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.

1/4/18: 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.

2/25: Okie-pokes! I miss you, bud! There really are no other words to say. Except I'm sorry. I still miss you every day and question whether I could have done something sooner or more for you. I feel like I let you down and you were nothing but a loving and trusting soul. Such a big heart. Even when you didn't like to do something, you always trusted me. I loved you for believing in me and I think that's why I feel like I've failed you. You were mine to protect and I let you down. You will always be missed and I will always cherish your love, sweet squishy face. I cry every time I think about it too much. I don't want to cry. I know you hated that. You silly goose.

3/4: Hey squishy face! I miss you so much! It's supposed to get easier, but I feel like it's almost harder. I feel like everyone around me has almost forgotten you were here. I know that's not the truth, but I just feel very alone in my grief. And I hate to cry because I know how much you didn't like it. I've been thinking a lot about you the past couple of days. How, when you got picked up by the owl, you wouldn't go outside unless I held you like a baby. And how those first two nights I slept with you on the couch because you woke up to every little sound. I sometimes think it was the constant stress you were under that caused you to have health issues. But, boy, didn't you live a large life in a short time?!? You were always ready to be silly for me. Always ready to go for a walk or a ride or even just to the mailbox. You even loved to just follow me around doing yard work. I loved having you around and that's what makes it all that much harder now that you're gone. It's like I'm looking around for my best friend and you're just gone. I hope I live my life well enough that I get to see you again someday, bud. You were the best friend/dog I will ever have, I'm sure!! Love you Oakie-Pokie, pudding and pie!!

3/11: Hey buddy! I can't tell you how hard the last few days have been for me. I don't know why. I just miss you being around so very much. I feel like I failed you. Like I should have done more sooner. I'm so sorry if I missed something. Nathan says he misses you, too, but that he tries not to think about you so it doesn't hurt. I don't want to NOT think about you. I love you. You were such a goofy sweet-heart of a dog. Chris says you were one of a kind and I should start looking at other dogs instead of pugs... I just miss you so much. Maybe that's been the hard part. Picking out a puppy... to replace you. NO dog could ever replace you. I'm so sorry if I failed you in your sickness. I know there's was nothing I could do about your anxiety. And Nathan has a point, your anxiety is what made you and I closer. Working with you, keeping you with me so much to get you through that time, is what made you so very special in my life. I miss your sweet squishy face. And I keep trying to remember how much you hated when I cried. But, it doesn't always work. I love you, Okie-pokes. I always will.

3/21: Okie pug! I tried to go a full two weeks without writing, but dang, I've been missing you, bud! I think I'm finally starting to forgive myself for not being more aggressive sooner. I keep thinking "what if" I had tried this or that sooner. What if I had gotten you the referral in September. I'm trying to remember how happy you always were. Even to the very end. How much you enjoyed just being in the car with Nathan and me. How you ran up to the hotel room and stretched out on the bed. How you were still shivering and so I knew you weren't totally comfortable and I knew I had to take you to ICU. How you probably wouldn't have wanted me to handle it any other way. I guess the part that goes around and around in my head is that I wasn't there in the very end for you. I saw you that morning and it was killing me all day how much I wanted to crawl in there with you. How I wanted to have them un-hook you and take you home to be in a bed. I just can't stop thinking that I failed you. I wasn't there to stop the owl from picking you up. I didn't push them about their treatment plan the last day you were alive. But, I do believe there is a reason for everything. You gave me a heart and life full of love. I hope I gave you that much back! You were a very special pug, Iokepa. I am so blessed and grateful that God allowed me the time He did with you. I love you, bud. And I miss you every day. Even though I don't come on here and tell you. I want you to know that every day, EVERY single day, I look at your pictures and I talk to you. I miss your goofy face. I miss your sweet, sweet nature. I love you, buddy. I always will.

4/4: Hey, Okie pug love! I made it two weeks! I miss you so much! I think about you all the time. How silly you were and how you brightened my life. I had a dream last night. That I was playing with you and someone fed you something bad and it took you away from me. It made me realize there were tons of ways you could've left me. All probably worse than the way you slipped away. I just hate that our time together was so short my sweet, sweet Okie pug. We got Nathan a new puppy last week. His goofiness reminds me so much of you. His sheer happiness and joy of life. You were always so happy. That's what even the vet remembered about you. No matter what, you trusted me and you loved me and you tried your best to give me the Okie smile! Well, when you weren't giving me the sideways Okie stare... Hahaha You will always be my bestest bud, Okie pug. I will miss you forever and my heart will always ache for you. I love you, bud!

