This letter from Mommy to Brandy was written on Monday, March 26, 2012

Dear Brandy,

It was one year ago that I had to make the heartwrenching decision to let you go to a place of peace and good health. I grieve for you every day, not a day goes by that I don't think of you, wish I could feel your soft coat and hear you "whisper" to me. Daddy still sheds tears and misses you very much. Your little sister Maggie visits you every day where your head now lays. I see the light shine from your resting place and I know it is your love shining at me. That brings me some level of peace and comfort knowing you are always with me.

You, my dear baby girl, taught me how to love unconditionally. To give of myself to others without any reason to expect more in return. Your faithfulness and total love has made me strive to be a better person.

I love you baby girl, and will always have you in my heart. So until the day we meet at that Rainbow Bridge, know my love is endless and will never die.

Love,

Mommy

This letter from Mom to Chloe was written on Sunday, March 25, 2012Chloe

Dear Chloe,

One year ago today I let you go.

One year.

It has been a very difficult year and it has taken me this long to face writing you this letter.

I know it was time and that your little body was failing you in a way that I still can't comprehend, but saying goodbye to you was one of the hardest things I have ever done. The loss has left me with a hole in my heart that I know will never be completely healed.

I am doing my best to keep my promise to you that I would only remember you happy and healthy. It helps to focus on your smile, or remember the way you would howl like a fool at any squirrel or bird who dared cross your path. I keep close my memories of you and Murphy chasing each other in the yard, or the way you would sit at the base of the tree for what seemed like hours, watching for the squirrel you chased up it moments before. You sitting by the window, ever watchful and alert to the world outside. Your beautiful eyes that always looked so sad. I miss your lovely, little face, and the way you would snuggle up to me on the couch and nudge my hand with your nose when you wanted to be petted. This is how I choose to remember you, and focusing on these memories helps a little with the pain of losing you. The pain will fade, but the memories will last.

One year but it still feels like yesterday that you were here, a complete part of my life. I will never forget you, or let my memories of you go. You will always be a part of who I am, and who I become. You will always be the sweetest, most loving creature I have ever known. You were completely selfless, and you didn't deserve what happened to you. I am so fortunate to have had you as a part of my life. I hit the jackpot with you and I will never forget that, or stop being grateful for you. As much as it hurts, the memories of 11 wonderful years are worth the price.

Rest in peace, sweet girl.

I love you, forever and always.

Love,

Mom

This letter from Mommy, Daddy, Perry & Hayden to Baby Girl was written on Friday, March 23, 2012

Dear Baby Girl,

Even though you left me over a month ago, it still feels like yesterday that I had to say goodbye to you. I say a prayer for you and Mingo every night. I know that you are up there right now playing with Mingo. The boys miss you so much! I cried for several days after you left me. I have often kicked myself for leaving you alone that day. I was trying to hurry and come back to you. I even bought you special treats that day to see if you could eat those without any trouble.

My heart breaks everyday when I come home and you are not there. We buried you on the hill right next to Mingo. I buried you in my favorite ratty old green t-shirt. I guess I wanted to make sure a small piece of me was with you at all times! Daddy colored your grave marker blue so I could see you better from the kitchen window.

There is not a day that goes by that I do not think of you. I often am doing things that I know you liked and catch myself drifting off thinking of you. You loved biscuits, and everytime I made them, all I had to do was holler biscuits are ready and you would come running in with this smile on your face. I can see you running off with the biscuit in your mouth (most of the time the biscuit was bigger than you). Or when I fried bacon you would hang out in the kitchen under my feet licking the floor, and I was always afraid that you was going to get popped by hot bacon grease.

Poncho really misses you. Please don't think that I am trying to replace you, because Lord knows that NO ONE can replace you, but we got another dog. Daddy said Poncho was acting funny and he was worried about him. Kind of like when Mingo passed away, daddy was worried about you so we got Poncho. The new dogs name is Daisy. She is really a good dog. She really looks alot like Mingo, except she is a different color. Daddy said that Mingo would have liked her, I think you would too.

I miss you laying next to me in the recliner or giving me all those great "kisses". It is warm weather now and I can see you in my mind laying in the front yard soaking up the sun. You loved to do that. Anytime the sun would shine and you could find it coming through a window in the house, that is where you would be. I was remembering the other day when we had a terrible thunder storm the time we lived in Ironton. A bad storm hit and you got out of the fence through a small hole and ran off (you were so scared of storms). I ran all over the block looking for you in the pouring rain and lighting. I finally found you after searching for what seemed like forever. To this day I still want to tear up when I think about how I could have lost you that day.

I hope that you are having fun up there with Mingo. Please know that you are in my heart and always on my mind. I am sad that you are gone, but I am glad that you are no longer suffering. I love you and miss you so much my sweet girl! Until we meet again. Please give my love to Mingo also!

