The day after

This post is an account of the day Spike was laid to rest.  Bear with me please.  I want Spike’s story to be written to its conclusion. 

Thursday, August 21

Bridget hears my sobs and comes out from under the bed covers.  She squints under the overhead light.  Then she sniffs Spike’s body lying on the bed.  It’s four o’clock in the morning.

I stifle my crying and go to the stove to heat up the pot of coffee.

Bridget stares at me. 

“Our Spikey’s gone, Bridge.  He’s gone.”

While the coffee heats and Bridget watches, I lift Spike from the bed and place him on the fluffy rug on the floor, one of his sleeping spots.  I cover him with a navy blue towel, freshly washed this morning.  Bridget disappears under the covers.

Strange at it seems, I fix a cup of coffee, sit down at my laptop table, and write a blog post.  Describing the day the three of us arrived at Camp Absaroka takes me back to that happy day.  As I write, Spike is still alive.  He’s sniffing around a new camp like he always does.  He steps into the stream and jumps out again.

A few times I look to the floor and I’m startled by the present reality.

Around eight Bridget wakes up.  I get dressed and carry Spike out to the Perfect Tow Vehicle.  A light rain is falling.  Carefully I place Spike on the quilt in his usual place on the bench seat and tuck the towel around him.  Bridget is at my feet.  I lift her into her bed between the front seats.

Bridget immediately leaves her bed to sit next to Spike on the bench seat.  I cry quietly the ten miles into town, rain on the windshield matching my tears.  Behind me Bridget cries softly from her vigil beside Spike.

At the vet’s office, I ask where I can have my dog cremated.  The veterinarian tells me I’d have to drive to Lander (75 miles away).

“Or you can take him up into the mountains and bury him.”

Back in the PTV I realize I’m not thinking well. 

I must be in shock.  What did I expect to hear?  Like there’s going to be a pet crematory in a little town like Dubois?

On the way back to camp, Bridget continues her faint whimpering with every breath.  The image of a dignified, stricken Jackie on the plane, returning to Washington with her fallen husband, comes to mind.

I pull into camp.  It’s good that I drove the ten miles to town and back.  Spike had one last ride with Bridget at his side. 

1-DSC06785Inside the Best Little Trailer, I fix Bridget some breakfast.  I go outside to find a site for Spike’s grave.

I decide on a place where the earth is soft enough for me to dig, and near, but not too close, to a pretty, young aspen tree.  It’s at the edge of the woods.  An abandoned fire ring is nearby.  I can use the rocks from it.  

Another fire ring, in perfect shape, is not far off. That’s good.  If there’s a fire ring already available, the mutants won’t come and steal the rocks from Spike’s grave to make a new one.

I find a box in the PTV and lower Spike’s body, wrapped in clean towels, into it.  I close the top and carry the box over to the site.  A light rain falls as I commence digging.  Bridget sits in the rain and solemnly watches as I shovel.

       Spike’s final resting place

At last the digging is done.

“I have to take a break.  Let’s go inside, honey.”

When we return to the site, Bridget walks over to the box and sniffs it.  Then I lower the box, cover it with dirt, pack it down, and carry the rocks from the old fire ring until a mound is formed.

“Tomorrow I’ll clean up the area around here and make it nice.  C’mon, sweetie.  We need to get out of this rain.”

Bridget heads back to the BLT.  I take a few steps, stop, and turn.

Bye, Spikey, my sweet boy.  I did my best.

rvsue

NOTE:  My sincere thanks to each one of you who expressed sympathy to me and Bridget or simply shared our sorrow. Thanks also for your patience while I was having technical problems with my blog.

Bridget and I will leave Dubois in a few days in search of a new camp!

1-DSC06451Bridget, my one-girl crew

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458 Responses to The day after

  1. Jan Johnson says:

    Oh, I am sobbing. I missed the first post as our phone line has been down and thus the computer. I am so so so so sorry for your loss and for Bridget’s. What a beautiful place he was laid to rest. What a great loss they leave when they go.

  2. Marsha/MI says:

    What a loving tribute and final resting place for Spike.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Marsha. Spike’s grave is at the edge of a large area with three fire rings. I always want to be camped alone. Spike always loved it when people or dogs came around, so this site suits him. People will camp nearby.

  3. Much love to you Sue. You’re in our thoughts.
    Juley

  4. RachelDLS says:

    My dear Sue. I have no words that can ease your pain. I wish I did, but in some ways I am glad I don’t. He deserves your tears. He was an incredible companion, friend and confidante. He will be missed. I am so grateful Macha and I had a chance to meet him. You were blessed to have him, your Mr Spikey.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rachel… It hurts like hell when they go, but what fun they are when they’re here! Yeah, Spikey was a great pal, as is your sweet Macha. We are blessed.

  5. MJ says:

    There are no words for this. I’m so sorry.

  6. Jo Wishnie says:

    What a beautiful place to lay Spike to rest. I think that’s even better than cremation. He is out in nature where he loved to be. So sorry for your loss.

  7. Sondra-SC says:

    He was laid to rest in a beautiful spot…We have a pet cemetery in our yard-we and wind-chimes for our loved ones and we always say when the gentle breeze causes a chime to sound, it Spanky saying hello he also had Cushings, or its my precious cattle dog Dixiebell chasing a squirrel, or its Manfred Man digging a hole, Its Muppet chasing her tail, or Indy taking a swim Its Grizz and Breezy having another race, its Sam the fearless shepherd guarding the gate….so many special ones…or maybe its my beloved Sundance who is buried in the pasture here galloping free once again! I’ll put up a chime for little Spike and when it rings Ill say Spike is taking a soak in the stream near Sue and Bridget.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The chimes… That’s a lovely gesture, Sondra. Thank you.

      No chimes here. Instead I’ve seen magpies, crows, a bluebird, a sparrow, a robin, a hummingbird, and one very talkative squirrel. They can sing and chatter for Spike.

  8. Kay Arnold says:

    This brings back memories of my loss and the tears. What a big hole they leave in our hearts when depart us. I wish I were close enough to give you comfort. The memories you have of your dear Spike will last and last what a wonderful life he had with you and his pal.
    Stay safe and stay well. Give your little girl a hug for me too.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      “Little girl” Bridget is pressed up against me sleeping as I type this. Yes, the hole in our hearts is what we pay for the love and good times shared with our pets. Thank you, Kay.

  9. Cindy says:

    I’m so sorry, Sue and Bridget.

    🙁
    Cindy

  10. What can one say during such times. It touches us all to the core. These animal family members mean the world to us. I love the chimes idea, Sondra. God bless you and Bridget as you work through this time and come up with your own original heartfelt ways of remembering Spike’s beautiful life together with you both!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gloria… I have the stories I wrote about Spike, the photos I posted, the knowledge that Spike made a lot of good people laugh and cry, and the many expressions of sadness and sympathy… all are a tribute to the great little renegade known as Spike. Thanks for your kind words.

  11. Mary Alice says:

    Lovely Tribute

  12. Bob says:

    So sorry, my deepest sympathy goes out to you!

  13. Jenny Waters says:

    I am so sorry, Sue. You were a good mom for Spike. I am struggling as I read this because we just lost our cat last Thursday and I am not doing well. I have never mourned so much for a pet. She was a wonderful cat. She was with us for 15 years, and I felt like it would be forever. I hope you are doing better and loving your time with Bridget. I am holding my dogs closer than ever and am grateful for them.

    • Gail in Buckeye says:

      Jenny sorry for the loss of your kitty!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      After 15 years it must be terribly difficult. I’m sorry, Jenny. Thank you for thinking of me and Bridget. I hope your pain lessens soon.

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      Jenny,

      It’s so hard when they go, isn’t it? Thinking of you and your sweet kitty.

    • Cari in Plano Texas says:

      Jenny, I’m so sorry for the loss of your cat. It’s really hard to lose a fur baby, especially when you have had them for so long.

    • Illinois Jane says:

      Jenny, I’ve been wondering how you’re getting along. The intense sorrow is so painful, I know. To the depth of our love is the depth of out pain. I’m sorry you are having to go through it, too. You take care and please keep us posted on your progress.

    • Jenny Waters says:

      Thank you all, I am starting to feel a little better. I can think of her now and then without losing it. Hopefully we will start to see a change for the dogs, they have been stressed. I’m not sure if it’s because they miss her, or if it’s just how we have been acting that is upsetting them. I hope the same for Bridget. That picture of her in the grass is sad but so sweet. I look forward to the days of seeing the happy adventures of Sue and Bridget.

  14. ZenOnWheels says:

    I think it is beautiful that Spike’s resting place is nearby where you are camped. From a dog’s perspective, being part of your crew and traveling with you to new camps every week or so must have been an amazing adventure. New hikes, new smells, new stuff to explore every day…what a great gift you have given to Spike by taking him along with you on this traveling journey. It is fitting that he rests now in a spot along that path.

    Thank you for sharing Spike’s beautiful story with us. It has been a privilege to be along for this part of the ride. I hope that being so public about this has not been a burden for you. Thank you for including us in this very personal experience.

    Hugs to you, Sue!

    Michael

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Michael, and thank you for that upbeat description of Spike’s life. I like to think of him resting “in a spot along that path.”

      No, it hasn’t been a burden to share these days publicly on this blog. What has been a burden is the gall-durn technology crapping out on me! Oh well . . . That’s over.

      Thanks for writing such a thoughtful message.

  15. Sandy says:

    …streaming tears down my face.

  16. Reine says:

    Thank you for sharing “the rest of the story” as Paul Harvey used to say. His story needed to be completed. May memories of happy times go with you and Bridget as you continue your travels.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Reine…. Remember that first camp I shared with you and Paul… That’s where Spike took his first soak. Little did I know what started there! Thanks for the kind wish.

  17. Mick'nTN says:

    A beautiful spot.
    Rest in Peace Spike.
    Hugs for RvSue&Bridget.

  18. Crying right with you. Huge hugs for you and Bridget! Xxx

  19. Ed H says:

    You done good girl. Spike’s in heaven on earth. That’s good enough.

  20. Monica says:

    Spike’s final resting place by an aspen tree is beautiful. You did an outstanding job! Spike and Bridget are lucky dogs to have you as their traveling companion. Spike got to experience more places and go on more adventures than most people do in their lifetime. I’m sure he is smiling down at you and Bridget as he watches over your journey with Bridge. Thank you for sharing Spike’s story with us. HUGS-Monica

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Monica, and thank you for your kind comment. Aspens will remind me of my boy wherever I see them.

  21. Diann in MT says:

    God bless you, Sue. You and Bridget will return each year. Spikey’s place on earth will be there forever. I think you could not have chosen a more beautiful setting for your faithful man.
    Love to you and Bridget, dear lady.

  22. susan says:

    Farewell Spikey! Enjoy your new life without pain and being able to hear once again! Soak to your heart’s content.
    Sue & Bridge – love, hugs, and prayers.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Susan. It came to me today that I’m thankful Spike has left this life now. I didn’t want to see him slowly deteriorate and live in pain.

  23. maureen hill says:

    Can’t stop crying. Your writing of this account is beautiful in its simplicity.

  24. Toni says:

    You did more than your best, Sue. That little dog was able to live and die with dignity and love. His final resting place represents what your lives were all about. RIP Spike.

  25. Elizabeth in S.E. NM says:

    Like all the other Blogerino’s, I too cried all through your announcement the other
    day, that Spikey is gone…. Again today while reading your return epistle, I cried
    some more…..

    It looks very much like Bridgett is as sad as you and the rest of us are over the loss of Spike…..Maybe you too have lost more than one faithful little animal friend during
    your life time. It took me nearly three years to be able to replace my beautiful Himalayan “Chi” kitty cat. She was with me for eleven years. My friends talked me into getting a male kitty. My orange and white BIG Maine coon Clyde cat is awesome! Also he is very different from Chi kitty. Clyde is now about 8 years old, weighs about 14 lbs. and is absolutely gorgeous….. At this point we are quite accustomed to each other…. we understand each other quite well also!

    My friends tell me that I must always have a cat as they are wonderful medicine for
    a heart that is in pain over the loss of a different kitty….. Clyde loves to play with all
    the dogs who come by to visit. His favorite doggy pal was a beautiful brown standard poodle…. They had a grand time running through the house together and chasing each
    other Sioux Z’s Mom and I chatted and watched them…..She and her family have
    moved away and we do miss them.

    Maybe you might want to get a nice snuggly kitty next time? I learned from the above experience that a totally different pet is the best idea….no little reminders
    of the lost little companion….. Clyde is very different from Chi kitty….. except they
    were/are both cats!

    Today is my 83rd Birthday! I have been receiving e-cards all day! Some greetings
    came by Snail-mail too. My life is good as is my health…. Could not ask for more!

    Love and hugz to both you and Bridgett from Elizabeth & Clyde…..

    • Toni says:

      Happy Birthday, Elizabeth

    • Gail in Buckeye says:

      Happy Birthday Elizabeth!

    • Debbie's Journey says:

      sending warm birthday wishes your way! Deb in Florida

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Elizabeth. Nope, no cats for me. Bridget would have a fit, for one thing.

      Happy Birthday! May you and Clyde enjoy your 84th year to the fullest!

      • Elizabeth in S.E. NM says:

        Thanks to all of you for the Birthday greetings! How very
        nice of all of you!!!!

        Chi Kitty was my first cat Sue….. My brother had cats and I the
        dogs when we were growing up and my children had cats and I
        the dogs when they were growing up……The children & I also had horses during their childhood!

        All of them, the dogs, the cats, the horses…. all are wonderful
        fur friends when they are in our lives and so difficult to let
        go of when they go….. I never dreamed how much my two
        kitties would mean to me as I always thought I would have
        a dog as long as I am on the earth……
        You and Bridgett will eventually find another little boy to share
        your lives with….. may he be as wonderful as dear Spikey….
        Hugz to both of you…..

        Elizabeth and Clyde….

    • Cari in Plano Texas says:

      Happy Birthday, Elizabeth!

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      Happy birthday…… You are E2 right?

      • Elizabeth in S.E. NM says:

        Yes, Cinandjules, I am called E2 more often than Elizabeth
        in the world of RVing where I have been for a tad more than
        30 years…..

        RVing and RV’ers are among the greatest people on planet Earth!

        Thanks for your birthday greeting!

    • Illinois Jane says:

      Happy Birthday Elizabeth!

    • Happy happy birthday, Elizabeth!

  26. Rita from Phoenix says:

    I can see Spike peek out the back window as the sun starts to rise and hop off the bed to stand by the door to be let out. Later when you’re not looking he sneaks off to visit the nearby neighbors much to your annoyance or to sneak off to soak in that green scummy lake and gets green-around-Spike. He then looks at you with those mischievous cute little eyes of his or he pretends he doesn’t hear you when you scold him for running off. There will never be another Spike but he is in our hearts always. I’m still grieving too not only for Spike but for my dear sister Grace who peacefully died on Wednesday, August 20th, 2014.

