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My spirit shall live on forever.

Today is the first day of the rest of my life in eternal peace and happiness.

canine cancer survivor our hero Jerry

Though my people held me this morning as my body was peacefully laid to rest, my spirit shall live on forever here in this blog and these discussion forums.

We’ll share more experiences from my last days after we’ve had a little time to process my passing. But for now, suffice it to say that I am in a better place. Breathing easy and running free.

Let me just share with you this little Irish Blessing we first heard at my dear old friend Don’s wake. It perfectly summarizes how we want you to feel …

An Irish Blessing

Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free!
I follow the plan God laid for me.

I saw his face, I heard his call,
I took his hand and left it all …
I could not stay another day,
To love, to laugh, to work or play;
Tasks left undone must stay that way.

And if my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss …
Ah yes, these things I, too, shall miss.
My life’s been full, I’ve savoured much;
Good times, good friends, a loved-one’s touch.

Perhaps my time seemed all to brief –
Don’t shorten yours with undue grief.
Be not burdened with tears of sorrow,
Enjoy the sunshine of the morrow.

50 thoughts on “My spirit shall live on forever.”

  1. I love everything that you have done for Jerry to commermorate him and to realize how much he has done. I myself have learned from his story, to live in the moment and to enjoy life for what it is. Even though Jerry has passed away he is still here with us, and we will never forget what he has taught us, or at least I won’t. I think that, even though this post is fairly old, it is still one of the most important, one from Jerry’s time that should not be forgotten. I now realize how lucky he was for having parents that understood how important he was, even though it is simple. All parents of dogs and all pets should take time to enjoy and let their companions enjoy,for they are just as we are, they appreciate attention and need love too. Everyone that knew Jerry well I am sure will miss him, but like I heard from you earlier, Jerry knows that he will see you agin someday and be with you and all that he loved forever, and he would not want you to dweel on him being gone for too long, but to look forward to seing him again one day and to never be separated again. I love Jerry so much. It should do everyone good to realize that for now he is happier because he has gotten his leg back. I know that death is sad but the thing to keep in mind is that everyone including him will never forget the amazing experiences that he got to enjoy here on earth. I beleive that the heaven that he is in now is just like living here with you two before his cancer caught up with him and caused him to get sick and lose a leg. I think it is really truly amazing that it was still possible, for him to have such a great quality of life after he was diagnosed, and that he livedso much longer than expected. Another thing that I think makes me love Jerry so much is because I think that he reminds me of my dogs that I have. Fortunately for me they have not gotten sick and are living happy and healthy. I just wish that I could travel like you and have a dog that would get to have so much fun. I just want to get to see my dog but I only get to see him on every other weekend and it is sad. traveling the way you and Jerry did sounds like a great adventure that would be awesome to do. I would really like to know some of the places you went, all of them looked like beauitful places to visit. I just want to see my dogs right now and give them great big hugs. I would drive over there but I am only 15. They are in for a big surprise this Friday when I give them each a big hug!!! sorry for writing so long but I had so much to say. I wish I could ask more questions but oh well, see ya.

  2. I just read this post… I’m so sorry to hear about Jerry. I found this website last year when I thought my Golden Ginger might have bone cancer. Thankfully the results turned out to be negative, however a few months ago Ginger developed cutaneous lymphoma. She passed away on October 28th 2008.
    If you want you can read more about Ginger here.

  3. Oh, Rene and Jim,

    Peter and I were out of town and out of touch last week. My heart just breaks for you over Jerry’s passing. You guys gave him such an amazing life, so I know for certain that you gave him a good passing as well. We should all be so lucky in the end.

