3/21/2016: You were such a cute puppy and always such a good boy. You were a doll from the day we brought you home--except with the cats, though they learned to tolerate you over time. I loved that you were always with me and never minded it when you were under my feet. You were always so happy and that made me happy. I loved it when you went to bed with me at night and slept beside me. I loved our walks together in the morning--even when I really didn't want to go--because I knew how much they meant to you. You were so good when we went camping and you loved to go for a ride. I will miss you baby boy. You took a big chunk of my heart with you when you left so suddenly. I will be looking for you in heaven when I get there and know you will be waiting for me with my Dad, KW and Teddy. In the meantime, I am sure you know how much I love you and how much you will always mean to me.|
3/27/2016/Easter Sunday: Hi Baby Boy. My sister, Maria, sent me a poem that I want to add here that makes me feel better and I hope it will help others who visit here as well:
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I miss you, Shooter Man. I will always miss you and love you. Mom
3/29/2016: Well, baby boy. We brought you home today in a beautiful cherrywood urn with your name on it. Your Dad put the urn on the mantle in the family room, at least for a while so you would be with us where we spend the most time. The vet gave us a plaster impression of your paw and wild flower seeds we could plant to remember you by. We're going to plant them at the farm. How you loved going to the farm where you could run and play to your heart's desire without being confined in a yard or on a leash. I loved taking you there because it allowed you the freedom you didn't get here at home. And you were so good. You rarely left my sight and when you did, you were always within calling distance and came back to me right away. All that fresh air and the ability to burn all that energy were a sure bet you would sleep good the nights we took you to the farm. It's going to be hard going there without you. I love you, Shooter Man.
4/2/2016: My mornings have really been out of whack since you've been gone. I'm having some trouble adjusting to the new "normal" without you. You and I had this routine every morning, remember? Before we got out of bed, I always opened my arms and you would get up, come over and lay down next to me so I could wrap my arms around you and kiss your soft smoosh. Then I would get up and get dressed while you laid on the bed and waited for me. You'd follow me out of the bedroom to the kitchen, I'd grab a cup of coffee and go sit on the couch to catch the morning news and weather. You climbed up next to me and put your head in my lap. Sometimes while your dad and I fed the horses, you waited in the back yard, guarding it against the possibility of a barn cat invading your territory. And sometimes you just waited on the couch in the house. When we came in from the barn, you and your sister, Jettah, were patiently waiting for breakfast. You always got excited and ran and got a toy to play with while I made your breakfast which made me believe those breakfasts must have been pretty darn good! After breakfast we went for our morning walk. Didn't matter if it was raining, sleeting, snowing or hot--and even if I didn't want to go--we went because those walks were so special to you. If it was pouring down rain and all we did was walk to the end of the garage apron and back, you were satisfied. But if I tried getting out of it, you were a pest and made me feel so guilty about it that I always gave in. When we got back from the walk, you got a special treat and went to lay on the couch while I cleaned the kitty litter, made the bed and got ready for work. Before I walked out the door, you got your goodbye treat and so started our day. Now I find myself wandering around in the morning wondering what it is I'm supposed to be doing. I keep forgetting to clean the kitty litter and I can't be doing that because you know how bad that kitty litter can get after a couple of days. I drag my feet getting ready for work so I've been late a lot lately. I'll walk into the bedroom and the bed still needs to be made. I'm sure I'll get into sync and things will get better. It's just amazing how we manage to gear our lives around our routines, that they become so comfortable you do tasks without even thinking and then when things change, how hard that is. I miss hugging you and kissing your smoosh, my loving Shooter man. What a wonderful dog you were.
4/7/2016: Hi Shooter. We took Jettah to the vet this past Monday night. She has been panting pretty hard off and on for no apparent reason and we noticed her front left leg was bothering her. She couldn't stand on it without constantly shifting her weight so we thought it was time to take her in for a checkup. The news wasn't good. She has a tumor in her left lung--it's lung cancer. That's pretty rare in dogs but I guess if it's going to happen, it usually happens at age 10+ and she's over 11 now. This cancer doesn't spread but the tumor will get bigger and eventually it will cause complications. Right now, it is pressing on the nerves in her leg causing leg pain and that's why she keeps shifting her weight and panting. We thought maybe it was her heart but her heart is fine and her blood work came back okay. She has a pretty bad UTI, though, and we also found out her liver enzymes are very high. Normal is somewhere in the 100's and her's enzyme count is over 900. The vet said it's either hormones or trouble. Either way, we aren't going to put her through any more tests. Her age is working against her and there isn't anything they can do for her anyway other than put her on pain meds and an antibiotic for the UTI. Your Dad and I are just going to love her and keep her as comfortable and happy as we can until the time comes that she will be joining you there at the Rainbow Bridge. I so miss having your head on my lap when I'm here on the computer. They say all things come to pass and I suppose one day this heartache will hopefully instead turn into just fond memories where I won't hurt so bad when I think about you. You're my Shooter Man. I love you baby boy.