  27. Susie A. says:

    What everybody else said so well.

  28. Lynda H says:

    A perfect ending to a great life together. Lucky, lucky animals that get to live with you, Sue. Loved during their lives and beautifully grieved and cherished in their deaths. Spike joins many of your readers’ well-loved pets (like my cat, Cassie), wherever they roam happily. Sending hugs to you and Bridget.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lynda H. . . . Remember when I begged God to let me have Spike longer, when I thought I’d lost him in Moab? I cried out, “No! Not like this!” The thought of losing him without knowing his fate was horrible.

      I got an answer to that prayer. I’m thankful we had more time with Spike and that he left peacefully with Bridge and me near him.

      I’m happy you had your Cassie to love. Thanks for the message, Lynda.

  29. Gene in Ohio says:

    Dear Sue: I think it is a combination of your detailed writing style and my vivid imagination that I am able to visualize everything you write, just like I am there, especially these last two entries that brings tears to the eyes of this 65 year old man. That last photo of Bridget sitting alone in the flowery field made me really cry as I ponder the sadness that both of you must feel. I lost my Gretta two years ago while she slept beside me too. I also wrapped her in a towel and buried her in the yard, marking her grave. It’s a very sad thing to do.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Gene . . . Your message touches my heart, knowing there’s a guy in Ohio who has performed the same difficult task for his beloved Gretta. Thank you for sharing your story. Life goes on, right? Even when it seems like it shouldn’t.

  30. Jolene/Iowa says:

    Oh Sue, I am in tears again. I know it is necessary to grieve and it just amazes me how attached I have gotten to a dog I have never even met but I grew to love Spike, Bridget and you through your blog.

    Spike’s final resting place is beautiful. He would be very pleased. You have done your very best for him. Never doubt that. Now you just go and give Bridget a hug for me and a great big one from me to you!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jolene . . . I’m beginning to think that the Spikester had a special magic about him. He wasn’t an affectionate dog and he had a tendency to be a bit self-centered, but dang, one couldn’t help but love the little devil! Knowing others loved him, too, makes letting go easier. Thank you.

  31. Marie says:

    I’m a new follower of yours… but I’m so very sorry to hear of your pain. Sending prayers for you and Bridget, that you may be of consolation to each other during this difficult time.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marie… I’m glad you are following us. Thank you for writing. Yes, Bridget is a comfort. Dogs live in the moment and she reminds me to do the same.

  32. Bev says:

    My tears are flowing…. We all grew to love “Spikey” and his antics. Hugs to you, Sue!

  33. Debbie's Journey says:

    Tearfully I just want to say how wonderful you are Sue. You do the right thing and knowing how difficult this must be. I have never felt so deeply about you and the crew, even if we have never met. I find myself sharing this with my best girlfriend and tears flow. You have so many great friends here. May Spike rest and find the rainbow bridge where he will be when you need him someday far from now. Until then he will live in our memories forever. God Bless you and Bridg. So glad you have her.
    You’ll be ok Sue. hugs Debbie

  34. Anna says:

    Beautiful memories. Continuing to pray for you, Bridgett and all who have lost their faithful 4-legged friends…..

  35. Sue,
    Again, I’m sorry for your loss of Spike. He was a character all his own. Nice place for him to rest.
    My heart goes out to you.
    Robert and Geordie

  36. Sharron says:

    I think of you and Bridget daily and the pain you are experiencing at this time. Spikey was tired and felt so safe to let go with his family around him in his loving home. What a wonderful way to transition to a place without pain and enjoy a frisky new body. Just know we all feel your loss and pain and send lots of hugs.
    Sharron

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Sharron. You’re right. Spike had those energetic last days, but overall he was tired. I had to carry him a lot. I’m glad he left while he still had his dignity and love for life.

  37. Linda Sand says:

    Now Spike gets to spend forever in the kind of place he loved so well. That’s probably the best last gift you could have given him.

  38. Gail in Buckeye says:

    Spike was a lucky boy to have YOU as his Mom, you have given him and Bridget a wonderful life. God Bless you and Spikey and Bridget.

  39. Barbara says:

    Beautiful resting place for Spike, you did good, Sue.
    He will be missed by all of us.
    My heart goes out to you and Bridget. Hugs!

  40. Sandy says:

    Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers as you grieve

  41. Tracy W - (Jack & the Fun Shack) says:

    “Bye, Spikey, my sweet boy. I did my best.”

    Sue… you DID the BEST. It’s very beautiful. I would wish for such a spot for myself even.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Tracy.

      When the aspens glow yellow-gold in the fall, when they lift their white, bare arms to winter’s sky, when their leaves appear in the green of spring and twinkle through the long days of summer, I’ll remember my boy in his final resting place and smile.

  42. Merle from WA says:

    A beautiful spot you found for Spike to rest in peace. The sadness is almost over whelming but the love in your words brings a gentle peace as well.

  43. Lynn Brooks says:

    Sue,
    Spike is still with you & Bridget – he will always be looking down & keeping an eye on you both.
    I’m so sorry for your loss and pain. You treated Spike with love, respect & dignity – I’m sure he is grateful.
    Prayers of comfort & healing to both you & Bridget.
    May Spikes memory be for a blessing.
    Lynn

  44. AZ Jim says:

    Keep your chin up and know you did your absolute best every day you were that little guys human. I hurt for you both and I can only hope you find comfort in knowing he isn’t suffering. Somewhere when you are ready, there is another little guy who needs you. Hugggggggggggg

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Jim. The Bridge and I are doing okay. We took another walk today. It’s so beautiful around here and now that we’ve had cold and rain the signs of fall are everywhere.

      You give nice hugs. 🙂

  45. Deena from Peoria, AZ says:

    Once again your beautiful words have brought us to tears. Ours hearts go out to you and Bridge. You are a good Mom. You have chosen well. Spike with the aspens and Bridge’s photo says it all. Take Care, Sue and Bridget
    Deena and Miss Mollie

  46. Chuck says:

    DuBois, WY was the little town that we went to for the memorial rodeo to raise money for burial expenses for two young girls killed in a car accident. The turnout was huge with the nicest people we ever could have met. I think that Spikey is over the Rainbow Bridge enjoying the company of those two girls in a community of very loving folks. See Blog.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Chuck…. There’s no shortage of pain and heartbreak in this world. I guess that’s why we need to find the good and appreciate the beautiful.

      Dubois is a great little town, and I haven’t even explored all the restaurants, coffee houses, cowboy stores, and such. If I had a home base, I’d love to have a cabin near Dubois… IF they could do something about their winters. That’s a deal-breaker for me.

  47. Marcia GB in MA says:

    What a peaceful lovely spot you found for Spike’s resting place. What wonderful memories you and Bridget made with Spike. Peace and blessings!

  48. Carol Z (Central Oregon) says:

    Oh Sue, thank you for sharing this with us! I’m so proud of you and Bridget!

  49. Penny says:

    After just finding you, Spikey and Bridget and going back to your beginning to read your story, it is so hard to see you lose Spike. I know you girls are so saddened and I will keep you in my prayers! So glad his final resting place is in the beautiful mountains by a peaceful aspen….so fitting! Blessings to you both!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Gee, Penny… You just got to know Spike and now he’s gone. Thank you for the blessings, prayers, and sweet message.

  50. Ilse Werdermann says:

    That brings back memories of burying my cat Kodie at Sidewinder Road after Christmas last year. It is so sad to lose our friends. All we can do is love the one left behind even more.
    Take care of yourself and your little girl.
    Ilse

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      Ilse,
      I’m sorry you lost your cat. I left Sidewinder shortly before Christmas, or I might have met you both (and your pup). It’s a special boondock, and now even more special for you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Now I know how hard it must have been for you, Ilse, to bury your loved one. Thank you for sharing my sadness.

  51. Mert says:

    Dear Sue, I am a recent follower as well. This is my second post, first being after the news of spike. Again I am so very sorry. I know the pain you feel. You are a wonderful momma!! I am so thankful that you have Bridget to comfort you. I myself lost my best friend Stevie 9 years ago. I said then I would never get another. But 4 years later I ran across my baby Asia Mae. And I could not resist the little red fur ball. She is such a joy in my life. And I didn’t realize how much she would help me to heal from the loss of my Stevie. She in no way took her place in my heart. She just moved in the place beside Stevie in my heart. I enjoy your blog and even though I have only been following a couple of months, I feel as though you and the crew are family and I have been heartbroken as well for you and Bridget and of course over Spike. Thank you for sharing your travels and especially sharing your babies. My thoughts and prayers are with you both from Kentucky. Much love and safe travels!
    Mert.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, you and Asia Mae were meant for each other! “The little red fur ball” . . hmm… I’m thinking pomeranian or chow perhaps? As much as you loved your dear Stevie, now you know you can love another as much. Each love is different but none surpasses the other. Hug Asia Mae for me.

      Thank you, Mert, for your heartfelt words toward me and the crew. I’m honored that you feel like we are family. Thank you for sharing my sorrow and for taking the time to write to me. Warm wishes to you and yours . . .

      • Mert says:

        Sue, Asia Mae is chow/ German Shepard mix. And the love of my life ;). I am a true animal lover, I have often said I prefer animals over people. I am preparing for my 4th brain surgery in a little over a year, and your strength and endurance that I have read and seen in your blogs get me through. I also am struggling watching my momma in last stages of Alzheimer’s , so it’s been a tough few years. I have hugged Asia Mae so close the past week and I think of you and spike. My heart breaks. And for Bridget too. As a child growing up I too had a Bridget, she was a boston terrior. Such a smart and great dog. We sure love our babies. Love and prayers to you both. Mert

        • Mert says:

          Ps. I have actually hugged and kissed her so much she is over it. Looks at me like ” give it a rest momma”. Safe travels to you and bridge!!

  52. Kelley in SoCal says:

    Sue and Bridge,
    Once again I am crying my eyes out! You picked such a beautiful spot for your Spikey. It must have been so hard to leave him there. My heart aches for you and Bridge. He had a good life with you Sue. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Kelley, and thank you for sharing my sorrow. It may seem odd, but it helps knowing others cared enough to shed tears for Spike.

  53. weather says:

    Thinking of you and Bridget having each other- that day and every one since,has been a comfort all through this past week .Through all the tears,cries and rain on your windshield, bodies and faces -you honored what he is to you beautifully.

    Though a small spot under a young aspen now holds what remains of Spike’s former body ,it takes the whole earth to hold the love and gratitude for him felt by so many-and all of heaven to hold what he’s been and is now -a delightful adventurer,teacher,and companion that everyone wants as a friend.

    Your best with and for him’s not over,Sue-thank you for sharing this chapter with us.
    I know it wasn’t easy,yet as usual,you did a magnificent job.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Lovely thoughts, weather. It’s a comfort to know I accomplished what I set out to do, as you wrote — “You honored what he is to you beautifully.” Thanks for that.

      I especially want to thank you for the Rescue Somebody post you wrote previously. How very poignant and exquisitely written! What a tremendous legacy for Spike if at least one person went ahead and rescued another living being because they read your words on this blog. . .

      Peace and gladness for your day, weather . . .

      • weather says:

        Dear Sue,I’m always gladdened,yet especially now,if what I write brings you comfort or joy.You ,through your blog,and much more through our conversations here,rescued part of me when I came here.

        Perhaps you knew that already,yet I’ve never stated it overtly.At that time, I wasn’t through collapsing in my fall through pain.You helped me more firmly grip my worth ,which had become what I held as reason to go on through the storm.My purpose,essence,worth and identity has everything to do with the Story of adventure being told truly.

        In finding one worthy of supporting on her journey-you-I was able to remain myself the more peacefully .Time away from your blog then was spent letting Him finish making me all better-literally.I’ve remained these months since that was over for the simple joy of knowing you

  54. Wendy in Thailand says:

    If ever there comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever. I love this saying. Hugs to you both.

  55. Mary in CO says:

    Sue, you wrote so beautifully of your recent events…I hope writing it helps to process the grief. You were brave to find and prepare Spike’s resting place. I know how hard that can be as I have yet to scatter our Darma’s ashes, it’s been since February.
    Peace to you and sweet Bridget.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mary… My condolences on the passing of your Darma. There is no correct timetable for dealing with our grief. Maybe you’d rather keep those ashes nearby. Nothing wrong with that.

      Thank you for appreciating my writing and for your kind thoughts for me and Bridget.

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      Hi Mary,

      I have my pup with me now (his ashes in a special box). Maybe that might strike some as weird (it’s been five years), but I figure well, he always did love to travel with me and I don’t see the harm. It brings me comfort. We were a team, the two of us, for a big part of my life.

      Maybe some day I’ll find a place that feels right, but for now… he’s with me. I figured I’d tell you in case you wanted to keep Darma around a bit longer without “worrying” about it.

  56. R. (Western Colorado) says:

    Sue, I want to thank you for sharing all details of Spike’s death and his burial. This simple post and your superb writing style convey more than long opus. I’m still grieving my husband’s death and Spike’s passing brought so many feelings. I’m grateful to you for letting me openly cry and grieve. My way dealing with everlasting grief are long and tough hikes. Today I hiked 12 miles and never saw another soul but two large herds of bighorn sheep. One of them just kept on grazing and only occasionally kept checking me out as I watched them for a long time against spectacular red rock scenery. Those moments of being so close to bighorn sheep or near aspen tree bring such needed peace although grieving continues. While hiking now I still tell him “Keep on hiking, honey.” Just I would like to tell Spike “Keep on soaking, beautiful companion.”

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      R. (Western Colorado) . . . You have set an example for dealing with grief that Bridget and I are trying to follow. We may not hike 12 miles but we are walking further each day that the rain allows and it does help. Bridget enjoys it very much and I love watching her tail spin like a pin wheel when she leads us home. Thank you for helping us. Your hike and seeing the herds of sheep sounds fantastic.

      • Cherie from OH says:

        Oh, Sue, I would love to see a video of Bridget leading you home with her tail spinning, though it probably seems like a “missing man formation” right now without Spike. Hopefully that pain will ease with time. Does your new camera take videos? If so, I hope you upload some videos for us in the future.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Cherie,

          Yes, my new camera takes videos. I don’t know if Bridget would approve of a video of her butt.

  57. Willow (AZ) says:

    Dear Sue and Bridget,
    There is a lump in my throat as big as my heart….Buried near an aspen tree is a beautiful resting place for Spike. You did well Sue. God bless you and Bridget and many happy trails ahead.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I would’ve liked to bury Spike deep in the woods in a private glen, but that wasn’t practical. I didn’t have the strength for that. This place is good. I’m happy with the morning light that shines through the aspen’s leaves.

