What makes Nico truly unique and irreplaceable is that he lived with my family and me during a crucial period in our lives. He joined us as a tiny pup soon after our big move to Florida—the story goes that my dad sold his Nikon camera to pay the breeder, hence ‘Nico’—and lived with us through 13 years full of decisive events and experiences: buying and selling our first house, receiving my newborn nephews and niece, going to college, moving out after my first job, discovering what I want to do with my life, starting grad school, and the partial disintegration of my family along the way. Through good and bad, in one house or the other, he was there: a gorgeous white fuzz ball with an orange coat, and bulging, nonjudgmental eyes.
I watched Nico grow old and I watched him die: from a prickly-toothed puppy, to a frenzied yapper running in circles around the house, then up and down the stairs, shaking his favorite toy from side to side, to his senior days when his little body slowed down. He was the most beautiful Pom I ever saw.
The most bittersweet memories are those of his daily routines—a reminder of both how deeply connected to us our pets can be and of how transient all life is: of how little consequence our own routines and rituals. Every day after his morning poop, during his last year or so, Nico would grab his daily slice of FreshPet from his bowl and take it to a specific spot he chose under a chair at the dining table. After eating, he would walk to the living room and—with his front legs extended forward and his head down, his hind legs straight and his butt sticking up—he’d push his head down against the carpet (his favorite napkin) to wipe himself off; first one side, then the other. Or his favorite spots to lie down: I can still picture him pushing my door open, which I’d leave ajar for him to come in and lie by my laundry bag late at night. That was Nico. Those were his little routines. He was one of us.
There’s a sadness we all share, as pet owners, about the illusion that they are self-aware and conscious of us: we want them to know how much we love them, we talk to them in silly voices, we make believe that we’re heard, appreciated, even loved back. I think, for instance, of the don’t-you-leave-me-here dread in Nico’s eyes when he turned to look at me as the vet assistant took him away for intravenous feeding after his last emergency visit… Little did we know that he had several tumors growing in his belly; little did I know he wouldn’t be coming back home with me.
I watched Nico die in peace as he was euthanized—his pupils losing focus and ebbing away; his last breath imperceptible. I am grateful I was able to be there for him. Some regret, I suppose, is not unusual: I wish I’d taken him to the nearby dog park I always meant to; I wish I’d washed him more often; I wish I’d spent more time sitting on the floor with him, messing about; I wish I’d taken him to the vet months sooner. But maybe he didn’t mind; maybe he was happy in his timeless unawareness…
I am grateful that Nico was with my family and me during these eventful years; I am grateful he wasn’t sick or in pain for too long. But most of all, I am grateful for every single moment of happiness he gave us. I will always miss him.
The Story of Zara
I met Zara back in 2011. Someone local had her advertised on BlackBerry messenger for rehoming. So I asked for her to be brought to my house to meet me. I remember our eyes just locked on each other and I knew she was going to fit well with myself and my 4 kids. She was scared and lost at first, nearly 4 years old she was when we first met. She escaped a bad home where she was beaten etc. The next 4 days I stayed up with her and played football and that was the start of our forever bond - she never left my side from then on out. Wouldn't go walking with anyone who wasn't me, she'd run home back to me, howled when I left the house and even sat staring when I sat on the toilet lol.
We shared long amazing walks together. She loved my children would watch over them as they slept. She guarded the front door at night if she wasn't cuddled up beside me in bed. Zara loved football her favourite position was goalie she was amazing at football. Zara was my best friend , my secret teller, my cuddle buddy and my reason to smile everyday and I was certainly hers. She always looked like she was laughing or smiling. So many things I'd love to write but it would be far too long. She was a fighter she went through 2 life saving operations one after the other in 2014 and she fought through amazingly. She was always rolling around in the mud where she was happiest in her back garden.
Unfortunately at the start of May Zara's back legs started to not function properly and I had to take her to the vets she was on painkillers and antiflammatry tablets and we even did hydrotherapy. As the days and weeks went on Zara lost all function in her back legs and the painkillers no longer worked and I had to make the stomach clenching decision to put my beautiful girl to sleep. She went to sleep in my arms on 16th may 2018 at home. The worst ever day of my life. Life will never be the same again.
The Story of Lola
It was a beautiful summer evening; there was excitement and anticipation in the air. Gina my German Shepherd was pregnant and expecting to deliver at any moment. I had adopted both Gina and Blake from a colleague who had good intentions but could no longer care for them. Neither one of them had their vaccinations, Gina was not spayed and Blake a very handsome malamute husky wasn’t neutered hence the reason for Gina’s pregnancy, by the time we realized it was too late and not ethical to terminate the pregnancy. I was also the proud human parent of two wonderful cats Joshua and Sox, there were of course present, not sure how excited they were but at the very least true to cats they appeared to be curious.
My Goddaughter Aleena and her brother Alex were spending the night, their mother Alyse; a very good friend of mine wanted her kids to witness the upcoming birth of Gina and Blake’s puppies. We stayed up late waiting for Gina to start delivering her babies, I had created a warm, safe place for Gina in my second bedroom with clean sheets and towels, Aleena, Alex and I must have fallen asleep, just after 2am I awoke to the sound of Gina whimpering, I woke up Aleena and Alex, it was time. At 230am Gina delivered her first puppy then the second, the third and then the fourth, Alex and Aleena were wonderful assistants providing clean towels and helping to keep the pups warm.
Right away I noticed a problem with the fourth pup; she was tiny in comparison to the three puppies that had preceded her. I set her down next to her mother and said a little prayer. I thought puppy number four was the last but 10 minutes later puppy # 5 (my favorite number) was delivered into my world, she was larger than puppy #4 but much smaller than the others. Little did I know it at the time but this beautiful puppy (puppy #5) would change my life forever. Pups 6,7 and 8 came in short order, sadly despite our best efforts the fourth puppy, the smallest of the liter died shortly after birth, she was simply too small and fragile to sustain life. I named her Kudoka which means “little one” in Swahili; I wrapped her in a cloth and buried her in our yard underneath a beautiful elm tree.
My intention was to find homes for all of these wonderful puppies but I had developed an attachment to puppy #5, my friends and I had to bottle feed her because she was too small and weak to take her mother’s nipple. I was able to find homes for all of the puppies with friends of mine but Lola had stolen my heart, I know this because I had given her a name, Lola, my beautiful Lola…
Lola was both a Daddy’s and Mommy’s girl, she loved her parents and they loved her right back, whenever I would give them all treats Lola did her best to push her 90lb Dad out of her way. Lola had the cutest happy spin when she saw me; she was a voracious eater and had a wonderful appetite. Lola was so happy and full and life, JJ my black and white tuxedo cat (I adopted after Joshua passed away) and Lola were inseparable; they loved to sleep together and hang around. Lola remained small, she was 25-30lbs lighter than her sisters and brother but she really had spunk, sometimes I would find her literally standing over her parents when they were laying down as if to say “You are mine” it was adorable.
Lola was ours and we were hers, we were a unit, the day before Lola passed away, I was telling a friend of mine how much I was looking forward to spending my 60’s with Lola as she would be in her early teens, later that night I took Lola and her parents for a walk, when we returned from our walk she seemed tired, I was concerned but within a minute or two seemed totally back to normal, I held her beautiful face in my hands and told her how much I loved her, she rested her head on my chest, looking back it felt like a goodbye , a few minutes later she happily accepted her bedtime snack as she always did with gratitude and joy.
I found Lola the next morning, she had passed away with her parents at her side, I was shocked and saddened beyond belief, her veterinarian believed that she had some under lying congenital heart defect. Lola’s life was too short, I will always grieve for the years that I was hoping to have with her, things will never be the same without Lola in our lives, she was the baby of the family, her energy and joy were immeasurable, we all miss Lola so very much and always will, she will remain in our hearts, minds and sprits FOREVER… On behalf of your parents Blake and Gina, your cat uncle and aunt JJ and Jazzmine... We love you, we miss you, you will always be a part of us and never forgotten…
The Story of Leo
Leo came into our lives on may 11th 2003 as a 11 week old puppy. He was the only puppy sat in the hedge and never came over. They always say have the puppy that comes over to greet you but there was something about this little boy that I loved straight away. Right from the start he was a fabulous friendly dog.
Leo lived to dig the garden up, loved to run in the woods after squirrels, loved feathers for some reason such a lovely character. Never did as he was told and would not come back to you after his walk. Always came back after his walks filthy from either digging or walking in mud.
Along came the grandchildren and never ever did he growl at them for pulling his tail or being a bit rough. I have enjoyed every minute I have spent with this dog, never ever has he been left while we went on holiday he always came with us, he has left such a massive void in our lives, the house is empty and I miss my friends on the field where he went twice a day, never once did he not go walk. I will miss you forever my beautiful boy. Diagnosed with mouth cancer just before Christmas he was put to sleep April 12th. Rest in peace my boy xx
The Story of Pandora
Pandora had pancreatitis and we couldn't let her suffer anymore. It was best for her to let her go so she wasn't in pain anymore even though she rarely showed the pain. I got her when she was a few days shy of a month old. At two we found out that she had pancreatitis. She use to hop all the time she could jump from the floor and kick off the middle of the wall and jump to the ceiling she would even jump from the floor on to our shoulders and sit. She could also jump over us with us standing up. She was my baby. She also had tongue control issues and sniffing control issues. I miss her everyday and love her so much. I visit her everyday and talk to her. She was a goofball.
The Story of Puma
Puma was a little old chihuahua mix I found at Noah’s Ark, Trinidad, Colorado. Someone had surrendered her due to age most likely. I was looking for a companion to my other dog, Wally. Who I’d had about two months and suffered from PTSD.
When I took Wally to the rescue service, he met about a half dozen dogs and Wally liked her right away. She liked dogs and people, was affectionate and would tell you to continue petting her by hitting me with her paws. She liked to sleep under the covers by my feet and loved Wally. She helped with with his PTSD. He’d spend a considerable amount of time licking her face. They would play together many times and sometimes she’d make a funny little face. She never wanted to compete with Wally for my attention. A brave little girl that would jump out of my SUV window to follow me, wasn’t scared of loud noise or thunder. She was not afraid of deep water and would walk into the lake shore. I was always amazed at how brave she was. After she became blind, whenever someone came to the house, she’d lift her head and howl at them until she got petted (I think she thought everyone had become blind so she needed to let them know where she was). Then she got uncontrollable diabetes, cataracts and glaucoma within two years was gone.
I don’t know what else to say as I’m sure so many people have similar stories of their dear doggie. Some consider it premature having lost her yesterday but last night, between my available time now, not taking care of her, my depression and crying and Wally becoming aloof and wondering where she was, I felt I needed a new doggie to try and make new lives together. I found a 2 year old, untrained neutered chihuahua male and brought him home.
These are two photos of Puma during our last day together.
Thank you so much.
The Story of Star
My wife at the time of 15 years was raised on toy poodles, plus her parents had a toy while we were together. Recalling my positive comments about the poodles, she one day walked in with a two week old toy she had gotten from fellow church members. She tentatively asked me if I was OK with it, and I told her an emphatic yes! I was in love. My wife had already named her Star, and we began to call her Star Puppy. Star was born March 22, 2001 and left on March 9, 2018, just shy of 17 years of age. She woke at 0800 on Friday that date displaying inability to gain balance; I looked her in the face to see her left eye was quivering up and down, and I knew that she had experienced a stroke. I took her to my vet and she left this world at 9:50 AM. I could only console myself by saying to myself that she did not suffer and there was no fixing things, as she could not concentrate on even taking water. It was hard to make the decision then, and two days having passed, citing this is no easier now. I always knew this day would come, and that I would be sad, but it still does not ease the pain. Like many pet owners, my dog was a constant, and walking in the house now is most difficult with her gone. I am sort of walking aimlessly in circles. Since we all live with smartphone photo libraries, I decided to print some 8x10s.
I have been off work now for months, but Star ran with me over the road when I was a truck driver. The photo of she and I together was taken at the base of the Willis Tower in Chicago. She was with me in practically all things. The solo photo is called “I found a can of sketti.” Posted on social media, which is a rarity for me, the “sketti” photo got a lot of sweet comments. I am especially moved by many of the other stories on this website. Star did not have some of the end-of-life difficulties that I have read about on this website; she just left me unexpectedly and it is heart-wrenching. It is my sincere hope and prayer that all dogs go to heaven.
The Story of Shadow
Shadow came to me via an ex boyfriend. I was 25 years old and did not know I wanted or needed a dog. He was working on a construction site in the country and she showed up and hung around all day. He brought her home with him. We tried to find her owners but no one claimed her. She quickly became 'my dog' and outlasted the boyfriend. The next couple years were a difficult time in my life. I always felt Shadow was sent to help me through this time. I knew nothing about owning a dog and it seemed she knew nothing about being a pet. She would not even come in the house at first and ran from me every chance she got. Eventually we both learned to trust and depend on each other. Our bond become solid and unconditional.
I moved home to live with my parents for a couple years. There had been no dogs in the family for sometime but she quickly had us all wrapped around her paws. She became an expert beggar and trained us all that if it was food she WILL find it. That got her and her stomach in trouble more than once. I met my husband when Shadow was about 3. A couple years later we bought our home and Shadow got 'her yard'. Her yard was her happy place. When she was young, she reveled in chasing squirrels from tree to tree and trapping them by sitting at the bottom of the tree. She loved to be outside in her yard. She greeted all neighbors and dogs walking by and kept her yard free of vermin. She was an excellent mole and ground hog hunter. Mid life brought Shadow lots of adventures with mom and dad. Camping, hiking, swimming, canoeing, visits to family and friends. She got to go everywhere and do it all! Favorite times were daily walks with mom, sunning herself in the yard and waiting for the neighbor to giver her biscuits.
Shadow was 10 when our first daughter was born. She was a very good sport about this and it was a natural transition to her lazy senior years. Around 11 years old, she began a slow battle with hip degeneration and arthritis in her back. The walks became slower and shorter but she still went everywhere with us an enjoyed life to its fullest. Her final summer, she got to go camping several times, visit friends and family and enjoy all life had to offer. She was 14 in October and shortly there after the arthritis and degeneration took over. The rear of her body quit working. When it was evident she was no longer enjoying life we released her of her suffering.
It is hard to put into words how much my relationship with Shadow has shaped my life. I will always be thankful for the time we had together no matter how heartbreaking it is to say goodbye. She was heaven sent and will never be forgotten. Forever in my heart baby girl! Til we meet again... run free and eat to your hearts content.
The Story of Rocky
Rocky was born on 5-25-03, but we adopted him at 2 years of age from a family that didn't want him anymore, so we gladly took him, gave him a good home, and loved him as much as we could. He was feisty and lovable at the same time. He loved affection and loved to be cuddled. He was a sensitive guy and would get upset easily, so we always had to respect his feelings. He loved going on trips to barbecues or parks. And enjoyed being around people. He had a heart of gold and always was sensitive to your needs before his own. He was a wonderful family member and will forever be missed, as everyone here keeps crying over him. The vet said he had a tumor on his heart and died in my husband's Chuck arms. We tried to make him comfortable and make his passing a lot smoother and tolerable. We are all hurting very much now. And miss him like crazy. He was a black and tan dachshund and was the light of my husband's life! Rocky, you will always be the sunshine of our lives, we love and miss you so much ! Please be at peace now and happy with God!!
The Story of Scott
“Scott was not only my dog, he was my best friend, my companion, my brother."
Nine years ago my mother and I went to the dog kennel; two years earlier we had rescued a Lhasa Apso that had been burned (who is still with us) and on that particular day we just went there to chat with the owner.
That's when my mother saw Scott. She always wanted a Yorkshire, and there he was. My mother asked the owner why he was in a small cage and not with the other dogs, and she replied that was because the other dogs were hurting him. He also said that a woman had adopted him the week before, but said he was impossible, and returned him. He kept looking at us, he wanted to go with us. That's when my mother said “I want him. Give him a bath while we go to the store to buy stuff for him”. And thats when we took Scott home. He was only 4 months old. What a happy day!
He was an amazing dog, he was always happy. I never understood why someone could have returned him to the kennel saying he was impossible, there was nothing impossible about him. He was so sweet, he liked to play, to run, to go out... We were inseparable. I used to take him for long walks, to the park, to have coffee with me at Starbucks, to my college, even to the airport... he slept with me, in my bed, and I used to wake up hugging him. Scott was a traumatized dog, he was always scared of something, like if he heard some loud noise coming from the street, perhaps a motorcycle, his entire body would shake. I had to reassure him all the time that I loved him, that I would never leave him or hurt him.
Unfortunately Scott was born with a heart disease. One month prior his death he developed a kidney problem due to his heart condition, and later on he became anemic, so when he had a blood transfusion his weak heart couldn't take it. He died later at night, in our house, surrounded by the people he loved, and who will always love him. I had the feeling he would leave me that night, so I thanked him for the best 9 years of my life, I looked into his eyes and said that I will always love him, and I would never forget him and would cherish every moment we had spent together. I went to sleep with him, and when I woke up, he was gone. It was January 27, 2018.
Scott loved his life, he was always thanking me and my family for taking care of him, but it was our pleasure to have him with us, to give him the best life we could provide.
"I love you Scott, I will miss you for the rest of my life. Please wait for me, we will be reunited someday."
The Story of Bear
Beloved Bear passed away at 16-1/2 years old on July 1st 2017. He was suffering from a possible ruptured spleen and we put him to sleep in the backyard in one of his favorite spots, surrounded by sounds of nature and neighborhood activity. My other dog Daisy was with us when he passed, she sat so close to his head and I knew she was aware he was very sick. Words can’t describe the state of shock I’ve been in without his physical presence, even though I knew he was nearing the end of his life before he got sick. I want to believe he will be waiting for me when I pass away myself some day, and it gives me great comfort to know this might be a possibility.
We got Bear from the Humane Society when he was 5 years old. The day I picked him up to bring him to his new home, I asked God for a sign that I was doing the right thing, and I looked up to see a rainbow. From then on, one of his many nicknames was Rainbow Boy. Another one was The Wide Receiver of Love.
He walked so many trails with us over the years. I think and hope he enjoyed his life! He was with me through some of the best and worst times. No matter how down I was, his sighs and gentle presence were all I needed to know everything was going to be okay. I enjoy honoring and remembering the companionship he offered. I write letters to him telling him how we’re all doing, how much we miss him, and how sorry I am that he had to endure any pain at all near the end. I love reading the animal companion tributes posted to this website, the heartfelt words make me feel less alone in my grief. I would give anything to have him back for just one more day, one more hour, or one more minute, to kiss his plump nose and thank him again for protecting us, for bringing us joy! I’ll miss him for the rest of my life.
The Story of Fargo
On January 15th 2013 I decided to go to my local animal shelter on my lunch break. The night before my girlfriend called and broke up with me so I went to see if I could just spend some time with the dogs there. As I was walking through the kennels I come across the only dog that isn’t jumping up and barking. He’s just sitting there on a bed looking at me. I kneel down to get closer look. He got up and walked over to me, I put my hand out for him to sniff. When he sniffed my hand his tail started to wag and he gave me that Staffordshire Bull Terrier smile. I went to the counter and asked if I could spend some time with him. We hit it off. I asked if he could be held until I get off work and pick up some dog supplies. I finished my shift and went to Petco. I hit traffic going back to the shelter and it was closed by the time I got there. First thing the next morning I went to the shelter and adopted him.
First thing he did when we got home was jump on the couch and lay down. I sat next to him and pet his head. He seemed to be at peace. I fed him and started to think about a name for him. Nothing was coming to mind. His bio said his name was Joey but I really didn’t like that name. I turned on a show that had a character named Fargo. The character was always getting yelled at. When another character yelled his name, my new companion lifted his head. That was his name.
Now, I’ve never been that adventurous but we did plenty together. He loved going for short walks when it was warm outside. He had to stop and say hi to everyone. He was a foodie and hovered around me whenever I ate. I usually relented and gave small bits of what I was eating. He loved to just lounge around the house and sit on the couch with me watching tv. It was simple life, but it was great.
In August of 2017 I lost my job. I had to move in with my brother and his wife. Fargo didn’t take to move very well. I had put him outside so I could take care of some errands. He tried to chew his way through a wooden door. He required surgery to get the slivers of wood removed from the roof of his mouth. He bounced right back. The vet discovered he was diabetic and required insulin. On November 7th, 2017 I took him to the vet for a glucose check. They discovered he was anemic. I was instructed to take him home and keep him warm. I put him in my room and ran downstairs to grab some blankets. When I got back upstairs, he wasn’t responding. He had passed. I was devastated and cried for hours that night. I have his ashes in a locked cedar box with his name engraved on and my favorite picture of him right next to it. I talk to him every night about my day just like I did before he passed.
The Story of Cypress
Cypress ‘Sypee Dog’ Jan 2002-Jan 2018
On the 11th January 2018 we lost a part of us, a family member our much adored 16 year old staff x kelpie, her name is Cypress.
My husband and I become owners/parents tp Cypress when she was an 8 week old puppy. We were looking through the litter for a girl pup but all had been boys then Cypress came and sat on my husbands foot we didn’t care if she was a girl or boy we just knew we were in love, turned out she was a girl, our girl.
A year after Cypress was welcomed into our family we had our daughter Lily, my sister had had a daughter 6 months earlier her name was Maja. Lily and Maja grew up with Cypress she was their constant companion. We then welcomed our son Max into the world and again our family grew. Cypress was a family member not a pet but a beloved member of our family, my children know no life without Cypress and this has been just so hard for them, their sadness breaks my heart, a heart already broken.
Cypress was such a spirited doggy so full of life and if you didn’t throw the ball quickly enough she would voice her displeasure with a large woof. Cypress loved her ball particularly soccer balls, Cypress loved playing soccer. When we were at work my dad took Cypress for hour long trips to the doggy park, Cypress was never left alone and was loved by her extended family very much. Cypress showed unconditional love.
As Cypress aged she could no longer chase balls but was happy, loved and content in her senior years although she had bad arthritis. She had the most beautiful, gentle nature. Cypress was to us simply the best dog in the world and we told her so all the time. The bond between my daughter Lily and Cypress was truly beautiful, the greatest friendship.
We knew Cypress was old but we never let ourselves think of a life without her, Cypress had overcome cancer in 2014, her vet saying it showed how much she wanted to live. Slowly Cypress started really slowing down it was clear she was in pain but I tried desperately to hold on, to not face the truth but after watching pain take the light from my girls eyes, watch her unable to stand, to eat or drink we knew we had to let her go.
Cypress went to heaven in our arms, the sadness unbearable, the loss so raw and consuming, we are lost without our Cypress. What I would give to hear her snore next to me as I fall asleep, to hear her footsteps on the floor, to smell her doggy smell.
We spent the following days in shock and sadness we made a beautiful resting place in our garden for Cypress where I sit and cry and talk to my truest best friend To our deeply loved Cypress you will never be forgotten, never be replaced, you will live forever in our hearts-we love you Cypress.
The Story of Hershey
Hershey was an amazing dog. She wasn't only my dog but my best friend! I adopted her from Smithtown Animal Shelter 4 years ago. She was around 6 years old when I adopted her and very emaciated and terrified! Over the months and years she became confident and so loving! She had a spirit like no other!
Hershey loved our adventures at different parks, NYC, Lake George and Cold Spring NY. She loved to go bike riding, kayaking and lay on the raft in the pool. She was obsessed with squeaky toys and would pick them out all by herself and carry them to the register at the store. She loved her wardrobe filled with dresses, sweaters and shirts.
Hershey was always there when I was sad. She would always give me loads of kisses when I held her. Hershey's personality was so infectious that she would light up any room that she was in and would make other people's day!She will be truly missed by many people, but most of all me.
The Story of Souki
Souki came into my life unexpectedly. In December 2004, at a mere 8 weeks old, Souki was adopted by one of my good friends as a companion to their dog. I was visiting my friend for Christmas and first met Souki. She did not have a name at that time...still so very small, my friend was going to return her because they witnessed their older dog become jealous of her. My friend talked me into taking Souki. It was at his house, I said you have a name...you are Souki!
I took her back with me and introduced her into my home with two cats. At such a young age, Souki worked her way into my heart rather quickly. It was pure magic and hard for me to resist her. She slept by my ear at night for warmth from my head I presume. She never stopped doing that up until the night before she passed. I miss starting my nights out with Souki by my ear.
Souki was a very intelligent Chihuahua. She learned to use her wee wee pads fast, knew that her fetch toy was her "baby". She remembered places and how to get to them without me guiding her. I lived in Seattle and wherever I went, Souki went with me. She was a show stopper on the street. Such a small little girl got all the attention. I once had a stranger say to me "well there is half a dog there where is the other half?" I said "my dog is all heart and all here!" I was very protective of Souki and she was of me.
Souki came into my life at a time I had a great deal of uncertainty with work and money, however her needs and that of my cats always came before mine. They were my children. My Mom fell in utter love with her too...she called her Sooker do!
When I moved back to Eastern WA in 2005 I got a companion Chihuahua named Lola for Souki. I wanted her to have a pal to play with since the cats weren't really that interested in playing with her. I didn't want her to be lonely. Souki and Lola were polar opposites. Souki being a very vocal girl, she would talk to me, wag her tail and bark when I asked her a question and when I wasn't making dinner quite fast enough she would let me know to hurry it up! It was never a dull moment with my expressive little girl. I talk her to give me kisses too. I called them kissies. I would say to Souki "give me a kissie kissie" and she would shower me with her kisses. There wasn't one day in her 13 1/2 years that she did not kiss me multiple times and I did not kiss her. I told Souki every day "I love you every day Souki". She also had multiple pet names....Souki-sue, Mama Souki, Sook le pook, and mama moo moo when she was on the chunky side. She was a trooper, moving with me from apartment to apartment and eventually back to Seattle in 2015.
The first time I heard from the vet during one of Souki's checkups that she had a hear murmur I was told not to worry-it wasn't bad. When Souki was excited or started barking a lot she always had this cough. Little did I know that cough was related to her heart murmur. This past June her cough changed...it sounded different so I thought I would take her to the bet to get it checked out. Years had gone by and it kept on coming up during her annual exams but it wasn't until this past June that it was gravely serious. I was told Souki was in Congestive Heart Failure. She received medications to help clear the fluids from her lungs and control her heart rate. I was devastated. I was told I had a couple good months with her. At that moment and time I realized that for all the years of good times and love she gave me that I needed to devote my every free minute to her. My family told me to euthanize her then...but I couldn't do it. She was my dog soulmate.
I started a new job that June and my quick 20 minute commute turned into an extra hour and a half a day that I would be away from Souki and Lola. So, I compensated. I didn't go out except for the essentials. I spent me waking days and nights with my girls. I got up at 3am to give Souki one set of pills, then 4a to feed them and spend an hour with them before I had to get ready for work. I rushed home from work to do our evening ritual of meals and another round of pills for Souki. I became her sole caregiver and she was my patient.
This past November Souki had a terrible breathing attack and my regular vet told me they could not help her so I rushed her to an emergency clinic. For 9 hours I stayed at the clinic while her oxygen level went back to normal and I was able to take her home. I never told my family about that visit because I knew what they would say. I was bound to keep my girl and as long as she wasn't in pain I would do what it took to keep her comfortable. Unfortunately I learned that it wasn't the murmur at that time that would be so detrimental to her. Souki's trachea was collapsing because of her extremely enlarged heart. She would go into her cozy cave and sit or stand underneath the bed. I watched her by the cozy cave sitting up, fighting sleep and witnessed her discomfort. One day shortly thereafter, she did something she never had done; she turned her back on me facing the door to my apartment...staring at the door. I asked her if she wanted to go and she was motionless. I knew it was time....my friends told me she would let me know when it was time and at that moment...that very moment I felt it.he rest is very painful for me to write about. I loved my dog with all my heart. She was my best friend, my love, the light of my life. It has been a little over a week and I still talk to her by accident, still look for her in her cozy cave, waiting for me at the door when I come home. I no longer can hear her breath or listen to her heart beat so I know she is okay or struggling. I no longer get up 2-3 times a night to help her go to the bathroom. I am....lost. It was a marriage for us. She took care of my human soul. She gave me purpose in my personal life.....worth. I am still a dog mom to Lola and I love her dearly. I will give her the best of me and I feel bad that I may have neglected her when Souki became so ill. Lola is a different girl though, she is reserved, rarely barks and doesn't talk. She is nonetheless happy to see me every day and I am comforted by her being here. I pray Souki comes to visit her during the day to keep her company. Odd that I got Lola to keep Souki company and now she is the one alone.
I loved my girl Souki. I would endure the endless nights of worry, crying, odd schedule 100 trillion times over to have her here today. I loved her that much...but I couldn't stand to see her in pain and not breathing well. I regret it, cry every day right now and plead for her to forgive me. I don't know if God's creatures go to heaven but I pray they do. I would do anything to see my little girl again.
The Story of Connie
Connie came to me as a stray, hanging out for awhile on my road where someone put her out. After much feeding and coaxing, she finally came around to trust us, outside only for awhile, but then blossomed and lived inside and made friends. Not only did she make friends with us, but she made our days, for months and months that we had her. I've had many pet best friends, but this gal was special! Never has one been so loved and shown so much love, and then showed so much love and loyalty to us in return. Given her past, neglect and possible abuse, it made sense.
She was tiny, but tough, a true survivor! She made me her best friend, against all odds and she will be one of my best friends for life! This gal showed up not knowing much of anything, but knowing for sure that she wanted a nice home, so desperately... I saw that need in her and tried to give her a better healthier more fun life with folks she never had to be afraid of... She was like our child, a sweet baby that came to us overnight and made our lives so much more fun. She was an incredibly sweet, hilarious, fun little friend... I hope we truly did give you the best days of your life! We sure tried girl!
I will love you forever lil ol friend! Jolie & Chris ... the Parents Connie chose to spend her life with! Peace and Love to All !!
