I have had so many doggie companions but you were so special, so unique and so much a part of my soul... I found you staggering across a busy roadway, 6 weeks old, starving and so ill that the shelter I took you to said you would have to be euthanized. How I fought to have them give you back!!! They weren't going to return you since they didn't adopt out dogs who wouldn't survive, even though I was the one who brought you there in the first place- a horrible time but I wouldn't give up. I knew you were meant for me! The vet trips, the continuous cries of "she won't make it" and you, the tiny fighter who not only survived but thrived for the rest of your long and happy life. You were always small, partially because you were an odd mix of black lab/beagle and mostly because you just never had the chance to grow healthily from such a horrible start- but you tried, at every opportunity, to add more "padding" to your body and you fought a major battle of the bulge for your later years. You loved McDonalds!!!! And driving (ah, I mean riding) in the car with me, running rings around your canine "sisters", stealing bones and hogging my lap, especially when it made everybody else crazy!!! You blew out both of your back legs from frenzied, joyful running and leaping off the couch back; yet you survived the surgeries and just kept running more. Watching you race ahead when we were all walking on the mountain top, only stopping to look back and wait a minute for the slow-pokes when you were yelled at, and then speeding off with total abandon until you were caught again- I can so clearly see it still. And you never met a wild animal that you didn't think you could win a match with! Of course, that cost you quills in the face, skunk on your fur and a bear slice down your back but you remained unphased. Any little dog of 26 pounds who was always chasing after bears (even if there was a fence there to make you braver) has to be honored! As you got older, you slowed down and I feel terrible that you had to come to a place where you could no longer run freely in the country. If I could, I would change so many things about our last few years; work less, pay more quality attention and get active instead of just believing you were old and wanted to lie around. I now know you were just bored but you still loved me so much that you grieved every second I was away. How could you be so full of adoration when you never had the full attention you deserved? I never knew our time would end! When I left that night, you were running around the living room and your last healthy moment was looking at me with one ear forward and one ear back, mischief in your eyes. Then the call at work- you weren't acting "right", maybe I should come home, and my inability to get out until two more hours had gone by. When I finally reached you, you were lying on the floor and I was told you hadn't moved for over an hour- the home vet had just arrived. You lifted your head and licked me, then went down again. The vet said we could rush you to the emergency hospital, that it probably wasn't that serious, and we put you on a stretcher in the back of his car. During that awful 15 minute ride, worried but not panicked, I heard you start moving and I asked him if I should pick you up but he wouldn't stop. When we got there, they carried you in and I still thought you were just ill but could be treated. The blinding horror when they came out and said your heart had stopped! Watching them do CPR and being told to be quieter because it was upsetting the staff; hearing them say your heart had started again, feeling joy and relief, and then having the doctor and techs continuously tell me that you couldn't make it because your blood was too acidic- did I really want to keep treating you? Of course I did!!! You had always won every battle- how could I just let you die??? And then you arrested again, and they wanted to keep me away from you and then shamed me for continuing the CPR, saying I was hurting the staff when it was obvious you were gone. I didn't want to be the one to say you should just die!!! How do I forgive myself for not holding you during the car ride, for not coming to you earlier, for not pushing ahead even when it wasn't "convenient" for them? I lost you, I lost everything that night; I've never felt pain like that before or since, and I don't think I ever will again. You live on with me Izzy, in my heart, my soul, my very being. I'm sorry for everything and I thank you for the only true joy I've ever had, uncluttered with the debris humans bring. No one could ever understand the hole inside. I will have more doggies to love but no one, ever, ever, ever, will hold the same place in my heart. I can only hope, with every ounce of my being, that we will be together again. I'm sorry- I love you then, now and forever.|
04/15/2010- My precious baby, how I still have times when I cry to think of you and our loss of each other. All of these kind people say we will be together again; how I hope that is so. Life would be too hard if it weren't... I know you have seen Sieglinde by now. She died Feb. 20 and it was the first time I ever had to euthanize one of my babies. She lived to be so so old though and she failed that final day; hopefully you are now together and she is not as grouchy with you as she used to be! You always could make her crazy but I'm sure you and Ziggy and Brunhilde and Max and Schultz are all together, playing happily and painlessly again. Perhaps even all who came before you have found you. I keep up with your memorial here at the house. Your grave grows green, full of vitality and hard to keep up with, like you! You have a beautiful cascading mountain stone fountain to remind you of the forest and I replaced your flowers just the other day. Don't worry, I don't make them too tasteful- they are ridiculously big, bold and beautifully outspoken, as you always liked everything. Ziggy is by your side and I have placed a large stone memorial next to you, with landscaping and a beautiful etching of you on your tombstone. Everyone who sees it said it shows my intense love for you- perhaps you can see it as well but, if not, I want you to know it is there and it will always be beautiful, as long as I can maintain it. I also wanted you to know we are going to a place called Dogtown next week, far away from here, to get two new babies who desperately need homes. I can't live without dogs, as you know, but you will always be my "one and only" who broke into my soul and stayed there. I miss you, constantly, and Daddy and Grandma do too. Even Robert was sad when you left- what a remarkable little girl you were. Sleep tight sweetheart.
