Departed Friend Newsletter No. 39 June 2010

June 18, 1999 – March 22, 2010 

 To all my friends, thank you for the candles, notes, cards, condolences and just being there for me during this sad time in my life.


 My Spirit had a good life, I know, but it did not make this any easier. I miss her so much, we ALL do, including the other dogs who search for her. When she left, she took most of my heart with her, which is ironic because while talking to the Vet yesterday, he stated how most people come in and have to think with both their minds and their hearts and usually the hearts win out, and they don’t do what is best for the pet, but what is best for me. I think he told me this because he knows I will think with BOTH heart and mind, rationalize what is right and do all necessary for the one I love. Again, does not make it easier, but it has to be done.

I knew in both heart and mind yesterday when I saw Spirit the way she was that she was NOT coming home. She told me in her ways that only she could, still, I didn’t want to be right. I wanted to be so wrong, so very wrong. She tried to tell me it was OK, when I was telling HER it would be OK. It wasn’t. Nothing is OK. Nothing was OK. She was not OK. I could not prolong her life because of myself, I could not let her not be able to walk, suffer a (possible) stroke, not have a quality of life because of ME because that would be cruel and abuse. So I did what I felt was the best thing to do, but now I feel it wasn’t. Again, my heart over ruling what my mind knows.

Spirit died in my arms with me lying on top of her and hugging her. I could not let go of her even after she left. I have had to deal with hard things in life before but this tore me up.

She was my life and I had to be there with her till the very end, endure the torture I felt to be with her and not let go.  Spirit is being cremated and will be home again this week. It will be another hard day for me. We got a nice urn for her, one which will hold her picture.

She is with my dad now, and he will care for her till we meet again, as well as all the others who have gone before. The next few days will be hard. I just want to sit, hold her little lock of fur, on her bed, and hold her collar and cry.  So thank you again for your kind words and you all helped me in ways you cannot imagine. Thank you for being here for me.

Love to all,  Anne Fromm 

This poem comes, in the words of its author, “from a pet lover’s broken heart…..”

A Tear for Tace

A silent tear sadly falls

As I sit and look around these four empty walls

A happy house it is no more

No muddy footprints on the floor.

An empty chair where you used to be

A sad and lonely house for me.

I look through the window at garden bare,

How I wish that you were still there

Playing ball and running free,

Chasing cats up a tree

How I wish you were still here with me.

A cold wet nose, a happy face

That was my precious little Dog Tace.

 ~ Mrs Kath Greenslade


 My beautiful Tace, age 8 yrs 3 mths   (last picture ~ Jan 2010)

 Our deepest sympathy to Mrs Greenslade in her loss, and may she find comfort in her new Yorkie puppy, Ty-Son.

 Lucy’s Odyssey

These words are dedicated to the memory of my beautiful cat, Lucy, whom I was privileged to know and love from 26th December 1994 until 11th July 2008, and who will stay in my heart and memory for all time.

~ Mike Bryan

Legend has it, that when cats die and depart this Earthworld, they commence a short journey, over a little wooden bridge, into a place simply called The Cat Heaven.

When Lucy died on 11th July 2008, she too started this journey……….

Somewhere in The Cat Heaven, lived a beautiful black cat, who was simply known as Lucy’s Mother. With her, now lived her wonderful family of kittens, all of whom had lived in the Earthworld, but now had crossed the little wooden bridge, and been reunited with their Mother.

Some had joined her after only being in the Earthworld a number of months, some a few years, but all had been with her for a considerable time….

all except the little cat they knew as Lucy.

On this particular summer morning the sun was warming the ground, and with a gentle breeze, all the cats were feeling very sleepy & content.

Suddenly one of the kittens awoke, stretched, looked up and said,

“Mother, There is something I don’t understand. We have all been together for ages now, all except little Lucy. Why is that? Where can she possibly be?”

Her Mother smiled benignly and said in a quiet soothing voice, “I too have wondered where little Lucy can be, for so many years now.

We all know that she wandered off, so long ago, and even though we searched high and low for her, for so many days, we could never find her, and she never came back to us.”

My dream has been that she found a happy place to be, and that some day she will cross the little bridge, and come home to us.

 Cats always said “crossing the little bridge” as they knew that death was never the end, but merely another chapter in their long & eventful lives.

Reassured by her Mother’s wise words, the little kitten purred, snuggled up close, and went back to sleep.

But Lucy’s Mother felt that terrible pang of sadness, not knowing what had happened to her wonderful Lucy, and as she looked into the distance, towards the little bridge, a tear appeared in her eye…..

Later that day, as the sun began to set, one-by-one, the family of cats awoke, stretched, and a few of the kittens began to play.

Then suddenly one of the kittens cried “LOOK” and pointed towards the little bridge. Another little cat was approaching the bridge, a very beautiful black & white cat.

One of the kittens said “Mother, can we go and greet the little cat?” and she said that they could.

So several of them ran over to the bridge, and as they got closer, they stopped very suddenly, one turned and exclaimed “It’s LUCY”

Mother looked up, and peered into the distance, but couldn’t be sure.

