Sassy Wilde O'Neill - April 2010, 6 years, 2 months, 29 days old

Well Sassy, you are gone - I know that I am twelve, and you are six. You were my first dog, and I have been with you for half of my life. I love you girl - I still am having a really hard time grasping that you are gone. It has not registered in my brain - I can't even say or type Sassy and É dead É without separating it. There were so many things to say and I didn't realise how little time I had to say them. I expected this day when I was 18 at the least, but not at this age!

I wish I could have been there for you more, I wish I could hold you in my arms one more time. I miss your sleek fur and your 'different' personality. I know that you had your problems, but I didn't care. I didn't care that you had bitten me once. I just didn't care - you were always my heart, and I loved it when you wouldn't quit barking at the people working. It might have driven Mom nuts, but even she now misses it. I'm hating this peaceful house - it is too quiet, and no one's causing trouble. I never knew that it would hurt this much, because I never thought you would go ... I just didn't ... I still don't even believe your gone. I always think you're still right next to me, begging for a treat like you always do.

I remember going in the snow with you for the first time, and how I had to wrestle your blue sweatshirt on that I had gotten that day from Petco. We both were so happy, that snow day. It was your first time seeing snow, and your first time in New York City. You never really wore that sweatshirt again, but it was always around.

I remember being with you when you had your two back surgeries. You were in so much pain, but you made it through - I left with a smile on my face, thinking that the trip to the surgery room was done. I had met so many people that day that had their dogs with the same back problem doing just fine. I loved you so much then, and so much now. I remember the next day at a festival in a booth for my 4-H dog project. I was testing people on there knowledge about animals, and having so much fun. I then had my best friend come with me to have a sleepover. My friend and I were in the car while mom was picking up food for another older friend's birthday party. I remember when I was in that car and mom's cell rang. I ignored without a care in the world, also because I didn't want to get in trouble with mom. You know how she can get, but when she came in she actually wanted me to answer it. I saw that they were the ones who had called. I asked Mom if I could call back since I am your owner. She said sure, and I did. I got a man on the end of the line and he sounded so happy. I thought they were just giving a check up on you. That same morning you were walking right after the surgery, and you were doing great (Except the doctor didn't take our warning that you would bite. I laughed though because I knew no one was cooler than you.) When I heard the doctor ask for mom, I got a little upset by the fact they wouldn't tell me about a check up. I then saw mom very different. She looked back at my best friend and I and said that you were not doing well. That you might die. Mom then said that the reason was because... you got mauled at the vet... A idiot tech thought she knew everything and ignored the sign saying there were dogs in the outside kennel. She took you out anyway, and then there were the pitbulls... It was not the dogs' fault, but just... I can't say it was the tech's fault, because it isn't right for me to say it. The pit bull grabbed your abdomen and then all of the people, even the clients tried to get the pit bulls to stop. But Sassy, it was too late.

They never told us that you were dead, but that you might be soon, those liars... I rushed to my friend's house because we had to drop off food. My mom was trying to get the food out by she needed help, so I ran into that door yelling for someone. It felt like no matter how hard I screamed no one could hear me. I still didn't believe anything was wrong. My body would not register it, because if I did, I don't think I would be able to take it. I remember yelling where the adults were, and when I finally found them on the porch. A whole bunch of adults to celebrate my friend Lidia's older sister's 18th birthday. Lidia and my other friend, Gracy, were in the pool. I yelled that I needed someone to help get the food. I then said with a loud voice, 'Sassy is dying!'

