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Here is a picture of Katie, my diabetic dog. AND MY RATHER LONG story about my life with dogs. If you have a few moments, here I go.
On December 11th, 1994, I was driving home from work. It was 5 below zero on this night here in Iowa. Just days before it had been warmer, and rained. The roads were covered in ice, making driving very hazardous. I was driving slowly, through my neighborhood, when up ahead I saw a black furry mass, barely moving, on the ice. The dog was unable to cross the road, I made an attempt to slow, and stop, and slid, just missing the dog. She had ice on her fur, was scared, and shivering. So frozen, she could barely walk. I turned my car heat on low, and put her in the back seat, not wanting to thaw her out too quickly, and make her ill. She looked around 30 lb., and appeared a puppy, or young dog. Leaving her in the car, I made a door to door canvas, seeking an owner. No one knew the dog. I took her home, we warmed her up, and fed her. Next day, I made all the standard calls, reporting a found dog. Put an ad in the paper, and took her to my Vet, who did a free examination. (We had a 5 mo. old puppy already) Vet said, she had one baby tooth left, so he guessed her age at no older than 6 months. He said she looked to be a lab/golden mix. My male pup, Teddy,( a Shep/lab/rot mix, looking like a white German Shep.) loved her, so we decided to let her stay with us until the owner was found. Ironically, I had just saved Teddy, also freezing outdoors, just a month before in Nebraska (But that's another story, very heart wrenching) It did not take long for me to realize, this black puppy had been abused. Puppies should not be afraid of brooms and fly swatters, and cower when a man tries to pet them. No one claimed her, and I began to wonder, even if someone did, would I be willing to give her to a person who put her through this.
           She was such a good girl. The only command she knew, was stay. And stay she did. She pee'd on the floor on day one, but was trained in 24 hours.  We named her Katelynn Anna Marie, Katie for short. About a week after her arrival, my male dog became sick. He had Parvo. My husband blamed it on "that black dog" ...Katie did not have parvo, only Teddy.  It was our fault, not getting Teddy his shots fast enough, he had been to a vet, but I needed 2 weeks before shots, waiting on my next pay check.
Teddy almost died. During his 3 days at the vet, Katie was so depressed. She missed him so. I knew I had to keep her. She was so wonderful. 

Time passed

We now had 2 dogs. We knew Katie needed to be spayed within 6 months, with a male and female in the house, and had made arrangements, but her heat began prior to the appointment. We had to go out, and locked Katie in the bedroom, leaving Teddy roam of the house. We came home, and actually found the bedroom door, and entire door frame in the hallway! Somehow, they'd broke down the door. Soon we had 10 puppies, there were 11, but one got stuck in the birth canal. I made every effort to revive him, but he was so long gone. My bond to these dogs was so strong now. Those puppies were like my grand kids. Katie was a natural Mom, still a pup, but she was great, and defended those pups, from everyone but me. Both dogs, were mixed breed, so my ad in the paper read. "Mixed breed Puppies, free to good home. We own both parents. They'll chew, they'll bark, they'll grow to be dogs. If not ready for a lifetime commitment, do not bother to call. Proof of Intention of Vet, and 1st set of shots required." This ad was very effective! People were nervous, almost acting like they were being interviewed to own one of our puppies!

Time passed. We kept in touch with 5 of the puppies, some even came for visits. Though my male looks like a white G. Shep. His tiny bit of Rotty came through, in one pup, named Baasha. Baasha grew to be 120 lbs. while still a pup! He came to see Katie, Mom, she weighed just 85 lb, but put that big boy in his place, as he submitted and flipped on his back. He knew his Mommy! Katie had grown into such a strong, loving, maternal, Alpha dog. I know it's not always right, bringing more mix breed pups into the world, but Katie needed to be a Mom, glad she got a chance.

Time Passed.

In December of 2001. 7 years after we found her, Katie became very ill. My husband and I cared for his (my husbands) diabetic father for years before his death. I knew the signs of diabetes, I knew what happens when not treated well, my father in law refused to follow doctors orders, and died almost blind, with heart problems and kidney failure. Even before the vet said so, I knew Katie was diabetic. I have no intention of watching her die, like my Father in Law did. Richard (my father in law, LOVED my dogs, and I know he smiles down on them) It's been nearly a year, with no complications. It's expensive. (prescription dog food and insulin) it's a huge responsibility, it's hard, worrying, knowing, that something could go wrong. I hate knowing my male dog, (who beat death, 4 times, Being born in a sewer pipe, Parvo, a fire, and hit by a car (another story!) will outlive Katie, most likely.

I love both of my dogs sooo much.

So this is my story. I'd have told you all of it, (like about Teddy, the death defying dog) but just this much has taken a full page! Hope I did not bore you too much!  Thanks for listening, and having so much love and compassion for dogs, and other animals.

Hoping to be Friends,

     RondaLee Solomon-Pardee

RondaLee made the beautiful rainbow graphics found on  this page on

To view more of her work go to her website

I am hoping to convince Ronda to make some graphics for some of the rainbow bridge pages.

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