This letter from mommy to pinkee was written on Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dear pinkee,

my beautiful beauty queen its been 6 days since you flew away...i want to start off this letter by telling you how much i mss you.more than anything i want you to know that i let you go because i love you..i will never forget the day i drove out to white plains to get you.and how absolutely adorable you were at 8 weeks old..in no time your grew into one of the most proud and beautiful american bulldogs i have ever seen. you carried that proud dominance throughout your life.and even though you never really cared much for other dogs you still accepted any lost soul in need that came through our door.which btw every single one of those lost souls grew to love and respect you immensely.i have never in my life known such sorrow.i have never felt such a bond with anybody as i have with you.i pray every day that you will be waiting for me by the rainbow bridge.i know you were trying to be strong for me and you were so defiant and strong til the end.you made me very proud.my beautiful punkface.please continue to visit me in my dreams and in every way that you can. right now my grief is my final gift to you.i will continue to save lives in your memory but please know you were and always will be my number one..once in a lifetime girl .i love you forever.

Love,

mommy

This letter from Caitlin to Rita Pita was written on Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dear Rita Pita,

Everyone always commented on how beautiful you were. And it was true. I remember when we got you as a puppy, you sat in my lap the whole way home looking out the window. You smelled like poop so we gave you a bath and mom said you screamed like we were beating you. After you ate all your food, you'd pick up your bowl and drop it on the floor. You didn't do that when you grew up though. I miss you so much and I know everyone else does too. I loved how you'd eat laying down and had such an attitude that was full of confidence and spunk. Some of the best things you'd do was when we would be outside using a shovel or a rake, you would try to bite it playfully. You also barked at the vacuum cleaner which was really funny. You and your tennis balls. You always had a tennis ball. Whether you wanted us to throw it or just sit there and chew it. If anyone picked up a tennis ball and starting bouncing it, you'd come just because of the noise. After your hips started to go, I got really upset. I didn't want to see you in pain but you hid it well. Before you passed away, you were acting a little strangely. I remember you being surprisingly friendly to my friend Julia. We just assumed you were finally getting used to her. The day you left us was a really hot one and Robbie was home alone. I've never heard him that scared before he called me to tell you he thought you were dying. Me and Daddy didn't really believe him right away, we assumed you'd be okay. When we got to the house, we ran into the kitchen. You had already passed away. It felt unreal, and I wasn't really sure what do even though I dealt with that all the time at work. It was so much different when it was your dog. They never did know what you had died from. We assumed a seizure by Robbie's description and that your heart just couldn't handle it. I can't help but still think if I had been more observant or just noticed some tiny sign, you'd still be here. You were the pack leader, and I still can't believe your gone. I can't say I want another dog because all I want is you and I know we'll never get another you. We all love you so much, and while I don't have too many beliefs about heaven and what not, if anyone goes it would be pets. You were always loyal and slept in front of the door. An excellent guard dog that no one wanted to mess with. But then you would give tons of kisses also. There will never be another you and none of us will ever forget you. You are absolutely the definition of irreplaceable. I still can't believe your gone even though it's been almost a year. I hope you are in some sort of rest and paradise, where there's no hip problems and countless tennis balls. I love you so much and just really want you back.

Missing You,

Caitlin

This letter from Mommy, Daddy, Marley, Butch and Henry to Max was written on Monday, April 11, 2011Max

Dear Max,

A month ago we said goodbye to you and our hearts have been heavy since. We just aren't the same without you dear Max and we never will be. We knew your journey would end but we weren't prepared for the pain. You were the best dog anyone could ever have and you gave us an amazing 13.5 years of love and affection. I remember the time in the park when you stole that guy's steak off his grill and he turned around and yelled but it was the funniest thing ever! We love you for that. You were such a good boy. You protected us. You got through losing your brother and sister Wilbur and Daisy and we hope now you are all resting peacefully together. You were best friends with Marley and loved to chase Butch. You learned to love Henry the best you could and were always very careful with him since his accident. You were a big sweet boy and we loved you for that. We will miss you and love you forever Mushy boy. Sending love and kisses to you sweet angel. Rest in peace.

Love,

Mommy, Daddy, Marley, Butch and Henry

This letter from Mama to Sorbet was written on Sunday, February 27, 2011Sorbet

Dear Sorbet,

It has been almost three years since I lost you and I still cannot live without you. I feel so guilty..would you have been here if I had stayed home from work? Was the vet wrong? Did I do something wrong? I feel so angry at the people who kept you on that chain and caused the injury to your spine that would take you from me.