I then started to cry for the first time about this, because saying it was like someone punched me in the gut and then stabbed me. Both of my friends that knew you so well practically froze in shock. They were like me in that they didn't realise what had happen. I ran out the door as fast as I could and then Mom, my BFF, and I ran to the car then drove to the vet as fast as we could. I remember when they placed us in the comfort room. Oh how I hated that room, since I have been studying about animals since I was about three, I knew all about this room. It was a awful comfort room by the way, it freaked me out. I wasn't crying because to me, nothing had happened. I then remember when the doctor said that they would bring you back to the room. When I heard the doctor say that, I didn't understand why they would bring an injured dog into this room? It was when I saw them bring in something wrapped with a towel that things were not good. Mom started to sob, and the doctor was trying to explain what had happened. I just looked at you Sassy, you were so cold... I had a tear drop, but even when I was looking right at you I still didn't believe it. I was crying though before I knew it for five minutes, and my BFF that you know was sobbing as well. I went into doctor mode kind of, and then started just saying a million facts like I didn't know you. I'm sorry about that it is just, I couldn't take it. I couldn't have you leave me like this. I couldn't take the thought of you dying in such a sad way, and over such a stupid mistake. I tried to keep mom calm, she thought you still alive for a second. Trying to get your heartbeat or and was trying to wake you up. I looked at mom saying, 'Wake up Sassy!' over and over again. I knew that you were gone. I had to practically use a crowbar to get mom to get mom to stop trying to get a heartbeat. I studied too much about forensics and dogs, so I knew what the truth was. I then started to give a whole description of how a pit bull was built, and the way they acted. I just couldn't stop with the facts - Mom wanted for me to take pictures of your wounds, but couldn't do it.

Thank god my BFF was there to help with the pictures. I just couldn't stand looking at you knowing the amount of pain that must have suffered. I disconnected from myself, like how police, or doctors do. I wasn't really there kind of, and I knew it too but I didn't want to be there as the actually owner of the dead dog. I didn't want to believe it - I didn't - the same night I just had fun and acted normal, but when I told my friend I would be right there I just had to put somethings away, I was lying. When my friend went into my room, I went and got out your bowl to feed you. I filled the bowl the way you always ate it, and then put in your extra things (I put in her meds, pepper, vitamins, ect...) I started to cry again, but I cleaned myself up. I grabbed your blue sweatshirt, and all your other things then put it in a bag. I took that bag to my room, and put everything out for you. Just like when you were home... I feel like that blue sweatshirt, that you wore on that happy day, is you. Even earlier that day right after I left, I buried a beautiful shell and said that I love you. When no one is looking I hold your things to me, and I realize that everything that had happen was not a dream, it was happening... I don't want to let you go girl.

They still have the picture of the day I got you in the pet store. I have never smiled brighter in any picture than that one. When I look to the lake I think of you on your boogey board trying to catch something in a pool. When I just look somewhere that you haven't been, I wish I had taken you once. I planned so many things, and I should have done them earlier. I'm sorry - every time I see somewhere we have been, I think of all the good times we had there, and I wish we could have more. I feel bad for every time I said bad dog, I feel awful about when the times you whined for my food. I would get a buzz cut for my hair, if it meant having you. I take your blue sweatshirt everywhere and have not let go. I talk to it like I'm talking to you and I know it's crazy but it is keeping me from feeling worse than I am. I miss the days I was screaming around the yard chasing you because you had gotten out. I never thought I would have to write this, but here I am. I never thought I have to say this, but saying I am. I never thought I would actually have to read the chapters in my dog book about losing a dog, but I am now. And, I never, ever, ever thought I would have to continue living without my greatest pal. I always said that my other dog named Heart was my heart, but it was always - you.

I will never leave the blue sweatshirt, and I will never believe you're gone. Because if I do believe you're gone, I will then have to learn how to live without my only heart. There is so much to say I can't even put it on to this page without needing millions of pages. There are so many words to describe the beautiful you, and - just that I tried. I decided to post my favourite poem from my favorite book.

Life is always ever turning, and the night is always breathing.
The wind carries our hopes and our dreams to far off places where it seems
That someone else can get a beautiful thing.

The terrors of the night get taken by the ground
And then grow into flowers to let you all know,
That with each death or sadness something beautiful comes out
And out stands all of sorrow.
With each breath of the night comes a whisper of angels,
That are just trying to untangle all this unfortunate events
And this sadness that vents into the lives of others around you
But know that with each flower there is someone looking out for you.

That for each flower is someone up there's view of your life,
So they are always with you through out your life
And in the cover of the night.

Even if you can't hear them, just know that they are there and
Always watching you for the ones that have died
Cannot bear being without the world they were once in.
Especially you, the one they love no matter what they say,
And they tell you that they are okay...

That was the poem I found and I love you Sassy! You will always live on in our hearts forever! I know you might not be able to read this, and this is your memorial but I just want to hope that you can.

There are no words of how much I love you that fit my description - so, this is from your sobbing owner and know that I love you!

