Ryan’s Memory

This story was originally shared TheAnimalRescueSite.GreaterGood.com. Submit your own rescue story here. Your story just might be the next to be featured on our blog!

My late daughter Ryan had been on me to get her a dog forever, as we had to go to PetsMart every Saturday to pet the dogs. I finally relented in February of 2006, and we brought home one of a litter of five from an outing at the rescue.


Sadly, Ryan passed away only three months later, but her new puppy brought some joy to her life… a life that had not been very kind. Getting the chance to see a dream come true for my precious daughter made me regret not having given in sooner, but eternally grateful that I gave in when I did.

She was so proud of her puppy, and shared that joy with everyone she encountered leading up to her decision to stop kidney dialysis, and die on her terms.

After Ryan passed away, my first reaction was to get rid of Abby, (that was Ryan’s chosen name for her), because I didn’t think I could live with the constant reminder of the staggering pain from her loss.

I quickly realized this wasn’t an option, as Abby wasn’t a reminder of the pain of a loss, but instead a reminder of the joy she brought to Ryan in her final days. In the six years since her death, Abby has brought so much joy to my life, being my best friend, and keeping a bit of Ryan with me everyday.


I know one day I will face again the staggering pain of loss when I have to say goodbye to Abby, and subsequently that little piece of Ryan she has represented.

I can only hope that when that day comes, I will find the strength to focus not on the loss, but on the unspeakable joy that Abby brought to Ryan’s life as well as my own.

Story submitted by Ed C. of Auburn, Alabama.

Abby’s story was originally shared on theanimalrescuesite.greatergood.com. Share your very own rescue story here!

Help Rescue Animals

Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free!