For Ripken

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 42
Posted in: Uncategorized

You were our first. Our sweet boy. Our Missouri dog with the Baltimore name. As a 12-week old puppy, you peed on me as I held you in my lap during the drive from St. Louis where we picked you up to Columbia, MO where we welcomed you home. I considered myself forever marked as your Momma. You were easy to train and eager to please. You developed a fondness for chewing cloth–towels, sheets, pillow corners–but you weren’t a destructive dog. Although you were a Lab, you viewed yourself a lap dog, preferring to lie on us while we held the end of a bone so you could better chew it. You were friendly by birthright as all Labs are, but you really loved other people and were quick to show them affection with kisses. Lots of kisses. And you were a wagger. You wagged that tail all the time. Such a happy boy.

You loved tomatoes and apples and bananas and peanut butter. You could even eat an apple like a person so long as one of us held it and turned it for you. You loved sleeping on your back and using a pillow for your head. You loved being sprayed with the hose in the summer, trying to bite the water as it showered from the nozzle. You loved to play by jumping in and out of the tub, thankfully when it was empty. You loved playing hide and seek and had so much fun when we would jump out and yell, “RAH!” You loved to chew on sticks in the yard. You loved Greenies and rope toys. You loved that soccer ball you found in the park during a January snow day, carrying it all the way home yourself so no one could take it from you.

You loved to travel (just like me). You road-tripped with Daddy, going coast to coast one summer. Lots of people can’t even say they’ve done that! You had a “summer home” in Eugene, Oregon one year and took a spring break trip to Oklahoma. You even lived in two states.

You learned new things throughout your whole life including not sleeping in our bed anymore when you were 6 years old. You also learned to no longer get up on the furniture…except on your corner of the couch. When you were 8 years old, you learned to climb a flight of stairs when we moved to Nebraska into a house with a second floor and basement! And most of all, when you were 10 years old, you learned how to open your heart to welcome a new family member, Peter Parker. You weren’t thrilled with that 7.5 week old puppy at first, but you grew to be Parker’s brother. You showed Parker the ropes and allowed him into our pack.

And now…well, now, you’re still our first. Still our sweet boy. Thank you for 12+ years with us. Thank you for all the kisses, all the snuggles, all the “RAHs.” Thank you for your complete and total unconditional love. You taught me so very much.

I miss you and love you. Now and always. xoxo

42 Responses

  1. Lindsey says:

    Oh, Meghan – I am so sorry for your loss. Ripken sounds like an incredible dog and your bond with him was clearly deep and rich. I’m thinking about you in what I know must be a time of much reflection and grief. xoxo

  2. rebecca says:

    Oh sweetie. I am so sorry. I know that momma love, and I’m sure you melted his heart as much as he melted yours. I’m shedding tears right here with you, and sending you masses of soothing energy. XX

  3. Emily says:

    I’m so sorry Meghan. These pups come into our lives for far too short a time. Ripken was the luckiest puppy in the world to have you and Tony — and Im sure he is in doggie heaven doing everything he loves most. xxoo.

  4. Mary Leach says:


    I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing such sweet stories about Ripken. He sounds like a wonderful companion. Sending love and hugs.

  5. kristen says:

    I’m sorry for your loss Meghan. It’s so hard when our fuzzy family members pass, go easy on yourself. xo

  6. Tom D says:

    Bawling my eyes out here. I’m so so so sorry for your loss.

  7. Corinna says:

    This makes me cry. So sorry for the hard parts. Love you.

  8. Rebecca says:

    This was so beautifully written, Meghan, and the pictures are perfect. So sorry for your loss. There’s nothing like the love of a dog.

  9. Melissa says:

    Meghan, I know that words are little comfort when you lose a furry family member especially one as sweet, loving and devoted as Ripken. We’re sending lots of love to you, T and Parker.

  10. mosey (kim) says:

    Our pets ARE our family, no question. I still miss my dogger and he’s been gone 7 years. So sorry you lost your buddy, Meghan.

  11. melissa says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Sending you big hugs. xo

  12. Karen says:

    lots of love to you and yours.. our animal companions are such a big part of the family.. may he always be in your heart. What a lovely tribute this is.


  13. Laura says:

    Meghan, I’m so sorry for your loss. This brought tears to my eyes. Ripken sounded like a fabulous member of your family. Thank you for sharing these wonderful memories with us.

  14. Jennifer politi says:

    Oh Meghan, I am so sorry read this. The absolute hardest thing. I am so sorry and my heart is breaking for you. Pups are so special and add so much to our lives. I just wish they could stay with us longer.

  15. Darlene says:

    So sorry for your loss – big hugs
    We lost our baby girl boo boo at 18yrs old – cats live longer but it’s never easy letting go.
    Love the tribute to him you made of this post.
    Big hugs

  16. annie says:

    Meghan, what a beautiful tribute to your loyal pal. Unfortunately, I understand this all too well. And being a fellow lab lover I feel deeply for you. I am sending you love and hugs.