Love,

Mommy, Daddy, Perry & Hayden

This letter from Mommy to Billy was written on Sunday, March 18, 2012

Dear Billy,

You'd wait for me to come home from school, siting in the windowsill. I'd press my fingers to the glass, and you your nose. Then I'd tell you I'd meet you at the door, and there you'd be, waiting for me to pick you up so we could touch noses. It was our tradition. To this day I blame myself for not having put you to sleep. I'll never know if you suffered out in the woods behind my uncle's house because one of his dogs chased you into the woods and no one ever saw you again.

I'll never know. And that guilt will stay with me always. But sometimes at night when I'm lying in bed reading or listening to music, I'll feel the bed press down and little cat paws walking or sometimes kneading the bed beside me. I'll look over sometimes and see that Odin, my now 1 year old cat, is lying on the floor. That's how I know it's you come to say hi. When you doe, I know you've forgiven me, but oh the pain.... You were only 5 when I last saw you.

I was there when your mother gave birth to you. It was a miracle you survived because one of your siblings sliced open the skin on your neck. But we treated it with peroxide and watched, hoping. You'd be 17 now. A ripe old age for a cat. If you were still with me now, I'd have to prepare myself for your passing soon. But you've long since walked to the rainbow bridge. I know because you'll curl up next to me, but I can't see you.

You were so smart. You could walk on a harness and leash. I remember the neighbors applauding you when we walked together. You were never nuetered, but you knew better than to spray, too. You were a good boy, and the best of friends. You'd eat most anything, but oh how you loved your catalope.

I hope you've found my Gypsy, Alex, and all the rest. They are your siblings, ya know, so take good care of those that need your protection. I love you so very much and not a day goes by that I don't think of you. I miss you so much. They should never have taken you from me. When they did, they took everything. One day I will see you again, my Billy. My best friend.

With love always ?

ps

I'm sure I'll write to you again, and I'll be sure to post a picture so everyone can see what a wonderful and sweet boy you were.

Love,

Mommy

This letter from M to Loki was written on Sunday, March 18, 2012

Dear Loki,

Some people will say, "but he was just a rat!" but no, you were my buddy. I don't know why, out of all the rats we had, you were the one who latched on to me the most, but I'm so glad you did. Our bond was stronger than I ever thought was possible between human and rodent.

I still remember how you tried to play with Clover Cat, and how she was scared of you--even though you were so tiny! You loved playing with Taz, too; she's gotten to be a fat, lazy ferret in your absence.

Even though I'm a thousand miles away from that little apartment we shared, I still think of you every time I eat ramen noodles. You were always so happy when I'd give you one (and don't tell the other rats up there in rat heaven, but I always thought you were the cutest, too!). The way you'd curl up on my lap, or up on my shoulder in my hair when I was lying on the bed...I knew you were doing it not just because you needed a warm place to sleep, but because you cared about me, too. I miss your little rat kisses, the way you'd try to clean me as if I were just another giant rat.

Loki, I miss you and Ryu and Zeus so much, and I hope someday to have rat companions like you all again. You taught me that even the smallest of creatures have big hearts. Thanks for being my baby for the little while that I had you.

Love,

M

This letter from Mommy to Lizzy was written on Saturday, March 3, 2012Lizzy

Dear Lizzy,

I miss you so much... I can't believe you are not here with me. I think I hear you at night when I am about to drift off to sleep; I pray that I dream of you just to be able to see you again. You gave me 17 years of unconditional love, I only hope that you knew how much I loved you. Taking you to the vet was the hardest thing I have had to do. I know you were stressed and you didn't understand what was going on. You seemed so lost. There is not a day that goes by that I don't wish you back here with me. I can remember the day we bought you home all the kids in the neighborhood loved you; you were so tiny and cute. You grew into this wonderful family member you weren't just a dog to me. I don't think people can understand the bond between us. You loved me no matter what my day was like. I miss watching you have that love-hate chase with the squirrels in the back yard. I think they miss it too! People tell me that I need to get another dog, but they don't get it. You weren't a dog... you were my friend, family, and confidant. You understood my secrets, my pain, my sadness, my joy, my happiness. I miss you so much; I love you always and forever

Love,

Mommy

This letter from Mommy to Frankie was written on Saturday, March 3, 2012Frankie

Dear Frankie,

Has it been only 5 days since I had to make that awful, impossible choice? How can it be that you were okay on Saturday, then paralyzed on Sunday? I have so many regrets. I should have taken you to the place in Cooper City. The other vet was WRONG! I have so much anger because if she had given us the right information, we could have saved you in time.That night, when the second vet talked to us, I knew. I knew in my heart that you would not recover. I knew you would have HATED being in the cart, unable to run and play fetch and chase the cat. The pain that night and every day since is searing. I feel as though someone reached into my chest and ripped off a chunk of my heart. I know you knew how much I loved you, Baby Boy. I couldn't tell you enough that night, that short while I had to spend with you for the last time. I look for you everywhere in the house. This house is filled with you. I think I hear breathing in the morning, in the corner now empty by the TV. I look for you on the bathroom rug as I get ready for work. I feel your warm little body lying next to me on the sofa at night.

