This letter from Jess to Windsor was written on Monday, October 11, 2010Windsor

Dear Windsor,

Today marks four months since we said goodbye to you. I love and miss you so much, baby. I hope you know how hard a decision it was to let you go, but I knew it was what would be best for you. Nine years did not feel like enough time knowing you, but I don't think even forever would have been long enough.

You always knew how to make me laugh, especially when I didn't think I could. Whether it was grabbing a toy and making me play with you or simply laying next to me with your head in my lap, you were always the one to make me smile. I still come home sometimes and expect to see you standing in the doorway, whole body wiggling in excitement and a toy in your mouth. Even when your arthritis got the best of you in your final days, you still wanted to play.

You taught me so much too, big guy. You never held a grudge against people, even though you were abandoned at that shelter. You loved everyone you met, regardless of who they were or what they looked like. You never let anything bother you, even when the pain was too much, which you faced with a quiet dignity. I never saw such joy until I got my license and I could take you for car rides. Even when you couldn't stand up anymore, you'd still lie right by the door, nose outside the window and barking at any dog or motorcycle we drove past.

Thank you for sending us Madden. I know that was all you, buddy. Dolly, Tobey and I were missing you so much, and while of course we still do, sending this rambunctious pup to us has helped ease the pain a bit. I was heartbroken and having a difficult time until you sent her. She's given new life to Dolly and Tobey. You're still changing lives, big guy. In life, you helped show people that shelter dogs are wonderful family members and in passing, you have given a new life and chance to another dog. I call her my "Pocket Winnie" because she reminds me so much of you.

I'll always remember your last day with me. You curled up right next to me on your dog bed and we just laid there, while I sobbed into your coat. I knew you knew something was wrong, but as usual, you wanted to make sure I was okay. You always did take care of me. You were almost fourteen years old, but I wanted you to live forever. You knew better though. You always did.

I keep trying to write an essay about you, but I don't think I can properly pay tribute to you. I will keep trying and maybe someday I'll get it right. I hung your collar on my rearview mirror because of how much you loved car rides and I try and take the long way home because you loved that. It's the simple things that matter, you taught me that.

Without you, I would not be here; without you, there would be no Tobey or Madden. You brought so much joy and love to everyone who knew you. I miss you so much and even when the pain becomes too much sometimes, I know we made the right choice.

I love you, Winnie James.

Love,

Jess

This letter from Pia to Teddy was written on Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dear Teddy,

I thought this concept was a bit weird, but what the hey. I miss you. And it feels sometimes like people aren't supposed to miss pets. But you were awesome. I guess the part that makes it hurt the most is that, when you were a pup, I was 5. We grew up together. And you knew me as a kid. It feels like everyone who knows me knows me know just knows this [removed]ty, odd, flawed adult version of me... you got to know me when I was happy with who I was. You represent a time I wish I could go back to. But when you died when I was 17, my childhood died along with you. The world we shared was awesome, and the world you left behind is lonley as all hell. I don't like being a grown up. You never let me down like people do. I love you. I think of you all the time. Espcially when I see another Schnauzer. I've never seen another as nice looking as you though. I don't know what to do Ted. I hope that you're at peace. You were the best dog anyone could ask for.

Love,

Pia

This letter from Grandpa to Oreo was written on Tuesday, October 5, 2010Oreo

Dear Oreo,

Hey buddy... it's been a long time. How ya doin' up there in heaven? I know... it's just "beautiful" and you're having a great time! I hope you welcomed Pushkin... and "Azreal" our cat into heaven and are showing them around. Ah... I'm sure you are.

You came to the family as a surprise Christmas gift from a friend to the kids, Sharon and John... and you were a gift that never stopped giving. What a good puppy you were... and long time companion to the family? 17 years... Wow! But, as the kids grew and left the nest you remained to keep us company and for the last years of your life you were "Grandpa's sidekick"... as the picture shows.

I always remember that you'd come out with me with the "big" telescope on some dark nights back in New Jersey and just when I was so engrossed in looking for some distant galaxy... you'd "slowly" try to slip away to go and visit your girlfriend down the block - a dog that looked a lot like your own mix - colors and all. Sometimes I'd catch you slipping away... and stop you and then, "honestly" sometimes... I'd smile and let you go and have some fun. Shhhhhhhhhh don't tell grandma or the kids. Then, you'd come home... a couple of hours later "exhausted" (Ha!), and you'd know that you were going to get a "shower" after a "night-on-the-town" (so to speak). And, with ears pinned back ('cause you thought I was angry), without me saying a word... you went upstairs into the bathroom, and right into the shower... waiting for what was coming. A nice shower to top off the day (or night as it were). Well, I didn't mind... since your "Oreo-cookie" coat white and black always looked so beautiful after a few mintues of scrubbing. The white part was like snow. For a mix.... you certainly put on a "good presentation" I have to say. VERY handsome!

