Saturday, October 13, 2012

Rilda Sue Fish - We Lose An Amazing Person

Rilda passed away on Friday morning, at the age of 62, following a recent diagnosis of lung cancer.  Unfortunately, by the time it was diagnosed, it had already spread to her brain and spinal fluid.  She knew her time left was short, she was diagnosed on July 9th, and fought it with everything she had.

Although Rilda was a smoker, her type of cancer (Adenocarcinoma) may, or may not be smoking related.  In fact, non-smokers often develop this type of lung cancer.  This is also the most common lung cancer in women.  One of Rilda's proudest accomplishments was when she quit smoking, over 5 and a half years ago. 

It's hard to know how any of us would react after hearing the news that you have terminal lung cancer.  On the way home from that appointment, I asked Rilda what she was thinking.  She said, 'I'm worried about my dogs.'  Rilda had 2 dogs, a 13+ yr old Bichon, Ryelee,  and a young 18 month old Schnauzer, Nike.  This was so typical of Rilda, she worried about others, before she worried about herself.  'We'll figure it out, I assured her, and we have.'  Thank you Liz and Fritz for opening your home up to Ryelee!!

Rilda was overwhelmed by the number of people that visited, sent cards, flowers, and money. Friends from high school friend, co-workers at Kwik-Way, and of course dog friends.  The reason was quite obvious, it was because Rilda truly knew how to be a friend.  She always gave, and I don't mean in materialistic things, more than she received.  It takes a very special person to do this, and Rilda was that special.

We talked about a 'bucket list', knowing full well that time was short.  Number one on her list was finishing Ryelee's MACH.  Just a few short days later, Michele Hartzler was able to make that dream a reality.  You see, even by then, Rilda wasn't able to run.  Rilda was so happy!  Of course everyone else was in tears.  What a wonderful day.  Rilda remarked, that it was one of the best days of her life, she'd never felt so much love and support.'Dog people are the BEST.'

Another bucket item, was to see Nike run in her first agility trial.  It was going to be tough; she really hadn't had much agility training.  She didn't even know what weave poles were, but what the heck, we entered her in the Granger trial in September.  Just Novice JWW preferred.  Nike was 20th or so on the waiting list, so didn't think we'd make it in.  But a couple days before closing we'd made it!!  Unfortunately Rilda wasn't well enough to make the trip, but friends Peggy Patters, and Beth Haley were waiting to share video of Nike's runs with her.  Posted on You Tube, right after the run.  It was another great day, as Nike run like she belonged there, with two clean runs.  Even though I had to do the old push pull weaves.  Rilda didn't care!!

Now, just because Rilda was a great friend, that doesn't mean she wasn't ornery.  She like practical jokes along with the rest of us.  My favorite was in Granger in March.  It was Rilda's birthday, and we'd all picked up 12 packs of Diet Pepsi, her favorite.  We weren't sure how we were going to present all this soda, but after she'd set up both of her dog crates (vari type) and left to get the came to us!!  Let's fill her dog crates with the Pepsi 12 packs!  The crates were on the ground, they are fairly solid, and had covers over them, so you couldn't see the pop inside.  Not unless you got down on the ground to look.

So, we filled the crate quickly, with as much as we could, just in time.  Here came Rilda with Ryelee.  He balked a bit, as he went into his kennel, but in he went.  Of course, the orange people were trying to act 'normal', but a few of us had tears in our eyes.  Rilda left to get Sophie, and we all burst out laughing, hushing of course when she returned.  Sophie didn't have as much room left in her crate as Ryelee, and Rilda could not figure out why she wouldn't go it.  Finally, Rildsa got down on her hands and knees, and look inside.  The look on her face was hysterical!!

So many great trips, fun times hanging around with our dogs, and just enjoying our dog peeps!

We will so miss our Rilda Sue, but you can bet, she won't be forgotten!!

Got a story you'd like to share?  I'd love to hear it!