"If tears could build a stairway,
and heartache make a lane,
I'd walk the path to Heaven
and bring you back again."
Dear Bright Eyes,
If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. Tomorrow will be Sunday, 9/23/2012 and it will be two weeks that I had to let you go. I knew you could not go through a 6th surgery to remove the tumor in your mouth. You had such a hard time after the 4th and 5th surgeries and after the 5th surgery the tumor grew back in two weeks. You were so sad and you looked at me with the saddest eyes. Wednesday, September 5th, in the evening you were very down and I knew you were in pain. I didn't know what to do but you told me that you were ready and wanted to go to our home in southern Colorado to lay on the lawn under the shade of the trees and listen to the peace and quiet. And so we went on Thursday, September 6th. It was such a hard trip for you - but on Friday I knew you were so happy to be there.
You sat nearly all day in your favorite spots out on the lawn, sometimes in the sun and sometimes in the shade of the trees. You looked content and happy. Saturday was supposed to be your day to leave, but it rained and I did not want you to be laying on wet grass.
Sunday was a beautiful, sunny, fall day Bright Eyes and when the vet came at 2 I think you knew and welcomed the relief. You only barked once and you let me gently lay you down on the lawn in the shade in one of your favorite spots. You seemed at peace and ready to leave. I held you and you died in my arms. And it was over and you were gone. I knew you were not suffering anymore and I know somewhere in my heart that you are well now, happy and free. We buried you there and we put fall flowers on your grave, a rock border and a cross. I visited your grave every day and several times a day when I was there. I had to leave two weeks after we got down there and the saddest thing. I knew as I was driving there that you would not be coming back with me. I knew it was your last trip. And I left without you, but I know you're safe there and I will be back. I pray you are at Rainbows Bridge or in Heaven and happy and well. I hope you and Rosebud get to play together and that you have many new friends. I hope you have everything you need, lots of food and pure, clean water and that you can eat and drink to your heart's content. I pray you are well and free - no more tumors, no more suffering, no more age, no more sadness - just good health and happiness. I love you.
Dear Bright Eyes,
Today is Sunday, September 30, 2012. I am remembering September 9th - the day you died. In the morning you were so hungry. Because the tumors had grown so rapidly in the last two days, you had so much trouble eating and you could not drink water. I was so sad because I knew you were suffering so much. I called the Vet at 10:30 to make sure he was coming down at 2 and he said he was and he did.
This afternoon at 2 you will have been gone 3 weeks. I miss you so much. It is Fall and cooler. You always liked it cooler. I look out on the patio and see the rugs you used to lay on. No barks now when someone is around. So quiet. So empty.
Sometimes you talk to me and tell me how happy you are - those give me comfort and solace. You say that you are running and playing, that your coat is so beautiful now, your eyes are bright and full of life, you have wonderful food and that the water is so pure and clean. You tell me you don't have any tumors in your mouth and you can eat and drink now. You're not old and you don't have trouble walking or getting up - you're not tired and you have lots of energy - you're free. You have many new friends and every day is a happy one - free from all pain and misery.
I am so happy for you Bright Eyes and I am so sad for me. I know you had to go - I know because you told me. I just miss you so much. I love you.
Dear Bright Eyes,
Today is Sunday, October 7, 2012. You have been gone 4 weeks today and I feel so much sorrow. I lit a candle today around 2 and listened to "Bright Eyes" from Watership Down. It could have been written for you. I combed you that day and kept your hair. I hold it and feel so sorry for all of it - the cancer, the long days of trying to do everything to help you, the long days of you struggling to recover from each of the last two surgeries. The last two months were the worst. For every step forward, there seemed to be many steps backward. Together we were trying so hard for you to get better. I read all the poems, the stories of those who have lost their beloved companions and while I know I am not alone in this grief, I also know that I am. As I write this, I note that this is the exact time that we finished burying you. I felt such comfort knowing that you had a very special place where you have a cross and you are safe. I felt so happy that you had a coffin and that I had the foresight to have that done years ago. Although I had forgotten about this in the last days of desperately trying to help you and witnessing your suffering and not knowing what to do, I heard you remind me of this. I am so grateful to you for always figuring things out. You were so strong, so protective. With you, I always felt safe. It's different now and hard to adjust to. I wanted you to know that I think of you every day and every night. My heart is broken. I wish I could hear you say you are happy and well. I have to believe that you are and that you are in a place where there is no pain, no suffering, no cancer, no sadness, no age, and only health and happiness and fun. I only wish I were there too. Peanut misses you. I know you didn't like her much, her being a cat and all, but you remember she really loved you, I think. She's been a little lost. It's lonesome for her too I think. I am very grateful I have her now. I love you Bright Eyes.
Dear Bright Eyes,
Today is October 9, 2012. It is one month today that you died. It has been a hard day. Last night I attended two Candle Lighting Ceremonies and witnessed the grief of so many others who have suffered losses like I have lost you. I read some poems Bright Eyes and these are two poems that speak to me from you.
...And when one of us is gone
And one is left to carry on
Well then remembering will have to do
Our memories alone will get us through
Think about the days of me and you
Of you and me against the world...
By Paul Williams and Ken Ascher
It was always you and me against the world Bright Eyes, always. Right now I don't know if memories will get me through, but I take comfort in this poem by Susan A. Jackson. I know you were telling me this beginning on September 5th and the days leading up to the day I let you go and that is why I had to let you go one month ago today.
"May I Go?"
by Susan A. Jackson
May I go now?
Do you think the time is right?
May I say good-bye to pain-filled days
and endless lonely nights?
I've lived my life and done my best,
an example tried to be.
So can I take that step beyond
and set my spirit free?
I didn't want to go at first,
I fought with all my might.
But something seems to draw me now
to a warm and loving light.
I want to go.
I really do.
It's difficult to stay.
