The team at Caring Pathways believes that memorializing pets is part of the grieving process. In our eyes, every pet is special and we want to help them all be remembered as they should be. We have created this Pet Tribute page because we feel that every person who has lost a pet deserves the opportunity to share their story and the love of their favorite companion.
Take a moment to read the tributes, and when you’re ready, we welcome you to share your own by emailing your pet’s photo and written tribute to email@example.com. Please put your pet’s name in the subject line.
I adopted Tipper at the Max Fund when she was 3 months old. Someone had put her out by the side of the road when she was just weaned and a good Samaritan took her to the no-kill shelter. As soon as I picked her up she began playing with the ballpoint pen I was holding.
She always loved pens and pencils. She also liked Q-tips and she taught me that cats like to fetch. One day she dropped a Q-tip at my feet and I tossed it into the hallway. She returned and dropped it for me again. After that we played fetch every morning as I dressed for work.
A very sweet thing occurred when I was ill with food poisoning. I was sitting up in bed and groaning. Tipper was at my feet, but she walked up, looked into my eyes, and gently placed her paw on my cheek. She then stayed on the bed with me all day.
Tipper had digestive problems throughout her life, but with good food and medicine we were able to control it. As she aged she got arthritis and in the months before she died, a large mass grew on her liver. We think it was cancerous, but the vet said she probably wouldn't survive surgery because of her other health problems. She also had temporary blindness.
She never complained and was very affectionate to the end.
What a wonderful friend and companion she was for over 16 years!
Our dear friend and companion, Maggie, passed away on December 26, 2016. She was a loyal, dear friend and always there to keep us company with her unconditional love. We had many years with her as part of our family when we adopted her and her daughter, Millie, in 2002. She was always there to warm your lap, your heart, and her presence was a constant source of fulfillment.
To the Staff at Caring Pathways who was always there to answer my phone calls and answer questions, thank you for your understanding and support you extended to me. You are an amazing team, so thoughtful and caring.
To Dr. Kary Walters, our deepest gratitude for your compassion, patience, and support you extended to my son, Alex, and I during what was very difficult evening. You were a blessing to us and we are thankful for the time and care you spent with us. Thank you also for the love you gave to our sweet girl, Maggie.
You will remain forever in our hearts
May 2000 - December 26, 2016
Mister Monkey Butt
My 15 year-old best friend, soul mate Mister got sick, or at least starting acting sick, very suddenly. He was seeming fine one day and not well the next. I took him to the vet the weekend before Christmas and he ended up having a seizure while at the vet. They gave me some meds and I took him home to see if the meds would get him feeling better. He ended up having more seizures that night and his health declined even further...and I had a feeling that his time was coming to an end. I called Caring Pathways around 5 am and spoke to their on-call vet who talked me through things and we both decided that putting Mister down was the best decision.
Dr. Mike Brodt was the vet that ended up coming out and performing the procedure. I was a blubbering mess and he was very professional yet caring and patient. Explained everything to me so that there would be no surprises. He was so compassionate and really helped me through the most difficult time and decision of my life. It was definitely the best option for the worst time in my life. I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
My Mister was able to pass away in his Mom's arms, on our own terms and in the peace of our own home. I was even given a book about grieving the loss of your pet....and it was a heaven sent! Such a great book that helped me grieve, heal, and write down all my memories of Mister. I would highly recommend them to anyone that has to go through this in the future!
Dr. Mike provided such excellent service to our family last week for our sweet dog Hounder.
My husband and I were out of town and had to coordinate with Mike to go to our home and help our kids with our sick Hounder. He was so kind compassionate and accommodating to our whole family.
Today was a rough day as we picked up the ashes and beautiful paw print memorial. Coincidently, in today's mail was a beautiful card from Dr. Mike, including a sweet Rainbow Bridge poem and other helpful resources. What a blessing!
Thank you all so much for helping us make it through a difficult time. You all are incredible.
Don and Jean Miller
Mr. Potter (Parson Jack Russell) 16 years old
I rescued Potter after witnessing him being thrown out of a moving pick-up truck on a dirt road. I put him in the back seat of my car and we've been best friends ever since! He has touched my heart in way no one has. He has been through many ups and downs with me including a very nasty divorce I didn't think I'd make it through. I choose this picture of him because he saved me many-many times, my little "Super Man."
