Welcome to Okie's Rainbow Bridge Memorial Residency
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Memories of Okie
Iokepa "Okie" born in rescue. Hand-picked to be a part of our family. A goof-ball from day 1. (Okie-pokey, Pokers, Okie-pokey, pudding and pie)

You got picked up by an owl at a young age. You battled with anxiety and allergies almost every day. You battled with intestinal issues. But, you never let us see your pain. You always gave us smiles and love.

You loved, you played, you enlarged our lives. You've left such a huge hole where your sweet presence once was. For a silly boy, you were SO well behaved. The only pug EVER who acted to "please" rather than out of your own happiness. You slept at my feet for years. You stayed by my side all day.

Almost two years ago, we took you on the trip of a lifetime. You walked to the memorial strip with us in DC. You would've walked miles if it meant being with us! You would act so silly on the elevator in NYC. You were a trooper with your anxiety. All the people didn't get to you. Just those crazy air grates... A lady wanted a picture with you at the 9/11 memorial and a guard told us, he can't be here. You're the only dog to have walked on that memorial! You rode all the way to Niagara Falls as if you owned the place. You played outside with Nate in the freezing cold and came bounding back in to cuddle up and get warm. It was almost 2000 miles! You were SUCH a good boy!!

You loved to "go". Mailbox, car ride, long walks, it didn't matter, just don't leave me home, you'd say!
You got so excited about the littlest things. You acted so silly if even your face got wet. Or a good meal... those face dives and rubs into the blankets. You were a puppy at heart for ALL 6 years.

You ran to gunny's if I cried. I can't stop crying since you're gone and I want to feel you near me again.

I know time will ease the pain in my heart. I know how hard you were fighting the cancer at the end. I also know you were just too tired to fight anymore. I wish I could have given you some of my strength. We were prepared to wait for you, but you wanted us to go home for Christmas. Your last selfless gift to us. Always trying to please me. I wanted one more Christmas, one more birthday for you. I wish I could have given it to you.

I hope I made the right choices for you, little buddy. I only wanted you to fight if you wanted...

I love you, Okie.
I always will.

1/4: Your 7th birthday would've been tomorrow. You were WAY too young to leave, but I know you had a good life with us. It snowed yesterday. First real snow here in over 20 years. I can just see you playing in it. Your brother and sister are more the couch-dwellers. Not you. You would've run and played and then come inside and rub all over all the furniture until you felt clean again. And then stopped to look at us when we laughed out loud at your antics. I love you, smooshy-face. I'm missing you so bad today. I want to go take a nap with you. I miss your furry face next to me. I hope you are running free up there. I promise to stop crying soon so you can come home and hang out. I'm so sorry, bud. I question all my decisions. Mostly because I never wanted to lose you. Everyone told me to do it for you and not me. I thought I was. But, I know you were worn out. Your body had been fighting for a while and I just didn't see it. Forgive me and run free.

1/5: Happy birthday, buddy! I love you, Okie-pokey, pudding and pie! I gave Leo and Sandy an extra treat for your birthday. I would've cooked you broccoli tonight since you loved it so much. Miss you, squishy face!

1/7: Hey, Oakes. We got a text on your birthday from the rescue where we got you that there was a pug mix at the kennel that needed to be picked up and moved to foster once the roads cleared up. Well, turns out, she's over 12, more chihuahua than pug, but she has a lot of your little quirky behaviors. It's been a very bitter sweet weekend for mommy. Between your birthday Friday and then picking her up and taking her to the vet Saturday, I have cried a lot missing you. Saturday was 2 weeks since we lost you. All the people at the vet miss your "sweet Okie face". Doc Wreden said what a trooper you were. No matter what, always such a sweet boy. I want you to know there is no dog that will ever take your place. You were a special, special boy. But, thank you for being so loving. I know you would've been so very tolerant of this little girl. She would've been like a racoon rescue to you, I'm sure. I love you, squishy face. I miss you.

1/9: Hey buddy! I went to work yesterday and missed your sweet face and loving jumps at the door when I got home. Yesterday was the first day I haven't bawled like a baby about you. I'm trying really hard to move past the last time I saw you and wishing I could do more but each time I remember how alive and loving you were, it makes me miss you all the more. I just want you to know you'll always be my bestest boy. Even on the days that I finally quit crying, you will always be so very special in my heart. I love you, bud!

1/16: Hey Okie-poke! It's been a busy week with work and cleaning up after the storm. Not a day goes by that I don't miss your sweet smooshy face. You were such a light in my life. It's not like I don't love your brother and sister... or even the new old lady we rescued, but you were just "my baby boy". You always will be. I sure hope you didn't suffer in the end. You were just too dang young, my sweet buddy. Nathan and I went through the car wash last night and even that made me think of you and how scared you were of that thing. Everything reminds me of you. You were such a huge part of my life. I know they say time heals, but I would give anything to just hold your smooshy face and pet your soft, soft ears and hear the weird little sound you made when you shook your head. I just get so upset that they couldn't save you. But, I know you were tired. Sleep well, puggy. I love you and I miss you.

1/24: Well, it's been one month since we lost you, Okie pokey. I have been crying every day the past few days just thinking about that fact. I can't stop second guessing all the choices I made with your care over the past 6 months. Nathan tells me that nothing will change the fact you're gone and quit beating myself up. I've even been reading about how stress will wear a dog down.I think I just feel like I failed you somehow. You did nothing but love and trust me unconditionally. I've created a couple different "shrines" to you and have pictures of you all over the house. Mostly, it helps. But, then there are times that it just reminds me how empty my life is without you. You were really a special boy, Oakes. I miss you terribly. I know you're in a better place.