But I will try as best I can
to live just one more day,
To give you time to care for me
and share your love and fears.
I know you're sad and so afraid,
because I see your tears.
I'll not be far,
I promise that, and hope you'll always know
that my spirit will be close to you,
wherever you may go.
Thank you so for loving me.
You know I love you too.
That's why it's hard to say good-bye
and end this life with you.
So hold me now, just one more time
and let me hear you say,
because you care so much for me,
you'll let me go today.
Because I cared so much for you Bright Eyes, I let you go one month ago today. It was so hard to say good-bye and end my life with you. I know how hard you tried to live just one more day for me. I saw it in your eyes. I hope and pray that you are not far; that you are close to me wherever I go. Thank you so for loving me Bright Eyes.
Dear Bright Eyes,
Today is Sunday, October 14, 2012. It is the time that you had just died five weeks ago. It's a very sad day. I am remembering that time and your eyes - they looked so far away and distant and then so vacant. I wish I would have held you longer. Sometimes, it is so hard to fully realize that you are gone and never coming back. It is so sad for me. Sometimes, I try to forget and then it all comes back to me like right now. I miss you so very much. I am finding it hard to find a purpose now. My days and yours were so filled with caring for you these last 8 months. I learned that the kind doctor who helped us so much with his book and his coaching died about two weeks before you died.
I have been thinking about your life those last 8 months. You had lost almost all of your playfulness. Towards the very last, you were having a hard time barking even though you tried your best to let me know when someone was near. I am so sorry Bright Eyes that those days were so miserable. I kept hoping and hoping that you would get better. Thank you for telling me you had to go.
I feel so down today. It is such a beautiful Fall day, just like the Sunday you died. I hope it is beautiful where you are Bright Eyes, that you are well and happy and free of all the illnesses, frailties, aches, pains and tumors, that you are running and playing. I picture you like this as much as I can. Today that picture is further away. Writing to you helps me feel closer to you and I can listen to hear you tell me these things. This past week I have been trying not to think about you being gone. I have been scurrying around, busy, busy and I have only put off the inevitable - this time of sorrow right now. I love you Bright Eyes
Dearest Bright Eyes,
Today is Saturday, November 3, 2012 and I have just returned from visiting your grave. I was there for some time but on October 31st I spent about an hour sitting with you with pictures I had taken of you down there when you were about 7 months old. I took other pictures - some of you when you were a puppy and others throughout your life, including some I took on the day you died. You were always so beautiful, even on that day.
It is so hard to be without you, although I know, without doubt, that you could not stay. You were just so sick. I'm so sorry if you suffered in those last days. My grief is so deep - I wish there was something more I could have done for you, but your cancer was so aggressive that there was no treatment that could have saved you. If only you had not gotten cancer.
This Sunday you will have been gone 8 weeks - seems like forever. I had a dream where I was having a conversation with someone and I was insisting that you had been gone for years only to be reminded that it has been a very short time. Time seems to stand still. I read another poem which touched my heart.
I take comfort in these words because I believe you spoke words like these to me in the days before you died. The author is unknown but the title is:
The Last Battle
If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done,
For this--the last battle--can't be won.
You will be sad I understand,
But don't let grief then stay your hand,
For on this day, more than the rest,
Your love and friendship must stand the test.
We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn't want me to suffer so.
When the time comes, please, let me go.
Take me to where my needs they'll tend,
Only, stay with me till the end
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time you will agree
It is a kindness you do to me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.
Don't grieve that it must be you
Who has to decide this thing to do;
We've been so close--we two--these years,
Don't let your heart hold any tears.
There are many tears Bright Eyes even though this last battle could not be won. I pray that you are happy and well Bright Eyes and that I will see you again. You were my greatest joy. Thanks to Ginny, one of your most beautiful pictures is on your headstone. I love you Bright Eyes.
Dearest Bright Eyes,
Today is Sunday, November 4, 2012. You have been gone for 8 weeks and each of these anniversaries is so hard. Sundays at 2 and the memories are like yesterday. It is a cloudy day today - clouds bring on more sadness because it is so gloomy and gray. There are no more cloudy days for you, only sunny ones. No more winter and snow. You loved snow though so maybe God can find some for you to play in. I just wanted to tell you that I'm thinking of you and praying and hoping that you are well and happy and free from all the cancer, old age, and pain. You were the light of my life and I love you.
Dear Bright Eyes,
Today is Monday, November 12, 2012. I stopped on Friday, November 9, 2012 because on that day you had been gone for two months. I wanted to write to you but couldn't find words. Sometimes now, I feel you are so free and happy and I hope to have more times when I feel this way. Peanut still looks for you when I come home. When I opened the door you would always come out of my bedroom where you had your bed by the side of mine and Peanut would be listening for you. Today, she did that. The UPS man delivered a package today and he asked about you - you remember one day that he had leaned over the gate to give me a package and you lunged at him. You missed him, but because you weighed 85 lbs. you broke the gate. I think you felt he was a threat so you were watching out for me. I told him you were gone and he said he was sorry for that. It's hard to talk to people about you and that you aren't here so I have avoided telling anyone but those people who are closest to me. They are all very sad for me. I'm going to participate in the candle lighting ceremonies tonight. Sometimes, I pretend you're not gone and avoid thinking about it, but then I can only do that for so long because the weight of losing you is so heavy. I wish I could have been able to do something to save you - I did everything within my power and would have continued to take you anywhere you could be helped, but no one could have saved you. God asked for you to go back. He sent you to me when I was in a very dark place and you saved me from that. I shall remember that forever. Someone said that when I got you, you were giving 90% and I was giving 10%. That is about right. I got to change those percentages around so that I could give you 90% and you could rest on 10%. I promised you that I would be there for you and I was. I am so grateful that I could be. About time to attend the candle lighting ceremonies so I leave you now, playing and free from pain, tumors, arthritis, and all the sickness and cancer. I leave you to happy days, good food and pure, clean water that you can eat and drink now because you have no tumors in your mouth. I am so sad, but so grateful you aren't suffering any more. Look for the light from our candles Bright Eyes and know how much I love you.