      Thank you, Willow.

  58. Susie in Destin, FL says:

    I hear Spikey saying “thanks, Mom, you did great”!

  59. Ann M says:

    Thank you for sharing these last two posts with us. That is amazing as you are really a private person. We all loved Spikey, too. Thinking of you and Bridge.

    Ann M

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Ann, for thinking of us and for loving Spike. I’m okay as long as no one crowds me. Ha!

  60. Nita Laughlin says:

    I’m truly sorry. Have no regrets. Spike lived a wonderful life with you and I’m sure loved every moment. I, too, have a pet I adore. A black cat thirteen years of age. I choose black because most people don’t. She has been diagnosed with lymphoma. The treatment of chemotherapy and blood draws is devastating. As long as she is eating, in no pain and seems to feel well I chose to just let her be a happy little creature rather than put her through the treatment which doesn’t last long. You did your best for Spike and I’m sure he knew it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, Nita, I’m sorry. After 13 years, it must be so tough for you. It sounds like you are doing the right thing. Let her enjoy her last days as much as she can and let her know she’s loved. Every moment is precious, however bittersweet. Thank you, Nita.

  61. Sue, my heart goes out to you truly. I must have missed a post somewhere… I had no idea Spike was so sick.. I have no other words. You’re in my prayers, and I’m sure Spike is taking a soak in his new home. Take care of yourself and Bridget.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Donna… It was a blessing that Spike was never sick in the manner of vomiting and such. He had aches and pains which I tried to relieve with Tramadol. He was becoming more and more tired. Then he had those last, really good days of energy and then he was gone. Thank you for the kind words.

  62. Cindy says:

    Oh lord, Sue. I don’t know how you did that; I don’t know how you wrote that. You are one strong woman. It’s a beautiful place. It’s a place where Spike enjoyed his last moments with you and The Bridge – I think he would approve. God bless you and keep you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Cindy. It’s strange, but I found comfort in preparing Spike’s final resting place. With every shovel of dirt I thought of things I’m thankful for. I was thankful for the rain because it softened the earth and made the digging easier. I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else to dig for me.

  63. gingerd says:

    It’s hard to read this post and not cry. I think Spike has a beautiful resting spot. He was such a lucky dog the day you pulled him off of death row, and gave him such a great life, and he gave you so much joy in return.
    Thank you for sharing this with all of us. I haven’t been commenting lately but I still read your posts and everyone’s comments. Sending you and Bridget a big hug.
    Ginger Las Vegas

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, gingerd! It’s so good to hear from you again. I hope all is well with you and yours.

      Thank you for the sweet message.

  64. Millie says:

    What a beautiful spot you picked for Spikey, the beauty of the mountains will stay with you as will the loving memory of such a wonderful companion. Hugs to you and Bridgie. I’ve hugged my own furbabies more these last days since I learned of the loss of Spikey. They are with us for such a short but wonderful time.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It is beautiful here, Millie. I’m glad I could bury Spike in a place that I’ll always think of as beautiful. Yes, hug your babies and enjoy them while they are near. Thanks for the hugs for me and Bridget.

  65. I’m sure Spike is very happy with his resting place. Surrounded by all the things he knew as home. Thinking of you and Bridget as you move on:)

  66. Edie (OK) says:

    Thank you Sue for continuing to document this tough event. It is a tribute to Spike, and all loved furry friends, that you do this.

    On a better note, looks like our house may be sold. Thanks to my “Tioga George”, RVSue, I am beginning to dream of things to come.

  67. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Thank you for sharing Spike’s perfect final resting place with us – Spike would have approved.

    Sending you and Bridget prayers, hugs and wishes for peace and healing. My Dear, you did better than “your best.” I hope you will find comfort in knowing that. Love to you both.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise…. Thank you for reassuring me that I did right by Spike. I appreciate it very much.

  68. Read your blog to my wife, Dolly, through my tears. We will miss Spike. He will always be watching over you and Bridget as you continue your journey.

  69. Norm (in TN) says:

    Been a “lurker” since before you and the crew hit the road. Spikey finally got me out of the shadows. Thanks for sharing your journey, joy-filled or painful, and the journey of your precious fur persons. Spike’s life was one well lived. He will always be a part of “the crew.” Blessings as you and Bridget continue living life to the full-Spike wouldn’t want it any other way!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Norm . . . Welcome! Thank you for sticking with me and my crew since the very early days of this blog. Thanks also for writing this thoughtful tribute to Spike. His life was indeed “well-lived.”

  70. Sheila says:

    He knows you both love him and he knows you did your best. It is so sad when one of our four-legged best friends leaves us. Hold him close in your memories and in your heart. He will always be there! So truly sorry.

  71. DeAnne in TN says:

    Dearest Sue–how many times have I told you that a little blog can make such a big difference to someone? Your love and dedication to Spikey was evident to all of your blogorinos. Most of us have lost a dearly beloved pet, and through your words and your tears, we were all able to feel and share an overwhelming loss that has left so many of our own hearts slightly empty. Spike was your heart, and we all shared in the grief and the emptiness that you are feeling. Thank you for sharing this most intimate loss, and know that in some way, your story helped so many.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, DeAnne. I believe all the sharing of our losses here has melded the blogorinos more than ever!

  72. Spike is at peaceful rest in a lovely place. You have written so beautifully about this terribly difficult experience. Blessings and hugs to you and Bridget as you grieve and adjust to a new life.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Linda. Bridget and I are adjusting. I’m glad that we could stay in this campsite and be near Spike for a new more days before hitting the road again.

      • AZ Jim says:

        It’s true Sue you’ve spent more time where little Spikes remains are, but he is with you in spirit and will forever be there. When you and Bridget leave, you will carry him with you in your mind and heart. Some say animals have no souls, they are of course wrong. His soul, spirit, will be in his customary seat in the PTV as you and bridget set out for the next adventure. You’ll feel him, you probably already do. Only his shell is gone, he is there with you guys. Speak to him aloud or in your thoughts, he will hear you.

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        If you’re anything like me, you’ll be crying buckets of “steering wheel tears” as you head out. If it’s any comfort, I can imagine Spike watching over you and thinking, “Yeah! On to the next camp with new places to sniff and patrol (and maybe soak)! I’m with you in spirit here, all the way!”

        We blogorinos will be thinking of you too.

        Pen

  73. Deborah says:

    Sue,
    I’m not crying, I’m smiling. There is peace. For Spike, of course, but for you and each of your followers. Spike had the grace of a beautiful, peaceful death. Yes, it hurts, but he went on his terms and you did not have to make that awful decision. He rests in a perfect place, partially because of that cranky fisherman from your last camp. All the pieces came together perfectly.

    Such a blessing to have shared this with you, Bridget and Spike. God bless you!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Deborah… Funny how things have a way of working for the best. It would’ve been very hard to bury Spike at the previous campsite… very hard, stony ground. Yes, I’ve been blessed for knowing and loving Spike and for reading all the condolences and personal accounts shared here. Thank you.

  74. Noelle says:

    Glad to see you back again, Sue. You’ve been in my thoughts. I lost my Cavalier, Charlie, a few weeks ago. Like Spike, he rallied and had a great last day and then died in my arms before dawn the next morning. You guys shared a great adventure, and you made him a lovely place to rest while you and Bridget carry on. I will imagine him enjoying all the cool streams you encounter in your future travels. Take care.

  75. Caryn says:

    What a beautiful resting spot you found for Spike. My heart goes out to you and Bridget. I’m very close to going through the same thing with Bubbles, my last Great Dane. On the trip north it became clear that she was going home to the Minnesota farm to die. She was born here just over 10 years ago, so it’s fitting that she heads out on her new life from here. She spends most of each day sleeping, moving from sun to shade depending on the temperature, and despite the difficulty she has getting up she insists on following me everywhere when I’m working around the farm. I’m praying she departs quietly in her sleep because I don’t know if I can make that call to the vet.

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      Caryn,

      That’s so hard! I’ll be thinking of you and Bubbles, and I hope things go as well as they can. It should be a beautiful time of year on the farm (I’m from Minnesota too).

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      From your comment I can tell that Bubbles has had a wonderful life so far, and it’s good that he can spend his last days in a place he loves. I know you are cherishing every moment you have with him.

      Whatever comes along, whether he slips away on his own or you have to make that dreaded trip to a vet, know that Bubbles had a full life with lots of love. Thank you for telling us a bit of his story.

  76. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Good evening Sue and Bridget.

    The last two post were definitely the hardest since you started your journey. I feel for you and Bridget. Got that lump in my throat as I read it.

    Spikes final resting spot is absolutely beautiful! The young aspen is gorgeous! You have a sixth sense when it comes to finding the perfect spot. When it comes to the crew….you’ve ALWAYS done your best….they know it and we know it!

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Bridget starts performing Spike’s duties…ie perimeter patrols, cow alerts etc. Now….if she starts soaking…. 🙂 She’s watched him….and I’m sure they had the “talk”. Animals can sense something’s up….and Bridget knew when she heard you from under the covers.

    Spike will watch over you and will always be with you in spirit.

    Thank you for letting us be a part of your life and journey. You are truly an amazing and special lady.

    Take care of each other….hugs to both!

    • Timber n' me says:

      Timber n’ I feel the same as what Cindy n’ Jules Said above us, Stay safe , Sue n’ Bridget, ,,,,,,,,,us

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Cinandjules.

      The last few weeks of Spike’s life Bridget did take over some of his responsibilities. I think part of the reason was his hearing loss. She would be the first to bark and then Spike would join in. She doesn’t patrol with the same sense of purpose that Spike did, but she does plenty of sniffing!

      This morning as I was fixing her breakfast she suddenly started barking at me in the same way that Spike used to… an impatient yelling. She’s never done that… always let Spike be the one to give me a good scolding for taking too long with the chow.

      Thanks for the sweet words and kindness. I know you know what I’m going through.

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        Hah! Told ya so! Go Bridget!

        Let’s hope she doesn’t start the midnight potty runs! Something tells me once she’s settled in…..she sleeps good!

        I know having cremains is comforting…as you always have them nearby….. 😉 The situation with the vet was just that… Something you had no control of….and it worked out great!

        Spike will always be with you….but he loves his new digs with a view!

        Enjoy your day…..

  77. Mel from TX (formerly NV) says:

    Your readers are so thoughtful and caring and I imagine it is taking a lot of strength on your part to read these comments and respond….thank you for that strength because we all loved spike thru your pictures and posts. and you have unselfishly opened up your heart and blog to allow us to grieve with you….I look forward to reading about the unknown adventures to come for you and your little lady.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mel,

      What takes strength is dealing with this slow internet connection. I want to respond to the next comment and the last one is taking forever to post! Or the whole shebang is interrupted by a dropped connection.

      I’m looking forward to more adventures. I want to go where aspens grow in order to photograph them in autumn color. I may go back to the Ashley National Forest near Flaming Gorge. I really enjoyed our stay there.

      Thanks for writing, Mel, and for loving Spike.

  78. JEFF from VA says:

    You told spike you did your best, not to worry dear Sue. You did just fine by your boy.

    Godspeed.

  79. Barbara in Florida says:

    What a beautiful ending to a beautiful life. It is so hard for us that are left behind. It is good you have so many beautiful memories and friends. You and Bridget are in my thoughts.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barbara,

      Spike did have “a beautiful ending to a beautiful life.” He did all his favorite things in his last days and he made me happy during those days, too. Thank you for thinking of us.

  80. Joan Connor says:

    Thank you for sharing with us, Sue.
    Tears are streaming . . . imagining . . .

  81. Lee J in Northern California says:

    I think you did a wonderful thing allowing Bridget to remain with Spike for a while, I think we underestimate how profoundly animals can feel the loss of a loved one. It must have been a huge effort for you and a blessing that you could give Spike his final resting place that represents so much, in a place he last loved, a place you can visit again if you wish.
    I have my dear fur friends buried beside my house, resting, and they live in my mind like I am sure Spike will live in yours.

    What a loving tribute you have made for him, he was loved by so many, thank you for sharing him with us.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lee J . . . . I agree that animals feel losses deeply, too.

      Several years ago I had a flock of guinea hens at my country place. Noisy things, but once they were settled in, I never saw another tick or flea on any of my dogs at that time. Anyway . . . One day I came home from work and found one of the hens had been hit in the road. That evening the guinea hens sat on their usual roost in the trees and cried and cried. It was so heartbreaking I had to shut myself up in my bedroom and try to go to sleep with a pillow over my head. Yes, animals care a lot, even guinea hens!

      Thank you, Lee, for your words of comfort. Wow! Spikey was loved by many. He was a rock star!

  82. Linda in NE says:

    RIP, Spike. We blog readers will miss him, but not nearly as much as you and Bridget will, I know. We’ll all remember him as the great guy he was.

  83. Val R. Lakefield On. says:

    Spike has a beautiful resting place. Hope your heart is not as heavy when you return to visit it next year. Well Sue, this has been quite the sad week. Shed tears for Spike, read the comments, more tears. Little did I know I was going to lose my own pet.
    “Muriel” was one of a litter of 5 kittens I had to bottle feed. We lost all but her.
    She wasn’t very adoptable so she became our pet for 15 years. Sadly, some time in the early hours Thursday something happened, perhaps a stroke. I had to take her to the vet and say goodbye. It was the only time in her life I was able to kiss her.
    Hope you and Bridget continue healing. So glad you have her for company.

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      Aw, Val. I bet Muriel always knew how much effort you put into making sure she lived. And for 15 wonderul years, too. You must miss her so much. Blogorinos will be thinking of you.

      • Val R. Lakefield On. says:

        Thank You Sidewinder Pen. I feel guilty because I pushed her off my bed that night. would never have done that if I had known what was ahead. She would only allow 2 or 3 head pats and then would bite us…her nickname was Muriel “the terrible” :-)..but I do know she liked us.

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          I’m so glad you wrote about that. Because I have a horrible, guilty “secret” that I have never told anyone (not that there was anyone in particular I was keeping it from, but I just mean I have kept it to myself). And that is that the night before my pup’s last night he was very restless (now I know it was due to his illness but then I didn’t really get it), and I was really stressed (I knew his time was coming) and to make it worse, I had to go to work early the next day and do a job where I had to be alert. I had hardly slept and I try to tell myself it’s okay because I was sleep deprived, BUT… after the sun came up I took him outside and laid him down there for awhile because I just had to get some sleep. He did go to sleep, and for all I know preferred it — but ever since then I have felt so horrible. Like how could I PUT HIM OUT when it wasn’t his fault? I hope to God he didn’t feel totally abandoned. Maybe he enjoyed the fresh air. But I still have felt awful about it all these years. Looking back on it it sounds so horrible and cruel, even though I must have been in a stress/sleep stupor (let’s hope it’s that and not that I’m an awful person). But still, how could I have been such a selfish idiot?!