    Peace (and lots of virtual doggie licks, too!),

    Diqui (and Raven, Aiki, Zoey and Timber)

  4. Dear Rene and Jim,

    I just had a chance to visit your site today… I am so, so sorry for the loss of your beloved Jerry…. you have my heartfelt sympathy. Jerry was such an inspiration to so many…. thank you for enabling him to live the quality life that he deserved. He was so blessed to have you for his pawrents…. as you were blessed to have him in your lives. I’m sure he is looking down on you and thanking you for a wonderful life, and a peaceful passing. Please find comfort in knowing that when you set him free, you gave him one last gift… and that gift was given out of your enduring love for him… we take on the pains of broken hearts to ensure our babies no longer suffer. Heaven must be such a wonderful place with all these loving fur souls up there. May God Bless you… I will keep you in my prayers.
    hugs,
    Debbie, Fly & Kimber
    Rainbow Bridge kids: Princess, Sheba, Trouble, and Jerry Lee

  5. Rene and Jim,
    We’re so sad for your loss — Jerry has been, and will be, such an inspiration to so many people who need to hear his story. Thanks for sharing so much of yourselves. I hope Jerry and Barley have tons of fun together until we get to see them again.

    Carey & Gregg

  6. Jim and Rene – Im am so very sorry to learn that Jerry has passed on – like many others here, he had become a household name in our family as I would log on daily and read his blog and then report his progress to my husband. Jerry and his pawrents have been a tremendous life line of support to me while Winston (golden retriever from Seattle) was going through amputation and recovery. Jerry had the most fantastic life and was clearly completely adored. I will miss him hugely. I like to think of him running on 4 legs now, eating sticks and grass rolling to his hearts content..

    Carolyn and Winston

  7. Mate and family just logged on today for the first time in over a week. We did not know it was such a week of ups and downs for Jerry and just want you to know we are thinking about all of you. We will miss Jerry very much, and feel better knowing he is up there with Mate’s son, Blacky who passed in April. They look a lot alike and I am sure they are chasing a giant Kobe beef ball down a grassy hill in slow motion!

    We have been so fortunate to have found Jerry’s website. He has been such an inspiration to all of us (3 legged, 4 legged and 2 legged). Jerry helped us so much throughout our journey with Mate. We could not have done it without his support and encouragement.

    Our thoughts are with you all.

    Long live Jerry,
    Mate and family

  8. We’re so sorry to hear ’bout Jerry Dog. We just ran into old camping pics with him and all 4 of his paws up at Shaver Lake. He’s up there somewhere, running on all 4’s all over again. We’ll miss him this Christmas.

  9. Rene & Jim, there are no words to convey the sadness that we feel for both of you. Jerry will remain with us in spirit forever!

    Take Care
    Elaine & Family
    Riley & Schatzie

  10. oh guys, i am so heartbroken, i just saw this today.
    jerry was such an amazing dog and had such a wonderful spirit. i know we are so blessed to have met him and you both.
    with much love,
    michelle, stephen and sami

  11. Dear Jerry,

    It was a pleasure to meet you and your parents last September. Your energy and spirit will definitely live on and continue to inspire numerous others. I am positive that Finny was waiting for you on the other side with his big Irish Wolfhound grin and tail wagging. The two of you can play, and run, and prance and from time to time pause remember how loved you are by your folks.

    Much love,
    Andrea

  12. Lyrics from Long Time Traveller by the Wailin’ Jennys

    These fleeting charms of earth
    Farewell, your springs of joy are dry
    My soul now seeks another home
    A brighter world on high

    I’m a long time travelling here below
    I’m a long time travelling away from home
    I’m a long time travelling here below
    To lay this body down

    Farewell kind friends whose tender care
    Has long emgaged my love
    Your fond embrace I now exchange
    For better friends above

    I’m a long time travelling here below
    I’m a long time travelling away from home
    I’m a long time travelling here below
    To lay this body down…

  13. Jerry

    As if by some great providence, we met before our journey began. You couldn’t join us then but now you’ll be walking with us the rest of the way.

    May you and Malcolm meet and become eternal mates, my friend.

    We are all blessed by that spirit which is yours…

    Me & the Boys

  14. Oh Jerry, my heart is crying-run fast and run free, sweet boy. Go chase those butterflies at the Bridge till your people come to get you. Thank you for being such an inspiration to all!

    Love always,
    Kathy&Angel Maggie, Mylo, Rusty, Buddy and Pearl.

  15. Jerry had the BEST life with you!

    Somewhere (maybe here?) I read: “Not gone–just gone on ahead.”