I knew you were gone before I came home. I think I knew the night before that you were leaving. When the vet said you might be paralyzed forever, I was ok with it. I prepared to buy a cart, and to care for you. It was selfish of me. You could not have lived, unable to chase your ball or go swimming. You simply could not live that way, and your heart knew it. But, part of my heart died with you, and it will not heal.

You were amazing! I cannot believe that they called you a spazz and hyper. You were just determined and wanted a family. A chained life was not what you deserved. I get so angry, that your back was broken from abuse, and you had such pain sometimes. But, the good times were so great. I thought your labbie sister was going to follow you, she missed you so much.

I do rescue now, and I wonder how many dogs I have to save to make up for not being able to save you. Four years was not enough time, and you deserved a much longer life. But, like a star- you simply burned up. And, I cannot wait to be with you again

Love,

Mama

This letter from Jaclyn to Shelby was written on Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dear Shelby,

A day doesn't go by where I don't think about you. We grew up together and you were the one who was always there for me, whether the days were bad or good. I lost you four years ago this very night- and I will NEVER forget how you waited for me to come home from work, how you waited until I was by your side, petting you and telling you how much I loved you- how you waited for me to be there before you passed. When I think of how much you truly loved me enough to wait until I was there, I can't help but cry and cry.

I am so grateful for every lesson you taught me about love and life; you helped shape me into the person I am today. You took a piece of my heart that day- and that piece continues to ache for you, love you, and constantly look for signs of you watching over me. I know we'll be together again one day, and that you'll be waiting for me on the other side of the rainbow bridge.

Give kisses to the others for me, and tell Sammy that I still hear him sometimes. I wonder if he pops in to visit every once in a while.

My sweet, furry sister... I love you.

Love,

Jaclyn

This letter from Erica to Deejay was written on Saturday, February 12, 2011Deejay

Dear Deejay,

Not a day goes by that I don't think of you and miss you. It has been 2 months since we lost you, and the pain of that day is something that I carry always. I know that it was quick, and I am so glad that you didn't have to suffer for a long time. I am so sorry that we didn't see your illness until it was so late, you were so strong, and you hid your pain so well. Everything is different now that you are gone, you have no idea how much you changed my whole life. I love you so much for your unwavering loyalty and constant companionship, and I am so glad that for the short time that you were with me that we did everything we could together. I still look for you every day when I come home, and I miss the sound of your toenails on the floor, dancing around the front door whenever you heard me come to the door after a long day at work. You have left such a hole in my life and my soul, and I don't know how it will ever go away. All I can say is that I love you Deej, and that I always will. Having you here or gone, nothing can ever change that. Part of my soul went with you that day. I love you.

Love,

Erica

This letter from Mom to Mora was written on Friday, February 11, 2011Mora

Dear Mora,

We went together with Pudge a few times into the woods to look for Keiko, but then I decided to take you alone with me because I was afraid of losing you, because you were so fast. I put a harness and leash on you, but you got out of it. Luckily, you came back. I called you and called you and suddenly, there you were: sitting there on a log right in front of me, looking at me! I put the leash on you again. I should have taken you home then, but we looked some more and then you ran off into the woods, and I couldn't see you anywhere. I called you and called you. This time, I couldn't find you. I finally gave up. But I should have just stayed there and waited for you to come back to me, because I know you would have. And maybe you would have come back with Keiko by your side, who knows?

I'm sorry Mora. You were a brave girl. You were my Amazonian lady ferret. Even if you were trembling in fear, you'd always go scout things out first for your sister, Pancha, and your adopted sister, Keiko, and your guy buddy, Pudge. You were very protective of them. You repeatedly attacked any other ferret whom you felt was a threat. Most people wouldn't appreciate you for that, but I understood your courage and dedication to your family.

You and Pancha had been with Pudge since kit-hood, I imagine. You all came to me with behavior problems, so I believe you were all abused in some way. Pudge bit me so hard when I first took you all in that I ended up in the ER, getting XRays, antibiotics, and a tetanus shot. I had to quarantine Pudge for 10 days after that, by command of Animal Services, and many people told me to have him put down. They would've said the same about you because you attacked Fidget, scratching her cornea, almost blinding her. I forgave you (although I didn't let you near Fidget again) and loved you.

