Today, Patches crossed the Rainbow Bridge, hopefully to wait with our 4 other canine kids for our arrival in due time. His journey was greatly eased by the expert and compassionate care of Dr Jeannette and Hampton Roads Veterinary Hospice (highest recommendation). I think that had he been able to tell us, Patches would have wanted to pass as he did, without distress, with dignity, in his own home, and with his humans at his side.

Though today is a sad day, Patches had a long and wonderful life that deserves celebration. Small in stature (but sturdy), he was large in spirit. He was a happy dog who loved playing fetch with his ball or his squeaky rubber chicken. Indeed, “play with Patches” became part of the morning routine as he habitually made his wishes to play known often before we could get enough coffee on board. He had us well-trained! A good traveler, Patches enjoyed any number of road trips and excursions. Always eager to jump in to “go for a ride in the car”.

Patches had several jobs. He was the guardian of the house & yard from skinks and squirrels (never caught a 1). He loved helping in the kitchen (Patches cleanup!). His dietary tastes were extensive and eclectic, extending to croutons, frittatas, beer, watermelon, & cool-whip. He was our bird-chaser, a very important role when we had a place in NC & had seagulls frequent our dock. Didn’t have to tell Patches “Git the birds!” to get him to charge out & make the gulls scatter. He was immensely proud of himself afterwards. His crowning bird chasing achievement came after we moved back to VB, when, at age 15 ½ he ran down a great blue heron, which fortunately was able to climb to get away from him. Always a Mommy’s Boy, Patches also had the self-appointed job of keeping an eye on Carol. He quickly became Daddy’s Boy, however, when Carol was away for any length of time, was making loud noises (chopping vegetables), or was annoyed (“accident”).

Carol and I know we’ll come to appreciate Patches’ life in its successful totality with time. For now, however, the house is empty without him and he is very much missed.