    Love and strength to you both.

  16. Jerry I am going to miss you so, you were one of my first real dog pals and I hope to be half the dog you were. I know how much your parents loved you and I wish I could put my head on Rene’s and Jim’s laps to comfort them right now. I am happy to know that you now get to be free of your pain and that your life here was lived to the fullest. My parents are so very sad about your passing and I had to take over the typing since mom couldn’t stop crying.

    I will miss you Jerry and thank you for the wonderful times we had together.

    Love George

  17. Dearest Jerry, I know you’re running free and watching over your pawrents as they cope with their loss. You have been such a godsend to so many doggies and their pawrents. Your family was blessed with the time they had with you, and blessed you with all their love.

    Jerry’s family, please accept deepest sympathy from my family for your loss. We have seen from your blogs and forum comments that you are among the most caring people we know–and we wish we knew you in person. This website is a tribute to your wonderful nature and to Jerry, who will live on in our hearts for years to come.

  18. I will forever be indebted to the message of hope and inspiration that Jerry inspired through his travels, pictures and videos… We’ll see you one day @ the bridge. We love you Jerry.

  19. Go Jerry, run with the wind at your back.
    You will be missed, but the memories of such a wonderful heroic dog will live forever!

    Joel, Ross, Angle Moose, Hazel, River, and Hula

  20. Dear Jim & Renee:
    I am so sad to see that Jerry is gone. I would come to this site for information and positive re-enforcement to help me with my OS dog, Heidi. Jerry inspired and touched so many, including us. We feel like we knew him personally and will miss his blogs very much. Whenever we use our Ruffwear harness we will smile and lovingly think of Jerry. Thank you for allowing us to share in your difficult but necessary journey. We know we have one more brave OS warrior waiting on the other side. Peace.
    David, Karla, and HEIDI

  21. I am SO sorry Jim and Rene. My Mom and I both grabbed a kleenex after reading your posting with the Irish Blessing from my Dad’s wake. Jerry was an amazing dog and such an inspiration to all of us. He was so blessed to have pawrents like you who provided a wonderful life traveling from the pacific to the atlantic ocean. Nothing that is loved is ever lost…No one who has touched a life, who has brought beauty into the world is ever truly gone.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Kathy

  22. Jerr, you were my best bud in that shithole town.You and your people are so special to me… My people are so sad and I’m trying to make them feel better. For some reason, even stinky hoof can’t make this one better….you are in our hearts Yerry.

  23. Jerry we will miss you tremendously especially around the holidays. We always looked forward to your visits when Grandma let all the dogs in instead of out. When we run our agility course we will enjoy the “sushine of the morrow” just like you told us to. Cause your “the dawg” there will never be another like you! xxxooo

  24. Dearest Jim & Rene,

    I didn’t get the feeling that Jerry’s time was this close. Something in me kept hoping and praying that he would do well with his new meds and maybe be able to continue on for awhile longer. I am in total shock seeing this today and I have tears of pain and, also, tears of joy that Jerry no longer has to fight to breathe. I am just so heartbroken right now, I’m not really sure what to say, but Sandra Thomas was most eloquent in her expression of love to you and Jerry. If ever you do make it to Portland, OR, I would love to meet you both. What you have done for the dog community and the kind words and encouragement you have given so many others who are battling cancer in their beloved companions is a testament to what fine people you are. Our deepest condolences to you. Jerry was such an amazing dog and he will live in our hearts forever.

    Love, Blazer, Kitty Kimber & Mom (Vicki T)

  25. What a dog. And what a legacy he has left.

    We will always remember you with great fondness Jerry.

    Jim & Rene – we are so very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your boy and his journey with us all.