4/12: Okie Pokie, pudding and pie! Okay, so not two weeks, but I wanted you to know how much I love you and how much I've been thinking about you lately! The puppy is fun, but I miss you. I miss YOU. You truly were special and an individual soul. I'm so sorry that I didn't get more time with you. But, I'm trying to be happy now for the time we did have. It seems like it was no time at all. I lost you too early. You were too young. Cancer sucks. I just wish I could have done more for you my sweet boy. We've named this dog Odysseus. I wonder sometimes if he will travel as well as you did. You were SUCH a good traveler! Boy, did you love to go! I still miss seeing you looking at me when I walk out the door... asking... Today? Do I get to go today? I love you, bud. You are in my heart and in my thoughts every day.

4/24: I did good, Okie! At least two weeks? :D We went on a short vacation to Orlando. I missed you SO very much when we came home, though! Nathan was so excited to see his pup. And of course, all the other dogs were happy to see us, but I missed your smile and your howl and how you would have run around and yipped at me for hours after I got home! It still hurts so bad when I think I did something wrong or I could have done something different or sooner. So, I try to focus on the time we had together. On the great trips you took with us. Even if they were just short walks. You just always loved to go. You always loved life. And for that, I will always find an appreciation in the littlest of things. You made me view the world through the eyes of a sweet pug boy who was just so happy to be alive. I guess that was the hardest part about losing you. Knowing how happy you were to just BE! I love you forever, my sweet Okie, pug. I don't want to start crying, so I will leave it there for now. I hope you are having great weather in heaven! Not all the rain that we've had down here that made you go potty inside! Lol! love you, bud! Miss you my Okie Pokie, pudding and pie!!

5/1: Hey, buddy! I miss your sweet puggy face!! I miss your snorts, I miss your snuffles and soft ears. I am trying so hard not to cry lately when I think of you because I want you to be around, but I just miss you so darn much! Even the puppy can't stop that. He's cute, but he's not you. You were my special boy. Chris told me the other night he saw a bumper sticker that said "who rescued who" and he said "how corny is that?" I told it, "It's not corny at all" I don't think you rescued me. But, I do think we needed each other. I needed you and you needed me. And now... I just feel like I'm drifting. I miss you so much, buddy. I hope I did everything right by you. I spend hours obsessing over things I could've done differently. But, in the end, you being picked up by the owl and having such weird food allergies... I think you were just destined for complications. I love you, bud. I'm so sorry you didn't have more time here on earth. You were simply the best buddy ever. I'm sitting here having trouble sleeping and I know you'd be right here with me snoring and making it easier to doze off... I love you, Okie pokie, pudding and pie... I always will...

5/11: Okie-pokie! I miss you so much, bud! This pup has me going crazy! I don't remember you being this much trouble! He's not too bad, just into everything! I feel like he needs YOU around to play with him! The older dogs try, but they just can't keep up with all that energy! I worry about our Sandy-pants, buddy. She's getting bad with her hips and her eyes. But, she's still kicking. Leo's been real depressed lately. I think he misses you. I know I do. I try not to cry. I try to just remember all the fun we had. You were a good dog, Okie. You were my best friend, really. Now, when I look at pics of you towards the end I feel so awful that I didn't notice how sickly you had started to look. Not like I could have made surgery happen any sooner. Not like surgery went the way we wanted it to. But, I just want you to know that I always loved you and had your best interest in my heart. I am glad you didn't have to suffer or lay still for months of recuperating, but I sure do miss your loving eyes. You are a special soul, Okie pug and I will always miss you.

6/4: Hey, bud! I love you so very much!! I was talking to a lady about veterinarians today. And, obviously, it was because she remembered what I had going on with you. They tried so very hard to take care of you. So did I, buddy. This little puppy is trying hard to keep us busy, but he still isn't you. The old lady rescue we got on your birthday continues to try to show off her Okie qualities, but she still isn't you. I look at your pictures and just miss you so very, very much. For all that other pups and dogs are cute, you went beyond that. You were faithful and kind. You were simply the best friend ever. I will always love you my very special Okie pokie, pudding and pie!!