The Story of Leona Lilly
Leona was a very one of a kind dog. She was my complete best friend and soul mate. We were just made for each other and I knew it the second I saw her on the Humane Society website. She was my gossip buddy and she would always walk by me no matter what. She always would stand by me while we watered the tree I had her whole life and other flowers that were as beautiful as her. She was abused before we got her and so she hated men her whole life. That definitely didn't change her from loving me no matter what. I will love and miss you forever beautiful girl. Don't have to much fun in heaven without me lele!
The Story of Scooby Doo
We found Scooby Doo at a shelter, tied up outside the fence, away from all the other dogs because we were told he 'didn't get along with other dogs'. But he was so cute! How could this be true? He had a heart shaped brown spot on his side, his name was already Scooby Doo and he fit through our cat door, so he was perfect! He was very friendly to us. The moment he was in my arms in the car, he couldn't keep his eyes open. He was so relaxed and we like to think, so happy he was free from the stress of the shelter. We were all in love.
Soon after, we did find out how dog aggressive he was. He was a smallish, Japanese Spitz mixed dog but with the heart of a lion who thought he was a pit bull. He routinely tried to fight any dog he came near or tried to fight him, even big ones. So with the help of a trainer and 'doggie boot camp' we learned to work with his dominant nature and get him to calm down. He would never be a 'dog-dog' but was always a 'people-dog'. He loved his people. He would follow one of us everywhere, always be underfoot, sometimes demanding but always loving and forgiving us after getting baths, being dressed up for holidays, or being scolded for tripping us or stealing the cat food,. He never liked the cat, even though the cat was in love with him, but he did learn to tolerate him enough that they would lay back to back in the sun. When our other dog came along, he was a great big brother most of the time. They were so bonded that they had to be touching when they took their daily walks.
His spirit could only be described as irrepressible. His enthusiasm for life, for car rides, for the beach, for hikes, kayaking, for anything when we were all together, as well as his love of food and mischievousness, was a never-ending joy to us, as well as sometimes a trial. But the unconditional love we experienced from him taught us about love as it should be. It seems that it's only from animals that we will ever get this kind of love.
As he aged, he looked more and more like his Spitz self, even getting a lion's mane that reflected his lion's heart. He got sick while we were on an extended trip halfway around the world, and we will always regret getting some bad advice and not coming back sooner. We had only a short time with him as a shell of himself before we made the hardest decision anyone can ever make. I know he knew we were there and it was a comfort to him, and to us. I had a dream the night he passed that he was with his pack of lions. He came over with them to greet us and then went on his way. He was at peace. There will never be another like him.
Malama Pono and in Nai'a spirit,
The Story of Bodhi
This a tribute to our beloved angel Bodhi (September 15, 2007 – November 26, 2017), a great soul whose kindness, joy and loving ways were without peer. Bodhi was a master teacher, healer, companion and beloved member of our family and the entire community.
Bodhi was a gift on every level and he was also incredibly handsome, but he was far more than his good looks.
My son Avery and I surprised my husband on January 2, 2008 when we brought Bodhi home. Bodhi was a prince from the moment he arrived, and other than his love of food – which in his youth meant raiding cabinets, dumping the garbage and counter surfing – he was a gentleman (he was also an Australian labradoodle).
To know Bodhi was to love him. He had a way of making everyone happy. I believe he was on a mission to heal our family and heal the world. He loved being included in everything! and always wanted to be with me– his mom. So for almost all of his 10 years with us he was my constant companion during the week, and on the weekends, he spent time with my husband going to play group, taking long walks and doing errands.
To know me was to know Bodhi. We were inseparable. He did carpool with me when our sons Daniel and Avery were growing up, and it was quite a sight because Bodhi was huge! It was just the way it was. Bodhi was always in my car no matter the occasion, no matter how many kids had to pile in.
Bodhi was well known in our community, in part because he was so BIG, but also because he was so warm and friendly. He was considered to be Clifford the Big Red Dog by many or like a horse, a sheep, a bear or a character from Sesame Street or Star Wars. We recently found out that he helped a child who was running away from school by being there at the exact right moment as a loving presence. The young boy hugged Bodhi, got a kiss from Bodhi and was then calm enough to return to school. We had no idea that Bodhi was doing this service until the school security card shared the photo and the story.
There was no shortage of comments about wonderful Bodhisattva Greenberg. Other than exclaiming how big he was, the next most common comment was that he looked human! His eyes were so soulful and expressive, you couldn’t help thinking there was a human there.
For my part, he was better than human, but then again, he was my Bodhisattva. My BODHI!
He and I were completely attuned to each other, and the relationship was one of pure ease and blessing. Not a day went by that I didn’t express gratitude for him. My greatest joy was taking long walks with him. We would wander together, often with him deciding the route, stopping at his dear friend Steven’s hair salon, even when I told him Steven wasn’t there, visiting his canine and human friend’s houses, going to the neighborhood stores where everyone knew him, passing by the school yard so children could pet him. He was the medicine everyone needed, and he loved giving.
In recent years, he was my companion (not officially trained) for visits to my mother’s Alzheimer’s unit and my father’s assisted living. Everyone in both of these places loved Bodhi and looked forward to his visits, especially my dad. Bodhi would enter his room and they would both smile.
He loved to travel with us, and loved to hike. This past summer he went with us to Vermont and Gloucester, MA. Oh how he loved to be with us, go to the beach, be in nature. Yet, he also loved going to Bloomingdales with me and any other store that would let him in. He just wanted to be part of!
Bodhi never barked at other dogs, nor did he bark when people came here. He was above that. He was so comfortable in his own skin. He had a presence and a gentle way that made the world seem right. He was always there with a kiss and a hug – the best hugs in the world. Yet he never wanted for anything. His soul just wanted to give and give he did.
My son Avery commented that we made Bodhi who he was with our love, and perhaps this is true. He came in as a wonderful puppy, but we allowed him to grow into a magnificent Bodhisattva which is indeed his full name which they say is like a Buddha who rolls up his sleeves. The giving is so pure it defies words.
Bodhi was diagnosed with bone cancer on November 9 and he remained brave and dignified for the remaining days of his life. Knowing how social he is, I invited his human and dog friends to visit since he could no longer take his walks. We had dozens of visitors – both two and four-legged. Bodhi would get up, if he could, to welcome each of them. A gentleman and a giver to the very end.
To say we miss Bodhi is a supreme understatement. He will live in our hearts forever.
The Story of MudShake
Mudshake came to our lives when I finally convinced my parents to get a dog. This was after several bouts of attempted burglary at our family home. I argued that a barking dog will deter anyone who would enter our property. A friend I know who had a dog giving birth soon had agreed to give me one of the puppies. Oh! I can still remember the first time I saw her and I fell in love instantly. She was a mutt and it has become my favorite “breed” ever since. It was really ironic that when we took her home, we found out that she does not bark at all. It took months and we discovered she would only bark in response to a whistle. She did learn to bark on her own will soon but it does not matter anyhow since we couldn’t care less about the burglars by then. We just loved her even if she’ll wag her tail at them.
Life with Muddy, all 12 years of them, had been a most rewarding one. I never knew such tenderness exists inside of me, all poured out as we shower her with love and attention. And she returned every bit of that love back to us. The first years, with all its broken furniture, house training and stolen laundry was a beautiful chaos. Over the years, Muddy mellowed down but her sweetness stayed with her. By this time, we had four other dogs, but Muddy stands out in a way she seems to think she’s more human than canine. She would rather hang out, where the humans are and does not care about what the other dogs are up to. We all love our dogs equally, but Muddy will always have a special place in me, because it all started with her.
Saying goodbye to her was a bittersweet thing. She had been sick for a while, been in out of the hospital but seemed to have deteriorated quite suddenly. For a few weeks, she bounced back but then the meds seem to just stopped working. On those few weeks we thought she pulled through, it seemed that she gave it her all and made us happy before she said her final good bye. The family will always hurt at her passing, but her memory and the love she left in our hearts will always be a treasure to cherish. I miss her.
The Story of Murphy
Murphy was a quiet presence for 15 years in our lives, that I miss unbearably. He would follow me wherever I went (in the study he would be under the desk, in the kitchen, he would be on the floor in the corner close to the sink, where I was, in the bedroom, in a corner, quietly waiting for me). One time, I closed the door in a bedroom not realizing he had gone in there, trapping him until he scratched on the door to get out! He would sit on the couch, and if I was gone longer than he thought I should be, he would jump down and look for me.
Murphy was a happy little dog who would actually skip sometimes when he was walking! It seemed he was happiest just being with us. He enjoyed taking rides with us and even rode with us to California and back to Ohio once! He rode in golf carts, convertibles, any form of vehicle with no problem as long as we were there. Even the day before he was put to sleep, he laid down on the hot street pavement while I talked to a neighbor, not rushing me and putting me above his discomfort of possibly having his ruptured gall bladder even then.
Murphy always wanted to please us, and would actually bark at our other dog when he was doing something that he was not supposed to! When Murphy actually would do something that we would scold him for, he would only do it once and he would remember not to do it again, he wanted to please so much. We loved him so, and my last words were whispered in his ear, "We love you, Sweetheart"; I hope he knew that.
The Story of Cuervo
My girlfriend and I saw an ad on a bulletin board at the local grocery store 13 years ago selling husky-wolf mix puppies for $100. I hadn't had a dog in over 20 years due to my busy schedule and traveling constantly I just didn't have the time to get a dog and train him at the time. But all that changed when I changed careers and decided to start my own business so I now had the time and schedule and started thinking I'd like a dog again.
We went to visit the home with the puppies. They had 7 or 8 of them. All beautiful of course and hard to decide which one. I wanted a male so we lined all the males up on one side of the living room and I said the first one to me was coming home with me. And that's how we got Cuervo. We named him Cuervo because when we finally made the decision to go look at the puppies we were sitting around a campfire the night before sipping some Jose' Cuervo Gold tequila and I thought the name Cuervo was unique.
It turned out Cuervo was as unique as his name was. I spent hours and hours training him and working with him starting as a 12 week old puppy. He was intelligent and a quick learner. He had a dynamic personality and could make us laugh on a daily basis. Cuervo and I developed a strong bond and I took him everywhere with me as he grew up. He went camping with us. To ballgames (though he'd stay in the van). Concerts. Vacations. Hiking trips. Cabins we'd rent. Hotels we'd stay at. He was a part of every daily decision we made. He was our world. We spoiled him and he deserved to be. He had his own couch in the living room. A toy box full of squeaky toys he'd bury his head into every time he'd walk by to sniff for a treat I might've dropped in there or to grab a toy and walk around squeaking it. He'd wake me up in the morning's with his cold nose and growl at me or throw one of his squeaky toys at me. He was really something special and very unique.
Cuervo was a 'talker' and would carry a conversation with me he was that awesome. If I asked him a question he'd answer back with a growl. He'd moan and groan when I rubbed his ears, which was music to my ears. I'd play the harmonica and he's howl like a wolf and growl as he'd walk around the house. Cuervo brought so much joy to me (us) every single day. Always gave me a chuckle.
He got brushed out every day after his walks, which he loved. He always got lots of compliments wherever we'd go. He'd hang out the window when driving around and almost every stop light someone would say 'what a beautiful dog you have'. He was genuinely a magnet for compliments. Cuervo had a wonderful disposition about him, absolutely a gem.
Cuerov didn't like flying insects or humidity in the summertime and would stay inside the A/C til the sun went down and then would go outside to wander around and empty his bladder after holding it all day long. And he didn't like other dogs. He was very territorial. And a killing machine. We live out in the country and over the course of his life he's killed everything from possums, rabbits, squirrels, woodchucks, hundreds of mice, snakes, birds, chipmunks and probably a few more I forgot. He'd kill them but wouldn't eat them. The only animal that got the best of him on 3 occasions were skunks! They got the upper hand all 3 times Cuervo had run-in's with them.
Cuervo was a warrior and at age 10 he blew out his ACL chasing a ball at the park and had surgery. He loved to play ball and would never play ball again after that. Eventually arthritis would start creeping in and would be obvious especially the next year or two when getting up from laying down. He also had a tumor surgically removed on his left shoulder the size of a baseball after that. But he kept on truckin' and anytime I'd grab my keys and think I was going to tip-toe out of the house without waking him up I was sadly mistaken. He always knew and he always wanted to go with Dad wherever I was going.
In May of this year I noticed Cuervo started limping on his walks. After a couple weeks I noticed it was getting any better. I thought maybe he twisted his ankle or stepped on something that was in his paw. I'd check his paw but nothing. He didn't seem to be knawing on it like it was bothering him at all but I took him to the vet just in case. She gave him the once over, checked out his leg and paws and gave him a prescription for antibiotics and told me if he was still limping in a week to bring him back in.
Easter Sunday April 16th happened to be Cuervo's 13th birthday. We celebrated with balloons, party hats and a cupcake for him. 2 days later I brought him back into the vet as his limp wasn't getting any better. The vet suggested taking some x-rays. She came into the waiting room and told us 'I have something to show you and it isn't good'. She brought us into the x-ray room and showed us Cuervo's x-rays. His lungs were full of cancer spots. We were absolutely devastated. It was the worst news. We brought him in for a limp and his lungs were riddled with cancer. The Dr said it was progressive lung cancer and he had maybe 4-6 weeks at the most. We were stunned and in absolute shock. We brought Cuervo outside back into the van and cried all the way home. It would be the first of many tearful episodes over the coming months.
Cuervo was a warrior and hung in there almost 9 weeks before we decided to have him put down. The vet gave him 4-6 weeks so he fought as long as he could to be with us. I cancelled 5 times previously and rescheduled. Just when I thought he was really slipping away he'd have a good day and I'd cancel and reschedule with the vet. I just couldn't do it and wanted him around as long as possible. But he was slowly fading away and it was obvious that the cancer was taking it's toll. About 6 weeks in he didn't have the rear leg strength to jump up on the couch anymore and he's resort to sleeping his big bed in the corner or in his bean bag bed in the bedroom. I had to carry him up and down the stairs to go outside and potty. Even though he couldn't tell us he was hurting, I could see he didn't have the same sparkle in his eyes anymore and his quality of life had deteriorated. I couldn't keep him alive anymore just for our benefit so when June 19th came around I didn't cancel our appt with the vet this time as hard as that was, but it was the right thing to do for him.
We took him to several of his favorite parks and trails close by that afternoon that he used to love to run in growing up before heading to the vet. Cuervo was gassed and tried walking a short distance but it was exhausting for him and he was breathing heavily. We just wanted him to remember and us remember so many happy times there through the years.
That day was the worst day I've ever had. Just looking at my watch all day just knowing at 5:30 we'd be bringing him to the vet to have him put to sleep. It was excruciatingly painful. I brought a small cooler with me with an ice pack with a popsicle and a large marshmallow, his 2 favorite treats. I gave them to him before the Dr gave him his first shot to sedate him. Cuervo spoke up and growled at me as I opened up his popsicle for the last time and he chewed it down. Then I gave him his marshmallow. Then the vet gave him his shot and I held him and we petted him. Within minutes he was groggy and woozy and could hardly stand so I laid him down on the blanket they provided and we hugged him and held him and cried our eyes out. The vet came back in and administered the shot that put him to sleep and in a minute, 2 at most, she said 'he's gone'. And our world hasn't been the same since.
We made arrangements to have his ashes in a week.
We climbed back into our vehicle and we were numb. There was Cuervo's bed, a couple of his toys, his water bowl, leash, treats. And he was gone. And we lost it. We balled our eyes out all the way home. We were heartbroken. I couldn't concentrate or focus and just stopped marketing my business and unplugged the phones and my cell phone for weeks. And we grieved hard. The house was so empty without Cuervo. I took thousands of photos of Cuervo throughout his life and we have literally hundreds of them framed throughout the house. I took his last photo an hour before he passed and looking back it was obvious he was sick and had lost a lot of weight. It's so sad.
We still have his big bed right where he last slept in it in the corner of the living room. His toy box right where it's always been. His bean bag bed in the bedroom where he'd sleep every night at the foot of the bed. All his pictures. His treats still in the frig he didn't get to. It's been a really tough 3 months of grieving and we miss him every single day. Cuervo was our world and our lives revolved around him. He brought us so much joy and now we have so much sorrow with him gone. We still cry every day and I still can't talk about it without breaking down. His loss is still so raw and a piece of me died with him that day.
The Story of Butch
Butch became a part of my family 2003 when he was just a pup that had gotten separated from his original home and wandered the streets until he decided to take a nap on my porch. Unsure of his disposition I contacted animal cruelty society about a stray on my porch and while waiting for them I noticed him whimper and being the person I am took a chance and approached him and thus started our lifelong friendship. Butch was always a very charismatic dog who I named after a relative who was also the life of any party and truly had a personality of his own, he loved everyone and never met a person he didn't want to lick or nuzzle. Whenever I came home from school he was always the first to greet you and jumped for joy if you picked up his leash, running was one of his favorite activities and although I didn't like to run quite as much seeing him excited for it always made it worthwhile. He was also kind of a hero in his own right waking me up when a fire broke out and always standing guard by the door when I would come home late from my night job. The only thing he ever asked in return for as many back rubs as possible (he liked doing a little dance as a show of approval) and tolerance for his picky eating habits which was fine with me.
For years he lived as a close member of the family and even when he was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma he fought like the champ he was and never missed a step anytime there was a chance to run, play, or even just laze about in the bed that he always considered more his then mine. Butch fought against many odds when vets were unsure of a recovery and I made sure that he always had the best quality of life with his family. It wasn't until this year that his condition worsened and due to complications and the loss of use of his legs that he finally decided to slow down a little and I cared for him the best I could until he decided it was time to take his last rest amongst his loved ones. I gave up a lot for Butch and despite it all it pales in comparison to what he has given me and those around him who will miss having him near. If you were to turn the clock back 15 years right now and tell me how it would play out I wouldn't change a single thing, he was one of the best friends I ever had and I'll love him always.
The Story of Charlie Boy
We got Charlie when he was 3 month's old, he was the last of a litter, the runt that nobody wanted..I wanted a little girl as this was myfirst introduction to "Pit Bulls" and had fallen in love with my son's little Pit named Doja..Anyway as soon as he saw me he tried to jump in my arms and all I saw was this goofy looking puppy, who's feet were so big he walked like he had combat boots on..But I scooped him up and brought him home..It wasn't long until I was completely in love with this goofy little boy..And then he started growing, and growing and growing, in his prime at 4/5 years he weighed 132 pounds..That's when we realized this big Boy had to have Bull Mastiff in him...But along with his body growing his big ole heart grew as well..He was the most loving, compassionate and sweet dog I had ever known, and I have had many in my life..We had a connection like no other...I could look into his deep brown eyes and know exactly what he wanted, weather it be potty, ice cold water, a snack or just some lovin..That Boy had not one mean bone in his body..If ever there was any aggression from other dogs he would walk away, as if to say, "I aint got time for this"..In all his nearly 10 years he has never bitten another dog or person..He was full of love..He went everywhere with me, you never saw me without my boy..Even in the hottest summer days, someone always stayed in the car with him and we left the air running..If you saw me, you saw my Charlie Boy..If my Boy was not welcome, we were not welcome...That was the choice we made when we brought him home and one we loved making..He became my best friend, my confidante, my everything..24/7 it was him and I..One morning he woke up with a limp, several trips to the Dr.Vet confirmed our worst nightmares...My Charlie had Osteosarcoma (bone marrow cancer) in his right shoulder..Within 3 weeks my beloved Boy was gone..We had him cremated and is here with us and my wish is to be spread with him when my time comes in the mountains of Boulder, Utah, where we went camping with him every year..It was one of his favorite place's to be..I will never forget this beautiful spirit that so lovingly graced my life for nearly 10 years..My only wish is that he is pain free and that I will soon see him again...Thanks again for your reply and for posting in his memory
The Story of Noci
Nóci was born on the 15th of April in 2005 and passed away on the 1st of October in 2017. She was a hungarian vizsla with all the kind traits and beauty of her breed.
We grew up together, went through two of her surgeries, the divorce of my parents and a moving together. She never failed to bring a bit of sunshine in everyone's life she ever met. We couldn't go for a walk without someone praising her for her beauty or making some new friends.
Through her first 4 years she was energetic, playful and always on her feet, but later she calmed down and became the classy lady she was until her last days.
In the last 4 years of her life she developed a need for cuddling and sleeping as close to me as possible. We had a habit of hiding our face in eachother's neck and just sitting like that for a few minutes feeling the connection that was more than friendship. We were sisters, we were bestfriends, we were two halves of one whole, eachother's mothers and daughters and a pack. She was, is and will be my everything for the rest of my life.
Doctors say that cancer took her, but I doubt it. Maybe I just want to blame someone, take out all my pain on them, maybe she wouldn't have to die if she was in the hands of a more experienced doctor.
She didn't eat and lost weight in just a month. I couldn't see my once happy dog greeting me again when I got home or eat her favourite with the enthusiasm she once showed. It was terrible to see her suffer and we decided to free her from the pain.
Our last few hours were the worst. We slept cuddling, but I kept waking up just to mourn her in her last hours and whisper the declaration of my love again and again and count the minutes I had left with my princess. Until our last hour came and we had to go for our last walk and then to the vet.
I'm both happy and devastated that I had her in my arms until the last beat of her precious little heart and the time we had to put her in her grave in our old house's garden, under my first Christmas tree.
To anyone going through this: the first 24 hours are the worst. You will feel that your life is over, you will remember that the last time you did this or that you had a dog by your side. And it will hurt again, when you take out your winter coat from last year and have it covered in their fur, but please never forget that you cuddled or played when those hairs stuck in your clothes, that how happy they were just from the sight of you and your happiness and that they would never want you to be sad.
I would like to end my memorial with a letter to my princess:
My dearest and truest friend! I can barely put into words how much I miss you the day after you passed away. I keep hearing your paws, I keep waking up at night to look for you and feel the need to run home to you right after I finished school. I feel bitter emptiness, but I'm slowly getting better with every second. I want you to know that I feel that you are with me and that once I will be able to talk about you with a smile on my lips, but this is not the day. My heart is in million pieces, but I beleive that time will somewhat be able to heal the wounds.
I'm sorry for your sufferings, but I know that it was the right decision, I saw it in your eyes every day. I'll love you forever and will take every opportunity to tell the world how amazing you were.
The Story of Spanky
I found Spanky in Arkansas, she was always wandering on the same dirt road she was skinny and dirty and full of fleas. I stopped the car and said Hi to her and she jumped through the window of my car and we were together ever since. That was in 2003 she was about a year old or so she was always well behaved and very smart. I took her with me every place I went she loved to ride and she loved every person she met and she was a clown. She never barked to get my attention when she wanted to go out which was all of the time, instead she would stand and look at me and snap her jaws closed and spin in a circle or two and snap again. It was so sweet to see that is how she would say good morning too.
We lived in an apartment building and we had to go through the lobby to get outside and when there were people there she would go from person to person to say Hi and get a pat on the head and they all loved her too! She was like the resident therapy dog to the older residents here. She was a very special part of the building and the reason I woke up every morning. Taking care of her wasn't work, it was a joy.
She wasmy whole life I am totally lost without her. I miss her antics from snapping her jaws and spinning to go out, to getting her mouth full of food and bringing it in to the living room and dropping it on the floor and eating it one piece at a time. We went to Dairy Queen for her pup cups quite often and I'd get a malt for myself. One day I went into the store right after and left my malt in the cup holder and when I came out there was a lady standing looking in my truck laughing watching Spanky drinking my malt instead of eating her pup cup. It was so funny to see.
If it was hot out I would leave the truck running with the AC on and if cold I'd leave it running with the heat on. She always had her big cup full of water in her side of the cup holders and a bowl of food. (Of course I always set the parking brake so if she knocked it out of park the truck stayed put and carried a spare set of keys so I could lock the doors so she was safe and I never left her alone in the truck for more than 10 or 15 miniuts at a time). There is so much more I have to tell you about our 14 years together but I will leave it at this. Thank you for letting me tell a little about my Spanky. R I P Spanky I love and miss you and you will have my heart forever.
The Story of Kola
Kola was born in September of 2014 he was the perfect dog. I had been looking at ads for a dog and found a Aussie puppy i liked. However she was already taken. I looked again and found a black border collie American Eskimo mix. But once again she was already taken. The breeders of this female told me that there was one puppy left. The biggest of the litter they called him big boy. I was a little hesitant at first but then, and i don't know what made me do it, i changed my mind and took him. I named the puppy Kola after my Mom's dog that she had as a kid. When we got him, Kola looked like a fluffy polar bear cub. However that changed quickly. We got Kola in January of 2015 and by March he had lost his fluffiness and was more like a white rat. However a few months later Kola turned into a handsome young dog with a thick coat and a long curly tail. He was very pretty and very big and the best dog I ever had.
Kola and i were the perfect team. We did 4-h shows every year and very often got in the top five. Kola was definitely a show dog. He loved showing off to people and enjoyed being in the ring. But not only was he my show dog, Kola was also my best friend. Whenever i was sad he always knew how to cheer me up. Kola wasn't the smartest dog in the world. He was very sweet and kind of a goofy dog. I think that was the best part about him. He was always so funny and doing funny things. Even though he was goofy he was also very sensitive and loving. In truth i don't think he was a dog, he was really an angle who was sent to bring light into my life. I still remember the first day i got him.
We were in the car on our way home and he didn't want to leave my lap.
I pampered Kola so much. on the first walk with him he wouldn't walk
so I picked him up and carried him the whole way. Even though he was not that big
when we got him, he turned out to be a big boy. the only problem with that is that he though he
was a lap dog.
Everything was prefect. Then that terrible day arrived. I couldn't find Kola anywhere. We looked and looked and then finally found him. He had been hit by a car. It was only one day after he turned three and a day before labor day. The first thing that came to my mind is that he truly would have a restful labor day. Even though I still miss
him very much I knew he would be in a better place.
The Story of Maxwell
Maxwell was a Cairn Terrier that I purchased in 2002 from a breeder. At that time I was a married mom of a second grader and lived in NY State. Max did not want to sleep alone that first night. Being the soft hearted person that I am, I had him sleep near me in a small little "nest" made of towels. Max ended up sleeping near me for his entire 15 year life. Max was obsessed with fetching and would run for a ball or a toy and gladly return it. He liked that game so much that it sometimes became annoying to visitors who grew tired of tossing something after a while! He was photogenic, loved to walk and was very vocal.
Max always barked if he thought I needed to know about a visitor. If we were in the car and a stranger approached or walked near the vehicle he would also bark. I was his "person" and for his entire life he was more interested in protecting me, knowing where I was in the house and being wherever I was. He followed me through my first marriage, into a second marriage and from NY State to the state of Virginia. He was good with that as long as he was with me. He loved our walks, sharing popcorn at night on the couch as well as having a bit of toast with vegemite in the morning during the second half of his life (from my Australian husband). As he got older and arthritis bothered him, I would carry him up the stairs or lift him off the couch rather than have him jump. He couldn't hear me as well but he paid close attention to what my hand gestures were. The best moments were the times I would pick him up and he would rest his head on my shoulder and let out a sigh as if to say,"Ahh."
Maxwell's health went downhill quickly during the week that he turned 15. He showed neurological issues as well as pain issues and his breathing became labored. The day he didn't look at me with the same happy face as he had all of those 15 years, was the day I knew I couldn't let him suffer. I cried more on that day than any day I can remember. I am still looking for him everywhere I turn in the house. We loved each other for 15 years and I only hope he knows how much he brought to my life. I hope he is feeling peace now and running as fast and free as his little legs can carry him.
The Story of Boo
It has been a hard few days for all of us, since the loss of our beautiful Boo. She lit up the room every time she came in because she was always smiling and always hungry! I really don't think there was a person alive who didn't fall in love with her when they met her.
Sadly as her age progressed her health issues worsened (not that it ever dampened her spirit), but finally she had lymphoma and was no longer well enough to be able to stand or eat and had pretty much prepared herself to go. She was put to sleep but with all the love we could muster in the world. Even now our hearts still break for her, as she was the baby I will probably never have again. My soul mate and best friend.
'Boo came to us as a puppy, at the tender age of 8 weeks old. When mum, dad and my brother went to visit her with all her siblings, she was tucked up in a corner, all shy and hiding. My brother and dad fell in love with that soppy little thing in the corner... And from that little shell came a big, brave, beautiful and protective girl who's smile lit up the room, and appetite never knew no bounds!
I have never known a dog to be so human, so clever and so in tune with our emotions. When we were sad and life seemed to tough, she would come up to you, head on your lap and as many nudges as it took to get her head under your arm. Her eyes told you it was going to be ok. She had a crazy obsession with sirens, and every time one went off, out she was like a bolt warning the world, I AM HERE!!! And good luck sneaking in for a midnight snack, if that fridge door even creaked, that chopping board clattered or knife even dinged, then you heard the familiar thuds of her steps coming ever closer, for her fair share!! She was especially fond of carrots and homous, and there was no getting away from giving her your last corner of your peanut butter on toast!!! It was worth it though, to see the smile on her face.
For nearly 13 years, she was there always ready to roll over for a belly rub, for a face scrunch, a tickle and kiss on the nose. Though getting her in the bath was a challenge for a good scrubbing, eventually she loved the pampering she got. I can't quite remember life without Boo, as she was always our constant ray of sunshine, but life without her will be harder. We may never see that beautiful kind face again, but God received a new angel pup for his rainbow bridge, and how he must laugh now that she has arrived. Now my heart breaks for having to see you fall asleep one last time, but every picture and memory will remind me of how lucky and blessed i was to have a beautiful girl like you in my life. Love you now and always my precious Boo. Sleep well my Princess, you earned it. Your LewLew xx'
The Story of Griffin
Tribute to Griffin
Griffin arrived in our arms as a mere pup of 2 months old. We were at a church service where the breeder was our guest speaker. On his laptop screensaver he had a photo of golden labrador puppies. We inquired about them, and he said he would call when he had another litter. Griffin was the only boy with 7 sisters. The day we picked him up he was ready to play and scamper about, nipping gently at my fingers, rolling around, and sitting on my lap. Once we brought him home, he would sit every morning on me to chew, play, and run around. On walks, he always stayed at my heals, never wanting to be far away. He loved to sit on a little green carpet by the stove while I cooked supper and sleep. It was his most relaxed time of the day, everyone was home, and he was happy. That was the way Griffin liked it, everyone together at home.
