To Our Wonderful Dogs & Cats (March 7th, 1997)
Here is to all our wonderful dogs and cats who have shared their lives with us:
Brownie was my 1st dog, when I was a kid, he was a great collie, shepherd cross. Never allowed anyone to fight and came to my defense when I was getting beaten up by my brothers. He lived to be 16, and was not able to get around as he used to be. My Dad and Mom said he had to go to the hospital. I asked wil he come back, and they said they did not know. My Dad, a truck driver with a great big heart had to take him to the vets. Brownie never came home. My Dad, was really upset, as he told us Brownie had died in his arms at the vets. I never saw my Dad cry except at a funeral of a loved one. But right then and there I knew how much Brownie meant to him, in fact 44 years later I still have his collar, as my Dad could never throw it away.
Tag Along came to me on my 10th birtday. He was toy fox terrier, looked a great deal like Wishbone the TV dog. He was a very smart fellow. He could understand sign language, Italian and German, and of course English. My Mother was diagnosed with cancer, and Tag stayed by her side all the time. During her last year on earth, she was bedridden and we did everytthing to help her. Tag was always teher for her. When she had to go to the hospital he went along and we snuck him up to help keep Mom happy.. A couple of times the nurses and doctors caught us and gave us grief, but we ignored them and brought him again and again...When she passed away Hans was a few miles from the hospital, but he knew she had gone. He woud not stop crying for a week. After the spring thaw we went to find her grave, the tombstone had not been set yet, but Tag found her instantly. He lived to be 18 years old, fathered several pups, even in his old age...He was one of the greatest friends of my early life...
As I have gotten older, we had a chance to get a St.Bernard and named he Brandy Alexander. We always take great care of our pets, and she was no exception. By the time she was 4 months she came down with Parvo. Every day 2 x a day to the vets for IV and meds. Force feeding. And then the day came that if she could not hold food, she would have to be put down. She rallied...and got strong..and God had shined his light on her. She stayed with us for 10 years, had 1 great male puppy, Baron Hansel Von Gress sire ws the champion Folly Barnes Lazarous. He lived to be 13 and passed away last year due to cancer and old age. Brand was such a sweet girl, loved children and puppies. She tolerated Hans as a puppy and was great in every way. Brandy died of Cancer in 1992, 2 weeks before my Dad died and 1 week after we lost our little champion Min Pin, Spanky. Spanky was a champion min pin, with a St.Bernard attitde. Having been raised with Saints all his life, this little 4 lb devil had such an attitude you would laugh at him. Spanky would bedevil Hans all the time, and they fought and yet layed down next to one another all the time. I used to raise Bonsai trees a nice but costly hobby at times. One day my Dad had put the trees out on the porch and forgot Spanky was there. Well every tree got a great dose of Spanky...and several times, and killed them off...I was furious but then you had to laugh as for all his life, Spanky had to look up to a tree to pee on it...What do you think... Spanky died of old age at 16 in 1992, 1 week before our Brandy left us. Hans and Heidi were half brother and sister, same father, Ch.Folly Barnes Lazarous, She too was a greta girl, and we had Sammy, a dog we rescued from the pound, and they were the 3 musketeers. They all got along well, and we picked up other great dogs from rescue to adoption etc. Heidi passed away due to bloat and torrision() in 1994. Hans was never the same when she went, Sammy followed with kidney failure a few months later. The puppies kept Hans going. In 1995 we acquired 2 more Saints, Beethoven and Missey and a few poms. A careless woman who lied about the health of her dogs came to our kennel, and even though our dogs had their shots, the dreaded parvo came in and 9 dogs were affected. $2000 later we lost Beethoven, Wilie, Fritzel, Clover, Jimmy, Madeline and Johnny( the last 3 were 3 wk old min pin pups). These were the dogs this woman touched. Remember Parvo can stay on your clothes for months. Only after Fritz died first did we realize what happened. We called her and she said yes her 2 dogs had died of parvo a few days before she came to our kennel. My advice never let anyone in you do not know. 1995 was a very hard year, employment was low, I had been