July 4, 2003 -- As I sit here working at the computer, you are lying on your blanket on the sofa watching me with those big brown eyes -- eyes so full of trust in me to know when it's time to let you start on your journey to Rainbow Bridge. I don't think I'm strong enough to let you go, little one. I know we don't have a lot of time left together. You may have just a few hours or days or maybe a week or two left on this earth. July 6, 2003 -- I'm doing some work on the computer again today. You are still on your blanket on the sofa, but this time you're sleeping so peacefully. The last few days you have wanted to sleep more. I know you need the rest. July 7, 2003 -- Morning -- You sat and watched me get ready for work this morning. When it was time for me to leave for work, I scooped you up, gave you a big hug and kiss, and put you in your bed. You were really anxious for your treat -- a milk bone and a hot dog. I left while you were munching. Then at 3:00 p.m. a call came from your Dad. The tumor grew, shifted, or ruptured, but at any rate it was pressing against your spine and you couldn't get up. He rushed you to the Tampa Cancer Treatment Center but there was nothing more they could do. This was the day, July 7, 2003, at 4:30 p.m. that you lost your 9-month-old battle with what your oncologists called the "most aggressive form of cancer". July 9, 2003 -- I just read a beautiful tribute to you made by a very wonderful friend and animal lover and placed on her website along with your picture. Your blanket is still on the sofa, untouched since you laid on it a few days ago watching me work on the computer -- but you're not there. Your spirit is everywhere, however. I miss you so much, Tiff. July 16, 2003 -- It's been nine days since you left us. It just doesn't get any easier. Right now, thoughts of you only bring on tears because I miss you so much. But those thoughts bring memories, too. I still remember so well the snowy night you were born -- January 15, 1990. We were there when you took your first breath and I was the first one to hold you -- you were so tiny, much smaller than your 3 siblings. But you were so strong, even back then. You quickly learned how to fight back when your brother and sisters tried to knock you off the "food source". You flourished and grew into a beautiful, but small, little "hot dog". I've spent the last week looking through old pictures of you as you were growing up. Almost every one of them has you in your "trade mark" position -- sitting up waving your little paws in the air. You used to love it when I would wave back at you. I remember how much you liked to travel. When we lived in Michigan, we would always take you on vacation with us. When we moved to Florida 11 years ago, we would take you to Michigan for vacations to visit the family. You would get so excited whenever I would take the suitcases out because you knew you were going somewhere. You had fun barking at all the toll booths and whenever we pulled into a gas station. We had planned to take you on vacation again this summer, but our plans had to change when Mom died and we had to go to Michigan in April. Of course, you went with us. It's funny how things work out sometimes. At least you got to go on that one last trip while you were still feeling well enough to enjoy it. Little one, you fought so hard and didn't want to give up. We did everything possible to try and help you beat this awful disease. But even with a lump on your side bigger than a golf ball and probably much bigger on the inside, you were always in good spirits and never complained about anything. You became well known at the Cancer Treatment Center as the "Little Trooper". When you were diagnosed with cancer on October 7, 2002, I was sure that somehow there would be a miracle and you would survive this. After all, you came from a line of miracle dogs. Your mother, Ginger, became paralyzed all through the back part of her body in December 1992 from CDS at age 3 1/2. She wasn't given much of a chance even with surgery. Today she is 15 years old, and although she can't walk, she has learned to adapt to her handicap very well. Your brother, Bart, also became a victim of CDS. At age 5 he began to develop back problems as well. He underwent four major back surgeries from 1995-1997. At the time of the fourth surgery we were told to just let him go because he would never walk again or lead any kind of normal life. We wouldn't give up on him and told them to do the surgery. Again, another miracle. Today, at age 13 1/2 and without too many disks left in his back, Bart is living a completely normal, happy life. He is walking just fine with just a slight limp. He can even go up and down the stairs without help. His vet can't understand how he came through this and always refers to him as the "miracle dog". Even you had one back surgery when you were 5 years old. They cautioned me that you might be paralyzed -- but you were back to walking only 3 days after surgery. So why couldn't there be just one more miracle for you now. I really felt very bitter at first, but now I realize that we WERE given that one last miracle. In October 2002 they said even with treatment you probably only had 3 months to live and the quality of life during that time might not be very good. You were actually given 9 months with an excellent quality of life the full 9 months with the exception of the last couple hours of your life when you couldn't stand up because the tumor pressed against your spine. Even eight radiation treatments and eight chemo treatments didn't get you down. Your were definitely a strong little girl who got that last miracle after all. I'm sure that by now you have met up with at least 2 of your sisters. Your one little sister went to Rainbow Bridge at birth. You have to tell her all about your life with us. Your sister, Schatzee, who went to live with friends of ours when she was 8 weeks old, went to Rainbow Bridge about a year and a half ago. You had one other sister named Gretchen. We lost touch with Gretchen's family years ago, so I don't know if she's at the Bridge yet. If she is, I'm sure you'll find her. Your mother and brother are still here with us. Please watch over them for me and let them live long and happy, healthy lives. We won't ever forget you or stop loving you, little pooh. Your pawprints will remain forever on our hearts and your memory will never die. August 1, 2003 -- You've been gone almost a month now. I still go to your gravesite everyday to visit you. I read something in a book the other day and haven't been able to stop thinking about you since reading it------------"If tears could build a stairway and memories could build a lane, I would walk right up to Heaven and bring you home again". MAY 22, 2013.....Memories never fade. We have lost so many since you left us almost 10 years ago. But I still see your face everywhere I look and I still see you sitting up, waving your little paws in the air. I love you, baby! I always will....JULY 7, 2016....Where has the time gone. You left us 13 years ago today. You are always in our thoughts. We've moved to a brand new house and have started to re-build our precious cemetery in the yard. Your remains were among the first to arrive. I know you're really not in there because you actually live permanently in my heart. I'll always love you. JULY 7, 2017...It's been 14 years since you started on that journey to the Bridge. I miss you so much. Your Daddy and I spent some time today talking about you, looking at some of your pictures, and remembering all the good times we had with you. You will always be alive in our hearts.
Please also visit Ginger, Homer and Sandy & Gypsy.