Was it Lucy? Could it really be Lucy after all these years? It would be too cruel to believe it could be and then to be disappointed once again.

Then the little black & white cat crossed the bridge into Cat Heaven, and by now the entire family was running towards her – Could it really be little Lucy?

“Mother,  it IS Lucy” they all cried.

Little Lucy was now surrounded by her joyous family.

“Where have you been?” they all cried, “We have been here with Mother for years!”

So many questions to answer, so much to tell them; where to begin……

Eventually, Mother calmed the cats & kittens and they lay on the grass around Lucy, looking up at her with adoring eyes, as she began to tell her story.

” I’ve had a truly Wonderful life………………..

It’s been nearly two years since we lost you. And not one day has gone by without me thinking of you. We love and miss you Jessie forever in our hearts; love mum and dad xxxx

 Then just five days later I watched in horror as little Rosie just 12 months old who lived over the lane was killed by a car. We miss seeing you little Tabby cat.      ♥                     

 (See DF no. 32, September 2008 – Ed.)


When Benji died, Valerie Lockwood and her husband were devastated.  Two friends were particularly sympathetic and supportive, and wrote the poems reproduced below, to help them in their grief.  They have kindly given permission for me to publish them here:

Valerie sent me these beautiful photographs of their dogs Pepper and Benji, who are sorely missed, as well as of Lucky, their much-loved new companion  – a rescue dog, who is very lucky indeed to find such a loving family.

 My Dog

The one who listens when I talk

The one who cheers my lonely walk

The one who nuzzles when I cry

The one who comforts when I sigh

Who else could match my every mood

Who else would feast on scraps of food

Who else would prompt this monologue

̶  Who else but you   ̶


  from Angie

       Don’t forget Dad

It must be very difficult

to be a man in grief

since (men don’t cry)

no tears can brief relief.

It must be very difficult

to stand up to the test

and field the call and visitors

so she can get some rest.

They always ask if she’s alright

and what she’s going through

but seldom take his hand and say

‘My friend, but how are you?’

It just be very difficult

to start each day anew

and try to be so very brave

You see he has lost his little man too.

 from Jean


 This poem was given to me by a friend for my husband over the loss of our Benji, and yes, it’s true, men do have feelings as well! I know my husband, like me, is still so upset over our loss.

 Mrs Valerie Lockwood


Our darling Pepper

Born 24-11-1981

Died 02-11-1993

We miss him so very much



Our darling Benji

Born 30-08-1994

Died 19-02-2010

We miss him so very much


Our new Yorkie Lucky     He is a darling as well.

Raystede* think he is about 3½ years old

Bless him


*Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare ~ where rescue dog Lucky stayed before finding a permanent home with Mr & Mrs Lockwood



Paw Tracks in the Moonlight

By Denis O’Connor


The story of Toby Jug, a very fine cat (with fine illustrations by Richard Morris) 


Paw Tracks …. tells the story of Toby Jug’s first year with the author – a psychologist and teacher (now retired).  Such was the depth of their bond that when Toby died in the 1970’s aged 12, Denis promised him that he would write and publish his life story; it was done in 2004.  The book is divided into five parts:

Winter: The Rescue  The peace of the idyllic countryside is shattered one night in the depths of winter by a scream of agony. Denis finds the mother cat (caught in a trap) and her two kittens; their  situation is hopeless.  Denis defies veterinary advice and takes home the one tiny scrap who shows signs of life – and manages to hand-rear and wean him.

Spring  Their relationship deepens and Toby accompanies Denis almost everywhere, getting used to wearing a harness when necessary to keep him safe.

Summer  Toby is identified as a Maine Coon and Denis finds out who his mother was.  He and Toby set off on a camping trip – on horseback.

Autumn Toby is frightened by fireworks, goes missing and is found again. By a remarkable coincidence, Denis discovers the identity of Toby’s father.

Saying Goodbye Anyone who has ever been devastated by the loss of a companion animal will readily identify with this chapter. The revelation in the last, astonishing, paragraph offers comfort to Denis and may well do to others, too.

(For details on how to get a copy, see the Resources section at the end of this newsletter).


Meredith and Abbey


Our 14 year old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my 4 year old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey.. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so she dictated these words:

Dear God,

Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.
I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her You will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.

Love, Meredith
We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed, ‘To Meredith’ in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, ‘When a Pet Dies..’ Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey & Meredith and this note:
Dear Meredith,

Abbey arrived safely in heaven.
Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away. 

Abbey isn’t sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog.. Since we don’t need our bodies in heaven, I don’t have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by…

Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you..

I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much.

By the way, I’m easy to find, I am wherever there is love.

Love, God 


(Thanks to Anne Fromm and  CK Yoe for this  story.  It has been on the internet for a while, but I think it is worth repeating, to remind us that there are some compassionate people who go beyond the call of duty in their jobs. It is not known who replied to Meredith’s letter, but there is obviously a wonderful person working in the dead letter office of the U.S. Postal Service. –  Ed.)



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