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     Rebel was born on May 6, 1994 on a farm south of Decatur, Illinois. He was brought to his home in Decatur on Saturday, July 2, 1994.

     While in Decatur, he dug HUGE holes under the porch, scratched the hardwood floors, knocked grandma down a few times and ate an entire loaf of bread, a pound of baker's chocolate, many remote controls, the doors off of the kitchen cabinets and the legs off of the kitchen table and chairs. He LOVED to play and would always have his friend, Chad, scratched from wrist to elbow, after a play session. He was amazingly strong and so fast that grandpa nick-named him "Lightening". He was the easiest dog to house train...he only messed in the house two or three times, before learning to cry to his dad to go out and bark to come back in. He very quickly learned to shake, stay and even wipe his feet before coming in from the rain.

     In December of 1995, he got a little sister, Sable...he tolerated her. She ran the roost and he put up with her stealing his toys...he acted like it was no big deal. Even though he could take her, if he wanted, he was always a gentleman and would even let her eat first.

     In the fall of 1996, his dad was given a promotion and had to move into the funeral home in Illiopolis, Illinois. He was reluctantly given to a family in Niantic, Illinois, because he was so big and such a "wild-child" that his dad didn't think he would be a good fit for living in a funeral home. His dad dropped him off at his new home in the country, with children, and cried all of the way home. Luckily, he played too rough for his new family. They called, after just a few days, and he was picked-up immediately. A custom 20-foot by 20-foot by 6-foot pen was built behind the funeral home. He stayed in the pen during visitations and funerals and did just fine at the funeral home. He would run all over the small country town and most people in the community got to know him.

     In the summer of 2001, he moved with his family to Peoria. Wow, that was a LONG ride. He NEVER liked riding in cars and would cry, pant and run around like crazy making noises like a monkey. He enjoyed his new, big, fenced in back yard and had really started to mellow out in his old age. Rebel and Sable got their own bedroom at the new house, but his favorite place to sleep was under the bed in the master bedroom. After he was unable to climb the steps, due to his arthritis, he would sleep on the couch, with his head resting on a pillow. He loved having visitors and they, like him, tolerated Sable...but they all loved him.

     After being diagnosed with diabetes in early 2006, he came to the funeral home to live. It was a great opportunity for him! He got to be with his dad all day and his favorite place to lay was in the office, right behind dad's chair...so dad couldn't get up without him knowing. He gained many new friends in the funeral home staff, the meter reader, the sales reps, the neighbors, the mailman, the beauticians, the casket delivery men, the FedEx man and the UPS man...not to mention the many families that he helped console in their time of grief, after losing a loved one. He would love going into the lounge, after a visitation, to see what crumbs he could sniff out.

     When his dad went out of town, the Meadowbrook Veterinary Clinic in Peoria cared for him. There, as always, he gained many friends with his vibrant personality. They all knew him by name and if dad would ever run into one of the staff members, they would always ask how Rebel was doing.

     Over the last few years, his health started failing little by little. He lost his sight and his hearing for the most part; he had many tumors, diabetes and arthritis. He was lovingly cared for by his dad and given medication everyday for his arthritis and prescription dog food and two insulin shots a day for his diabetes. It became more difficult for him to get up from a sleep and he liked being in the funeral home less and less. He just liked to stay in his house in the garage and come out occasionally.

     On the morning of Wednesday, September 3, 2008, he could not stand up. His hind legs had given up, after being ravaged by the arthritis and a degenerative spine disease. He was taken to Meadowbrook and Dr. Polley said that Rebel's body was tired, even though he still had a great spirit. He said that there was nothing he could do long-term and that Rebel may never stand or walk again. With tears in his eyes, he said it was time.

     Dr. Polley left the room to make the preparations and the staff member that was in charge of the kennel, with tears in her eyes, visited Rebel for one last time. She said she loved Rebel, always enjoyed having him and even had a picture of him. Rebel was one of her favorites.

     Dr. Polley returned with Rebel's last shot. Rebel had three final treats, was given his shot and went to sleep very peacefully.

     Not many dogs have had the care, the friends, the love and the satisfaction of helping others as Rebel has had. He will be missed by many.

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.... 


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Latest Memories
Dad
 
An e-mail I received today:
A Dog's Purpose (from a 6-year old).
 
Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolf hound named Belker . The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.
 
I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.
 
As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.
 
The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.
 
The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, 'I know why.'
 
Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.
 
He said, 'People are born so that they can learn how to live a good Life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?' The Six-year-old continued, 'Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.'
 
Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:
 
When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.
 
Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joy ride.
 
Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.
 
Take naps.
 
Stretch before rising.
 
Run, romp, and play daily.
 
Thrive on attention and let people touch you.
 
Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.
 
On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.
 
On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.
 
When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.
 
Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.
 
Be loyal.
 
Never pretend to be something you're not.
 
If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.
 
When someone is having a bad day, be Silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.
From the heart
 

Remember the day you said to me,

"Today you have a home, come see!"

I wagged my tail and gave a bark;

Upon your heart, I made my mark.

 

I'd have a new home and plenty to eat;

I'd always have my favorite treat!

Yes, that's the day that you made me;

The luckiest doggie I ever could be!

 

You gave me baths and trimmed my nails;

You cared for me when my health failed.

The time we shared was so much fun;

We'd cuddle, play, we'd walk, we'd run.

 

Then one day I had to part;

I know my leaving broke your heart.

Please don't be sad, I'm happy here;

Just think of me, I'm always near.

 

Thank you for your care and love;

I'll be watching from above.

Keep helping people and rescue dogs, that's my request.

I ask of you this, because YOU'RE THE BEST!

 

Now that I have earned my wings;

I'd like to tell you one more thing.

Remember you're not left alone;

Your heart is my forever home.

 

Love,

Rebel

 

(Kathy Hllbom Pappas)

Patti Graves
 
Don, I remember the first time I ever met Rebel.  He had his "cone" on : )  He was so sweet and friendly.  He brought happiness, when I came to your office filled with sadness.  Remember all of your good times together.  That surely will make you smile. 
Leslie
 
Don, I balled when I found out about Rebel! He was such a huge sweetheart!!! My mom is heartbroken...that was truly her little buddy! Our thoughts and prayers are with you :)
Elyn Muler
 
Hi Don- wanted to express my deepest sympathies on the passing of your beloved Rebel.  I know how much you loved that boy!  You probably feel like there is a giant hole in your heart.  He was a lucky boy.  He is partying at this moment with 3 of my former pugs, Carl, Oscar, and Bud.   They are drinking beer and eating cheeseburgers. Take care!!!!  Sincerly, Elyn Mulder
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