As Griffin grew, our family grew. I was home on maternity leave and spent everyday walking him, playing fetch, training him, talking to him, telling him all my worries and concerns. He listened so well. Always ready to play, but always ready for love. Griffin would bow his head up and down, which meant that he wanted you to pet him. It was the cutest thing. Griffin grew in his obedience as our love for him grew. Because of this, he didn’t need a collar nor a leash whenever we went out on a walk. He knew to stay close, even when another dog passed, or he saw a friend across the street.
Griffin lived near a golf course, so 6 months out of the year, we walked along the back 9 holes. He often found sticks as big as full grown trees and he would bring them to us as if to say, “Look! Aren’t you proud of me? Let’s play!” We would laugh out loud as he dragged the stick along with the top of it trailing behind him. He loved eating the snow and would roll around to scratch his back in the packed down areas of the yard. In the fall, if I was raking, he would bring the ball to me and drop it in the leaves I had just raked, disturbing the whole pile I just finished putting together.
In his golden years (pun intended), Griffin didn’t tire. We stopped throwing the ball but he was forever looking for sticks and balls in the neighbours’ garages. He wanted to play but his arthritis wouldn’t let him. He still walked twice a day, but shorter walks. He slept more and wanted to be inside more often. After supper, I would lie down bedside his pillow and pet him, talk to him about his day, ask him if he had a good day. Every morning he was still eager to see you, patiently waiting to go for a walk. In the evening, he’d come and softly nudge your arm as if to say, “pat me”.
He’d always look to make sure you were near by, sitting by him, ready to smooth down the coarse fur on his back or scratch him behind his silky ears. He talked to me with his golden eyes and told me what he wanted and needed all the time. Without a word we would know if he needed water, food, to be let out, a pat, a hug, or a walk. Sometimes I think that he knew more about us than he led on, since it was probably us who needed a hug or a pause in our day to play. He taught us to be kind, to show love, to stop and create community in our neighbourhood, and slow down to enjoy the beauty of nature around us.
In the end, Griffin showed us what he needed too. He had been so quiet, but at age 14, he had developed cancer in the last months of his life which was the hardest thing to watch. We will always remember the love and joy that he brought to our family. He transformed our lives for the better. It’s hard to imagine life without him, but I know that he would want us to continue everything that he taught us: show love, be kind, stop and talk, enjoy being outside, and spend some time daily for walks. I will always love you Griffin.
The Story of Minnie
My Girl Minnie
Six very short years ago there was a young girl helping out at a local shelter. This girl, whose name was Jen happened to catch the eye of a tiny miniature poodle that had been picked up by animal control after wandering the streets of a neighboring town for days. This little poodle was the next in line for, well let's say nothing good. Wanting to help, Jen adopted this cutie pie, knowing there was no way she could keep her, and that was when I received the call that would change my life forever.
I was now the owner of this little dog that I knew nothing about. I had no idea where she came from, how old she was or what her name was, but none of that mattered now, because I was determined to give her the best life that I could. We named her Minnie, and yes it was because she was a "mini" poodle. She was a scraggly girl, certainly not a dainty girly girl by any means. No, Minnie was a pit bull wrapped up in an 8 pound curly haired body, or at least she thought. She was a smart girl, a unique dog, with hysterical characteristics, holding her toy in her mouth to muffle out her bark. She was also quite the gymnast, always ready to perform for her favorite treats, twirling and jumping, she was something else. A tomboy who was afraid of nothing and she made sure to let everyone know who was the boss as she sat in the window giving her opinion to anyone who passed by.
She had suffered through so much in her life. She was abused by someone in her past, attacked by a dog triple her size, and battled with epilepsy, seizures and diabetes. She was a fighter though, and behind her tough attitude there was so much love she had been waiting to give, and I was the lucky one to be receiving that love. I was the chosen one. She was my companion, my friend, my soulmate and I was willing and ready to help her through anything, and I know she felt the same about me.
This amazing creature had grabbed a hold of my heart forever, and on June 24th 2017 she took my heart with her as she was called across the Rainbow Bridge. I miss her terribly, and I definitely feel cheated out of many more years she should have had, it doesn't seem fair. But whether it was one day, or six years I will be forever grateful to Jen, the girl who originally saved Minnie from that shelter. I absolutely believe that It was fate that brought them together, ultimately bringing Minnie to me and impacting my life in a way I could have never imagined.
My beautiful Minnie is gone now, leaving me here with this pain and heartache that is all too real, but if having Minnie in my life, for even one day meant experiencing this pain, I would suffer through it a million times over!!!! Until we meet again my girl, I say, hugs and kisses to you in heaven, as you run free. Sweet dreams always, I love you Minnie.
The Story of Riley
sun climbs the sky each day
and sometimes hides away
adorned by clouds
or made to blink by planes
a simple beauty that remains
flowers peddles bright
grass blades surrounding fight
for open space
new heights they must obtain
a simple beauty that remains
birds begin their chime
and constant changing rhyme
branch to branch
then airborne wind or rain
a simple beauty that remains
shadows never stop
from shape to shape they hop
not one spot
does any long sustain
a simple beauty that remains
there comes light from love
but lurking near
is darkness that grounds the dove
and when it does there’s still much yet to gain
with simple beauty that remains
by Conrad Rios
The Story of Princess
Princess also known as Prin Prin was born 12/03/09 My spouse purchased her at 5 weeks old and she was instantly welcomed with open arms by our family. She was so cute /cuddly and very intelligent. Every where she went she was sure to turn heads,of course followed by compliments.
Princess loved to snack on pup-roni beef sticks. I enjoyed giving her snacks because it was funny to see her patiently waiting to determine exactly how many beef snacks I was giving her, before she would eat any...lol. One of her favorite things to do was to ride with me in the car.
Princess will be dearly missed, she made life easier to deal with by giving her unconditional love. Although, I knew she wouldn't be here with us forever it doesn't make this process any easier.
The Story of Rosy
We were the luckiest family to have been blessed with Rosy. She entered our family on my 6th birthday in February of 2003, when she was a mere 3 months old, as an impromptu gift from my mother’s coworker. She had too small an apartment to house an active puppy, so she gave her to us. A random act of kindness, to relieve herself of what was probably an inconvenience, turned into us being given a new family member; she was the new center of my universe. A sheltie-corgi mix, she was simply the cutest little thing we, and many others, had ever seen. Even nearing the end of her life, at 13 years old, on walks she would still be called a puppy by passers-by who couldn’t take their eyes off her. She had a docile glow to her, a friendly warmth from within you could sense through her tender eyes and gentle wagging tail. She loved everyone. Rosy is the reason our family loves dogs so sincerely today.
Every little thing she did made us smile ear to ear. The way she would continuously nudge your hand to pet her, how she would let you love and hug her with all your might, or how when you pat your lap she would instantly sweep her ears back and look at you with this knowingness of love. The list goes on and on. Rosy carried with her the power to make even my dad, a seemingly expressionless stone-faced man, and his heart melt altogether with the joy of knowing her.
We were so lucky. She didn’t start to deteriorate in health until 13 or so when she developed diabetes and began gaining weight - but still, we gave her insulin shots daily, and she continued to live well. Nearing her last hours, she was unable to move or breathe very well, and ultimately died of old age at 14 and a half. 14 and a half years. We were so lucky. I believe she was the glue of our family, binding us together in both times of joy and conflict. And with me being an only child, she was truly my sister growing up, as well as my parent's baby. When I had no one to turn to, she was my shoulder to cry on. We miss her more everyday, but I know that, truthfully, it was her time to go. Our family is so lucky, and thankful, to have been given the opportunity to love our baby Rosy.
The Story of Budweiser
Where do I even begin? Its been so hard without you in my life. I still think about when I first laid eyes on you in Marietta Georgia, you looked like a little bear cub. I found out you were going to be put down the next day, I took you home right then and there. You were 3 months old and such a feisty little devil. Always escaping should have called you Houdini! I wouldn't change anything about you my dear baby boy!
People around the neighborhood miss you and of course we talk about you! Matt remembers when he was at our house late and you grabbed his hand, pulled on him and walked him to the front door. He still says he's never been kicked out of someone's house by the dog before. Tim always remembers how you would get mad at me for talking too much with the neighbors and you would grab your leash from me and walk yourself home. And Kimberly remembers everytime you would escape from home, you just walked the neighborhood and just spoke with every person you saw. You always had friends and everyone knew me as Budweiser's Dad. That was the best name people could have called me.
13 years and 7 months, thats how much joy and laughter you brought into my life. For the longest time I always told people the story of how I saved you but the truth is you Budweiser saved me! During my darkest hours in my life, you were my light! Through homelessness to the day I bought our house, from my heart attack, heart surgery, arm surgery, cancer and chemo, YOU WERE MY ROCK! I lived because of you! And then you got lung cancer, didn't even know you smoked behind my back. The doctors told me you had cancer on 9/25/16, 3 days after you 13th birthday and she said you only had 3 months to live. I was heartbroken and thought I was going to die. I never felt a pain like that before. I promised to take care of you till the very end the first day I laid eyes on you. I gave you more love, more food, less baths cause you hated them. At night I hugged to tighter in bed. Looked into your eyes so I wouldn't forget the amber and gold specs in your light brown eyes. Rubbed you more so not to forget how your fur felt. I got so wrapped up in making you comfortable that I didn't see you getting worse. Then you fell on April 13, wouldn't eat, hid from me and could barely walk. I asked you for a sign to let me know if it was time to let you go cause Daddy was really stupid and needed a house to fall on me to get the message. You looked at me and placed you head on my shoulder and I knew it was time. I rubbed your head as I cried for what seem like a million years. Even though it was just a few seconds.
I don't have enough words to thank you for what you truly gave me my dear sweet Boy! You are my best friend, my Love, my Rock, My first Dog! You are my teacher. You taught me to Love. Because of you I saved your brother Rusty and Sisters Princess and Stella! (They miss you too).
Love You and miss you like crazy! Till I see you in Rainbow Park!
ps (RIP Budweiser 9-22-03 to 4-13-17)
The Story of Cletis
My Angelic Little Lion “Shih Tzu” Cletis
Cletis my most loyal friend was the only liver and white puppy in his litter. Because of this he was outcast by his siblings and his breeder had to get him away from them in an effort to ensure his safety. My wife brought this little ball of fur home at a very early stage in his development. When I first saw him, I thought he was a cute little guy that would look good in a woman’s handbag, but would not be a dog that I would enter-act with often. At about 8 weeks of age he started to do things to catch my attention. Each morning before work I would find him wrestling my boots from the inside out as if to say, “ See I am a Fierce Little Lion.” He would steal my sox and challenge me to an early morning Tug of War each day. The way that he trotted on his leash when taking walks was so confident and majestic that I often had to recall who was really walking whom. The little guy was really attempting to prove to me his personality and heart was 100 times greater what he physical size appeared to be.
At an early age, he enjoyed getting free from his leash and taunting the neighborhood children that tried to catch him. He would lie down as if to say, “Ok, I give up, you can take me back.” Just before bolting off again. Playing fetch with him was truly one-sided and unique. Tossing the ball or stick for him to fetch resulted in him getting the item and then require you to chase him to get it back.
While out on walks, traveling on the road, or on long airline flights he never met a stranger; he was always open to a quick belly rub or head scratch. He was very attentive to smaller children that wanted to pet him. The way that he would stop and lay down in order for them to experience him for a moment was special in itself.
By age 15, my best friend had lost his zeal and was face with various ailments specific to his breed. It soon became apparent that he was only hanging on for me and would have continued to fight in pain had I kept being selfish. I couldn’t watch my best friend suffer in pain anymore so we laid him to rest with the greatest amount of dignity. Although today I know he plays in the field over the Rainbow, I can’t help but miss him. My only comfort now is knowing that one day he will return to get me and we will play again as we did in the years of his youth. Until then I will remember him as the Little Lion he was.
The Story of Mac
My boyfriend, Dylan, and I were in search of our first dog together, and researched many breeds before coming along the bullmastiff. We were living in an apartment at the time, and discovered that a bullmastiff would be a great apartment dog, and also double as a guard dog when I was home alone. We traveled from Houma, Louisiana to Houston, TX to pick him up, and immediately turned around and drove back home. We didn't get back home until daybreak, and were both extremely tired but we insisted on staying awake as long as possible to get to know our new fur baby. Not long after coming home with him, Dylan got called to go to work. He works offshore and would sometimes be gone a month at a time. That first year of Mac's life, Dylan was at work a lot so it was mostly just me, my son, and Mac.
From the day we first brought Mac home until the day he died, I was with him everyday. He brought so much joy into our lives, and in the rough times was the only reason Dylan and I stayed together to work things out. He thought I was his personal bed, and he knew nothing of personal space. No matter how small the chair I was sitting in, he would find a way to fit. He had natural puppy dog eyes, and looked sad all the time. He was very loved though. He greeted me every day when I would get home from work, and stayed by my side until it was time for bed. We have a king sized bed, and Mac took up most of it. He was the best cuddle buddy. I will miss waking up in the middle of the night, practically falling out the bed because Mac was stretched completely out and shoving us both to the edge. Any time I felt sad or alone, I would just hug him until I felt better. He would just sit there and let me hold him until I had enough, then he would give me a big kiss to let me know he loved me.
He was very stubborn. He knew simple commands, like sit and lay down, but would only do them if he wanted to. Otherwise, he would just look at us like we were dumb for even requesting such a thing from him. We loved him for that. He liked to complain a lot. We used to call him an old paw paw because of how he was either complaining or sleeping. Sometimes we would be watching TV, and if we weren't paying him enough attention he would stand right in front of us and start whining like a lost puppy. I have never heard a grown 85 lb dog sound more pathetic than when Mac wanted attention. I loved Mac like he was my own child. He was more than just a dog to me, and I am completely devastated without him. The house feels empty. Anyone that ever met him fell in love with him and his loving personality. He truly was the most incredible dog, and all our lives are a little empty without him in it.
The Story of Sven
We felt it was time to open ourselves to a new pet after losing my 3 pound chihuahua at 12 years old. We went into our local animal shelter just to "look". I instantly locked eyes with a 75 pound blue pit/staffordshire terrier. Our thoughts were no way could we handle such a big guy and aren't "pits" mean? We kept looking but kept coming back to him. An employee watched us as we kept coming back to stare at him and said why don't you just take him outside for a bit and get to know him. That was all it took.
We all fell in love with each other and he was the sweetest, smartest and most gentle dog. He demanded much love and affection but gave more back. But he had a proclivity to eat everything not tied down and was unable to move said everything through his system. He went through two surgeries to remove blockages and we were diligent to try to prevent it again but to no avail. Last week he had the symptoms and we just felt this one would be different. It was and we lost our sweet bubba, Dodo, Sven which means young warrior (he came from the shelter with that name and once we found out the meaning we kept it). He would have been three years old July 11th. We only had two years with him. Our life is forever touched and moved by his sweet soul and he will never be forgotten. Rest in peace our sweet blue boy.
The Story of Marley
In December of 2010, I was looking on Petfinder for a dog. I was ready to have my own dog living on my own. In my search those were things I needed since I had cats, birds and a ferret. I didn't want a puppy because I didn't have the time to train living on my own. In my search, I found a Great Dane/Aussie mix named Marley from a rescue. He was 7 years old at the time. I wasn't sure if I wanted to get a senior pooch because I didn't know how much time I'd have with him so I kept going back and forth with the idea.His background story was that he was with a family for 7 years of his life, he was in agility classes and he had other male dogs living with him. One day, Marley got into a fight with one of their unneutered Rotts. His family decided to take him to a vet and euthanize him because of the fight. The vet had to quarantine him for 10 days because he wasn't up to date on his rabies. During that visit, the Dr. couldn't euthanize him because they saw how great of a dog he was so they called the rescue. He stayed at the vet for the time being until he was either fostered or adopted. After a couple weeks, I reached out to the rescue and asked to meet him. They came out with him, inspected my house and said everything looked good, that they saw no problems he couldn't be here. So the next weekend (the weekend before Christmas), I went to their vet's office and picked him up. Marley was so excited. We took a picture together and right when I looked at him and bent down a little and asked him if he was ready to go home, he jumped up at my face to lick me. The woman from the rescue said this was a sign and how perfect was that.
At first, Marley was a handful, for being 7 years old; he still had so much spunk to him! He decided to lift his leg everywhere to mark his territory which I thought was unusual for a dog that should be fixed. Come to find out later, he had a cancerous mass growing in his stomach which the vets had no idea what it was until they opened it. When he was neutered, his other testicle never dropped and the cancerous mass was growing around that. So now you can imagine how upset I was that this happened it should have never happened. Marley had more and more medical issues as the time went on, very odd things that my vet's office was surprised. I don't think they had a file as thick as his with any other pet. A few years ago, he had to have a double hernia surgery. That was rough. His back end was very swelled up from the surgery and it was painful for him. It was costly, but I didn't care. I wanted him better. Then he had a digit that had a growth on it and it would come back and go away. Finally I decided to have it taken off because it was too much of a hassle. Those are only a couple of the major things I had to deal with Marley. If there was anything I had to do for him either medically or his daily needs, it got met. Money was never an object. I always found a way to get him the care he needed. He was spoiled rotten on top of it!!
Anyway, Marley was a very protective dog. At first it was a little rough with the cats. He wanted no one around me, but him so at times he'd snap at the cats if they got too close. He eventually stopped that behavior, but still protective of me and his territory which didn't bother me. Marley was a 70 lb. lap dog, not as big as a Great Dane, but had the features of the Great Dane. He was smaller because of the Aussie in him. Besides being protective of me and his territory, Marley loved people. When you were outside of the house, he barked and barked, but as soon as you came in the house, he'd be all over you wanting attention on him. When I'd have people over, he had to sit right in between me and the other person. He was a big couch hog too. When we were home that's where he was all the time. When I wasn't home, he'd go with me. He loved car rides too! When he would play, he liked to lay on his back with his tennis ball in his mouth. He'd kill the squeakers eventually on the other toys and pull out the stuffing, but he had this one special big soft bone he loved to play with. Even though he took out the squeakers and the stuffing, he still liked to play with it. His next favorite place to be in the house was in my bed. He'd have to sleep so close to me in a ball. He had to be touching me in some way when he was sleeping. Then sometimes I'd wake up in the middle of the night with him sprawled out and his butt in my face! I think his most favorite thing besides relaxing at home with me is walking. We would go to the forest preserves and go for long walks. The longest walk we did in one day was 5 miles! He slept a long long time after that trip! We'd walk at least 3 times a week when the weather allowed us. The smile on his face when he'd look back at me was priceless. Marley would stop and wait for me to catch up and look at me with this smile of how happy he was to be out. As soon as I'd catch up, he'd turn back and just start power walking again. He'd stop again and look at me and then keep walking always smiling. He was the best walking buddy!
Earlier this year, he started having some more issues where he didn't want to eat much, but he'd bounce back. This final time, unfortunately he didn't. The early morning of May 2, 2017, when I let him out to go potty, I was going to stay home with him because I was going to call the vet because he wasn't acting right. That morning he collapsed and I had to take him to the ER vet. Long story short, he had a mass on his spleen rupture and the seizure he had prior was most likely from this too, it was cancer. People would ask me when I first got Marley as to why I adopted an older dog. I simply told them that they need love too and even though you don’t have them for their whole lives, it doesn’t matter. Marley and I had a very strong bond and of course I wish I had longer with him, but I’d never regret getting a senior pooch. He gave me so much love. In his memory for his cremation, I got 2 paw prints. One of which shows how unique he is, the paw where his digit was removed. Later, I will be spreading some of his ashes where we went walking. We had a usual area where we went walking. I think he would’ve liked that.
The Story of Oliver
Oliver, my cream colored Shih Tzu, came into my life completely by surprise. We went to the neighborhood pet shop to buy food for my then teenage daughter’s ferrets and our Cockatiel. It was 2002, and I was already aware of the horrors of puppy mills. My husband HAD to go to the back of the shop to look at puppies and called me to come and look. I refused……after his urgency “you HAVE to come back here” I reluctantly went. There in the cage, lying still, face between his paws, no excitement or tail wag in site, was the most beautiful puppy. A hand written sign next to the kennel had the birth date, he was already 4 months old, and his price had a red line through it. He was marked down like an old shirt. A few hacks came next……I said “go call the guy” So here came the guy with the stretched out ear holes and pierced eyebrow. “What’s wrong with that puppy”? I asked. ”Has he had vet care”? “No” he said, “They’ll probably send him back, I think he’s sick” “Send him back WHERE, WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO HIM”? “You don’t want to know” he said. But I did know. I knew all about Amish puppy mill farmers in Pennsylvania and what they do to non-profitable merchandise. Against my rescuers commitment to “Adopt not Shop”, I took Oliver home. He was in the University of Penn vet hospital the next day. Lots of money and many prayers later, Oliver came home and our mutual love affair began….Oliver became my “soulmate” pup. He was the youngest of my 4 member pack at that time. We have lost the older 3 but I have adopted 3 other little unwanted misfit pups.
Oliver was special beyond words or description and I was not the only one who felt that way. My entire family is feeling his loss. My mother used to call him my shadow, as a young dog he was always where I was. I had to teach him “I’ll be back” because my absence didn’t thrill him. My husband said as a puppy he would cry when I left. He learned to feel secure and happy but always had one eye on me to make sure I wasn’t leaving without him, especially when visiting family. He was always so well behaved and sweet, he was welcomed everywhere. I am a nurse, and when I worked an overnight shift, Ollie would stand at my feet after I put my scrubs on and look up and down at me…then walk away and settle himself for the night. He knew where I was going and that I’d be back. He was found on a bench in my front window looking and waiting. But on the days off, I couldn’t get out the front door without him. He was the only one that I could teach more than sit and stay, and gave me a “high five” on request his entire life. He was also the only one that I could walk off leash….he had no desire to leave my side. Even walking down stairs, he would walk next to me and If I stopped, he stopped. Of course a lot of that subsided as he went into his senior years. But he slept on my bed with me every night. Oliver overcame several health issues throughout his life, including Pulmonary Hypertension which usually has a very poor prognosis. But with medication he did really well for a year. Ollie succumbed to cancer, and we are struggling not only with his loss but with the guilt, self-loathing, “what-ifs, whys, and if onlys” because he was diagnosed in late stages. We had no warning that he was sick, and it was found at a routine visit too late to treat. Ollie went into cardio shock, was severely anemic, and a treatment or cure was not to be. I Love you my Angel!
The Story of Kona Lee
Kona Lee Kraus-Temple
Our beloved Kona Lee joined us on December 31, 2011. We went to an adoption fair to see a dog on a website we were interested in and ended up bringing Kona Lee home instead. We remember that she was laying on a blanket on the black top with a macramé blanket covering her. She would look up on occasion to see what was going on but generally seemed calm with all the chaos going around. They called her Precious and while she was very precious we kept thinking about the Lord of the Rings so we knew we were going to change her name. Lori, my spouse, came up with the name Kona Lee since she was the color of coffee and her middle name because it was mine. So, Kona Lee joined our pack of Maxie Yodo and Colton Benjamin along with our cats, Brindie Brat and Calvin Casey. The best way to describe her attitude was “don’t worry, be happy.” People would comment that her Hawaiian name matched her personality. We made her signature color Pink.
She enjoyed going to the dog park every Saturday, at times to find the mud to roll around in, going for rides to Starbucks to get a “Pupa Chino”, and hanging out in her dog pool. She was my little shadow. No matter where I went in the house, she would not be too far behind. If she wanted to let you know she was near sometimes she would nudge your knee or elbow. I really miss her presence and her wagging tail. I would sing her a song which was,” I gotta be me, I gotta be free, who else would I be, but Kona, Kona Lee.”
She had medical issues such as allergies and itchiness among a few other things. Unfortunately, the last few months of her life were not the best when she was eventually diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease which may have also been Cirrhosis of the liver. We changed her meds, ran tests, etc., but it kept getting worse and it was finally time to let her go. She left us on April 25, 2017. She is now free of itchiness, allergies and pain. Run free, wag your tail and enjoy the mud puddles! We will see you on the other side one day but know we love you and miss you so much our dear little sweet pea, Kona Lee.
Michele Kraus & Lori Temple
The Story of Susie
Well how do I begin I have had 9 wonderful years with you my Susie Lou. You have been with me though a lot and I have been there with you through yours. I got you when you were 8 weeks and I fell in love with you even when you decided that you didn't want to be in your bed but you wanted to be in mine. You were a little trouble maker but I still loved you. You kept me awake until I gave in and yes I did as you pulled at my heartstrings I couldn't bear to hear you cry anymore. You were my best friend the most loyal and loving 4 pawed friend I have ever had the privilege to take care of. You always kept me warm when I was cold and always licked the tears away when I cried.
What blew my mind most about you was that you had the weirdest allergy I have ever known for a dog and that was to grass but I helped you as best I could. Even when we put weight on we helped each other. You were more than a pet to me you were family.
You were very patient and slightly proud when we had a new member of the family join us and your patience was tested time and time again but you were so kind and caring. You just let them get on with it as long as you got a belly rub at the end you were happy. We all love and miss you deeply and you will forever be in our hearts and prayers xx
Susie please forgive my actions but it was so you didn't suffer my princess. You're still my baby girl and always will be. Love you to the moon and back xxxx Sleep well Princess xx
Love Mammy and family xxx
The Story of Chiko
My Chiko was an amazing big guy, he was definitely a keeper since the first day he came home 7 years ago.
Chiko was in deed the smartest of all of the other two he was attentive, obedient, and very lovable to his big sister nina (shit zuh) and his little brother Cj (yurki). My pak will for ever be incomplete. Chiko was and still is a big part of our family and we will for ever miss him. His death was not expected and he was gone to soon.😢
The Story of Lacee
Lacee was given to me at 12 weeks old- she was a very special “pick of the litter” so to speak. She was the only girl along with her two brothers in the litter. She was not sold due to her having a “Cherry Eye”. I immediately fell in love with her, took her home, had her spayed and her eye repaired. She was a full bred tan Chihuahua with the perfect apple face and huge brown eyes.
She was very over protective of me. She was not your typical stereotyped Chihuahua. She loved people and children especially. She loved being cuddled and having her belly rubbed. She was such a sweet, kind, and dainty little girl. She was very sharp, with a masterful mind for mischievousness.
The highlight of her day was getting her “doggie biscuits”. She brought so much joy to my life, my family, and my friends. EVERYONE adored her. Lacee died at 11 years old from Diabetes and heart failure. We all love and miss her so much, and know she’s now one of Gods’ special angel dogs.
R.I.P. my sweet Lacee-Girl (her nick name).
The Story of Hula
I met Hula at the Orange County Animal shelter while I was volunteering in September 2007. She pressed herself against the chain link fence so I would pet her. I gave her lots of attention while volunteering. Afterwards, I went home and told my husband that we had to adopt her. He was slightly hesitant as we already had a dog (who was totally high maintenance!) but he agreed to meet her. As soon as he met her, we began the process to adopt her. She was so playful, kind and patient to our older dog. I'm sure she extended his life and improved his quality of life. When he passed away, she easily took to being the sole object of our attention!
Hula loved walks (and stopping to smell everything!), playdates with her friends, snuggles, treats and sunbathing. In 2015, we welcomed a son and Hula made the transition to patient older child better than I expected! She was so kind to him. Hula was our son's favorite family member. He lit up every time she entered the room. She was beloved by him and everyone else who met her. Our vet once described her as a "poster dog for shelter pets." She was her mommy's baby girl and a total spoiled princess and she knew it! I really miss my Hula but I'm so thankful she picked us that day in the shelter. We were lucky to have 10 amazing years together!
The Story of Amos Moses
Thank you so much for letting me tell you my story about my baby! Amos came to me and my fiancé through his dad. They breed jack Russell's. Well Amos was an inbreed lol. But he was the best dog anyone could have ever asked for! He was born September 2013 and passed away March 3, 2017. We were loading furniture to take to my in laws and Amos got out. He's always really good about staying in the yard. Well he got out and we didn't notice that he did. He loved going for rides. When he got out, he didn't even come to the truck begging to come with us which was weird, so we didn't see him. We left to go to the in laws and were gone for about 4 hours. We came back home and I'm looking for Amos to take him to potty. Can't find him anywhere. So I go outside and call for him nothing. Then my 12 yr old son says mom I see something white across the street. My fiancé and son immediately run over there. It's Amos. My fiancé is crying. I start screaming and immediately fall to the ground crying. I lost it. I was vomiting and having panic attacks and crying uncontrollably for three hours. We buried him the following morning with his favorite blankie and tons of his toys and his favorite, the laser.
We got Amos at three weeks old and we live in Royston, Georgia. He was born in September of 2013. Amos Moses got his name from his daddy who got it from the song by Jerry Reed. Amos brought so much joy to our lives. We'd get compliments about him wherever we'd go. He loved going to the beach or lake! He loved playing with the laser and empty water bottles. If you had a ball you better believe he'd go after it! He'd always follow me around wherever I went. If I even said I had to go pee, he'd beat me to the bathroom and jump up on top of his crate where his favorite blankie was and wait for me. He'd do the same as I showered. When I cooked he'd be right there at my feet waiting for something to drop.
He'd love to go for car rides. That was his all time favorite thing. He'd stick his little head out the window. He also adored his laser. He'd go crazy over that thing! I miss him so much! I keep expecting to come home and he'd come running and jumping trying to greet me. He never gave kisses, until my daughter was born. She was the only one he gave kisses to. Thought they'd grow up together seeing as she's only four months old. He protected her and I from any threats he thought were near, mainly my boys being loud or fighting with one another.