          The next night was his last night, and he slept in my arms the whole night (while I lay awake on purpose with my face buried in his fur because I didn’t want to miss any of it), but I still feel awful about the night (morning) before, when I took him outside. So I understand, Val, and reading your words made me feel better (and now it’s not a secret anymore).

          Sue, I hope this doesn’t “barge in on” your tribute comments too much. Thank you for giving we blogorinos the space to connect with both you and each other.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Pen… I think most of us have similar regrets. Remember that animals live in the moment. “I’m inside.” “I’m outside.” They don’t analyze, worry, and make judgements… like “I wonder why she did that” or “Gosh, I guess she doesn’t love me.” They don’t have all that baggage. Each moment is fresh and new. That’s why they hold no grudges. Be at peace with the passing of your loved one.

          • Val R. Lakefield On. says:

            Reading your words make me feel better. Sounds like you gave him the best on his last night.

    • Cari in Plano Texas says:

      Val, I’m so sad at the loss of your Muriel. I’ve been down that road of going to the vet for the last time to say goodbye, and it was one of the hardest trips I’ve ever taken. She knows you loved her and she had a wonderful life with you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, Val, you must be missing your Muriel terribly. I’m sorry she’s passed on, but glad you had her in your life for 15 years. I know you cherish her memory. Thank you for the wish for our healing. I wish the same for you, too.

  84. DesertGinger says:

    Hi Sue and Bridget…welcome back. I’ve missed you so. I’m still in the hospital. Thursday was my 65th birthday. Ive just been sitting here thinking about things. I decided I need to do something worthwhile with my life but not sure what that is yet. I’m thinking. I’m planning. I go home next Thursday and I think I’m finally going to start feeling better. Knock on wood. I’ve cried all week about Spike, but that’s ok. Spike is a hero to me. Spike was a good, devoted dog living life to the max. He was a good boy. He had an impact on lots of people; in many ways, he was everything I want to be.

    It sounds like you are doing ok. You sound strong. You and Bridget are taking care of each other. I think you will be heading back here soon. Winter is drawing nigh. We will all hunker down and get stronger this winter…I know it.

    I think about you guys often. I hope all is well. Love, ginger.

    • BadgerRickInWis says:

      Happy, happy, birthday wishes Ginger.

      I don’t think anyone could come up with a better role model than Spike.

      Live every day to the fullest
      Always love those around you unconditinally
      Whenever possible take the time for a good soak just to contimplate how good life can be and to give thanks
      Be sure to take a sniff of wherever you are so as to appreciate it fully
      Remember it’s almost always easier to get forgivness than to seek permission
      Never pretend to be something your not, there’s no need if you remember how perfect you are to begin with.
      Always greet those you meet with a smile, a tale wag and love. (Unless they are dressed as a cow, NEVER trust a cow, ya just don’t know what they might do)

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Rick… Your message of condolence was one of the most poignant words I’ve read. You stirred my heart with emotion. Thank you for caring about us, for giving tribute to Spike, and for understanding the love that we shared.

      • DesertGinger says:

        Perfect Rick!

      • Noelle says:

        Rick,
        I love your summary of Spike’s life philosophy – it’s one we could all do well to follow. (I’ve never trusted cows either.)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      A belated Happy Birthday wish to you, Ginger. I’m sorry Spike’s passing brought on more tears after and while you’ve coped with so much the past several months.

      It cheers me to hear the upbeat in your recent messages. You are healing and that makes me happy. I suspect there are some great things in store for you!

      Thanks for keeping in touch and for the love you sent our way. The same to you, dear one.

    • weather says:

      Dear Ginger, You sound like you’ve gotten a head start on that getting stronger,Happy Birthday Week and kudos-for taking the wheel back,hang on to it friend!

  85. Angie2B says:

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  86. judithcamper says:

    Blessings to you and Bridge.

  87. Colleen in Tehachapi says:

    Sue,

    What a lovely resting place. Thanks for sharing your love and sorrow with us. Even though we have never met except here in blog land it feels like I am right there with you. I am glad you have worked out your technical issues and are back with us.

    Colleen

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It is good to be back, 100% in cyberspace! (And it’s nice to know I was missed, too.) Reading these messages I do feel like I’m surrounded by loving friends. Thank you, Colleen.

  88. Glenda in OZ! says:

    Sue Dear Sue……………I have been away for a week and come back to catch your blog and to see where and what you are up to. Now I am sobbing my heart out for your lovely boy and you………………so so sorry for your loss………words are no comfort I know. My heart is with you and dear Bridget………….He will live on in your heart and mine too, as well as all your readers………………..Love and so many hugs to you Glenda XXXXXX

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Glenda . . . I apologize to you and others for the lateness of my reply. Somehow my computer kept skipping over you as I scrolled (It’s the computer’s fault!).

      I’m touched by your sharing my sadness. Thank you for the loving message.

  89. Lisa W says:

    Sue, I write this with tears in my eyes. The joys our little buddies bring us is only diminished by the time we have with them.
    I think it is good that Spike has been laid to rest in this lovely spot. He’ll be near the water he loved and the trees that provided shade for you all. It is a perfect spot for him. You and Bridget will move on with your travels and adventures, always carrying Spike in your heart.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lisa,

      I apologize for taking so long to respond to your comment. I had to give up yesterday or my head would explode… Right now I’m parked along a road within range of a tower.

      Thank you for the description of Spike’s spot and for sharing our sadness. I was going to move camp today, but I think I’ll wait until tomorrow.

  90. Renee (from Datil) says:

    Sue — I’m one of the ones in tears right along with you & so many others. Perhaps because it brings back memories of the ones we’ve lost along the way, and knowing the huge feeling of loss you’re going through. I’m so glad you have Bridget with you; it makes me feel better knowing you have someone with you to share & ease your pain. I hope sharing this with all your readers has helped a little; although there’s not much we can do to help, hopefully our heartfelt wishes & shared sorrow help. Stay safe, and take very good care of yourself & that sweet girl of yours.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Renee,

      Yes, sharing my grief with the blogorinos has helped a great deal, and, of course, Bridget is a comfort, too. Thank you for your sympathy.

  91. Sharon says:

    May you be blessed and find comfort in the days ahead. And May Bridget be comforted too. We lost our 13 year old Schnoodle on the 21st and are having a hard time. Her little sister seems lost without her so she is getting extra attention and love too. Take care and I just know Spike will continue to ride along with you and Bridget. You were a good mom to him.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sharon… I apologize for the lateness of my reply, especially since this is a time of mourning for you. I’m sorry you had to say goodbye to your pal after 13 years of companionship. You have my sincere sympathy.

      You’re doing with your girl as I am with Bridget. Giving lots of attention helps them adjust as well as us.

      Thank you for your kind words. Take care, Sharon. Brighter days are ahead for both of us.

  92. Joan says:

    Sue,
    Thanks for sharing with all of us, your perfect spot for Spike.
    I know it has been hard for you and Miss B …. You both will return again to this spot and share with him the memories of your travels, one day. Spike has experienced the glorious life of the Casita, from desert of AZ to the higher mountains traveling and laundromats :-)!! Wishes and Peace my fellow Casitain.
    God Bless
    Joan.. Casa Grande, AZ

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Joan,

      Every new day I think more of the happy times with Spike. He certainly did sniff in a lot of different places. He liked his last camp.

      I can tell you love your Casita, too! They are a ticket to freedom and lots of wonderful places. Enjoy!

      I apologize for being late with a reply. Thank you for wishing us peace and blessings.

  93. Teri in SoCal says:

    You picked a gorgeous final resting place for his physical body. And his sweet soul will continue traveling along with you. Or at least that’s my hope….I like to think my four legged friends are still with me. You did right by him, in every way.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Teri. I tried to reply to your comment yesterday without success. I do appreciate hearing that I “did right by him.” That’s a comfort.

  94. Dolores Tanner says:

    Made tears come.. such a sad but beautiful post.. So very sorry for your loss. Take Care & God Bless

  95. Debra Larson says:

    I just about had to pass on reading this post, but glad I did. You picked a beautiful place for Spike. I am glad you have Bridget with you so you are not alone. Its so hard to lose a beloved pet. I lost my Buster from Cushing also eight years ago, not a day goes by I have not missed him.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Debra… I tried not to make this post too maudlin or “poor little ol’ me.” Just an account of that day and what it meant to Bridge and me.

      I love the name Buster. I’m sorry you still miss him, but maybe he was the kind of dog that deserves to me missed. 🙂

  96. Donna P says:

    Sue, I’ve been looking for your latest post, hoping that you’d be emotionally up to writing it. I bet it was both comforting and difficult at the same time. If Spike were mine, I’d take comfort in knowing his final resting place is such a beautiful spot. You gave him a lot in his life to make him happy, but I’m sure even that doesn’t measure up to what he gave you in return. I look forward to what Life brings you and Bridget next. Take care of yourself.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Donna. I’m looking forward to what’s ahead, too. And yes, I do take comfort in knowing that Spike is in a beautiful place, both his body and his spirit.

  97. Kathleen says:

    My deepest sympathy Sue. I am one of those readers from afar. Loving your blog for a long time now. I have come to adore both Bridget and Spike through your eyes and adventures. What a lovely place for his final resting spot. Nothing we can say will heal the pain as much as all of us readers would like. Know my heart is with you and Bridget and Spike would want to keep going and finding new adventures. He will always be with you in spirit, and with us your readers in your memories of him. Hugs and peace Sue..sleep well knowing Spike had a wonderful life with you and Bridget.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kathleen,

      What a sweet message. Thank you for loving Spike and Bridget and for your words of sympathy and encouragement.

  98. Teresa from NC says:

    I’ve been thinking of you three daily. I’m so sorry for your’s and Bridget’s loss. I believe Spike will continue to be your guardian and co-pilot, just as he was the day you left Georgia. My heart breaks for you two.
    Teresa

  99. Julie B says:

    For the last couple of months I have been thinking what a spectacular record of your life you have created here. So many people let the day-to-day pass them by with nary a nod….and here you not only share it with us, but you remind us to cherish and even celebrate the “small” things that are the building blocks of our lives. How wonderful that you gave Spikey these last three years on the road….and allowed him to enjoy experiences that any dog would envy. How wonderful he was able to pass peacefully…..God bless you, Sue….sending you and Bridget gentle and understanding hugs.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Julie B,

      The three of us did have a wonderful three years together and I’m very glad I have many of those days recorded in this blog. The photos are hard to look at right now. They will be a comfort and a source of smiles in the future.

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment and for reminding us that every day is a precious gift.

  100. Wayne Woodress says:

    Sue,
    I am sorry about your loss, dogs and other pets are a gift from God, a special one. They still have their innocence unlike us. I firmly believer not just a temporary one, but an eternal one, just like our family. That we will see them again as eternal companions if we loved them. A really neat thing that may likely be, is they may no longer be mute, in fact they may very well have a vastly improved intellect, able to really express their love and gratitude. Please take comfort in this, my firm belief is you will in that day see Spike again along with other pets whom have gone on to be with the Lord. If you wish to email me feel free, I have no agenda, just don’t wish for you to be sad. Not just saying this to make you “feel better,” it is what I believe. Wayne in Texas

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Wayne. . . Thank you for sharing your belief with us. How comforting it is to think of Spike running around with the strength and vigor of his youth — boy, could that little guy skim over the grass! — to think of him without the aches of arthritis or the burden of disease and old age.

      And thank you for wishing me not to be sad. I’m coming out of my grief. The first days the world seemed like it had only two dimensions. I’m beginning to see in 3D again. Hmm… Maybe someday we will “see” in even more dimensions than three! Just imagine!

  101. Angie says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. We lost our dear beloved Murphy after 14 1/2 years February 28th and it is still difficult today. Those dear loved ones will forever be etched in our hearts. Bless you and I know you will find peace.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Angie. I can understand you still aching for Murphy. It hasn’t been that long since he passed and you had him a long time. I’m sorry he couldn’t have stayed with you longer.

  102. Pam Ridgely says:

    WOW……What a life, to be rescued and loved by so many thru your words. And what a wonderful last day with his two best friends, a hike, soak, ride and chicken. An whether he knows it or not, a beautiful resting place. Watch over Bridget, I’m sure she will miss Spike as much as you.

    A special hug and kiss to her and a big hug to you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pam . . . You know, I almost didn’t buy that rotisserie chicken because it was $7.99 and I’m used to paying $5.99. How silly of me to hesitate over two bucks when I can afford to pay it… How very glad I am now that I brought it home. The memory of Spike gobbling down each bite is a special one.

      Thanks for the warmth sent our way.

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        And it’s his favorite favorite of all favorites!

        I could just picture him opening his mouth like…..one for me one for Bridget..two for me…one for Bridget! Opps….that didn’t work!

        What a silly boy! Memories will make you chuckle for ever!

  103. mugs says:

    Sue,
    Thank you for sharing Spike’s life with us. He has a warm spot in all of our hearts. My sincere sympathy to you and Bridget. Safe travel wishes from Lublin, Poland.

  104. Kay says:

    BEAUTIFUL location for OUR AWESOME Spike. Thank you, Sue and Miss Bridget for sharing Spike with us, and for sharing with us his final resting place. It’s a beautiful place, SPAW MOUNTAIN.

    Hang in there, our thoughts and prayers are with you both, Sue and Bridget.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kay…. I’m going to assume you’re the Kay who is building an RV Park in Kimball, Nebraska, with her husband who goes nameless. 🙂

      Thank you for the invitation to the park. I think it best that I decline. I want my first visit to your park to be a happy time.

      I am planning my travels for next summer and I’m including a stop in Kimball in September. Who knows? Maybe by then I’ll have a new crew member to introduce. Won’t that be fun? And much happier, too. . . .

      Thanks for your prayers, Kay.

  105. Elizabeth in WA says:

    I am glad you made it through all the necessary things that had to be done, Sue…and so incredibly difficult they must have been. I wish you the best in the days ahead and the adjustments for you and Bridget!! I think it helps to bury those we love in a beautiful place…so glad you had that available to you. Thanks for sharing and do take care of yourselves!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Elizabeth. I appreciate what you’ve written about burying a loved one in a beautiful place. It does help, just as placing ashes in a special place, scattered or not, helps one cope with the loss. Thanks for writing and wishing us well.

  106. stan watkins says:

    Goodbye to a Good boy. Praying and grieving as if he were my own. Thanks Sue for sharing your special life with the crew with all of us.

  107. Mdleonard says:

    Sue, I am so sorry that Spikey passed away. I was heartbroken to read your account. I am so glad that he was blessed with your loved and friendship. I am also glad that you have Bridget and that she has you.
    Mike Leonard

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mike… Thank you for the tenderness of your words. Bridget has been and continues to be a dear pal. Funny how she used to be so annoying with all her quirks and habits, yet now she’s the perfect comfort for me.