downsized, and yet we still did everything we could to save these wonderful puppies lives. We were able to save Beethovens sister Missey( who is now a health 175 lb saint with great personality) and Clovers pomerainain sister...Maria.. Baron Hans our Saint Bernard, started to go downhill in the fall fo 1995. His hips went out and we had to help him, carry him and all. I could not bear putting him down, The vet said he was not in pain, and we tried every med on the block and then some. He would rally, but the times were hard. I was working on the road, opening up casions, and on 4/8/96, he passed away at the vets with my brohter Al, holding him. I was opening the Stratosphere casino in Vegas, and was teaching employees, when he passed away. I still have not properly grieved for him, and when I saw this site I thought it was appropriate to record my thoughts not just on Hans but on all of our wonderful friends. Hans loved Puppies, just like all the other great gals and guys, and it is my sincere beliefe he stayed alive this long due to helping them. Picture a 180 lb saint, 36 inch collar, playing with a ball of fluff that was maybe 8 ozs tops! Pups would pull on his ears, tail and walk all over him, and he never was nasty. When we could not find a pup or 2 we'd call him and there they were under his chin. He was a gentle and noble giant. Our other girls have had pups, and we have lost a few puppies now and then, and wheter they be with us 20 years or only a few hours, we cherish each and every one of them. We spend more money on our dogs than we do on ourseleves, and I could not think of any better way. People think we are strange, we aren;'t we are normal people...we love and cherish dogs and yes cats too..Tammy keeps the puppies in line..she is a Tuxedo cat, though a bit chubby hahah... I read some of the epitahs and they are touching and when I read the one from CHUCK who was 22 and had cancer and his Saint only lived 2 years...my heart just overflowed. If anyone knows how to reach CHUCK, tell him he can have pick of the litter anytime from us.
Many people say dogs, animals are dumb. Right.... How come a dog understands us when we are happy, low, serious, how can they understand our language and we cannot comprehend theirs.
God gave mankind dogs to watch over us so that no matter what we did , the nobel dog was always at our side.
The American Indian, tells the story, of when mother earth was breaking up, all the animals jumped to one side and man stood on the other side. As the earth split open, only 1 animal jumped to the side of man, yes ..the dog. Spell dog backwards and you spell GOD.
To all of my friends who have gone before me, I know you are with God and I only pray one day, soon, I will join you and we can all play again...
God bless you all with all our love...
Tom and Al Ambrosia
Chu Chu Dog
What do I do with your ashes? Remember the time when I first rolled up the automatic window of the new car and rolled your head up in it? Remember when I left you home alone for more than 20 hours, and you demolished the sofa and ate so much sofa-foam you bloated? Was I good enough for you then?
What do I do with your memories? Remember when I walked you without a leash and the wolf-shepherd mix got you by the neck and you screamed while he tossed your little dachshund body back and forth violently? Remember how I screamed louder than you? Remember when you fell down between the rails on my bed and were caught in the covers all day while I was at work? Was I attentive enough for you then?
What do I do with my guilt? Remember when we lived alone for all those years, and I took you everywhere I went because I couldn't be without you? And then I would end up leaving you in the car for half an hour at a time. And how you always greeted me happily anyway. Remember when I gave you all that warm beer to drink and you pissed all over yourself and me too? Was I kind enough for you then?
What do I do without you? Remember how we spent the last two months of your life, when you were old as could be -- an eighteen year old weenie dog with solid gray paws and muzzle, with a tumor under your chin, having seizures every week and wearing a diaper because you couldn't hold your water -- remember how I stayed at home with you in my arms, thanking you for showing up to stay with me and letting me know how to love someone else? Remember how you forgot how to bark but never quit whining to sit in my lap and look into my eyes while I mourned you even as you still took breath because I knew each one could be our last? Was I there for you then? I would do it again.