6/20: Okie pokie, pudding and pie! Hey, buddy! I have been missing you so very much and thinking about you a LOT this last week. 6 months this weekend and it doesn't get one little bit easier. I do think about all our fun and loving memories, but I also question every decision I made. And I wonder if I could have done anything differently to have made you healthier. Sometimes I even question God. Why? Why do innocent dogs have to get sucky cancer? I hear sad stories every day of people losing their pugs to simple surgeries, so I feel blessed that our vet could at least take care of you so well for as long as he did. I just wish you were still with me, bud. Stress and all.I guess it makes me look at just how much trouble stress can cause in one's health. I love you so very much, my sweet squishy face. No one, no animal will ever take your very special spot in my heart. I hope I live my life well enough to be with you again some day over the rainbow bridge. You are simply the best!

7/6: Hey, Okie pokie! You know, I log on feeling like it's been over a month since I've talked to you on here and realize it's only been 2 weeks. I miss you so much, buddy! Poor Sandy has a collapsed trachea. I know you'd be so sweet to her and take care of her. She's doing well on the med regime, but it makes me think about how hard it must've been for you at the end and I truly hope you didn't suffer, my sweet buddy! It makes their words ring in my head, "With the meds he had on board, he couldn't come back..." I know blame doesn't bring you back. I just wish things had been different. As I watch poor Sandy and Leo get older, I just think how much of an impact you made in my life in so short of a time. And if that's all we were meant to have, then so be it. I still can't talk about you really without crying. I wonder sometimes with the puppy here why it doesn't fill a void. He's goofy and funny and cracks me up. But, you were just my special soul. My special boy. I love you and miss you, Okie-pokie. So very much. I hope you're a running free and having a blast across the rainbow bridge.

7/26: Okie-pokie, my pudding and pie. I miss you so very much! I tried to let the month mark go by without writing. But, I have done nothing but think of you the last few days. I try to go on and say encouraging things to others on the support group site, but I have a hard time not crying when I tell your story. You were such a special boy. Sandy is doing better. I'm taking her in to the vet tomorrow for a little growth on her bum... It hurts when I go to the vet now. I think of all the times they rushed you in same day. I think that surely you were my happy, bouncy boy. I think that surely I did the best I could for you. But, I still have my doubts. I try to not tarnish your memory with my stupid thoughts. I try to just remember how silly and fun you were. Mostly, I just miss your sweet mug. The way you would look at me. I know you know how much I loved you. I still do. I always will. I hope you get to chase tons of squirrels up there and they never run up the tree so you can't find them. I miss your silly, sweet face. I love you Okie-pokes.

8/3: What can I say, Okie puggie? I've really been missing you the last couple of days. You've been so heavy on my heart. I miss you like crazy! I try not to cry. I know you hated it. But, it's just such a large hole you left in my world. Even this little puppy can't fill it. Our poor Sandy has a growth on her bum. We're praying it's not cancer. Maybe that's what has me thinking about you so much. I wish I knew what I could've done differently. You know I would've done anything to let you grow old. Maybe you were just a forever puppy and not meant to grow old and get weak. I wish... I wish I could've been there at the end. I wish you weren't at the emergency vets. I wish I could've held you and told you how much you were loved. I hope you know. I hope I get to see you again someday, sweet boy. You are an amazing soul, Iokepa! I love you, bud!!

8/23: Look at me, Okie! I was able to hold out for a few weeks. Lots of things going on at the house, bud! I've got a new job that keeps me busy 4 days a week. You would have hated that! Although, it's not that many hours a day, so it would have been good for both of us! I would love to hear your yips and see your happy face when I come home. Of course, the other dogs are happy to see me. You just had that way of making me feel like I was the only human in your world! Our old Sandy girl had a seizure Sunday night. I struggle with her health so much. I second guess all my decisions with you so it makes it even harder as she gets older to know whether I'm doing the right thing. Of course, you know her. She's a sassy little tank. She's bounced back and besides being a little picky with her treats lately, she's back to being our Sassy pants. I know you'll be there for her when it's time for her to cross the Rainbow Bridge. I just hate to think of a day neither one of you are in my life anymore. You know you will always be in my heart Ioke-pug! I love you and miss you so very much, sweet buddy!

