This letter from Daddy to Jasper was written on Thursday, July 18, 2013Jasper

Dear Jasper,

It's been a little over 2 months since I last kissed your nose and said how much I loved you, as you licked my face saying you loved me too. Everything happened so fast and I had no idea we were losing you in the next few days. The pain was getting unbearable for you and the vets couldn't help you,the bone cancer had spread to far. 13 years was still to short of time to spend with such a perfect dog, my heart is so empty without your snuggly kisses and hugs, laying in bed with us at night and greeting us at the door when we came home from work, and most adorable was you greeting us when we brought you a doggie bag when we were out eating dinner, your front paws always jumping 3 feet off the floor while barking for us to hurry up and give it to you. I have many memories of you and when I think of them, the tears begin. Maybe in time the tears will turn to laughter and joy, but for now it's emptiness and sorrow, that to I hope will change because now your in heaven and that awful pain is gone.

I hope you had a good life with us, because it was the best 13 years of our life having you!

Love,

Daddy

This letter from Mom to Chancer was written on Tuesday, July 16, 2013Chancer

Dear Chancer,

It's been a year that you're gone, baby. It hurts still, so much. You have left a big hole, baby, and I never stop thinking of you and missing you. I wish I could believe that you are happy somewhere. How could a heart so empty feel so heavy. I can't believe the tears still come so easily.

If proof of how much you were loved is measured in how much you are missed, then you have to know that we loved you so very much.

Chance, you were the best. Remember how you took care of KT when she first came to our home? She is real sick, baby. Will you take care of her again?

I love you angel.

Love,

Mom

This letter from Melissa to Dexi was written on Wednesday, July 10, 2013Dexi

Dear Dexi,

It’s been almost eight months since we lost you. After you died, I saw you everywhere in the house. Every shadow was your black body, every noise was the clicking of your paws on the hardwood floor. After I while I stopped looking for you, but I’m still sometimes stunned you’re not there.

I miss you, Dexi. You were such a good girl. I remember seeing you for the first time 12 years ago, in the shelter kennel. You were surrounded by dogs who were barking and jumping, trying to get the attention of the people walking by. You were quiet, regal, composed. You looked at us with your sad brown eyes and your floppy black ears. And we just knew we belonged to you.

I have so many memories of you, pictures of your happy and healthy days. You, running off leash after a tennis ball in Nichols Park, so joyful to be alive and free. You sharing your big dog bed with the cats, all three of you licking and grooming each other. You, under the covers with me, warm against the Chicago winter night. You, gentle with my sons, enduring well-intentioned petting and endless attempts to pull your tail. You, jumping with delight at a toy dangled above you.

And I remember the end of your life, too. You stopped getting up when I came home. You didn't come upstairs. You tolerated your special food, designed to minimize damage to your kidneys. You grew thin. Your eye bled, and then your nose. The smear of blood on the living room wall, where you bumped your head because you couldn’t see. The drops of blood on the pavement as I took you to the vet four days before you died. Your skeletal frame in my arms, as we waited to be seen by the specialist. Your cries when they brought you into the room where we waited, to say goodbye. The blanket you died on.

I don’t believe in God or heaven (though I still cry at the kindness of the offer, from the vet who euthanized you, to pray with us for our loss). Instead, I think you’re everywhere now, and a part of everything. I’ve tried to see you, for instance, in other dogs who just need someone to give them a chance.

For many months after you died, we didn’t talk about getting another dog. Your absence was too heavy and your departure too recent. Time passed, and it became easier to imagine that we might fill the void you left behind. We brought home a new dog last week, Dexi. We named her Sushi. Like you, she’s a black mutt who needed a home. She will never replace you—you’re too hard an act to follow—but we need to open our hearts again. The pain of losing you was terrible. And it hasn’t gone away. But your love and companionship made it worth every tear. If she is even half the dog you were, it will be worth it again.

I think you had a good life. I hope you agree. You were loved.

