Pet Memorials
Helping Families Honor the Lives Of Those They Love
2/13/2020 - 6/22/2020A Love Letter to My Soul Dog,
I know, Raja, you’re already rolling your eyes. But as much as every part of me doesn’t want to be writing this, I need to. So, humor me. Do you know how much I miss you? 15 years, my heart. I knew one day I would have to pay for how much I love you, yet knowing it’d be worth it. And it so was…
We had a bit of a rocky start. I chose the most driven of the litter… I didn’t quite know what I was in for but I am so very grateful I got you! When they put you in my arms on the day I would be taking you home, I felt a shift in my world. I instantly knew you and I had a great love story ahead of us. Again, that first year was a bit rough with your independent, alpha nature. You stared boldly with those intelligent puppy eyes that said, “I am NOT a cute puppy, just wait”. But once you decided I was your person… we were inseparable. I am sorry for the trips I took without you. The ridiculous lengths I would go to try and sneak out; you always knew. I think you learned how to pull the big guns towards the end.
Our start also included a stop at Cardiology for heart surgery where they told us you would likely have a shortened life span. That makes me laugh… we didn’t yet know what a boss you were. Been holding my breath since you turned 10 and had a weeklong celebration for you at age 12, thinking every day after would be a precious gift. And all 1,225 of them were!!!
You got me through vet school. Thank you for your patience and also dropping toys on my studies, saying “Break time!”. This is where we pick up our little amigo, Shep, an adorable foster pup that is terrified of the world. You took him in immediately and knew exactly what his tender, timid heart needed. You saved him and we proceed as a trio.
Next stop – Vegas ‘09. I entered into the world of vet med and learned about the heartache my career choice can bring, but you were there to catch every tear. And force me to play… like all the time. Your toy drive was next level, love. We had hiking right in our backyard. Also got the Jeep that would take us on many road ventures with you up front, gaze fixed on the horizon.
We move to Colorado in 2011. You loved the snow immediately. Yeah, sorry about the 2 year desert stint. Started at Gma and Gpa’s house. So many great memories there with the extended family pack. You loved and got to spend a lot of time at that family haven. Yet always ready to leave with me. Unlike Shep who still thinks of it as Disneyland and wants to go back and stay forever. You were always one eye/ear open to make sure I wasn’t leaving without you. My ride or die. My loyal shepherd. I would never truly leave you… you are forever in this heart of mine because you are my heart, remember?
We find a place in Denver and I need you for more vet med lows. Life changes bring us to the cute little house in Louisville – And then almost immediately you escape the front door and get arrested. I come home from work to Shep hiding in the bedroom and can’t find you anywhere. I call local shelters and go bail you out. I learn they maced and catchpoled you because you were running off the porch and barking at people passing. Scary as heck but your true nature showed. Like it did so many times. You had every opportunity to bite or attack, but you never did. Still, they banned you from the town for being a loose scary looking shepherd. I spent the next couple months building a case for you – lawyer, two behavioral assessments, new fence and 3 court dates later you came home. You had to have a special collar and signs put up, but I think it all adds to your legacy.
Next we move to California ‘15. After 3 weeks in an at times sketchy hotel set up (always felt safe with you) we move into our new home. I have the emergency job that allows you to come to work with me. It was so awesome that for 2 years you were in the next room while I was challenged with some of my hardest days. You start needing help up the stairs. Your hind end decline was thankfully so very gradual that we were able to adapt over the years. At first with some minor support, later with loving arms carrying you up and down. I know it was because of your immense strength and spirit that you forged on for so long without complaint.
This is where you start pulling out the big guns, letting me know I can’t leave you. You let me have my 2016 Thailand trip (barely) and then put your foot, or literally your whole body down, on my 2017 attempted Africa venture. I fly home immediately and promise that I will not take a trip without you anymore. That was 3 years ago, and I kept it.
We had our campervan trip with “Wings” to take us to 6 national parks including the Grand Canyon. You were in your element. On an adventure and on guard, watching out for me. You are the best camping buddy. Your head in my lap or forehead to forehead is my version of heaven on earth.
We did the Sequoias in 2018. That was such a spiritual trip. Sitting with you by the creek, observing Venus snuggle up to the crescent moon. You were struggling pretty bad with that hind end by now. Needing support to walk around, but you still did everything with such dignity and resolve. Taking it all in. I knew I needed to see those giant trees with you. Fitting to have such a giant spirit among them. I loved that trip.