On some nights... even today, some 8 years later... when I'm out alone with the telescope in Tucson.... I look around in the quiet of the night.... and remember our telescope nights together. You were something all right. So cute, and always gentle with everyone in the family - and friends, barking as folks came into the house and again when they were going out... making your presence known - doing "dog duty" on guard... but pleasantly so, not an "angry" barker. No. You were a "good" barker. (There is such a big difference... huh?) We could count on you.

Well, this letter is just to let you know that we're all still thinking about you - once in a while - and then often. It's a funny mix... how sometimes other triggers of life bring back a memory of you? We haven't gotten another dog yet. Who could replace you... though we wound up with Azreal "the cat" - thanks to John saying, "Take care of 'Oz' - I'll be back in three weeks!" That was several years ago, and now even Azreal is gone.

Well, you're in-charge of those family pets that have gone since your leaving us. I'll see you at the telescope sometime. It's nice out there in the quiet of the night - flying among the stars. Do dogs have souls? I'll bet that they do - since they have feelings - right? You betcha! And, since God made you... I'm sure He took you back too - with wide open arms and a smile. I'll bet you think His arms feel a little like Grandpa's huh? But even better! Someday, we'll meet again... and why not? You know your way around the stars... and so do I. Remember, we're all heading towards M-13? Ha! Ha! Come-here... let me give ya a hug! There ya go! Ugggghh! A big one! Thanks for all the gentle loving. I know you always felt "safe" & loved while you were with us. Now, you're safe & loved with Jesus. And, that's the best combination - in life. Kisses up to Heaven from Grandpa.

P.S. Give "Oz" and Pushkin a hug from us too! Thankx.

Missing You,

Grandpa

This letter from your mom to Snickers was written on Monday, October 4, 2010Snickers

Dear Snickers,

You came to me in a dream and laid on my chest looked at me

and without talking let me know what a great mom I had been and that

you didn't want me to me to sad anymore. It really felt like you were there with me. You had such a sense of peace and happiness to share with me that now I can look at your photos and be happy not sad and now I understand my happiness now still gives you happiness

Love,

your mom

This letter from Mom and Wes to Riley was written on Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dear Riley,

It has been a month and a half since you left us and a day hasn't gone by where we don't talk about you, smile or cry and just plain miss you. We had you for 13 years.....they were 13 years of pure love from you and I want to thank you for that. You loved me when others couldn't or wouldn't and I cherish you for that. Your brother, Wes, misses you too. He misses your nose nudges and paw swats.....things that made us both smile or laugh. I miss you especially at night when you would lay at my feet and keep me company. You were always there to offer your head for me to stroke or your whole body for me to hug. I don't know which one of us got more out of those acts of affection...you or me. I like to think it was mutual!

The bottom line is, I hope you know how very much we loved you. We all knew that the end was coming but we just didn't expect it to happen so quickly or unexpectedly. Our goodbyes were heartwrenching and leaving you was horrible. But we knew you were in pain and we had to do what was best for you.....we loved you too much to let you suffer. I know you are with Mack and Bozzie now and I hope you are having the time of your life.

Wes and I have talked about etting another dog but we aren't ready yet. Maybe in the Spring........But until then, I know you are watching us and loving us. I sometimes think I hear the clink of your collar and tags on the floor and I know it's you saying, "Hi, Mom"!

We love you and miss you terribly!!

Love,

Mom and Wes

This letter from Tori to Galadriel (Gally) was written on Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dear Galadriel (Gally),

I miss you very much you were a big part of our family. We treated you like my sibling and mom and dad treated you like their child. You were spoild rotten, but a wonderful family pet. Throughout my childhood years you were always there for me when I needed comforting and, although you never spoke, you always knew how to make me feel better. I know all our family misses you terribly even after 2 years and getting our new dog, Chelsea, hasn't replaced you in our hearts. I use to be able to hold up in movies when a dog passed, but ever since we lost you I've never been able to hold myself from shedding a waterfall of tears because I miss you so much. You've been my insparation for everything in school from writing to my artwork and you and Chelsea are still always on my mind. November 6, 2008 was one of the saddest day of my life. That morning dad told me to say goodbye to you since you might not return from your trip to the vets. That morning while you were outside before going to the vets something terribly wrong happened. I've never really gotten the whole story, but from what I remember you had a stroke. You survived untill you got to the vets and dad made the hardest decision of his life to euthanize you so you wouldn't be in anymore pain. When I came home from school my closest friend, and sister, in the whole world was gone. It was very rough for the family, dad secretly cried outside after dinner because he always took you out after dinner every night. He couldn't do that anymore though. We've held up pretty good over the years and Chelsea has helped. Although she's not you, we love her with all our hearts and care for her as well. She's aslo a spoild dog just like you were and goes for many walks during the day. Shes had some behavior issues lately and its been so hard that dad has said if we didn't end up with Chelsea, she probablly would have been ut down by now. If there's any way you can guide her to control herself, she needs the help. 2 whole years and we still think about you every day and i have many pictures around you around my room and i sleep with 4 sheltie stuffed animals everynight n when I'm having a hard time i cuddle up to one and ask you for help. You were a beautiful and smart dog so we all hope you are happy wherever you are and no pain is coming to you. We love and miss you so much, you were a wonderful family pet.

