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July 22, 2008


Goodbye Laddie. You are at peace now. Shasta, I hope you find a new friend soon.

My deepest condolences on the loss of your beloved Laddie. Thank you for sharing the photos.

You will be missed Laddie!!

I am deeply sorry to hear about Laddie's passing. You and Alayne have a faithful, loving, support group who hold you during these difficult times of loss.
Part of your support group holds a true treasure...Dr. Taylor. Thank you for your comforting comment to Steve as Laddie's soul had left his body.
You are all so amazing and you've made an irreversible impact in the lives of many animals (and people).
Sending comfort and love to you; Alayne and Shasta.
Rest peacefully sweet Laddie; you will always be loved.

Dear Steve & Alayne, we are so sorry about Laddie. Hope the care & love of all your friends across the world will help you through your grief. I wish I could have met Laddie, I know he must have been a very special boy.

Steve and Alayne,
I missed this blog yesterday as I was working out of town, and today my heart is going out to you both and your staff. Laddie was such a beauty, I am so very sorry for your loss. He is out of pain now, as hard as it is for you, you did the right thing.

Take Care,

Debbie B.

Dear Alayne and Steve--My thoughts and prayers are with you.

My heart goes out to you for your loss of Laddie. I had to put my beloved Vanna White to sleep yesterday and so I know the terrible heartache. She was totally healthy from the waist to her head but her hind end neurological disorder had deteriorated to the point she could no longer have a bowel movement by herself. We did "manual poop extractions" until the system just shut down and there was nothing more that could be done. And yet she was still vibrant and playful and happy and a chow hound to the end. She was the most wonderful dog ever and as you said about Laddie--one in a lifetime. The house is so very empty and lonely. The only comfort is to know that grief for the loss of a pet is shared and understood by others like you and the realization that we have been privileged to know such angelic creatures. You are in my thoughts and prayers!

Steve & Alayne-I am so saddened to read of Laddies passing. Again, you have had to make the most difficult decision in life, and you uphold such compassion, and wisdom, and mercy, each time you are faced with this heartwrenching duty. In all my life, I have never known anyone with such loving hearts and strength of character as you two. Thru my tears, I send you my hope and prayers to ease your grief, and help you find solace in the memories of such a Treasured horse/friend. The pictures you shared really said it all.... every animal life is deserving of a dignified passing, in the company of those who love them most! God Bless you. Many hugs, Barbara (& Joe)

As I read this with tears streaming I am filled with grief for you, Alayne, Shasta & all your animal family. Thank you for sharing this with us with such beautiful pictures especially the one with Shasta. You all help me to always remember that every single moment counts & to never take any time we have for granted. Our pets are our family & a significant part of our lives. I admire you all so much for what you do every single day. I know each loss is heartbreaking for you but that just shows me what beautiful people you are & how very lucky all of these animals are to be with you each moment of their lives. You all have become so much a part of my daily life. Thank you for the beautiful, happy life that you gave to Laddie & know that she is now running & playing in the beautiful sunshine & green grass & will be waiting at Rainbow Bridge. God's blessings & comfort to all of you.

Every time I read one of these sad posts, I start tearing up. I can only imagine what it's like for you. Rest in Peace Laddie.

It never gets any easier. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for giving Laddie such a wonderful life for as long as you could. I hope Shasta can find another buddy to help him over this loss.

Know that we are crying with you. While we cannot fully understand your loss, you bring these animals to life in the stories you share and they touch us. God bless you all. God bless Laddie. Perhaps he is somewhere playing with Scout and Lonesome George and the others today.

RIP, sweet Laddie. Your sweetness will linger always.

In humans as in animals, below-the-knee amputations are much better candidates for prosthetics. It is interesting to note that a horse at Best Friends in Utah, Riley, recently had a below-the-knee amputation and so far has successfully accepted her prosthetic. (Read about her ongoing recovery starting at

I am so sorry for your loss. You did everything you could and I know Laddie had a wonderful life at your ranch.

How do you do it? You give every animal your all, your hearts get broken over and over, and yet you are able to grieve, find perspective, move on and refocus on what remains. Your example teaches me so much about how to accept the fact that life is uncertain and to find joy in what I have today. Thank you for that. And God be with you as you say goodbye to Laddie.