Beaujangles Ketchum - April 2010, 6 years old

Mister Beaujangles, you and sister Jasmine came into our lives, home and hearts in 2004, just wee pups. You grew, chased the cats, Tigger and Sugar, enjoyed the backyard where you could chase rabbits, toads, and birds. You became expert campers. You were so tired that day on Mackinac Island, but you were excited every time we packed up and headed out. Gone now are the moments around the campfire, snuggling in laps, even getting into bed with Mom while I was reading the paper. You were a loyal friend and companion, and gone way too soon. Rest well, and enjoy meeting Sadie, Shadow and Liberty at the Bridge, until we meet again to cross over together.

Daizy Mai Lester-Naples - April 2010, 6 months old

Daizy Mai was our baby. We got her when she was just a pup and we loved her 'till her dying day. She was only six months old when she was hit by a car and passed away. We are devastated and miss her so much. I keep hoping that the more I pray and the more I cry the better chance I will have at getting her back. But I know I can't and it kills me. A friend of mine showed me the poem about Rainbow Bridge. I cried my eyes out while reading it and I pray to God that that place is real and that she is there and happy and okay. I feel like I lost a child. I'm devastated and the only thing that keeps me going is knowing that she is in a better place and happy and that we will meet again. Rest in Peace, Daizy. We love you!

Rusty Lovgren - April 2010, 17 years, 4 months old

To me your were the world - the moon, the stars, the sea - everything good in the world. I will miss you more than you will ever know. Thank you for always loving me and for being the best friend I could have ever asked for. You will always be in my heart as I will be in yours. I love you.

Sir Hannibal 'Hanni' Christoffel - April 2010, 9 years, 3 months, 21 days old

My comical, brave, loving best friend. You are in my mind, heart and soul eternally.

Why is it that we, the human species, the supposed 'most intelligent' species, cannot do the simplest thing- offer unconditional love?

The way life is supposed to work, from the day we are born, love is showered over us. First from our family, as we grow up friends are added to the list, then maybe some boyfriends (or girlfriends), eventually we are to find 'the one and marry, then start our own family and the circle begins again.

Over the years, I have realised, the human species is incapable of offering unconditional love. It may be family, friends, lovers, spouses, even your own children, unconditional love does not exist. LetŐs be honest, we all make mistakes, (some more than others), but if someone 'loves' you, aren't they supposed to forgive you? Isn't that what we are all taught as little ones? That is what the 'churchies' all preach. But they are guilty of not offering unconditional love as well.

If we were capable of offering unconditional love, there would be no abuse or estrangement in families, no divorce, no backstabbing friends, or intolerance of each other, just to offer a few examples. We have evolved into human beings that are capable of doing the unthinkable, which in turn has allowed us to find more actions unforgiveable, thus disabling us to possess the capability of offering unconditional love.

How do I know these things? They are not simple observations I can assure you of that. In my life, I have seen and experienced many unthinkable actions. I choose not to write a play by play story about all of these actions, as it would cause more harm than good. If you take a hard look at yourself, I am sure you will find you have participated in the act of removing your 'unconditional love' at some point in time of your life.

Are we to blame? Have I ever discarded unconditional love? Hell yes! The evolution of our species has allowed us to abandon our intuitive right from wrong decision making, and the wrong decisions have catapulted into the unforgivable category.

But not all is lost, I have found unconditional love, and over the past nine years, it has never waivered. Every day I am privileged to give and receive this elusive unconditional love, and would not trade it for anything in the world. The source of this incredible feeling? Why, that would be Hannibal and Clarice, my mini-dachshunds. Pets can do amazing things for ones soul, and show us all what the true meaning of unconditional love is.

I wonder if anyone ever predicted the most intelligent species turning into the dumbest one? Huh, funny how life works.

A bit after I wrote this, my little guy, Hannibal, passed away. His little sister does the job for both of them now. It has been a little over a year, and I still think of him every day. I truly believe Hannibal overcame his disabilities (going blind, losing use of back legs twice - regaining use after two surgeries) to make sure I got over mine. I became ill in 2005, and the following years were very hard on my emotional and physical self. Hannibal licked every tear when it dropped, made me smile with his goofy personality, warmed my heart when it grew cold and reminded me how much I was loved.

Once I began to get back on the road to a semi-normal life, he was able to relax and let nature take its course. It was my time to care for him. Although the veterinary bills grew to something I may never be able to pay back, I wouldn't change a thing.

Amy Jean and Clarice (Mommy and little sister)

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