When our furry loved ones receive devastating health news, it can be extremely difficult to stay positive. The following submission sent to us by Judy Fridono of the account of her 13-year old lab Rina's celebration of life in Vegas might help provide some hope, inspiration and positivity for anyone in the mist of caring for an aging pet with health issues:
My dog Rina is 13 years old, the sister of Surf Dog Ricochet, and has been plagued with three different illnesses in a seven month period. First it was cancer, then laryngeal paralysis and then vestibular syndrome. Her health is worsening and she’s getting weaker. But instead of dreading her age, I decided to take her to Vegas to celebrate her life!
Rina's Rover the Hill, Shoe La-La Pawty:
Rina loves to be outdoors, so a hotel with a balcony was of utmost importance. Not too many hotels in Vegas have balconies, but the Platinum Hotel does, and they're dog friendly too! Not only that, they comped the room!
Rina has carried shoes around since she was a puppy. So we made the theme of this adventure: shoes.
The Great Las Vegas Shoe Hunt:
Stilettos on The Strip
This four day "sole" searching hunt had Rina and her Shoe Crew flip-flopping all over Vegas hunting for as many unusual shoes as they could find. Their shoe rendezvous had Vegas unlaced with stilettos on the strip, and Rina was head over heels with each find.
The Jaleo restaurant in the Cosmopolitan hotel serves Croquetas de Pollo (spanish chicken fritters) in a shoe. Rina couldn't believe she could eat chicken out of a shoe!
At the Cosmopolitan Hotel Rina discovered a giant high heel. Although Rina's physical limitations kept her from getting inside the shoe, she was just as happy to be beside it!
Shoes, Brews & BBQ:
Everyone wore their favorite sneakers and kicked it with Rina for her birthday pawty… shoe-la-la style. The BBQ menu had items like heels & hot dogs, Las Vegas loafers, shoestring potatoes, Viva Las laces and more. Then there were the shoe-aholic drinks like blue suede shoes and shoe’ters.
Goodie Two Shoes Fundraiser:
In lieu of birthday gifts, Rina asked everyone to lift their "sole" and donate to her fundraiser for the Goodie Two Shoes Foundation (GTSF). GTSF provides new shoes to disadvantaged children and children in crisis.
Thanks to Surf Dog Ricochet and Rina's pawesome supporters, $12,000 was raised which fitted 440 kids with new shoes!
The smile on Rina's face says it all. She may not be as young and healthy as she once was, but she is happy!
This is the last quarter of Rina’s life and a time to celebrate. I will have enough time to be sad later. For now, it’s all about fun, laughter, doing things she enjoys and letting her know how much she is loved.
For the complete Rina in Vegas story, click here.
Thank you Judy for sharing such a wonderful story!