      Nice hearing from you…

  108. kent says:

    Sue
    Thank you for finishing the full story. Bless you both and bless Spike! Our hearts go out to you all.

  109. Paula says:

    My heart goes out to you….

  110. Applegirl NY says:

    Thank you for sharing, Sue, We have all been waiting for this next page in your story, and we appreciate your faithful sharing with us.

    I can picture Spike looking out from his beautiful spot. “Thanks, mom, what a great ride! Now, I’m going to rest.”

    Blessings.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Applegirl,

      I felt like this post was necessary. I needed to record the complete story of Spike and readers needed a resolution of all that’s come before. Thank you for your cheerful comment.

  111. suzago says:

    I’ve been snuggling with my Lela (Beagle/hound mix, shelter rescue) even more than usual this week, and taking her on longer, better walks. She’s 10 years old and in good health, but I’m aware of time chasing the setting sun. At the beach yesterday with my daughter, we passed a little black & white dog with smart eyes and active ears. “Oh, he looks like Spike,” I told her. She nodded and we shared some silent memories of Spikey’s antics and observations. Further down the beach another man and his dog were playing their version of fetch. The man would launch a tennis ball from a long scoop, the dog would chase it at top speed, capture the ball, then plop down in the sand, and wait for his owner to “fetch” him. My daughter is on her way to finish her last year of college. She’s taken two years off to work at Yellowstone and Grand Tetons in various research and ranger positions, mostly studying wildlife. (Your blog is something that’s brought us together as we’ve talked about some of your camping sites or observations, and she’s been able to relate it to some of her experiences.) I’ve been dragging my feet selling my house and moving on, because I wanted her to be finished with school before I did that, but as she took more and more time out West, I decided I just couldn’t wait for her to finish a chapter in her life before I started mine, so I’ve started my own moving process. This last weekend at home she’s been packing childhood memories and saying goodbye to her lifelong house. One thing we both love is the National Seashore on Cape Cod, though we prefer it in the off-season. Still, even though it was Labor Day weekend, we just kept walking until we were mostly alone at the end of a long beach. We watched the seals bobbing in the near waves and enjoyed a final swim of the season. On the way home, we stopped for the requisite lobster roll and agreed it was the best one ever. A wonderful late summer day, and you were there with us. Wishing you peace and comfort in the days ahead.

    • Cari in Plano Texas says:

      What a lovely story, suzago. I too like to walk along the beach and watch the humans and dogs play at the water’s edge. How wonderful that you and your daughter are able to share time together and have shared RVSue and Crew’s adventures. It’s exciting to hear of your next chapter of life starting – may you have safe travels and lots of fun!

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      Gee, now I miss my dog *and* my mom! 🙂

      Wonderful story, suzago. It’s really neat how you and your daughter are able to share your lives (including long, conversational walks down the beach) and that you are both “on your journeys.” Go you! Also fun that you two share RVSue’s blog 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      As Cari wrote, that is a lovely story, suzago. You are blessed to have a daughter who is also a friend. I enjoyed your story very much.

      I continue to be amazed how Spike managed to become a common thread among like-minded people, how his antics entertained, and how he was loved by people who never met him other than on this blog. I’m proud he was part of your day. Thanks, suzago, and best wishes to you as you begin a new chapter of your life.

      • suzago says:

        Thank you all. I am enormously grateful for my blessings. And grateful to you, RVSue, for your work in creating this space for us. As you wrote elsewhere, you do guard over this community with a loving authority and it works. Every time I come back to this blog and read a posting or a comment, I learn something real. What a gift you’ve given us all.

  112. MB says:

    Hi Sue. I have read both your recent posts and the comments. I left my own condolences on the last post. Many thoughts in my head right now…..continued healing wishes for you and Bridget…..thoughts of my own lost pets…….But what really stands out as I read is the quality of readers you have attracted to your blog. It never ceases to amaze me. On your former post, you asked that there be no questions. And guess what? All I read was heart felt empathy for a woman and two dogs that most had never met. No questions. Then the same with this post….only add to that the well wishes sent to other readers who shared a loss in their lives. You have created a wonderful community here…..with people who are of the highest caliber….where it is safe to share the good and not so good, the funny and the sad….and know that those shared thoughts, memories and emotions will be handled with care…not only by you, but by so many from all over the country. Amazing. My love to you and Bridget as you continue your travels without sweet Spike! MB in VA

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, MB,

      I, too, marvel at the people who read and write on my blog. When one considers that anyone with an internet connection who is able to type can enter my blog and comment, it is against all odds that, with very few exceptions, only loving and good-hearted people appear here.

      I treasure the community of blogorinos that has developed. You may have noticed that I attack like a mama bear protecting her cubs whenever mean-spiritedness enters. I love the relationships I see growing between readers, the support given so freely, the hopes, prayers, sympathies and congratulations . . . . It’s wonderful!

      Thank you for sending love to me and Bridget. I return the same to you, MB.

  113. Jason from NY says:

    Typing and crying. I feel your pain! I know how much it hurts to loose a 4 legged love one!
    You and Bridget are in my prayers,
    Jason

  114. Kay & her Border Collie in Texas says:

    If you rearrange the letters in EARTH, it becomes HEART, so even if the ones we love are no longer on earth with us, they will always be in our heart. My border collie has been loyally by my side for 16.5 years, and I consider each day with her a wonderful gift. I try to do my best for her, just as you have done for Spike and Bridget. Blessings and hugs to you and Bridget.

    • Anne says:

      And, if you rearrange the letters of “Dog” what you get is “God”.

      Dogs are surely God’s gift to humankind. If only He would allow them to be with us longer than they do.

      Anne

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I wonder, Anne, if we live much longer lives because it takes us a long time to learn how to love, whereas our dogs know how as soon as they arrive on this earth.

      • Sue, thank you so much for sharing Spike’s final day with us. What a perfect spot you chose for him. My heart is with you & Bridget as you begin the next chapter of your journey together. Spike was such a first class character–I love hearing that Bridget is taking on some of his characteristics! She may even begin to soak! You are a perfect leader of the pack, Sue. The crew is blessed by you.

        When I went to our local no-kill shelter the other day to make a donation in memory of Spike & Slim, I saw the sweetest little girl. The dog walker told me she was a Jack Russell/Fox Terrier mix. Nope. She looked a lot like Spikey with longer legs. Her name was Lucy and honestly, if we were looking for a dog, she would’ve come home with me in a heartbeat. I know someone whose heart is as big as yours will come along soon & take her home to love & care for her.

        You & Bridget, take good care. I’m glad you’ve been able to linger awhile in Spike’s spot. It all worked out…

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thank you, Dawn, for honoring Spike with a donation.

          That dog may very well be a rat terrier. Many people mistake rat terriers for jack russell terriers or fox terriers. People would often come up to Spike and say something like, “Oh, he’s so cute. I love jack russells!”

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Interesting what you share, Anne….I was so pleased when I learned that in Hebrew, the word for dog has its root word in the word “heart”…so appropriate. I believe dogs were given to us by GOD to be our special companions.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kay and your border collie friend…. That’s a breed that interests me. I’ve never known a border collie personally. They seem like such intelligent, energetic, and devoted creatures.

      Yes, each day with your girl is a “wonderful gift.” I wish you both much happiness and comfort in the time you share with each other. Thanks for writing, Kay.

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      Our last dog Kay, was a 7/8ths blue heeler and 1/8ths border collie. She was beyond intelligent and did not slow down much until her last couple of years. We made it to 16.5 years….I hope yours will live a long time yet!! She was such a sweet dog…and would sit and lick me when she knew I was sad or crying…so perceptive to how I felt. We have not been able to replace her though it has been nearly 4 years since she left us. I am not sure if I ever will be 100% ready…though I love dogs and always have. Right now we are living in a “no-pets” apt so cannot anyway. Meanwhile I pet anyone’s dog who will come to me….most do…they sense someone who loves dogs I guess.

  115. Cheryl Ann says:

    Dear Sue,
    Sending you and Bridget a BIG HUG. I know what you are going through, having lost dogs, cats, and now 2 horses over the years. It isn’t easy, but I do believe your writing has helped you. You found a beautiful spot for Spike and I just know he is soaking in a stream somewhere, smiling down at you. Take care. Time will heal this wound, as it does all of our losses.
    ~Cheryl Ann~
    P.S. I wrote a book about my palomino mustang, Cali, who I lost to colic in December of 2012, but I haven’t had the courage to publish it … yet… Someday I will.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cheryl Ann. . . I can’t imagine going through the death of a horse. How wonderful that you wrote a book about Cali. I hope you publish it. Thanks for the heartwarming description of Spike in his new life.

  116. taranis17 says:

    I am at a loss. A heart-wrenching post.

    Spike has a beautiful resting place. Very serene and peaceful.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, taranis17…. Thank you for the emotion you feel at our loss and for agreeing with my choice for Spike’s grave. It is “serene and peaceful.”

  117. Sandy Douglas says:

    So sorry for the loss of your beloved Spike- you will carry him with you in your heart always – love from Sandy in NZ

  118. Ron Sears says:

    It’s so hard to let go when you spend so much time with these gifts from God. I don’t know that the hurt will ever go away…be safe.

    • Anne says:

      For some, the hurt never goes away.

      I still cannot speak of my beloved Mooch (who I have written about on my blog) without bursting into tears.

      My sweet girl has been gone from me now for more than 25 (yes, twenty-five) years.

      I will never forget her, and I will always miss her, until the very end of my days.

      With time, the hurt has become (mostly) bearable – but, at least for me, it has never fully gone.

      Anne

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I’m sorry for your pain, Anne.

      • Tina says:

        Anne, your comments about still feeling the pain after 25 years reminded me of a cartoon I saw recently…

        There’s a very old man approaching the pearly gates, making his way slowly. As he reaches the gates, St. Peter embraces him and says “Welcome Robert!”.

        On the inside the beautiful gates, a young looking, energetic dog is doing the “dance of joy” as he sees the old man approaching. He is crazy with happiness, running in circles and barking with excitement.

        Seeing the commotion, an attending angel gazes at the old man and then turns to the dog as she suddenly realizes what is happening.

        She says… “Is THAT the Bobby you’ve been going on about for the last 50 years?”

        May your Mooch be there waiting for a joyful reunion with you one day too.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Ron.

  119. JodeeinSoCal says:

    A loving and deserving tribute to Spike. His final resting place by the little Aspen tree is lovely, and so fitting to mark his love of the wild places. What a fabulous life he has had with you and Bridget – being able to run free, get muddy, sniff a million different smells, hold off large herds of menacing bovine, soak at his leisure, eat big meaty bones – be a dog. I hope each day you have more smiles than tears as you and Bridget feel your new rhythm as a twosome. I suppose we should all be concerned about what trouble you girls will get into now……..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jodee,

      Your comment reminds me of the time at Delmoe Lake near Butte, Montana, when Spike got himself some muddy “boots.” How he enjoyed that day! A black dog came over and they played together and he and Bridget explored the beach. I love that photo of him with his muddy boots . . . .

      Yes, Spike had a great life. Thanks for reminding me.

  120. Wheeling it says:

    What a beautiful, final resting place. You gave Spike a fitting farewell and I love that he gets to stay in the nature he so enjoyed. I know how much it hurts to say goodbye. It’s strange how a little doggie can change your life, but that’s what our pets do for us. They give us unconditional love, perhaps the greatest love that exists on earth, but only for a short time. It’s the joy and the burden we bear when we bring them into our lives. Goodbye beautiful Spike…watch over Sue well.
    Nina

  121. Our deepest condolences. It’s nice that you have the blog to look back on and remember all of the good times you had with Spike.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim and Gayle . . . Yes, that’s what is great about blogging. The memories are preserved in more than photos. Thank you for your sympathy.

  122. Page says:

    Words fail me. Spike was quite an interesting pup and I am glad you shared his stories with us. My heart is breaking for you and Bridget. Be well.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Page…. Yes, Spike was interesting! I don’t think there was a day that he didn’t make me laugh.

      I appreciate you sharing my loss and your wish for our wellness. Bridge and I are okay. We’ll probably move camp tomorrow.

  123. Cari in Plano Texas says:

    I have to be honest – I put off reading this post yesterday because I wasn’t ready to completely say goodbye to little Spike. So I opened up my email this morning, took a deep breath, and clicked on the post. What a wonderful, touching, sad, sweet way to start my day. I can empathize with your feelings, Sue, and I so admire and thank you for taking the time to share them with us. You mentioned in a comment on the last post about us having a group cry – sharing grief often lessens the hurt, and I think that’s what is going on here.

    You picked a beautiful, fitting place for Spike’s final home.

    Your final words – Bye, Spikey, my sweet boy. I did my best – really spoke to me. Yes, you did do your best, with both him and with Bridget, saving them and bringing them along on your adventures. Not too many dogs can say they have seen as much of this beautiful country and its inhabitants, both human and otherwise, as these two have. Your love for them has come through in each post, and the outpouring of love and sympathy in these last two posts show that everyone who reads your blog knows it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cari… You wrote such a heartfelt and compassionate note to me and Bridget that I’m ashamed it took me so long to respond. I apologize.

      It’s good to know my post didn’t tear you up, but affected you in a “wonderful, touching, sad, sweet way.” Thank you for all the comforting things you wrote– about my care for Spike and the life he had with Bridget and me. I appreciate you sharing this sad time with us.

      • Cari in Plano Texas says:

        Please, dear friend, no apologies necessary. You have so much on your plate right now, and at last count there were over 600 comments, so I’m not surprised it took you awhile to even see mine. I want to wrap my arms around you and Bridget and let you both know you are loved and cared about. As someone else suggested, maybe even bring a casserole over. Green bean casserole, anyone? 🙂

  124. The wonderful thing about pictures is they so vividly bring back to life those memories and loved ones lost. I often look back at pictures of family and pets who have gone on. It is such a comfort and heart wrenching at the same time. You found the perfect spot with the aspen and nearby campers for sweet Spike. We are all keeping you in our thoughts.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Karen, for thinking of us. Yes, what a gold mine of photos I have of Spike! It’s kind of hard to look at them now, but I know I will treasure them always, as well as the love and laughter he gave so many.

  125. Sue says:

    Sue , it is never easy losing one we Love so much ! I am so sad to read this but I guess it was Spikes time to go to the Heavens. Such a hard thing to deal with. My heart goes out to you. Keep an eye on Bridget as she will be feeling the loss also. Of course I know you will give her lots of extra attention. RIP Spike baby !!!! May the Angels hold you in their wings.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sue . . . Thanks for the caring message with a special note about Bridget. She is doing well. Her appetite is good (of course) and she’s sleeping well. She has been a great comfort and I hope I have been the same for her.