Amos would do this howling bit when I'd say where's my baby? lol he'd go into a howling fit when I said there he is! My fiancé taught to him at just six weeks old to come on command to the whistling song off Robin Hood. I taught him several tricks and he knew them by heart and in order before I could even tell him what to do. He'd sleep tucked under the covers right beside me buried in my back or butt.
We had Amos for almost three and half years before he got hit by car while we weren't at home on March 3, 2017. He was a loyal companion, my baby and the best dog I could have ever asked for. He is forever in our hearts and thought about on a daily basis. Loosing him was like loosing one of my children.
The Story of Malcolm
Thank you so much for letting me honor my best friend. His story starts off in Columbus, Ohio.
Columbus, Ohio 1999. One of my friends was working at Longs bookstore and one of the employees there had a litter of puppies. They were Chihuahua and Pekingese mix, he was the family favorite and the only Black and Tan in the litter . They gave him his name and we just kept it. He was very small and would try and get away with everything. He was also very cute my friend Sarah would take him to the park to meet guys !! Lol
We've been through a lot together. He saw he through my college years into early adulthood. I'm a recovering alcoholic and Malcolm went through that part of my life with me as well. He always loved my when I couldn't love myself. He showed me what unconditional love truly is.
We had so many adventures together we lived in so many places and it was always Malcolm and his mommy.
I got sober in 2008 and Malcolm got a sister named Sally she a chihuahua mix as well . In 2013 I got married and Malcolm got a little sister named Larkin she's a bullmastiff . Larkin loves Malcolm but he has had little man problems all his life so of course he put her in her place. All in all we have a great family.
Malcolm passed away February 22 2017 in the morning of old age and a eye problem. We are all very sad . His sisters miss him and I miss him with all my heart . He was my baby .
He was a great companion and friend he has always held a place in my heart like no other. We love and miss you like crazy Malcolm.
The Story of Sally Anne
Remembering Sally Anne (February 2005 - February 2017)
I purchased Sally Anne along with her sister Sadie King in May 2005, they were 8 weeks old.
Sally Anne was a proper character with a scraggy rough haired appearance. She had her front teeth removed a few years ago due to an accident with a patio wall. Her missing teeth added to her character and her tongue often poked out.
She disliked going out in the rain or wearing her dog coat, noisy dustbin lorries, buses, cows "mooing" or visiting the vets.
Her favourite things were - going for at least 4 walks per day and barking at every dog, eating chicken and chopped pork at any opportunity, perching on the chair keeping guard of the garden, snoozing in the chair, visiting the allotment and going out in the car.
All this has now gone and our lives are a lot quieter. Sally Anne recently passed away after a short illness.
Sal the last 12 years were a blast. Your crazy mad ways were great and I wouldn't have changed anything. I am blessed to have had you in my life.
The Story of Sandee
I adopted Sandee from a shelter in Florida when she was 8 wks old. She was such a playful pup and you could tell that she wanted and need a loving family. My two young children adored her and we took her to the beach all the time. She loved swimming and running out in the open. A couple years later we found her a brother. Another shelter pup but they quickly became the best of friends. He passed away last year, with her beside him and I could tell she was sad without him; they were always together.
We found out a year or so ago that she had kidney disease and before that, doggie dementia (amongst other old age problems). Much like a little old lady, she was grouchy at times, lost her way, was confused, but still a big part of the family. The last 6 months or better have been especially tough, as her health declined and we were basically providing Hospice care for her.
Most recently, we knew she couldn't hang on much more and we may have to make the decision to let her go peacefully and end her suffering. Last Tuesday that day came for me. I do not regret the decision to give her dignity and peace, but it is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. She was a great dog who had a beautiful soul and gave us nearly 16 years of her life.
The Story of Maya
Maya- Our beloved angel
It had been few days, when we had decided that we would buy a Golden Retriever, but due to some problems we could not bring the puppy to our home. It was the 6th of November, when I had a fight with my hubby regarding bringing a puppy to our home. That particular day I lost my patience and tried frantically every pet shop for this particular breed. Luckily, one pet shop had a Golden Retriever pup. We were so happy and on 07th of November, we went to pick her up (our little bundle of joy). She had beautiful eyes. The very 1st moment I saw her in crate, she wagged her tail and I knew we had found her.
We named her Maya (illusion, magic). She was a 45 days old puppy. The very first day we brought her, we knew life would be so beautiful from now. First few days were bit frustrating for me (potty cleaning and all), and one fine day we had thought about returning her, as we were not able to manage because of office hours and all. The very next day, when we had made up our mind to return her, she suffered rectum prolapse and we rushed her to doctor. I remember when she got operated for 1st time, she was in lot of pain, and that moment, we decided, she is our 1st girl, and we would never give her away. After that, she started remaining sick, because of rectum prolapse, series of operations, medicines, and much more. We started taking lot of care of Maya. I remember it was so fun feeding her playing with her, she used to sleep on my lap , play with chew and balls, I used to brush her daily under the sun and she loved it. Suddenly, in the 1st week of December, she started having blood in her urine and became anemic. We rushed her to hospital and our vet told us, that her case is quite critical. She got admitted, had blood transfusion and one major internal surgery, which she could not survive and left for heavenly abode on 10.12.2016. We buried her on 11.12.2016 with full respect and prayers. I remember the moment when the doctor handed me her dead body. (I was devastated and could not believe that I won’t be able to hold my bundle of joy any more).
Maya, wherever you are, please know that we love you a lot. You will be our 1st child always. For the short stint she had on earth, i.e for 2 months, she brought lot of changes in our life. Lots of positive things happened. Our little bundle of joy, in spite being in lot of pain, never complained. She was brave, very intelligent, very mature at this small age and most of the time she understood our thoughts. Wish, we could save her, but in spite of our best efforts we could not. There is a big void, in our life, which I don’t how to fill up. We have some really good memories with her and I know she is at least relieved of her pain now. God bless her soul and give her all the love that she needs now.
Love and love- Nivedita and Abhishek
The Story of Prissy
Prissy came into my life during a time I needed unconditional love and companionship . I went to a reputable breeder. As I walked through one little one caught my eye she was a black and tan miniture doxie 3 weeks old. I was told they were keeping her, but I pleaded with them to let me have her and they finally agreed. I had a trip planned for when she was ready to come home. She was a little bigger and had eyes that were bright and happy. On the way home there was nothing keeping her from wrapping around my kneck so she could see everything. From that point on we were best buddies.
She quickly made herself at home and she explored everywhere. That night I made a place for her on the floor to sleep. Nothing doing, I heard a whimper and she had her two front paws on the bed trying to come up. I put my hand down and she climbed on and slept on my hip all night and every night there after. She was a good puppy never destroyed anything, just her toys which when they were in pieces I'd buy more ..... she was full of love and happy as long as she could be where ever I was. Winter was approaching so it was nice to have a built in bed warmer .
Spring came and I opened the pool; I never imagined she would be the first one in it. She loved the water, as soon as I came home it was swim time. When I met my wife, she was not a dog lover at first. But it only took Prissy a couple hours and she won her heart as well . Where we went Prissy went. We became two people one dog and that saying carried with us through out our lives. Everything we did we included her, she was our child.
In 2010 we retired to Thailand. There was no question Prissy was coming too or we would not go . When the time came I did all the needed import documents to bring her with us. She rode in the cabin with us in her little case 27 hours not a peep I'd slide my hand in her case so she could smell me and bottle fed her water.We arrived in Bangkok and passed through immigration without a hitch, then a 19 hour train ride to the north where we live now. Prissy did fine in the sleeper car looking out the window which I opened so she could feel the air on her face.
She was adapted well to the long trip and her new home. The yard was all block walled so we could leave the doors open and she could come and go as she pleased. She and I took walks often and sometimes she's ride in the basket of my bike. Everyone who met Prissy loved her; at my home she'd jump in your chair and sit with you.
Her rountine became when I got up in the morning she'd follow me out and stand by the refrigerator waiting for her treat while I had coffee. She was such a loving dog she was happy as long as she was sitting in between us. We knew she was aging and called her old lady dog, but she never slowed down; she will be forever in our hearts.
We took her to the vet as it became progressively clear she was not feeling well; we were told she had a heart valve problem and probably had had a heart attack. For a while the medicine helped but then she slowed down again. I could see she was suffering, which is not what we wanted. I gqve the vet permission to put her to sleep if she felt it necessary. As she continued to deteriorate we knew it was time to let her go. We all cried but her pain was gone and she was in good hands now.
We had Prissy cremated, placed her ashes in a box along with three small angel pendants from my deceased mother. Friday we will fly to the ocean in the south to set her free. It was always our dream to take her to the beach and let her swim in the ocean. Now she will.
My wife and I are heart broken our house is empty now ... its been a week we still cry, but I wouldnt change a thing, I know she'll never come back but I will see her again I'm sure. I say she took some of our heart when she left us, but left enough of hers in our hearts ....
The Story of Hawk Eye
In the first six months of your goofy wire-haired dachshundness you taught me that you would do tricks ONLY for treats. I fought with you and tried to tinker with your spirit, only to learn that you were steady as Atlas. And none can shrug you. You told me you were going to use your eyes a lot because you loved talking. You also are the reason I spell dachshund right J. I got you in my home as a companion for BJ, your best friend, the eternal puppy labrador and both of you soon grew to define all the beauty and peace in my life.
As time flew, I noticed your favorite things were centered on me. When I stepped out, you wanted to go no matter where I was headed to. I would say I am going here, there, and this and that, and that I cannot take you along. And your answer would always be, “take me”. This and that and can’t do. Yet, you are saying, “take me along.”. You loved the car rides and the open windows, and jumping onto my thighs, your little paws pressing onto them. When I lay on the ground, you would come and crawl right onto my stomach, not those crevices or nooks of the arms and legs for you. When I sat down to meditate, you would hop onto my lap. And I would always tell you, “Hawk I cannot meditate like this.”. But I guess it now feels you were the meditation. You loved to lick me smack on the lips, and sometimes I would say no. I am sorry for each of those times now. You let me brush your teeth only because you bargained your treats in the end. You held me in your kindest and gentlest and most powerful gaze when my world seemed dark and unsteady. You healed me in many ways and I think I will always feel your love around. Your love is the purpose I have been searching high and low for, so pure, so unconditional, so giving, and so spiritual.
You stayed spotlessly healthy and fit your whole nine years and in 36 hours, your heart said it was time. I can only imagine that your big, big, big heart has much more healing to give me, wherever you are. Stay happy, stay free, stay warm Hawkadoo, wherever you are. I can feel you in my heart and will carry this light forever. Thank you.
With so much love,
The Story of Harley
I was on my way to work April 2004 and found this little ball of fur along the road. He had been dumped by someone and now needed a home which I gladly stopped and picked him up. It was a cool morning and I took him home to the wife we had just lost Molly but Harley came along at the right time. He grew up to be a Corgi/Shepherd mix he had no bad habits and was loving to everyone who met him always shaking his tail and grinned showing his teeth for the wife when she would give him treats.
He was also a Houdini always getting out of pens or out of his collars but never did stay out he would always return happily to be with us. Hated storms with thunder and lightning, we would often comfort him as he was scared. Harley was always there for us and always a constant companion. We loved him very much, Dec 3 2016 he was diagnosed with Lymphoma cancer he held his own until about 2 weeks ago for which the cancer was taking over. We spent every available minute with him that we could Harley was a very special dog to both of us and we miss him dearly. Someday we will be able to hold him tight again and be with him forever.
We love you Bubby!
The Story of Max
My sweet Max was born the day before Christmas Eve, he was so precious and had the bluest eyes when they opened. His eyes made him seem more like a human. I got to finally take him home at six weeks and he was so sweet. He would always lay on the couch and sleep with you until you got out of bed. He was so playful and would run around in circles barking at you. He would always make a spot on my bed for himself.
As he got older he was still remained so sweet and precious and his personality only grew. He was very intelligent and his eyes were so expressive. It almost seemed as if he understood your emotions and felt the same. He would chase lightning bugs at night and when it snowed he would jump around in it and eat snowflakes. I remember a time when I came home from school and he was sitting on top of the grill outside just waiting for me. When he was hungry he would run to the door spin around and bark once wagging his tail.
He would lay with me for hours and would always be very protective. At Times he wouldn't get let me get up as he laid on me. Sadly his life was to short. He was only 2 when he suddenly went paralyzed in his hind legs. We rushed him to the vet and he was diagnosed with lymphosarcoma. It was very aggressive and he was in pain, so we had to make the painstaking decision to euthanize him. I miss him dearly, but when I'm sad I just think about all of the sweet and funny things he did. He was the sweetest dog I have ever had, and he made anyone who met him change their opinions on pit bulls.
The Story of Diego
Diego my beautiful soul
Born during the month of April 2006 this little ball of fluff was part of a huge litter mixed with black and golden labs. 6 weeks later we were standing observing this overload of cuteness and wondered how we could possibly choose just one. Diego decided to take matters into his own hands by choosing us, he confidently circled our feet nibbling and licking to mark us as his own. he was lucky and got to stay with his mum for a bit longer as we were due to fly to florida at the end of June so he was 12 weeks old when we collected him. I'm sure he recognised us as his chosen family, Jordan was excited as Craig said he was going to schoose his very own pup to be his new brother. I crossed my fingers he'd pick diego as that's who we were collecting. Diego made sure he was the cutest and Jordan couldnt resist his playful personality and cuteness. Michael met him later and he fell in love too..
we have so many fantastic memories but some of my favourite Diego moments i have managed to collect on video - i am a lucky mum.
I wanted to list all the reasons i loved him but theres so many - heres a few to give you an idea of how special he really was.
1) Diego and the fluffy pen, his bouncing and intimidating technique was hilarious and it was almost the only time you heard his bark
2) visting was something he loved to do but he capped it with a time limit and after 10 minutes and half a cuppa the woof was loud to tell me it was time to go home for tea
3) He loved corrie and bailey pug - his playful escapades of chase and catch were so amazing to watch
4) His crazy half hours, lying balls up on the sofa play fighting with his dad and me
5) rolling on his back across the grass
6) his happy face on his long walks especially if hes had a full on smell walk where theres no rush and he can smell the same spot for as long as he likes - usually a really long time.
7) Chester next doors cat teasing him walking along the fence or just sitting at the other side of it being a wideo
8) That spiky hedgehog - he would bounce around like he was dancing with it barking but never really getting close enough to touch it.
9) If i cried he would come give me kisses and hugs till i stopped
10) the way he just plonked himself across my lap or reversed into you for special butt scratching.
11) The way he used to bounce like tigger at walk times
12) His jealousy was super cute. no kisses for mum and dad if Diego's about.
13) The way he'd look after a toy for so long then suddenly murder it to get the squeaker out
14) The way he'd lick a small child relentlessly as he just loved kids - not all kids liked this.
15) His happy face as he'd arrange his bed just so. hmmm maybe should have let him have a puppy
16) The way he welcomed you in the door bringing a present of his favourite toy
17) The way he would watch out the window at home time for us to come home
18) The way he'd sit on susans shoulder until he got a sweetie
19) He was the most amazing most perfect dog in the world
20) The way he'd fart then escape the smell leaving us with it.
this isnt everything I could be here all day with all of his special ways to make us incredibly happy, we were the luckiest family in the world the day you chose us and I wouldnt change any of it for the world.
love always and forever mum xxxxxx
The Story of JuJu
Juju The Best Dog Ever
Juju was an eight pound ball of fur with a BIG personality. God took him far to soon and now all I am left with is wonderful memories. He loved to play with squeak toys, chase cats, birds, and yes, even snakes. He also loved following me everywhere I went.
Juju had a vast understanding of human language and he always knew what you wanted him to do. He knew what you wanted him to do and was always eager to please, except for take a bath them, he would run and hide.
Juju was sad when I was sad. He was happy when I was happy. He was a source of strength and a great companion. He was my special little friend. I will always love and miss him very much.
From a dog lover, EB
The Story of Indiana
Indiana came to me at 8 weeks old. I had a choice between 3 beautiful puppies and she chose me with a lick on my chin. A typical Labrador she was bright, happy, friendly, extroverted and always up for some fun. From the minute she woke up every day started as a new adventure with bounding enthusiasm. Indy was my shadow, following me everywhere, sometimes patiently, sometimes gently reminding me what time it was. Time to get up, time for a walk, dinner time and sometimes if we had been reading too long she would poke her head under the magazine and remind us she was there.
She loved life, loved her food and had to be in the middle of things. If I dug a hole in the back yard she would get in it and dig it with me. If I mowed the lawn she would run in front of it and grab mouthfuls of grass before the lawnmower did. If I watered the garden with a hose she would try to grab or bite the water.
She didn't just wag her tail, she wagged her whole body and could put a smile on anyone's face. She was a character. She knew me and I knew her. In the last couple of years it developed into a system of looks, she would look at me and then what she wanted. She was my love and turned the house into a home.
The last years were some of the best. Old and wise she knew the house rules and was a joy to have around. She still wanted to play, but loved the massages and cuddles as well.
Diagnosed with Elbow Dysplasia at 6 months, arthritis and numerous set backs she never let anything hold her back, she wanted to live.
So when the pain killers were no longer effective and she didn't want to get up I knew it was time to let her go. She was 13.5 years old and even though I thought I was prepared there is a big gaping hole where she used to be. I miss my little girl so much and think I always will. You were a furry bundle of joy Indy, and you brightened everyone's life that you touched. Love you Indy xx.
The Story of Sally
Sally was a rat terrior. She was a left over puppy that some people had and could not sell so they offered her to us for free. When she first came she was very shy and just sat in a corner by herself. It did not take her long to come around though. By the next day she was getting to know the whole family and giving us all lots of kisses like she always knew us! Very quickly she became the family sweetheart. At her old home she used to sleep on a bale of hay, now she slept every night on the bed with one of us way under the covers. Sally was very,very affectionate. She loved to run in our fields and chase any little animal she could find. She also would show all her teeth and give the biggest beautiful smile.
The other evening on the 22th I realized that Sally wasn't in her usual chair that she would sit on before we would all go to bed. It was dark already and I knew that was just not like Sally. We took her to the emergency vet and for a while gave her pain meds but she was not getting any better so on October 26th we put her to sleep. I miss my baby so much. I see her brown eyes still looking at me. I pray she knows how much she is loved and I pray that I did the right thing.
The Story of Bones
I fostered Bones when he was just 4 months old. He had kennel cough and a fungal infection and needed to recover outside of a shelter environment. I knew immediately that I would never let him go, and I am proud to be called a foster failure. Bones was the sweetest, goofiest, most gentle and patient boy I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. When Bones was a puppy, he proudly collected his dog bones from the house and brought them in the back yard to bury. Every morning he dug them up and every evening he buried them again. Since he was a hound/shar pei mix, I called them his "hound holes". He had one for his bones, and one in the shade to cool off from the hot SC sun. And that is how he earned his name.
Bones did not change much in his adult life, he always had a Bone with him, and he could always found by my side, doting into his mommies eyes. I have so many wonderful memories of him to hold onto, and I will do my best to honor him by continuing to help other animals, like I helped him. I am so thankful that I was able to give him the life he deserved. Lots of car rides, home cooked food, park visits, snuggles and walks with his dog friends.
He survived minor renal failure and MCT recently, and after that I started making rescue donations in honor of his extraordinary will to live. He made me a better person, and in turn I will continue to be the best person I can be, so that I can make him proud. This past week he got very ill, and while it is unclear what caused this, we believe it was most likely the cancer coming back. Regardless, I am honored to have spent 9 1/2 wonderful years with him, all of which I cherish, and none of which will be forgotten. I am grateful I could give him one final gift, the gift of peace, in his home, with his loving pack guiding him to a safe and pain free afterlife.
The Story of Tessa
Odyssey with Tessa
Tessa’s predecessor, Mike, a black lab and pit bull mix, had been gone over two years. One day, over two years after Mike had died, my husband begged me to get another dog. He said he still missed Mike, but realized he “needed” a dog. Finally, at one shelter, just as we were about to go, the volunteer said to wait because they had just rescued a dog from death row at the Newark shelter. They called her Moon because they said she had a calm way about her. They brought her out and she immediately jumped up on the bench where my husband was sitting and leaned into him. He put his arm around her and the rest is history.
Tessa was a big girl, 75 pounds, about 2-3 years old at the time we got her, a beautiful brindle Pit Bull with eyes that could melt ice. She was strong and wasn’t fond of other dogs or maybe she just had a bad experience at some time. I never knew which. We brought her home and I was resistant to opening my heart to her. I wanted to be loyal to Mike. I told her she had some big paws to fill.
My husband died a little over two years ago. The year he was ill, she’d sit by him for hours, not moving, just sitting by him. When he was in intensive care, I asked the staff to let me bring her to see him. She stood very still by his bed. I lifted the blanket so she could sniff his foot, then his hand. She stood by silently and took it all in, not squirming, not crying.
After my husband died, Tessa and I began our journey together. We cemented our bond with each other over the 27 months he was gone. I’ve always loved dogs and to have one for me is a commitment to a lifetime of care in every way. So I watched all the Cesar Millan videos to see if I could learn something that would help us, something that would help her.
Many times people would cross the street when they saw us coming; Tessa, a very large rather intimidating looking dog but she was so good. Through all the sorrow and upheaval in my life I came to know her, appreciate her and love her more deeply than I thought possible seven years ago.
She was the most undemanding, unusual dog I’ve ever had the privilege to have in my life. She would eat anything that was put in front of her. When I was cutting up vegetables she come running into the kitchen so she could have some. She loved lettuce and kale and broccoli. Truly. She was the only dog I’ve had that always had to have a stuffed toy in her mouth when she walked around the house. You’d think a child lived in the house, her toys were on the floor in every room. She never barked at anyone who came to the door. She would stand silently there. Her presence was enough of a statement to anyone. Her presence, too, was that of a calm strength.
In the last six months of her life, she developed a new habit, one that endeared her to me more than ever before. Every night around 10 PM she would come into the TV room and look at me. That meant “Let me out.” I did. She’d go out for a few minutes and I’d let her back in. I would settle back to watch TV. Then she would come in and sit by me. Just sit, not wanting anything that I could see. So I would put my arms around her, kiss her on her strong jaw, tell her I loved her and that now she could go to bed. And she did. She’d climb on the couch and I would cover her with her blanket. She looked so peaceful, so content, like a sleeping child after a happy day. I will always remember that sweet and gentle memory.
Tessa grew into my heart slowly over the years, through my some of my most difficult days, coping with the loss of my husband and then my own illness. She was there. I thought wrongly, after Mike died, that I could never love another dog as much as I loved him. I was wrong. And it’s not about loving as much as, it’s about loving as deeply as, but in a different way. Tessa expanded my heart. I grew to love her so much that now it’s very difficult to live without her at times. Dogs come into our lives at different places in our own journey. We are different people when they come in and we are better people when they leave. I believe all my dogs taught me things I needed to learn at the moments of time we shared our lives. When they left, they took, I willingly gave, a piece of my heart with them and they left a piece of theirs with me.
I hope my girl knows I loved her and will forever. She was a grace in my life, a steadfast, gentle and calm creature whom I believe was wise beyond what I knew of her. A friend who knew Tessa and was with us when she died always called her a “mother dog.” I think she was.
The Story of Natcho
Natcho was a female Lab we brought home from a breeder a little over 12 years ago. She was totally fearless, non-timid and full of energy. She loved all dogs and all people. She had her goofy ways about her. She loved our local leash free park and was especially fond of field hikes or days at the beach while camping. She loved car rides with her head held in the breeze, or standing with her head between the front seats so she could take in all the action.
Natcho had a great influence on bonding my daughter and I together after a divorce, and our lives revolved around daily activities with her. She had a profound effect on my daughter who is now in her 2nd year of college to become a Vet Tech, which is a lovely legacy from Natcho to us both.
My only regret is that I never had her spayed, which no doubt lead to her having to have two mammary tumor surgeries in the last year and a half. Though she bounced back immediately after surgery, it appears that one had metasticized to her lungs to a degree that even shocked the vet, as her lungs were totally clear 4 months ago. She hid the symptoms almost to the very last couple of weeks, other than some panting, which seemed normal after the long hot summer we had, and the fact she also recently developed glaucoma for which she was on medication. Otherwise she was a totally happy 12+ year old with no other issues, and may have lived another 2-3 years otherwise, though I've read that 10-12 years is the average lifespan. I do feel some guilt in any case for having not made the right decision to spay her early in her life. My daughter and I loved her dearly.
The Story of Rudy
You were my best friend and protector. We understood each other with a look. You cared for our family with steadfast devotion, and loved us unconditionally.
You were the best part of my day and gave me a thousand reasons to smile. I talked and sang to you and you responded with smiling eyes, a wagging tail and a bounce in your step as your tiny feet followed me around the house. We were inseparable.
Holding you as you took your last breath was the saddest moment of my life. Not one minute has passed that I haven't thought of you. I am overcome with sadness throughout the day and feel your loss as a constant ache in my heart.
I know that if there is any possible way, you are with me and watching over our family. Your love and dedication to us was without question.
We will never be whole without you; you made our family complete.
We love you and miss you beyond words. Someday we will be together again and our hearts will be full. I wish you comfort and peace, my faithful friend.
The Story of Kokoy
Kokoy came into our family’s life in July of 2015 when he was just a month old. He was so tiny then that made us fall in love with such a cute baby boy. He grew up with our baby girl, Chompie who is just 2 months older than him. The two of them are very different. Chompie is more independent while Kokoy requires more care as he was referred as a “special child”. He won’t show so much of an emotion but when he does, oh, how we loved him and brought so much joy to us.
He has his own way of being so sweet and very unique such as he would always want to be carried, hugged and would put his head on your shoulder like a baby. He was also frightened with abrupt and loud noises such as motorcycles, thunders and fire crackers that he trembles. We would hug him and comfort him until he stops trembling. He would not stare or look at you directly when you speak to him, instead he would peek or look indirectly but you know that he listens & follows.
I will never forget how he would climb in our beds and wake you up at odd hours in the night as he needs to pee at our backyard. He was also very excited everytime he hears the sound of his dog chain to go outside & stroll in the neighborhood. How his eyes light up whenever he hears the word “labas” and “tara na” (outside and let’s go) as he loves to go at our backyard to chase a family of cats that we also keep and feed. At 1 yr old, he grew up very strong with so handsome & regal stance. He would run and play in the entire house until he loses his breath. Oh how happy he was!
Until one day, he slowly lost his appetite and we hand fed him. We would even blend milk and dog food (pellets) and use a syringe to have him eat. He was confined for 2 days as he has a very low blood platelet count. He came back with a new strength but still his appetite is very low. After almost a month, he just collapsed and recovered. I went to see a different vet and his tests showed that his liver was affected as well as he had fluid in his lungs. We were given a lot of medications however, after a day, we finally lost him. He died in my arms and it was so devastating to me and my mom that I almost passed out.
Before he died, he was able to leave his legacy as Chompie gave birth to their 5 little cutie pups where 3 of them inherited his unique spots. One of them got his traits and we were so fond of them. How we wish that he’s still around the house playing with his kids and being silly running around.
It's only been days when he left us but I know he finally had the chance to rest, sleep & play all he wants. I am grieving deeply as I terribly miss him every second & minute of my living life. I cannot function properly and my work is being affected. I cry everytime and my heart aches I can’t almost bear it. I can see him all over the house and as if he’s looking at me directly in the eye which he doesn’t normally do until when he got sick.
I am undergoing this excruciating pain that I hope would heal very soon as I know he will be sad too. I love you Kokoy with all my heart. I am wishing one day when I go home, you’ll be there to welcome me as you wag your tail endlessly and lick my face and chew either my hands or feet. You will never be forgotten especially the love & joy you brought in our hearts. We will forever miss you.
The Story of Echo
Echo came into our lives in October 2010. We got Echo because we thought our 4 year old Aussie, Chloe, needed a playmate and we were right. From the beginning those two were inseparable and shared in all the joys life had to offer them for 6 years.
When I picked her up at the airport, she was so happy to see me and came bounding out of that crate and into my arms. That's when I knew we would have a bond like no other. From a young age I knew Echo was special. I had a lot of dogs in my life, but NEVER one like Echo. She was one of the kindest, intelligent, loving, caring dogs and she truly understood people. I think part of the strong bond with Echo and I came when she became sick at the age of 2 she fought for her life when she developed hemorrhagic gastroenteritis, or at least that is what they diagnosed her with. I spent every waking hour by her side during this battle, but she was a tough girl and eventually with medication and diet change Echo bounced back and we were given another four years with our baby girl and they were four of the happiest years of my life.
Echo loved to make people happy, that was her number one goal. She was a certified therapy dog and brought happiness to many elderly at nursing homes, helped an autistic boy come out of his shell and was the source of de-stressing for college students during finals. Echo was also a certified air scent search and rescue dog. She seemed happiest when she had a job to do and search and rescue where some of the happiest times I can remember with Echo. Echo was a TV junkie. She loved everything on TV, and not just animals shows. She loved the world news, Walking Dead, cop shows, drama shows and she even loved watching the Olympics. She is the only dog I know that understood the dramatic change in music and knew that something was going to happen. She knew that "set" meant the runners were going to take off any minute and she'd be in front of that screen in a heartbeat. By far her favorite show was K9 Cops and there is no doubt she aspired to be one herself. Echo was my little shadow and literally followed me everywhere. She loved hiking all over the mountain and riding in "her" Kubota. Every time we went to the cabin she knew we would get the Kubota out and would be at the shed door waiting for you to open it then she'd hop right in the front seat. I swear she would drive it if she could. She loved being a SAR dog and took her job very seriously even up to the very end. She wanted nothing more than to make mommy happy and proud of her and I was VERY proud of her.
Over the four years after her initial diagnosis Echo had many bouts with UTI's which the vet treated and it wasn't until May 2016 that they performed an ultrasound one Echo's abdominal/bladder area and that was when they found issues with her kidneys. What the vet missed four years ago was that Echo really had juvenile renal disease and not HG and because of feeding her a high protein diet for all those years it fried her kidneys and now the damage was done. We had no idea how much time we had left with Echo, but I did everything in my power to make the most of it for her. She even went to a drive-in movie (which I put on her bucket list for her). I'll never forget that night because Echo sat on my lap for the entire time, looking at me from time to time with that Aussie smile, letting me know how much she was loving this time together.