In memory of our beautiful black Labrador
Duchesse LeMay's Lace
5/86 - 1/97
Her grace and intelligence were matched only by her devotion to our family.
Please take a moment to think of all the domesticated animals, that share and enrich our lives; and their brothers and sisters in the wild that add so much beauty and joy to our world.
Also, please remember the ASPCA when you make your charitable contributions.
In Memory of my Beloved Pet, a seal-point Siamese named George
My beautiful Siamese, who after 16 wonderful years, finally passed away from kidney disease, still haunts my house. This unique cat has made such an indelible impression that everyone still feels his presence strongly--it's eerie and sad. I'm sure the feeling is from the fact that we miss our cat companion and feline family member so much that we are having major trouble adjusting to his absence.
Today I opened the door so he could get to his kitty litter box--then I remembered that I didn't have to do this since he was no longer there. I hear a sound and think I hear him. George is the phantom cat in this house. It's very hard to lose a cherished pet, but I guess I didn't realize that. When your emotionally attached to an animal, he doesn't go away easily. Goodbye George, we miss you.
My Dog Molly
Molly was a mutt. Actually she would have made a fine junkyard dog given the opportunity. And when she needed to protect, Molly was always there from the first day we got her from the city pound.
Molly came into our lives accidentally last April. Cody, our Siberian Husky escaped the yard and was lost for days. I made frequent trips to the pound and SPCA hoping for a miracle. After a number of luckless days I found this sturdy, little puppy and thinking Cody was gone forever I wanted to adopt her, but the City or County of Sacramento has a law though that forbids adoption of any stray that has any pit bull in them. This puppy obviously fit this category. However, I devised a sinister plan. I had my son and my friend Lori go to the pound and act like they found our dog. I had previously scouted out the circumstances of how this dog made it to the pound so Lori had all the answers. We donıt really think they believed us, but we got Molly none the less. We found Cody too! What a day.
Molly was nothing special really, although she did have a very unique appearance. She was a cross between a Pit Bull Terrier and Australian Shepherd. Though only one year old this month, she was a full 65 lbs., her broad shoulders and neck stood proud and tall. She was a mighty player and seemed to have a smile on her face all the time. Molly wagged her tail so hard that it knocked things over. She had not one, as most Australian Shepherds do, but two crystalline blue eyes that seemed to glow . She would show her affection for you with a wild licking action. Getting licked to death drove me crazy but many times I just let her because I knew she was just showing me that she loved me. I love my dog Molly too.
My partner and I both commute to work and of course my 14 year old son is in school all day. We didnıt always have the time to spend with Molly and Cody but I tried to make up for it by taking them out as often as I could at night so they could play in the open and run. Molly was very rambunctious, leaping and lunging to get to your face, so I would take this opportunity to try to train her. We would go outside when it was quiet and she would simply run back and forth with an ear to ear grin on her face and her tongue floundering out of control. Slowly I took her on longer walks without a leash. I just wanted her to feel free for a few moments. My fault.
Last night on our street, Rancho Silva Dr. was like any other night. I got home a bit late from work and after talking with my son, I got Molly so we could go outside and play. She seemed extra excited and playful for some reason and when she came across another young dog the two wrestled aggressively. After a few minutes of this game of tag and bark and run I gave her my familiar whistle and we headed home. I ran with her for about 20 yards and then she went ahead of me. At that point I skipped across the street to a couple of ladies that had a missing cat to see if I could help. Molly just kept bounding around like never before. I knew she was in heaven. The two ladies seemed to like my dog and I had just told them she was pregnant when the headlights appeared. Having kept Molly close to my side in the past when cars approached I was not fearful of the impending tragedy. Molly was on a tuft of grass and turned towards us when one of the ladies said that she might get hit. The car was traveling in a residential area at at least 40 miles an hour, they always do. Whatıs the hurry? The lights caught Mollyıs attention and in total shock I saw her run into the street. That was the last time I saw My Dog Molly alive and happy. At the speed the car was traveling, it had no chance to avoid my dog. She was hit and flung wildly through the air for twenty feet. I was overcome with this horrifying site and ran to her. The car drove off as if it just had run over a piece of trash. Whatıs the hurry? It didnıt take me long to realize that Molly wasnıt going to make it. Her days of bounding through the air, of licking my face and playing with Cody were over, ever so abruptly and violently. I was frantic. Her back was broken near her rear legs and she had to be suffering internal injuries as well as a deep crimson come from her mouth. Mollyıs scull was crushed, and her rib cage collapsed undoubtedly piercing her lungs. She labored for air.