  17. Dad says:

    Meg & Tony,
    We tried to phone you as soon as we heard about Ripken. I know that you loved him with all your heart and that you will always remember him.
    He has been a member of the family for a long time and I am sure that Parker misses him too. I remember when I visited that Rip and I would go in the sun room and while I read the paper he played with his rope and put his nose on my lap.
    I will miss him .
    Mom & Dad

  18. ChetG says:

    I was pretty sad yesterday when I saw Ripken’s dad expressing his sorrow over the loss. However reading about how beloved a dog he was for you guys. I wish I had, had the chance to meet him more than the once.


  19. Joan says:

    Meghan & Tony – So very sorry to hear about Ripken. I know he meant the world to both of you and as a dog lover myself, it hurts so much to lose them. Your writing about his life is so wonderful and a great remembance of his many years with both of you. My heart goes out to both of you. I’m sure Parker is also missing his brother and his friend. Your words about Ripken are beyond beautiful.

  20. Tanya says:

    Meghan, I’m so sorry to hear about Ripken’s passing. Reading your tribute, it’s obvious that Ripken was very fortunate to be a part of your family. As an adult, I’ve only had cats, but I can very much relate, since we’ve had to say good-bye to two of our family members within the last few years. It’s never easy, but there will always be the wonderful memories to keep him in your heart.

  21. Grace Moore says:

    What a good mama you are. Thank you for sharing this lovely tribute to your first.
    Love you.

  22. Debra says:

    Such a beautiful tribute Meghan. Of all the “things” he loved, I’m sure that you and Tony were top of the list. So sorry for your loss. xo

  23. Marji says:

    Oh M, I am so sorry for your loss. My Vet told me..God made a mistake with animals. He made their lives too short. Sending you {{{hugs}}}

  24. Thank you for sharing these special memories Meghan. We lost our first 10 ten year-old “baby” Zoe this past summer and it was one of the hardest things we had ever been through. I wish you peace, comfort, and more memories such as these about Ripkin in the next few months.

  25. P.S. This truly moved me to tears.

  26. Leslie says:

    Oh, what sadness! I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet, sweet dog! Hugs to you.

  27. Melanie Gross says:

    Oh Meghan–I’m crying. Ripkin was so lucky to live with you both–such wonderful people–such open and loving owners. Thank you for sharing the writing and the photos. Love to you both!

  28. Toni says:

    Meghan–What a wonderful tribute! My first “baby” was a lab too. Sorry for your loss but thanks for sharing what made him such an important part of your and Tony’s lives!

  29. Denise says:

    Hi Meghan…my heart goes out to you. I’m so sorry to hear of your sadness. Ripkin sounds like my Sam and I KNOW how hard this can be. Sending you a big hug and lot of love from the UK…Denise

  30. What a beautiful tribute to a hall-of-famer. I was honored to be able to read this. “Love on four legs,” is what my brother emailed me when we lost our golden. Thank you for the opportunity to meet Ripkin, and my condolences to you.

  31. Sheila Hughes says:

    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your special boy. We just went through this in July with our lovely Seba. It is so hard when they just give so much of themselves to us. Hold him in your heart. This is such a touching post.

  32. urban muser says:

    as a dog-momma my heart breaks for you. he looks and sounds like an amazing dog. i am so sorry to hear of your loss.

  33. so sorry dear…i loved hearing all about ripken ~ my thoughts and love to you friend. xoxoxoxo

  34. Heather says:

    This brought tears to my eyes! I’m so sorry for your loss.

  35. Celina says:

    Meghan, so so sorry for the loss of your Ripken. May he rest well. Sending you big love.

  36. hillary says:

    the most beautiful doggie eulogy i have ever read. sending so much love to you and tony. xhill

  37. Marcie says:

    And – I sit here with tears rolling down my cheeks. Such a beautiful tribute to your ‘first and best buddy’. So sorry for your loss….

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  39. Sarah says:

    Hi Beautiful! What a lovely tribute to Ripken! You will never completely replace the hole in your heart, but I hope each day, each word of support, each moment of beauty, makes your heart a little fuller. Xxoo

  40. Jess Greene says:

    So sorry Meghan! I dread the day when we lose our first even though it is still a while off. I had dogs growing up but never ones I connected with a loved like the ones we have now. Hugs and much love to you!

  41. […] soon as I think I’m doing okay, coping well with the loss of Ripken, a tidal wave of grief crashes over me. Small things churn these waves. Driving past the […]

  42. Tiffany says:

    Meghan… there are no words… I am sending you positive vibes, healing energy, and strength… I have yet to experience the loss of a dog (and we currently have our Lab (Butters) and Pug (Flora), so this is inevitably in my future. I can only send you love and warm thoughts. You and Tony are amazing.

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