This letter from Mom to Malimutt was written on Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dear Malimutt,

Hey there Big Girl,

Well, it has been exactly 1 week since you left us. This week has been very surreal, and, honestly, I think you would have been really confused had you witnessed it with your own eyes. You, who loved and relied on schedules and continuity, well, this week would have gotten you a little uptight to say the least :)

We decided to not tell the boys that morning, and wait until the afternoon, because neither Todd nor I wanted them see you that morning… we wanted them to remember you as you were- happy, sloppy wet kisses and tail wagging. Logan really took the news hard, he did not want to believe it, and cried for a long time; he even left us to go to his room for a while. Hayden’s reaction was “but she likes to give me kisses!”, and even he cried (see – you were right, there is a lot of love in that kiddo ;-D) . Logan asked us if we could visit you on your birthday and bring you flowers and peeps, “like we do for your friend, momma”- that one made me start to cry all over again; he really wants to make sure you know that he is going to miss you.

Todd misses you so much—we both had such a hard time on Thursday morning, as I left and said “Have a great Day” he started to say “I already HAVE a great Dane” (as he has every day for the past 9 years) and we both just stopped and stared at each other realizing that little joke had run its course :(

And now Peanut- well – she is just out of sorts. (She is actually BEHAVING herself lol). She finally went back to your room and slept in your blanket on Sunday, but wouldn’t go near it at all before that. We started feeding her in the room, since she doesn’t slobber and make a mess like you always did ;). She pretty much keeps by our side all day log now, and its starting to freak Todd out. She has decided to latch on to him more than ever now that your not there for her. Maybe it will be good for them, they may start to like each other - I figure that’s what you would have liked anyway.

So there you have it—its taken me a week to write this because its taken me that long to accept that you are really gone. It has sunk in, and I accept that I will not have your happy “clicking” nails on the floor, or your wet nose in my face at 4 am asking to be let outside, or your very rare loud bark ringing out in the house ever again. We are doing well- and I know that is what will make you happiest. We will never replace you—as you were one of a kind. We may get another dog in a few years, but we know we will never again have our “big girl.”

I love you!

Love,

Mom

This letter from Megan to Chrissy was written on Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dear Chrissy,

I really can't believe you're gone. I still drive home from work and think about where we're going to go for a walk and how happy you'll be to see me only to come to an empty house. You were my closest friend for 15 years, kept all of my secrets, were there by my side, concerned, every time I cried, and made me laugh every day. You were so strong and fought all the way to end, but when you didn't want to eat your favorite food (bread) on that last day, we knew it was time to say goodbye. Although the needle pinched for a moment, you are eternally pain-free. You are in a better place now, Chrisser Bear. You may have all the delicious bones and chicken that you were allergic to here. You may chase as many small furry animals as you'd like without fences or leashes. You may sleep contently and soundly (and surely snoring!) in the warm sunshine. I think about you everyday, speak about you a lot, and although I appear strong and speak about you with a smile, I am struggling to get through an entire week without breaking down. It's been a very long two months since you've left this world and among the countless lessons you've taught me since I was five, I've learned that a dog-less existence is an insufferable existence. I'm thankful to you for teaching me the most important lesson, that dogs provide humans with an unconditional love that cannot be matched by any other animal. I'm also thankful that I had the opportunity to grow up with you. You were my new puppy whom I bragged about in kindergarten, my crazy, middle-aged dog who literally did eat my homework in high school, and my (still crazy) geriatric dog whom I brag about in my career. You were the best non-human sister one could ask for...I fondly remember the hot summer days as a child sharing popsicles with you on our back deck. Bear, you were our protector, our indestructible canine who survived many near-death experiences including many run ins with poisonous snakes, groundhogs, buzzards; the ingestion of 3 lbs of chocolate, an entire bottle of Advil, an entire rotisserie chicken (bones and all)-I though you'd be around forever. The good thing is you will be around forever in my memories. It is impossible to forget an unique and wonderful dog like you. Although it was not Christmas for me to not have any presents for you to open on that morning and a walk in the snow was not as fun without having you to catch a snowball with your mouth. You will live forever in my heart. I hope you know that you were loved immensely from very first day you arrived in a pickup truck as a small,shivering puppy to the very last day as a tired and gray-muzzled old lady, leaving this world in my arms. You're the best, I love you, I'll miss you!!!