We don't choose our pets, they choose us...and they come when they know we are ready to understand the true meaning of love. Thank you Potter for being my son, my light, my love and my best friend for 16 years long years. You were an angel in disguise that day you came to me. One day we will meet again...
Thank you Caring Pathways for your genuine and kind nature.
Kelly, Alan & Kylie
I got George as a scrawny baby back in the days you could still get free pets out of the newspaper. He was a thing to see. His orange fur sticking up in tufts all over the place like he got a bad haircut. It wasn't until many years later a vet told me he was a Maine Coon which accounted for why he was always larger than life. I was told he was weened too early from his mom, so he treated me like his mama kitty. He'd curl up on my chest and stuff his nose in my hair and purr for hours. He never failed to cheer me up and never once let on how terrible he felt.
He was my best friend and companion. He was my son's protector from things that go bump in the night. He was, and will always be, the sweetest thing. Words cannot describe how he'll be missed.
Our beloved Tanman was our pride and joy for over 11 and half years. He routinely made us laugh with his goofball nature, gregarious personality and pony-like gait. He was our pal and companion no matter what adventure we set out on. He loved to swim and frolic at any watering hole he could find; dog park ponds, alpine lakes, shallow streams, you name it. He was our protector and our pony boy.
When he was diagnosed with cancer a while back we knew it was only a matter of time before we had to say goodbye. Fortunately, we thoroughly enjoyed his company for another three wonderful years because of the care of the good folks at VRCC.
The past couple of months he started to slow down immensely. I called Caring Pathways to set up a time after Tanner was unable to stand or walk because of his reemerging cancer. They were very helpful and compassionate through the whole process. Dr. Megan Coveyou was the veterinarian to perform the procedure, and we were very relieved when she walked us through the entire procedure with kindness and empathy. She assured us that Tanner was ready and reaffirmed our belief that it was his time.
We are thankful and grateful for her and the entire staff at Caring Pathways for helping us say goodbye to Tanner in a humane and respectful manner.
Tanner is no longer by our side, but forever in our hearts. RIP best friend forever.
Lucy was with me for 14 years. She taught me so much about patience, forgiveness and love. She was a really good dog. I was lucky to have her in my life for so long.
I am so thankful to have found Caring Pathways and especially thankful for Dr. Kelly Knoll. It's actually hard to express how much she comforted me.
Of course I was so stressed and didn't know what to do, she seemed to be so in tune with what I was unable to express in words. I was able to hold Lucy as she fell asleep and it helped so much to be in my home and hold her for as long as I wanted to.
The other thing that helped so much was allowing Lucy's friend Olive our other dog to smell her after she died.
It is a beautiful kind service that you provide at caring pathways. Thank you for helping me.
My beloved Brittany, Belle, my companion and best friend, shared life with me for over 14 years. It was just the two of us for most of that time. Our house cat and buddy, Vinnie, came to join us a few years ago. My memories of Belle are warm and tender, memories that will remain close to my heart forever. She was “the one” — I’ve had other dogs in my life but she was it. She came to me at a time when I really needed a best friend. It’s hard to put into words how much she meant to me and how very much I miss her company.
In her later years, Belle had become the most gentle and loving companion. Dogs become more dearer as they age. Anyone who has ever loved a dog knows they never live as long as you wish they would. The past year I knew Belle was slowing down and becoming more tired. The last few months of her life I spent most every day with her, leaving her alone for only short periods of time. I wanted to be with her as much as I could because I knew I was going to have to part with her. Peacefully, my cherished companion left me on September 18, 2016.
I can’t find words adequate to express my appreciation to Dr. Lori Lowery for helping me with Belle at the end of her life. She and the staff at Caring Pathways are absolutely wonderful. My Belle was treated with such compassion and respect. I thank you again for everything you did for us.
I had hoped for one more week with him, but he was ready sooner. My brave protector and friend, my precious boy. I will miss my him more than I can describe (but bear with me while I try).