Dearest Bright Eyes,
Today is November 23, 2012 and yesterday was my first Thanksgiving without you. Sometimes, it seems like you never were. Our life together seems so far away. This life is nothing like the one I had with you. This life is so lonely, so sad, and so empty. I visit your grave every day now. I sit and I talk to you. It seems so empty and cold there. I hope that means that you are not there and that you are at Rainbows Bridge or in Heaven. I feel that you are well and happy and free and that is so comforting to me in this empty time. I relive your last day over and over. I see you and how sad your face looked. I took some pictures of you that day, September 9, 2012, and I look at them all the time. In one picture, I noticed that it seems like you have a tear falling from your right eye. I wonder what it means. Maybe you were sad to leave and maybe you were in such pain that you were crying. Maybe both. I wish I could have held you longer. I wish you weren't gone and I wish you hadn't gotten sick. I wish you were well and with me. I wanted to write to you today. Such a lonely day after a holiday. I know you're not sick anymore Bright Eyes. And I know you are not in pain. I know you're not old anymore and that you are young and healthy. No more aches and pains. No more cancer. Just healthy and free. I see you that way sometimes and it makes me so happy. I know you could not stay. I do. I just wish that you could be young and healthy, free of pain, free of cancer, with me here. I love you B.E.
Dear Bright Eyes,
Today is Thursday, November 29, 2012. I wanted to tell you that I wish you were here. I look out and remember how much you loved it here. It's quiet and peaceful - lots of room to run and play. Lucky and Blackie lived here too - a long time ago. You liked them. I hope you've found them at Rainbows Bridge or in Heaven if you are there and that you can get reacquainted. I hope they're well too - they were old and sick, but didn't have the care that you had. I don't know if you remember Bow Tie - he's here and he's 14. He's having such a hard time walking and he doesn't have the care that you did either. It won't be long before he'll join you there. It will be a very sad day for his Mom and Dad and for me. He's a very sweet dog. It's a beautiful day here Bright Eyes. No snow, but the sky and the air speak of winter. In the song, "Bright Eyes," it says, "There's a high wind in the trees. A cold sound in the air." And that's how it is here. I love you B.E.
Dearest Bright Eyes,
Today is Wednesday, December 5, 2012. Three months ago today you were lying in front of me and you were very sick. You looked at me with such sad and tired eyes. My heart was so heavy. I didn't know what to do and it was then that you told me that you were not going to make it and that you really wanted to go to southern Colorado and be buried there. I had forgotten about the grave that had been dug there many years ago. I remember that Wednesday evening so well. Every four days I cooked your special food and that Wednesday was the day. Even though I knew you wouldn't be coming back, I continued to cook and prepare the food and freeze it as I always did in containers that would take you through about five days. Stayed up till 11 doing that and packing. Got up at 3 to get everything ready to take you. I was so afraid you were going to die during the night, but something kept you going and I think it was that you knew that we were going together on Thursday and that you would be where you wanted to be. We left at 6:30 and were there at 10:30. It was a hard trip for you. I had to help you out of the car and as it was you fell on the lawn. Because of your arthritis, your legs didn't work very well and after such a long trip it was hard for you. I helped you up and kept my arms under your belly to hold you up until you got your strength. Wasn't too long and you started walking around and looking around. I was so glad I got you there. That was all 3 months ago starting today. These days of December, the 5th, the 6th, the 7th, the 8th, and the final day, September 9th are the same as the Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday the 9th of September. It will be like reliving the agony of it for you and for me. The thing that keeps me going Bright Eyes is knowing that you aren't suffering anymore, knowing that we don't have to make that long trip together, and knowing that we don't have to go through the day you died. It's all in my mind, but as these days come and go it is such a blessing not to have to actually be in that time Bright Eyes - for you and for me. I hope you're happy B.E. I know you're free from all the pain, the sorrow, the sadness, the crippling arthritis, the painful mouth tumors, the medications, the shots, the long, painful days there at the very end. And I know that you were so glad to be where you were when you died. I know you wanted to be there. I know you're there now in spirit. I know you're safe. I love you Bright Eyes. I miss you.
Dear Bright Eyes,
Today is Saturday, December 8th. It is the day before you died on September 9th. The 8th of September was a Saturday also. It is snowing here. I looked out and felt so sad because you are missing it. You loved snow. It was your favorite time of year I think because you liked it cool. The sadness is overwhelming. Tomorrow is the 9th of December and a Sunday - just like the 9th of September - a Sunday. I found a poem and was going to write it to you tomorrow but the snow and the sadness make me feel that I need to write it to you now. It was written by Brandy Duckworth. It is titled:
A Parting Prayer
Dear Lord, please open your gates
and call St. Francis
to come escort this beloved companion
across the Rainbow Bridge.
Assign her to a place of honor,
for she has been a faithful servant
and has always done her best to please me.
Bless the hands that send her to you,
for they are doing so in love and compassion,
freeing her from pain and suffering.
Grant me the strength not to dwell on my loss.
Help me remember the details of her life
with the love she has shown me.
And grant me the courage to honor her
by sharing those memories with others.
Let her remember me as well
and let her know that I will always love her.
And when it's my time to pass over into your paradise,
please allow her to accompany those
who will bring me home.
Thank you, Lord,
for the gift of her companionship
and for the time we've had together.
And thank you, Lord,
for granting me the strength
to give her to you now.
I love you B.E.