You lost Pancha, your sister, who contracted lymphoma. Then you lost Keiko. Every day you wanted to go looking for her. After losing them both, you wanted to find them, especially Keiko, I think, because you must have known Pancha was ill and Keiko wasn't. I'm sorry I lost Keiko, Mora. I'm sorry I lost you, too. Pudge missed you guys a lot. He got very sad after Pancha died, and you and Keiko got lost. He lived two years after you and Keiko left. He became the most gentle guy and he and I were very close. I felt he didn't want to let go because he knew I was sad about losing you guys and he was staying for me, but his life had become only pain, humiliation, and struggle -- as he could barely hold himself up to take walks anymore with me and he would soil himself and his bedding. So I finally had him put down. He went very quickly and gently. (Just like Fidget did when she went so long after her mate, Bob.)

I hope you are all together now wherever you are. I love you and miss you all. And Mora, you will always be the most brave Amazonian ferret to me. Take care of Keiko and Pancha and Pudge, please.

Love,

Mom

This letter from Mom to Keiko was written on Friday, February 11, 2011Keiko

Dear Keiko,

I miss you every single day, even though it's been two years this March. I still feel responsible for your escape and for my failure to ensure your return or to find you. You were a beautiful creature to me, the sweetest ferret, kind, gentle, loving and playful. I'm so sorry I didn't do enough (and quick enough) to get you back safely.

I know you are now in the other world beyond this one, whatever that may be. I don't believe in God or Heaven, but I do believe that we all return to spirit or light. I hope you can hear me. I know you were so frightened that night after you got out and the thunder and lightning were so loud and scary and the rain so torrential. I know you were terrified and that's what make me feel most grief. Not knowing what happened to you is also very hard. Somebody spotted you a few weeks after you escaped and I had distributed to neighbors more than 40 "safe boxes" with ferret food and bedding inside. And then a month later, someone thought they saw you crossing a road into the woods. If so, if it was you, you found a good place to hunt and survive. There are streams in there, and lots of burrows (many unoccupied), and lots of food sources. I hope you did not just starve to death out there. Even imagining that an owl or hawk or fox got you and killed is better than that.

I hope you had a good remainder of your life. I feel terrible that you thought I didn't want you back after you got out. It was an accident, but I think you felt I didn't let you back in. I didn't know you were gone right away and I didn't open the fence or make a way for you to get back, because I was afraid the other animals were get out. My mind didn't work well at that time and I still don't know why. Other things were going on. I had relied so much on my 19 year old daughter. She was so intuitive and wise, and I asked her what she thought I should do and she wouldn't answer me. I don't know why and even now, she won't tell me -- for she has grown away from me and is no longer talking to me -- again I don't know why.

But without her wise words, my mind shut down, which is so weird because every other time any ferret or cat was missing, I knew just what to do, and did it. So I feel like I betrayed you, Keiko. I gave you such a great life here and then I just let you go. It's not fair to you. It wasn't fair. I'm so sorry. I hope you will forgive me, Keiko. I love you and miss you terribly.

P.S. I hope you and Mora found each other (and Pancha, too) somehow, somewhere. I will write Mora separately, but say hello to her if you see her.

Love,

Mom

This letter from Amber to Cat Two was written on Tuesday, February 8, 2011Cat Two

Dear Cat Two,

I miss you everyday. I feel like you were my first real pet and responsibility and I wish your life was more fully lived. When you seized, it was probably the most frightening moment of my life thus far, because I was completely out of control. I feel like I let you down, not noticing the signs before hand and getting it treated if I could, but our time together changed my life. You had such a personality and I don't think I can ever find another one like you. The unconditional love you gave and your pure attitude was fascinating and always entertaining. I will always love you.

Missing You,

Amber

This letter from Your forever partner to Celeste was written on Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dear Celeste,

I miss you everyday. I am so incredibly grateful you saved my life in the fire. I am so horribly sorry I could not do the same for you and for Bernie, Carmen, Annie, Max and Chanie Marie. I blame myself for the fire - although it was accidental I will always feel I should have prevented it. You were my canine soul mate. I think of you daily and miss the unique connection we shared. By now you would have passed due to age or illnesss. But we should have had many shared years together. I know you are waiting to return to me - and someday it will happen. Please welcome Lucy, Sherman and Bubba into yout heart. They too are solely missed. This will be the first year since 1997 that I haven't shared my birthday with Lucy (or Sherman). I will celebrate for all of the ones who have gone on without me - including Spirit, Chance and Jesus. Wishing you joy, and fun and happiness as you continue on your journey.

Love,

Your forever partner