In Memoriam: Sherbert the Bulldog

My father said that he knew my grandpa was nearing the end when he started to appear translucent.

That notion has always stuck with me and when I “developed” the above photo last summer – photos from our epic trip to Montana with just Sherbie in tow – I knew that she was fading.

If you recall, we rescued Sherbert six years ago this July, and she came to us a hot mess.
She still had the stitches from her latest c-section after being a breeder in a puppy mill, she was terrified of thunderstorms and belts, and her teeth were ground down to nubs after apparently dining on rocks.

We had no idea how old she was or her personality, but when we saw the shape she was in we had no choice but to whisk her away from her past and into our future.

It turns out her personality was amazing: mellow and lovable from Day 1 she defied all the odds of a rescue dog.

In the first week or so she ate an entire economy size bag of kibble and when we saw the immediate and obscene weight gain we were forced to end her cruise buffet.

But she always loved her groceries and the loss of her appetite was a tell-tale sign that something was wrong. About 7 weeks ago her appetite really started to go. Engineer Dan started to feed her kibble by hand and that got us through a few weeks.

Then came the promised ice cream cone:

ED and I have an unfortunate addiction to ice cream and there happens to be a Dairy Queen within wagon distance. Many a summer (and fall and winter) night we would load Sherbert in her wagon and roll on down to the Dairy Queen. There the local kids would point and pet and smile at the dog in the wagon, but Sherbert only had eyes for one thing: the cone. So I always promised Sherb that one day she would get an ice cream of her very own. Dan always scoffed at the prospect of giving Sherb ice cream, but when the hand kibbling no longer held Sherbert’s interest, one evening Engineer Dan arrived home with a perfectly drippy cone just for Miss Sherb (we gave LB a few licks too and told him he was one lucky dog).
It was everything Sherbert had been been waiting for. She licked and licked and if that dog could have said thank you she would have.
Instead she began to deteriorate more and more and last week we had no choice but to let her go. Dan bundled her up in polar fleece blankets and took her for one long wagon ride, in the rain no less. Then he loaded her into the car for one last drive, through the foothills, her head resting on his leg. And after she ate a few bites of string cheese he said good-bye.
That night Boulder had a thunderstorm; the first I can remember in quite some time.
Rest in peace, Sherbs.

27 Comments
  1. Awwww…I’m so sorry for your loss, Katie and Dan! It’s never easy no matter how you prepare. You’ve probably seen it, but I loved reading the “Rainbow Bridge” poem when we lost our Weim, Mollie, a couple years ago:

    Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
    When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

    All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
    They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

    You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

    Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….

    Huge hugs to you all.

    Allison and Phyllis

  2. I’ve been following your adventures for quite sometime and this breaks my heart. I know that sherbert is in a better place and she had such a wonderful life with you guys!

  3. The Red Hot Chillie Peppers said it best….

    She was a mirror for the sun….never ever really lost….love…..

  4. Dear Sherbie, I am so sorry that you have left us, but you are now with all the other Bullies at the Rainbow Bridge along with my brudder Elmo. We will all miss yuz verby verby much.
    Your bullie friend, Zoe

  5. Sherbie might as well have won the lottery when she found the two of you. Lucky dog, and lucky you for getting to spoil her 🙂

  6. I am so very sorry for your loss. Sherbet was lucky to have you & you were lucky to have her. May you find peace in the fact that Sherb is now healthy & running faster than those bully breaths would ever allow possible here on earth, and waiting until you all meet again.

  7. I have been a fan for awhile now. Always checking in to see the sweet pics. But the one I loved to much was the one that greeted me everytime. Sherbert in the wagon. Thank you for sharing her with all of us, and for this story. Sherbert may you enjoy all the icecream cones you can eat and share with all the others that have crossed the bridge before you and those that will come later. God bless.

  8. I’m wondering if I can post a note with tears clouding the view. The love of a dog runs deep and the love story Sherbie had with you and yours was a “gift” for all of you. Slober away on the cones in doggie heaven Sherb – you have definitely earned them. Love,AK

  9. I’ve been following your blog for nearly 2 years now, ever since i got my bulldog lulu. I loved reading about sherbet and looking at her “stink eye” photos! She reminds me so so much of my baby lulu and my heart breaks for your loss. I’m so very sorry!

    love, jess and lulu
    Perth, Western Australia

  10. It’s never easy to lose a best friend, someone who gave you laughs & love & it’s always too soon. Sherbert was blessed to find you two for the last 6 years of her life! I’m so glad she was meant to be yours, to give her the life she MORE than deserved!

    LB will help with the pain, but you will never forget her (none of us will honestly) & I thank you both so much for bringing her into our lives! Remember the happier times & it will be like she’s there!

    RIP Sherbs!

  11. I am so angry at myself for just now seeing this post since it’s been a while that I’ve been able to just read and catch up on blogs. I’m bawling like this is my own pet.

    I remember a bit ago when a neighbor appeared at my door to tell me another neighbor passed away…and I had no idea who the guy was until Neighbor 1 said, “Buddy’s dad”. I have always known that you can tell a lot about a person by the way they treat their pets, but I also think you become friends with those people through their pets too. And, I’m very upset and sorry for my friends right now. Sorry for your loss.

    Rest in Peace Sherbie, you are sorely missed!

  12. I am just now reading this. I have been so wrapped up in mourning the loss of my 12 year old Bulldog, Sophie, that I just haven’t been on the internet much. I had tears in my eyes reading this post. It’s so hard to lose a beloved pet. They really are members of the family & Bulldogs are so extra special. What a lucky girl Sherbert was to have you! 🙂 RIP Sherbert, and Sophie. xxoo

  13. We have not met, but I’m Jason Delp’s wife. Thank you for your kind message about Lucy. I’m sorry to hear about Sherbert. She sounds like a very loved and special dog who will always remain in your hearts.

  14. Oh you guys, I haven’t been on Urban Bulldog in so long. Shame on me. I didn’t realize you’d lost little Sherbert. What a beautiful bulldog soul. You gave her such a wonderful second life. I will always remember the day we met you guys with Sherb in her wagon. My deepest condolences to you both and LB.
    Big hugs, Jen (Gretchen’s human)

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