Love,

Melissa

This letter from B to Sammie was written on Monday, July 8, 2013Sammie

Dear Sammie,

It has been just over a week since we lost you and just over 10 years since we found you. What a loving and joyful dog you were! I am struggling with the guilt of the way that we lost you, the operation that didn't save your life and mostly the fact that I wasn't with you when you passed. Knowing your loving and sweet disposition, I recognize this as my stuff not yours. I have a hard time thinking of one particularly happy memory of you because every day you found ways to enjoy yourself and share your enthusiasm for life. I love that in the last year or so you discovered the joy of belly rubs and could just relax and enjoy them instead of trying to trade every scratch for a lick of my face. Two of your most endearing quirks were the "flop and roll" that you practiced on almost every walk, kicking your feet in the air on your back and bringing a smile to the face of people driving or walking past. The second was what we referred to as the "snappy snap" where you would snap at your tail, left side, then right when you were feeling excited or trying to engage us to go for a walk, let you out so you could chase a bunny, feed you. The range of that move decreased as you got older due to your stiff spine, but you still used it regularly and it always made me smile. You knew nothing about living in the house or walking on a leash when we found you. Teaching you to walk on a leash was an eye opening experience for me. You were so impulsive and so strong! You would break my arm for a pizza crust! You taught me many lessons in patience, in finding the key to motivate you (food, duh!), in trying again. You were the first and sometimes the only pet in our house to welcome a foster brother or sister. You invited them to play and would let them snuggle with you. You had a very maternal streak. I wonder if you had puppies before we found you. By far the most important thing you did for us was to teach our socially inept existing dog how to be a dog. You knew just when to push her, just when to back off and your ability to make friends with a dog we thought would have to be our only dog, earned you a spot in our family. We were lucky to have you. Who ever your first owners were who lost you and never came looking have know idea what they missed out on. Love my Sammie, miss you every day.

Love,

B

This letter from Tammy xox to Casey Jane was written on Wednesday, May 29, 2013Casey Jane

Dear Casey Jane,

You left on December 19th, 2011 with such grace, dignity & peace.

I miss you terribley, my little gal, but know you are in a better place.

You changed my life and I will be forever grateful to you for showing me your unconditional love.

You were always my best friend, my little buddy, my "Casey Baba".

You were my trusted confidante, my snuggle buddy, my pretty girl, my Bichon sidekick, my daily walking partner and my love...always, always at my side.

I hope I cared for you enough and showed you how much I loved you each and every day we had together...from the day you walked into my life, at almost 3 years of age, on June 10th, 1998 until the day you had to leave, just a few months past your 16th birthday. I held you in my arms that December morning, close to my heart where you belonged, with my face buried in your soft fluff and let you go.

There are so many things I remember & miss about you. Like saying "breakfast time" and "supper time" each day and seeing you get all excited, or getting ready for a bike ride and putting you into your own seat as you stomped your little paws in anticipation, the times you rode on the seadoo with me, your little ears blowing in the wind, or how your ears flapped up and down when you ran, and the way you snuffled in the sand and rolled in the wet grass...I even miss your snoring!

I will always be your loving mama and will never forget you.

Until we meet again my sweet pea. Thank you.

Love,

Tammy xox

This letter from Shannon to Kittie was written on Thursday, May 16, 2013Kittie

Dear Kittie,

I never thought about writing a letter to you until today when i read it in a magazine. I thought it was the best idea. You were my companion for 20 years and when I had to put you down it broke my heart.

You didn't have the best life. You were so timid and everything that came along seem to scare you. We first lived with my mom and my sister's children those children I think used to torment you terribly when I wasn't around to protect you. Then we went to live with my boyfriend and he loved you. But you were my cat and you really never took him. Then we left my boyfriend, and we moved to Sacramento and we stayed with my friend for two months. I can only assume that this was quite unnerving to you because there was a cat and 2 dogs in the house and you had never been around animals since you were a baby. Then we moved back to Washington and we eventually settled in our on place about a year later. We were here until it was time for you to pass on.

The last year I could see was pretty hard for you. You slowly lost your site and had kidney disease which required you to take pills and get IV fluids on a daily basis. I am so sorry it took me so long to figure out you wouldn't leave me without my helping you.

I tried to make up for all the trauma that you received living my life by spoiling you rotten. I know of no other cat that would get a Costco chicken every other week. Even after the doctor told me that you had to be on special food I still gave you the chicken because I figured it was better that you eat and enjoy it in the time you had left them to starve to death.

I miss you so much Kittie you were my companion through 20 years of my life. You loved me unconditionally and I miss our time together. Now I am alone and I sometimes think maybe I should get another cat. But, I think I will never have a companion like you. You were so good to me and you endured so much living my life with me. I miss our cuddle time. I miss when I wasn't feeling well and you knew and tried to make me feel better. I miss your long-haired getting in my crochet projects. I miss your playfulness. I miss watching your sleep. You used squeak when you slept it was so funny. I miss you kitty! I love you so much! You will always always be my companion and tlhe love I have for you will never go away. I know i will see you again because you are my family. For now Heavenly Father will watch over you. I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.