Dear Bright Eyes,
Today is Thursday, January 10, 2013. Yesterday marked 4 months that I have gone through without you. I try not to think about it because it is so painful. I visited your grave over the holidays - wanted to be where you are. Very cold there. Very sad too. When I look there, I remember that day, September 9th and how quickly it was all over. I wish I had held you longer. Life is so different without you. Our last months were so hard for us both. It is good we don't have to do that anymore. If only you hadn't gotten so ill - if only...if only.... We had so many happy years Bright Eyes. I am so grateful for them and for you. I love you.
Dearest Bright Eyes,
Today is Saturday, January 19, 2013. It is a hard day. I am remembering you as I sit here and look outside. I see where you used to lie. I see how everything has changed. You're not there and it's so quiet. I look around in here and see the places you used to lie - up on the couch, by the fireplace, in my room - all empty places. I wonder why today is so hard. I have tried not to think about you being gone and that is probably why today is so hard. I can only avoid these feelings for awhile and then everything stops. I just wish I could touch you - you were so soft. I wish I could pet you and hold you close to me. I wish you could go with me to southern Colorado when I go there. Just like you used to go with me and get so excited when we were almost there. You're there now all the time. I visited your grave every day over the holidays. It doesn't feel like you're there - I'm hoping that means you are at Rainbows Bridge or in Heaven, young and free from all pain, from all tumors, from all cancer, from all that age brought to you. Young and free and playing. I have to picture you like that. I wanted to write to you today B.E. and tell you how much I miss you and how much I love you.
Dearest Bright Eyes,
Today is Monday, February 4, 2013 - a sad day. I attended two candle lighting ceremonies this evening to be close to you. Sometimes, you seem so far away. It will be 5 months on Saturday, February 9th that you have been gone. You would have been 13 since your birthday was on February 9th. That's what the shelter estimated and I adopted that day for you. I remember when I went to the shelter. I had dreamed about a puppy and the puppy was calling to me, telling me her name was Bright Eyes. It was midnight and I wanted to go right then to find you. Couldn't sleep. But then when the morning came, I forgot about the dream until about 2 in the afternoon and I knew I had to find you. I didn't know where to go. I found my way to the shelter - had been there once and really didn't remember how to get there, but I wound up there. In the very last cage were three little puppies - two were very chubby and cuddled together and you, the smallest one, was lying on top of them, looking at me.
At the shelter, they have a practice of putting the potential owner in a room and then they bring in the dog you have asked to see. They brought one of the chubby puppies first and I had been waiting for them to bring you. They took that one back and then they brought you. You were the sweetest looking little puppy - mostly black and so very cute. You were shy but you decided it was safe by me and you went under my chair and peeked out from between my legs. At that moment, one of the other attendants brought those two little chubby puppies to the window and asked the person sitting with us if I was going to take you because someone had come and wanted all three of you! Since then I have thought how God helped me get you because if they had brought you first and then taken you back, I would have lost you. If I hadn't remembered to go find you when I did, I would have missed you. I brought you home and you cried and cried missing your sisters. You got better but you were still sad. As you grew up, you always had that way of going behind me and peeking out whenever you felt threatened, confident that I would protect you. You knew. I would have done anything to protect you from anyone and anything.
I just couldn't protect you from the cancer that took you. I tried everything.
I learned so much from you Bright Eyes - the capacity I had to love you and how much love you had for me. What a gift you were to me. Thank you dear beloved Bright Eyes for calling to me to get you. And thank you God for reminding me about my dream and getting me over to that shelter. I met the love of my life, my greatest joy.
Sometimes, I just cry and cry - it's so hard to be without you. Sometimes, I wish I could have gone too, but then what would Peanut do?
We'll have to wait and pray that we see you again - all well and young and waiting for us too. I miss you so very much. I think about you every day. I love you Bright Eyes.
Dearest Bright Eyes,
Today is Saturday, February 9, 2013. It would have been your 13th birthday my beautiful girl. Today is 5 months that I had to let you go. Still so sad. I was looking at your puppy pictures and remembering when you were 6 weeks old when I got you. You were the cutest little puppy - and as you grew you became a beautiful dog. Many people commented on how beautiful you were and how they had not seen another dog that looked like you - ever. You were so special in every way. You had the sweetest temperament, very kind, shy, and playful too. You accepted so much about me. You were my dearest friend. Sometimes now I think I didn't appreciate how much you meant to me - didn't enjoy as many moments with you as I could have. But then I remember and realize that I did appreciate you and enjoyed every moment with you as much as I could at the time. In the later days, it was very hard because you were so sick and needed so much care. I got tired. And so did you. We both knew the end was coming. I could see it in your eyes that you were ready to go. We fought so hard, but then we couldn't win. I am so grateful God sent you to me to love Bright Eyes. He gave me the greatest gift I have ever received. And when he took you back, he left me with all the memories of you and how much I loved you and how much you loved me. Such a special bond. All the veterinarians we took you to commented on our closeness and our bond. Marie's horse died Bright Eyes and if horses go to Rainbows Bridge or Heaven he will be where you are. His name is Ramses and maybe you can find him and get acquainted. See if he can send his Mom some sign that he's okay; that he's well now, and having lots of room to run, just like you. Young and well, free from all that age brings us and having lots of fun, like you. I love you B.E. and I always will.
Dear Bright Eyes,
Today is Saturday, February 16, 2013. I miss you. I wanted to ask you to look for "Mac." He was Julee's dog and he died on Feb. 13, 2013 after being very sick. She wrote me at 2 in the morning of the 14th. Would you look for him B.E. and tell him how much I loved you and how much his Mom loved him and how she and I are best friends. I hope you found Ramses, Marie's horse, and Rosebud and Blackie and Lucky and Baby and Rinny and Dopey. I hope they're all well and happy too. I hope you're happy B.E.; free and well and that all good things are happening to you. Spring is coming. First Spring without you. Lots of firsts without you BE. I wish things were different - wish you were here and not sick. Just wish you were well and happy here. I love you B.E.