Our last big venture was to Idyllwild in September 2019. The wild part drew me as a place for us. At this point you needed full support but we had some lovely porch sitting, fresh air and forest bathing. And I decided I needed to get you a home where we could do more of that. I knew it would be soon... Everything I was doing at this point was for you. The love you generated in me was something I didn’t know I was capable of and I am so grateful.
The next month, I find “Raja’s” house in my favorite little town. A place where I could open the door for you to look out at the people passing. A grassy park right out front that we sat in every morning and night for 9 months where you would come alive, smell the breeze and be on watch duty. We took a long, quiet cart ride on Christmas Eve night, looking at the lights. You turned 15 in February!!! Oh, my love. So many cuddle movie nights. A ton of cart and car rides. And then the gift of being able to be home all day to really care for you when you needed me most. To spend the last 3 months of your precious life right by your side cherishing every toy catch, cart ride, lawn lounge, kiss, cuddle and memory made. What a gift…. that your whole life has been to me.
The last couple months, although your spirit remained so crazy strong, your body continued to visibly decline. I hated that for you and questioned if I should be letting you go. I thought as long as I saw that light in your eyes and could keep you comfortable, I would. I would do anything for you. You still had that fire and drive. Still wanted to be outside and have me throw the toy, now directly at your face. I had to trust that I knew you, that I would know and that you would tell me. And my beautiful girl… you did. You decided you were ready with your typical grace and bravery. Thank you for making it so clear for me. Saying goodbye to you was the hardest thing I have ever had to do… but it was a beautiful day to hold you and tell you in a million ways how much I love you and am thankful for our life, our love story. It was dignified – everything you deserved.
I keep trying to find the right words to capture your spirit. You lived full throttle, loved with ferocity. You were a force, fearless, bold, adventurous. A boss. You loved new experiences. Getting in the car – Shotgun! Face forward “Where are we going… doesn’t matter, Let’s Go!” You would have made a hell of a police dog but I am so glad it was us instead. Your boldness throughout your entire life has been an inspiration for me and will continue to be. If I can take on even an ounce of your ferocious spirit… then I might just be ok.
You had the sweetest soft side too. When you accepted someone, and for those that recognized your true gentle nature, you welcomed them with the most thorough, genuine kisses. Ugh, I loved those kisses. The look on your face, how it softened, before giving your signature face wash… pure love.
You were breathtaking. You had an effect on people. They had to stop and there was a pause, an admiration. Almost like you made them think deeper or search within themselves for what reaction you were stirring. You radiated true beauty, power and intelligence. You had an intensity to you that was impossible to miss. “Dad, did you see that wolf?” The day before your last, we were sitting outside and a woman paused and commented on your spirit “She’s beautiful….majestic” Yeah.. that’s a good word.
Thank you for teaching me strength, loyalty, being an example of living full tilt, sharing a passion for life, adventure and showing me what selfless love is about. Thank you for plopping your massive body into my lap and showering me with aggressive kisses until I stopped crying. Or just being the absolute best shoulder to cry into. Thank you for always keeping me safe - All those camping adventures, new homes, hotel stays. I knew no one would dare mess with you.
I do not want to be writing this… mourning you is like being hit by a freight train repeatedly. Fitting as that is how you approached everything in life. I have called you “my whole heart”, “my world”, “Mama’s heart”. What do I do without my whole heart? I don’t want to do anything without you. You’ve been my ride or die, partner in crime, Soul Dog for 15 years. It’s impossible to imagine a future that doesn’t include you. I need you shotgun. I will try to focus on how lucky I am to have been your person. You have had me in awe and in love since day one. I will cherish every single moment shared with you and honor your entire life for the rest of mine. I will love you forever. I LOVE YOU.
Heather MatthewSeal Beach, CaliforniaJune 29, 2020
2/14/2006 - 6/19/2020Beauregard, you were such a beautiful pup and we had so much fun together. I'll always remember your jaunty little walk and your big brown eyes looking into mine and the sweet smell of the top of your head. I miss you, sweet boy.Brenda NelsonWest Palm Beach, FloridaJune 29, 2020
Skinny Jeans
10/20/2000 - 6/25/2020Skinny Jeans was one of the most amazing kitties that I have ever come to know. Although she lost her fight to cancer at 20 years old, she was this brilliant life-force that constantly amazed me.
She remains to be a constant inspiration. She helped me though all darkest times. She would give and give and give nothing but love, cuddles and her sweet puuuurrrr. She was so intuitive. She knew when I was sad or anxious, to come give me a good proper cuddle.
The strength, love & compassion she emanated, continues to resonate with her brilliant light.
She is forever branded in my heart, and anyone who had the privlage to meet her.
She will always be the love of my life, and I will miss her sweet puuuuuurrrrrrr to the end of time and back.
Leila SoundsLos Angeles, CaliforniaJune 29, 2020
2/2/2009 - 6/27/2020Bella Boo,

