Randi Berger's Recycled Pets Rescue

Randi Berger

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In Memory Of...
“Transcending from earth is merely the pause between two notes in a grand symphony”
by Randi Berger

A Recycled Pets Sweet 16 celebration for Becky "Miller" (Barbara's beloved Terrier-Poo in front), who continues her celebration in heaven.

With an affinity for being in the presence of double-digit dogs, it is not uncommon for one of my main, decorative household items to be wee-wee pads. I have grown quite accustomed to having at least several four-legged senior citizens gracing my space at any given time, with my focus being on the creation of an atmosphere that feels like a celebration for all. The seniors have earned the right to be nurtured and respected unconditionally.

It is a constant challenge to keep our energy high, positive and uplifting for the sake of our pets when it is clear that their bodies and minds are weakening far too rapidly for us. The most sacred part of pet guardianship is to be there to nourish the bodies and souls of our four-legged family members through their last moments on Earth. For the humans left behind, it can be the most taxing experience we may ever know.

Since 1987, when my rescue addiction hit me, I have personally re-homed thousands of pets. In doing so, I have spent time with every new “family” and can remember each moment of adoption from the indelible marks they have all left in my heart. But most recently, I have become aware that my purpose and roles are shifting. Now I find much satisfaction in assisting my adoptive “parents” through the painful transition of letting go, as many are returning to reconnect with me at the end of their pets’ lives. It has been an incredible honor to be a part of this delicate process. I cherish each one of you who entrusted me with my matchmaking skills years ago, but, even more importantly, returned to allow me to console your grieving hearts. Although I too have gone through releasing many of my four-legged life-mates, I have yet to master this experience with grace. I mourn with you all and embrace whatever ways you choose to cope with this inevitable part of life.

As we move through this process, it is important that we remember to suspend judgment and guilt. We must allow ourselves the freedom to react in whatever ways we need and refrain from questioning what is right or wrong. I have seen people pick themselves up immediately after losing their four-legged, life-long companions and return to normalcy the following day. At the other end of the spectrum, I have also dealt with those who have attempted to take their own lives due to the unbearable and enduring pain. For this, I can empathize.

Throughout my life, writing has been my most cathartic tool for helping me cope with my own mourning. I invite you to do so here and send us your deepest thoughts as well as your most treasured photos of your superior four-legged lost loves to share with the world.

My first book, and soon-to-be-released future books, will soothe the most distressed of hearts – infusing readers with faith and hope through this rollercoaster we are all on together... otherwise known as life. Please remember to celebrate all of it, even the pain, and know that you are welcome to contact us if we can comfort you through any part of this process.

Randi Berger
Randi Berger/Founder

Please e-mail photos and memorials to: rsb2018@sbcglobal.net (donations always appreciated but not required).

To have a signed copy of My Recycled Pets: Diary of a Dog Addict or a memorial acknowledgment letter sent to that special someone, go to our Donations page.

In loving memory of "Buckett"
I met “Wrigley” on September 15, 1997. He was tucked away in the very last kennel, in the very last row, housed all alone at an animal shelter in Boulder, Colorado. He was a brindle Great Dane mix, probably crossed with Akita, and he was just gorgeous, despite the fact that he was dreadfully thin. I knew instantaneously that he was my dog; there was no need to debate, I just knew. He became “Buckett, Dear Liza” Belgard.

I have struggled considerably to write a proper memorial for my big boy. I want to let everyone know all of the intricate details of our lives together—every move, every contact, every emotion. But I cannot do that. The relationship I had with Buckett is ineffable, and I fear I will not do him, or his life, justice. So I have decided to tell you what I think HE would want you to know.

Buckett loved rocks. With him, there was no “playing fetch,” no “tug-o-war,” no enjoyment whatsoever in any doggie-safe chew toys. There were only rocks. Buckett would take his giant forepaws and place them in front of each stone, and use the strength in his highly muscular back legs to drag them around the backyard for hours. Whether in a straight line, circular pattern, or somewhere in between, no lawn or plant was safe when in the path of him and his rocks. If the rocks were small enough, he would put his giant maw around them, take them to another part of the yard, and start over. Bricks and stepping-stones also fell into Buckett’s category of “adequate playthings.” If you knew Buckett, you knew about his utmost passion for rocks.

At first, I thought he must be terribly bored. Why else would he do this every single day? What is so interesting about a rock? So, we tried snowshoeing in the mountains of Colorado. As I stumbled, and mostly fell on my face during these treks, Buckett would gracefully leap ahead and suddenly disappear into a 4 or 5-foot snow bank. And, he always reappeared with a rock.