Dearest Bright Eyes,
Today is Saturday, March 9, 2013. You have been gone 6 months today at 2:15 p.m. I miss you so much. I think about you every day. I wish you could be here with me. It is still so empty. It's snowing outside and gloomy. I miss seeing you out there playing. I miss seeing you sleep and stretch out and peek over at me with those beautiful eyes. So playful. I loved you so Bright Eyes. I wish I could see you. Going to the store reminds me of you because I used to buy sweet potatoes, kale and collard greens and chuck roast for your food. I can't look at those foods without thinking about you and feeling so sad. I don't buy them now - too many memories. I still have canisters of oatmeal that I had bought for you - I always bought ahead so I wouldn't run out of anything. I still have your dishes out - your water bowl and your food bowl. Still have all your medicine in the cabinet and drawer. Still have the couch covered where you used to lay. Can't bear to get rid of those things because then you'll really be gone. Too much for me B.E. I wonder if it will ever get truly better for me. I just don't know. I'm glad you're not suffering though. If only you hadn't gotten sick and could have lived as long as I - that would have been the best. Thank you for coming to me B.E. I love you. So happy you're well now and free to run and play with all your new friends. Wait for me please. I'll not be long. Please don't forget about me. Let me know you're okay if you can. Love you B.E.
Dearest Bright Eyes,
Today is Friday, March 29, 2013. It is Good Friday. 9 years ago on Good Friday you got very sick. You had acute pancreatitis. I thought you were going to die. It was so sad for me. I didn't know what was happening to you. I took you to the vet and then you had to go to the hospital. You had to stay 4 days and they told me they almost lost you. I went to visit you every day. You had all kinds of tubes running out of you and an IV, but we got to visit in a visiting room. You immediately spotted a door to the outside and as sick as you were you jumped up on it and turned to me because I know you wanted to leave. You just couldn't. That was the saddest 4 days of my life. I felt so lonely and again it was so quiet. I didn't think I would make it through that Easter. And here it is Easter weekend and you're gone. This time - forever.
After I brought you home, you were still sick and so after Easter you had exploratory abdominal surgery to see if you had something else besides the pancreatitis. I was told you had inflammatory bowel disease. That was a horrible time for many reasons, one of which was an incompetent vet.
But I got you to a good one and you started on the road to great recovery. It was all good then. But about two years ago things changed there and it wasn't so good. It all became very clear to me on June 27, 2012, the day of your 4th surgery. It was such a bad experience. I am so sorry B.E. So sorry.
And now you're gone. I miss you so much. So much. My friend - my devoted friend. I wonder when it will be better. I was looking at a picture I took on the day you died. It was right before. You looked so sad. And you looked like you were in pain. Thank you God for giving her to me and thank you for letting me know when it was time to give her back. Thank you B.E. for telling me. Just wish you were here and well. Wish it was like when I first got you and those years when we had so much fun - going to the beach, going on long walks, on road trips, to the park, swimming in the ocean in Santa Barbara, playing with Rosebud and Bandit and Lucky and Blackie. Playing in the snow, burying your nose in it and running and jumping - you so loved snow. Jumping in any body of water you saw because you loved water. Playing in your little pool on hot days. So many memories. So much time. And not enough time. I miss you every day B.E. I know you're not suffering anymore. That is the one good thing, the only good thing about you being gone. It is a big thing too - I must remember that. You could not stay one more minute. Thank you for clearly letting me know that B.E. Rest well, my beloved friend. Wait for me and Peanut. I love you.
Dearest Bright Eyes,
Today is Friday, April 12, 2013. I was going to write to you on Tuesday, April 9th - on that day you had been gone for 7 months. I was so sad that day that I could not come here - it would have been too much that day. It's too much today too, but I miss you so much that I wanted to let you know that I always remember you and that I remembered on April 9th.
I wonder how you are. I wonder where you are. I wish I knew. I am so lonely without you. I thought the other day that maybe I would adopt another dog and I started looking for one. I looked at many and felt so sad for them - all looking for a loving home. And then I knew that I could not give that to them. I would be looking for another you and that would be so unfair to one of them, to you and to me. So, as sad as I am, bringing another dog in would not make it any better.
I keep your pictures out and I am looking at them now. To think that you were once here seems so far away. To know that you are no longer here is here and with me every day.
I hope you're okay B.E. I haven't been down to visit your grave in about 3 months. Can't go right now - wish I could. I'll get there. Maybe feel better.
I love you my beloved friend. You were actually my beloved child. I hope you are happy and well, free from all the pain and suffering. That is my only consolation.
Dearest Bright Eyes,
Today is Tuesday, May 7, 2013. In two days you will have been gone 8 months. 8 months. Seems like a long time ago. So far away. I think about you every day Bright Eyes. Every day. Today and the past few days have been very sad for me. I have not come here to write to you because sometimes I think I cannot handle the grief that comes over me. But I miss talking to you through these letters. Makes me feel closer to you. I wonder what you are doing? Where you are. Whether you remember me and Peanut. I hope you do.
I wanted to tell you that on April 13th Bow Tie died. He had had pneumonia for months and hadn't gotten care so he kept getting worse. He was 14 and he just couldn't fight that alone. He died in the afternoon by himself under the deck of his house. I hope you can find him B.E. and let him know who you are and that you can show him around. Tell him not to be lonely; that he is in a better place now. And he has you. And all the other precious animals who are there and can be friends with him too. He was cremated so he doesn't have a grave like yours. I haven't been able to visit your grave since January. I hope I can go down there soon. I bought flowers for you for Memorial Day but I don't think I can go down there then so I'll save them and put them on your grave when I do get down there. I would just like to sit by your grave and have some quiet time with you. I haven't attended the candle lighting ceremonies lately - felt like I couldn't handle the waves of grief that come over me. And here they are today.
It's a cloudy, windy day B.E. And very sad. I love you. I miss you. I wish you and I still had the days when you were well and young.