08/17/10- Hello my baby. I'm sure you have seen the two wonderful friends we have adopted from Dogtown, Addie and Peter. I so wish you had a chance to know them, although I'm sure you would have been jealous and chased them around, scowling all the time! Your 1st year anniversary of leaving us has come and gone, yet I still think of you with such sadness at losing you. I think you are sending me a message now... could it be true? Don't worry, I won't let you down. You will always be my heart and soul.
08/02/2011- Two years have come and gone today and still my heart bleeds for you whenever I see your face or hear your name, when your memory whispers through my mind. For all the love I have with our dogs, past, present and future, you will always be my soul and heart. I miss you so much, Izzy- so much, and it still hurts more than I could ever imagine. Some day I will be able to not cry when I think of your last night. Some day I will only smile when I think of you. That day has not come yet... I love you, I always will.
08/02/12- I can't believe it has been three years since I held your head and you kissed my face goodbye for the last time. While we have gone on, and we love Addie and Peter very much, no one can ever, ever take the place of you in my heart. I work with and for dogs as much as I can and I think I owe a lot of that to you- you were the very first abused puppy I rescued and I've never forgotten how terrible you looked and how wonderful it was to finally know you would heal. Do you know how often I think of you? Do you know how much I miss you and how I still cry whenever I let myself remember you? It's almost like I have to shut you out of my mind most of the time or I don't think I would ever recover. I met a woman this last weekend who loved her dog in the same way that I loved you- she actually tattooed her dog's paw print on her arm! How I wish I had you to do that... I still have you right outside my window and the area is kept glorious with your pink roses, fountain and memorials. I hope you can feel the love that surrounds you, and always will, with the beauty of the area you now reside in. What scares me most is I am losing my memories of how you felt- I still remember most of the way but some has been lost and I'm afraid it will continue to go. I don't want to lose even the smallest part of you but I can't stop it from happening. On this anniversary of the saddest day in my life, I just want you to know, again and again, how much I love you and how I will never forget you. I have the locket with some of your fur in it and it will always be with me, even when I have left this Earth. I know I will be with you again some day Izzie, I know it. Please wait for me and be there to greet me with your sweet smile and your wonderful "hangy" belly... it will be the happiest day I've ever had when I can love you again. Rest peacefully my baby; it is only a moment on this Earth and then we have an eternity together. You mean everything to me and I will always, always adore you.
08/02/2013- I have found that time does help ease the pain somewhat, particularly when I realize we will be together again and then nothing can ever separate us. I thought of you last night, my precious Izzy; oddly, it must have been around the same time you died 4 years ago. It just came to me, before I even realized it was your anniversary and then how I cried and cried. No matter how calm I am when I think of you now, no matter how peaceful I am that we can be together again, it is still a wrenching sadness that overwhelms me at certain times, particularly when I remember your last moments here; it will always be my never-ending regret that I did not hold you on your way to the hospital, that I allowed the vet to place you back there alone; you have to believe that I never knew this would be anything more serious than a hospital visit to "fix you up", like you had so many of before (you were always into everything, and you never met an animal you didn't think you should come into close personal contact with- porcupines, skunks, bears, everything!). How I shall always cry over this and losing you afterwards. Now you speak to me with your chimes, your fountain and memorial shall always continue on as long as I am here to keep them, and you will always, always be etched into my soul. Time makes it easier but it never takes away the love for you or the sadness that we have been separated. I still have Addie and Peter, running around and giving me love while I give them the same- I wish they could have known you (but they would have been so jealous!). Daddy is working and playing with them and he still misses you too- but you will also see him when we return to you in the future. We know now that we will all be together for eternity, and I can't wait to see you again. Run and play with all the others Izzy- we will spend forever together, happily in each other's presence. Mommy never forgets you; I never will, ever. Four years have passed and you are as alive today as you were then, always in my heart. I love you Izzy, always and forever.