So we tried swimming. For a moment or so, he might be distracted by waterfowl, but then there he would be, standing in shoulder-high water, searching for, and of course finding, a rock. Buckett loved rocks.

In truth, Buckett was my rock. He was solid, strong, and independent. He was handsome, strapping, and brave, yet gentle, calm, and genuinely loving. He accepted all creatures into our home, and was happy to share his heart with them. He knew when they were ailing and they were always welcome to sleep by his side, basking in his love and kindness. I basked in that love for 12 years. He was an essential and core soul in my life. I think somehow I believed he would never leave.

Buckett’s earthly exterior changed over the years, as does the surface of all rocks. Gray hairs appeared, his hearing failed, and his legs became stiff and arthritic. But, nothing in the world would keep him away from those stones that he loved so much. In the end, he had only one sick day—September 1, 2009—the day where my beautiful, caring, compassionate man left this earth. But, just like the stones he played with, Buckett will always be part of the landscape of my life. He will live in my heart, my soul, and my dreams. Dad and I will be using your rocks in a garden created in your honor. Please come visit them whenever you like, old man.

Lisa Saxton was one of Recycled Pets' most loyal friends, volunteers and foster moms. On April 19, 2005 Lisa transcended, leaving behind her 4-legged family. Thank you to Lisa's friends who adopted her dogs as though they were their own. Lisa's departure in her early forties, is a reminder to us all to celebrate each day... as though it were our last.
Suzi came to us for a 13 year stay. She took over our hearts and our home. If anyone tells you that grown men don't cry, tell 'em you know one that says they lie! Kiss your dogs for me and tell 'em I love them.
Bob Ross, Oregon
(one of Recycled Pets most loyal supporters)

In Loving Memory of Poppy

Yesterday January 19, 2006 @ 4:00pm, my beloved Poppy passed in my arms. It was very peaceful. She is now free of her pain and no longer suffering.

Poppy was a miracle dog in the fact that she survived well over one and a half years passed the 3-6 months the doctor gave her. She had a very aggressive cancer. After trying everything one could imagine, she lost her battle but not without a fight. It was only last week that Poppy was at the park wagging her tail, barking, playing ball and chasing squirrels. Her two favorite things to do. She had the most vibrant personality of any dog I have ever met and was always happy no matter what. She loved life and people. In spite of how sick she really was, she never showed it or complained. I would always shake my head in disbelief when I saw her in action. She was truly amazing and I always thought to myself I wish her doctor could see her now. She was always wagging her tail and smiling. She wagged when we went for a walk (the whole time) to the park, and even while drinking her water and just for the heck of it. She gave sooo much love to me and the people she befriended. Poppy also allowed me to do what ever it was I needed to do to her to try and keep her healthy. She was very compassionate and courageous and brought many people joy when doing her pet therapy for six of her eight years of life.

I miss her so much and I will never forget the happiness and joy she brought to my life as well as others. I also know some of you will also miss her too. She wanted to be friends with everybody. Selki and Midnight are also very sad. Midnight went in and out several times last night and looked for Poppy. The cats are sad too.

I want to thank everyone for their support and always asking how Poppy was doing. She is now at the Rainbow Bridge and I will one day meet up with her again. She certainly has left her legacy behind. Even everybody at the animal hospital knew about Poppy and what a true miracle she was and she’s even in a friend of mines movie. I was so blessed to have her in my life as long as I did and I will never forget the joy she brought me.
Randi Besse

Autumn Nest

Bluebell Nest

In memory of Nest, my sweet girl. When you died you took the best part of me.
Til we meet again in the bluebell woods.

Mouse and Mackie

In memory of Mouse and Mackie, two fine terrier chaps and proper little men. May your time in terrier heaven be filled with slow-running rabbits and very friendly lady dogs.

Bumble Bee PotterBumble Bee Potter
Bumble Bee was rescued from death row at the Camarillo shelter in 1999, She'd been very abused and was a shy little girl who's vocal cords had been cut and with numerous health issues. She had been in seven homes.

Since we agree to help with any pet we have rescued for its entire life, Randi ended up keeping Bumble Bee after several other unsuccessful attempts in placing her. Randi wanted her to have a life with stability and unconditional love. Bumble Bee still had health issues to fight, but sadly the last straw for her was the loss of her adopted "sister" Hazel.

Hazel, too had been abused and the two dogs became very close for the 10 years they were together. Hazel passed away in September and Bumble Bee did not want to be here without her. She stopped eating the day Hazel died and nothing we could do could bring her back. Now they're together forever and our lives were blessed by them both.

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