Dearest Bright Eyes,
Today is Tuesday, May 21, 2013, I miss you so much B.E. I wanted to come here and talk to you on May 9th - the day you had been gone for 8 months, but I couldn't handle the sadness of it. I'm having a very hard time today handling it. Sometimes I feel that you are so far away and the life we had is so far away too. It feels like it's all gone and I'm here in the quiet and the sadness. It's Spring and the leaves on our trees are coming out, all new. It's new here too - there is no more you. Each of these firsts without you is so painful. Bow Tie's parents already got a new puppy. You know Bow Tie just died 5 weeks ago. The new puppy's name is Snickers. Maybe you can see him from Rainbows Bridge or Heaven. I got a picture and he's very cute. Reminded me of when you were a puppy and it made me miss you even more. He's all white and he's 4 months old. He looks like a Malamute kind of dog. They adopted him from a shelter too. I haven't attended the candle lighting ceremonies B.E. So sorry but hope you can see the candle lights of others. Sometimes my grief is so deep that I just have to sit alone with it. It looks like I'll be going down to see you sometime in the next few months. I'm looking forward to that. I bought some flowers for your grave - they're purple and on a cross. I want to work on your grave and put those flowers there for you. I hope all goes well so that I can do that. I think about you not suffering any more and I am happy about that part. I know you couldn't stay with me and I know you tried so hard to do that. It was just too much at the end. I'm sorry if you suffered B.E. and I'm sorry if I didn't know that you were suffering some of those times. So happy I got to keep you for as long as I did. Please forgive me if you suffered and I didn't know you were suffering. Thank you for letting me know you had to go and thank you B.E. for giving me time to plan for your leaving. The wind is blowing now. Just makes a sad sound. I think about you every day B.E. Dying isn't so scary for me when I think you'll be there with me. Just know how much I love you and how much I miss you.
Dearest Bright Eyes,
Today is Sunday June 2, 2013. I had been writing here and I lost the words because I accidentally hit an exit key. I was saying that next Sunday is June 9th and you will have been gone 9 months from my life. I miss you so very much. I remember so many things about you. How beautiful you were, how kind, how playful, how sweet and how much I loved you and you loved me. You were my greatest joy - the light of my life. It's summer now and it's another first without you. I was remembering that I got central air conditioning for you because I noticed how hot you were. In those last days of your life, I didn't know that your panting meant you were in pain. I thought you were hot so I kept turning the air conditioning down to make it cooler for you. You were so restless I remember - wanting to go out and then wanting to come in. I'm so sorry if I got impatient with you B.E. I just didn't know. You were trying so hard to stay with me. You knew that I just couldn't bear to lose you. You stayed as long as you possibly could. Thank you so much for doing that B.E. It's very hard some days - like today. I feel so sad and I'm crying thinking of those last days of yours. Thank you for letting me know you could not stay any longer B.E. and thank you for staying as long as you could. I'm so sorry you had to leave me. I just had the hardest time accepting that you had to leave. This is a hard day. I wonder where you are B.E. Can you see me and how sad I am? Are you well and free? No more tumors, no more pain - just healthy and young and a life full of all good things. I try to think of you like that B.E. Sometimes it's hard. I picture your grave and how you looked when we lowered you into the coffin with your brown blanket and covered you with the blue one. And then you were gone. We closed the lid and shoveled the dirt onto your coffin and covered you. I put a border around your grave and a cross and some fall flowers since it was September. Memories - that's all I have. I wanted you to know I have been thinking about you. I think about you every day and I miss you. I love you B.E.
Hello Bright Eyes,
Today is Sunday, June 9, 2013. This afternoon at 2:15 you will have been gone for 9 months from my life. I was dreading this day. It's on the way to your being gone one year. I thought it would not be so hard. But it is just like it was. I remember June particularly. You remember - it was your 4th surgery on June 27th and it was an awful day. I think about it over and over and know now that was the turning point for you. You just couldn't take any more days like that and I could never put you through another day like that. If I had known how it would turn out, I would have left and taken you away from there. But that tumor had been growing and I would just have had to take you back. I'm so sorry B.E. for all of it. I thought it was the right thing to do but now I think maybe that day it was too much. Your 5th surgery was on Aug. 8. You had not even recovered from the last surgery on the 27th when the tumor already started coming back. Then after August 8th, it came back within two weeks. I don't know what I expected - a miraculous recovery, that one day the surgeries would get all of the tumor and you would be your old self. I could not accept that you were going to be gone and I could not and did not think about it. Then in early September, on the 5th, a WEdnesday, I knew you were going to have to leave me. I watched over you that day and night. You were trying to tell me and I heard you tell me that you had to go; that you could make it through the night as long as you knew we were going the next day. You were so sad and you were in pain. I knew that and I didn't know what to do for you. I miss you so much. It's summer and you're not out on the patio looking around. You were so very beautiful. I used to look out and think that you were the most beautiful dog I had ever seen. And you were. I'm just so sad right now. I want you to be here with me when you were healthy and happy. I have your pictures from the day you died and I'm looking at them. You were so sad and it is clear to me that you were struggling so much. I knew you couldn't stay and that I had to let you go to relieve you from all the suffering and pain. Thank you for trying to live just one more day for me B.E. I'm so sorry if you suffered too much. I loved you so much and will suffer for the rest of my life the heartache of losing you. You were my greatest joy - the love of my life. I wish there was some way that I could feel better; that the loss of you wouldn't be so painful, but I don't ever want to forget either. I wish I could see you. I try to think about you in a different, beautiful place where you have a wonderful life - healthy, happy, free. No more illness, sickness, old age. Just healthy, healthy, healthy. No pain, no sorrow, no struggles. I hope you are in such a place B.E. whatever it's called - Rainbow Bridge or Heaven or something else. I wish you could tell me where you are so that I would know you are alright. It's a beautiful day here Bright Eyes - one you would like very much. So quiet without you. So lonely and so sad. I love you B.E.