  126. KJ says:

    There are no words Sue, my heart is breaking for you.

  127. Kellee says:

    Sue and Bridget – hugs to you both. Spike was well-loved. Thank you for sharing him with us.

  128. Diann in MT says:

    Just got to thinking, Sue. Spike’s final resting place is within The Cowboy State. This makes Spike your special little Cowboy.
    Take care.

  129. Sue Malone says:

    I saw so many of your friends expressing condolences and was grateful. I’ll add my heartfelt wishes for your eventual healing. I know that this day comes, that we all know this day will come, and yet we are never ready, and it is never less than heart wrenching. The huge empty spot that an animal leaves behind is something some people don’t expect. Travel safe with your girl. Many hugs to both of you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for the hugs and understanding, Sue. Bridget and I are feeling better with each new day.

      Right now we’re in the PTV parked along a forest road. We come here every day for better internet connection. And each of those days I’ve watched a coyote hunt for rodents in the enormous field of green that this road borders. It’s quite a sight, with the hills of evergreens in the background. I have to say, even though he’s in the process of killing — he’s gotta’ eat — he is a graceful and handsome animal with the morning sun showing off his coat.

      These are the kinds of things that help me through the grief. Thanks for writing, Sue.

  130. BadgerRickInWis says:

    “Bye, Spikey, my sweet boy. I did my best.”

    Indeed you did. From the first day when you took him home from the shelter to his beautiful final resting place. You gave him everything and more than any creature, canine or human could ever ask. Because you gave him your love every day, without question, without end.

    You saved him and in so doing you allowed him to save you.

    Goodbye Spike, my sweet friend, while we never met in this life I look forward to seeing you in the next.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Rick. I wrote you another message somewhere above expressing my appreciation for what you wrote so beautifully under the previous post. You touched my heart.

  131. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Thanks for sharing Spike’s beautiful story as well as his final resting place. We will miss seeing his little wiggle butt and the soaking adventures. You have given him and Bridget a happy home, very close attention, especially these last three years and now a lovely resting place for Spike. Feel confident that he is at peace. My prayers are with you and Bridget during this difficult time.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Barbara, for your comforting words. You mentioned Spike’s butt…. I didn’t put this in the post because I didn’t want to overdo it…

      Some time during the last few months of Spike’s life, I realized Spike didn’t wag his tail with the enthusiasm of his younger days. This made me sad. A few moments before he died — I believe it was right before he lost consciousness — I felt a flutter against my calf as I sat next to him on the bed, petting him in the dark. I reached down automatically… It was his tail wagging like crazy! It was the sweetest thank you I’ve ever received.

      • weather says:

        sweet God in heaven,Sue,that’s not over doing it-that’s tellin’ it !

        -Spike sayin’ see ya later with style!

        -the way one great home on the road after the next is best appreciated -in the secret of anyone who knows how to keep passion alive-

        let ’em feel you loving them-savoring them-appreciating them

        Leave them wanting more…

      • Carol Z (Central Oregon) says:

        You say he was not a very affectionate dog, but that is absolutely precious, Sue!

        A priceless moment at the very end. Of his butt. LOL! Love that Spikey!

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        Oh my god! How sweet was that? He was letting you know he was at peace and happy.

        ALL I repeat ALL of my pets have made me drive them to the vets to help them crossover.

        Traumatic for both, because it’s really hard to see thru the tears when you drive and traumatic for the pet because it’s so impersonal.

        As sad as his passing was…I’m glad Spike did it on his terms and it was “peaceful”.

        GodSpeed Spike.

      • Cari in Plano Texas says:

        Oh, my goodness, what a sweet, funny story. Thanks for sharing it with us! It might have been his way of telling you that things would be all right, as well as saying goodbye.

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        So sweet that he was feeling happy apparently, so close to when he passed on….thanks for sharing that Sue…this memory will no doubt be of comfort as days go by.

      • Dawn in MI says:

        Awww….what a great way to go. He loved you so much! Spike, my man, you did good.

  132. Sidewinder Pen says:

    Oh Sue. I cried like a baby while reading this. I feel a bit guilty writing this – as though I’m “making it all about me” – but I just couldn’t help but think of my own “day after” with my pup, and they kind of started to blend together in my mind. It’s part of the power of your writing – it’s your day, but the way its written I think also brings our own days into focus (somehow?).

    It really made me wish I’d had a blog when I had my pup – you made such a good “recording” of Spike. So many photos and stories. His personality, his soaks, his maddening moments, his lovability, his love of life, Bridget, and you all shine through. And you properly recorded the end, too; as it should be: His last, special day (I noticed a special day is a lot like many of your days – because I mean how could days be any more special for him than the “usual” days with you and Bridget?). And the day after, too. I like how you treated it all with reverence, yet that included the mundane details of making coffee and the way it feels to have your pup there but not there (the day after), and you have to figure out what to do next (which you did so well there in the Absaroka woods).

    I especially felt it when you put dear Spike in the PTV, in his spot. I did that with my pup too (I took him to a place in the country that does individual pet cremations, as I wasn’t in a place where I felt I could bury him). As I drove along I had the window down, and he looked so “normal” in the rear view mirror, with the wind blowing through his fur just like always. I let myself slightly pretend he was just sleeping (which he loved to do on a road trip), but of course I knew. Still, I fantasized about just driving on and on, with the wind in his fur, and him in his spot there. Of course I knew I couldn’t, but I wished I could.

    I was so glad to read that you had the day to yourself, just you, Spike, and Bridget in the beautiful Absaroka woods (all by yourselves, where you could just openly have your emotions), giving Spike such a beautiful resting place. The Aspen is so pretty, and I love how their leaves shimmer in such a lively way in the wind (I read that is because the stems are flat, so they catch the wind differently than most leaves that have rounder stems). A tree is perfect. It will grow and Spike will be a part of it in some way, and when you see Aspen leaves shimmering perhaps it will be a bit like him waving to you. I know I will enjoy them even more now. Plus you will always have your special Absaroka spot.

    When I was waiting outside at the place where my pup was cremated (it was a really nice, private farm in the northern woods, so not like a clinical setting at all), I was feeling so sad and lonely, and then – almost magically – dozens of fireflies came out and were lighting up, coming really close to me, and it was so, so beautiful. I felt that was my pup comforting me, and I always feel him close when I see fireflies. I guess they are “our aspens.” Then, too, a full moon rose on my way back home that night. I was still unbearably sad, but I couldn’t ignore the amazing beauty either.

    Thank you so much for sharing these last two special days (they both seemed special, even though they were very different). I really valued you telling us about them, step by step. You are so good at writing about a day – I don’t know anyone who brings them to life like you do.

    As you said, you did your best for Spike. And it WAS the best. I can’t imagine him having chosen any other life, even if he had a million to choose from. A very lucky nutcake, forever in our hearts.

    Hugs to you, and pats to Bridget,
    Pen

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      PS: I know dogs don’t wave. That sounded sort of goofball even when I wrote it. And even more when I re-read it now. But you probably know what I mean about the aspen leaves quaking and how they may feel like Spike thinking of you and having a connection that way.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I so enjoy your posts, Pen. This one was very compassionate and sensitive… Thank you. I love the way you described your pup’s last ride with the wind in his fur . . . the fireflies. . . the full moon. I understand that completely. I may write about something similar.

      Thank you for your whole-hearted support of me, Bridge, your fellow blogorinos, and this blog. I really appreciate what you bring here, Pen.

  133. John says:

    Sue and Bridg ~

    I’m so sorry for your lose. Losing a pet is can harder than losing a family member.

    You are so much stronger than I. I could not hold up under such a lose.

    You are so strong ~ please move fwd with Bridg and continue your wanderlust.

    Love the both of you,

    John and Kona (a very special furry friend)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you for your loving comment, John. I think you’d do whatever you had to do for your Kona. Warm wishes for you both.

  134. Lacy says:

    Dearest Sue,

    I ache with you, not for you. Those of us that have the fortune to receive unconditional love from animals know what it’s like to lose a friend like that – always too soon and often unprepared, regardless that we know it’s always inevitable.

    Spike was a lucky dog to have spent his days with you, exploring much farther than any backyard could have afforded him! I do believe that you’ll meet again someday and until then, he’ll always be with you – especially as you sit by the waters edge 🙂

    Sending hugs of comfort,
    Lacy

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Lacy. I smiled at your “backyard” comment. The seven states of the West that we’ve traveled these past three years were Spike’s back yard. I love that!

  135. Illinois Jane says:

    Job well done, Sue. That sounds like a very nice spot for Spikey’s final resting place. It’s just right. A miserable task for you, without question, but you shouldered the responsibility and honored your friend righteously. Perfect.

    Still, I’m very sorry you had to go through that.

    Sweet Bridget was crying, too. I’ve never known of dogs actually doing that. You both were in pain. I’m glad she was with you.

    I’ll miss Spike and his soaks. What a sweet little guy. I do feel good that he’s in a good spot in nature and hope you do to.

    Take good care,
    Jane

    • Illinois Jane says:

      Now that I read a few of your responses. I know that preparing a place for Spike was not as I imagined. That it may have helped you a bit. Good. Still and all, way to go.
      Also, he could not have had a better passing, I don’t believe. Next to you, gentle and peaceful.
      You mentioned the night in the dessert…yes, I am so glad it was not his final time. That would have been too hard to bare.

      To sunny days ahead.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Jane. Yes, Bridget does audibly cry. Rat terriers do “talk.” It’s one of their many weird characteristics. The talking is a low verbalization that has distinct syllables. Spike used to talk in his sleep, and Bridget does, too. Some ratties talk while awake.

      When Spike was little we had a ritual at bedtime. He would “say” a word, I would repeat it, he’d say it again, I’d repeat… so it would go, each time we’d say the “word” more softly until he fell asleep. I had forgotten about that.

      Bridget cries with a soft whine with every close-mouthed exhalation. It’s annoying in good times, heart-breaking during the sad times.

      Thank you for loving Spike.

  136. Cindy and Gary says:

    Sue,

    Thank you so much for sharing Spikes final chapter with all of us. You are a woman of extraordinary character to have been able to set down his story, in order, for your blogarino’s benefit while dealing with the pain of his loss. We don’t know how you managed it.

    Dogs are such wonderful creatures. Spike welcomed each new location with such joy! Walking the perimeter to make sure all was safe from marauding cows, checking out the local soaking situation, or whatever was going on, he was enjoying his life. He and Bridget allowed us, through you, to see the world from their point of view. A happy, tail wagging, bone noshing, wonderful world of adventure with a pretty cool Chick at their side. Those memories of the three of you, that you so graciously shared with the rest of us, will help to ease your new journey of two.

    So thank you Sue, for sharing your Spikey and Bridge with us! We feel so fortunate to have had an opportunity to have shared a small part of their adventures with you.

    Gentle hugs,
    Gary and Cindy

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gary and Cindy . . . You remind us what a character Spike was, how he had his quirks and routines, all of it an extension of his personality. He hated cows right up to the end. A few days before he passed, we drove by a herd of cows and Spike hollered at them as we went by. What a guy!

      Thank you for your kindness and for understanding why I loved Spikey so much.

  137. Andrea in Glendale says:

    Thank you Sue and Bridget for sharing this difficult time with us. We will miss Spike so much … The wonderful memories will stay with us though as well as his spunky spirit.
    Andrea and family in Glendale

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m glad that you share those memories with me, Andrea. Thank you, and best wishes to you and your family.

  138. Christine in Texas says:

    Hi Sue, long time lurker here. I love the spot you chose for Spike’s resting area, glad you picked it. Hope you and Bridget feel better soon.

  139. Alan Rabe says:

    Hi Sue, glad to have you back. I know it will take a while to get back to speed but I am sure Bridget will be doing her best to cheer you up. Spike has a beautiful place to spend eternity and I am sure you will be back for a visit each year. It may be impossible to find, but I hope to make a pilgrimage to his grave and throw a few packs of wild flowers around the spot, it would be nice to turn the spot into a garden of color. He was such a wonderful companion to you during his life and I know his memory will bring you great moments of joy in the years to come. His determination to persevere against all odds will always make him an inspiration to all of us.
    As always love ya and try to enjoy as much as you can in spite of it all.
    🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Alan. Your tenderness toward Spike and his memory shows how much you care. I appreciate you wanting to beautify his resting place.

      I hope people remember Spike as a guy who lived life to the fullest. If his life inspires anyone to do the same, what a tremendous legacy he will have!

      We are trying to enjoy as much as we can. Today Bridget and I climbed a hill which gave us a glorious view of the mountains and valley. She’s conked out now from the exertion.

  140. Paula says:

    You are in my thoughts and prayers as you grieve the passing of your precious little Spike. He was such a good boy. Here are a few excerpts from Randy Alcorn’s book, “Heaven” that I hope will lift you up in due time.

    Humorist Will Rogers said, “If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” This statement was, of course, based on sentiment, not theology. However, it reflects something biblical: a God-given affection for animals. (Chapter 40, page 385)

    … anticipating Christ’s coming: “And all flesh will see the salvation of God” (Luke 3:6, NASB). The Greek word translated “flesh” is sarx. Some Bible versions translate this as “all people” or “all mankind”, but the word is more inclusive. “All flesh” includes animals. They too will behold and benefit from Christ’s redemptive work. (Chapter 40, page 384)

    God created us to be stewards of animals. He holds us accountable for how we treat them. “The godly are concerned for the welfare of their animals” (Proverbs 12:10, NLT). We are the caretakers for the animals, but they belong to God, not us: “For all the animals of the forest are mine, and I own the cattle on a thousand hills. Every bird of the mountains and all the animals of the field belong to me (Psalm 50:10-11, NLT). (Chapter 39, page 376)

    Sue, you have been a good steward to your canine family, Spike and Bridget. I believe Spikey is in good hands. And so are you and Bridget.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Paula, for your thoughtful message. There are too many animals in this country who’ve been tossed aside. I’m glad I was able to help one of them, the one I named Spike, and my girl, Bridget.

  141. Tina says:

    Sue, it is so important and really a gift to Bridget that she was able to process Spike’s passing. We believe it’s essential to both of you working your way through the grief.

    When my husband’s guide dog Rusty passed away July 25, 2013, we had to make the horrible decision to have have him put to sleep. The blessing in that was that we were both able to hold him in our arms when he took his last gentle breath…and we had arranged with our vet to have our other 3 dogs with us for his passing as well.

    We were all in the room together–and it was clear they understood what had happened. They were very quiet–none of their typical shenanigans or playing around. They saw him go. They shared our grief and had a chance to sniff him all over, and understand that he was gone.