From the first time my neighbor's beautiful, out of control foster dog came barreling towards me with a big grin on his face, to his last breath this evening at home, he's loved unconditionally, and made me feel safe. Sometimes maybe overly safe, as evidenced by more than one very freaked out pizza delivery guy and the window sill he would chew on when he couldn't get to whoever was at the door. There have been epic messes (like the time he pulled all the dirty dishes out of the sink, all the trash out of the can, spread all that throughout the house and then methodically peed on the mess while I was at work, a week after I adopted him) and incredible gentleness (sharing his favorite things - his swimming pool and front door guard duty - with my nephew and my goddaughter). He never let the neighborhood cats forget he was watching for them, and never once failed except towards the very end, to get up and dance around my legs when I got home.
He was always happiest when he was with me (and vice versa), and then when we moved to a new house and I adopted more dogs, he was so happy in a bigger pack too. Even in the larger pack though (all of whom I love so much), I always knew he and I had something special, something separate. We have walked miles and miles together, just him and I, and then all the pack together as more joined us. We've walked together in every kind of weather, in the sunshine and in surprise thunderstorms and in the snow and under the stars - my hand will feel so empty without his leash held in it. My front door will look so vulnerable without him at his post. The squirrels will definitely not miss him, but the back yard will seem unfamiliar without him lying out there with his packmates just waiting for those filthy rodents to dare lay one paw on the fence.
I'll miss the dumb stuff like surprise wet toilet seats (the jerk was a sloppy drinker and loved toilet water like fine wine) and the wookie-sized hair balls that filled the vacuum cleaner weekly (German shepherds only shed once a year they say, for 365 days). Mostly though I'll miss his teeny soft kisses when he said hi, the way he'd lean the top of his head into my chest (a "Stryker hug"), the way he'd follow me from room to room even when it hurt so much to walk, the way we used to play so much fetch that there was a permanent path where no grass could grow. I'll miss his excitement the first time I'd fill his kiddie pool in the spring, his larger than life enthusiasm for any new experience, the way he loved to dive face first into the snow when we got "a big one" and there were drifts to play in.....and the feeling of being completely safe with him by my side.
In his lifetime with me he has eaten horrifying trash and innumerable pairs of underwear and somehow not died, chewed through something like $400 worth of very nice shoes, torn apart throw pillows and furniture, peed in a cereal bowl that he managed to not break while pulling it out of the sink (a proud moment for him I'm sure), peed on a stranger sitting on the ground in a dog park (the one time I pretended he was not my dog), gutted every squeaky toy he got his mouth around, and fearlessly barked at any living thing that dared to come within eyeshot of the house. He has jumped fences to bravely pursue his feline foes, escaped the yard and survived dodging rush hour traffic only to be apprehended by kind strangers a mile away and a terrifying hour later (for me it was terrifying, he seemed to have had a blast), defended the back yard against cats and squirrels and pigeons, kissed babies, dug holes in the lawn faster than I could fill them back up. He has taken long sprawling naps on the furniture, swum in lakes and canals and one public fountain, ecstatically gulped down the wind with his head out the car window on every ride we ever took, made friends with everyone he met (with the exception of pizza delivery guys and the mailman), explored the mountains and the city, played fetch in the finest of off-leash parks, guarded the front door faithfully even to his last hours when he needed my help getting there, and has fallen asleep by my side at the end of each excellent day for the past 2,541 days.
I don't know his story from his life before. What I do know is that whatever road brought him, God carried him straight to me because He knew we needed eachother. And while I (for serious y'all) do not recommend an untrained ultra smart adult working dog for a beginning dog owner (what the heck was I thinking??), he and I learned together (sometimes the hard way) what it means to be a team, how to trust and understand eachother. From me he also learned to sit, stay (mostly) and what it felt like to be loved and spoiled to the last drop of life. From him I learned that every experience is exciting, each moment is best when given your sole focus, and that sometimes God's very best and kindest gifts to us will pee on the dishes, and that's okay. From the time he let me lay my head on his side for our first ever selfie, right up to the end when he let me know he was ready to go, that the pain was too much and he hated the indignity of needing help on the stairs and with getting out of bed and even with just standing up and walking - we've had a once in a lifetime bond that has just been my favorite.
Because he has always seen and mirrored my emotions, and I wanted him to be happy to the last moment, today was a good day with only a little crying (and lots of hugs, kisses, steak, naps in the sunshine, fresh pool water and really really good meds). There is a giant, hairball and slobber coated hole in my heart today, but I gave my friend the last and most important thing I could - I let him go when he was ready.