Dearest Bright Eyes,
Today is Saturday, August 10, 2013. I visited your grave on July 9 - you had been gone for 10 months. I visited your grave nearly every day when I was there. I took new flowers and a cross for you and I put your name on the cross, when you were born and when you died. I raked the leaves off and pulled any weeds that had grown around your grave. Yesterday, Aug. 9th you have been gone for 11 months. So sad for me. I look at your pictures and I cry. The ones I took on Sept. 9th are the hardest to look at because I see so clearly your suffering. I am so sorry B.E. I think of you every day. You were so beautiful and so soft. So much reminds me of you. As I look out I picture when you used to run on the patio and I see your face looking in the door because you wanted in. Those eyes were so bright and your face was so lovely. I think about the times we spent together and how much we did together. I feel so old now and am glad I got you when I could do things with you. The 8 years that started in June, 2004 when you got very sick and we started on our path to help you. You did so well until about May and June, 2011. I remember now going on a walk and you always tried to eat things you shouldn't. I saw you doing this and I always stopped and opened your mouth to get it out. I remember seeing a brown nodule on the left side of the floor of your mouth. I thought it was something you ate but it wouldn't come out and i realize now that was the start of the tumor in your mouth and I didn't know or maybe it was one more thing and I wanted to pretend it wasn't there. I should have said something to the vet - I was hoping it was nothing and, as it turned out, it was something very big. I'm sorry B.E. I realize how tired I was and how tired you were too. It was so much for us. I never gave up on you B.E. and I would have done anything if I had been told it would cure you. When you got sick at 4 years old, I was told you would probably not live much longer. But I took you to a vet who, at that time, seemed like a miracle worker and he was. You lived for 8 more years and 7 months. May and June, 2011 were turning points I see. So hard to look back and think about things I should have done. I feel so sad and wish I could go back. But I know you knew I was trying so hard to help you and I know you knew how much I loved you. I'm very sad B.E. Your one year anniversary is coming up on Sept. 9th and I have been dreading that day. I think about you every day B.E. and sometimes the sadness is just like when you died. It overwhelms me and sinks me into despair. I'm sorry I haven't come here to write to you for awhile. I always think of it and then I get so sad that I try to avoid crying so much. I get so down. I hope you are well and happy and free. I have to believe that you are so that I can have some peace with your death. I have to believe that you are at Rainbows Bridge or in Heaven and that you will be there when I die. I have to believe that you are young, running and playing and that you are healthy and happy and have all that you need; that you can eat and drink and don't have any tumors. Sometimes I see you like that. Sometimes it seems like you never were. I am keeping certain things the same so that I don't forget. I still have your water bowl and food bowl out and in the same place they always were. I still have your favorite toys although I buried you with your two favorites. I still have all your medicine and those canisters of oatmeal that I always bought plenty of so you wouldn't run out. I still have your dog house outside that you used when you were out there during the nice days and when you wanted to be there. It's falling apart though and one day I may have to throw it away. Just can't right now. I love you Bright Eyes. You were the light of my life - my greatest joy and you will always be.
Dear Bright Eyes,
Today is Thursday, August 22, 2013 and I have been thinking about you all these days. Last Aug. 8th was your 5th surgery to remove the tumor from your mouth and it was right about this time that I noticed it had already grown back. By the 28th when I took you to the Vet it had already grown so much. It was then that I knew somewhere in my heart that I was going to lose you. Those days were so hard because I kept hoping that the tumor would be removed and that it wouldn't grow back. I feel so sad when I think about all that time beginning on 11/30/2011 when you had your first surgery. I was so happy. The tumor was out and I don't think, in all my life, I have been as happy as that December and January until about January 23rd when I saw that the tumor was growing back. I was so sad. And so began the surgeries - 2/15, 5/2, 6/27, and 8/8. And you were such a strong, courageous girl. You endured so quietly and so willingly going each time I took you, knowing that I was doing the best I could to help you. I hope I did the right thing. I feel like things were not good beginning on 6/27 and I am so sorry B.E. I just didn't know. Sometimes I think you needed to leave sooner but then I see, like in the poem, that you were fighting so hard to get better...for me. After the last surgery though, things were different. I look back and see how down you were, how sad, and I think you were in pain and I just didn't know. You were so strong. I see your picture in my mind on the day you died. I see that you were suffering and I see that you still did not want to leave me. I know that if you could have fought any more you would have stayed, but you did not have anything left. It's coming up to the day when it will be one year that you died. I have been dreading that day. Each of these days that bring me closer to that day are filled with so much sadness, so much missing you. I loved you so much Bright Eyes. I wish there was some way you could come to me and tell me you are healthy, happy, young, and free and that you're waiting for me and Peanut; that you'll be there when we die and we'll be able to be with you. I look back on our time together and wish I could relive those days when you and I were happy and healthy. Only now that I know the grief of losing you, I would look at you and appreciate every second I could spend with you. I just wish I could touch you sometimes. You were so soft. I wish I could look into those beautiful eyes and see the love you had for me. I wish for so much time with you. I started putting some of your things away, like your water and food bowls that I have kept out for almost a year. I have been in such grief that I have not changed anything in the house until this last week. I'm hoping that means I am making some progress with my grief that I am able to look at your things and store them. I have been going through old files and found the many medication sheets I used to keep so that I would know what medications I had given you and when. There must be a thousand sheets. I have all the Vet sheets for every single time you went there, all the post op instructions and so much. I might have to throw those away B.E. Too many reminders of how sick you were and throwing them away means that you are no longer caught in that web. You're free from that and so for me to keep those would be like I am holding you to that sick time and I don't want to do that. It can be a celebration of your freedom. I will do that for you and me B.E. Always know that you were the love of my life, my greatest joy.