    Bev & Darcy and all our family
    xx

  26. Dear, dear Jerry:

    I was getting ready to go to bed, but I felt compelled to check my email one more time and while on the computer, I wanted to check your website. I had checked it earlier this evening, but something said to check it again. When I saw the title of your post, “My spirit shall live on forever”, I said out loud, “oh, no…”

    I had hoped that the new medication, the prednisone, would give you more time with your pawrents, but evidently, it didn’t turn out that way. Although I don’t know the details surrounding your “transition” at this point, one thing I do know, your pawrents did everything they could to help you and give you the best of everything. They did all they could to give you the ultimate quality of life and comfort. Your story, your website, your joy and energy will live on in this website, and I trust that your legacy will live on through your pawrents and this website to help all of the tripawds in the future who will come and visit and learn and live better as a result of learning more through your life and experiences.

    I know that you don’t want anyone to be sad, but I can’t help the tears running down my face. Losing my own dog, Luna, so very recently (Sept. 16th), also makes it hard to hold back the tears, too. I know that Luna is there now, with you, both of you running on four legs again, racing with the wind at your backs. One of the last things I said to Luna before she headed for the Rainbow Bridge, was to look for you, Jerry, and I’m sure that she was. I had wanted her to meet you someday, and several weeks ago, when we learned that her mets had doubled in her lungs, I was planning on taking her out west to see Dr. Mullins and another vet who was using a new type of medication that I thought might help her. I hoped that while we were out there, we could meet your pawrents, and you and Luna could meet and play together. But, alas, that is not how it turned out. Instead, you two ended up at the Rainbow Bridge and are having fun there, instead.

    Jerry, you lasted almost two years, you beat all the odds, and your pawrents did so much to make that long survival time possible. They packed a lot of living into that time, too, and they should feel so good about how many people they have helped during this time, and will help in the future.

    Your spirit will, indeed, live on forever, and you will continue to help so many through this website. We just didn’t want to see you go. I still think about that visit from the “spirit dog”, and no doubt that spirit dog came back to help you cross over that Rainbow Bridge.

    To your pawrents, Jim and Rene, our sincere condolences and love. They could not have done a better job with you, they gave you priceless time and love, something that money cannot buy. I loved that photo of you this week, with the stick, with the mountains in the background, that is the picture of the three of you that I will remember…a beautiful portrait of love im motion.

    Love you, Jerry,

    Sandra Thomas, David Snyder, and the gang, Eik, Sr. & Kora, and their pups: Katrina, Natasha, Xena, Eika, Sasha, Heidi, Bodo, Otto, Eik, Jr., and Angel Luna

  27. Dear Rene and Jim,

    All we can say is that we love you and our thoughts are with you. Jerry G. we will miss you forever. We wish we had been able to meet you but your spirit lives on in all of us tripawds who are here because you and your pawrents shared your story with the world.

    Peace to you sweet one,
    Codie Rae and Martha

  28. Jerry — I never got to meet you but I have heard many wonderful things about you and your people from Luke. You have inspired so many! May you find peace and happiness in your new journey. And may your people find comfort in all you did to help and give hope to others.
    Your friends, Erich, Boris, Dax, Stridor, and Lady Bug

  29. I’m beyond sorry & feel so privileged to have met the amazing Jerry Dawg. His encouragement when I wrote about my own lack of health meant a lot to me & I promise I’ll keep hopping tho’ he no longer has to.

    Fur-kids are inevitably too short-lived yet he made it past his TENth birthday & nearly TWO full years past his diagnosis so he really knew how to combine quality w/what quantity he could muster. Such phenomenal spirits lent to us by God [I know, I know, “dog”] are not only the greatest gifts possible but teach us firsthand the miracle each day is.

    Thank you Jerry (along w/RhodesTer’s & my Taz, Rufus, Ian & Mistoffelees) for all the miracles, the sheer joy of knowing you & the love that will never fade!

    (|_|*to Jerry*|_|)
    “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France

  30. We will miss you dear Jerry. You are now in a better place where there is no pain, no tears, and no more suffering.

    Dear Rene and Jim, I am just speechless right now.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  31. Jerry rest in peace. We love. I am SO SO SO sorry Jim and Rene. We are here for you. I know no words can make the heart break and sadness better. Jerry was a wonderful dog and such an inspiration to ALL of us. Thank you for being so committed to creating this website and helping everyone else. Especially you Jerry G. Dawg. We will always remember you!
    Titan and Heidi

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