I am so sorry to hear about Laddie. My 25 year Quarter Horse, Strider also has a very arthritic knee and I dread the day that I will have to make this descsion. Just for your info-chech out Best Friends Guardian Angles, Riely. She is a full size horse that was fitted with a artifical leg above the hock - rear leg. I can't believe the amazing things that are available for horeses now. Once again my thougts and prayers are with you both. Here is my experience with putting my beautiful dog Tanner to sleep two weeks ago. It never gets easier.


Lives are made of years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, seconds, relentlessly ticking away. Moment by moment, strung together equals the sum of what and who we are- moment by moment. I am sitting here on this cold tile floor trying with all my might to stop that enemy called time. You are lying next to me, panting nervously- you never did like this place. This is the moment that I have been dreading from the first time I saw you. Oh it was a fleeting thought while you where young and full of energy just a slight shadow that intruded every now and then, someday, someday… Then one day that shadow became a fear as I noticed the grey on your muzzle and realized that time had been marching on and our moments together were precious not to be wasted. Today that fear became a reality.

I am crying as the vet comes in to give you a sedative. Jim, has been talking about what a great life you have had, all the hikes, runs, camping trips-he stops abruptly and stares at the ceiling. The vet gives you a shot and tells us that this will help calm you down and make you sleepy. We know,we have been through this twice already in the last year. Jim feeds you dog biscuits which you gobble up. You lick away my tears and lay your head down with a sigh. I am sobbing now, burying my face in your furry neck I feel each breath you take. The vet comes back in the room; I hear the clipper buzz as she shaves off a spot on your hind leg. I take a quick glance and see that she is about to administer the shot. I hold on to you, to this moment your last and my first with out you. I feel your last breath and still I hold on. But time stops for no one and the next moment pushes its way into life and you are gone.

Tanner – May 23, 1996-July 3, 2008

Chris Benton

I read your blog through tears this morning. My heart goes out to you both and Shasta for your very big loss. The pictures were heartbreaking, the love very visible. Looking for words of solace, I turned this morning to one of my favorite books "Animal Blessings" that had a prayer by Margaret Anne Huffman that seemed very appropriate for Laddie.
"Farewell, Old Friend"
Thank you for your hand on the shovel, Lord, for it's nearly impossible to dig an old friend's grave through tears. As we lay him to rest, we feel his great spirit, healthy, whole, and spry once more, moseying contentedly along beloved paths. Our memories will always know we have have been improved by our life together. Come next spring, there will be tender, lush grass or perhaps a trailing flower or two, on the healing grave, spread as gently as only you and Mother Nature can do when given a little time-and friends' tears that fall like gentle, remembering rain.

Pet Shasta for me.

I am SO sorry about Laddie....very hard to read about him this morning. Thank you so much for giving him a good life. You guys are wonderful and I'm sure it's so hard this year.

I'm so very very sorry for your loss of Laddie. What a beautiful horse he was. Just be proud that you gave him the best years he could have had at the ranch. And he'll be waiting at the Rainbow Bridge. I truly hope Shasta will find a new friend, to take the pain away for her as well. God bless you both.

My heart aches for you and Shasta. I know how very much you will miss Laddie.

I hope you & Alayne will find some comfort in knowing how much you've helped Laddie by giving him so much love, care & compassion over the years. It's because of you that he had such a great quality of life. I send you special thoughts during this time of your grief.
With special hugs,
ginger, Tobias & Tlingit

Words are cold comfort at a time like this...but I want you to know we are all grieving with you. You gave him the best care he could possibly have had....and you did the right thing at the right time. So sorry for your loss.

Dear Steve & Alayne, you cannot see the tears streaming down my cheeks,either.

As you know, on June 16 I lost my beloved mare, Fumosa, who was 27. That is why I can feel your sorrow over Laddie's death: because we are all grieving the loss of cherished members of our families.

I'm sure Fumosa was at the Rainbow Bridge to welcome Laddie and they're now running around the fields of heaven together, kicking up their heels, and prancing in sheer exuberance.

A huge hug to you and Shasta from Italy.

Alayne and Steve, thinking of you and of Shasta... Thank you for the pictures, especially the one where he has gone on and the special one with Shasta at his side. Somehow seeing him lie down makes the story complete (maybe that is the same for Shasta too?).

Thank you Carolyn, for the thought that our loved ones have their own script, that is so true.