Dearest Bright Eyes,
Today is Monday, September 9, 2013. You have been gone one year today. It has been the saddest time, today and the days leading up to it. It is 3:20 p.m. now and you died at about 2:15 p.m. on that Sunday, 9/9/2012. I was out by your grave from about 1:50 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. I have wished so many times that I had spent more time with you right after you died. I did that today. I read to you the poems I have found and quoted here, especially "A Parting Prayer." I could ask God and St. Francis at the same time that you died one year ago today that they open heaven's gates and that St. Francis walk you across the Rainbow Bridge. I hope you have already been there all this time. It gave me peace and comfort to say those words today.
I tended your grave, raked around the rock border, and filled in more dirt. I looked at your grave for a long time; looked at your pictures on the day you died and how your grave looked then. It was so peaceful there today and I was so grateful to be there to spend the time I had wanted to spend with you the day you died. I am grateful that you are not suffering. So grateful. I am comforted because I feel like I got to be with you for all the time I needed to be with you on the day you died and, in the shock and panic of the moment, simply went through motions. I have so much gratitude for this.
I miss you like it was yesterday and I know I always will.
Dearest Bright Eyes,
Today is Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - a year and one month that you have been gone. It's been a hard day - one that I have spent in sadness missing you and knowing you won't ever be back. I see you, how beautiful you were, how you were close by my side, how patient you were with me, how forgiving and kind. I cannot begin to think of what my life would have been like if I had not gotten you - because of you I realized how deeply I could love you. I see you, your eyes, your face, your beautiful, soft fur - I just wish I could really see you, feel that you are here, know that you are happy and well. These days since about 9/4 have been so involved with other very stressful events that I feel I have not had quiet time to think about you and visit you. These things will soon be over - October 25th is the last day and then I can have the quiet time that I need to think about you and your and my life together. It passed quickly or so it seems now. I could never have known the pain and sorrow I would have at losing you. I could never have known the heartbreak I would feel when you were gone. I only knew you were the most beautiful puppy and I wanted you so much and I got you. I never realized that day how very sad I would be when you were gone. Some days, like today, I feel how huge your loss has been for me. I don't think I'm ever going to get over it. I love you and I miss you so much. I wish I could have gone too, but then poor little Peanut would not be able to make it. And that would be another heartbreak for me to know that I had left her. So, for now, we're here B.E. and you're there, wherever "there" is. I hope you can see us and know how much I loved you and still do. I thank you for being in my life, I thank God for bringing you to me. I just wish he hadn't taken you back.
Dearest Bright Eyes,
Today is Wednesday, November 27, 2013. I have not had an Internet connection since about October 15th and I have it now as of last Wednesday. I have been thinking so much about you. I thought about you on November 9th and wished I could come here and write to you. In 3 days it will be November 30, 2013. It was November 30, 2011 that you had your first surgery. I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember how happy you were after the surgery. The tumor had grown so big so quickly that one day I could hear you slurping and I then noticed it and was so upset that I hadn't seen it sooner. Once it was out, I guess I thought that was the end of it and you would be fine. But it wasn't the end of it. It was one year on September 9, 2013 that I had to let you go. One year and two months on the 9th of November and in just 12 more days it will be one year and three months. I think of you every single day and I cry so much that it sinks me into despair. I have never loved anyone or anything like I loved you and now you're just gone and you're never coming back. That is the saddest, most overwhelming thought in the world when I dwell on it. Still feel so alone and sad. I got your beautiful collar out and your hair. I look at them and I can't believe that these are still here and you're not. They are very special mementos for me, but it's sad to look at them because they remind me of you when you were alive. That these things still exist and you're gone seems so strange; that you actually lived and wore that collar and that is your fur - all here one year and nearly 3 months later.
The saddest news today B.E. Monica's dear Jake died and I know the grief she feels. I still feel it like it was yesterday. Would you look for him? Maybe talk to him and make sure to show him around and see that he has everything he needs. He fought hard for a long time too. Another heart breaking. Writing to you is my comfort in times like this, the day before Thanksgiving, second Thanksgiving without you. I don't think it's ever going to get better B.E. Some days go by and the grief is not so deep. I get busy, but then I see or hear something that reminds me of you and the sadness comes to me all over again. Just don't know when it will get better. I miss you so very much, My companion, my friend, my dear, beloved furry child. Just have to keep remembering that you reached a time when you were very sick and could not stay here. And I keep wishing, even now, that you hadn't gotten cancer, but then I would have had to face you getting older and one day you would have to go because of age. Just never knew when I got you how much I would love you and how deep the hurt would be when I lost you, how days are so depressing. I love you B.E. and I pray that you are well, happy, free, young, beautiful, and have no more tumors, no more arthritis, no more pain. I know you will always remember me as I will always remember you. One day I pray that I will see you and that we can be together. I love you and I miss you more than words can say.
I cannot believe I didn't come here on 12/9. Today is January 10, 2014. Yesterday you have been gone 1 year and 4 months. I have a lot going on now B.E. Wish you were here - might not be so bad. I think about you every day and when I do I cry because it's just so hard for me to be here living and you are not. I never in a million years could have dreamed or realized how very deep my grief would be at losing you. Still can't hold onto the positive thoughts about where you are and that it's a good place. I just wish it were not like this. There is such a void and such a sadness. I was looking at your pictures. I have many, many pictures and that you were alive and that you lived are amazing to me. How can it be that you are gone? I seem to be just waiting to go too so I can escape all of this and be with you. I hope that is how it works. I'll see you B.E. Love you with all my heart.
Dearest Bright Eyes,
Today is Saturday, February 8, 2014. Tomorrow, you would have been 14. February 9, 2000 was when you were born. God sent the most beautiful puppy into the world and he told me to go get you at the shelter. Tomorrow is also an anniversary. You will have been gone 1 year and 5 months. Will stop writing here I love you.