There is no doubt that Echo and I being working partners made our bond so strong because I never experience what Echo and I had with another dog in my life. I'm sure that is why I am experience great pain from her loss. No matter where I turn, I see something that reminds me of Echo and I'm afraid it will be that way for a very, very long time. We will miss her more than words can express and we will go on loving her forever. One thing is for certain, we would much rather have had Echo for that short period of time than not have her in my life at all. Thank you Echo for six of the best years of our lives.
FOR THE LOVE OF ECHO
Riding in “your” Kubota, hiking in the mountains with mom.
Searching for a lost subject, chasing balls, watching TV and playing with “hog”.
The brightness in your eyes, the wag of your little nub.
That lip raised smile, let everyone know you were sending them love.
Our sweet baby girl we had a bond so strong and you were taken way too young.
No other will ever take your place, for you will forever be missed and forever be loved
Our hope is now that you have arrived on the other side.
You are training to be the K9 cop you so desired.
Getting peanut butter from daddy, running crazy through the field and jumping like your legs had springs.
Diving in the pool after “ducky”, cuddling with mommy and belly rubs from dad, they were just a few of your favorite things.
With an intelligence unlike any other, you knew exactly what we asked.
You did your best to please, making people happy was your number one task.
The Story of Stella Bean
Stella Bean was my girl. My family brought her home the day I got out of the hospital following surgery. She instantly became my loving and loyal girl. She was always by my side. I called her my Velcro dog because she wanted to be stuck to my side at all times. I loved it and wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
Stella had a huge personality; she lived large, loved fiercely, and found joy in every minute.
She was a complete water dog and was always in our pool swimming. She was also a frisbee catcher extraordinaire, and would keep going until her human's arm could throw no more.
Stella Bean was most of all extremely loving of her family. We loved her beyond words and she loved us unconditionally, with her heart bursting with that love. My heart is now in a million shattered pieces. I loved this girl. I haven't figured out how I will live without her.
Stella was killed by a distracted driver who was also speeding. She was with me getting ready to get back in the car after a day of swimming and catching frisbees at the lake.
The Story of Harley
I adopted Harley in 2002. He came from West Virginia shelter and rescued by an organization in NJ. He lived until 9/3/16 when Lymphoma took over his little body. He would have turned 14 on 9/20/16. He was the most lovable, grumpiest, stubborn beagle ever and I would never change that for the world.
He loved it when he saw me take his leash out. He knew he was going somewhere. He loved car rides, going to parks, the beach and daily walks. Anywhere as long as he was outside. He loved chasing squirrels and barking at the garbage truck. He was my shadow. Following me every where. He knew when I was upset and would just lay there with me, like he understood and was trying to comfort me. Every day I miss having my little four legged shadow following me around the house.
Both myself and my other dog, GoGo miss him so much. Not a day goes by that I don't think about him and would do anything to have him back again. I love you Harley and miss you dearly. "You were my favorite hello and my hardest goodbye".
The Story of McTavish
McTavish was a birthday present from my husband, a beautiful little 8 week old #2 ball of black fur with those stunning black almond shaped eyes. I fell in love with him the moment I saw him. Once he was house trained he never once had an accident in the house. We had a barrel chair by the window in our living room and he turned that chair around so he could lay in it and watch the world go by. Some people he would bark at and others could walk by and he didn't make a sound. He was so loved my everyone who met him. Always was excited to meet and greet,tthat little body would be wiggley and the tail would be wagging. We loved how he was so curious and wanted to be a part of anything going on. Always the tough little Scottie, never knew if he was hurting, even when he had cancer in his hind toe and it had to be removed...never once did he let us know if he was in pain. He was loved by his vet and the staff. We were so blessed to have him almost 14 years, but the cancer finally took it's toll on that little body.
It was such a joy to walk through the door and see that sweet little happy furkid greet us. Our life will never be the same without McTavish in it. He was "The Perfect Companion". I loved having him next to me in bed. He always wanted some part of his body touching me...and I loved that. He didn't hog the bed..just wanted to be near me. I miss that so much. He loved guarding his territory and being in his special chair.."His window to the world" chair. We loved that little boy so much; and the pain of his passing is almost unbearable. Thank you for allowing us to share him with so many people.
The Story of Indi
My dear Indi,
I knew you when you were just 4 weeks old. I chose you from a litter of roly-poly puppies - to me you had the cheekiest face and the boldest character as you waddled straight up to me and licked my face. I felt we had chosen each other, we such a bond from the start. I named you for the colour indigo after a painting I’d once done of another black Labrador. A shiny black dog on a green field under a sunny sky has subtle purple-blue highlights in its fur. So that’s how you got your name: Indigo, Indi for short and you grew from that cheeky puppy into a wonderful dog.
You were born into a loving home; your Mum was the sweetest dog I’d ever met, your Aunt such a fun character and we knew that your Dad was a well known prize-winning working dog. I was so proud when at 9 weeks old we brought you back to our loving home. You gave back love, affection, protection and friendship and you were such a lot of fun to be with! You were so responsive to training I was told you should have been a guide dog or a helping dog (like your brother) or been in the movies – you were once even offered a role - but I knew you would be happiest at home with us, just ‘being a dog’, just being yourself.
A couple of weeks ago, aged just over seven years old, you died. The day before, I was listening to the car radio as we drove along sunlit lanes on the way to walk in our woods. I heard the Simon and Garfunkel song, Sound of Silence with its line: ‘Silence, as a cancer, grows...’ Like that song, your illness was truly silent; creeping up on us totally undetected until it caused you to collapse. The vet who operated on you called your cancer a ‘silent killer’ and we are still reeling from the shock of losing you so fast. Our only consolation is that you did not suffer for long.
When I announced your death on Facebook there was an outpouring of grief from your friends and family. Everyone it seemed had something lovely to say about you. In your short lifetime you helped children overcome their fear of dogs with your calm nature. You helped ‘train’ unstable, fearful dogs and you were the best friend to a shy, little cat. You were a rock to our young son when he lost his Granny just as you were a sweet, patient friend to our one-year-old daughter, laying your head on her tiny lap as she grabbed at you with sticky hands. You were my husband’s running buddy and like the typical Lab you were - the most appreciative of his roast dinners and barbeques!
But mostly, you were my dog - my shadow and I adored you. You were my comfort. We went through some tough times together you and I, just as we shared the joyful times. My best memories are walking through shady woods or along windswept headlands and sunny beaches with you. Recently I felt so bad when you had to wait time and again at the front door, ready for your walk while I messed about endlessly with pushchairs and baby bags. You came to know the command: ‘Wait girl!’ so well.
So now I ask you, my Indi to wait again. If there is a heaven, then you and all the other dear departed dogs are in it – wait for me there and one day we will walk together again. And in the meantime on sunny days I will look for you in every indigo hue which graces my world.
LF 9 August 2016
The Story of Beamer
I was at a meeting in December 2001 and after it was over a woman stood up and said “this has nothing to do with what we were just talking about, but a month ago I adopted a ‘spayed’ female from the SPCA and now I have 6 puppies in my kitchen. If anyone wants a dog” I knew my mom wanted a dog so off I went to inspect the puppies. I chose Beamer because he seemed so calm and of course, that was his nature his whole life.
So I surprised my mom with a round, fluffy, floppy-eared gift in February 2002 who she called Handel and thankfully, he quickly grew into a little monster who was a bit hard to manage and I got him back at 5 months old so I could find him a new home. After an ad in the local newspaper I agreed to give him to a young couple who had a lot of experience with dogs and already had one. On the day they were supposed to pick him up the wife phoned to say they decided that 2 dogs was too much. At this point a week had gone by and this trusting, shy, loyal little puppy wasn’t going anywhere and while I knew there was work to be done I also thought I just want to see how this story turns out. He was my dog and I never gave it a second thought. I remember walking him later that day to a local little park where we sat on a hill on a warm May night and he sat quietly beside me like he also knew he was home. I thought he needed a new name as well as help being less shy so I named him after the bravest person I could think of at that time, Todd Beamer from flight 93 on 9/11.
So, here is the extraordinary story of my dog Beamer and now I know how it turned out. I felt all these years that I’ve walked around with a little secret about how I got the best one, and of course that’s how most dog owners feel. I realized eventually though that I did get the best one for me and the pain now is part of all the happiness of 14 1/2 years.
He made an impression on everyone he met. He grew from that little floppy eared puppy into a magnificent adult dog. We were asked almost daily if he was a wolf or part wolf but after DNA testing discovered he was half husky and half german sheppard. almost as often we had complete strangers comment on how well behaved he was , a result i think of his close bond with me. everything in his world was ok if I was there and vice versa.
His love of the water was unstoppable and he was so trustworthy that he lived most of his life in the middle of a big city with no collar and no leash. everyone's favourite story is when the #2 chef in Canada allowed me to put him in a little unused party room in her restaurant in Whistler BC for a private function. the room had no door, just a drape, and he stayed in there for almost 3 hours without making a sound and nobody realized he was there. i looked over at one point and a waitress was just leaving the room with an empty plate in her hand. she came over to me to say that he had been so good, the chef had grilled him up some caribou!
We had to say good bye on July 9th, 2016 when he fell on his bad knee and couldn't get up. I know I will have other dogs in my life, but it's pretty hard to imagine right now having one that is so perfect. He was larger than life. My extraordinary, unique, wonderful little boy.
The Story of Gimli
About two years ago, in July of 2014, I adopted a dog. He was a six-month-old Corgi/English Shephard mix. I don’t think he ever realized his short, stubby legs, because he carried himself as if he were the tallest dog ever. He always had one ear down and one ear up, which he swiveled around like a radar. By the time we got home, I had his name picked out: Prince Gimli the Dwarf Stormageddon Dark Ruler of All Jr. Fairysteed Leafbane Ireland.
Gimli was the most spoiled puppy ever. I designed his bed, which my dad helped me build, then sewed a mattress, covers, and pillows for it, all in his dark blue fabric with green plaid and red foxes. I made him clothes, costumes, dishes, you name it. He liked to sit with me and read, explore the woods surrounding our home, meet new dogs, go fun places with me, and eat treats.
Gimli had the most personality I’ve ever seen in a dog. He was so spunky. I trained him myself using positive reinforcement training, even training him to run obstacle courses with me. He loved the rainbow sweater I made for him, one time he was so excited when he saw it, he tried to jump through it. If he wanted to sit on the couch, he would take a running leap over the back. He also kept me from being a couch potato, the only reason my mom could convince me to take walks was if Gimli could come race me.
Gimli was my anxiety dog, he wasn’t officially trained or anything, just helped me to calm down when something freaked me out or my imagination got ahead of me. I depended on him, and there was a time when I felt that if anything happened to him, I would die from sadness. He was the best dog; he was my best friend. When no one was there for me, when I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone, he was there with me, listening.
But with all good things, there’s always a catch. Gimli loved to eat things he shouldn’t have been eating. He had been hospitalized after getting into my sewing supplies once, though fortunately he recovered. But then he ate a woolen ball. The vet tried everything but surgery which we couldn’t afford. So my best friend had to be euthanized at two years old, three days before my sixteenth birthday.
It’s the little things that hurt most, seeing one of my family’s dogs using his bowl; seeing his empty bed next to mine; the clothes I wore on his last day; the forget-me-nots growing on his grave, but most of all, thinking of all the plans I had that would never be fulfilled. We were going to go to Ireland together, we were going to go on a cross-country road trip with lots of fun hiking, we were going to build him a sidecar on my motorbike so we could ride together, we were going to move out together, he would be with me in college, to be there for me, to listen to me, to help me, to protect me.
I miss him so much, my little fox dog. I’m scared this will make my anxiety worse. I wish we had had more time, that we had been able to do more together. I hope he’s running with the angels, and that someday I might meet him again.
“People leave imprints on our lives, shaping who we become in much the same way that a symbol is pressed into the page of a book to tell you who it comes from. Dogs, however, leave paw prints on our lives and our souls, which are as unique as fingerprints in every way.” ― Ashly Lorenzana
“If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”
“So how come things move on How come cars don't slow When it feels like the end of my world? When I should but I can't let you go?”
(We loved to listen to Coldplay together, his favorite was Up&Up)
“Do you ever wonder if the stars shine out for you? Float down Like autumn leaves And hush now Close your eyes before the sleep And you're miles away And yesterday you were here with me.”
The Story of Jerry
This story is about our beloved Jerry. She was a little Pomeranian. She came to us at a time we were very depressed because of some reasons; we thought pets are emotional, sensible and faithful, that’s why we planned to by a pup.
We faced many problems finding a pup because at that time there was not any small pup available in our area, but we were lucky and finally got our lovely jerry on 24 April 2016. When we adopted Jerry, at that time she was just 26 days old and looked like a little angel.
She was just not a pet for us,she was like a family member, a companion, a little friend of mine. Her best quality was her lovely and lively nature. She always enjoyed her life. Whenever we arrived at home after work she always greeted us with her loving smiles and her licking kisses. She always liked to sit in my lap for hours. Her favourite work was eating sweets and playing with us. She understood our feelings more than humans understand. She always followed me like shadow. She was a real fighter and a brave heart. She loved singing of birds.
The saddest day of our life come when she infected by Parvovirus on 16 July 2016. Even during her last few days she provided us her all love and affection. After a hard and 4 day battle with the cruel and sadistic parvovirus she left us and the whole world on the evening of 19 July 2016 around 8 PM. The hardest work of my life was to say goodbye to my lovely little Jerry whom I always loved more than me. She was my one and only best friend and a little sister. She was that stormy wave of love which touched us, drenched us and passed through us. You will always remain in our hearts and we will remember you til our death. See you at Rainbow bridge my little friend.
The Story of Danielle
Danielle came into my life on January 2nd of 2005. I decided I wanted another puppy to keep Sparky company.
I don't remember walking through the isles of my local Humane Society. In my mind, I only made it to maybe the 3rd or 4th kennel. And there she sat, in a little corner, this little emaciated, shivering, pitiful looking little dog. She looked so miserable and afraid. She trembled so hard, I thought she may not make another day in that environment. I pointed at her and said: this one, I want to meet this one. As I sat in the little meeting area, on the floor, the girl brought her in. She just came with this big smile in her face and licked me. I had been chosen. Little was known about Danielle. They brought her to the US from Puerto Rico. They estimated her to be about 1 and half or 2.
I had to bring Sparky to meet Danielle and that meeting pretty much was a snap shot of their 12 and 1/2 years together: they sniffed each other briefly and each went their own way. :)
Danielle was a feisty girl. But at the same time, she was so sensitive. She was afraid of feet, hands over her head, being picked up certain ways... She would scream as though someone was hurting her so hard. I can only guess at what kind of life she had before. On the first vet visit, he said she had had a litter. I figured she may have been a stray and probably an abused one. The condition of her body, with her hip bones king through her skin, and her psyche were a testament to that. But she flourished. She became confident and walked with her tail held high. She was such a smart little girl. She very fast got housebroken and showed Sparky she was the boss.
When I met my husband, I already had Danielle and Sparky. We came as a package, but I know my husband was in love with Danielle the first time he came to my place and she made herself very comfortable on his lap. I believe this story really starts when my husband and Danielle met. My husband had never hear about or felt what it was like to have a pet soulmate. Danielle was his. He loved her more than most and they had a special beautiful bond. He protected her and kissed her and loved her like I had never seeing him. I feel lucky to have witnessed that. My husband and Danielle found in each other their true love. Danielle deserved to be loved so unconditionally and deeply like that. And my husband got the chance to feel what is like to love someone so selflessly.
Danielle was a healthy happy girl. Like Sparky, we made sure she got all the medical care we could give her. She was diagnosed with a murmur and started going to the cardiologist, But like Sparky, test after test showed no progression. Until it did not. I still remember the immense shock when they told me her condition had significantly worsen from the test done just 6 months prior. We were told many dogs live for years with her type of heart condition. She was also diagnosed with cysts in her spleen, but at that time surgery was not an option due to the heart. So we did everything we could. We rushed to the vet and hospital many times, sometimes twice in one week. I hand fed her for 3 months. In the end, she left this world in my arms while we rushed her to the ER. She was about 13 and half.
We thought we were going to have her for much longer. We thought her brother was gonna go before her. We consoled ourselves in the thought that Danielle was her own dog. She had a strong personality and feisty desires. She left this earth in her own terms. I miss her so much. I miss her white muzzle, her toothless smile, her nails clicking on the floor, her bark, her attitude, her stride. I like to think I was a good mommy, but I feel blessed that through me she found her human soul mate in my husband. A love that will last forever. We dream in being cited again. Our family. Out unity. The 4 of us. Together, forever.
The Story of Sparky
"Sparky came into my life through a common friend. A family could no longer take care of him and I was with no family. I had moved to the US a year before to go to school and I felt lonely and afraid. I had looked for a dog at local shelters, but could find one that was a "good fit." So I went to see this 7 month old "poodle." I remember knocking on the family's door and hearing him bark. When they opened the door, I was hooked. He was just so adorable with his cute grumpy face. I took him home that evening.
I want to say we fell in love immediately. But I did think I was taking a responsibility bigger than I could handle. I was broke, a stranger in a strange land... and here I took this living being that I would be responsible for. The first 4 or 5 years of our journey together were a struggle. Not because I did not love him with all my heart, but because so many things happened to prevent us from being together: lack of money, I almost ended up homeless, lack of knowledge on rental apartment by-laws. But I remember that at some point in this torrential fight to stay together, I promised him that no matter what, no one would separate us. I promised him we would be together until his last breath and that my face would be the last face he saw. I remember many dark nights, many hopeless nights, many tears, but many licks and hugs that eased whatever was going on. A smile that lit up the world.
We continued on our journey together. He was my world. My most loyal friend. My most unconditional love. As he got older, I asked him to live until he was 16. My husband asks me why 16 and I answered that 16 seemed so far away... and so old for a 30 lb. cockapoo. Sparky showed first signs of arthritis at around 7. He was diagnosed with a heart condition at around 8 or 9. He was diagnosed with liver cancer by 13, then Cushing's. By then, I had graduated from college and had a good job and a great husband. We were able to provide him with great medical care: wellness exams twice a year, stem cell therapy for his arthritis, an amazing cardiologist, surgery for the liver cancer at an amazing cancer center (which he did not even need chemo or radio) and treatment for his Cushing's. In return for the many nights he eased my pain, I provided him with everything I could. I massaged his little legs everyday twice a day to ease the atrophy due to arthiritis. I cooked for him. I loved him more than love itself. I stayed home any time I was not at work. I loved it all. He slowed down, slept a lot, but ate well and was always a happy and loving boy.
I always thought I would not be able to live without him. I used to ask my husband to please tell me, if I ever kept him for my own selfish needs. But when the time came, the day before his 16th birthday, I let go of my soul mate. His little old body could no more. Not cancer, not heart, just a tired old body. It was not a hard decision to make. My love for him trampled any pain, any desire to keep him with me. I sang to him the same lullaby I sang since he was a baby, the same my dad sang me when I was child. He kept his promise to me to stay until he was 16. And I kept my promise, that I would be the last face he would see when he left this earth.
I miss everything about him: his smell, even when he was stinky. I guess especially he was stinky. The grumpy noises he made when he wanted attention. I miss the way it felt like a thousand universes were being born inside my chest every time I kissed him. I would go through this pain, this sorrow, this emptiness all over again, 100 times, to share the life we shared. He made me a better person. He has taught me about love, compassion, and most of all, he taught me about forgiveness.
I love you more than words in however many languages can describe, my baby. I hope I was half the human you thought I was. I love you forever and always and if there is a life after we leave this one, my one desire is to hug you again.
The Story of Squeeky
The Angel called Squeeky
Mid-October 2013: I found Squeeky one street down from our home in San Antonio, Texas. She, a small, white, female Poodle/Bichon (mix?), came to me without any hesitation when I stopped the car and got out to see what was going on with her since she was walking all by herself on the sidewalk. She was microchipped, but the owner could never be found. We brought her to the veterinarian and groomer and treated her wounds and skin allergies. We adopted the gentle, senior angel. She became family. She was just simply wonderful! I don’t even know where to start recounting about how very wonderful she was and how very much she enriched our lives! These are but only a few of her many beautiful qualities and a few of the many great and amazing moments we were able to spend with her:
She was all goodness. If angels do exist, then she for sure was and is one! Just looking at Squeeky’s cute face and her big, dark, gentle eyes would make us feel all warm inside and we’d always comment how very cute and beautiful of a being she is. She looked like a lamb. Even strangers commented on her looks and said that she looked like a lamb. Also, she was exceptionally loyal and was very attached to me (and me to her). When I would have to leave the house she would search for me, my husband told me every time I returned home. On a couple occasions she would also howl like a little wolf when I was gone. I can barely imagine that, but I trust my husband’s words. Squeeky always wanted to be close to me. This, whether I was sitting on the couch, eating in the kitchen, sitting in the backyard, or sleeping. She would always observe me with her eyes when she wasn’t asleep. When I would be in the backyard she would bark for me to come back inside or to go get her. Yes, she was a princess as well! She sniffed a lot. When we would go on walks she would sniff everything. I would then say she’s reading the “doggy newspaper”.
She loved to have her little, soft belly rubbed. She would do this thing when she would suddenly stop, then drop, then roll (onto her back) and expose her belly. That was the sign for us to rub her belly. “Stop, drop, roll” we would say when she would do that and we’d laugh because it was so cute. She never begged. This was unusual, because I am used to the fact that doggies will beg for food sometimes. She was also so very well mannered. She never went in the door first. I wasn’t used to that either. Squeeky was deaf, but she would join in with Enzia’s bark when Enzia would bark at people or at things. It was the cutest thing! I am convinced Squeeky rarely knew what she was barking at or why. I think she would see her big sister bark, which was a sign for Squeeky that she ought to bark as well. On our vacations and long week-ends she travelled with us all over the US and moved with us to Germany in May of this year. She would go camping with us in our tent and survived a car accident during a terrible ice storm together with my husband and Enzia in Oklahoma. We all also stayed one night in America’s supposed most haunted hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Since we moved to Germany this year we all travelled through Austria to Switzerland twice. She was basically always with us. These are just a few of so many wonderful moments with and a few things of many about this beautiful angel…!
Monday, 18th July 2016, in Germany: Unfortunately, Squeeky crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I contacted the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services, because I remembered that her microchip in 2013 was somehow connected to them. I wanted to find out as much as possible about our angel. They told me that in 2004 Squeeky was brought in to them as a stray. Who could ever let such a beautiful soul go on purpose or lose her?! I don't understand it! Then, in 2007 she was adopted by someone, but her dog license was never renewed by the adopter. Somehow little, old, precious Squeeky made it from California to Texas between 2007 and 2013. The County of San Diego Department of Animal Services also sent me a picture of Squeeky from 2004 when she was brought in as a stray. In addition, they told me that now in 2016 Squeeky should be about 19 years of age. We were never sure about her age. Our veterinarian guessed her to be about fifteen years of age as of now in 2016. Another painful part about all of this is that gentle Squeeky was a stray at least twice in her life. Knowing this hurts me very much for her! I'm so very grateful for the picture from 2004 and some more information that I got about this beautiful angel!!!!
Her passing is extremely painful! It hurts! Squeeky was an angel! Squeeky is an angel! She was family! The veterinarian here in Germany said Squeeky was very ill. Her kidneys were not functioning normal anymore. She had water in her lungs. Because of all of that her heart was not functioning normal anymore either. Lab work from a year ago and other lab results from six months ago never showed any worrisome results. I don’t get it! Our sweet angel crossed the rainbow bridge while under observation and treatment against the above mentioned problems at the veterinary clinic. It all seems so unreal. It all seems so wrong. It all happened so fast and so unexpectedly. I had so many plans for all of us (Squeeky, Enzia, my husband, and I), even though I knew she was old. It hurts to think I won’t be able to hold her anymore. It hurts to think I won’t be able to rub her little, soft belly anymore. It hurts to think that I will never see her dance and do her little twirly’s and hops when she would realize that we are going on a drive or a walk! It hurts to think I won’t be able to look at her and see her little, beautiful eyes look at me.
She was and still is part of me and my life. My husband and Enzia, her big sister (a lab mix), miss her very much! I can only hope and pray that she is in a much better place, that she is happy and healthy, and that I will see her one day again. Thank you God or fate or life for having put Squeeky in our lives! Thank you my dear angel Squeeky for all that you have given us! You are my soul mate, friend, family, me, you were and still are us! You were and are joy. You were and are love! You were and are innocence! You were and are beauty! You were and are a gift of Heaven or Life. Thank you my darling angel! We miss you! We miss you so very much! Please forgive me if I did anything wrong! I want to meet you one day again and spend eternity with you and everyone else I love.
Thank you! I love you Squeekers! I love you my little Poopie (nothing to do with going potty). I love you my Poompeli! I miss you!!!!!! Please be well! Be blessed my angel! I hope you are well somewhere! We love you and miss you dearly!
Squeeky: Born sometime between 1997 and 2003 and lived until 18 July 2016
Squeeky, I will never forget you. I will always love you and always remember you and always wish you the very best of everything. Your human mommy, Eirini McAdoo-Steiner
The Story of Ginger
To many a dog is just an animal however, to me a dog is a family member. Five and a half years ago when we first found you I couldn't help but to fall in love with you. I had never seen a puppy so cute in my life. There was no question on whether to keep you or not, you would forever be mine. My beautiful Ginger, there has never been a dog as sweet as you. My big girl, I considered you as my child, my best friend, my loyal companion. My playful girl who loved playing with all her toys and wrestling with her little sister Baby. I still can't believe you're gone. I don't think I'll ever understand why you had to get sick the way you did, it all happened too soon. My heart aches so much without you. I might sound crazy but I haven't felt this pain since my grandma died. You were a part of me and now you're gone. The apartment feels so lonely without you. I just can't get used to not hearing your bark anymore, not seeing your tail wag at me when I get home. Not being able to pet you, or hug you, it has been such a hard goodbye. You were taken away from me too soon my Ginger. At last, I know you're not suffering anymore and although it might ease me that you're not feeling all that misery it still won't remove the empty feeling I have from not having you in my life. I will always miss you Ginger, you can never be replaced. I love you, I hope you're at peace now.
The Story of Galadriel
We called her sunshine because she was always happy, always had her tail up. We got Galadriel when she was just a puppy. Around 8 or 10 weeks old. I suppose you could say she was your typical puppy, full of playful energy. But then she grew up, matured. It was at that point when we knew we had someone special. Sure she was the typical yappy chihuahua. But she never bit. And once you got in the house and sat down she was on your lap. She loved everyone. She was also very motherly. She knew when someone wasn't feeling well. And when she sensed that she would not leave your side for anything. Also very intelligent. She would perk up her ears when anyone spoke to her. We called them satellite dishes because they would always turn towards whoever was speaking even if she didn't look at them. We miss her every day, the way she loved to lay on our laps, the way she greeted us at the door every time we came home (even if we were only gone a few minutes), the way she gave hugs..she would lay on your chest and lay her head against you, the way she would walk on her hind legs and spin around to get a treat. We will always miss you.
The Story of Duke
We adopted Duke, along with his brother, Toto, from the Monmouth County SPCA in December of 2011. He and his brother came as a team. We were thrilled to have these two new additions to our family in time for the holidays. They were already middle-aged dogs.
Duke won my heart from the start. He wasn’t particularly fond of other dogs, but he loved people. Whenever I took him for a walk, he would always go up to our neighbors so he could say “hello” to them. The neighborhood kids loved petting him, and he loved being petted.
What was most special about Duke was what he taught me, particularly unconditional love, patience, and selflessness. My love for him also inspired me to become much more involved in advocating for all animals. One of the things I miss most is the way he waited for me at the top of the stairs, wagging his tail, when I came home from work. Unfortunately, he had mitral valve problems which led to congestive heart failure. I miss him every day, and will love him forever.
The Story of Brigette
Once there was a dog named Brigette. We first met her with her litter in the Raymond’s home in Arlington, Wa. It was very overwhelming as we sat on the living room floor trying to decide which puppy we should bring home. She resolved that problem by immediately coming to sit on my lap. I asked her owner which one was her favorite and she told the story of standing at the kitchen sink when suddenly she heard some yelping noises and looked down to see this lone little pup sitting there all by herself, looking up at her trying to tell her what she wanted. That solidified our choice. This light of sweetness, of profound goodness came into our lives changing it forever.
As a puppy she would dunk her head in her water dish repeatedly as if she just couldn’t get enough of how fun the water was. As she grew a little older we would find her sitting in her water dish squeezed in tightly sitting there with a smug look on her face showing us all how happy she was to be there. When we purchased a boat we would go out so the kids could do their thing with their different types of water equipment. On one really hot day we threw down the anchor and all jumped into the water and to our surprise Brigette jumped right in with us. She swam like a fish and would sit on top of the boogey board while we all swam around her. If dogs could smile – Brigette’s face came as close to a smile as I have ever seen in a dog before.
That was our Briggey as she was first dubbed by my 6 year old niece, Tarin. She joined our family which already included an Australian Shepherd named Barkley and a Bernise Mountain dog named Shelby. She quickly tried to rule the roost. Barkley with his type A personality and Shelby our gentle giant took note immediately. Though Brigette was the youngest and smallest she let them know who was boss.