    One of the most touching moments happened after we dragged our sobbing, heartbroken selves home again. I couldn’t bear to keep wearing the shirt I’d embraced his final moments in–so when I changed it, I laid it on Rusty’s dog bed as kind of a farewell to him.

    I found one of our dogs, Choco–who never, ever used Rusty’s bed, curled up in the middle of my shirt on his bed. She’s a little Malinois type shepherd dog–usually pretty active. But she spent the evening laying quietly on Rusty’s bed, snuggled up in that shirt.

    I had to part with the shirt the next day–way too painful to ever wear again. And Choco has never had touched Rusty’s bed again since then–yes we still have it, just can’t bear to let go of it yet. It’s interesting how our 3 “lounge hounds” who love their comfy spaces leave his bed alone. None of our 3 use his bed.

    I know all three of our “crew” understood he was gone–no running around trying to find the missing member of the family. And I believe you have made Bridget’s journey a little easier for her as well.

    Blessings to both of you as you move on as the “Crew of 2” to the next step of your healing and your continuing journey on the road of life. We felt Rusty’s spirit hovering very near for several weeks afterward–kind of like he needed to help us through. I know he is still with us–I talk to him almost every day. We will miss him forever, but it is somewhat easier now.

    Thank you for sharing his peaceful resting place with us too–I have a feeling you may go back to pay your respects again one day.

    Sending love and hugs to you both.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Tina,

      That’s a touching account of how your crew had bonded and loved each other. Thank you for sharing it.

      I had a similar experience with Bridget. The first time we went anywhere in the PTV after Spike died, she was whining as she sat on the quilt on the bench seat. The next ride, I stopped at the campground near here and dumped the quilt in the dumpster. I have another, fresh quilt on the seat for her now.

      I appreciate your caring for us, Tina. Hug your crew for me.

      • Tina says:

        Hugs all around! We are thinking of you and Bridget every day.

        One of our crew is a border collie–I notice you expressed interest in the breed. They are so incredibly smart, and she is also the only one of our 3 we trust completely off leash no matter what else is going on.

        They do need to be “busy”–but the loyalty and devotion you receive is 100%–they are very impressive dogs.

        In the meantime, you and Bridge are two girls on the road, taking care of each other.

        When the time is right…the two of you will cross paths with the next lucky pup meant for your family. But all in good time.

        Hugs again! Just in case you need to stock up on some extra…

  142. Dedra says:

    I’ve been a part of your family since March 2012.
    You and the crew have helped me more than you will ever know.
    Spikey even sent me an e-mail a long time ago, that I have cherished.
    My prayers go out to you and Bridget.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Spikey sent you an email? Why that sneaky little guy!

      Hi, Dedra. Yes, you are part of my family. Thank you for your prayers.

  143. Evie says:

    Sue, Thank you for sharing your grief with us. I travel with my mom and our two cats. Both of our cats are 17 years old. Last week moms kitten, Tootsie passed as well. It seems to be a time for change. But it is very hard to say good by to our loved ones. Our hearts are with you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Evie. It helped me a lot to have you and others with whom to share my sadness.

      Both your cats are 17… That’s a testament to your good care! How nice that you have your mom to travel with. Please extend my sympathies to her on the passing of Tootsie.

      Thanks for your kind words.

  144. Pingback: Losses | JanNews Blog

  145. Lyn in San Diego says:

    Sue,
    Another lurker here coming out of the corner – please accept my tearful condolences on Spike’s passing. I’ve lost many (at least 10 that I can count) fur kids over my lifetime, and it never gets any less painful – in fact, I think it gets more painful with each one since the memories of the ones who’ve gone before get rolled up in the current pain. As others here have said, you didn’t just do your best – You Did The Best. Please don’t second guess a single decision that you made! You’ve always put your crew’s needs above your own and have given them 3 wonderful years of adventures. I hope the days get easier for you and for Bridget and I hope that down the road another little fur kid joins your crew. I’ll be here reading and waiting for that day. Take gentle care of yourselves.

    Lyn

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lyn… It’s great to meet you, even under these circumstances. I hope you will drop in again.

      That’s good advice for all of us… not to second guess our decisions for our pets. We do our best and with love. Thank you for your thoughtful and encouraging comments, and for your “tearful condolences.”

  146. Lois says:

    Sue, thank you for sharing Spike’s whole story. I didn’t realize how close my own blog-readers had become to my Dinah Girl until she died last year and then I heard from many of them who said things similar to what I’m reading in the comments here. And now I know what they were talking about – even though I’ve never met you or Spike or Bridget in person, I feel like you all are a part of my life just by getting to read what you write about your adventures, and of course, I get to reminisce about Dinah’s and my adventures together when I read about yours with your crew.

    Spike’s resting spot is wonderful and having an aspen tree nearby is awesome. What a nice thing you did for him by finding him such a beautiful place to be (“nice” just doesn’t seem to be the right word here but I can’t think of another word to replace it with so there ya go). Thank you for the story, and peace to you and Bridget as you find your way together.

    Big hugs to you both,
    — Lois

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Lois. It helped me a lot to write the last two posts. Thanks for affirming that I chose a good place for Spike. I’m touched by your statement that you feel like a part of my life. You are, Lois. I appreciate the hugs.

  147. kgdan says:

    Just wanted to pop in and say “Hi” & that we are thinking of you. We are winding up at home; starting the repacking of the Casita, the sorting and reorganizing. Anxious. Looking at the benchmarks and the weather trying to decide on the direction for departure. Been a great summer in the northwest but the road is calling. Love & hugs.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      How about some of those great camps in Utah? 🙂 I know you want places where the fish are biting. Thanks for the hello.

  148. Walt says:

    The Spikester is a man after my own heart. My will stipulates that I am to be cremated and my ashes spread over the nearest campground (i.e., out in nature). As I said in an earlier post, as long as his memory lives in your heart, Spike is never really gone. His final resting place is almost perfect. The only place better would have been if you could have figured out a way to allow him to soak eternally. Regardless, I’m sure Spike will figure out a way to follow from “the other side of the trail” the adventures you and Bridget have in the days and months ahead.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Walt,

      If anyone scatters my ashes, the’d better put up the “Allen Party” sign, because I don’t want any clingers disturbing my eternal rest! 😉

      Thank you for sharing with us, Walt. I will carry the memory of Spike wherever we go.

  149. Trip and Lisa says:

    We will keep you in our prayers Sue and YES,you did your best and a very good job.I was just out in Wyoming this past week and was thinking of you guys and wondered if I would run across you by accident.Hard to keep up without a puter with me and not smart phone acclimated this past few weeks.Let us know if we can do anything at all for you anytime.Take Care,Trip and Lisa

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Trip and Lisa…. Isn’t Wyoming wonderful? I hope you enjoyed your time here.

      • Trip and Lisa says:

        It is a beautiful State and not alot of people which is a major plus,lol.Been there many times over the years and probably be back out there in the next few weeks.Maybe we’ll see ya out there somewhere and we’ll get ya a “spit chicken”.Take Care Sue,Trip and Lisa

  150. Kerry says:

    Sue, I’m so sorry, and attempting to write this with tears and a runny nose from crying. A few weeks ago we had to put our beloved Golden down. She was 14 Y.O and the sweetest, gentle soul. I want to thank you for sharing, I always smile when I see your pics. of both of them acting goofy. Be well and safe, Thanks.

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      Kerry, I’m sorry about your Golden. A few weeks – that’s such a short time ago. You must miss her so much. My pup was half Golden and had the disposition (and the “smile”). I learned why folks love their Goldens (never knew any growing up).

      (Of course there are reasons to love all dogs; I had a terrier growing up and he was wonderful too, but in a terrier-y way.)

    • Gail in Buckeye says:

      So sorry for you loss.

  151. Patsy from Ontario Canada - North says:

    Good to read your blog and that you and Bridget are doing well. Beautiful resting spot for Spike. His soul and spirit will always be with the both of you and will still travel those adventures of yours in your hearts and in ours to. God bless Sue and Bridget and big HUGS..

  152. Cari in Plano Texas says:

    Sue, I don’t mean to detract from the condolences and other comments from your blogorinos. But I’ve just noticed that I’m not receiving notices of new comments to your blog in the past few days. And there’s no checkbox at the bottom to be notified of new comments either. I know you had some technical difficulties recently, could that be the reason? I found that I missed out on a lot of comments tonight to this post and had to scroll through everything to read the new ones. Any ideas/suggestions?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m sorry that happened, Cari. I’ve noticed pingbacks are showing also. I will refresh the settings for my blog. Thanks for letting me know.

    • Jolene/Iowa says:

      I wondered if I was the only one. I am not receiving the notifications either. Thanks for mentioning something so I know I am not the only one.

  153. Dear RVSue,

    Approx 2 years, I have been a lurker of your magnificent blog. (Finally came out)
    With my poor English, I had been trying to gain a deeper understanding of your expressive words and compositions.
    You want to know why? I am Japanese, living in Japan.
    Japanese words (dog ; Shiba inu, carp ; Koi, apple ; Fuji etc.) in your rare post sound good to me.

    I had been reading from older posts after an interval of about half year, so I was wrapped up in your intriguing posts for a few days.
    I caught up with your recent two posts at last.
    An astonishing post “A special day” that I have never imagined waited for me.
    Oh my God! Dear Spike.
    Situation changed drastically, I read the post and comments with my full of tears.

    I’m sure that Spike is soaking in the Heavens and needs no tears ponds.

    BTW I am a part-time RVer in Japan and hanker for fulltimer.
    I am obtaining much more good tips about RV traveling in US and receiving news of campgrounds in Southwest by reading and watching your many photos.
    My wife and I have traveled in US five times by a rental RV in past four years. Recent travel was coast to coast and return to West coast. It’s approximately 16,000 miles.
    Sometimes we traced the super road that you might have driven and boondocked the spot where once you have been right here.
    We were able to enjoy the secluded and quiet site surrounded spectacular view without any clingers. Mayberry-esque town, too.

    Thank you so much RVSue. Please travel safe with sweet Bridget.

    Fuji-maru

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      Fuji-Maru,

      Welcome blogorino! How interesting to have someone from Japan, and an RV-er too. I find your English to be very good (especially considering that English does not seem “like” Japanese in the way that say, Spanish or French are). I hope you will feel like commenting more often. But whether you comment, or just read, we welcome you 🙂

      I didn’t know what any of the words you posted meant before, although I have heard them (Shib inu, Koi, and Fuji). I really like learning those, thanks!

      So is Mount Fuji really “Mount Apple”? Somehow that surprises me as it seems so big/vast/grand.

      • Thank you for reply, Sidewinder Pen.

        I anticipated being said ” blogorino”. 🙂

        I know your name very well because the road name in south CA is same as yours.
        That road is off Ogilby Road where I have been to last November, since RVSue has said that Sidewinder Road is her favorite.

        My English, good? LOL. It comes originally from RVSue Blog.
        Above my comment took 4 hours! My English is too bad, so everyone has been in trouble under my screwy words during our US travels.

        OH NO! Mount Fuji never be “Mount Apple”! “Fuji” is a name of one kind of apple developed in Japan. Mount Fuji is “Mount Fuji” as it is.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Fuji-maru… I think I understand. The Fuji apple was named after the mountain, not the other way around. Sidewinder Road is my favorite camp in winter when it’s one of the warmest camps in the West. It’s not my favorite in summertime! 🙂

          • Certainly, Sidewinder Road where the unbearable torrid place in a hot summer.
            Last September we made a side trip around Quartzsite, almost nobody was in there where boondock be possible, and in 14-Day Camping Area or LTVA.
            Tyson wells(gift shop and RV park) was completely closed. We only took pix of the structures, when guards came being suspicious of us.

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          Well we almost crossed paths at Sidewinder Road (off of Ogilby). I was there last December! I took the name because it was my first southwest boondock (inspired by RVSue) and I also happened to meet Sue there. Since there are so many blogorinos (and room for more), this made it easier for Sue to remember which one I was.

          I understand now about Mount Fuji and the apples. I thought at first that Fuji was the word for any apple. Now I get it. No more Mount Apple!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Fuji-maru,

      Welcome! I am very pleased to see you here and to learn a little about you. Thank you for shedding tears over the passing of Spike. You are kind.

      Your English is excellent!! Many people born in this country do not know English as well as you do.

      I am aware that my blog has done many good deeds, but I never guessed it was helping someone learn the language. As you know, I don’t write in perfect English. I try to write the way we speak and think.

      I am proud that you appreciate our beautiful land, having traveled across the country and taken several RV trips here. It’s my pleasure to show off its many wonders. I’m glad you were able to enjoy peaceful, private places without any clingers!

      Thank you for writing. I hope you will drop in again. Warm regards to your wife and family.

  154. Deb from NJ says:

    Dear Sue and Bridget my thoughts, prayers and hugs go out to you both. It’s a wonderful resting place for Spike. I am sure that he helped guide you to that spot. Spike will surely be missed but certainly never forgotten! He lived a good life traveling around with you the past few years! I am so sorry for your loss.

  155. Illinois Jane says:

    A good morning hug to you, Sue.

  156. MK in NE GA for now says:

    Sue your tribute to Spike is not only this post and the last one but ALL of the posts from the beginning. Spike was all of ours and we will grieve with you. I thank you for giving him a life most dogs can only dream about. His resting place is magnificent and he will be romping the fields waiting for you.

    My heart dog rests very near me in an unmarked grave on my 10 acres. Gator was a rescued JRT, he wasn’t hyper, he was loving, never met a stranger and loved car rides, oh did I mention food, he loved food and he crossed the rainbow bridge waddling as he got anything he wanted the last few months of his life. He was my go and do dog and was game for anything as long as he could be with me. Don’t get me wrong he had plenty of foibles but I adjusted my life to deal with them.

    He stood out among JRT’s, I used to show horses and while at a horse show Gator and I were standing at ringside watching and Gator just quietly sat and watched with me then curled up and went to sleep among all the hub-bub (a very unusual trait for a JRT). Apparently one of the participants had watched us and they were one of those people with more money than is necessary in life, she came up to me and offered me $1000. for Gator, I just smiled and told her there is not enough money on this planet to sell this dog.

    The hardest part of sharing our lives with our beloved pets is they just don’t live long enough. But as every pet owner knows it’s worth it. Our pets give us so much more back than we can give them.

    RIP Spike, when it’s my turn I hope you’ll share a romp with Gator and me.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Your Gator does sound like an exceptionally fine dog, MK. What precious memories you must have and what pain when you had to let him go. Thank you for writing that for us, and also for grieving with us.

  157. fossildreamer john says:

    Sue, Both you and Brigett are in my thoughts. I can think of no nicer place for Spike
    to lay his head than under a beautiful stand of Aspen trees…. Safe Travels Sue

  158. karen lemoine says:

    Sue, thanks for the rest of Spike’s last special day. Irang a bell for him when I heard of his passing. Do you think down the road a bit you might consider getting another dog? It would be a wonderful tribute to Spikes memory that you rescued another little soul who needs great adventures with you and Bridge. Happy travels as you two journey on:) Love your blog!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Karen…

      I’m glad you love my blog. Thank you.