Love,

Megan

This letter from Mummy to Pippa & Prue was written on Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dear Pippa & Prue,

My gorgeous girls, I miss you both so much. Although Prue you went first, the pain of losing both you and your sister so close together was and still is gut-wrenching. You both died in my arms. I hope you both knew that Mummy loved you very much and I hope you didn't feel alone at the time of your passing.

Pippa I still remember you on your back legs, front feet on my lap, trying ever so hard to be just that bit taller so you could see what was going on. Prue you were a wonderful guide dog for Pippa when her eyes failed her and always up for a cuddle and a tummy tickle. You were both so loyal and loving and will never be forgotten.

Rest easy girls.

Love,

Mummy

This letter from Julie to Bailey was written on Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dear Bailey,

Where to begin...I knew your time was approaching even though I didn't want to believe that you would one day soon be gone. Even as I write this letter I can't hardly imagine that just 2 days ago would be your last. You were such a special girl, my Bebe. You had the most loving and gentle soul. To see you wave (paw) at me from across the room, wanting nothing more than to be loved. You were always so quick to give kisses. Just thinking about it makes me smile. Remember all the countless times we shared snacks together and trips to the park. How you loved to run in the baseball fields when the sprinklers were going. What happiness and joy you brought to my life. It seems so short your 7 years with me. I am forever grateful for the time we did have. I know I will see you again my sweet girl. You are forever in my heart and on my mind. I love you now and I'll love you always.

Love,

Julie

This letter from M & D to Lil'Miss was written on Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dear Lil'Miss,

Just wanted to let you know we're thinking about you. Thoughts of you creep up on me and I get so upset. I know it's a normal reaction...you only passed on a few months ago...but I guess I am still working through your absence. Everyone misses you. You were such a lovely little spirit...always wanting to snuggle and make friends. I don't know where you learned how to tap folks on their shoulder when you wanted some rubs, but you sure did make an impression! I just wanted to say thank you. You know, you really were a part of my family. Not the family that I was born into, but the family that chose me as a member. Now, remember, we are counting on you to keep an eye on your brothers now that you've all taken up residence in the Kitty Dude Ranch in the Sky. We are sure Mellow and Sam saved you a pink cowboy hat with matching boots. We love you, Aspen. Take care.

Love,

M & D

This letter from Brenda to Ginger was written on Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dear Ginger,

My heart still hurts from the day I said goodbye. You were such a wonderful dog and when you were too sick to go on, we had to take you to the dr and lead to you the rainbow bridge. Your papa didn't want me to see you gone so I said my good bye before the vet took you away. I still hurt because I wanted to see you at rest, instead of you trying to get at us before you went to sleep.

You were a fighter to the very end. I hope the Lord lets us see the pets we loved so much when we all get to heaven. I want to tell you how awful it was to say good bye.

Love,

Brenda

This letter from Rachel to Bruiser was written on Wednesday, December 8, 2010Bruiser

Dear Bruiser,

It's been almost 12 years since I had to let you go, but I wanted to let you know that no matter how many years pass, you were and will always be one of the best friends I ever had. I miss your eyes and and I miss the way you used to smile when I scratched the spot right above your tail.

I miss the way you used to chew on all my blankets until there were holes in them and mom was furious that another comforter had gone to the dog. I miss the way you used to start at the end of the bed and slowly work your way up next to me and then scootch me over with your butt until you had the majority of the bed and I was safely nestled into the corner.

I miss the way you used to always come to my side when I was sad or upset and let me hold you and cry against you. I miss when I used to pat my shoulders how you would jump up and hug me. Even when you were getting up there in years and I would kneel in front of you, you would still give the best hugs.

I know I couldn't be there as much as I wanted to be towards the end, but I hope you know that the events going on in our family never changed how much I love you and it meant more to me than you will ever know that you fell asleep peacefully in my arms.

You were and will always be the most cherished memory in my childhood. Every memory from catching snowballs to standing in front of me and growling when people were play-fighting with me.

There will never be another Bruiser. Thank you for choosing my family and being a part of my life for 15 wonderful years.

