his temperature was 107. It's supposed to be 101-102. So they cooled him down with a hose and ice packs. They also started an IV to get him fluids. The vet was about to close so they told us to take him to a 24 hour hospital where he could be cared for over night. I walked with them to the truck, and said see you later...I didn't know it was going to be good-bye...
When Ryan got to the 24 hour hospital Ryder began hallucinating. Because he had suffered a heatstroke his brain began swelling, and caused him to hallucinate...he didn't know where he was or what was going on...He tried to get away from Ryan. I believe that's because he knew his time was up, and didn't want Ryan to witness it...the doctor at the hospital sedated Ryder. Ryan treated Ryder as our child, and said TRY EVERYTHING! We were encouraged to call any time of the night to check on Ryder so we did!
I was still hopeful...I knew lots were praying for him, and many were saying their dog had a heatstroke once and pulled through. I told Ryan that Ryder was going to go back to sleeping with us once he got home...little did I know the next time he came home would be in a different state...
When we spoke to the techs I still felt like he was going to pull through. I'll try not to go through too many details even though I already have...here comes the part where I felt like we didn't get to say good-bye. Friday morning (6/21::also Prestyn's 3 month birthday) we decided we were going to visit Ryder. We loaded up the baby, Ryder's blankie & toy, and were about to go to the hospital! Ryan asked me if I had my phone. I said I did, but if he didn't we should call the vet so they had my number in case something happened on our way there. Ryan then decided to go in to get his phone. Prestyn and I waited in the car for what felt like FOREVER!
Ryan then texted me: come inside. I said no, no, no, no, no...I got Prestyn & came inside...where I saw Ryan sitting on the couch with his head in his hands. I screamed NO, put Prestyn down, and fell to the ground crying. Ryan came over to console me...I could not believe that our first child was gone! It couldn't be! He couldn't leave us like that! It wasn't abnormal for Ryder to go on walks, the path they took wasn't any longer than what he was used to, the weather wasn't that hot...I just didn't understand why!
I like the way my dad put it...that once Prestyn was here God decided we didn't need him anymore...he needed him with Him. Ryder taught us to love. We practiced our parenting skills on him, and I think we've made out to be pretty good parents to Prestyn. :) ...thanks to Ryder! It is with a broken heart, and tearful eyes that I write this post...but since I plan to print the blog for our children to read one day I want them to know who their older brother was!
Everyday is a little easier than the day before, but it seems like there are different parts of each day that remind us of him, and make us sad. But the joy of our daughter gets us through...We talked about the amount of love and joy Ryder brought to so many! Because he was taken EVERYWHERE he was a pretty sociable dog! He loved interacting with people when they'd come to visit. I believe lots have many wonderful memories of Ryder!
Maybe you're thinking this is a little much for the loss of a dog...but maybe you haven't loved a pet the way we loved ours...and if you haven't then I pray you do...because the love a pet brings to a family is a wonderful thing!
So for those of you who did know Ryder, and have wonderful happy memories to share...please do so! I ask that you do it in the comments section of the blog so that when I print this I can print those too...
My dad and I have always been dog lovers. He clung to Ryder the way I did! He has lost a grandson, and is also in mourning. He posted a bunch of pictures of Ryder on FB. So here's a picture flood of some of my favorites!
Rest in Peace Ryder Pup. We love you!! 02/07/08-06/21/13
Oh...and for those who have asked about him...I believe his soul is in Heaven with his Uncle Corky & Uncle Toby...his remains remain with us in his "box." :)