She was a Bichon Frise who when fully groomed looked like a giant cotton ball walking down the street. But, once the rain fell her soft fluffy coat would curl up tight making her look like a poodle which she would often be mistaken for much to our dismay. Her big brown eyes and cute black nose made her irresistible. A face that was like the Mona Lisa of the dog world. A face that one could stare at all day long. When she wanted something she would look at you intently making a very quiet noise that is still to this day hard to describe. It was her own special way of communicating and she would do it over and over until you figured out what it was she wanted. “Show me what you want,” we would say to her and she would either jump for the door or bring you one of her favorite toys, a ratty, smelling piece of fabric whose original shape had long disappeared for a rousing game of tug a war which she took very seriously, losing a few teeth along the way. But, it was tennis balls that she was obsessed with, truly adored. We would use new, clean tennis balls in the dryer to help fluff the down comforter and if one accidently fell out or she happen to see it go into the dryer you could forget about using that one again. She would try to claim it as her own until you finally relented.
She was my daughter’s nap buddy. From the moment we brought her home the second Katy got home from school they would take an afternoon nap together. Even recently when my daughter returned home they were napping buddies again. Brigette loved to lose herself in the pile of blankets and comforters that were always on Katy’s bed. Katy would come to document all of this togetherness with a slew of selfies of the two of them. A fact I was not aware of until the end. It showed the special bond between the two of them. Just 2 girls at a slumber party having a blast.
She was the little princess of the family who didn’t go to obedience school. We didn’t have the heart to say no to her. So she was not always good about coming when you called her but she could shake your hand and lay down which she would gladly do for the correct special treat. We bought and sold many houses during her lifetime and one of her favorite things to do was to just lay in grass watching the world go by. You could see her nose twitching as all of the great smells would drift by. She would love to sit on your lap in the car with her head out the window her hair flowing back looking like she had just got a new do from the 50’s. Her true face shape coming into view as the hair whipped back making her head look like a torpedo.
Funny as much as she liked lakes, oceans and streams when it came time for a bath she was sure we were trying to do her in. Without her puffy hair she would look like a drowned rat. But, once the ordeal was over she would immediately go into her “Bichon Buzz” running around the room like a rabid crazed creature. The other dogs would get all excited trying to stop her but she took on super human speed weaving around the furniture and thru Shelby’s legs as she was a big dog weighing 100 pounds but no one could catch her. She would tolerate a brushing as long as you didn’t touch her feet. She would have none of that.
We could take our sweet Brigette anywhere. She never barked or got overly excited in new situations. Always the calm, in control princess who especially loved little girls being raised as a puppy in a family that homeschooled their children. She would come to work with me some days and everyone would come by to get their Brigette fix. We would babysit co-worker and friend’s dogs while they went on vacation. Brigette was the consummate hostess allowing her toys to be played with and share my lap if necessary. On walks in her final home there were lots of children in the neighborhood that were afraid of dogs and I would show them thru Brigette how truly wonderful dogs can be. They would pet her and marvel at how soft and fluffy she was. They would call her a big cotton ball. My cotton ball of love.
She was always a very healthy dog until she turned 14 and things started to go wrong but she was always very resilient and would recover from these bouts until the fated July 4 of 2016. It happened so fast that we were reeling from the shock. It was then that we knew we had to let her go. Right up to the last moment of her life she would still look at you with her big brown eyes and you knew they were filled with love. No one had a better life. No one was loved more. She will be missed beyond words. She helped me thru many troubled times in my life and I will forever be grateful. But, letting go in my heart still hasn’t happened, I don’t know if it ever will. I’m afraid she took my heart with her. I feel lost without her.
The Story of Spooky
Dog From God
I had a dream one night in March of 2005; in the dream I was sitting on the front steps of the house waving to my daughter Julia as she crossed the street to the school bus stop. My left hand was resting on the inch-long soft fur of a black dog. As I stroked the dog I thought, "I didn't know Chester was black." (We had an eight-year old Sheltie at the time.) And, as dreams often do, it evaporated with the dawn.
Within a few hours, as I actually was sitting on the front steps waving to Julia, the dream came back to me, "Hey Julia," I shouted, "I dreamed I was patting a black dog right here."
"Cool," she said as she turned and ran to the bus.
Her sister Lauren, a high school junior, came home that afternoon determined to look for a cat at the Buddy Dog shelter in Sudbury, Massachusetts.
"No," I don't want any cats around the house.
"Please," she pleaded, "only look."
Her intuitive and compassionate brown eyes were impossible to say "no" to.
"OK," I said, "only look." What the heck, you walk in, you walk out.
While Lauren perused the abandoned and sadly unattractive cats, I wondered why it was so quiet in the dog section. Usually there's barking and howling, yipping and yapping. They must all be out for exercise, I thought. Curious, I walked in. Dozens of dogs, right and left, the length of the prison-like cages were all silently looking at me when suddenly, in the first cage to my left, the little black dog of my dream leapt up to the wires and whined. Oh my God! That's the dog in my dream! A sign on the cage door read, "Do not open." I threw back the bolt, bent down, and the little dog leapt into my arms and peed all over me.
Lauren was looking for me, "What are you doing?" she asked, bewildered.
"I dreamed about this dog last night! This is the dog in my dream!"
"What? Well if you want another dog, what about this one over here, or that one, or..."
It was no good. It had to be the dream dog. I asked the personnel about the dog (after being reprimanded for opening the cage), how old was she, where did she come from. They knew very little, "A woman who didn't speak English came in, put the dog down, waved her hands in the air, shook her head back and forth and left."
Lauren and I took the dog for a walk, put down the $60 deposit, decided we would ask Julia to make the final decision. "That was spooky," I said to Lauren as we got in the car, "to see the very dog I dreamed about the same day."
"Then that's what we should call her, Spooky."
They spayed her and we picked her up within the week. I brought her to our vet and told her the story. In her finest Russian accent she said, "Zees ees real English Cocker Spaniel, and how you find her! Ees Dok from Got." I'll always remember that, Dog From God.
And what a loving, cuddly, lively, needy, affectionate little animal; We could actually lie down and she would "spoon" right into our bellies allowing her beating heart and soft fur to be hugged; an experience we'd never had (Chester, loyal, intelligent and observant, certainly wouldn't have allowed it).
Spooky and Chester went everywhere with us; well not always Chester, he got carsick. But Spooky wanted to be attached: in the car she would always be on a lap. How many trips did I take with her head on my chest? How many peaceful glides down the Sudbury River with her at the front of the kayak in the autumn mists? And when a vertebra in her neck shattered last year, what loving care and prayers that she would heal, and heal she did, like a new puppy within weeks.
There's a beginning and there's an end. It's what's in-between that's treasured and the end is never as we want it (well, not in my experience). Spooky's kidneys started to fail 11.4 years after we brought her home. How old she was will always be a mystery. An English Cocker's life-span is said to be 11-12 years by some, 11-14 by others.
I never thought I could love a dog so much. And dog spelled backwards is GOD.
P.S. Lauren did get her cat, got allergic to it, gave it to Spooky to play with, and now he, Boomer, is on my lap.
The Story of Hunter
I found Hunter when he was 9 weeks old at a horrible pet store. It was clear he was from a puppy mill. He was the smallest and shyest of all the puppies and I immediately felt a need to protect him. That first night he slept curled up next to my chest.
We were inseparable. For a Beagle he was unusual because all he cared about was me. Somehow our souls connected and we just knew each other. He took every step I took, if I went into the bedroom, he went into the bedroom. All he cared about was me.
When he was 4 he started having back problems. He was paralyzed behind for about 2 weeks and then had to learn to walk again. I took him 3 times a week for physical therapy. I would walk around the swimming and he would swim trying to follow me. He eventually recovered but lived with 2 slipped discs that flared up every so often.
He was my best friend, so sensitive to my moods, always wanting me to be happy. I had 12 1/2 wonderful years with him but now I feel like part of me is missing. I don't know how to live without him. I've had dogs all my life but never one like him. He is my precious angel and I will always miss him.
The Story of Suzie
Our beloved lady, friend and special family member....
What a blessing it has been for us as your family to have you in our lives for the past 15 years. We remember the first time we met you, the sound of your paws against the tiled floor in the passage, your sniffing around in the kitchen and stealing cookies, barking at the gate at anyone who passes by, waiting for dad at the gate, running around the house and you quickly lying down for a good rub when we return from work or school.
Seeing you struggle through your old age and incurable illness towards the end of your days was too heartbreaking for us to let continue. We had to make a decision after seeing the quality of your health deteriorate so rapidly and so painfully. I can't put to words the pain we felt in our hearts, the tears we shed because we loved you so much and wanted so desperately to see you back to your old self again, but sadly the odds were stacked against us. The absence of your presence in the days that followed, and packing up your things was by far the hardest for everyone to deal with.
In your final moment, you were surrounded by the family you dedicated your life to and ultimately took your final breath in my arms. I hope you felt the overwhelming love for you in that room.
You will forever be in our hearts and minds. We still talk about you and look forward to seeing you again one day.
All our love....
The Story of Lucy
June 19, 2016
I remember the day you came home to join our family 12 years ago. A girl had given you to her boyfriend, but he could not keep you so you came to live with us. You were about six months old then. You had the most adorable pointy ears that tracked sounds like radar. Thin black lines outlined your deep brown eyes. It looked as if you had gotten a hold of my eyeliner. The black side of your nose had white whiskers and the white side of your nose had black whiskers. Dad always said that your whiskers were too long and so he would pretend to shave them. Not long after you came to live with us, Shiloh went to doggy heaven. She had been sick for some time with cancer. For the next two years you and Bugsy were pals. You liked to chase Bugsy around the house and hold on to her long tail with your teeth. Eventually, Bugsy became ill with age and joined Shiloh in heaven. That’s when we got Rikki. She was just a little puppy then and the two of you became friends and kept each other company while the rest of us were at work and school. You would spend most of the time while we were gone on your perch atop of the green fabric rocking chair looking out the window and waiting for our return.
It’s so hard for me to accept that you are gone. I still smell you in the house and I still think I hear your little paws running on the wooden floor and your barking when the doorbell rings and I think I see your shadow sitting and waiting for Dad to come home at the front door. You followed Dad wherever he went. He misses you sitting outside the bathroom door waiting for him to come out. When I was in the hospital Dad said you wouldn’t go to sleep. You stayed at the top of the stairs waiting for me to come home every night. And when I returned, you were so excited to see me and stayed right by me. You also had a special bond with Grandpa. Whenever he came over you would sit on him.
I don’t want you to be gone. I want you to come back the way you were before you got sick. You couldn’t see anymore, or control your bladder or bowels. It was so hard for you to walk. Your hind legs were so stiff and your front paws would scrape on the cement and get bloody when we took you for a walk so you couldn’t walk with us anymore. You would stand and sway back and forth and sometimes fall over. Even though you ate your food, your body had gotten skinny. We could see your ribs through your fur. You were also drinking excessive amounts of water. We had to start keeping you in the crate and you hated being in there. I’m sorry that we could not say goodbye to you sooner, but there was still some doggy life left in you. You still followed us around the house and ran to the door barking when the doorbell rang. I just couldn’t let you go so we decided to let the vet make the decision. I am sorry I was not there to hold you for your last breath, it would be too traumatic for me to bear. I wanted my last memory of you to be at home.
Lucy, our lives are not the same without you. There is any emptiness in the house. Even Rikki is sad. I hope I can get over this grief soon because I can’t stand the pain of missing you so much.
I found Kostis in my yard on 28 of May 2015. He was not even 2 months old. I decided to keep him. He loved me and I loved him from our first day together.
He used to follow me everywhere, cried when I left and always sit next to me. He was happy and energetic all the time, he loved playing with my other dog and with me and my friends and family. He was not afraid of other humans and also had a special bond with my boyfriend. When I was inside the house and he was outside he would find the room I was and knock on the door or window of that room to get my attention. He was the most beautiful and loyal little friend. I really loved him and I will never love another dog as much.
He died on June 8, 2016. He was hit by a car. I feel so guilty for not being there. He deserved a longer and happier life and I am so sorry for not providing him that.
The Story of BigBoy
Big boy came into my life when he was 3 days old. My step mom had a female dog named Tootsie and she died 3 days after giving birth to 5 pups. I took the ones that made it which were 3 and I bottle feed them. Bigboy was the only one to make it. I named him Bigboy because he had a big attitude but he was a lil dog. He was very smart, playful, emotional..lol. He loved to go riding. This past March we took him to the beach for the first time, I let him go and he ran straight to the water, surprised me. He loved to play outside with his toys and Bella my other dog.
He always slept with me, he was always there at the door to welcome me home after work or anytime I left. Bigboy was there thru rough times in my life, I knew he'd never leave me....I lost Bigboy by the way of a car, I let him out to go potty and 5 mins later he was gone. He'd be a year old this month...He will always be with me............Angela Robinson
The Story of Roxy
Roxy my little princess was brought into my life because I wanted to have a dog of my own. So 8 years ago I searched for a small loveable furry friend and that is exactly what I found. Immediately her personality showed through. She was cuddly and playful from day one. Roxy and I became the best of friends. She travelled with me and I took her everywhere I possibly could. When ever my life had struggles the most constant love I had was her love. It was unconditional. There was nothing more special than coming home to her after a long day at work.
4 months ago I moved into my boyfriend's house and she had a rough adapting to it. But with love from boyfriend they became the best of friends. They even slept in the same bed which was surprising because he didn't like it when I first moved in. It was her warmth and love that made him love her just like I did. A week ago I went on my planned trip to Europe and they brought me to the airport. I said goodbye to her and kissed her said I'd see her in 2 weeks. 4 days after my arrival to Germany I got a horrible phone call that she had been run over. I thought my world had crumbled. It's been a week and I still have pain in my heart. I miss her tender kisses and warm cuddles so much. I hope one day I will be able to look back at her life with laughter and smiles but for now I'm just shedding tears.
Thanks for reading about my dear friend Roxy.
The Story of Jasper
Jasper's story started about 8 months to a year before we met. It was the summer of 2010 that he "wondered" on a friend of my family's property. He hung around and played outside with their dog for about a month, when no one claimed this beautiful boy the family thought they would just keep him. But, their dog didn't take to kindly when they tried to bring him into their home. It was at this same time when I was thinking about getting my first dog ever as an adult. It was like it was meant to be - our 'Gotcha Day' was July 5, 2010, since the vet put him at almost a year old I made that day his birthday, he was my Yankee Doodle Doggy.
My Jasper boy was with me everywhere I was able to bring him. It was always the two of us. I never had children so I never really experienced anyone depending on me, it was as if my heart opened because the love I felt for this little guy was nothing I had ever felt before, he was special. I tried to make sure I did everything right for him, he had his comprehensive physical exams twice a year, I made sure his vaccinations were always up to date and teeth cleanings once a year. I wouldn't feed him just any dog food with fillers because my worst nightmare was him getting sick.
That nightmare became a reality in September 2015. I had a trip scheduled and I was going to be away for a week, I had only been away from my boy a few days at a time this was going to be the longest. The entire time I was gone he was on my mind, I just felt I needed to be with him. It was a couple days after I was home I noticed that his head was at a tilt and he wasn't making eye contact with me, not at all normal. I was frantic and took him in to our vet. After tests, surgery and more tests it was found that my Jasper had a rare bone cancer, Multilobular Osteochondrosarcoma. I was shocked, devastated and heartbroken because he didn't deserve this. He fought until the end. Our last day together was just he and I, it was the hardest day of my life.
In this last month without him I haven't been able to go a day without a tear. My heart is empty and my home is empty without him. He was more than just a dog, he was my boy Jasper.
July 5, 2010 ~ April 18, 2016
The Story of Jordan
Jordan was truly an amazing dog and my first pet. I moved to the US from England to be with my now wife, Shelly, in December 2002 having never owned a dog or cat and there was Jordan in the doorway aged 18 months waiting to greet me. I was a little wary of big dog breeds like Dobermans but it didn't take long for me to take to him and he became a part of me very quickly.
He was boisterous in his early years and great to take for walks and grew into a wonderful, mature guy as the years rolled on. At first, he didn't like to be touched and would flinch away but as time went on, he just loved to lay on the couch and became a loving dog and would always be happy to see us whenever we got home from work or something. He had many nicknames such as Brauge, Handsome Boyzer, and Morbodoinkstroid and on occasion I would be know to break out into the odd song we had for him :-)
He would never harm anyone or anything, and was sane right to the end. He developed cancer in his right hind leg that broke his bone and he couldn't walk on it for a day and so we took him in for x rays that confirmed our fears. He made it to almost 15 years old and he had an arrhythmia that would have ruled out surgery so we had to say goodbye to him and did not want him to go through any major pain. He leaves a huge hole in our lives but I am so honored to have been able to call him my buddy. He enriched my life immensely and I only hope that we were able to give him the best life possible. Thank you Jordan for being the best friend I could have wished for. Rest In Peace Jordan (Drops Of Jupiter)."
The Story of Layla
Layla was the daughter of my first pet Lilli. Lilli had 2 babies Aries and Layla. Since the moment she was born she touched everyone's heart. Everyone who saw her instantly fell in love. She was a tiny little baby when she was born but she had a huge personality. She loved giving kisses and would climb anywhere just to reach my lips. She was so beautiful and energetic and she loved to voice her opinions. She left too soon and she is missed terribly but I know wherever she is she knows that she IS loved.
The Story of Tubbs Harney
This is Tubbs or Lil Bubby as we used to call her, I still remember the first day I met you and your brother, I was 14 and came home from school to be greeted by two little puppies running around I was so shocked and so happy I couldn't believe dad actually got us puppies. That was the beginning of nearly 14 amazing years of love and laughter. Tubbs and her brother were so different Tubbs wasn't like other dogs she was very clever and had so much human emotion in her. She knew when you were sad and would always be there for a hug and to play to cheer you up. And equally she was so emotional too she only ever wanted to be with you, even if she wasn't getting attention just laying next to you was enough. She was such a selfless dog. Tubbs unfortunately had kidney disease and was put to sleep, (on 21st April 2016) heart breaking as it was I'm glad mum dad me n sis were there with you when you needed us the most. I will miss playing football with you Tubby and miss all the cuddles and happiness that you brought me and the family. I didn't treat you like a dog, you were my little sister and I'm not sure if I will ever stop being sad about your loss. I love you so much xxxxxxxx
The Story of Suni
Suni our Cattle dog mix was the ultimate sunshine in my life and husband's life. We brought her home from Petco where they had Rescue dogs July 2011 at 6 months old so innocent she seemed, but soon we realized she was a decision maker. After a few torn up dog beds and a couple of holes in the couch we knew she needed special attention.
We put her in obedience school and asked advice from the instructor and soon after we had the perfect dog. Suni has a sister Rubi and she is a very passive Chow. Well our Suni loved to dominate Rubi by herding her (keeping her in certain areas of the house), but Suni always ended the day by cleaning Rubi’s eyes and Rubi loved it so much. We went camping in our motorhome and so she visited beaches, lakes, parks, forests and many different campsites.
Every night we had a routine Rubi would jump on the bed stay at the foot of the bed but Suni always would cuddle next to me her head on my side and I would rub her ears (they were very big) .At the end when we shared these special nights I always told her about when we brought her home and how Daddy and I love her so much her beautiful eyes how smart she is and what a good sister she is. She knew she was loved and I think that’s why til the end she always would kiss us so much. She was only with us 5 years but we have so many memories and we did our best making her happy. MISS YOU SUNI!!!!
The Story of Shady
I remember you my beautiful boy. Shady came into my life when he was just 10 weeks old and I was 17 years of age. As soon as I saw his little blue eyes I became instantly in love. Blue eyes that changed to brown a few months after i got him. I rescued Shady from the streets. Took him home bathed him and next day to the vet.
Since he was small he always knew exactly how to cheer me up. He would follow my every step. He wasn't trained and I always gave into those beautiful eyes. Everytime I came in the room Shady greeted me with a hug and kisses. He was 75 pounds and still acted like he was just a puppy. I would lay down and he would jump on me to give me kisses. Shady was just simply great. He was my best friend my baby my world. Although he was a bit bull he was very friendly with both humans and other pets. When I miscarried my baby at 8 weeks April 10 2014 Shady was always by my side. It's like he knew I was hurting. Im not much of a people person and when I was having a bad day he's the only one that knew how to keep me sane.
Shady was just 7 years old when I lost him. I always thought Shady would be with me all my life. I had lots of plans for us. Now that he's gone I have really been struggling with fear and anxiety. My depression has returned. I wish he was by my side. I wish he was here to greet me like always. My eyes long to see that beautiful face. Those beautiful brown eyes in which I would get lost. You hold a very special place in my heart. I will forever miss you my Beautiful Big Boy Shady I love you. I can't wait to hold you again.
The Story of Gus
We only acquired our lovely Gus on the 19th December 2015. He was in a rescue centre and I happened to see his little face in the advertised picture. Gus was already 15 years old when we were fortunate enough to get him. He was such a dear! I knew we wouldn't have him for a long time but I felt really strongly about him coming to live with us, and I wanted to make his autumn days as happy as possible and to spoil him and love him - to make him happy. He liked our family and we loved him! He enjoyed little walks, but couldn't go too far because his little legs weren't what they used to be. We enjoyed many happy times together. He loved coming in the car, and we put his doona in the back seat where he was comfy and happy just to be with us. One of our cats fell totally in love with him and smooched him every chance he came within view. He was very good natured and "allowed" this show of affection.
On the odd occasion when we couldn't take him out with us, we'd arrive home to the most beautiful and warm welcome. He missed us and he showed it. We never left him unless there was no other option. He loved us. He was the epitome of devotion, loyalty, joy and loveliness and it was mutual.
Sadly, he developed some serious health issues which caused him discomfort despite the medication our vet prescribed for him. When he started having a lot of "bad" days and was experiencing discomfort despite the medication, we decided to let him go home. We were all with him, and kissed and cuddled him as he slipped away.
The house feels like an empty, gaping, silent cavity. We miss him so very much. He was a wonderful addition to our family, and we felt privileged to have shared the last few months of his life with him. Rest in peace dear Gus. We will always, always love you! xxx
The Story of Princess
I adopted Princess as a result of my mother's death. Princess was five years old when I took her home to live with my family. Another family member thought she wanted Princess but Princess came home with me and my family. She had been neglected because of my mom's illness, and so Princess was in bad shape. We took her in, got dental and medical care started, and after a few months she started to get better. She was the tiniest dog you ever saw but full of spunk and life. I was excited when I saw she began to grow hair again and I was especially happy to see when her eyelashes grew back. I felt very proud that we were giving her such a good life.
Princess fancied herself a watch dog and would warn us if anyone came to the door and so forth. She was the center of my family and was our Bossy Little Thing or BLT. Whatever Princess wanted, Princess got. She ruled the house. We all loved her so much and I still love her. One or two people suggested dog training but they didn't realize Princess wasn't just a dog; she was a full member of our family and the spoiled one. That's the way I wanted it.
She weighed in between 2.5 and 4 pounds and was just the cutest thing you ever saw. She was always on my lap or with me. She loved me and I loved her. My favorite part of having her was how she loved to play with her little tiny toys made for a dog that small and how she used to tree squirrels. Losing her was the hardest day of my life. I am still recovering and don't know when I will feel better again. I suppose it will get easier but not right now. Thank you for reading about my Princess.
The Story of Ronnie
Ronnie came in our family ten long years ago,my parents bought him in a local shop as a present for us (i was eight,my brother eleven). He was a very special dog, he loved all of us during all this time and I think he enjoyed it all until the very last days of his life.
He loved to catch tennis balls in our garden, loved to share the bed and the sofa, stayed under the blanket with me or my brother during the cold winter nights. We two had a quite unique relationship, when I was sad or frustrated he'd come near me and curl behind my feet and then he loved the belly rubs...
Ronnie had organ failure (liver and abscess to the pancreas) and so on 18/04/16 we, with heavy hearts, and the vet decided to put him to sleep, in the most peaceful way. At last, I hope he is on the Bridge waiting for my arrival, someday.
My Dear Ronnie, My Sweetheart, My Ronnicciullo.
You will be forever missed; I still love you unconditionally, just as you have done with me.
Now rest and wait for me...sweetie.
28/10/06 - 18/04/16
The Story of Eddie
Eddie was my son Bob's and mine faithful little buddy. He could make you laugh any time with his silly Fox Terrier antics. I got him when he was a puppy just 8 weeks old. We raised him and trained him and he turned out to be a wonderful, loyal, companion. He wanted to go anywhere you went...even the bathroom. Whenever I said 'go bye bye car' he would wag his tail and get the leash. He loved riding in the car.
Last year in May, I noticed him bumping into the walls so I took him to the vet and he said he was blind and had diabetes. We gave him insulin shots twice a day for 11 months. Then he took a turn for the worse. We lost him on March 29, 2016. He will always live forever in our hearts. I know some day he will cross the Rainbow Bridge to meet us and we will all be together again forever.
Virginia & Bob Lynch
The Story of Baby Bear, Luna and Thor
Baby Bear, Luna and Thor
On the November 29th 2016 my babies were born. Baby Bear, Luna and Thor girl. The most sweetest puppies ever - always so happy and playful. Since birth I've watch them grow and change, all different in their own ways.
Baby Bear, i named her that because she looked like a baby bear - she was the spoiled one always wanted my attention first. She was the "princess" out of the pack".
Thor Girl, the "cry baby/Brat" Named after her daddy Thor because she was the only one that came out looking just like daddy! Even acted like him. She was tough but sweet at the same time a little brat always got into trouble with her Mama bear! But she was so lovable always happy.
Luna Bear now she was my little survivor she survived after a bug bite that caused this huge blister bubble on her neck but with a little care and watching over she made it. "The baby/Mamas girl" she never left her mama bear's side she loved her mama. Pure Black coat could barely see her at night!, Her eyes were so shiny and so innocent, and kind. They were my princesses and it broke my heart that they got sick so suddenly, and nothing could be done to help them in time. We don't know exactly what caused their deaths but I'm so sorry and I feel such guilt and regret its drives me crazy. I miss them so much I cannot get used to not seeing them. I feel so depressed, that I don't know what to do.
The Story of CueBall
CueBall and "seeing eye" friend
CueBall was rescued from horrendous conditions in 2007. My husband and I in partnership with our vet, nursed him to health. He was a joy from day one. In early 2010 CueBall lost both eyes in rapid succession to Sudden Onset Glaucoma. We all adapted to life with blindness and CueBall was fearless and remained a joy. In April of 2010 we adopted Mick, a Schnoodle. Upon meeting, CueBall and Mick became inseparable. CueBall had his own seeing eye dog!
After many vacations together, 3 home moves and back surgery in September of 2014, CueBall was diagnosed to never walk again. Four months after surgery, with rehab and the use of wheels we watched CueBall take his first steps again and he walked right into full recovery. He was amazing and the toughest spirit I've ever known. With his rescue background we were never sure of his age. 2016 saw us all in a new home, in a new state and fortunately for our family, CueBall was a part of all of the excitement.
March 2nd marks the day that CueBall was called home. It's tough for our family but CueBall taught us selfless love and endless resilience. I wrote a short expression of my husband and my feelings about this wonderful soul. Thank you for listening...
How to explain The life one leads The love one feels A heart that bleeds... The space you filled Was grand and wide Now you're gone The great divide... Our entwined souls The spirit of A dog who taught us Selfless love... Your buddy Mick Me and daddy too Will never stop Missing you...
The Story of Puppies
Puppies came to us at a couple years old. We were only taking care of him on a temporary basis. But after a few months we went from being caretakers to being his momma and daddy. Puppies was a Pitt but we often thought he was mixed with lab. He was such a loving and kind dog. He craved attention and being touched and was just a happy baby. His best buddy was a cat and he later became a big brother. He loved his blankets. Always had one in his mouth. He loved stuffed toys, even though they didn't survive long and singing with his daddy to the harmonica. Puppies loved going up north to run around even though he got car sick every time. He really didn't care for water and yet loved stepping into large piles of snow.
He was truly one of the best companions we could have. People were often scared by the look of him, but what they didn't realize is the worse he would do is lick them to death. He always acted like a little playful loving puppy hence he forever name 'The Puppies'. It was with heavy hearts we had to let him go but our happy memories will be with us of him forever.
The Story of Bear
The following is about my best friend; Bear:
My life has been very chaotic, featuring many moves and unanchored roots. I lost a son at birth, a husband and my father within two years of each other. I longed for unconditional love, comfort and stability. I remarried and still had my daughters, but still felt an intense instability in my life.
My husband had remembered me telling him that I had always wanted a Yellow Lab. Coincidentally his co-worker’s Chocolate Labs had a litter of pups on Valentine’s Day. He could not wait to tell me. I remember saying, “Okay I will look, but chocolate is NOT yellow.” We went to look at the fluffy brown puppies, all of which pretty much looking the same. Except there was, one pup that didn’t wriggle, push or pull any of the other pups away from the food or formula they were receiving. He just climbed over all of the other pups and plopped right down in the middle of the dish.
I was still not convinced that I wanted a Chocolate Lab. However, on one visit, he noticed the formula container sitting on the floor and in no time, the container was stuck on his head. That sealed the deal. I wanted this dog. He did things his way.
As he grew we did everything together including shopping at the Home Depot, gardening, sleeping, watching movies, camping, you name it. My best friend Bear was by my side. By this time, my youngest daughter was about five. Their favorite game was Hide and Seek. She would throw one of Bear’s toys down the stairs and when he ran to get it she would call him…”Bear???” and the game was on. She would hide under the bed, behind curtains, in closet, but Bear always found her. This went on for hours and years.
We had learned that Bear had Hip Dysplasia. There was no question of whether or not to schedule surgery, just a matter of when. Of course, this also meant a pool so Bear could do his “rehab”. Sometimes I would be jealous as I would leave for work and see Bear doing laps. I would be thinking,”I want to stay home and swim”, but someone had to pay for the pool.
Whenever any of my kids were ill or heartbroken Bear would always lie be their side until they felt better, sometimes this took weeks, but he never strayed.
Because my husband got me this dog, every time my hubby would end up in the “dog house” he did little things to remind me that, if it were not for him, I would not have this wonderful faithful loving companion. Bear was kind, gentle and when you looked into his eyes, you felt that he had an old soul. Bear only had one speed…coast. He loved to just lay or sit next to someone. The only thing he ever went crazy for was marshmallows. I loved to take a handful of the small ones and toss them up in the air. Bear loved to forage and hunt for every single one. It got to the point that he could tell a bag of marshmallows opening from across the house. It was the only time he moved fast.
