CELEBRATING THE UNFORGETTABLE
These pages are devoted to the precious creatures who devoted their lives to us. Though others may come after them bringing their own irreplaceable joy, nothing can erase the memories of the special lives we celebrate here.
1/29/96 – 4/20/10 (3:25 PM)
(Joan Tillman & Bob Edwards)
There are not words enough worthy enough to commemorate the life of this quiet, magnificent creature, whose early years and many homes remain a mystery that could not have been pleasant or pretty. But his final four years far exceeded the expectations of his adopted family on the day when, old and bone-tired, he came to us from Pets Lifeline, poked open the door to our home, flopped down and went to sleep. Bedraggled, with obvious aches and pains, worn teeth and cataract eyes, this ancient “Yoda” soon blossomed into a quietly comic and still-alpha companion to his “brother,” the irrepressible Zachary Baggins, who took him under his protective wing. We watched in awed delight as, often in a language we could only sense but never truly understand, they shared with each other the secrets of life and living — in our house and in the world.
With Zack, he travelled to beaches and dog parks and restaurants, scarfed down treats and guarded the castle against all intruders with what must have once been a bark so fearsome that some cretin in his past had him debarked to a two-note croak. Yet he selflessly provided relentless joy to all he met, hopping stiff-legged with excitement on his walks at each new encounter of yet another “best friend forever.” We always knew his time with us would be short, but as with everything about him he surprised us, fillling far more years than anyone expected with unbelievable wonder and joy and smiles. As we nutured his life, he powerfully and wonderously enriched and shaped ours. His smell and his essence still fill our world. He can never be replaced because, in moments that matter and endure and that only a dog can create, he is not really gone.
May 13, 1996 – December 3, 2010
Our big buddy may be gone but he will live forever in our hearts. Louie was not just any poodle. He was our friend. He was our office dog. He was our family member. We will never forget his love of a tennis ball or his indignant howl, the only sound he ever really made. He loved treats and walks, his bed, the beach and the car. May he rest in peace but also play long and hard with whomever he should meet in doggie heaven. We will love and miss you forever, old friend. xoxo
1997 – March 4, 2011
Sadly, my precious Jacques went to join Hugo in puppy heaven yesterday. He has showed amazing come back resilience in the face of a number of significant health issues but this week they caught up with him. While I have had more time than I might have expected with him, it was very hard to say goodbye after 14 plus wonderful years together. I will miss his gentleness, his spirit, his eyes that spoke of his old soul and his little tipped head. He recently had a chance to go back to the beach, a place that we all went to regularly when I lived in Mill Valley when we all were younger. While he no longer ran like the wind, he loved every minute of being there. My friend Robbie got a picture that wonderfully captures that and I have included it.
Thank you for caring about Jacques and appreciating how much he meant to me. Don’t forget to hug your pets and the people you love every day.
My companion, travel-partner, confidant and dearest friend, Diego, died comfortably at home very early in the morning on July 5th, 2011. Amy, Justine and I were with him and held him as he passed. He died of cancer that was diagnosed only a few days before, but was happy and himself until the very end. We loved him so much and will miss him immeasurably.
4/19/00 – 2-/19/12
(Mary Jane Edwards)
My beautiful Big Girl was rescued by the wonderful Keystone volunteers not once, but twice. She first came to them at age 3, then was returned to them in November 2006, at age 6. I applied to Keystone in December 2006, after returning from a Thanksgiving visit to Sonoma with brother and sister-in-law Bob Edwards and Joan Tillman and my Golden nephews, Zachary Baggins and sweet Barclay. That visit confirmed for me that there must be a dog in my life, and it must be a Golden.
Within two weeks Taylor was transferred to my care in the parking lot of McDonald’s restaurant on Interstate-80 at Brookville, Pennsylvania, and I have loved her every minute since.
She was the classic Golden female, sweet, gentle, but occasionally aloof, and friendly to all who came near. Every morning as she went out the front door, she barked to alert the neighborhood that Taylor was up and about. She could be territorial and protective, and did not suffer canine fools gladly. She was strong as she was beautiful, a handful for her 98-pound owner at the end of the leash, but snuggly when rolling over for many, many belly rubs. She owned the house, loved being outdoors, and rested in a lion-like pose in the middle of the garden as I weeded.
In her early years at home, she would break free to launch herself off the deck to chase deer down through the woods. She loved her best friends — a Golden, a Cocker Spaniel, and a Cocker-Poodle mix — and as her strength waned, she would lie in the grass and wait for them to come out and walk with her.
She became especially frail in her last month of life and, as I had asked her to, she told me it was time. Neighbors who loved her were with us at the peaceful end. I always called her my Big Girl, my angel, and now she truly is.
Sadie and her litter mate Patches came to live with me in 1993 and graced my home for 18.5 and 15.5 years respectively. I always had dogs in my life while growing up, but when it came time for my own pets, I decided that it would be fun to have a cat or two. With the help and generosity of my closest friend, Patches came to me as a ‘housewarming’ gift and three months later, Sadie completed our family. I had more fun watching them play and Patches, being the alpha cat, always picked on Sadie. It was often like a 3-ring circus. After Patches went to kitty heaven in August 2008, Sadie seemed sensitive to my loss and took very good care of me. She had some health challenges the last four years of her life, but was always very good about taking her medication and her fluids. She was a soft and loving kitty with a very gentle spirit and we loved each other very much. 18.5 years is a long time to be together, but when her time came to join God’s angels, she did so peacefully. Given my association with SVDOG I am honored to have Sadie be considered an ‘Honorary Dog’ and be recognized on this page of special pets in our lives.
Cheerful in all weathers
Never shirked a task
1999 – 2014
(Ellen Brantley & Ron Vitt)
(Labrador Retriever, Keeshond & Boxer ancestry)
Look cute enough to be rescued by elderly couple from drainage ditch at 6 weeks of age. Convince elderly couple that they need a smaller dog.
Look cute and friendly enough to be adopted at 1 year by middle aged couple who need a companion for their anxious female Malinois shepherd. Convince anxious female shepherd to relinquish some of her guard responsibilities enough that she can relax and perfect her soccer and weeding skills.
2000 – 2014
> Make friends with all dogs, adults, kids, and most cats.
> Become big brother to Katrina rescue dog.
> Show off your hunting skills to prove that you haven’t become too spoiled (turkey, 2 rabbits, bird in flight, skunk before getting sprayed).
> Avoid getting sprayed by skunks (needs improvement).
> Hang out with kids who like dogs.
> Hang out with kids who are afraid of dogs but need convincing that all dogs aren’t dangerous
> Take up temporary residence with elderly widower who needs a purpose to get out of the house
> Join the injury of the month club (2 bionic knees, sliced tail, ripped toenail, etc.) to prove that you’re still macho even though you don’t have all your equipment (relinquish membership before you break the bank)
> Meet newly arrived shelter dogs to see how much help they need to find their forever homes
> Act as role model for exuberant and/or nervous dogs and their owners who sign up for manners training
> Share all toys and all food with all creatures
> Demonstrate proper greeting skills for dogs who missed those days of school
> Be a kindly uncle to puppies whose owners sign them up for puppy kindergarten class
> Hang out with senior humans at an assisted living facility and commiserate about arthritis, failing sight and hearing, and the need to get up and pee in the middle of the night
> Become big brother to 3x rescued shepherd mix and teach her how to live with another species
Convince the middle aged couple who adopted you that their hearts will heal now that you’ve crossed the rainbow bridge (needs improvement)