08/02/2014- We have a new addition to the family, a wonderful mix of Chinese Crested and Yorkie... he is a lot of fun and Addie loves him; of course, no one could ever take your place and I know you would be following him around and harassing him if you were here! I think of you often still, even after all these years, and the chimes in my room sometimes ring to remind me that you are there. It gives me such peace to know that. We are going to relocate you to Utah so you will be in a permanent grave where thousands upon thousands will see you every year. It was the best way I knew to keep you "alive" in everyone's memories and I know you will be happy there. While I may not be as close to you physically, your spirit can still soar and you will know you are surrounded by so many who love you, as opposed to being alone as you are now. I look forward to the day when I can be reunited with you- what joy, peace and happiness I will have then. Peter is sick and will probably not make it through the rest of the year. Please wait for him and keep him company until we can all rejoin each other. I love you, my precious baby. That will never, ever change. You were my joy, light and soul, and you always will be.
07/21/15- My precious baby, how I still miss you! I have now placed you at Angel's Rest in Utah, with all your other brothers and sisters. What joy I have in knowing you will always be seen and remembered by the thousands of animal lovers who come through there. You have a beautiful spot, under a tree, with the gorgeous wind chime tomes above your head. I will never, ever forget you my precious girl. Your new sister and brothers are doing alright; they are wonderful but, obviously, no one can ever replace you. While you don't crush my soul every day, like your memory used to, I still can't think of our last moments without crying and feeling a wrenching pain in my heart. I love you Isolde, in the past, in the present, and for eternity. Rest well in your new home and I will be visiting you in only a few more weeks!
10/19/2017- My beloved Izzy... isn't it silly that I feel so guilty for not writing on your site for so long? I had a terrible two years with some serious economic losses; I felt like it was all I could do to keep up with life. While nothing is really resolved, I am realizing that I need to take time for the things most important to me, and entering a message on your site is one of those. We continue on without you but I still can't hear a description of your last day without bursting into tears (yes, Gomer does that once in a while and it is agonizing). They say that time "heals" all but it doesn't ever stop my love for you, and my sadness over having lost your presence in my life. I am now able to share in some funny stories about you- we love remembering how you would pretend you weren't interested in a toy or treat and then "snake" your way over to it step by step- sneaky girl! The infamous trip to the vet when you ate a full bag of Hershey's kisses after unwrapping most of them (you were always so talented in getting food) is another funny time, maybe not so much for you. :-) Addie, Peter and Ollie carry on and still have fun in their aging lives. Peter is immortal it seems, right? Would that you had been- we will always remember you and I will always hold you in my heart and soul. Until we can be together again, I will hang onto your memories. I love you, always and forever.
09/17/2018- I am so happy to have gotten this down before another 2 years went by! I must be the most delinquent dog mom in history...you filled such a huge place in my heart and in my life that I have trouble looking at this site. Seeing you and knowing you aren't with me always makes me cry, even after all these years; it's now been nine of them and the loss never goes away. 2018 has been my most difficult year ever- hard to imagine after I wrote the note last year. Gomer was diagnosed with very aggressive cancer a few days before Christmas and she died on March 1. You had touched her so much that she would never stop talking about you and how she loved all the sneaky things you used to do. Right before she died, she kept seeing an imaginary dog whose name she never knew, but she did know it was a girl. She was so in love with this dog and so concerned about her, I wonder if it wasn't you. If it was, you made a short time very happy for her and I know she is with you now. As are Ziggy, Brunhilde, Schultz, Max, Helga, Susie and all the other animals who we ever loved and had in our lives. Crushingly, we lost Peter a month after Gomer died. We always said he was immortal but that just doesn't exist, does it? He was such a fighter and he never faltered even with all his handicaps. Gomer always said she loved him so much that it would kill her if he died; she would always tell him to hold on until she was gone so she didn't have to experience that, and he did. He was only badly sick for a short period before death but it was still agonizing for me to watch and to finally see him go. I hope he is now hanging out with you all and he has the gift of a perfect body and health, for the first time. Addie is aging, even though she is only 8 and 3/4 years old and I've tried to take perfect care of her health (unlike all our unhealthy food we used to engage in!). She is gray and sometimes arthritic but she still does her walks and enjoys sitting behind the screen door, watching the world go by. Ollie just turned 6 (I can't believe it) and he is still crazy and energetic. He is probably the only dog