Love,

Rachel

This letter from Missy (Mum), Rick (Dad), and Logan to Emma was written on Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dear Emma,

I remember when we found you. We were working at the renaissance fair. I was wearing a fancy dress that had antique lace that I had been warned to be careful with. But that went out the window when someone told me there was a little deaf puppy that needed a home. You were so sweet, even then. You climbed into my lap, and the feeling that you were right where you belonged was immediate. We took you home that night.

There were so many things you were afraid of. Afraid someone was going to take your food or toys away. Afraid that something bad was going to happen. But we were patient, and kind, and you blossomed. You stopped growling when we came near you while you were eating. You played nicely with your new 'brother' Logan.

Once you realized you were loved, you only wanted to love in return. Any new visitor was greeted with thousands of kisses and joy. You became everyone's best friend, and stole the hearts of all who met you.

You were two when you had your first seizure. We did everything we could, borrowed money from anyone we could, to try and get you the best care possible. But we couldn't stop the seizures. You were so understanding, even when we feared the worst. You would walk up, even in your post ichtal phase, and give us a kiss on the chin, as if to say "It'll be all right."

We tried so many medications, but they just didn't work. The night we lost you, just four nights ago, it seemed like you knew, and you were ready. We were out of options - and you told us it was your time. You even kissed the vet who laid you to rest. You went to sleep in our arms, surrounded by love and giving it back with your last breath.

I miss you terribly. I miss you following me everywhere. I still leave your spot on the bed with enough space to curl next to me. I miss your kisses, your soft ears. I even miss being woken up rediculously early in the morning by your insistant bark. I miss the little play barks, and the cuddles on the sofa. I miss watching you 'pudding' off the couch or bed. I miss the feel of your velvet soft ears. Visitors miss your bouncing, happy greetings. Logan misses his playmate.

You taught us so much about love and kindness. You taught us about forgiveness. Daddy and I are looking to volunteer at an animal shelter, so we can keep helping other dogs. You taught us that we had so much love to give, and it has such life-changing power. You taught us, and I hope others, that with love, all things are possible.

So many people had such kind words for you. So many people said you were lucky to have us. But I think we were luckier to have you. All of us who knew you were.

I hope you understand that we know we will never find another Emma. But in your memory, we will carry on helping as many dogs as we can. You taught us that. And we will never forget that - or you.

We love you, little Pudding, and we always will.

Missing You,

Missy (Mum), Rick (Dad), and Logan

This letter from Vanessa & Patty to Hunu (WhoKnew) was written on Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dear Hunu (WhoKnew),

It is with great sadness that we let you go this week. What was first diagnosed as kennel cough ended as congestive heart failure. As we understand it, your disease grew fast and furiously over the course of the last month. Little could be done by the time your symptoms showed themselves.

Our time with you was way too short. That said, we had a wonderful life together full of adventures for the last year and a half – you enriching ours immeasurably and us enriching yours so that you got to bust out of a life of trauma to a much better one, we hope. Dora Sesler’s important work at Project Pet Rescue brought you to us and for that, we are grateful.

When we first laid eyes on you, we had no idea what you would bring to our lives,

*WhoKnew you’d be so cute?

*WhoKnew you’d be so unpredictable?

*WhoKnew you’d love to lie under our blankets at night and snore louder than Patty or me for that matter?

*WhoKnew you’d go too soon?

*And, WhoKnew it was possible to miss your sweet sleepy face so much?

In the afternoon of the day you died, we decided to put our holiday lights up in memory of the way you lit up our lives, our hearts, our hopes.

Peace,

Vanessa & Patty

This letter from Martina to Tommy was written on Wednesday, December 8, 2010Tommy

Dear Tommy,

I can't believe you are gone...the feeling that you are still there is so strong that every time I arrive home I get the urge to run down to say hello to you and touch you and hug you. I miss all the beautiful expressions on your face, your soft fur, your beautiful pointy ears and your white paw. I keep finding your fur everywhere and every time it's like a punch in the stomach. I saved your collar, the one that felt so warm every time I took it off you after going for walks. It's right there next to your puppy pic on my nightstand. We all miss you every day Tommy...you were the best thing that ever happened to us, the most amazing and loving dog in the entire world. I will never ever forget you and I truly hope to see you again one day. Take care of Grampa like you did when he was still with us. I always remember you walking slowly with him when he got old...it was amazing.

I miss you so much....

Love,

Martina