Love,

Shannon

This letter from Daddy to Rocks was written on Monday, April 29, 2013Rocks

Dear Rocks,

I can't believe its been a year today since you left us. For some weird reason I have been waiting for today and now that its here, I don't know what to say. So I will just say what I would if you were here right now: I miss you, everyday & I still think of you everyday. I miss your kisses, our cuddling, the way you loved your ball, how you would quickly run back to the other side of the gate and hope I didn't notice! (I saw you every time!) I still cry alone and try to remember that you don't want me to be sad, but my heart still aches :(

I felt so cheated that you were taken away from us so soon and sudden. You were a great dog and friend. You were so sweet, loving, and innocent. You never deserved what happened to you. I also felt like I cheated you. I cheated you out of walks, all those times you wanted to play and I was simply to lazy. I can't help but to feel guilty. If I could do it all over I would.

I of course will not remember you for how you left us but for all the wonderful memories and love you brought me. I could never thank you enough. You taught me so much about loyalty and how I need to appreciate the moments I have with the one I love the most and not take them for granted.

I want you to know you will always be part of our family, you will always be my dog, you will always have your paw print deeply engraved into my heart. I hope your having fun up in heaven and regardless if it's in a dream or in heaven I can't wait until the day I see you again.

"And since you've gone I can't forget

what I didn't say that it's much too late

I feel you here in my heart but sometimes I fall

I gotta crawl in the dark" - Saves The Day

Love,

Daddy

This letter from Glenn to Bently Beagle was written on Tuesday, April 23, 2013Bently Beagle

Dear Bently Beagle,

God be with you at Rainbow Bridge, my beloved Bently. You were my first-born (first-adopted). I loved you more than life itself. I miss you more than you will ever know. You taught me so much about life, love, & happiness. The pain & torment of your all-too-sudden departure is more than I can handle at times. Please don’t forget me as you roam the glorious fields of your spiritual world. I’m so sorry if there was something I could have done to save your life. They tell me a blood clot broke off and caused instant heart failure. Your water & food dishes are next to the stand by my bed if your spirit is ever hungry or thirsty. Gracie & Morgan send their love. Gracie still yaps too much. The puppy continues his crazy antics at times. Uncle Paul sorely misses you. All of the ladies at Bishop St House send their love. Hugs & kisses my sweet, loveable prince.

Love,

Glenn

This letter from Gunnar to Sampson was written on Monday, April 15, 2013Sampson

Dear Sampson,

Hey love. You've been gone for three days now, and I miss you so much. You were my heart...my soul. You were the love of my life. I don't know what to do with myself...my routine for the past 15 years is gone. I love you so much. Taking you to the vet and having you put down was the most painful thing I have ever had to do in my life. I knew it was time...you were starting to suffer...but that doesn't make it any less painful. If only. If only one more day...one more hour...one more minute. You were scared when we went to the vet...you always were...and I feel like I let you down. I feel like I failed you. I know I didn't, but I feel that way. I'm sorry, my love. I'm so, so sorry. My heart aches at the thought of it, and I hope you forgive me. I hope you are resting peacefully over the Rainbow Bridge.

Thank you, my friend. Thank you for the love and joy you shared with me. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your life. I watched a video yesterday of when I picked you up from Debbie's after a trip. You were SO happy...your face smiling...you were bouncing all around the yard. You were just pure joy! Thank you for the smiles, my friend, and so many fond memories that will always make me smile. I was so blessed to have you in my life.

I went to the Refuge today. I went to the places we used to go...the boardwalk...Morgan Prairie. I missed having you with me...so much. I had to go...to grieve...to miss...to remember. I spread some of Quan's and Buddy's ashes at the Prairie where I already spread some of my mom's ashes, and will spread some of your ashes, too. It's a beautiful, magical place...just as you are a beautiful and magical soul.

You will always be wherever my heart is. I miss you, my friend. I miss you, my best friend. I feel like a part of me is gone, but I know that's not true. It just feels that way right now. You are completely within me...in my heart...in my soul. Forever.

Missing you, loving you, hugging you, and giving you big kisses.

My love for you is beyond words...

Love,

Gunnar

This letter from mom to Nadir was written on Sunday, April 14, 2013Nadir

Dear Nadir,

Nadir....My sweet Nadir.

You were the first thing I ever had. You came before furniture and utensils. It was you and I curling up together on a floor in a vermin infested apartment when I left home to go to school.

You never had the best life. I was always moving, but I always took you with me. You never complained.

I bought a house and we were finally content. You told me that you were sick when you were 14..:(

I hope that you forgive me for putting you down.

You were ready. When we were at the vets, you put your sweet face in my hand and closed your eyes. I still cry about you ten years later and miss you from the core of my soul.

I love and miss you Bubbies.

Missing You,

mom