that has ever had that fun and happy streak you showed all the time, although he will never be you. I do love them both dearly though. Your dad and I split up in the spring but got back together again. Our relationship is more positive and healthy than it ever was, although no one can keep fireworks going forever. We are just becoming old and losing our youthful energy. Why do we always assume our bodies will just go on in the same state as they were in our youth? I guess that is how God softens the eventual blow. My health has also gone this year. I had a stroke, I've had mini-strokes since, now they are testing me for genetic disorders. I do have a gene that causes my blood to clot too quickly, probably what caused the stroke, but they are also testing me for a fatal disease that would truly be horrible to experience. While the symptoms mimic many of mine, I still have trouble believing that such a disastrous thing could happen to me as I've turned 60, therefore I don't have it! Hahaha I will know in 4 weeks or so and the waiting is the hardest part. The stroke caused me to lose a lot of my short-term memory and I'm exhausted a lot but this is livable. My biggest fear is the dementia that can come soon. I know you are laughing and saying I have been this way for years, right? I have to get myself away from stress and, as you know, this area is full of it. We have decided to go back to our log house where everything was so wonderful for so many years. Your house- just remembering you there makes me laugh and feel at peace. In the process of moving, I found some great old pictures of you. I'm going to scan them in as soon as I get a chance and maybe I can download one or two to your site here. It's funny how our memories fade. I still have good long-term memory so I have so many wonderful stories with you that float through my head, particularly when I am up on the mountain and I drive past "our" McDonalds! I just wish I could remember every inch of you, how you felt (although I still remember some of your warmth, chubbiness, and how sleek your fur was), how you smelled, what you sounded like when you barked or howled.. maybe that is something that needs to fade so we can go on with life. I do know this my love, we will always be together, no matter what. While I'm not thrilled about dying too quickly, I do know, whenever it happens, it will be more peaceful for me knowing you are waiting. I love you Izzy, more than anyone could ever understand. We will finally be together, in a shorter period of time than I expected, but I'm hoping to squeeze a few more years in, particularly because I would never want to leave Ollie alone. Meanwhile, I try to wipe away the tears that come when I think of your being gone and revel in the knowledge that you won't be forever. See you soon, you big goofball!!!
8/2/2023- Again I come to visit you, although slightly less than I did in the beginning. I think that's healthy but it certainly doesn't make it feel better when I focus on losing you. On the other hand, the crazy stories are wonderful! Two years have passed and I can't believe it has been so long since you died. Today I had a glimmer of a recollection about how your sleek shiny fur felt, especially when it was warm. Maybe it was my "gift" for coming to think of you again? I don't actually need a gift, you come to mind frequently and it's usually with a big smile. My problems always come from remembering your loss. 😢 Dad and I are still together, plodding along as older people do. We still have Thatcher and Ollie. As much as Thatcher loves us, he has bitten us many times- he doesn't have good cues to let you know it's coming! Still, he deserves to have the best life he can and he seems to get a little better every few months. He is such a little weirdo, Izzy. Smaller than you but black as black can be. He doesn't shed because he is bald everywhere but on his face and a little on his feet. I know you will appreciate that I have to take him to a vet to get his nails cut because he will injure anyone who tries. I call him my little "piranha"- seems to me you weren't real cooperative with cutting your nails either. Ollie went to the vet yesterday and they found spindle cell cancer. He has to have the area excised tomorrow and I hope he rebounds as fast as you did. He is way too young to leave at 10- these guys usually go 13-16 years! Of course I am now panicking and reliving all the other cancer traumas I have been through with our other dogs. We can pray that he will be okay- one thing that settles my heart is knowing what a wonderful family of Yindra dogs he will join eventually. Whenever he does go, I expect you to be the first one to welcome him. Don't let Ziggy try to knock you out of the way! It has been a beautiful summer here, although the planet is warming very quickly. I remember how you loved running along the right-of-way with such joyful abandon. I think you'd find yourself a little hotter now, especially with black fur. We also bought a camper and took the two puppies for a trip to Lake Erie. Thatcher did not like having his routine messed with and was nervous. Ollie was fine, just not overjoyed. I thought of how fun it would have been with you- I'm sure you would have jumped into anything and everything! Thatcher gets the most joy from driving the car like you used to. It just suddenly happened one day and I wondered if you were giving me a little "hi" when we took to the road. I miss you, forever and ever, until we can all be together again. All of my love is yours, always.