*Peace*Love*Happiness*

Love,

Tori

This letter from Mom (Kate) to Zane was written on Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dear Zane,

You've been gone only a few hours and I already miss you terribly. I am struggling to comprehend how illness could have snatched you away so quickly. Not long ago you were a young and vibrant kitten, full of mischief and fun. Then FIP swooped in, the most dreaded of dread disease. My darling boy, how you fought to live. I am so eternally sorry that we couldn't do more to help you. Sweet, sweet little cat, in your year of life you brought us such joy. I am honored to have been your human mom. I don't know what the universe has in store for us after we die, but I do know that if there is any justice, any grace at all, you are reunited with your kitty mother; I know you always missed her. Little one, I am so glad you are out of pain. You will always have a piece of my heart.

All my love!

Love,

Mom (Kate)

This letter from Nancy (Mummy) to Ben was written on Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dear Ben,

It's been two years since we have lost you. Although you occasionally visit us and let us know you are still around I find it tough to accept you are no longer physically here to share your life with us. Just when I think I am coping it hits me like I've had the wind knocked out of me. I just want you to know I feel like I could have done more for you, but realistically I know that it was one hurt your Mummy couldn't fix. I am glad you waited for me on your final night, I wouldn't have forgiven myself otherwise. It was the hardest thing I have ever done to say to you that we would miss you and that if you felt you needed to go to just go. I wanted to be selfish and keep you forever. I was never disappointed in you, just angry with myself that I couldn't make the cancer go away. You are my little boy, and will always be my buddy to nap with and go in the car with. I hope you will stay with me in spirit at this time, I still need you. I've been told you have important work to do elsewhere and I am jealous and don't accept it but I will try to understand. You will continue to be a part of my life and I hope you will be watching and waiting for us to someday reunite. You made both Daddy and me happy and we shared a lot of love, comfort and laughs with you - sometimes at your expense. We still talk about you and the adventures we had: camping, your attempts at swimming, your favorite foods, your plushy fur, the naps we took, moodiness, how you hated the dark, and how we loved you and you loved us. It will never be the same without you.

Love,

Nancy (Mummy)

This letter from Wendy South to Marley was written on Monday, August 30, 2010

Dear Marley,

Your human mom, Lynn, spoke to me today and told me that you had passed peacefully earlier this week. That feeling of loss arose as she was talking, but if I had not had the pleasure of meeting you, I would have been less that I am today. Even though we met but once in your lovely yard, Lynn and I had consulted on several occasions about your old-age afflictions. I can sympathize with that, Marley, because I too am no longer the picture of youth!

However, I must say that you were a most handsome fellow! I bet you were quite the lady charmer when you were young, catting around with all the females. Lynn said that you had a good evening when groomed by your master the day before you left us. And he gave you a pep talk, I hear. Then you were so relaxed that you decided to nap under your favorite bush in the yard...so comfy in the love... you passed quickly.

I'm writing this remembrance to you to let Lynn know that you occupy a special place in my heart too, AND because I know that you will be very proud of yourself to have made such an impression on a non family member.

So rest in peace, my good man. You were loved and mingled with the souls of your human friends.

Love,

Wendy South

This letter from Katie to Grandma was written on Monday, August 23, 2010

Dear Grandma,

It's been 5 months and 13 days since you left us (but who's counting?). I still find the grief unbearable and overwhelming most of the time. I know you wouldn't want it that way. I do find some comfort in knowing you're in Heaven, always watching over us, inheriting the Kingdom which He promised, reuniting with Granny & Nancy and probably playing A LOT of poker! I'm finally to a point where I feel like working through my grief with a counselor. I think we're all getting there, now that the initial shock has worn off. It will take some time, but we will all be ok.

We love you so very much and miss you every second of everyday. Not a minute goes by that you're not in my thoughts.

I love you!!

Love,

Katie