Welcome to Southwest Florida German Shepherd Rescue Inc., Anonymous Monday, December 11 2023 @ 11:11 pm UTC

Saying Goodbye to Otto By Diane

  • Monday, August 01 2011 @ 10:25 pm UTC
  • Contributed by:
  • Views: 1,914


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....


It is with great sorrow that we tell you that our dear boy Otto has passed away. Many people ask us about getting a dog from rescue versus getting a new puppy. I can only tell you our experience as we have had both.

Otto came to us from Lee County and I fell in love with him immediately. When we met him for the first time, he rubbed himself against the kennel just to feel the palm of my hand against his body. I was smitten then and only fell further in love with him as time went on. In fact, we had no intention of keeping him at all as our home was already full and our friends thought we fell off the deep end. However, Otto was a gentle giant. Where ever we were, that’s where he wanted to be. In the morning he would throw his front paws on our chest just to say hello. Based on the happiness of the greeting, you might think that we had been away from him for days instead of his sleeping by the side of the bed. His presence never failed to bring a smile to my face.

He made me laugh constantly as he always carried a toy to bring to us--the bigger the toy, the better. If we tried to take it, he would run from us and look over his shoulder to make sure we were following. When we would grab his butt, he would bounce in the air and run harder. We all, including Otto, would have belly laughs at this.

All of these things may seem trivial to you but I can assure you they were meaningful to us. His presence and gentle way just made us love him more and more each day. Even though his time with us turned out to be so short, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. He turned out to be one of the best dogs in the world. The joy he brought us and the happiness he experienced as part of our pack was visible and real. My heart aches for him now but I am glad he got to spend the last part of his life with a family who loved him dearly.

My heart tells me there is no difference between the love you feel for the wiggling puppy and the adult dog you get through rescue. They both hold a special place in your heart and it doesn’t matter where they came from—the bond with both is just as strong.

We say goodbye to our dear boy with tears in our eyes and a broken heart. In time it will heal and Erik and I will be left with the most wonderful memories of a loving companion with his own cute idiosyncrasies. Even in sorrow his memory make me smile.

Diane Hoffer