4/11/2016: You've been gone 3 weeks as of tonight. Sometimes it feels like you were never here--that you were just a figment of my imagination. Other times it's so evident you were here and now gone that my heart feels like it's going to break all over again. I miss kissing your super soft smoosh and petting your velvety ears. I miss your kisses--you were such a licker. I never had a boxer that had to lick like you did and sometimes it was annoying. But most of the time I knew you were just loving me back and that made it okay. I miss how you would see a barn cat outside and run over to me to let you out so you could run across the yard to the fence and defend your yard. The barn cats didn't pay much attention to you but you felt it was important to let them know you were serious about them trespassing into your territory. I miss your soft brown eyes looking at me with all the love in the world. You were my buddy. One of my very best friends. What a gift you were while you were here and I'm so glad that if all the time you were ever destined to have on this earth was only 6 years, you spent that time with me. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I will always love and cherish our time together. You will always be one of my greatest joys. I love you my Shooter Man.
4/21/2016: You have Jettah with you now. We knew she wouldn't be far behind you but letting go was harder than we thought it would be. We come hope to an empty house now and I'm crying all the time. I can't seem to stop. I want you both to come home. You and Jettah should be here with us. I know the rainbow bridge is heaven but we can't see you or pet you or hug you there. All I can ask is that God see our pain here and help us through this because I know he can't send you back. My Dad told me it just doesn't work that way. Thank you for loving us as much as we loved you. What great gifts you and Jettah were and always will be.
6/5/16: Hi Shooter Man. It's been a while since I've been here simply because I do what I'm doing now and cry. I thought by now I'd miss you less but I'm still not there. I look at your favorite place on the loveseat where you used to spend a lot of your time and my heart hasn't given up the fact that you won't ever be there again. I still miss your doggie kisses, the way we snuggled every morning on the bed before we got up and that you were always so wonderfully under my feet. I see on facebook all the time other people who have also lost their pets and who loved them as much as I love you and my heart goes out to them because I feel their pain. It still feels so unfair that you were taken from me so suddenly and with no identifiable warning. I feel so broadsided and cheated. God gave you to me to love and care for and you gave me back everything I gave you twofold. I was really angry at God for that. I told Him he owes me for losing you so soon. Maybe that wasn't right but it's the way I feel. I think about you and miss you every single day. I know in time this will come to pass and I will be okay because that's just the way it works. But I'm not okay with it now. I guess you know we got a new puppy. Her name is Fortula. I call her Tula for short. She's absolutely adorable and I already love her just for herself. I had kind of hoped she would help fill the "hole" of you being gone but instead, there is a place in my heart for her all of her own and the void I feel for you remains. You were a good, good boy. I will forever cherish your devotion and how much you loved me and I want you to know that I, too, will love you always. My sweet boy.
3/18/2017: Hi Buddy. It's been a long time since I've been here to visit you. Mostly because it makes me remember and that makes me cry. I thought maybe by now I'd be okay and I guess, on some level, I am because I know your loss can't be reversed and you won't ever be coming home. The thing is, I'm still not used to it. Tula is a year old this month. And now we also have Ari (short for Aristotle). He came to live with us in August this past year. Both of them are absolutely wonderful and I'm enjoying them-- but at this point neither one of them is as sweet with me as you were and I miss that. Don't get me wrong. I don't expect them to be like you because that isn't fair to them. I was just kind of hoping Ari would be more affectionate. And maybe that will change. He's only 8 months old so time will tell. Tula is more Tom's baby which is good because it helps fill his void from when we lost Jettah. It's been fun having two puppies. They keep each other entertained and busy. Of course, it also means double trouble so we still can't leave them unattended. Neither one is mature enough for that yet. Unfortunately, Tula is a free spirit and doesn't stay close like you did when we go to the farm. She takes off so she and Ari have to stay in the yard. I hate that because they should be able to run and play at the farms without us worrying about losing one of them. Again, maybe with age, that will change. I'm hopeful.
Anyway, I think about you all the time. All the time. What a joy you were. My Shooter Man. I will always love you. Say hello to God, my Dad, Teddy and Jettah for me and tell them I love them, too.
3/18/2018: Hey Shooter Man. It's been a year since I last visited you here at the Rainbow Bridge. I keep thinking I won't cry when I come here to "see" you but I haven't gotten past that yet. I still see you laying on the couch with your head in my lap, or at the foot of the bed, in the camper, on our walks, that last time I looked at you at the vet before you left me and went to sleep. I miss you Shooter. I don't know if I will ever not miss you. What a joy you were. You went away too soon and there's nothing I'd like more than having you come home. But that isn't going to happen. So I will keep your memory here in my heart and know that a part of you will always be with me because whatsoever is in the heart of me will forever and always be a part of me. I love you Baby Boy. I will love you always.
Please also visit Jettah.