I dread walking in after work and not seeing your long little body dancing in circles for joy at seeing me. I miss holding you and kissing your snout and soft little head. I long to run my fingers through the silky hair of your ears.

I want you to know that I forgive you for everytime I walked into the kitchen and it had "snowed" because you had pulled all the stuffing out of your bed or toys. For everytime you had a party with the bathroom garbage or tore up whatever was in the Walmart bag from the store. I have not been able to eat peanut butter because you loved it so much. I think for the rest of my life, I will think of you each time I eat it.

Frankie, how I MISS you. You filled my arms and heart with so much snuggly affection. I have the girls and Mark, but your love was a different kind. I knew that no matter what, you loved me. I could do no wrong in your eyes, and you never got frustrated or mad at me. When I think about how you loved, I believe that it is a reflection of the way God loves us. No matter what we do, He loves us and forgives us. I have to believe that one day in Heaven, you will be on my lap again. Right beside me every step I take. We will go for our walk as the sun is setting and enjoy God's creation together. The Bible says that there will be no tears, only joy in Heaven. That tells me that you will be there.

Thank you for the 4 years of joy and love you gave me. It was not nearly long enough. You were so young, so alive. I will always picture you that way. You will always be my baby boy. Of all the dogs I've had, I had the greatest bond with you, my beautiful Dachshund.

Love,

Mommy

This letter from Bronte to Bo was written on Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dear Bo,

You left us too soon. Even though you were 15 years old, you still were running around with the horse and rummaging through dead deer carcasses that you loved to drag home from the timber. You were a typical farm dog: pretty much invincible. I remember how bad dad felt the day you died, he cried for days on end. But it wasn't his fault, you never EVER slept under cars so why would he check on that sunny fall afternoon? You were losing your hearing, (either that or you were getting old enough that you knew you didn't have to listen to us), and it looked like it was a little harder for you to get up from your bed than usual too. But still, you didn't fool us, we knew you were still that 1 year old border collie inside. The one with boundless energy and the brains to outsmart us. You would play fetch with me, even when you were losing your teeth and your muzzle was getting gray. You were such a handsome dog, and I miss you every time I return home to see the horse. She misses you too, you were her best friend and constant companion. You never left her side. I know dad feels horrible about running you over, but I know you have forgiven him. So if you could please send him a message that brings him peace. I love you Bo bo, and I can't wait until I get my own border collie.

Love,

Bronte

This letter from Jamie to Virgil was written on Thursday, February 16, 2012Virgil

Dear Virgil,

I can't believe that it's been almost eight years since you left this world. I think of you every day. I really mean it. Every day. I have two cats now, and I often find myself telling them about you. My cat Apple reminds me so much of you; your personality. She is pretty quiet, but lets me know when she feels I'm not giving her enough attention. :-)

My other cat, Buddy...he looks a lot like you. I wish you could meet him. You could teach him a thing or two. He drives us crazy! But I love him very much.

I miss you, Virgil. I miss the way you would wait for me to come home from work and greet me at my car. I miss the way you loved to eat Pringles. And swiss cheese. I miss the way you would sit with me on the porch and listen to everything that was on my mind and on my heart. You truly were the best friend I have ever had. I know you're in Heaven. I just know it. You were the best thing to ever happen to me, and my life has just not felt complete without you. I love you, so, so much. I am crying as I am writing this, because I miss you, and because I remember all of the good times we had together. I remember the day you were lying in the grass, and our other cat, Shell, walked by you. You reached up and smacked her butt as she walked by. She turned around and hissed at you. That was so funny. Haha!

I'm sure this will not be the last letter I write to you. I have so much to say to you. Like, I am so sorry. I am so sorry that you had to suffer for so long, and I didn't know it. I am sorry that I didn't take you with me when I moved away for school. I love you so much, Virgil. I hope that somehow, some way, you know that. And that you have not forgotten me. Because I will never, ever forget you.

I love you buddy. Keep my spot warm in Heaven!

Love,

Jamie

This letter from Ashley to Murphy was written on Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dear Murphy,

This morning I woke up to the awful news. At first I wasn't sad, just in shock. But as I spoke to Mom about what happened, the tears began to flow. I am so sorry you had to go through all of that pain. I'm so sorry that you couldn't speak and tell anyone what was wrong. I hope you weren't hurting for too long. I have broken down 3 times already at work today thinking about you, and mostly about the loss Dad is feeling. He loves you so much and I just can't imagine how he feels. Lyndsey said he went down and just looked at your crate 3 seperate times last night. :(

I hope that you are in a happy place. I hope you are chasing all the deer you want, and are peeing on as many trees as you please. Please tell me there is a garden wherever you are, and that you will be able to eat the tomatoes when they get too ripe and fall off the vine.

We will never forget what a kind and loving soul you are.

I love you.

Love,

Ashley