Rainbow Bridge
March 20, 2006

Herman came to us in 1993 along with his pal Rascal. He didn't take long to get used to running our home once he got over the sore muscles from checking out the place so soon after being caged. We heard that he had been thrown over the fence at the pound, and left there with frozen paws. The staff nursed him back to health, and he went to a family with children. It seems he didn't get along with them, and was back to the pound for three months. I was told that his time was coming up that weekend; so, I bought into it and brought him and Rascal home.

They got along fine, but were never close. Rascal had ear mites and a tape worm that had to be medicated; Herman, luckily, never got these. She also went into heat, and Herman, being fixed, didn't have a clue. We had to keep them separated until we could get her spade. It was quite funny to see her face asking for him to come, and he just looked like "What???".

After being tied up in the backyard for awhile, we thought it would be safe to let them roam. Herman decided that he'd like to go potty in a neighbour's beautiful, huge vegetable garden. They tried to catch him several times, apparently, and when they finally did, they took him to the pound. I believe they tried to pay off the staff so that we did not get informed, but luckily, we did go and check out who was there, and brought Herman home. After that, he was tied up again so that there'd be no more problems.

We had a few wonderful years of playing in the backyard and him following me around and becoming  my best buddy. After more than 4 years, he was quite chunky and developed diabetes just before we were supposed to go on holiday. We took him into the vet's, and were told to put him down. We decided to try him on insulin, and see how it went. They started him on PZI, but knew it was going to be discontinued; so sent us home with Humulin U. That was how little they knew about diabetes at the time. He was on one shot for about 5 month, and although he was somewhat better, he could not be regulated. That's when we started him on vetsulin/caninsulin. Herman had had neuropathy for most of this time; it had improved some, but he still struggled to get up stairs. He was an independent chap, and didn't want you to help. Anyway, he went on two shots, and after about a month, we found a dose that seemed to work. His neuropathy finally went away. I tried to do blood testing on him, but couldn't get enough for the meter. I tried again years later with the same results.

Herman lived 7 1/2 years with diabetes, and had problems with stomach ulcers due to medication given to him for his arthritis which was very bad. We had to force feed him for four weeks before he would eat on his own again.  His back legs had some atrophy when we got him, and this seemed to leave an opening for arthritis to hit him hard. He got cataracts from old age, and didn't like to go out on bright days in his last years, but he always loved to go out in the yard while I was gardening. He would often nudge my hand to get some attention while I was digging out weeds, or whatever. I always had to stop and give him some pats, and he taught me just to sit and love the sun and quiet in our yard. He also would join me in the basement where I quilted, and would lean on me until I helped him onto the chair I had there for him to sit on. He would then walk on my lap, and over the machine if  I didn't pause and spend time with him. I will always miss this guy who became my shadow, and would make me stop and enjoy quiet moments with him.

Herman's kidneys started failing badly last fall, and he lost weight and urinated a lot. I thought it had something to do with his diabetes, but unfortunately, it was his body getting old. He continued to lose weight over the next 5 months, and we had trouble getting him to eat. We started feeding him people food which he never touched before, and he got to like things like cooked chicken and shrimps. His final meal was a bit of sardine which he loved.  He had a really bad day before he passed where he would only drink water, urinate tons, and sleep. The final day he seemed a bit better, but we knew we couldn't let him live through another day like that. He went peacefully and with so much trust that I will never forget how he looked as he lay at rest.

He is now running on four good legs in warm sunshine, and rolling in the green grass that he loves. I will try to remember the lessons he taught me about enjoying the quiet times, and  loving with all your heart.To keep trying, and be as independent as possible. Don't complain, but love as much as you can. He was my wonderful boy, and I will always miss him terribly.

Barb Warf

A collage of pictures...Things Herman loved to do!

Angel Herman hunting at The Bridge
Special Thanks to Connie for taking time to make beautiful pictures of our beloved Angels.

 Read Herman's Feline Diabetes Story 

 Rainbow Bridge Memorial Pages 

Herman's Midi Player

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