Though our time with Phoebe was brief, it was long enough to know what a remarkable dog she was with the most amazing resilient spirit, and to feel grateful we had that time together. Long enough to establish a mutual trust and affection, and to fill our hearts with pure love that will stay on with us.
Despite some very unfortunate circumstances, Phoebe carried on like a trooper. Her first four years were spent chained to a backyard fence, neglected. We found each other at a Rocket Dog Rescue adoption fair, after looking for the right dog for a year. Her next four years–before becoming ill first with pancreatitis and then terminal pancreatic cancer and being euthanized on February l0, 2011–were the prime of her life.
“Fun Bun”, as Noah nicknamed her, was in her element during all the many walks we took her on. Nose to the ground, ears perked, nothing escaped her sharp senses. She enjoyed nibbling on grass, chasing squirrels and cats and crows, and occasionally grabbing a gopher from its hole. She was an inveterate scavenger who delighted in finding leftovers and scraps on the ground, and then invariably suffered a digestive upset.
Phoebe was so eager to please all of us in the family. She adapted her walking style to suit our individual paces. Every morning, Jon was privileged to have her wake him up with a lick on the face or a thumping wag against the bed. After feeding her, they went on their daily morning walk. Jon, Lynne, Noah and Talia spent many hours with Phoebe exploring Stern Grove, Fort Funston, the Sunset and Golden Gate Park. She was always game for any adventure. The world was her oyster.
We remember the kind, professional attention given to her in her last month by Dr. Paul Bannow and Dr. Laurie Perlstein of Sunset Vet Hospital. Sanford Johnson and his partner Kimberly of Sunset Pet Supply also deserve mention. Sanford boarded her several times and coaxed a different side out of her–running on the beach, playing with other dogs–with his magic touch. Finally we pay tribute to Pali Boucher, the founder of Rocket Dog Rescue, for her heroism. She saved Phoebe from the pound, rehabilitated her, and fostered her while looking for a permanent home.
We were the lucky ones who had the privilege of bringing Phoebe into our family and loving her for almost four extraordinary years. Our hearts are broken as we say goodbye but also buoyed by the profound joy she brought us.
Lynne Rappaport and Jon, Noah, and Talia Frank