I always tell my husband if you had gotten me Bear first, you would have never had to buy me a diamond ring.
Yesterday I lost my best friend, my loyal companion and truly the best gift I have ever received. Farewell Bear; you will forever be in my heart.
The Story of Venus
Our love story began 3 years ago. My husband and I were empty nesters, and I had finally convinced him to get a dog. He had never been a dog parent, so he was a little nervous and didn't know what to expect. After looking at lots of photos on Petfinder, we finally settled on a couple of them, and they were in the same rescue, not far from us.
The lady that runs the rescue is very good at matching parents with dogs, and I think she had already decided that Venus was coming home with us. She had been at the rescue for about 6 months, nobody wanted a hound. We went to the barn and looked out over the yard at all the barking, excited dogs running around. Wouldn't you know, the two that we wanted to see came right up to the fence to us! Barking, jumping, trying to push each other out of the way! Well, we took Venus for a walk, and it was love. She was everything we wanted, and it was a match.
Over the 3 years she went on lots of hikes with us, daily long walks, and she sure did a lot of sniffing! Always nose to the ground, every day was a new field trip. After the walk she would exert extra energy (she had lots back then) and run around the yard and dig. She loved summertime, basking in the sun all day.
She never was one for playing with toys or chasing balls, but occasionally she would indulge us if she felt like it. She was quirky that way, you never knew what kind of mood she would be in, kind of like the both of us! A typical hound, she would "bay" at the sight of a squirrel or other animal. But mostly, she was a quiet and sweet-natured dog. Hounds get such a bad rap, but honestly, she had the nicest personality. Sometimes she would go to doggy daycare to get her social fix and she loved playing with the big guys roughly. Venus hated the water, would not even put one toe in it. She loved treats like dried sweet potato, melon and dog cookies.
Over the past year, we noticed that her energy level wasn't the same. She still would play, but tired more easily. Winter was hard on her, being a Southern belle, and she also suffered from anxiety - thunderstorms, fireworks, and impending rain all made her shake. It broke our hearts when she was like this, especially because we didn't know how her life started out, what she endured before we met her.
Venus was brought to a high-kill shelter when she was 2 1/2, and was about to be euthanized when the rescue came to get her. We knew she had a heart murmer, but beyond that (as well as the anxiety) we knew nothing of her history. We tried to comfort her as best we could.
This weekend, after a very long week of being ill she passed on from our world peacefully. We will forever miss our little girl, and the love and laughs the crazy hound brought to our lives. We will adopt from a rescue again, although there are never guarantees what their health will be, they need our love...and we need theirs.
The Story of Buster
There truly is no proper way to begin. This wound is wide open and the pain is too much, and as much as I know the more time that passes the better things will get, there is absolutely no filling the enormous void left behind for as long as I’m alive. No actions, words, nothing, can describe what Buster means to me. Those who have never shared that genuine companionship will truly never understand what many others, and myself,share. I sit here trying to write something with a starting point for the memories but there’s just too many. What I can say is he was meant to be my son, my little lion, from day 1.
Back in 2000 I met a girl in NYC while going to college. We became close friends and eventually dated for a short while. During that friendship she mentioned how she was transitioning back to her mom’s apartment, and how the dog she owned was too big to share the apartment with, according to her mother. We spoke about her situation, and after giving it some thought I agreed to take him in. At that point I never considered myself a dog person by any means. I was simply trying to do something nice for someone I felt really bad for. It’s just crazy how God works because the first night having him with me I remember how he peed in my mom’s living room and initially thinking that “I can’t do this”, that “It’s way too much for me to deal with”. But on the flip side I also remember that same night how he threw his toy shark in the air to himself, innocently, playfully, and simply looking beautiful.
Unfortunately I let my immaturity take over and decided I couldn’t take care of him. So the next morning after classes I apologized to my female friend and told her I couldn’t take him in. She didn’t take the news too well, and seeing her pain I knew how much it would hurt her knowing she would have to give him up. Inevitably I brought him back to her care and thought I was done. My guilty conscious took over so much that I kept having the images of Buster throwing his toy in the air, sometimes missing it, sometimes throwing it behind him, but for the most part he was like his daddy and always made the catch.
Later that week I found out that he was taken to a shelter since my friend wasn’t able to care for him. She cried hysterically since her attachment to Buster was undeniable, and at that moment the guilt just ate away at me. Without her knowing I took the train to Queens the next day, skipping classes, and since I never really knew exactly where my friend lived, I at least had an idea and was determined to find the shelter he was taken to. Countless hours of walking that day I must have come across a handful of adoption places. I was coming up empty, feeling horrible, and since it was getting kind of late in the day, I told myself “the next place is the last one I’m checking”. I come across a small “mom and pop” adoption place, walk in and start asking questions about whether they remember a dog being brought in as I described Buster to the person there. She told me she does remember a dog being brought ina few days before, but had already been adopted by a gay couple almost immediately. I pleaded with the lady to please see what she can do about bringing him back. I told her the story and she eventually agreed to give the couple a call, but couldn’t guarantee they’ll agree to bring Buster back.
The next day I received a call from the adoption place, and remember that moment as if it was yesterday, on 23rd street walking towards Lexington Avenue. The lady told me that the couple agreed to bring Buster back. Excited as ever, I told them I’ll make arrangements immediately to pick him up. I called one of my best friends and asked if he can do me a huge favor and drive me out to Queens to pick him up. We eventually made our way to Queens the next day for what I can honestly say was the day my life was forever changed.
I will never forget that story for as long as I live, and have shared it with numerous people. But I hope this reaches those who doubt that animals are “more than just animals”, and can be viewed as so much more. Their souls are evident once you let them in and accept them as family. I truly know God led me to Buster that day in Queens and has been my angel unconditionally for 15 years. He will never be forgotten, forever be missed, and will ALWAYS be loved. Daddy loves you so much Poo-too and can’t wait to the day I see you again. In the meantime, make sure you eat all your foody papi.
The Story of JoJo
JoJo & Family
In 2006, I met Jo Jo and Opie on the lawn of the Humane Society of South Mississippi. I was acting as a job coach for a young man interning there. In speaking with the woman who was walking them, I learned that Opie was blind and Jo Jo had somehow met up with her and become her protector and “her eyes”. Both were adult dogs, I was told that they believed them to be 6 or 7 years old. Since no one had shown any interest in adopting them, both were scheduled to be euthanized. I immediately called my partner, Ellen, and begged her to come and meet them. I was crying when I explained what would be their fate if no one adopted them. Ellen and her mother immediately went down to the humane society. An hour later, Jo Jo and Opie became a part of our family. I truly believe that God put them in my path that day. It is clear to me now, over 10 years later, that it was Ellen and I who were saved by them, not the reverse. Opie passed away in 2012 from Kidney failure. We said goodbye to Jo Jo on January 2, 2016. His little body full of arthritis, his quality of life no longer present. We made the most excruciating decision possible, we chose to let him go peacefully rather than suffer. He was my very best friend and I feel that the day he left us he took a piece of my heart with him. I know that one day I will see him again…it’s just going to be so hard waiting.
The Story of Roxy
Roxy came into our lives on Mother's day 2015 as a 7 week puppy as a gift from my sister since we are unable to have children. We spent days together playing and snuggling since I am disabled and nights as a family when my fiancee came home. She taught us more about love in the short 8 months she was on the this earth than I thought was possible. I can't put in words the hole in our hearts and soul since we laid her to rest a few short weeks ago. She got away from us for a short few minutes and was hit by a car, but God had mercy on her and she never saw or felt a thing and the only suffering was ours. She was laid to rest next to a pond in the country and is happily playing with all those other pets across the rainbow bridge waiting on us to come home to get her. We hope and pray that day comes soon as we miss her more than words can say. She was our baby girl and got more love in 8 months than most dogs get their whole lives. God bless you Roxy and mommy and daddy will see you soon.
The Story of Willie
My Willie was born in our house on March 31, 2008 along with 6 other siblings. His momma took care of the whole bunch of them with the greatest love. All of the siblings were sold but Willie. He stayed with us and Lucy…………he was our little boo, baby boy.
Willie loved his toys, his momma’s toys, q-tips, pink neon post it notes, toilet paper, paper towels, and the occasional rock from the yard. He was a curious sort and very vocal at new things. When my husband had a back problem and had to sleep in the other room, Willie would be his sleeping buddy. He loved to chase and be chased by his momma and would spend hours enjoying each other. He also loved birds and dove off the porch to chase them in the backyard any chance he got. One time he was at a friend's house who has a pool, and he never saw a pool before, and dove right in. We had to rescue him, that was funny!
You will be missed very much Willie, we love you and hope you are having a good time in heaven.
The Story of Lucy
I got Lucy just over 12 months ago, i saw her advertised on pets4homes. Lucy caught me eye as I was scrolling through pages and pages of dogs for sale.
I was looking for a dog so my daughter felt safe at home and I knew if we got a dog it had to be a forever home. We both went to see Lucy to see if we both liked her. As we sat down Lucy came in the room and buried her head between my legs wagging her tail or little stump, she just wanted affection. I looked at Lucy closely and I was horrified, I could see she had been used as a breeding dog and I was told she had only had 1 litter and she was 3 years old but she had large masses behind her teats which told another story.
Lucy looked sad but happy to see me. I knew she needed help so I decided I would give her a chance of a new life as I didn't think anyone else would have taken her in this condition. Lucy found it hard to sit or lie down because of the discomfort. Lucy was the perfect dog, she could be left on her own when I needed to go shopping etc. She never once made a mess and I have never seen a dog so happy to see me return home she made such a noise as she was so excited. Lucy always got so excited when I got her lead out. We always went on a longer walk at weekends and she would dive in the mud puddles. Lucy never enjoyed her shower when we got home.
I took Lucy to the SPCA to see what they could do with the masses but they said it was best to put her to sleep - but I had fallen in love with her and wouldn't consider that option yet. That same day I got an appointment with the animal trust, they said they would remove all her mammary glands etc but it wouldn't be cheap they also said she was much older maybe 6 or 7 years old. I took out a loan for £1500.00 to give Lucy this chance. Lucy had her operation a couple of weeks later and recovered fine.
Eventually, I noticed Lucy found it hard to move and get up after a walk which we attributed to poor muscle structure from being a bredding dog, but I notice she was having trouble rising in the morning. On Thursday the 22nd October 2015 she wouldn't get out of her bed, she had a temperature. I spent the night sleeping on the couch so I could be close to her and cooled her down with a damp towel. On the 23rd October about 1PM I took her back to the vets and after testing, they said she had bone cancer. My worst dream had come true. I was advised the best thing to do is put Lucy sleep as there was too much damage to repair and further bone compromise was imminent. I rushed down to the vets to say my last goodbye to best friend. I cuddled Lucy and cried my heart out while they put her to sleep. I spent all my birthday 24th October crying.
Lucy was such a gentle giant, she deserved a better life than she had before I got her. I'd have another Dobermann Pinscher but I'd never find one like Lucy. I know I hadn't had her all her life but what time we had was precious and memorable. I wish I had Lucy as a puppy and watched her grow up. Maybe she would have had a better and longer life. Rest in peace Lucy. Love you always and forever xxx
The Story of Bronx
Bronx was 18mths old when I found him. He had been dumped at an animal shelter. He was starved and had injuries from being used as a bait dog for fighting dogs. He was due to be put down the next day as he was considered unadoptable. I had to give him a chance after such an awful start to his life. I have never regretted that decision.
Bronx was also deaf and having no positive experiences with humans he was very anxious and scared but after a few weeks of love and care his beautiful nature emerged. He was left with severe separation anxiety but otherwise he was amazing. Gentle and affectionate he was loved by everyone who met him. He was fantastic with kids and loved to play. I taught him sign language so we could communicate. He was the epitome of the Pit Bull breed... Loyal, gentle,playful,intelligent and trustworthy. He couldn't be left alone with his anxiety so he spent all his time with people who loved him. He thought he was human most of the time..he would sit on the couch like a person and watch TV. Animal Planet was a favourite. He just loved being with the family and he was included in all family occasions.
Six years ago he was diagnosed with Mast Cell cancer. He had surgery and all was positive. 18mths later he got another tumour and was given 6mths to live. He stayed with me for another 4 years. He fought so hard to stay. I made sure he was happy and comfortable until he told me it was time to say goodbye. He gave me such unconditional love and I was honoured he chose me to be in his life and to have the privilege of sharing my life with him.
R.I.P my beloved friend
The Story of Rino
Every day I am reminded of your boundless joy when I come home, your determined personality to talk and sing when somebody stops by and your endless beauty because of your brother, Nello. You took a big piece of my heart on 11/9/15 that will forever be yours. If I could throw a ball to heaven, I'd throw one just for you!
The Story of Dolly
Dolly – 10 September 2012 – 15 October 2015
We arrived at the house of the family that was selling you because you were no longer wanted by them, they did not even know your birthday or where your papers were. They promised they would forward them on to us but they never did. They even put the price up when they knew we were interested but that did not matter to us we just wanted to get you as far away from them as we could and would have paid whatever. So we gave you your birthday of the 10th September 2012. You looked more like a bedraggled white fox than a Westie some would say a real ugly duckling!! You came with a very bad haircut but with love and nurture and good grooming you blossomed into a beautiful little Swan. Little did we know then special Dolly what a massive impact you would have on our little family.
We wanted a soul mate for our Dog Diva and you fitted into your new home like a hand in a glove and you never looked back.You bought us so much joy and pleasure in your short little life there was never a dull moment. We referred to you and Diva as Yin and Yang you took to each other from day one you were never apart. You were the life and soul of our home always getting into mischief and very inquisitive. We never knew where we were going to find you next! You loved your walks and always told us and Diva when you wanted to go by going and fetching your harness, and off we would all go to the park – where you would play and run about and trott around like an equestrian horse!! You came with no bed and no toys but soon took over all of Diva’s toys and your own – your favourites being Bob Bear, Susie Sheep, Christmas Pig and Wally Whale – the noisier the better for you! These toys had to be taped up on numerous occasions with duct tape as you would tear them and try and get the squeak out of them. Every Thursday we would return home from shopping only to have your little head going in and out of all the shopping bags looking to see if we had brought you a new toy home.
We will never forget the time we took you over to Mom’s Mom and Dads Nanny and Grandad to you we had a lovely meal, and Nanny had made a beautiful cheese cake, she had placed it on the table and we had all became distracted the telephone rang and we all had to go and say hello to the caller, when we returned to the table luckily just Mom and Dad our niece Elle-Mae there you were in the centre of the table licking away at the top of the cheese cake you took your first bite and Mom dived towards the table to grab you – we were laughing so much. The three of us decided not to tell Nanny and Grandad. Mom smoothed the cheese cake over as best as she could and we all had to sit down and eat it. To this day Nanny and Grandad never knew! Just one of the many things you got up to. You had lots of nicknames Dolly – Yang from Yin and Yang, Tiny Tyke, Tynsie, Dolce, The Doll and the main one being Dynamite Dolly. Because to us you were our Dynamite Dolly.
On 10 September 2015 we celebrated your third birthday at our Caravan overlooking Brean Sands in Somerset, little did we know that within 6 weeks heartbreak would rip through our simplistic lifestyle and our Dolly would be snatched away from us in a blink of an eye. No indication no sign that a tumour had been festering and growing within your tiny young body they treated you for a high temperature until a return visit diagnosed something more sinister. Mom and Dad arrived on your surgery day for what turned out to be our tearful farewell to our little girl, within two hours of those tear stained kisses we planted on your gorgeous black nose you were devastatingly taken from us. No words can describe the horrendous loss of our Dear Dolly, a sack full of sobs a bucket full of tears and oceans of tears have been shed in the past weeks. We have returned to our caravan by the sea for a few days to celebrate a short but wonderful life we shared with you Darling Dolly.
We stroll the beach with Diva, we have your ashes for comfort, your spirit lives on, you are there running alongside pawing at the soft sand. It’s November, bleak and deserted, grey skies as the tide comes in but the gloom is lifted by the spirit of ‘The Doll’… never will we forget the tiny bundle that lightened up our lives and enriched each and every day. Now go and join your four legged friends at Rainbow Bridge, thank you Dear Dolly until we all meet up again xxx
‘all the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle’
The Story of Quincy
I was living in Mississippi when I first met Quincy. He was two months old, and my husband and I had found him at the humane society. He was one of three boys, and he was the little chunker of the group! We fell in love instantly.
I trained Quincy and I watched him grow up. We had pet rats as well, so I taught him gentleness. He was always happy about everything and he was always up for anything. His eyes melted my heart and I couldn't resist him anything!
When my husband and I got divorced, my world crashed around me. I had to move back home to Michigan and my life basically had to start over. My only solace was Quincy, who stayed by me through everything. He was there for me through the hardest time of my life, which I think was why it was so hard to lose him.
Quincy wasn't even two years old when we had to release his soul. His life had barely begun and he was only a baby, he was my baby. I felt like I had lost a son. I am comforted by the fact that even while he was being wheeled into the emergency hospital, his tail was up and he was happy. Something new was happening and he was meeting all kinds of new people, and that's what he loved.
It has been almost a year but I miss Quincy every day. He will always be in my heart and he will always be my lost boy. I still see him in my dreams sometimes, jumping around like he's having the time of his life, and I know that he's happy, wherever he is.
The Story of Freya
Freya was a 10_11 year old rescue lurcher. She did not have an aggressive bone in her body and was incredibly gentle. She only barked to tell us a stranger was approaching the house. Like all lurchers she was a thief of food if given half a chance.
We live in France and a few times she has nearly stolen someone's baguette from under their arm in the street! She has been unwell and losing weight for a few months and would only eat tempting tit bits. Blood tests showed leukaemia. We have nursed her day and night for a few weeks but today we could see she had had enough,so the vet came to our house and she went peacefully. Tomorrow we are going to buy a tree to put over her grave in our field.
My beautiful girl Freya.
The Story of BJ
BJ came into our life 10 years ago. He fit in my hand and attached himself to our German Shepard. I wanted a purse dog but BJ was more like a duffle bag size, Lol. He would bite Jetta's tail and hang on and slide across the floor. Our Shepard was so gentle and forgiving with BJ and my girls were typical little girls with a puppy that BJ grew into an easy going happy adult dog.
He was my sidekick and we did everything together. Especially at the cottage. I have never used the kayak or been on the boat or swam without BJ. Every dog and every person loved him. We called him our happy guy. Over the last 10 years there have been many ups and downs but his happy spirit was our true constant. After our Shepard died we bought a Bouvier and she doesn't like other dogs but BJ - for the last 4 years he has been her only friend.
BJ started vomiting a week ago and we did everything we could to save him. He had a blockage and it perforated. We operated but he wasn't recovering so Sept 18th we euthanized him. I have lost a lot of dogs and loved them all but he was my Happy Place. I will always miss my little guy AKA Mr Tuddles. And I cry just thinking about him. The girls and I have little paw lockets with his ashes and I will carry him with us always xo. Thank you BJ for all the memories....love mom
The Story of Stinkers
This was my sweet Stinkers girl.
I found her in Florida at the Peace River December 20, 1995. A breeder had dumped her because she had "red mange". She was 4 weeks old, weighed 5lbs, was hungry and completely hairless from the mange and she stunk! I walked into my home and my husband said well she is a stinker! Hence, her name.
It took 2 years of painful baths, huge doses of medication and aggressive health care before we got her well and for the rest of her long doggy life she was not ill again.
Stinkers quickly made up for that lost time with endless adventures and running and running with ears peeled back and a freckle faced smile. This sweet, hard-headed, intelligent, independent girl was my best friend, my companion, and angel for 20 years. We saved each other!
I miss her constantly, especially our psychic connection. I often feel her, think I hear her, and wonder if she is as shocked as I am by our separation.
Stinkers - I send you Light, Love and promise that I will see you on the other side my sweet girl, until then.... run. Run fast as the wind, chase your deer through the woods, play and bask in the light.
The Story of Rupert
My dog Rupert was a very special little dog. He loved life, and he loved being loved. He was devoted, loyal, fun loving and full of personality. The gap he has left is enormous and absolutely life-altering. No aspect of our daily routine is the same since he died, and there were times I doubted whether it was even possible to adjust to life without him. It feels as though a massive part of me has been ripped away.
He was my 24/7 companion.. even slept on my bed at night - and if it was cold he'd
get under the covers! I loved him to bits and the pain when he died was razor
sharp for many months. Rupert contracted thrombocytopenia. He came back in the
early hours of the morning a few days after his death and woke me from a deep
sleep with one distinctively unusual bark which was uniquely his. I knew he had
come to say good-bye. My dear little dog.. gone but always remembered with love.
Blessings to everyone out there who is missing a beloved animal.
Our precious and cherished friend, Rupert
We’ve said “farewell” to Rupert, with a crushing sense of sorrow
Returning him to God’s own care, who kindly let us borrow
This lovely creature for a while; to let us see and sample
His love for life and loyalty, - a wonderful example
Of how to live and love, and show unbridled jubilation
Embarking on each dawning day with joy and celebration
He truly loved the life he had; exuding copious glee
At being in our family, and loving Em and me;
We loved him too – enormously, his joie de vivre was great
His sparkle and charisma and his role as our “best mate”
Are precious things we’ll treasure.. but remembering, we’ll cry,
In moments of reflection on that day we said “Good-bye”.
RUPERT HAS GONE THE WAY OF ALL MORTAL BEINGS
BUT OUR LOVE FOR HIM IS NOT GOVERNED BY MORTALITY,
AND SO WILL NOT DIE
The Story of Harley
Six years ago, on March 20, God had given us and blessed us with a beautiful and rare soul. Eight weeks later, my family was lucky enough to take this rambunctious little puppy home. Growing up Harley was so yu and curious, getting himself into everything he could, but he was amazing. When his personality started to come out, that's when we really fell head over heels for this big guy. He had so much personality, he was so handsome, oh and boy did he know it! He would walk around the house with his head held high and that little wet nose high in the air. But don't let that fool you because he was such an old soul, an old emotional soul, that would feel EVERYTHING we did. If we were sad, he was. If we were stressed, he knew it. No matter what was going on, he was there, consoling us.
The year my Angel turned 3, was when everything changed. My Harley was diagnosed with epilepsy. It started with one small, barely detectable seizure, and gradually got worse from there. He was having seizures every month like clockwork. Last year he had 74 seizures alone. But he was a fighter. He never gave up, and neither did we. Over the duration of the last three years, Harley showed me what true strength is. After every hospitalization, he pulled through and came out better than before. Unfortunately, two days ago on September 19, 2015, epilepsy won the last battle. My Angel fought so hard for so many years, and I know he was tired and ready to return home. Half of my heart broke that day, and the other half, Harley took with him.
I find with great difficulty to really explain the relationship I had with my Harley, but it wasn't your regular owner/pet relationship. When I would confide in him, he would listen. When I would cry to him, he would comfort me. He was truly my best and truest friend. There was just something different about his soul that everyone noticed, he was a rare one. Every year on his birthday I would take him to the beach since that was his favorite spot, he loved watching the waves, and I loved watching him. I am truly thankful and happy for my baby that he is no longer suffering and FINALLY seizure free, but the emptiness in my heart that he is no longer here is far too great for me to ever put into words. I was blessed and I am honored to have had the privilege to have shared the past six and half years with my Harley. They were beautiful, filled with years of selfless loved and affection. So many laughs and silly times, so many cuddles, and so many hugs that I will forever miss and cherish in my heart.
I love you Harley, forever and a day.
The Story of Ticker
Ticker came to us on January 12, 2000. My son got her from a co-worker who couldn't care for her. She was a tiny little thing, about 2 months old. Although she was my son's dog, when I started working from home in September 2000, it was like Ticker and I became best friends.
She was such a funny little dog. She would get so excited when we would come home, dance in circles and leave us little presents (you probably know what I mean) on the floor. She became so used to our routine, that when it got time for somebody to come home from work she would sit on the back of the couch and anxiously wait. Through the years, she has brought us so much joy. There have been a couple of times we thought her time with us was over, but she was such a trooper and she bounced back. At the beginning of August 2015 she began to have problems with her hip. The vet said she had arthritis. She also, over the years, had developed congestive heart failure, problems breathing, stomach problems, etc.
On Thursday, 08/20/2015, I noticed irregularities in her stool. Didn't think a whole lot about it because this had happened before. But back to the vet she went and was diagnosed with possible colitis. We got her medications and started on what we hoped would be a trip to recovery. Unfortunately, by Saturday morning, 08/22/2015, she had deteriorated very rapidly. Over the course of that day, we made the heartbreaking decision that it was time to let her go. So, on Monday, 08/24/2015, we held her and told her how much we love her and that our lives would never be the same without her. We then loaded her up, took her to the vet and said our goodbyes. We stayed with her until she took her last breath. My son's face was the last thing she saw. She loved him very much as he did her.
I was never an animal person until Ticker came into my life. Now my life will never be the same for having been "Mama" to Ticker. She was my constant, and I do mean constant, companion for the better part of 16 years. While going through this grieving process, I'm trying to think of the happy times and the joy she brought to our home. She loved us unconditionally and we loved her. Life won't be the same without her, but I know that her pain is over and that brings me peace. Thank you so much for allowing me to share our story.
The Story of Little Bear
My life changed when Little Bear rescued me thirteen years ago. I was an unhappy college student trying to deal with bouts of anxiety and depression. I volunteered at a rescue organization run out of somebody's house. Little Bear lived there but was free to come and go as she liked. She was born on a reservation and had to take care of herself the first two years of her life. The beginning of her life was difficult. Despite all of this she quickly bonded with both my boyfriend and myself seeking us out for belly rubs and leg scratches.
One day I was driving away from the shelter and she followed my truck. She made the decision for me I was going to adopt her. At that time I thought she needed me but I had no idea how much I needed her. At the end of the school year I brought her home to live with me while my husband went to boot camp. When we got her to my parents house we brought out our family dog who was larger than her and frightened her. She snapped at him and then ran into the house. For three days they were both scared and avoided each other but after three days they decided to risk saying hi and became best friends.
She loved Choo-Choo (our family dog) and the three of us had a great summer hiking and playing together. When my boyfriend came home she decided that the three of us (the two dogs and myself) were all the family she needed and wanted nothing to do with him a trend which continued even after we were married.
She had picked me to be the person that she loved and needed more than anyone else in the world. I knew that she depended on me for everything and that gave me the strength to make the decisions that would better both of our lives. My panic attacks and depression faded as our bond grew and she helped teach me to take delight in the smallest of things. Three years after I rescued Little Bear I graduated from college and we moved to California. She loved the beach and hiking and we immediately settled into a routine of long daily walks, trips to the beach and finding new hikes to take. She loved playing in the yard with me and our new dog every night and she kept a smile on my face through my husband's deployments and military separations.
We had an outdoor wedding so that she could be there too and my husband brought her so she wouldn't climb on me in the car and mess up my dress. This meant that she was away from me for about an hour which was unacceptable. As soon as she saw me she ran over to me and rolled around in excitement all over my dress which was being prepped for a picture. Our photographer took a picture and it is my favorite wedding picture.
Life with her while perfect was never easy. She did not like most people and until she was ten would bark and chase cyclists, skateboarders and most men that came near her. She wanted to meet other dogs but was scared of larger dogs and rather than simply back away she was quick to be aggressive to try to be dominant and in fact was attacked when she was fourteen because she would not be submissive to a much younger larger dog. She refused to go on most hikes with my husband even if I was there especially her favorites as those needed to be reserved for just her and I. She also refused to hike or play at the beach while on a leash. She would put her head and tail down, refuse to move and mope if you had the audacity to try to keep her on a leash or change from her preferred route during a neighborhood walk. Even our other dog learned to cross the street at certain times because Little Bear had created routes for all of our walks and they could not be deviated from. She and I are both OCD and my husband used to say we were two peas in a pod. She would not have been a good pet for most people but she was perfect for me.
Every day that Little Bear was with me was a gift that she shared with me. It didn't matter what else was going on in my life or how bad my day was coming home and spending time with her made me happy. We went to Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, New Mexico and all around California together hiking and looking for adventure. She loved to be outside exploring, climbing and getting herself into trouble. We called her a mountain goat because she would climb rocks and cliffs that she had no business being able to climb. She loved to run up and down steep ledges and her lack of fear terrified me.
Right after we moved to California I took her for a walk on a trail overlooking the ocean. She saw the water and decided to jump in for a swim like she had done on our hikes in Arizona. In mid air she realized her mistake and her face was priceless. She managed to swim to a rock where a young man scooped her out while the waves crashed around her. To thank the man for saving her life she nipped at him. A few months later she was playing off leash on an off leash dog beach next to a military base. Needing to go to the bathroom and requiring privacy to do so she ran to some bushes on the military side and pooped. A guy in uniform and with a gun immediately began yelling at me and as she ran back to me she barked at him several times. He of course yelled at me but there was nothing I could do once she made her mind up.
Looking back on everything that she survived cancer, tail jam, allergic reactions to multiple things and medications, and internal bleeding caused by stress as well as panic attacks brought on by loud noises, and all of the situations that she got into on our adventures it was a miracle that she survived as long as she did. We grew up together and our lives were filled with happy memories and priceless stories. Having to say goodbye to her is that hardest thing that I have ever done and being without her has left an empty space in my heart that no one can fill but I am so thankful that she chose me to share her life with. Everyone always said that she was so lucky that we saved her but I know that really she saved me.
The Story of Chewbacca
Chewbacca Bridges was my best friend. He was there to listen to me and hang on my every word. He knew three tricks...sit, stand, and lay down. He was always very sweet to anyone that gave the time to just know him. He loved to go for runs and was content with even just watching tv. To our misfortune, he had epilepsy and needed to be oh phenobarbitol. He took his medicine with peanut butter every day and it was no big deal for him I did my best to try and not have him use it right away due to its side effects. He eventually was diagnosed with cancer because of the phenobarbitol. He was strong for almost a year, but at the end it was not fair to him to suffer.