1/25: Hey, bud! I went and talked to my therapist today about you. We both cried because she remembered me mentioning you before. I told her how faithful and goofy and loving you were. Mommy came home with a tear stained face. You would have been okay when I got hom since I was no longer crying. And I would have come home and rubbed your soft, soft ears. You would've put your mouth on my hand until I took you into the kitchen to get a treat. You were always at the door waiting for me. SO faithful!! Unconditional love. You were full of it. I want you to know that if love could have saved you, you would have lived forever. I know that's a corny line... but, it's true, bud. I know you're "waiting" for me in heaven. I hope I live my life well enough to deserve to hang out with you forever. You're the best friend anyone person or animal could ask for. I love you, bud. Nathan's birthday is this Saturday. He misses you. He's so strong. You were his little buddy, too, though. We love you and miss you, Oakes. You're my pudding and pie... Kiss all the girlies...

1/29: Oakie pokie! Nathan's birthday was this weekend. You missed cupcakes, dude! I can't tell you how much I've missed you the last few days. We're going to go through with adopting this silly rescue girl. She cuddles your urn and the stuffed animal I got for you. SO many of your traits. Sometimes, I just hold her and wish it was you. Other times I try to remember that she needs her own love and not the love I still have for you. You'll always be my special boy. I had a dream last night that you weren't gone. I don't think it was a visitation from you because it just hurt when I woke up. I know you're feeling better now. I know that with your anxiety there was probably nothing I could have done to have given you a healthier life. But, I still question everything I did... or failed to do. I just want you to know that I loved you to pieces and I never meant to let you down. I love you so much, bud! You'll always be my most special puggie pie!!

1/31: Hey bud! Just stopping in to let you know how much I miss you. I've spent the last few days trying to let go of some of my guilt so I can celebrate your life. Just so hard for me sometimes because I DO feel guilty. You were just too young to have to go. You were such a special dog and I am blessed that you were in my life even if it was for a short time. We did SO much together that I don't wish that we could have done more, just wish that you had more time. Losing you has really made me question my faith... So weird that after all I've been through, it's your innocent heart that makes me hurt thinking there might be no ever-after. I hope there is. I hope you're somewhere running and playing with Loca, Pollo, Belle and Apollo and even Doc! I just miss you, bud. And I will always love my special puggie pie.

2/2: Oakie pokie! I miss you so much, little man! The past few days I've done a lot better about not bawling my eyes out every time I think about you. Not that I don't get very sad and kinda beat myself up for letting you down, but I am trying to just remember how awesome you were and not how awful it is that I've lost you. You lived such a huge life. Full tilt, always on, you were definitely a huge force. We've been walking the old rescue girl we got daily. Trying to get your chubby brother's weight down some. I know you would have a blast! I try not to remember how bad it was for you this past year when you had bowel problems. You had SUCH a good time on our trip up north. You walwaked for miles and miles and saw so many cool places. And you weren't totally inflamed yet, so you could walk around without having to try to potty. I hate that you went through that. But, I also know you lived large. You were really the best ever, little buddy! I will always love you!! You are undoubtedly my most special animal ever!! Love you bud!

2/7: Oakes! I know I always start off the same, but I miss you little buddy! I miss how much joy you brought to my life! You truly were a special soul to me... for me... I try not to cry every time I think of you now. I try to remember how much you hated it when I did. I want your spirit near me, so I promise to try to keep the sobs in check. I miss the cute sound you made when you would shake your head. I watch the handful of videos I have of you and it makes me realize that even though you left young, you lived a huge life in your short time. Doesn't make it easier to let you go. Just makes me realize you may have been TOO special to keep bound to the earth. You had TOO much love to just keep it here in my house. I love you little bud and I know you are going to be just as important in whoever's life you make it into next. Just know I miss you munches and I thank God I got to have you for the time I did! Love you little buddy! Thank you for sending the old rescue girl chug to keep us company. She has so many of your traits that I know you sent her! NO dog will ever replace you but I am glad to have more puppy paws to love. Thanks buddy. I love you!

2/11: Hey Oakie Pokie! I miss you so much, bud! I feel like I talk about you almost every day! Today, I still cried a little and realized it's easy to "pretend" it doesn't hurt that you're gone. But, when I talk about it, it still hurts so bad that you're not waiting at home for me. We went to Atlanta this weekend. I would have loved to have heard you yip, yip at me when I got home. Grab my hand, run to the bed for some snuggles. I know you're up there running free and not worrying about all the yuck cancer caused for you. I love you so much forever, my sweet squishy face boy.

2/19: Hey buddy! Missing you like crazy the last few days. I cried so hard the other night missing you. I really, truly hope I am good enough in this life to get to see you again. You're were such a good spirit. Such a great companion. You always looked for me, you always loved me. I'm so tired of feeling like I failed you. I hope you know how much I love you and how much I still miss you every day. I hope you know I tried my best. I love you and I always will, my sweet squishy face. Babcia is here visiting. She even misses you kicking her in the kitchen! Sometimes, I can smile and laugh at our memories. Other times, it hurts so bad to think about how sweet you were and how awful your last week was. I know that will fade and only more of the good will be remembered. But, for now, please know, squishy, that I still hurt for what you went through. I still miss you and blame myself. Again, the hokey line If love could have saved you... Thank you for sending me the senior girl. I know she had to come from you. She comes looking for me. She digs and lays on YOUR couches. But, she's just not you. You truly were one of a kind, buddy. I love you, Oakes.

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