      I will take in another pup. I need some time, of course, before I can look at another possibility for my crew. For several years I’ve adopted (and/or fostered) as many dogs as my home, pocketbook, and lifestyle could sustain. The kill-rate in this country is appalling and disgusting. Rescuing an animal doesn’t change much, except for the dog or cat who is given a home.

      No dog, however, can match the legendary Spikester!

  159. Sherry in MT says:

    I hope you can tell by the outpouring of comments just how much you all are loved! Spikey couldn’t have asked for a better Mom and sis and the best we can hope for is that they leave peacefully as he did! He will follow you on puppy dog angel wings in all of your travels from here on out!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      “Puppy dog angel wings”…. Imagine Spike wearing those! That would ruin his tough-guy image! 🙂

  160. Shirlene says:

    Thank you Sue for being so very exceptional and allowing us to love you and the crew so much that your loss overwhelms the blog and overwhems our emotions. I have been greiving for the last week like he was also my dog. Thank you for finishing yours and Spike’s story as it will help us all greive and allows us to move on with you and Bridget, and when you do find that special addition to the crew, it will probably be sent to you by Spike and you will know it was right. Thank you again for answering every post, you are amazing.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Shirlene. It’s good to know my replies are appreciated. I blame my father. I can hear his voice, “Speak when you’re spoken to!” I think that carries over to comments here. 🙂

      Thank you for loving my crew and sharing the loss.

  161. Tawanda (Ut) says:

    What a wonderful tribute to “Spike”, could feel your pain and emotions as I read your words. Perfect resting place for the lil’ guy who was really bigger than life just being himself, thank you for sharing him with us!!! How neat it was that he could go on his terms at your side so peacefully….

    Many personal experiences shared, have had our own with many rescued pup’s, each are as individual as humans and tho their lives here are much shorter than our own (if we are so fortunate), sharing life with them is worth all the heartbreaking pain when they leave us tho at the time may not seem so!!

    Enjoy the walks and talks with Ms Bridget no doubt a different side of her is emerging…
    Until Soon,
    T~

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Tawanda,

      I do believe you are right… I’ve grown closer to Bridget this past week and more of her personality is emerging. She always deferred to Spike and took his lead (except when taking us back to camp). We are enjoying long walks together.

      You’re good to take in shelter dogs. Thank you for appreciating the tribute to Spike.

  162. ja says:

    Hello
    You have indeed picked a wonderful resting place for Spike. It is the kind of place I would love to have my ashes spread when the time comes. As weird as it may sound, I am glad Spike got to choose when it was time for him to go instead of you (or someone else) having to choose when his life’s journey was done. Maybe Spike knew just how hard a decision that would to be made and loving you chose to go on his own. (hopes this sounds better than I am expressing in words).
    I hope you and Bridget many glorious sunrises and sunsets as you travel on.
    ja

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, ja… I am grateful I didn’t have to make that terrible decision and trip to the vet. I’ve done it before and it compounds the pain of saying goodbye. My heart goes out to all those who’ve had to do that to a precious pet.

      Thank you for the wish for “glorious sunrises and sunsets.” Right now the late afternoon sun is turning the willows to gold.

  163. Beverly in NS says:

    Thank you for sharing this post with us. How very fortunate Spike and Bridget are to have found such a loving companion. I don’t know how you get through all these posts and fit in responses. Amazing. I do not own a dog and never have. I was always allergic to cats but rescued our Little Kitty about five years ago on a cold stormy winter night. He was just a young cat about 6 months old. But i digress.
    I want to share with you a story of two boxers and a pug and hope you find the humor. it is mostly depressing but cheerful in the end.
    About 12 years ago my sister went all the way to New Hampshire to bring home Belle. A beautiful boxer and the first dog I ever loved. Unfortunately, Belle died with a heart problem on the return from a walk. She was replaced by a second boxer named Dixie. I warned so fond of her. I missed Belle. I never really got to know Dixie but she was well loved by my sister’s family but she developed health issues as well and died after 5 years. Dixie was replaced by a little black pug. Cute as a button and full of energy. When I dog sat I even agreed to pick up her doggy doo. Couldn’t believe I agreed to that. Almost finished the story. My niece named the little black pug “Liv” in hopes she lasts a lot longer that Belle and Dixie did.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Beverly… Sad story but a pretty good punchline. I’m glad she didn’t name the pug “Di.” Now I want to know… Did Liv live?

      Thank you for writing.

      • Beverly says:

        Liv is doing great. My hubby had one that lived to be 16+ years. They don’t know how old he was when they got him. Still no guarantees but Liv was certainly a better name than Di. What a sense of humor you have. Love your post today, I was wondering how you would ever remember where Spikes spot was. The tree carving does the trick. Not sure what to say about the humming bird. Reincarnation?

  164. Pauline from Mississippi says:

    Dear Sweet Spike. His resting place seems so fitting. I know that you and Bridget will grieve him and miss him terribly. I think it is wonderful that you have this blog and have saved all the past post so all of us can go back and remember what a character Spike was. He holds a special place in our hearts.
    Love you My Sister…give Bridget a special hug from me.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Pauline. It’s good of you to write here what with all that is going on in your and Jerold’s family. My love to all to you!

  165. AZ Jim says:

    When I had my cabin in the mountains of Idaho, you remember it Sue from pictures, a short distance away was a road that led through the Aspen trees to a quiet little lake, with water so clear you could see the bottom near shore. I used to Jeep up there and trout fish. A few Salmon eggs on the hook and I went home with fresh rainbow trout for supper. While I fished, and thought, I sat on a log under an Aspen. There is something about the Aspen, it is a quiet beauty stirring in the breeze but providing shade and comfort. Spikey will love it there, though mostly he’ll be off journeying with you and Bridget.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim… The scene you describe is lovely. So peaceful. I’ve seen that kind of water. It’s mesmerizing.

      Yes, aspens are enchanting. I was listening to them this afternoon. When the wind is fairly strong, the leaves sound like rushing water.

      Thanks for sharing that pleasant memory with us.

  166. Loren & Betsy says:

    We recently buried a wonderful four legged friend beside our garden. There’s nothing quite like a good dog! Our thoughts are with the two of you. Spike was a lucky dog! Happy trails.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m sorry, Loren and Betsy, that your pal has passed away. You’re right… Life is so much better when shared with a good dog (or two). Nice hearing from you… Remember the good times!

  167. Stephanie says:

    Dear Sue,
    This is my first time posting. I found your blog about a year ago and went back and read from the very beginning. You are the highlight of my morning, just to see what you guys are up to.
    I cried just like everyone else and then I got a little chuckle. I recall a post you did right around the time you retired..you talked about a song you would sing on Saturdays and your crew would spin in circles and bark at you. What a happy time and the adventures that would follow!
    Thank you for sharing with all of us and giving us a glimpse into your life. Your ‘crew’ is part of you and I look forward to your further adventures.
    Spike will always be apart of this journey.
    My best wishes with your travels and may Bridget have many more shared chicken dinners.
    Stephanie

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What a sweet message, Stephanie. I’m very glad you decided to take the time to write here. Thank you for shedding tears over Spike’s passing.

      I remember that song! “It’s Saturday, I don’t go away. I stay home all day, so we can play. It’s Saturday!” Boy, would Spike go nuts when he heard that. Bridget and Janie, too.

      And then I retired and every day is Saturday!

      Thank you for reading my blog from the beginning. You’ve read a lot of special memories. As for Bridget and the chicken, yes, she’ll have more but we are both going to try to slim down some!

      • Stephanie says:

        Sue,
        My guess is that Bridget has no say in this slimming down process!
        The best to both you and thank you for replying to my message. Please continue to share your travels with all of us, you are such an inspiration. Only speaking for myself here, I cried just as hard for you as I did for Spike. You mourn their passing and then you get on with the living…….the nature of it all I guess.
        I wish many more shared ‘diet’ chicken dinners for you both….and Spike will travel with you in love. You are very blessed.
        Stephanie

  168. Dawn in MI says:

    I’ve been gone, but I read the first post before I left, at work…hard to work while crying…and I’ve been thinking about you and Bridgett and especially Spike…and what a great dog he was. I’m glad he’s in a beautiful spot. I’ll always remember him. Funny how you can grow to love someone or something and never even meet them. Special dog, special crew, special you. Hugs.

  169. Gayle says:

    I have been thinking a long time about getting my first dog. When I read of your loss and grief and that of the blogorinos, I thought, “Do I want to subject myself to this?” Then I realized that the reason you all grieve so deeply is because the joy was so great! So, I’m back on with my plans — thanks to Spike!

  170. Joanne says:

    Sue, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved Spike – the most difficult day in a dog person’s life.

    Reading all of your adventures with your furkids is one of the factors that helped us to decide to hit the road as half-timers later this fall. Hugs and our sincere condolences to you and Bridget. Peace.

    Joanne and Larry

  171. DesertGinger says:

    I am so enjoying reading everyone’s thoughtful, caring comments and stories. Animals add so much to our lives. I’m going home Thursday and will see my Chloe. It will be wonderful to see her. It is beginning to be cooler, and I am less nauseous and sick than I have been all summer. We are going to start taking longer and longer walks…got to get in shape. I’m starting to make plans for the winter. I think I will check out Quartzsite this winter and Algodones. I think it is going to be a lovely winter. I think we are through the worst Sue. Give Bridget a hug for me if you would.

    • weather says:

      You sound great Ginger!I’m so-o happy you’ll see Chloe!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It’s wonderful to hear your voice in your words, Ginger… You have much to look forward to and you have the right spirit to enjoy it. Quartzsite will be fun, and Los Algodones, too. Yes, the worst is behind us!

  172. weather says:

    NOTE TO READERS-THERE IS A NEW POST-EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS ARE TEMPORARILY DISABLED-HOPE WE ALL CHECK BACK OFTEN AND SOON!

  173. Sharon Gulezian says:

    My heart and thought are with you and Bridget. So sorry for your loss of your sweet beloved Spike. I have followed you for a few years and I will miss Spike’s pictures. I am sure Bridget is mourning as you are. My prayers are with you to find the strength to get through this difficult time and know that Spike will always be with you in spirit. He has walked the Heaven Stairways to heaven.

  174. My heart breaks to hear about Spike. I am so sorry for you and Bridget’s loss. It was his time and he walked the stairways to pet heaven. You know his spirit will forever be with you. He had such a full happy life thanks to you. Hugs.

  175. sandi says:

    thanks for sharing this sue, sending love and light for you and bridget, gonna miss spikey boy

  176. Nate says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about Spike. May he rest in peace and may you find comfort in his memory. Thinking of you.

  177. Judie says:

    Just found this post-have been offline for awhile because of jaw surgery recovery. I’m so sorry to hear of Spikey’s passing….but so thankful that he had such a wonderful life. To know that he came from a shelter and then enjoyed the beautiful life with you and the Bridge…..he had a life most can only dream about….new smells, new sights every day. You are a strong woman Sue. I thank you so much for allowing us all to follow along…you, Spike and Bridget have made my day with every post I have read. I lost my sweet little man on January 19th and still have not been able to write his tribute like I wanted to. Thank you for sharing the Spikester’s with us. I’m so glad his last day was such a good one and that he went peacefully and was spared the suffering…none of us want that for our precious ones. It’s odd that tho we never met I feel like I know you all and have enjoyed “The Canine Corner” so much…and hearing about their adventures. I truly wish there was something I could say to help ease the pain but having experienced it myself so recently, I know that nothing really helps but time and even that….well, let me just say that I feel your’s and Bridge’s pain. God bless you both in your travels. I was glad to see that you will eventually give another boy a chance because I hate what happens in this country where we are supposed to be so “humane”. The atrocities are beyond belief and keep me on my knees for all these precious souls with the beautiful eyes and unconditional love. My sweet Killer came to us as a stray but I firmly believe God led him here. Now we have sweet Goldie who rescued us the day we stopped by the shelter “just to get some information”. Since I have terminal cancer and my husband has had major heart surgery it was my intention to support a dog who was either a senior or on death row….but Goldie chose us. I still hope to provide monthly support for one in the situation above. If it was up to me I’d bring them all home with me. As you said earlier we can’t change the world but for the one who comes to live with us, we change his/her world for the best forever. God bless you and Bridge and hugs to you both.

  178. Piper says:

    I was catching up on your posts and just found out Spike left to go over the rainbow bridge. So so sad. I believe we will see our dear pets in heaven one day and Spike will greet you and Bridge there and show you all the best watering holes. I am sure he has found a few favorites. Nothing harder than letting go of our pets but they bring us such joy while they are here on earth with us. I couldn’t live without them in my life. Many hugs for you and Bridge and prayers too. Take care Sue

  179. Erika says:

    Dear Sue,
    I do not have wise words to say, I am so very sorry and express my deepest sympathy to your loss.
    Spike rests in a beautiful place.
    Kindest regards,
    Erika

  180. Debbie says:

    Dear Sue,
    I have to just begun to read your blog and look forward to following your adventures. I am so sorry to read of your loss. Spike was indeed a lucky dog to have you as his family.

    I hope these words offer some peace to you. It was written by Eugene O’Neill for his dog Blemie. Its quite long and written by Blemie to his family. The last paragraph I find the most touching.

    “One last word of farewell, Dear Master and Mistress. Whenever you visit my grave, say to yourselves with regret but also with happiness in your hearts at the remembrance of my long happy life with you: “Here lies one who loved us and whom we loved.” No matter how deep my sleep I shall hear you, and not all the power of death can keep my spirit from wagging a grateful tail”.

    Tao House, December 17th, 1940

  181. Erika says:

    Dear Sue, we all are with you

  182. John L. says:

    Sue,
    I have been off the blogging world the past six months or so due to a recent loss of my father…..I decided with the new year starting to get back on the computer and see what all have been up to…….was saddened and knew instantly reading your most recent post that something bad had happened! Went back to your archives and read the story….so so very sorry to learn of poor Spikes passing. I know the pain you felt, and likely still do…..but what a beautiful resting place! Happy Trails to you and Bridget!

  183. Terri D. says:

    Lost track of you for a while…taking care of my sister after she had a few strokes and double bypass, had to put my travels on hold for a few years. Just found your blog again and realized someone dear was missing. Went back through your archives and read your story of Spike’s passing. So sorry. As I look down at my feet to see my old girl lying by my side, I can’t imagine being without her. My heart aches for you and Bridget…though I know Spike is in a beautiful area and will be at the rainbow bridge waiting for you.

    happy travels to you Sue. Stay safe.

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