9/19: Hey buddy! Well, I guess you already know... Sandra Dee, Ms Sassy Pants, the original Pug... has joined you. I was really missing you and thinking about you SO hard Sunday night. I couldn't explain it. I guess you were coming around to check on her. She started getting sick and got dehydrated. We took her to the vet Monday and got some fluids in her and within an hour, she let go of her bowels and just started becoming unresponsive. She was in a lot of pain. I had to let her cross to you. It wasn't easy for me. I thought it would be. I loved you both so very much. I hope you guys are playing around up there! Fighting over toys and such. I know you would've been gone, because I've been crying. A lot. I can't believe my sassy girl left so quickly. But, the boys were here since they had to evac from the hurricane. I think she knew, once her Chrissy got here, that she could leave while everyone was here to say goodbye. I hate it, but I love it. It's how she would've wanted it. Everyone here to pay attention to her. I hope you two are cuddling and keeping each other company. Leo sure misses the heck out of her! Love you, Okie Pokie! Tell Sassy pants, Ms I'm Sandra Dee, I love her munches, too!

10/9: Hey Okie-Pokie! I can't tell you how much I miss you and Sassy! The boys were here when she passed, but they left the next week. I was SO very sad again... I started looking online and found Odie's biological brother. He has little white boots. I couldn't help myself. They are both a joy to play with, you know. But, no pug will ever replace you or Sassy. You both had such individual personalities... You were my special boy and Sassy was just my best girl. I'm sorry, bud. I am so very sorry I didn't know what to do sooner to have kept you around. I miss you every single day. I love you bud! Give Sandy some humps... Tell her I love her, too. I miss you so much, bud! I'm crying now, so I know you'd boogie out of the house. Love you so much, buddy! I've got to go wash my face now. You were just the best boy ever!!

10/26: Wow, Okie bud! I was thinking I had made it a month not wanting to check in with you here. Sadly, no. I keep remembering the 23rd is the day of the month I lost you. And this is the time of year, last year, when you started getting really bad. I'm so sorry, bud. I am sorry if you suffered at all. I know you showed me happiness and goofiness all the way until the end. I hope I did everything right by you. I miss you so much! Now, Sandy is gone, too and I feel like I've failed my grumble. Two puggies in less than a year. I love you so much, bud. I always will. I hope you are humping Sandy and she is giving you hell up there, buddy. My Okie-pokie, pudding and pie!! I love you, bud!

11/16: Okie-pinocchi! I've been thinking about you so much lately! Of course, I didn't make it a whole month despite my best efforts. Had a flash back last night... Thanksgiving last year, you had your first seizure. I was SO worried about you but then you kind of bounced back, but it was the beginning of the last month of your life. I miss you so much! This new puppy is SO active and he is noisy. He will never replace Sandy, but he has surely taken on some of her traits! Don't tell her because neither of you will ever be replaced!! I have yet to make her shrine because it still hurts to admit you're both gone. You were my heart and she was my special girl! You guys use your connections up there to put in a special word for big-boy Leo, okay? I worry about him because he's always been so sad and stoic. I think he misses his girl! I love you, Okie! I miss you now more than ever. I hope I can get through this one year mark without having a complete break down! You were so special and I just keep feeling like I let you down. You were amazing, bud. I know you are chasing squirrels and lights up there! Happy Thanksgiving, Okie-pokie, pudding and pie! I love you!!

12/7: Hey buddy! Well, it's getting harder and harder as the holidays approach... We'll be headed up to Wilmington on the 21st and headed home on the 23rd. The same day we headed home last year... without you. I don't know how to deal with how much your loss has meant to me. The puppies are great, but they just aren't the "same". I didn't expect them to be. I just miss you so much, you know? I sometimes wonder if I'll ever truly feel happy again. Your goofiness and love made my heart smile. You just had that way of telling me you loved me... even when I cried and you would leave the house.... I knew you just didn't like seeing me upset. You truly loved me and wanted me to be happy. I miss you, bud! I hope you and Sassy are running free of pain and chasing the light and squirrels over the Rainbow Bridge. I will always miss you, bud. I will always love you, my Ioke-pug!

12/20: Hello, my sweet Iokepa!! I'm sitting here, trying not to cry because I know you hated it. Trying not to cry because I know you're pain and worry free. But, I can't help but miss you. This time last year, Nathan and I had you at UGA. You were such a trooper. I guess it's harder because I know you had never been in a kennel before and leaving you, while you were so sick, was one of the hardest things I ever did... I'm sorry if I didn't do everything I could. I'm sorry if I messed up as a fur parent and should have realized how bad you were getting sooner. In my rationale mind, I tell myself the surgery was going to be dangerous regardless of when we did it. But, my hurting heart tells me that if we had attempted it sooner, while you were healthier, would it have made a difference? All I can say, is you loved me and I loved you FIERCELY for the years we had you. I wish it had been longer, but I feel blessed we had the time we did. We're driving up to see the boys tomorrow. And we're coming home the same day we had to come home without you. I'm really dreading it... the drive home. Remembering how Nathan and I just cried and screamed the whole drive home without you. I will always love you, my Okie pokie. Always. No puppy will ever replace you. I hope you are running free and I hope I live my life well enough that I get to be with you again someday! I love you, bud!!

