Dear Lily,

It hasn’t even been a week since you left our family for heaven. Every moment of every day I think of you and miss you with all my heart. You were one of a kind and the sweetest, gentlest dog I have ever known.

I will always consider you the best birthday present I ever got. Right after Daddy and I got married you came into our life. Grandma drove you down from Oregon to begin your life with us. When you arrived you just fit in our hand. Mighty and cute. Zima, our black lab, adored you right away. You became best buddies and played wrestle on the floor all the time.

Within a week we had to rush you to the vet because you were having a hard time breathing. I was so scared that you wouldn’t make it through the night. You did! We found out later you had chewed an electrical cord and gave your heart a jolt. Thank God you survived.

I have so many wonderful, precious memories of you. Too many to write. I hold them all in my heart. I consider you my first born. A year and 1/2 after we got you Julia was born. You were so gentle with her. No matter how much she chased you, you only kissed her back. Your patience was amazing. Through the years you welcomed two other human sisters—Reese and Madee. With each one you only showed love.

Zima passed away when you were 6 and you missed her so much. We decided to get you a friend and brought a little Doxie puppy named Winnie into your life. She was so hyper and excited to have you. You were always welcoming even when she wouldn’t leave you alone. You slept in our bed every night and even welcomed her to share it with us.

I will always keep in my heart the kisses, snuggles, walks and warm puppy feet. I adore the smell of your warm feet when we are snuggling. If they could bottle that smell millions could be made. I loved throwing balls for you all over the house and watching you tear apart all your stuffed animals.

When we found out a year ago that you had Congestive Heart Failure and had less than a year to live my heart broke in two. I treasured every minute with you and tried to make each day special. I would love taking naps with you in the middle of the day. We had you on several medicines and I could tell that you were growing weary. Your heart pumped out of your chest. I loved putting my hand on your chest as we slept and feeling it beat.

You are amazing with how long you fought to stay with us. You never gave up. In September the vet looked at your x-ray and said that you should be dead. You still were wagging your tail and giving us love.

Up until the last hour you were happy. When I heard you struggling to breath my worst nightmare became reality. Daddy and I rushed you to the vet where your lungs were full of fluid and you were barely getting oxygen. The end was very traumatic but I will always cherish that I held you in my arms as you went on to heaven to be with Zima, Grandpa and Dida. I know you are there watching us. Madee, who is 2, calls you her Angel.

I will never ever forget you. No dog will ever compare to you. I wish I could be there to hold you and protect you still. I love you forever Lily. I miss you so much.

Dear Beanie,

Times have been hard for some many people, including me – and you! Well, I’m sure glad I pulled you out of Doggie Jail, what a horrible place, first gave you a horrible operation and then you could a cold there.. I hope you like the warm blankees and massage. Thanks for making me and so many people who have met you smile. Without much effort, you elicit so much love from others…that is a very special gift little one. Especially in these times, this world needs love and sweet funny faces!

Dear Cassy Girl,

When we rescued you at a year old, we did not know from where you came. You somehow called to us, and somehow we answered that call and brought you into our home.

It is here, in the security of our home and love, we have worked together to heal you from the horrible abuse you suffered during your first year of life.

I am sorry that someone treated you as they did, perhaps they would not have done that if they had stopped for a moment to look into your eyes and soul. Had they done that, they might have seen what we see, a bright, sensitive, quirky dog in need of a secure life with humans who could be as loyal to you as you are to them. You needed a place where you could learn that life is good, that loyalty can be rewarding, and that there are people who love you and always will. I am grateful that our home is where you landed.

Even your foster Mom has told us that she can’t imagine another family could have healed you the way that we have. What she doesn’t realize is that there is no dog that could have taught us the way you have.

From you we have learned about rescue dogs and Angel Dogs, those dogs brought into our lives with a purpose for both the dog and the human. You have taught us about rescue dogs and Angel Dogs, and how they can enter our lives at a time when we need them as much as they need us. Cassy girl, you arrived in our home at a time when we had the knowledge, experience and hearts for a girl like you.

When you are allowed to run off leash on the beach, our hearts swell, to see the pure joy of you being you. How could anyone have ever misunderstood you so badly, to try and beat that joy out of you? That the joy in your heart remains is a testament to your soul, that you are strong and resilient and somehow you knew that we would be along to be the recipients of your love, and that we would love you back and protect you with every fiber of our beings, every day, for your entire life.

This is our promise to you.