2/5/2010 - 12/27/2019Our dearest Nick,

I cannot believe you are truly gone. It has been almost a full week...I wrote this in your memory the day after you gracefully crossed the rainbow bridge with the compassionate care of Dr. Karen Brockman. But posting it terrified me because it made it all so final and solidifies the reality I have to face — entering 2020, a new decade, without you.

Seeing you leave us was one of the biggest losses I have endured. I could see that as you sensed our pain and sadness, you were struggling with all of your might to hold onto life for us because you would do anything to make your momma and daddy happy. In our sorrow, we seek comfort in knowing that you are somewhere with a bottomless supply of treats (your VERY favorite thing in life!!), long hikes in the woods, and endless belly rubs. I know you are now pain free with bountiful energy again to chase squirrels and play with your brother Supa (who has been our angel watching over us this most challenging decade). Yes, I feel the warmth of your sweet soul peering down and wishing you could soothe my aching heart with your kisses and perfectly soft cuddles—know that they will be irreplaceable. The house feels profoundly empty, and we are left with a gaping hole in our lives for this shocking close to what was otherwise a very good year.

As I pore over the near decade of memories with you in our lives by going over (...and over again...) the hundreds and hundreds of pictures of you nestled and woven so comfortably and completely into the fabric of our lives, I remember back to October 9, 2010—the day we met. We picked you up from your foster home in Whitehall, PA, and the moment we laid eyes on you, we were an instant family. We took a walk with your faster parents and siblings in the park and you threw yourself into the foulest smelling animal poop you could find! You were so adorable though, even amidst all that gross stink, we could not help but open our hearts to your sweetness as you raced around the yard with your brothers and sisters and then eagerly jumped into the back of our car as soon as we said “It is time to go home now Nick!” You knew right away we were your fur-ever family.

That night when we allowed you to jump onto the bed with us as we went to sleep, your eyes got unforgettably wide and excited as you couldn’t believe you actually found a family who was willing to snuggle with you ALL night long! You hated being alone and not being touched, and a ‘Velcro’ dog was just what we had ordered. We were the perfect match!

Indeed, unbeknownst to us all, you came into our lives at a time when we needed you most, bringing a beautiful furry ball of love, energy, and life into our home. You gave us 9 years of joy through arguably the most challenging and stressful decade of our lives. You easily adapted to whatever was happening, and you faithfully and loyally saw us through illness, loss, and everything life threw our way with your steadfast and unconditional love, companionship, and ability to soothe pain and heartache. You were our sweet baby boy and living without you this week has reinforced the enormous and central role you held in our lives as a true member of our little family.

May your gentle soul Rest In Peace as we mourn your passing sweet Nicky.

Love always and fur-ever,
Your momma and daddy
Janell MensingerPhiladelphia, PennsylvaniaJanuary 2, 2020
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A very touching tribute to Nick. We will all miss him.Susan Ice - January 6, 2020
What a wonderful tribute to a beautiful soul—it made me laugh and cry. Thank you for sharing Nick’s photos—I love seeing him at his best. Hold onto those priceless memories.Karen Brockman - January 3, 2020

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