1/5/19: Happy 8th birthday at the bridge, Okie!

1/27: Look at me, Okie pokie! Made it a month!! I didn't even post on your birthday. I tried to honor your memory with all the amazing things you were rather than hating how it all ended. You really were an amazing dog, bud! These puppies have a little bit of your spirit, but you were just not a replaceable dog, you know? I love you, bud. You were pretty awesome! Smart, loving, loyal. I look back through your pictures and can just smile with a mist in my eyes rather than just crying. I loved you and you were a great friend. I wish I could have done more for you and I hope I live my life right enough that I get to see you when I go. You give Sandy loving, too, please? Coming up on her Sassy pants birthday. She would've been 12. I bet she's a handful up there with her full sight and use of her back legs. Do you two play and chase squirrels non-stop? Odie, Nathan's pup LOVES to chase squirrels. He's fast like you were. And smart. It really makes me miss your smooshie sweet face and how you'd run back to me, asking did I see how close you got to touching one. I love you, bud!

3/1: Okie-pokie! I miss you so much, bud! I know I'm doing better about not getting on here but I hope you know I miss you more than anything! I still have bad dreams about when they brought you out to me and how shattered I felt. I love having puppies, but I worry endlessly about if they will have health issues. Whether I did everything I could for you. I know you know I loved you. I just hope you knew it your last few days. Literally, the only days you ever spent in a kennel. I'm so sorry about that bud. If I could have, you know I would have been right there with you. I felt so guilty taking you to the ER that night as you lay in my arms shivering. I knew you were in pain, but at least you were in bed with me where you loved to be. I miss your spirit, bud. Two puppies later and there is still a huge hole in my heart that you left. I know you're running free now and I hope that I live my life well enough that we get to play together again some day. I love you, I-o-ke-pug!!

6/17/19: Iokepa! I miss you, buddy! Between work and these two new puppies, it seems I don't have a free minute to log on and write to you. I hope you know I look at your pics all the time and sigh. No two pugs are ever the same and although the new boys have made my life busy, they can never replace you, bud! You truly were my best friend. I hope you are running free and playing with Sandy! Your big brother Leo has more and more trouble getting around. It worries me so much. You know I always only ever wanted the best for you! I'm sorry if I did things wrong at the end. I guess I was really hoping you'd be a miracle recovery. Instead, you were my miracle friend. You taught me so much about patience. I thought I had learned with kids... but, nope! Any time I shed a tear, I think of you. Running out of the house on me! Lolol! I miss you, bud! You'll always be my best friend!!

9/26/19: Okie pug!! How are you, buddy!! I miss you every day! We have these 3 little ones and they are a handful. They will occasionally do something that reminds me of you and it is very melancholy. You were one of a kind, dude. I hope you are running free with Sassy Sandy pants up there. I hope you two know you're not replaced. You both left such a huge hole in my heart. I love you, buddy. I miss you. I miss my best buddy!!

12/12/19: Hey, buddy! Coming up on 2 years and I still miss you so fiercely I cry when I think about you too long. I try to enjoy the puppies being puppies. I try not to think how much fun you would have had playing with the new guys... I try to just remember how much of a good boy you were. I hope I did right by you. I sure loved you to pieces! Miss you, buddy!!

5/15/20: Look at me, Okie Pokie... not harassing you weekly or even monthly! We've had a crazy few months here. Got a female pug that the boys promptly knocked up. She is tiny but was able to safely give birth to 2 healthy babies. I was trying to find a home where they could go together, but no such luck. I've found a great home for the boy, but it is kind of destroying me to just let one go...
I look at my pics of you and wonder if I'll ever get to see you again. When I cry, Brutus comes to love on me and I sometimes wonder if you sent him to me. I used to get so sad that you would leave when I would cry, but it would also make me laugh and you always knew how to make me laugh!! I miss you, bud. I always will.