Please tell me, what was the hurry?
She seemed to look up at me as I attempted to strangle her with my hands so she would not hurt any more. I was near craziness and yelling that I was sorry when I realized that I was not strong enough to choke off her air supply, she kept gasping and heaving. I laid my bodyıs weight on her in an attempt to collapse her lungs so she would not breath. I just had to help her. This failed as well. Panicking, I released her blue collar and synched it hard around her neck and throat successfully terminating her air supply. With tears streaming down my face and over come with grief realizing that this was partially my fault, I squeezed what little life that was left out of My Dog Molly. At peace finally, she laid there, still warm, with her dog aroma that I was accustom to still lingering. My Dog Molly was dead.
Molly has been reduced to ashes now, to be buried with her collar and the blanket I used to remove her body from the street. She will be layed to rest next to Runt, a kitten we had a year and half ago that died due to a kidney disease. The spot is on the banks of the Sacramento River, facing west in full view of the setting sun.
South Natomas is our home. It is our safety and our haven. We live here. This is my story but there are others. We as residence of Natomas need to realize that we are all here together. That my particular neighborhood is no different than yours. That this could have been anyoneıs dog, or cat, or child. This could have been anyoneıs grandfather or sister. It could have been you or me. Tread lightly, with respect on our haven. Help keep it safe and do your part as I do mine to help make it even safer. Remember that there are lives in these neighborhoods that call Natomas home like your children, your parents or your pets, like My Dog Molly.
AS A CHILD AND INTO MY ADULT LIFE I WAS AFRAID OF DOGS. I NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT EVER OWNING A DOG BECAUSE I JUST DIDN'T CARE.
YEARS LATER WHEN I HAD CHILDREN OF MY OWN MY SON ASKED ME IF HE COULD HAVE A PUPPY. MY IMMEDIATE ANSWER WAS NO! THEN I RECONSIDERED SINCE MY SON WAS TO BE ENTIRELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DOG'S CARE. WELL YOU ALREADY KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. I ENDED UP WITH THE CARE AND FEEDING OF THIS TINY LITTLE GERMAN SHEPHERD PUPPY, WHO WAS SO SMALL SHE FIT INTO ONE HAND.
MY SON NAMED HER SONOMA AFTER THE PLACE WHERE SHE WAS BORN, AND SO SONOMA BEGAN HER 12 YEAR LIFE WITH ME. MY LOVE FOR SONOMA FREED ME OF MY FEAR OF DOGS WHICH WAS A MIRACLE.
SONOMA WAS A LADY, VERY FEMININE IN HER MANNERS. SHE TOOK 7 OR 8 BITES IN EATING A DOG BISQUIT. BEFORE EATING HER FOOD SHE WOULD TAKE THE FIRST BITE INTO THE DINING ROOM, ON THE CARPET AND EAT IT THERE. SHE WAS SO ELEGANT. THEN SHE WOULD EAT THE REST FROM HER BOWL.
WHEN SONOMA WAS ABOUT 6 YEARS OLD SHE HAD HER FIRST SEIZURE. A WHOLE YEAR PASSED BEFORE SHE HAD ANOTHER. THEN 6 MONTHS, 4 MONTHS AND FINALLY ONE A MONTH, UNTIL ABOUT THIS LAST YEAR WHEN SHE WOULD HAVE A CLUSTER OF TWO, USUALLY A FEW DAYS APART, AND THEN ONLY HOURS APART.
