Gallery - “This is what I like about photographs. They’re proof that once, even if just for a heartbeat, everything was perfect. “ –Jodi Picoult
The story of YOU and the life we shared that lives on in my heart forever
This is the condensed story of our Emmy Lou. On July 30th 2003 we picked up this 1 ½ lb ball of fur from the breeder. We decided to name her Emmy as we already had a cat named Oscar (the would be our awards). For the first few weeks of Emmy’s life, we slept on our screened porch so we could be close to her in her crate I put my finger in each night so she could feel me next to her. One night after a “potty break” I did not close the crate lock and found her curled up on the pillow between us. That was it and she remained my cuddler each night until the day she went into the hospital to never return home.
Emmy was not a dog – she was our daughter and everyone knew that. If she was not invited or welcome then we did not go. She grew closer and more dear to us each day. She loved the beach, she would chase crabs, swim in the ocean to retrieve sticks, and walk for hours exploring. As much as she loved the beach, she loved the snow. She would go out and chase snowballs as long as we would do it. In the Spring she would find that one last bit of snow and stand on it and bark to throw that one last snowball of the season.
I could go on till eternity about everything we did with her and of all the love and joy she brought into our lives. She completed her dad and I and the day she left us was the worst of my life. I will never forget that dreaded call telling us she was not getting better and how we held her as she left this earth. I know a piece of me died with her, I know that I will never be the same without her gentle spirit but I also believe with my whole heart and soul that she is still here. No, I cannot see her but she makes her presence known often. This little yorkie has helpe d me grow spiritually and I have a hard tim explaining that. All I know is after she died, she gave us signs that she was still here and that her love and spirit had not died, just her tiny body.
She was (as her dad and I say) not given a full life as she died at age 10 ½ which is not very old for a yorkie that never stopped playing or acting like a puppy until she was taken ill a few short days before she died.
She is my inspiration to start Emmy’s heart and it is only with the strength her spirit gives me that I am able to do this. I never would have wanted to say good-bye to my daughter but I thought we had many more years. God said differently so I trust in His plan and pray for the day when I look into those eyes again and I recognize the spirit that left her pawprints forever on my heart.
She will always be my sister mary sunshine, my fluffle butt, and most importantly - my little girl
When we got Clay he was already around 1 year old, we had him for 10 WONDERFUL years so he was 11 years old when he passed. (we often wondered what his story was before us during his first year and how someone either let go... or lost a really wonderful boy).
Here is 'his story' of how he captured our hearts. We were looking for someone to keep Angel our first dog company while we were at work, she was 2 yrs old at the time. So we went to the Humane Society. I tell his story first because we lost him first. So in May 2003 we walked the aisles of the H.S., one by one we looked at them all! Jim was a little bit ahead of me so when he saw "HAPPY" (that was the name given him by the H.S.) he said "Hey hun come and look at this one". I told him okay I'd be right there, as I approached I wasn't sure which dog he was talking about so I said "this one"? He said yeah! Happy looked at me and I at him, then he just sat so good!! My response was "aww ...he's cute"! So we did the meet & greet out in the court yard. Initially he was just glad to be out of his pen, he walked around sniffing. He really didn't seem interested in us & wasn't paying much attention to us at first, he came over to be pet briefly then ran off. I am not sure how much time we spent with him but when I was about ready to go and uncertain of what was going to happen. I said to Jim "well are you ready to go...I don't think he's that into us". AND THEN being the smart dog that he was as I was sitting on the bench he came over to me and planted a kiss on me!! That was all she wrote... and was all that it took. I knew then he wanted us to take him home and that everything was going to work out. The next day we took Angel to visit him they got along just fine he seemed "happy" that we were going to be his new family, he knew it and so did we.
(Jim thoughts, he told me afterwards when he saw Happy was "he knew we were meant to be, that there was a connection. Jim knew he wanted him and knew Happy wanted him to be his Daddy").
We were able to take him home I'm not sure if it was the next day or the day after. I went back with them and they gave him a bath so he was nice and clean for us. When we brought him home he was nervous he wasn't sure what to do, you could tell he was never on furniture before (our home was their home) or had any toys he didn't know how to play with them but he had lots to play with now!! Of course we all had to adjust but Clay was a perfect fit he completed our little family....it was meant to be. We moved but as the years continued our bond was unbreakable, we were so happy they filled our hearts & lives. They taught us how to understand their lanuage, the way he would communicate with his eyes full of love. He loved to walk, every evening he would give us 'that look'....he demanded his walk, of course we were eager to please them so the four of us went out...in the warm & the cold all bundled up. If we'd go on vacation they went with us, we stayed at pet friendly bed & breakfasts. Our time with Clay (with them) just seemed like it was not passing we were enjoying our lives with them every single day wheather just hanging at home, working out in the yard, walking, having friends over he/they were right there with us ...part of us.
