Yoda and the Rainbow Bridge…

A post I have never really want to write, one of love and loss and supreme love for a pet… Our Yoda went onto his Heaven over the Rainbow Bridge on Wednesday, June 14th, 2023, Flag Day.
This was Yoda out at Sam Rayburn Park near Sanger, Texas in 2017. 
He loved his walks!
Thankfully I thought to write most of this post early, long before Yoda had to leave… 
So today I thought I’d share my favorite photographs of Yoda through the years with you.
Yoda relaxing in our first trailer in his old dogbed.
Another friend Bernadette who writes The Creative Cat creates beautiful sympathy cards sharing portraits of her former and current kitties and I’ve often thought I should share her site. Do visit there if you’d like to keep some special cards on-hand for when friends lose their beloved pets…
It means a lot to all of us who love our furry and un-furry friends so unconditionally… 🐶🐈
His poor eyes… He would rub his cheeks on the carpet (or floor) to clean his face after eating and sometimes his eyes would get dirty and infected.
Our first trailer was tough for Yoda that first couple of winters. The underneath wasn’t heated so he was often cold. I think it took a lot out of him then, but he recovered well and loved the warmth of our second trailer, our Prairie Home!
Yoda inside our second trailer enjoying the fireplace’s warmth.
Yoda in the garden area in front of our big RV.

All dogs want to be good…

Yoda was a young dog in this photograph, maybe 5 to 8 years old? No, thinking on it, he must have been around 9 years here as this was one of my first posted photos and taken when my camera was new…
Yoda was adopted from a shelter and came to us an angry, frightened, biting young pup of somewhere between 9 months and 18 months old, who bit because he thought his food would be eaten by someone else. Looking back on it now, he grew to his full size after we got him, so my guess is he was even younger, perhaps 6 months old, so we made his birthday March 31st, 2014.
He became very overprotective of me. He didn’t like anyone coming up behind me and rubbing my shoulders (maybe someone was choked?), he hated long black coats (a friend wore one to tea), he didn’t like African-American people at all and would bark like crazy! I think he came from a drug house… He did get over his fear of dark-skinned people as he met our new neighbors and came to love visiting with them. It was all in socialization! Detoxing the bad and praising the good things.
He bit all of us at one time or another, and multiple times… It took 10 years of love and non-punishment ~ to work it out of him ~ for Yoda to realize that no one in our household would hurt him, that he could relax and forget the past… and heal. 💕
With love, he blossomed into a good dog who loved meeting people, going for long walks ~ and this is where living in several trailer parks really helped his overcoming his traumatic early days before us. 
He encountered snow for the first time in Texas up in Sanger! He has enjoyed walking in snow every year for a day or part of a day since we moved to Texas.
Yoda enjoying one of his daily walks at beautiful Lake Skinner!  Yoda thought all 14,000 acres belonged to him and his barks at every new dog that came out to camp. (He also barked at the other dogs who belonged to other camp hosts who live here! Lol!)
August 2015, Riverside County Park – Lake Skinner, Winchester, California)
Yoda really enjoyed camping when we moved out of our house. That first fall when many people were done camping for the year, mid-week was mostly empty of people and trailers and this afforded us time to go for long walks and heal from the trauma of moving out of the house, especially for me.
I was most affected by having to “lose our home.” Yoda was probably the second-most affected; he had an $1100 emergency visit to the veterinary on a Saturday night for bleeding in his bowels from stress (after multiple house showings). We all needed to time to detox from losing our house and to adjust to living in a trailer, living somewhere else before moving from California.
These quiet walks in late fall were a blessing for us ~ time alone with God to cry, walk, photograph wildlife, and the lake, and to heal. Grace is a good thing…
Up at Wagon Master RV Park and Alpaca Farm
In the few years after we adopted Yoda, he learned to play and laugh and race around the house! He began the racetrack game in California and would begin his crazy racing from the family room, through the kitchen into the dining room, slipping and sliding around the corner on the travertine tiles, past the bookcases and down the wide hallway back to the dining room again.
At the campgrounds, if he ever got out of the door off-leash, he would race around the yard or around a group of trailers! He was hard to catch when he wanted to race… Such a turkey!
Yoda in 2020, turned 15 this past spring (we think).
Other times he waited comfortably and learned that he could relax with our family ~ out by the pool (in CA) or near the trailers in the cool breezes. 
Yoda helping me photograph in the late afternoon sunlight ~ the Golden Hour.
Helping me garden here in Texas. His cheeks are all white now.
He enjoys our new backyard here in Texas, too, except for the biting “no-see-ums” (mites) and fire ants. When the agony of these biting creatures goes away in the fall, he enjoys lying out in the grass…

Best Friends…

Rusty and owner PJ’s feet ~ PJ never wanted her photo taken!
Two buds sniffing for other dogs and squirrels…
My friend PJ passed away from a short battle with breast cancer in early February 2020, before the Corona Virus really took ahold of the country and the world. I don’t have a picture of PJ but I do have a few photographs of Rusty, her beloved full-bred Lhasa Apso. Rusty is one of a few dogs whom Yoda really liked hanging out with.
You can see in these two photographs why we thought Yoda is probably half Lhasa Apso ~ same body length and height. The fur and face and tail are all Pekingese, though! Our vet thought so, too.
Yoda in the Leaves…
In the early days, I talked a lot with our kids about not throwing away family members, even though Yoda was biting so much (weekly) when we first got him… As a rescue dog, he just needed time with kind people to blossom. So we kept Yoda and worked his troubles out with massive amounts of kindness. It took 10 years for him to outgrow his fears of family injuring him.
Update to what I’d previously written (knowing I wouldn’t feel like writing this obituary right at the time of his passing.): Yoda hasn’t been feeling well for the past year. His urine was really dark and smelly (this is lately). I took him to our vet in February and we decided to put him on medicine to help with nausea so he could eat and drink regularly.
He rebounded! I thought things were going so much better. But, that was only a temporary fix. Basically, this “time” was to give me time, and Yoda time, to get used to his need to “go home.”  He enjoyed being out in the grass under the shade of an oak tree while I worked in the garden. He smiled there!
But, he really started going downhill here a couple of months ago. He made it here until the morning of Flag Day, June 14th. Waking him up this morning, he was really stiff. I just knew; he was ready to go.
Turns out our veterinarian said that he had a stroke. He may have had several over the last few months. Something about the stiffness and the way he held his back legs. The swinging of his head back and forth, trying to “think” but not being able to do so. It was time… So, we all had a good last couple of weeks while I could be home with him and Charles could visit with him during his PTO. We cuddled a lot! I spoon fed him his favorite cooked chicken, veggies and a little cheese. 💖
I am so glad we kept Yoda… He became the great dog he always wanted to be.  🐾
Miss you, Sweet Pup…
                                                                                      Love, Momma 💖