ON NOV. 6TH 1996 AROUND MIDNIGHT SHE HAD A SEIZURE. IT WAS MY USUAL HABIT TO LET HER GO OURSIDE AFTER AN ATTACK, AND SO IT WAS THIS TIME. I WENT OUT TO MY GARAGE TO GET SOMETHING FROM THE TRUNK OF MY CAR AND NEEDED TO OPEN THE GARAGE DOOR. I WAS SURPRISED BY THE APPEARANCE OF MY LITTLE POODLE, SAMMY WHO BARKED AND BARKED AT ME, SOMETHING HE HAD NEVER DONE IN THE PAST YEAR I HAD HIM. I WONDERED WHY SONOMA WASN'T BEHIND HIM AS THEY MUST HAVE GOTTEN THROUGH THE BACK GATE AS MY GARAGE IS AT THE FRONT OF THE HOUSE.
I FOUND SONOMA IN A VIOLENT SEIZURE, THE LIKES OF WHICH I HAD NEVER SEEN BEFORE. IT WAS NOW AROUND 12:20 AT NIGHT AND THE VETS OFFICE WAS CLOSED. IT WOULD BE TOO MUCH TO DESCRIBE THE HOURS OF PAIN AND FRUSTRATION I WENT THROUGH TRYING TO GET HELP. WHILE MY SWEET SONOMA WAS LAYING OUT IN THE IVY CONVULSING. THERE WASN'T THE HELP I THOUGHT OUT THERE. EVEN THE HUMANE SOCIETY COULD DO NOTHING BUT TELL ME TO TAKE HER TO THE NEAREST ANIMAL HOSPITAL WHICH WAS ALMOST AN HOUR AWAY. IN THE END THAT IS WHAT I HAD TO DO WITH THE HELP OF A FRIEND, IT WAS NOW AROUND 3 O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING AND THE SEIZURES CONTINUED ONE AFTER ANOTHER.
SONOMA WAS A GENTLE SWEET DOG AND WAS SO SCARED. SHE CRIED A FEW TIMES AND IT BROKE MY HEART. I KNEW IT WAS TIME TO PUT HER TO SLEEP AND I WANTED MY VET TO DO IT. SHE WAS SEDATED ENOUGH FOR ME TO BRING HER HOME, AND I LAID HER ON THE FLOOR OF MY BEDROOM AND WATCHED HER UNTIL MORNING. EVEN SEDATED HER BODY CONTINUED TO SEIZE AND EVEN THOUGH I DIDN'T WANT TO DO WHAT I KNEW I MUST. I SPENT THE NIGHT WATCHING AND WAITING FOR MORNING. I KNEW SHE WAS DYING BUT PUTTING HER TO SLEEP WAS THE MOST PAINFUL THING I EVER HAD TO DO. SHE WOKE UP THAT LAST MORNING STILL CONVULSING AND NEVER STOPPED.
EVEN THOUGH I SAID MY GOODBYES TO HER, I'D GIVE ANYTHING TO HAVE HER BACK AGAIN. THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER SONOMA, SHE WAS TRULY SPECIAL. EVEN MY FRIENDS WHO HAVE PETS OF THEIR OWN SAW SOMETHING SPECIAL ABOUT THIS DOG. MY SONOMA, I LOVE YOU BABY AND I'LL NEVER FORGET YOU, AND ALL THE WONDERFUL TIMES WE HAD TOGETHER. I'LL MISS YOU SONOMA AND I WOULD LIKE TO BELIEVE THAT I WILL SEE YOU ONE DAY AGAIN IN ETERNITY. I KNOW GOD CREATED ANIMALS OUT OF HIS LOVE. DOGS HAVE A SOUL BUT DO THEY HAVE A SPIRIT? I DON'T KNOW, BUT IT WOULD GIVE ME GREAT COMFORT TO KNOW THAT SONOMA COULD LIVE ON. IN MY HEART SHE ALWAYS WILL.