Then one day in the summer we were outside it was warm he was panting and we saw something that didn't look right or belong there so we took him to the Vets....it was a low grade cancerous mass that was removed, no real urgency he was young only 3 yrs old. But then one developed on his belly not quite sure w/out looking up his records what the time period was in between but around a year later it too was removed but this time it was a higher grade so our Vet told us about a cancer Dr in Marysville in the town of Rye. We took Clay there he went thur cancer treatment shots & prednisone that lasted several weeks until he was weaned off prednisone. ..then no more visits he was cancer free!!!...we were so blessed to have more years with our boy!! (Insert smiley...proud mama & papa) as the years went by he had several other surgeries to remove smaller lumps NONE of which were cancerous. Again feeling so so blessed 8 years cancer free!! When he was 10 he started making a coughing sound that would wake us all up as he slept we took him to our Vets they told us to keep an eye on it if it gets worse we should bring him back. It did get worse 5 months later after the xray was read by a specialist it had shown he had what was called Laryngeal Paralysis IF not fixed he could choke to death we certainly did not want that. So Nov of 2012 he had surgery yet again (our dear boy). I dropped Clay & Jim off at the Animal Hospital of York, we live in Harrisburg. Jim stayed w/ him, I later went to get Jim and visit with our son. As we went home I called through out the night several times. As morning came around he was feeling better, he was eating, out for short walks to go potty. He were able to pick him up later that evening. I played nurse as he recovered, I was so fortunate that I work from home to be able to care and be with HIM!! I don't know what I would have done I probably would have taken vacation until he recovered had I not worked from home. As the days went by he was not getting any stronger we was just laying around we took him back to the Vets several times then a month later he was diagnosed with Anemia and needed a blood transfusion if he had any chance to live, money was not the issue so we went from our Vets in Harrisburg to the Animal Hospital in York again where he had his Laryngeal Paralysis surgery a month prior. We sat on the floor with our boy waiting for the Dr to come in. He joined us as we discussed what was going to happen. They had to find a blood donor for him first. Clay had add'l xrays done at our Vets we took all this to the hospital with us and found that he also had a mass on his spleen that did not seem like it was going to rupture....first thing first. As we were on the floor with the Dr we were not sure if it was time to let him go we wanted to do for him everything we could....WE LOVED HIM he was part of our family. Some people may have ended his life, the Doc even said as what point do we let them go BUT as we talked more Clay looked at the Dr and crawled over to him as so say "doc... please help me I want to live" The Dr said when they do things like this it just makes you want to try. So we all agreed Clay was telling us to keep trying ge wanted to feel better. They found a donor match for Clays blood transfusion, it went well. We went home felt he was in good hands for sure, so again I was able to call through out the night to check on him, they told me every time I called his white blood count (I think it was) kept rising and that's what we needed it to do. The next day we were able to bring him home, he rested but needed to go every other day for a blood work to make sure it continued to rise. Weeks went by and our Vet was getting ready to wean him off his medicine, he seemed fine but you could tell he was tired from all he'd been through. NOW I have to say had he'd been in extreme pain from all this sure he was in some pain but they gave him pain meds, what I'm getting at is we were not keeping him alive for us we felt a peace in our hearts that we were able to do this for him and he was telling us he wanted to live. However after his blood count started coming up his spleen ruptured we were not sure what had happened so we rushed him to the Animal Hospital in Mechanicsburg they examined him at which point he started bleeding out his nose because of his spleen. He was in shock his heart rate was very high and so we spent the last few moments of his life with our boy...our son! Kissing him, petting him, telling him how much we loved him, how so PROUD we were to be his parents, that he had chosen us .....that he was a good boy EVERY day of his life. He went in peace as he fell asleep no more fighting, he fought hard. We were told when we were ready we could just leave I did not want to leave our boy lay there by himself, we spend more time with him and when we were ready they would came for him, as they put him on the gurney and wheeled him away I could not help but hug him one more time. We went home to console Angel his sister.....and cried and cried and cried we didn't really sleep, the next morning we were still in shock there was an absolute void of his presence that once filled our home. As the days went on I've never known such grief.
He gave us such unconditional love and loyalty.... so in return we wanted to be there to. the .very. end with him we prayed that he would not pass in his sleep he was loyal to us we were loyal to him to the very end.
It's been two years now ....We gave our boy the best life he could have ever wanted and miss him every single day.