You were the definition of Perfect, and will always be our pretty girl. You truly are Heaven-sent, and we understand that you needed your wings. We will always love you, for you have left a fuzzy paw print on all of our hearts, eternally.

"You can shed tears that she is gone
Or you can smile because she has lived."
- David Harkins

Although it pains us to lose your pitter-patters around the house, we will always cherish the wonderful memories and bonds we made with you. I know our Princess is in Heaven!

We love you Belly Boo, until we meet again my little girl...
Emily GranadosFarmingdale, New YorkJune 29, 2020
2/10/2007 - 6/18/2020On Thursday afternoon, June 18th, 2020 we said our final goodbyes to Mocha. Over the last 12 years, Mocha has been a huge part of my family's life. I'm sure I'll never have another dog that is right beside me through a time of so much positive change. From grad school to residency to starting FLASH Momentum, through engagement and our wedding and eventually the birth of Brayden, Mocha was always there.

Mocha loved to run, swim, jump, chase squirrels, go over obstacles, eat corn off the cobb + soap and sticks of butter, learn new tricks for only the very best treats, let it clearly be known whether she was happy, sad, or disgruntled, unwrap Christmas and birthday gifts, and most importantly, be with our family.

Her passing from this world to another leaves a big hole here right now, but her spirit will live on with us forever. We'll always love you, Mocha.
Ryan BairWest Chester, PennsylvaniaJune 28, 2020
9/22/2007 - 6/27/2020Zeke,
You were so loving, curious, fun and cuddly. We are so fortunate to have spent 12.5 years in your presence! Your departure is leaving an incredible void in our lives and our home, we remain hopeful that someday we will be reunited with you and Abby your sweet sister.

Monica, Mike and Bella
Monica RavanelloFairfield, CaliforniaJune 28, 2020
12/12/2020 - 6/26/2020To our sweet boy Buca Michael, aka. Mr. Buca, aka. Our Buca Bear, we had received him unintentionally @ 6months of age, but from the day we accepted him into our Heart/Home/Family, there was a special connection, ❤️ He was such a good pup, such a big personality for such a small dog, The Joy he brought us all was immeasurable, & all the Memories, Rich & Full! He had a lot of health issues the last couple of years, but still a trooper, & fun, & we were Hopeful, but these last couple of weeks were such a struggle for him, we knew were getting close to having to make that difficult sad decision, but that day came after almost 15 years & even though we knew it would be so hard for us to let him go, we realeased him, to have no more struggles, pain, or suffering, It was so much more difficult then I Imagined, but still am glad, that it was here, in his forever home, in his mommy’s loving arms as he left us, for that Rainbow Bridge! 🐶❤️ My heart is falling out of my chest right now, & every place I look I see him & cry & ache, my heart needs to heal, but he let us with so much, & I/We are Forever Gratefull! Til we meet again, 🙏🏻 Our Most Precious Mr. Buca!!!! 💔❤️❤️❤️Jeannine DreshMohnton, PennsylvaniaJune 28, 2020
12/20/2005 - 6/26/2020She was a kind and gentle soul. She loved to swim and run and play ball for hours and hours. She taught us how to be better people. She was a founding member of our family, and we miss her deeply. She was a husky/shepherd mix, and was incredibly strong and fast. When she was younger, she would pull me on my bicycle for miles along the seashore. She had her own passport and lived in many places. She visited France, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Wyoming, and, of course, Spain. She was a force of nature until she was diagnosed with cancer. She fought cancer and had chemotherapy for many months before it was all just too much for her. She wanted to stay with us but her body would not let her. Watching her go from such a strong girl to such a weak girl with cancer was incredibly difficult. She is at peace now after a very long life filled with adventure. She lived to be 14 1/2 years old, and she lived each day to its fullest. She is an example for us all on how to live for the day and love unconditionally. We love you, Negu.Seattle, WashingtonJune 28, 2020
7/24/2004 - 6/27/2020Saddie,
You completed our family with your unconditional love! You were my shadow, my best friend, my 4 legged ride or die!! I still look for you and probably always will. The girls and I knew you were the butterfly that landed on me three times! You were simply the best! My heart and soul will always be missing that piece of you. Fly high and free with no pain. Until I can see that precious face again, know I LOVE YOU♥️
Terra WynkoopLithopolis, OhioJune 28, 2020
4/23/2005 - 6/25/2020Our sweet little girl gained her wings on June 25, 2020. She gave our family 15 years of love, excitement and puppy kisses. Sammie loved chicken, treats, walks and chasing creatures around the backyard. She hated snuggles, vegetables and when we put her in the pool. She once dug under our fence and ate out of our next door neighbor’s dog bowl. She would occasionally get loose and sprint around the neighborhood after a scent. She was beloved by all and had a presence in our home and family that will be deeply missed. I am sure there are tons of squirrels to chase in doggy heaven, and lots of little girls like our daughter to drop food on the floor. If it’s possible to howl so loud that it can transcend heaven and Earth, my money is on this girl to do it. We love you always Samantha “Sammie” Doo Storts 🐶❤️ @ Carrollwood , Tampa , Florida.Marybeth StortsTampa, FloridaJune 28, 2020