8/8/20: Hey, my Okie Pokes! I really miss you, buddy! I joke that it took 4 new dogs to fill your void, but the truth is... the void you left will never be filled. Our sassy new girl MUST have had a talk with Sandy at the Rainbow Bridge before she came to us. But, you, my friend, are absent from my life. I miss you every day! When I read about people losing their puggers early, I just hurt for them knowing how it feels to feel like you failed your best friend.
I miss you so much! I have to work hard to not cry because I sometimes think that's when you'll visit me... when you know I'm not going to bawl. I'm trying to live my life good enough to join you one day, bud. I miss your goofy face!! I know you and Sandy pants are having a blast running free. I love you, bud!!

12/23/20: Okie-Pokie, pudding and pie... What can I say? Today is 3 years since I lost you. 3 years since I got the dreadful call saying you were coding. I still wish I had done some things differently. But, I loved you so fiercely and wanted to give you the fighting chance I thought you deserved. Looking back at pics, I can see how much you aged in that last year. Funny, you were SO full of love and life that it never occurred to me back then how tired and old you looked. I hope I did the right thing by you. I sometimes play with the new young dogs and see a certain thing that you would do... and I wonder if it's you saying HI. You and I had a special bond that I've never had with any dog. I hope you are running free and that I live my life well enough to meet you in heaven! I love you, I-O-Kee-Pug!!

5 Jan 20: Happy new year and happy birthday at the Rainbow Bridge my Okie-Pokie, pudding and pie! I love you and miss you to pieces! I know there will never be another buddy like you. These pups try so hard, but you and I just had a special bond. I wish I had signs like everyone talks about to know you are okay and running free and don't hate the decisions I made for you. Or maybe I'm just too stubborn to notice the signs. I REALLY try not to cry because I know how much you hated that! Lolol
So, your buddy boy, Leo turned 12 last weekend. He's getting by, but his legs are giving out on him. He's becoming more and more incontinent. But, he's still loving life, so we're doing our best to keep him going! I hope you and Sandy and all the other doggos are up there partying for your birthday! I hope you're eating steak and all the yummy broccoli you can handle. I love you, bud. Always will. You're my sweet Iokepa.

12/23/21: My sweetest boy, Okie Poke! It's 4 years today. Just told someone new about you, your life and that last few days with you and still couldn't help but crying. I also told him how smart and loving you were. You have set a standard for any future puggos that is hard for them to meet. You will always be my bestest boy!! I have finally gotten to where I only remember the good times with you and not the end. I still try to live my life so that I can meet you in heaven some day. I know we will have so much fun playing and there will be no more tears. I will always love you, baby Okie. I will always remember what an amazing doggo you were and how much fun we had. I think it's kind of funny how each one of the pugs have a trait of yours. It's like... all 4 pugs were needed to make ONE of you. I love you, Okie Pokie!

1/5/22: Happiest of birthdays at the Rainbow Bridge, Okie! I tried not to cry thinking about your birthday, buddy. It's been so long, but still seems so close.... I don't really celebrate birthdays like we used to. Now, I try to make sure every day is a pug birthday. LOL I miss you, buddy. I wish you were here to show these young pups how to behave. You were the bestest boy ever!

12/23/22: Okie Pokie!! Whelp... it's been a tough year. My SeaGunny must be with you at the Rainbow bridge now... This was the first year I didn't remember your passing right away, just too much loss... I really think you touched this little baby we had because we've had her since birth and she's skittish of everything despite never having a trauma. I think of you EVERY time she acts like a little weirdo. I love you, man! You were so very special to me. I am so very sad but also happy knowing Gunny is up there with the original grumble!! Take care of him, buddy!!

1/5/23: Happy birthday, buddy! I sure miss your presence here!! People ask why/how I have SO many pugs... I truly believe the grief of losing you knocked me sideways!! I loved you almost as much as you loved me! You were the most faithful, good-est boi ever, Pokie Pudding!

12/23/23: Wow, oh wow, my Okie pug! Time sure flies by... You are always heavy on my heart this time of year. I couldn't tell you on your birthday, but I'm sure you knew... that SeaGunny is up there with you, Sandy, Leon and Doc now. I sometimes look back at pics of all of you hanging out at his house and just know that you are all up there hanging out again! Eating all the hushpuppies, going for all the walks and having a blast! After his memorial, we scattered all of your ashes with a little of SeaGunny out on Elliott's beach where you guys loved to go. It seemed the right thing to do and brought me some peace. It doesn't mean that I don't think about you and miss you though. I think you picked this grumble we have now to watch over me. We will be in Okinawa for your birthday this year! Can't wait to tell you all about it, Okie Pokie! Love you so very much, buddy!

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