Stryker "The Gentle Badass" Johnson, my sidekick, guardian and best buddy from 9/9/2009 - 8/22/2016
This is Jeremy. I found her sitting in a stair well and as I went back to my apartment, she followed me in and made herself at home on my bed. I called out of work sick to get some kitty things and a week later, the vet let me know he was a she. I accidentally adopted my first kitty.
She was my snuggle bunny and my love muffin. I had the best worst sleep as she kept me up most nights. She helped me get ready in the mornings (she loved the hair dryer), she greeted me when I came home, and she waited patiently for me to get ready for bed. She loved her supervised outdoor time to eat grass and explore and it was a joy to watch her and Daddy fight with the blankie to get into sleeping position each morning before I left for work. I loved those rare times when Jeremy and her kitty sister Pumba would snuggle together for a few moments before a fight would begin. There are so many good and wonderful memories.
Jeremy was diagnosed with kidney disease a few years ago--we knew how this would end. We lived life day by day and gave a ton of loves. Each day was a blessing. Jeremy was 18 years young when we had to say goodbye to her October 17, 2016. She is now with her Angus that passed May 19, 2006. Jeremy is Pumba's guardian angel to watch over and keep her safe. I miss Jeremy so very much.
Dear Dr. Muhovich,
Many thanks for your patience yesterday. I was not expecting to fall apart over the decision - as I said, I'd been preparing for that moment for more than a year, at least - I was operating on very little sleep for over the past week.
Thank you so very much for saying the things that convinced me he need to move on. I think the most critical piece was your recognition that Emerson greatly valued living in dignity, and this was becoming so very taxing for him. You said many other things that were important, too, and in retrospect, I should have taken them as more direct guidelines for making the decision - rather than continuing to agonize.
Having experienced the process, now, I think would find the decision much easier, seeing him transition from anxiety to comfort, and then slip away so seamlessly. I am grateful that the transition was in comfort and peace - and I am so grateful to have been there with him.
Oh our dear, sweet Ireland dog -
You gave us so much love, happiness and laughter in your 11 years. Since you were just a "tiny" puppy, bigger than many "regular" sized dogs up until your sweet old age, we loved to see you grow, and grow, and grow. While most people were struck by your size, mistaking you for a pony and even a lama, we were most struck by your sweet and delicate demeanor and your expressive and loving personality. You were a wonderful "first born" to us and an even greater big sister to Ivy. We will never forget arguing amongst each other about who ate all the cheese plate at thanksgiving (until we realized it was you who stole it off of the table so quietly!) and all the cookies you snuck out of the Tupperware. You were so funny trying to teach Ivy to say "please" for the nilla wafers (even though we knew you were really in it for yourself!) From Nebraska, to New Mexico, to your final resting place in Colorado, you were the very best of our friends.
Love you always-
Mom, Dad and Ivy
Our sweet baby girl...we miss her so much❣Always a fun challenge, whether counter surfing or being the center piece on someone's dining table....Even tho we have more Portuguese Water Dogs that are just as goofy, our home will never be the same. With all her craziness, she learned how to be a CGC and help people with disabilities...she loved to pick up what they dropped and hand it back to them. She got her Rally Excellent title and a water title, as she loved to swim...Such a wonderful 13 years baby girl!! We knew her time had come and Dr. Kary Walters was so graciously able to help us say good bye just a few short weeks ago, right here at home, with her best friend Dende.
Bushido & Lucy Liu
How blessed we were to have these wonderful "Seniors" as part of our lives.
Bushido (Shido), our 13 yr. old Boxer, was hours from being euthanized when we brought him home in November 2012; he had been dropped off at Denver Municipal Animal Shelter because he was emaciated and no longer wanted. Shido was a wonderful "Old Man" who brought lots of love to our home. A true warrior to the end, Shido chose his favorite tree to lay under and made his journey to a better place in the arms of his human mom. We will miss his ever protecting nature and ever present "hitch" in his giddy-up. Thank you Bushido for blessing our family.
