My dog Rina turns 13 years old today. She’s the sister of Surf Dog Ricochet and has been plagued with three different illnesses in a seven month period. First it was cancer, then laryngeal paralysis and then vestibular syndrome. Her health is worsening and she’s getting weaker. But instead of dreading her age, I decided to take her to Vegas to celebrate her life!
RINA’S ROVER THE HILL, SHOE LA-LA PAWTY: Rina has carried shoes around since she was a puppy. So the theme of this adventure was shoes.
Vegas just wouldn’t be Vegas without an Elvis impersonator. The very gracious Charlie Franks donated his time and talent. He sang Blue Suede Shoes, Hound Dog and Happy Birthday to Rina. If you’re going to Vegas, be sure to catch his new show, “Elvis Never Left the Building”. More info can be found on his website http://www.
Rina was thrilled when we found a shoe car at Quality Shoe Repair & Luggage.
INDIANA BONES SHOE’FARI: Rina and her shoe crew kicked up their paws with Pink Jeep Tours Las Vegas who sponsored a two hour tour of the Vegas strip. Rina and her crew wore pink Shoe’fari gear as they cruised the strip.
Indiana Bones in all her Shoe’fari gear
This lovely couple allowed Rina to be the flower girl at their wedding. We forgot the flowers, so the bride took a rose from her bouquet and gave it to Rina.
Rina loves to be outdoors, so a hotel with a balcony was of utmost importance. Not too many hotels in Vegas have balconies, but the Platinum Hotel does, and their dog friendly too! Not only that, they comped the room!
STILETTO’S ON THE STRIP – The Great Las Vegas Shoe Hunt: This four day SOLE searching hunt had Rina and her SHOE crew FLIP FLOPPING all over Vegas hunting for as many unusual SHOES as they could find. Their SHOE rendezvous had Vegas UNLACED with STILETTOS on the strip, and Rina was head over HEELS with each find.
RollaSole has vending machines all over Vegas so when your feet get tired from partying, you can slip into some flats. Of course Rina had to get a pair!
Urban Necessities has a claw game where you could win shoes. Although Rina’s Shoe Crew tried to win a pair, they weren’t so lucky.
The Jaleo restaurant in the Cosmopolitan hotel serves Croquetas de Pollo (spanish chicken fritters) in a shoe. Rina couldn’t believe she could eat chicken out of a shoe!
Also in the Cosmopolitan Hotel is this giant high heel. Although Rina’s physical limitations kept her from getting inside the shoe, she was just as happy to be beside it!
Rina gave cancer the boot, so finding this shoe car was even more special.
Rina took some time out to have her paws shined!
This giant shoe was at the Miracle Mile shops
LET’S GLOW SHOE CRAZY ON FREMONT STREET: The plan was for Rina and her shoe crew to STEP OUT to experience Fremont Street in their glow in the dark stuff. But, Rina was too tired, so her crew brought a Rina face fan.
SHOES, BREWS & BBQ: Everyone wore their favorite SNEAKERS and KICKED IT with Rina for her birthday pawty… shoe-la-la style. The BBQ menu had items like HEELS & hot dogs, Las Vegas LOAFERS, SHOESTRING potaTOES, Viva Las LACES and more. And then there were the SHOE-aholic drinks like blue suede SHOES, SHOE’ters and SPIKED punch (not really, it was all straight LACED drinks).
Elvis gifted Rina with an autographed scarf
Hap-E-Dog Natural Food & Barkery asked Quality Shoe Repair & Luggage to bring their sneaker car to Rina’s pawty.
Not only did they bring their sneaker car, they also gave Rina a ride in it!
Rina loves her UPS driver, so imagine her surprise when he showed up with a package!
She couldn’t wait to get it opened.
What a surprise… shoes!
Guests of the pawty signed Rina’s shoes… from soul to sole!
This little boy toasted with Rina.
Of course the cake had shoes on it!
A flip flop pinata!
Another game… pin the shoes on Imelda Barkos!
GOODIE TWO SHOES FUNDRAISER: In lieu of birthday gifts, Rina asked everyone to lift their SOLE and donate to her fundraiser for the Goodie Two Shoes Foundation (GTSF). GTSF provides new shoes to disadvantaged children and children in crisis.
GTSF brings their truck full of shoes to schools around the Las Vegas area.
Thanks to Surf Dog Ricochet & Rina’s pawesome supporters, $12,000 was raised which fitted 440 kids with new shoes!!
the smile on Rina’s face says it all. She may not be as young and healthy as she once was, but she is HAPPY!!
When our pets receive a devastating diagnosis, whether its cancer or any number of life altering diseases, we tend to go into negative mode. We become fearful, anxious, sad, pessimistic and a host of other destructive emotions. That negativity travels down the leash and has an adverse effect on our furry loved one. They can become depressed or even give up.
Some people create a bucket list for their pet. But envisioning the last item on the list conjures a sense of finality for me. So instead, I made a conscious decision to change my whole attitude to one of positivity no matter what health challenge is thrown at us. If Rina falls because her legs are weak, we will laugh it off. As her body changes, we will adapt and embrace our new normal.
This is the last quarter of Rina’s life and a time to celebrate. I will have enough time to be sad later. For now, it’s all about fun, laughter, doing things she enjoys and letting her know how much she is loved.
Please share this pictorial with anyone who has a pet with health issues. It’s our wish that we can provide some hope, inspiration and positivity.
For more information, please contact Judy Fridono at 707-228-0679 or [email protected]