He is now with my grandparents in heaven and god. I think of him running around with God and being a listening ear for anyone up there that has arrived. He was great with our cats that miss him very much.
The Story of Fergus
I found Fergus at the local SPCA 15 years ago. I had been wanting a dog of my own and had been waiting for the right one to come along! My good friend actually found him there and called me right away. I went asap and sure enough I was adopting a 3 month old cattle dog/ wheaton terrier mix. He was perfect! Cute and athletic as I had plans for him in agility and flyball down the road.
I took my time naming him and " Fergus" suited him perfectly. We took training classes and sports together. He LOVED sports and strangely enough he took to the water! My sister had a seadoo at the lake, and he insisted on riding on it. As soon as he heard the key beep on he swam to it for a ride everytime!!!
Fergus was a working dog. A few years later I became a dogtrainer at Petsmart. Fergus was my training / demonstration dog and was sooooooo goood at it all of my students aspired to have such an impeccably trained dog as Fergus! He was definitely a role model for many many students. In later years I opened my own training business in which Fergus was still helping me train humans and their unbalanced dogs. Even up to last year he helped me with my clients!!
He had so many friends across Canada as we travelled and lived in a few places. He was very special, could keep a balloon up in the air was his favorite play. He had soulful deep eyes and was my best companion ever. He was a gentleman and well loved by all.
I already miss him but I know he is enjoying painfree life from cancer and arthritis now.
I will always have you in my heart my beloved boy.
The Story of Roxy
Thank you so much for those kind words. Here is a recent post I wrote about Roxy on Facebook, so I will copy and paste it here:
It hasn't been 1 week yet since the tragic events began for me and my wife Ashley, which resulted in the sudden and unexpected loss of our beloved companion, Roxy. She was only 9 years old.
The feelings of pain, loss, heartbreak and grief that my wife and I feel right now are indescribable. It has shaken me to my core. I haven't eaten a normal meal at home in days, because whenever I ate a meal, she was right beside me at my feet, looking up with those big brown eyes, waiting so patiently to get her little scraps, or waiting for me to go fill her bowl with her much-less appealing but necessary doggie food. Even when I would eat out, I would always try and save her a little something to bring back to her (she loved chipotle chicken). And my wife would do the same. If you do the math and add up the amount of times I experienced this precious interaction over her lifetime, it would amount to several thousand. So it's no wonder that right now I'm just not able to do it because I have lost a cherished routine with my loving friend (among many, many more).
Roxy was also a passionate and adventurous traveler. She has been to 11 states. She has been through 5 airports and flown on roughly 10 different flights (honestly it might be more). She has seen both the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean. She has been to Disney World. She was with me on our trip when I proposed to my wife, and she accompanied me on many trips to go pick out the engagement ring. She has been to a peach orchard in Georgia. She has hiked mountains in the Arizona desert. She has climbed to the Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles - not once, but twice. She has been on countless car rides and trips throughout her home states of Minnesota and Wisconsin. She loved to chase tennis balls around the tennis courts when my wife and I would play. She also loved rolling around in the fresh snow in the winter, but she sure didn't like wearing her snow boots.
In many ways, all of these feelings of loss and pain are amplified and more intense than when my Mom passed away 6 years ago, because Roxy came into our lives BECAUSE of my Mom, and therefore, she was a direct link to my Mom's legacy. On that fateful hot summer day in August 2006, it was my Mom's decision to drive down to that small farm in Albert Lea, MN, to bring this sweet gentle soul into our lives. My Mom had a name for this angelic being - Roxy.
The day before we picked her up, nobody in my family even knew Roxy existed. I remember that day so vividly, and my feelings about a new dog at that time were indifferent (we already had Bronco, who also was a special and loving dog, and I didn't think we really needed another one). I went with the flow. I said "ok, I'll come with to go pick her up." I remember first laying eyes on her, and lo and behold, I ended up holding her in my arms the entire ride back home. Little did I know at that time what incredible lessons of unconditional love, loyalty, companionship, comfort and friendship she would teach me. And little did any of us know, that less than 3 years later, my family would be mourning the loss of my Mom.
Both Roxy and her big brother Bronco were a great source of strength and love during this process. Roxy moved in with me halfway through my first year of dental school, and our bond was forever solidified. Her bond with my brother Chris, my roommate, was also forged during this time. She would accompany me to the cemetery to visit my mom, and chase and hunt squirrels all over the grounds. She helped me get through the hardest times of life, and was with me every step of the way. A little over a year after my Mom passed, I met and fell in love with my wife. On our very first date, Ashley spent time with Roxy, and this opened up an entirely new chapter for Roxy's life, and it's what I consider now to be the prime of her life. Roxy and Ashley are kindred spirits. They have their own special connection that is worthy of an even longer post. Roxy's love and joy instantly doubled when she met Ashley. I could just look at those two when they were together and see the depth of their trust and love.
I believe that it is true that we gave Roxy the best possible life she could have ever had. But this pales in comparison to what she gave all of us. She gave us something that no amount of words or memorials can commemorate, and she asked for so little in return. She confirmed to me something which we all know to be true: humans are imperfect, but our beloved pets, are perfect. Roxy, you are PERFECT. I could go on and on forever and write novels about this special eternal being, but all I can say right now to you Roxy is this: THANK YOU.
The Story of Simon
Simon came to me as a rescue at the tender age of nine, his family had got a new puppy, and he got replaced. At the time that was happening to him, I was recovering from the loss of another dog I had had since I was a kid. We may not have known it then, but we both needed each other. I came to his foster house to take pictures of him for his adoption page, he was handed to me over a fence to hold to set up his "photo shoot". From the moment he was in my arms, he was mine. There was a spark that passed between us. I was his, and he was mine.
After that to say he was a mama's boy was an understatement. He slept in the big bed with me, would often get hand fed, and always wanted to be held. Being a Dachshund, he was true to his breed, and very stubborn. And of course, he always got his way. When he wasn't being stubborn, he was being cuddly. Always had to be touching me, even in the hottest days of summer, that little butt was plastered to me.
This year, August 8, of 2015, Simon would have been seventeen. I firmly believe that love, and a stress free home, is what gave me those seven almost eight years with him. I have often said I'm not sure who rescued who. I guess in saving a little dog that needed me, he saved me. And my life is forever changed for having had him in my life. He is loved, and he is missed.
The Story of Princess
The way my precious Princess came into our lives:
I have a male dog named Rascal, well to make a long story short, he and our neighbors' Jack Russell got together and she had puppies. I was I was at work when she started giving birth. My neighbor texted me and I hurried home to see the puppies. She had two puppies, one boy and one girl. I absolutely adored them, however I didn't want another dog.
After six weeks passed and it was time to find them a home, my son and his girfriend who had been together for two years at the time (she is now his wife) really really wanted the little girl. The catch was she would have to live with me and my son until he and his girlfriend got married and moved in together. I finally agreed although I wasn't thrilled.
When Princess moved into my home she moved into my heart. I always called her my "grand puppy" because she wasn't technically mine. I would post pictures of her on my Facebook page, she was such a sweetheart. Fast forward 1 year, and my son got married and moved out. They took Princess with them. They had only moved a few houses down from me, so they would bring her to my house anytime they would go anywhere, she didn't like to be alone, but then it got to the point that she would actually whine and stand at their door crying until they brought her back to my house. We actually have a video of this. They would say do you want to go to grandma's house and she would shake and cry and do circles by the door. It was sooo sooo cute.
Then one day my son approached me and told me that she wouldn't eat at their house and she was unhappy, and he felt like although he loved her, he was doing a disservice to her, because she missed me so much when she went home. I agreed that she should stay at my house and after that we were inseparable. She was with my almost 24 hrs a day; if I went somewhere she did too. She would sit on the back of the couch while I cooked dinner, or sometimes under my feet in the kitchen just waiting for me to drop something. She would sit in my lap every evening at my computer desk, as I checked my email. She never wanted me to be out of her sight and I loved having her by my side. We had babied her so much, she really was just like my baby.
When she was sick I would stay up with her, and if I was sick she never left my side. She slept with me every night, on my right side if I moved she moved. She had this strange ritual, it was almost like a cat. She went in circles trying to "fix her bed" every night. She was such a licker, and at first it annoyed me but then I read that a dog licks you to show affection, and I thought she is just telling me how much she loves me and it warmed my heart. So I would sit there while she licked for 15 or 20 minutes thinking I'm going to definitely need a bath after this, but also just melting because I knew she loved me as much as I loved her. I would look into her eyes and tell her how much "grandma" loved her.
I was never much of a animal person before her, but one day I was sitting with her, and my 12 yr old daughter asked me if dogs went to heaven and I replied, " Well they say only things with a soul go to heaven" and she looked at me and sort of hung her head, and then I said " and after loving the precious baby sitting her in my lap, and feeling the love she feels for me, and looking into her eyes, nobody would ever be able to convince me that she doesn't have a soul". So yes I believe they do. I looked forward to seeing her everyday, she made everyday so much better, and I love her as much as I love my children, and yes I say "love" and not "loved" because I still love her with every piece of my heart.
I am not a dramatic person, but I know without a doubt my life will never be the same, and I will miss her every day for the rest of my life. She is my baby. I have never this kind of grief before, it is excruciating. Unfortunately, my sweet princess was hit by a car.
I can honestly say, this is the worst thing that has ever happened to me. Princess was the unexpected love of my life. She was precious to me,and she will always be precious to me, and I will miss her everyday. Thank You for doing this tribute for me. It's truly a blessing.
The Story of Pepper
I am 17 now and Pepper was born when I was 6. She was the runt of the litter and my parents let me have her. I chose her name from a Dr. Pepper can which is kind of funny (her favorite drink was Dr. Pepper). Pepper was my best friend; she was always by my side no matter where I went.
Pepper thought she was a big dog and she had a little attitude towards other animals. She died on August 12,2014. I found her in my closet one morning because that is where she always loved to sleep and something wasn't right. I was very concerned so I picked her up went to my sister's and we rushed her to the vet. They could not do anything for her at that point and Pepper died in my arms in the waiting room. They said the cause of death may have been a reaction to fleas but i don't believe that . My mom and everyone else said she died because she was old (12 years) and she was a mix (Shih Tzu and Pekinese). She was my best friend and we did everything together ☹
The Story of Bob
I lost Bob two days ago from incurable cancer and the only option was to euthanaise him so he no suffered any more pain. My heart bleeds constantly and my tears flow regularly and I have been inconsolable in my grief. Bob was the most beautiful, loyal, intelligent and loving companion I could ever have. He was my little mate and shadow as he followed me everywhere. I dearly miss the clicking of his paws on the twice daily walks we had together in the last 6 years.
I adopted Bob as an 11 year old after his previous owner sadly passed away. Bob was in his 17 year when he passed away and every moment with him was extremely special. I feel privleged and honoured to have had him in my life as my companion. I have wonderful memories which will always bring happiness and tears to my eyes. I miss him so much.
The Story of Chive
Chive came into our lives on April 15, 2005. My mom and I went over to a friend’s home and they had 8 vizsla puppies and 4 adults running around inside the house. I was immediately in love. One tired, red vizsla fell asleep on my lap. That was, I know now, one of the best days of my life.
From puppy to adult, she was filled with energy and love. She always had to have clothes on. In winter, she would not even go outside without a jacket on!! She came every place with me. Whether, it was to the grocery store or work, Chive was there. She filled my life with so much love. Every night we crawled into bed. Chive first then me. She always had to be covered up.
January 6, 2015 I found out she had cancer and it was much progressed. I was having back surgery on January 13th and hated to leave her. I came home from the hospital and we were so happy to see each other. The next morning, was not a great day. The cancer had spread and it was time to say good bye. I am so happy she stayed strong and waited until I got home so we could say good bye to each other. I know she is across the Rainbow Bridge and pain free. I will never forget how she came into my life, and touched my heart like no other.
The Story of Roxy
This is in dedication to a life that represents perseverance and love. Our little girl, now angel, took up a new residence on February 6, 2015. She crossed the Rainbow Bridge to see her sister and new friends and left us much richer than she found us. Roxy (AKA Rocky, Rockenstein, Roxita, Roxy Frieda, Monkey, Rock-Rock, Rock-n-Roll and best friend) was rescued from YorkieRescueMe in 2008. She was a puppy mill breeding dog who was eventually abandoned at a kennel and her curly hair grew to the point that it matted and caused infections in her paws and one of her eyes. After being rescued and shaved down, it was determined that her eye couldn't be saved. So, we rescued a shaved down little girl with one eye and inhibited social skills.
After acclimating to a new loving home, she developed PLE (Protein-losing enteropathy) which almost took her life several years ago. She was placed on steroids and other medications that eventually caused her to become diabetic. With that, we had to administer two insulin injections per day to this little girl. Since that time, she had other injuries which we did our best to manage while maintaining the quality of her life. In the end, her body could not keep up with the stressors of multiple medical conditions.
After these conditions necessitated a trip to the vet, we had an encouraging visit so our hopes were up that she would improve. However, early the next morning we received a call from the emergency doctor saying that she was in distress. We immediately went back to the hospital. She was happy to see us and tried to get up to come to us. We got word that they were cleaning her up for us and took us back to a room so that we could see her.
It was when we went to the room and it contained books about animal heaven and all kinds of support documentation that we knew that the news wasn't going to be good. We were informed that there wasn't any good information to report. At that point, we knew that we had done everything that we could without going overboard and being unfair to her. She went peacefully in my lap while her mother kissed her and we told her how much we loved her. She was as happy as she could be to be in my arms and getting all the love that she was used to at home. She will live in our hearts forever. She was a great dog with so much fight, but we knew this day would come...and it's always sooner than we want. We love you Roxy. Thank you for being a best friend and introducing us to new friends.
The Story of Bucky
Bucky was almost 18 when he died. My wife rescued him, why someone would abandon a border collie is beyond me; but then I would never had met him! When he came into my life he was a bit over two years old.
Bucky was always energetic and got along very well with animals, cats and dogs - there were others around until recently, after that he visited with friends. He was always happy to see me and we had about 12 years together. He was a wonderful companion. He began to not be well a year or so ago. He needed care that I was happy to give. Recently, he declined and the past months I almost feel guilty that I may have kept him with me longer then the time he may have wanted to go.
A week ago he became very unwell and I realized in a way that his time had come. It was terribly difficult, made worse by the holidays everyone else seemed to celebrate. I have always taken losses very hard and this is among the most difficult of times.
Thank you Bucky J.H.
The Story of Fuzzy Bear
Fuzzy Bear was born Aug 17, 2011 in Bakersfield, California. He was killed by cows Dec 8, 2014 in Carson, Mississippi. He was Pit Bull/Shar Pei x Chow. He was the sweetest, most gentle, most loving dog. He loved me very much. He was always worried about me. If I took a long bath, he would come make sure I was OK. If we went outside and he thought it was time to go in he'd come up to me, turn around and go to the door and then come back. He'd never go in without me and he always opened the door for me.
He had a love of toys that was just adorable. His favorite color was orange. I had bought about ten different colored balls for my three dogs. When I got home I threw them all into the yard. Fuzzy picked up each one, even if he had to take it away from one of the other dogs, and put them into a pile. Then he grabbed an orange squeaky with little spikes on it. Fuzzy loved that ball. He always had it in his mouth. Always. He refused to put it down to the point he'd try to bark with it in his mouth. When it was stolen by another dog I went and bought three more balls, an orange a purple and a green. I showed my dogs the purple and green balls first and Fuzz was happy but when he saw the orange ball with little spikes he went ballistic.
For the last three years the only friends I've had, the only people who've cared about me at all, has been my three dogs. My life is broken without Fuzzy. He is survived by his twin brother, Shadow, and his mother, Sheba.
The Story of Alaska
Alaska was Queen 'B' from day one. Even at 8 weeks old, she was the boss and she knew it. Those beautiful blue eyes got her everything she wanted and more. She loved coffee and sweets and would sneakily help herself whenever she liked, even when she was told no. We don't think she knew what no meant, or if she did, she didn't care.
Alaska loved to help the local fire department, howling along with their sirens. She was on call for this 24 hours a day. Anytime the firefighters were ready, so was she. She was stubborn and feisty, but simultaneously sweet and gentle. She was our little lady -- crossing her legs whenever she laid down and never letting her teeth touch the fork if we gave her a bite of our food.
She lived a long, very happy life -- we loved her for nearly 15 years, and she loved us back. And for that, we are so grateful.
The Story of Timber
Our beautiful boy Timber was born in a kitchen in a small town in Idaho at the foot of the Teton Range. We knew he was spunky the first time we saw him, in all his glory, with a lush coat and striking markings. Timber developed a fully obstructed intestine and had his first surgery when only six months old. I wish someone had told me, with his many illnesses and surgeries, that he would live to 15 1/2 years of age, and I wouldn't have worried so much. But worry about him...and love him madly and infinitely, my husband and I did.
Yes, we gave Timber the best of care, but it was his courage; great, huge heart; and enthusiastic love of life that allowed him to recover and relish each day. He loved being in the boat while we waterskied, would watch us as we made each turn, and jump onto the back of the boat when it came around to pick one of us up. He loved to walk, and run, and would do so with us as long as we wanted. His enthusiasm for Summer, and taunting the foxes, squirrels and chipmunk that came by, was only matched by his love for winter. As a 3 month old, he leapt off a large snowbank, burying his face in the snow, and he adored that all his life. He was an enormous presence and force of Life inside a small and gorgeous body.
While quite reserved with his kisses, we knew he loved us, and we were so in love with him that we hardly know what to do with our lives now. He had such a strong spirit all his life that we know he is with us again. And if or when he is not, he will continue to demand all the joy --and deference--his new circumstances provide.
We love you, our beautiful boy Timber, and will miss you every day for the rest of our lives. You were, and are, our baby.
The Story of Granny
RIP Granny. I fostered you from the Shelter in Feb 2014., I chose you because you were the oldest and not so cutest , the least likely to ever be adopted. My job was to help you find a home, however I failed .. because you stayed in mine. You won my heart. I used to think that I saved you, but the longer you were with me, the more I realized the truth.. You saved me. I was the Lucky One. Thank You Granny. You will Forever Live in my Heart. XOXO
The Story of Nemo
I begged my parents since I was in first grade to let me get a dog. After years of proving that I am responsible and devoted to caring for one I finally get the good news. At the age of 13 my dad steps into my room one day and tells me that we are going to pick up an all white Shih Tzu/ Maltese mixed puppy from the breeder next week! From this day on I knew I was the luckiest girl in the world and I didn’t even meet him yet, but I already loved him with all of my heart.
On the special day of November 18, 2003 my soul mate was born and I named him Nemo. From the time he was a puppy, Nemo had the most beautiful personality. He would always greet me at the door with a thousand and one hugs and kisses, he knew how to make me laugh (especially when he would try to dig a hole in the recliner with his pajamas on, amuse me with a “I can’t believe she’s making me where this” look when I dressed him up in his many outfits and ties and running around the house with his rubber chicken toy in his mouth), he knew when I was sad; he would comfort me by licking the tears off of my face and stay cuddled up with me until I felt ok.
He appreciated everything from the smallest dandelion that he stop and sniff on the side of the road when we took our daily walk to doing special things with every friend and family member he came in contact to. Nemo and I did everything together. He was so important to me that I give him the credit for helping me find my dream career as a veterinary technician.
Nemo was a regular patient at Stack Veterinary Hospital not only because I work there, but because he unfortunately had Cushings Disease. One day I found out some detrimental news. I was told Nemo had cancer and I could do absolutely nothing about because it was located in the worst location destroyed every ounce of me. This was my best friend, my soul mate, my BROTHER…he can’t have cancer…he is too perfect to have such a horrible thing. I left work in a panic, crying and having my co-workers help me tell my parents the news because I could barely speak. I picked up Nemo from Cornell that night and as he wiggled his way out of the oncologists arms he ran down the long hallway into my open arms with a SMILE. His carefree spirit helped me to accept the fact that our time was limited and that everyday is a blessing.
Two months later on December 23, 2014 I had to make the absolute worst decision of my life. He wasn’t doing well. My parents and I gave him his Christmas presents early and told him how much we loved him and always will before his doctor came to our house and let him go to heaven peacefully.
Almost a year later now and I think about Nemo every second, I kiss his urn and pictures every time I walk by, and I talk to him as if he were still here because I truly believe he resides in my heart forever. I love him so much and I could never replace him. Nemo will be my only dog and I am forever grateful for him.
The Story of Luigi
In July 2005, my sons Richard, 11 and James, 9, and I decided it was high time we got a dog. I loved toy poodles and found a listing in the paper for poodles for sale. In the weeks before Hurricane Katrina, there were foreshadowing storms, and the afternoon of Tropical Storm Cindy, my sons and I were driving into Saint Bernard Parish to pick up our puppy we had decided to name Blackberry, as everyone else was wisely driving out.
Once we met the tiny puppy and my sons saw his little mustache, his name became Luigi as in the video character. A few weeks later, Luigi's birthplace was washed from the face of the earth by Katrina, so I always considered him a rescue dog, once removed, but the truth is, he rescued me. Through the frantic evacuation, the weeks of an uprooted vagabond existence that followed, the death of my parents, divorce, and the eventual flight from the nest of my sons, Luigi provided constant entertainment, comforting routine, and unconditional love. Yes, he became my dog. He was my fierce protector from all manner of dangers - the UPS driver, the pizza delivery guy, and even walkers and bicyclists who violated what he considered a safe distance.
Luigi loved to dress up. He had a wide variety of sports jerseys (Saints and LSU especially, of course), and several Halloween costumes; his favorite being his devil cape. He loved "Greenies" and had quite a repertoire of tricks he would perform to get one. He loved his walks; the windier the day, the better, he loved the beach, he loved rides in the car, but most of all, he loved me. I was told when I left in the morning he became a "poodle skin rug" until he heard my car in the driveway, at which point he ran to the window he could barely reach to peek through, and confirming it was me, sit at the front door, bouncing on his wagging tail. I didn't leave a room that he wasn't at my heels, sit without him jumping in my lap, or go to sleep at night without him close by.
I will miss him more than I can express, but this sadness and grief is a small price to pay for the joy he has brought me in his too short time on earth. Luigi's final resting place will be his yard where he loved to bask in the sun, bark at the birds and squirrels, and chase the cat he never caught. Farewell, my precious friend. Always.
The Story of Bobo
I had my sweet man for 11 yrs and I loved him like a child. Bobo thought he was a person, and he was treated like one. I found Bobo in the fall of 2003. He did not have such a good young life before me. He was tied out in a yard in the cold rain of fall with no dog house and he had only dry cat food available to eat. That's the day I fell in love w/him and knew I just had to have him. He turned out to be the best dog I ever had. He was loyal and protective!! Since that day we were best friends. I thank him so much for giving me so much love, joy, and happiness in my life. I never thought I could love something so much but yes, its possible, i still love him beyond belief and I miss him so much. He was my sweet baby and as long as I live I will love him and appreciate all the joy he brought me. I miss his big brown eyes looking at me and I miss his snoring as he slept!! I hope he is up there running and playing with not a pain in the world and yes Bobo, I hope you got plenty of your favorite bones!! I will love and miss you forever & I'll never forget you. Hope I see you again one day. Mr. BOBO. 2003-August 31st 2014. I love you baby!!!
The Story of Patchman
I WAS CURIOUS WHAT SHIH TZU LOOK LIKE SO I WENT TO LOOK AT THEM.
HE WAS THE FIRST PUPPY I HELD AND I KNEW HE WAS MINE HE KEPT ME ON THE RUN IF SOME ONE ACCIDENTLY LET HIM OUT I RAN AND RAN HIM DOWN AND WOULD NEVER STOP UNTIL I CAUGHT HIM.
I CALLED HIM MY LITTLE GINGER BREAD MAN CATCH ME IF YOU CAN. HE LOVED MY GRANDKIDS LOVED SLEEPING WITH ME HE WOULD LAY IN MY BED JUST LIKE A HUMAN LAYING NEXT TO YOU HE SNORED TOO. HE LOVED HIS STUFFED DOGGIE THAT WAS HIS GIRL FRIEND THE ONLY GIRL WHO WOULD HAVE ANY THING TO DO WITH HIM! HIS FULL NAME IS PATRICT ANTHONY, HE GOT "PATCHMAN" FROM SON AND HIS FRIENDS WHEN HE WAS YOUNG.
HE JUST MEANT THE WORLD TO ME MY MOTHER WHO LOVED HIM TOO SHE WOULD ALWAYS BRING OVER TREATS WHEN SHE WAS ALIVE. PATCHMAN LOVED GOING TO GRANDMAS HOUSE - MY MOTHER HAD A COCKPOO NAMED BENI. WE WOULD WALK OUR DOGS TOGETHER. PATCHMAN LOVED MY MOTHER - WHEN SHE PASSED AWAY PATCHMAN AND I WENT THREW A PREIOD OF DEPRESSION TOGETHER. BENI WENT TO LIVE WITH MY SISTER SO HE DID NOT SEE HIM MUCH AFTER THAT.
I JUST PRAY PATCHMAN FOUND MY MOTHER AND BENI. I MISS HIM HE WAS MY EVERY THING!. IT IS SO HARD NOT HAVING HIM HERE WITH ME ANY MORE. OH GOD, I LOVE HIM SO MUCH!
The Story of Butters
Butters passed away on August 9th 2014
He was almost a year old his birthday is September 21st, 2014.
He was a gift from my husband's mother while I was pregnant with my son. He was almost 6 weeks old and he was very precious to me. He loved following me everywhere loved going outside, loved his toys and playing with me. He has this loving personality. He was very happy playful and great in every way. We did everything together eat sleep hed even hop into the shower with me. He was my very best friend and still is. I cherish him in every way possible with his memories. His bark, his playfulness, his loving devoted eyes, his smell.
My boy was the greatest dog ever. He was my son best friend and brother all in one. I feel incomplete and alone without him. He was a amazing companion. Rest in peace my beautiful baby boy momma loves you.
(I also had lots of nicknames he'd come to he was very smart)
Butters, Butler Boy, Butler Freak, Freak boy, juice boy, juicy, juicy juice, Cute guy, Butler guy Long story short There are many reasons why I have all these nick names for him. He made them for himself with his great funny personality.
I THINK THE PARVOVIRUS SHOULD HAVE A CHARITY FOR PEOPLE WHO CANNOT AFFORD THE VET BILLS AND FOR ANIMALS IN SHELTERS WHO SADLY GET IT THERE. IF I HAD THE AFFILIATIONS AND CONNECTIONS TO START A FOUNDATIONS ID BE VERY PROUD TO DO SO.
The Story of Cooper
Cooper was a rescue dog. We got him as a companion for our labrador in 2007. He had been picked up off of the side of the road when he was a pup, born 12-3-2006. He had been crated most of the time in his foster home because the foster Mom raised Shepherds and they took advantage of his soft nature. In spite of his size I never had a more gentle dog. He adored his big yard and kept a keen eye for any wild creatures who dared trespass there. He loved to run and play. He adored Nikki and he was the ultimate companion for her and for us. I've never seen a dog who enjoyed life as much as he did. He absolutely celebrated every day to the fullest. He was healthy and happy and we adored him as much as he did us.
Two weeks ago we noticed he was limping on one of his front feet. Being a rottie mix I had read a lot about them being prone to osteosarcoma and was always terrified of it. Anyway about a week later I noticed swelling at the ankle of the leg he was limping on. We had just taken him for his senior checkup about a month ago and she had said he seemed to have a little arthritis there although there was no pronounced limp and the injury he'd sustained to that foot earlier in the summer had completely healed. He was a big healthy happy boy and everyone at the vets office made over him. He did not know a stranger.
Once the swelling started he had trouble getting up, being very dane-like it made arising and balancing difficult. Still he was so happy to be alive he never showed any sign except the limp got worse. We were giving him Tramadol and he was scheduled to have a small growth on his tail removed that had been itching and bothering him for some time. The vet did xrays and called with the bad news. It seemed so unfair that such a young dog who loved life so much should be stricken with the ultimate canine killer. I held his head in my lap and told him I loved him as he left this world for The Bridge.
I would have given anything to have it otherwise but knowing how quickly the disease advanced and how painful it could be, I did not have it in me to let him suffer for my own selfish reasons. Knowing him as I did, he would have still been happy to be alive even with the pain. He has left a gaping hole in our hearts and in our lives. He was put down the morning of 8/8/2014.
Thank you for allowing me to remember my beloved boy. Starr
The Story of Peyton
Peyton came to join our family on November 11th 2010. He was just old enough to be put out for adoptions at the animal defense league in san Antonio Texas. My husband and I just found out after years of trying that we were unable to have anymore children and set out to find the boy we could never have. We searched the ADL all day before even looking in the puppy house. There we saw a few poodles playing, and in the corner, all alone was Peyton. My heart melted for the lonely little puppy, and he was mine. We took him home to our 2 children and he was instantly part of the family. For the next 3 years he never left my side. He was my best friend.
Peyton had a love for junk food like most dogs do, however when it came to snacks he was very picky! He loved fresh made popcorn and flammin hot Cheetos. It was so hard to be mad at his adorable face covered in the red hot Cheetos dust and then lie to my face and shake his head no when I ask if he ate them. Peyton was a very active and playful dog. He loved to play fetch and loved to be chased around the house.
On July 21 2014 Peyton and I went for our morning walk and then decided to be lazy and climb back in bed. In the midst of Peyton jumping back in to bed he slipped a disc in to his spine and was paralyzed before the day was over. Despite all the efforts of our local vet and help from a specialist surgeon, Peyton passed away one week later. We spent all the money we had on the surgery to save his life and was unable to pay for the private cremation. To our surprise the surgeon covered this expense for us and our boy will come home in a tiny white urn this week.
This has been the hardest thing I have had to deal with. To everyone else "it's just a dog" to me, Peyton was my son I could never have, my best friend, my counselor and my snack thief. He will be forever missed.
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