My heart breaks for you and Alayne. Please accept my sympathies. Sometimes the right decision ends up being the one that tears you up.

I'm so sorry. My heart breaks and the tears flow for your loss. The picture of Laddie and Shasta is almost too much to bear. Rolling Dog Ranch does everything for the animals with complete dignity! I knew it was only a matter of time to read of such loss on the blog again. Thank you and treating each and everyone of the RDR residents with such heart and compassion. I know you will miss Laddie greatly. My prayer will be with Shasta. It’s never, never easy to say goodbye!! To see Steve looking in Laddie's big beautiful eyes makes me cry even more!

It was so sad for me to read the post about Laddie. How much more difficult it is to go through this when the animal is relatively young. My doxie Toby is in poor health and I realize that one of these days I will have to make "the decision". I just hope that I make it at the right time like you did with Laddie. (((HUGS))) to Steve, Alayne and Shasta at this sad time.

I cried and cried when I read this post earlier, and I went immediately to each of my beloved animals to spend some quality time with them. I come back now to tell you how truly sorry I am to hear about Laddie. I can only imagine what an agonizing decision it was for you, but I am sure it was the right one. Laddie will be happy and comfortable now, and he will realize how very very much he was loved.
I believe that we will see our wonderful pets again someday, and until that time I take comfort in being with the ones who are still with me and in knowing that the ones that aren't have each other and are doing just fine and waiting for me...

My god you are brave.

Thank you for doing the right thing for Laddie at the right time - like Erin said. Laddie is RUNNING free and happy over the Bridge, that's for sure!

Oh boy, the tears are rolling down my face now. What a tough decision and a tough day. I have two disabled dogs, one with 4 bad legs (if you can imagine). We're doing very well right now, very well, but I know his pain level will be THE factor in deciding when his life is too painful for him to bear. And I so dread that day. I do. For tonight, though, I'll hug him close.

Oh you guys!! Steve you told me about Laddie this weekend but I didn't think it was going to be this soon!!! My heart breaks for you both. I'm glad you have started the end-of-life ritual. I know our animals truly do mourn for their friends just as we do. Know all us blog readers and faithful volunteers are thinking of you both at this sad time!!

My heart is grieving over the loss of your beautiful Laddie. Please take comfort in knowing Laddie had a wonderful life at RDR surrounded by people and animal friends who loved him.May Laddie be running free in the warm sunshine and sweet green pastures. Till we meet again sweet boy.....

I am sorry to hear about Laddie. The pictures in the post were beautiful - especially the one with Shasta. May the memories of laddie give you comfort. My prayers go out to you and Alayne.

My heart goes out to both of you....loss is so hard, and animals are so innocent, which makes it doubly hard to lose them. Thank you for giving them the second chance and quality of life that you do. I'm praying for comfort for you guys.

I'm so sorry for your loss. My heart aches for you and Alayne...having to make that final decision is never easy - but you did the right thing for Laddie. He's in peace now running healthy and free in horse heaven. My thoughts are with you.

I am so sorry you had to go thru this yet again, I was just think you hadn't lost anyone in a long while. I know it is inevitable when you have so many animals, but that doesn't make it hurt any less I am sure. He was a beautiful boy & you gave him time he would not have had with anyone else. You did the right thing, but still it is so hard. I am going thru this with my cat right now, it isn't time yet but soon & my heart is already breaking. Bless you for all you do.

Steve & Alayna, I'm sorry for the loss of Laddie. He was a beautiful animal. I hope Shasta gets along well with a new partner. Animals greive too in their own way. God bless you.

Our hearts are breaking for you. This is truly the hardest and most cruel part of loving animals.

Laddie had a good life with you all on the Ranch with all his friends and your attentive care.

It still hurts so much to loose one; you must take solace from the love you gave him, the wonderful memories you'll have, and courage you had to make the right decision, regardless of how hard it was to do.

Bless you for all you do.

So very sorry for your loss!!! As I graple with the recent death of my beloved due to heart disease, JT, the feline from the King County Animal Shelter, I came to realize that this was not the script for his life that I would have written. Rather, it was the script for his life that God had written for him. That thought truly gave me peace with his passing. Both Laddie and JT were blessed with their rescuers. But we know we were really the lucky ones. Big hugs to everyone at RDR.

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