Lucy Liu, our 14 yr.old Bulldog, was dropped off at an out of state shelter with six rotten teeth, a double ear infection, an upper respiratory infection, untreated chronic dry eyes and tremendous arthritis in her shoulders. Lucy Liu came into our lives January 2014 and blessed our home with love for an additional two years and ten months . She was a loving girl who looked after her fur brothers and sisters. We will miss her kind eyes and her inability to keep her food in her bowl while eating. Thank you Lucy Liu for blessing our family.
Dr. Stacee Kim is one of the most compassionate vets we have had the privilege to meet. She has such a wonderful "bedside" manner and is so genuinely concerned for the patients well-being and comfort. It meant a great deal to our family that she was part of this journey. The dignity with which she treated Lucy Liu was so appreciated. Thank you Dr. Kim.
This thank you comes with such gratitude for the professional and caring help from Dr. Megan Coveyou. My precious little guy DaVinci was comforted with her assistance in beginning his journey to a place of peace and a new dimension of renewed vitality and joy.
I appreciated the reassurance and support in saying "goodbye for now" to my beloved 16 1/2 year-old fun and loyal friend. I was privileged to share life with my "angel in fur" and will always feel his presence with his paw prints forever left on my heart!
Caring Pathways provides an invaluable option for making a poignant time one of compassion and comfort for beloved pets and their guardians in the familiar setting of home. The flexibility of available hours, range of services, thoughtful message of sympathy, research donation in their honor, and providing just the "perfect blanket and basket" for my little one confirms my impression of your profound respect for the specialness of every creature in your care!
With sincerest appreciation,
Marilyn and DaVinci
Our dear family dog BlackBerry was a Black Labrador, a scoundrel but with a heart of gold. He and his siblings started out as accidents as our neighbor’s dear dog Cocoa, a Chocolate Labrador, became fertile before they could get her fixed. Knowing what a sweet dog Cocoa was we had to have one of her puppies. He was named for the fruit after a trip to Idaho and picking BlackBerries. BlackBerry became not only our dog but the neighborhood dog.
Since his father was unknown he was a bastard. He lived up to that reputation as well as being the sweetest and most social dog you could imagine. If he was off leash his one job was to spread joy to people. Most who appreciated it but some didn’t.
As a Labrador he had a one-track mind for food. Thank God he was fixed or who knows how many children he would have sired.
We had a perpetual battle to keep food off the counter or the kitchen island. When things got eerily quiet in the house you knew Blackberry was on the prowl. We found too many bread bags and chip bags to count, outdoors where he would sneak his treasures through the dog door. One time he took two pounds of cookie dough that was thawing. He always had the guilty look, knowing what he had done was wrong but that he couldn’t help it.
At a young age, my daughter who rode horses and was a good at jumping, taught Blackberry how to jump higher. Thanks. That led to a years long battle of raising the fence higher and exploring for weak points and jumping and landing points to try to keep him in the yard. He just wanted to escape and go socialize.
He was always pulling on the chain even with a choke collar. There might be people who can train labs to not pull but we weren’t one of them. We were glad to have a nice dog that was nice to kids and adults. On winter trips to Snow Mountain Ranch he would even pull kids on the cross country trail and it was quite a ride.
Our neighbor spoiled him rotten with food, toys and attention and loved to have him over. When she becomes a grand mother she will be a favorite of the grand children.
He was never well behaved walking, always wanting to socialize or sniff both sides of the path. Until the last year when he became so docile.
His incredible run of scaring the snot out of anyone coming to the house eventually came to an end.
He was vigorous for a very long time and lasted 13 years. His decline proceeded over a year as seizures, not jumping, not smelling, not barking, not wanting to walk, incontinence, emaciation and finally pain which led us to Caring Pathways.
I know it is a very difficult and dirty job to do what they do. I don’t think Mike Rowe of the “Dirty Jobs” TV show could do it. Dr. Lowery was very compassionate, explained the procedure thoroughly and understood what I was going through.
Blackberry was loved and gave love back in spades. RIP friend.
Nimbus was our Ol' Faithful Cloud. We helped rescue him from a negligent owner around 9 years ago and he's been part of our family ever since. Always standing guard and protecting my frail Mother. We'll never forget you Ol Boy, and I'll never forget our weekly howls at the moon. Once your back legs went out on you, we knew we needed to end your suffering, but it was hard for Momma to let you go. Keep an eye on all of us down here, and make sure to howl at the moon, and play in the daisies. We were so luck to be treated with such love from Caring Pathways.