BELOW IS A POEM THAT I WROTE AND READ AT HER FUNERAL.
TRIBUTE TO SONOMA
SONOMA MY BEAUTIFUL SWEETHEART
I HOPE THAT WHEREVER YOU ARE YOU KNOW
HOW VERY MUCH I LOVE YOU SO.
YOU BROUGHT SO MUCH JOY INTO MY LIFE,
YOUR LOSS CUTS MY HEART LIKE A KNIFE.
HOW I LAUGHED AT PLAY WITH YOU,
AND ALL THE FUNNY THINGS YOU'D DO
LIKE LEAPING HIGH INTO THE AIR
TO CATCH A BALL,A TOWEL AND WITH SUCH FLAIR.
SUCH REMEMBERANCES BRING A SMILE,
I THINK MY HEART IS SMILING NOW.
YOU HAD WAYS THAT WERE SO GENTLE, SO SWEET,
HOW DELICATE THE WAY YOU WOULD EAT.
YOU CARRIED YOURSELF WITH THE GRACE OF A QUEEN, AND
RECEIVED SO MANY COMPLIMENTS WHEREVER YOU WERE SEEN.
IN MY CIRCLE OF FRIENDS
YOU BECAME A PART
YOU ARE LOVED BY MANY
WHO WILL NEVER FORGET.
AND MY HOPE AND MY PRAYER
IS THAT I WILL SEE YOU YET.
SONOMA, I WILL NEVER STOP LOVING YOU.
FOR OUR BELOVED COCO
A MESSAGE FROM ELIZABETH ELLIOTT AND DAN CLEGG
From our hearts we gave you the love and a home you most definitely deserved. In the short 17 months of your life you have brought me joy and a sense of fulfillment. I remember the times when you would stare into a lamp bulb until your pupils became little dots in a sea of amber. Those seldom moments you would crawl under the blankets with me and cuddle. Your life was short, only 17 months long before the deadly FeLV virus took you away from us. Your sister Darla misses you dearly, I wish I could somehow explain to her why you're gone. She keeps looking toward the bedroom as if you will come strolling out any second, black as can be and so pretty. We miss you, and you will always be in our hearts. Deep inside me I feel guilty, and I wish I could have done more, or known somehow how to save you. You were my first, my favorite, my love.
No cat deserves to die so young, though her memory will live with us forever. There is always something special about your first cat. Coco was my first after I moved out of my parents house. Just knowing that I was responsible for caring for her and loving her, made her very special to me. I feel so sad knowing she could have lived a longer life, being loved in a wonderful home. Instead she was taken away. I wish I could understand in my grief. But my questions are answered only with tears.
I love you Coco, we all loved you. We miss you very much. Rest in peace.
Liz and Dan and Darla
Green Dead Frog
My beloved Phillipe,
For so long you were there
I didn't mean to boil you-
It really wasn't fair.
2:30 in the morning
I decided to give you bath,
Who knew scolding water
Would come out of that tap.
I won't go any further
Of fear I might break down
For my little green prince,
Really earned his crown.
-IT'S JUST ME AND YOU, KID-
An Epitaph for Flo
Flo was a Newfoundland dog who loved me. Her greatest pleasure was to be with me. I had to put a gate on the stairs to keep her from following me up and down the stairs all the time as I moved about the house, when she was little. She would have been a beautiful show dog, she had all the potential of stardom....but most of all she had the greatest heart. Though I am loved by several others, Flo was a special girl. Betwen Flo's heart and my love, she lived a lot longer than my vet thought she would, with chronic kidney failure...and I always promised her I would let her go sweetly and with her head in my lap.... I miss you my sweet Floozie, I hope you are running somewhere in cool grasses and swimming and swimming as you love to do. I buried you by your pond, My Flo, have a good swim!