THANK You Charlotte & Emmy's Heart for you support!
Written by: Jim & Jackie Hamill
by S. Myers
Tanner was an 11 year old Beagle, my 3rd Beagle in 23 years. He was a wonderful dog & unlike my other 2 Beagles he was mostly tan & white. I adopted him on Memorial Day weekend in 2006. He left me by euthanasia on 8-13-14. Around the beginning of 2015 it occurred to me that I had "lost" Tanner last summer. An odd & overwhelming sensation came over me. I had never felt quite like that before. I said to myself "that could not be possible" and I really meant it. I felt as though I had "lost time", as if I had been in a coma for about 3 months or so. I simply could not grasp the conception it had been that long ago. You see, when I lost my 1st Beagle my boyfriend & myself went to the Humane Society the very next day. There just so happened to be one pure-bred Beagle in the entire place, so I adopted her & took her home. She was nearly 14 years old when I lost her. Then it took me less than 2 weeks to find Tanner. (Actually my father saw a personal ad in the paper for a 2 year old Beagle & asked me if I wanted the number. I said yes.) It wasn't that I did not love my 2 other Beagles, but I found that was the only way I, personally, could heal from the loss of the other dogs.
However this time it was different for a variety of reasons, but I hope that in about a month or so I will be able to at least start to look for another dog to help me heal from the loss of Tanner. I have a fenced in back yard which is even painful for me to look at & desperately needs filled.
I still do not believe he is gone. In my head I know he is, but my heart doesn't know & it won't until I have another precious Beagle in my life again. If he or she is half as wonderful a dog as Tanner, I will be truly blessed. And maybe part of that gigantic hole in my heart will at least close up a little.
I would like to add a footnote to this concerning an experience I went through on behalf of anyone else who has lost a pet & feels the same way I do. I received a sympathy card from my vet's office like I did with my two previous losses. Before I only received a card, but this time I received something more. The envelope felt rather funny to me so I opened it carefully - I have no idea what I thought was in there. I peeked into the envelope & in the card it looked like a small plastic bag of some sort & there was some of Tanner's tan colored fur. I threw the card down & went into an hysterical crying fit. I could not believe they would do that without asking me first. Some people would have been very happy with that, as I have heard some people remark that they would love to have some hair from their dog or cat. To me, and this is only my feelings, it was morbid & horrifying. I put the card away with the fur in it. I doubt I will ever be able to look at it. It simply compounded my grief. I think all veterinarian offices should ask the family of the departed pet if they would like a reminder of their pet & not ASSUME everyone would appreciate such a gesture.
When animals enter our life, we start a journey filled with adventure, learning, and love. The animals reach deep into us and change us in ways that can hardly be described. We grow in LOVE. And upon their leaving, we are LOST, DEVASTATED. Over time, we explore the story and see the meaning, and stand in AWE of these remarkable beings. What an honor they give us when they walk a part of our lives with us. Barbara Janelle
Live life fully, love yourself more, find bliss, and help others. This is the type of answer that our departed animals would give if asked. “What can I do to honor your life?”
(let the word God in the poem refer to whatever your belief is in a higher being)
And God asked the feline spirit, “Are you ready to come home?”
“Oh, yes, quite so,” replied the precious soul and, “As a cat, you know I am most able to decide anything for myself.”
“Are you coming then?” asked God.
“Soon,” replied the whiskered angel, “but I must come slowly for my human friends are troubled for you see, they need me, quite certainly.”
“But they understand?” asked God, “That you will never leave them? That your souls are intertwined?
For all eternity?
That nothing is created or destroyed?
It just is…forever and ever and ever.”
“Eventually they will understand,” replied the cat, “for I will whisper into their hearts that I am always with them. I just am…forever and ever and ever!”
When God had made the earth and sky
the flowers and the trees,
He then made all the animals
the fish, the birds and bees.
And when at last He’d finished
not one was quite the same.
He said, “I’ll walk this world of mine
and give each one a name.”
And so He traveled far and wide
and everywhere He went,
a little creature followed Him
until its strength was spent.
When all were named upon the earth
and in the sky and sea,
the little creature said, Dear Lord, there’s not one left for me.”
Kindly the Father said to him,
I’ve left you to the end.
I’ve turned my name back to front
and called you dog, My Friend.”Author Unknown
“One of the greatest gifts we receive from dogs is the tenderness they evoke in us!”Dean Koontz
“If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.” Winnie the Pooh
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”Winnie the Pooh
The Pet Lover’s Code
The Pet Lover’s code – 10 Inalienable rights after the death of a special companion animalAlan Wolfelt