From, Johnna and Lennia Holcomb and "Unca Steve"
About nine years ago I couldn't get it out of my mind to get a greyhound. I even had a dream one night about a beautiful fawn colored greyhound that made my heart leap for joy.
Soon I found myself online viewing available greyhounds at Recycled Racers in Commerce City, Colorado. One autumn day I visited their kennel to "look" at greyhounds as the famous saying goes.
As I entered the kennel, there were many excited greyhounds. They were turned out into a pen for me to view. They all ran up to the fence where I was standing, and then retreated to play. Only one of the greyhounds remained by the fence. She was a beautiful fawn colored 3 year old female they had named "Sue". She seemed to want to stay close to me.
They let me take "Sue" for a walk and my jaw dropped at how beautiful she was and she took my breath away. Needless to say, I fell in love with her and soon adopted her.
I always loved the name Rosey so I changed her name to Rosey which became such a fitting name over the years. Her personality was sweet, gentle, playful, and loving.
We developed an unbreakable bond over the next nine years. Her favorite things were going to the dog park everyday to play with her friends, riding in the car with me (her dad), greeting neighbors on our walks in our community, greeting me when arriving home from work, eating all the wonderful dog treats I gave her, laying by my side while I watched television, and her long greyhound naps.
Rosey became a pet therapy dog at Lutheran Medical Center in Lakewood, Colorado and we volunteered at the hospital and hospice visiting patients. She moved to Indianapolis with me when my job transferred there, and then moved back to Colorado with me when by job returned to Denver. She's been on road trips with me to Montana, Estes Park, Evergreen, Pueblo, and on errands all over Denver.
As Rosey grew older we started slowing our pace and adjusting to her needs. She still got a car ride nearly every day and we'd go to the park for leisurely morning and evening walks.
Soon she developed mobility problems and was experiencing pain. The thing I never wanted to think about started to loom around us. I assisted my greyhound girl as much as I could to adjust to her ever-changing mobility needs.
One morning I took her to the park for a walk and her hind legs began to fail her. We made it back to the car but she couldn't make her legs work to lay on her bed. I was afraid she was going to injure herself but she finally settled on the bed.
After a previous visit with Stacey from Caring Pathways and phone calls to them during the week, I immediately called them when we had returned from the park. My emotions were in overload and I felt completely numb. I scheduled an appointment for 1130 that morning and Lori from Caring Pathways came to our home. I met Lori in the parking lot and we did all the paperwork in her car before going in to see Rosey. My numb emotions began to fill with tears as I said goodbye to my good greyhound girl. She passed very peacefully in the comfort of our home. Lori let me spend some time alone with Rosey to say my final goodbyes.
Lori and Stacy from Caring Pathways made Rosey's and my journey through this difficult time more manageable and I'm extremely grateful to them.
I miss Rosey immensely but am so thankful she is no longer in pain. A friend of mine told me Rosey has crossed over the rainbow bridge to heaven. I had never heard of the Rainbow Bridge but it was comforting. Rosey gave me unconditional love over the years and I reciprocated it back to her. It was truly a relationship of love. I thank her for enriching my life and she will forever have a special place in my heart.
We are heartbroken, but we couldn't let another day go by without thanking Caring Pathways, and especially Dr. Lori, for the kindness, and compassion you all showed during this time.
We adopted Lena in May 2014, from Safe harbor labrador rescue. We knew she was a senior, but felt she would be a good fit with our 10-year-old Labrador Gus, who was aging rapidly, and had other health issues including severe hip dysplasia. Turns out, it was a great fit. Lena was almost completely blind when we picked her up that day in May, but we didn't hesitate and taking her. We loved her the moment we laid eyes on her. She was funny, affectionate, loved to give hugs, and was my constant shadow. It's just not the same without her here.
We knew she had a tumor in her kidney, and the kidney function was not good. But we've been told by the vet that this could go on for quite a while, but I wasn't expecting her to be fine at lunchtime on Friday, and not be able to stand up on her own Friday night. This just happened so quickly, and I was emotionally unprepared. As a family, we decided to call and schedule the euthanasia the next morning. Friday night, I laid on the floor with her, with my pillow up against her bed. I stroked her head and rubbed my hand up and down her side and wondered to myself if anything else could be done, instead of putting her down. Maybe there was some other medication that we could give her that could prolong her life? Maybe there was some other idea the vet could come up with? I Knew there wasn't, but I was agonizing over what my baby Lena was going through. I kept stroking her, and was waiting for her to give me a sign, like all of my previous dogs had done. She looked at me with sad eyes, and I knew she was giving up,but I needed some reassurance from her, that it was time for her to go. I laid there on the floor with her, and talked to her, and started to cry. Lena then must have sensed something from me, and suddenly began to lick my fore head. I couldn't believe it, I needed a sign, and maybe she was giving me that sign. Then she started to nudge my hands which had stop rubbing her, and as soon as I opened my hands up, she began licking them also, then back to my forehead with more licks. OK, I thought to myself, this is my sign.....this is Lena telling me she can't go on any longer. She knew I needed that sign and she gave it to me.
That Saturday, I called Caring Pathways in the morning, and scheduled in home euthanasia for 2 PM that day. Dr. Lori arrived right on time. The entire process was so calm, and peaceful, not just for us, but for Lena. Our other Labrador Gus was present when Lena was given her sedative. He came over sniffed her a little bit, and then laid back down. Lena left this world surrounded by her family who loved her immensely, and comfortable in her bed, with her toys and tennis balls around her. We got to hold her and stroke her, until she was gone. As she was carried out on a stretcher to the car, Gus walked alongside of the her, and Dr. Lori and my husband stopped the stretcher and lowered it a little bit, and Gus sniffed Lena's head one more time. I think this was his goodbye to her.
Caring Pathways made a very difficult time a little bit easier. You all are true professionals and have such good hearts and love for all animals. I don't know what I would've done without you that day. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you all.
In friendship from us, and hugs from Lena,
Brian, Carolyn, and Samantha Langan
Jesse died Tuesday night. He gradually lost mobility and started to slip in and out of consciousness by the time the vet arrived to help him pass on.
Jesse was a dog--"just a dog" as some would say. I know. But he was also a constant presence in my life, sometimes peripheral and other times central, but always THERE. Jesse helped me bear the fear and newness of living on my own when I began my PhD program. I had a cat. But I, we, needed a dog. I needed company. At four months old, he seized that role, and he never looked back. And though Todd entered our lives when Jesse was almost one year old, in Jesse's eyes, he was always MY dog, and I was always HIS human. Todd was a pleasant interloper whom Jesse had affection for.
In essence, Jesse became a part of me, and I became a part of him. When David arrived, since David was of me, he was of Jesse. So Jesse tolerated him. Then suddenly, in between nursings and diaper changes, I looked down at Jesse, and my boy had grown old. He'd become my old man.
And now Jesse's gone. My thirteen year old constant shadow. My food hound. My cranky old man. I've lost a dog, but I also lost a part of myself, my history, our youth spent together. That first year of living alone with him and Noni, and eating cheeseburgers and ice cream cones together, and him laying on my feet when I became too jittery and nervous. The part of myself I lost isn't a limb or a digit, but more like a vital part of myself like a lobe of my heart where I'll keep moving on, but it will never beat quite the same way. I'll survive. I'll move on. Todd will move on. David will move on. And we'll do it all over again.
In fact, we began to move on a few weeks before Jesse passed away when we adopted a one year old dog named Abbie from a shelter. Jesse found her mildly amusing and tolerated her admirably. She's also been a great comfort to David, kissing him and sniffing his face when he's upset.
I tell myself that at least I was there to help him pass away. He received love and praise the entire time.
So, Jesse's gone, leaving behind an ache akin to phantom limb syndrome. He was just a dog. But he was my dog. And I was his human.
Tula (01/13/2012 - 07/27/2016)
I want to thank caring pathways and Dr. Joann for helping us let our princess pass on to heaven. She has been my best friend and companion for four short years and we have done just about everything together. She has helped me through some of my hardest times and i hope she knew that is what i always did for her. at about one years of age she began a three year long journey with seizures and we tried medicine to keep them under control but they always seemed to return. We bought a home this past January and a couple months after moving i noticed that she was starting to act strange. She just seemed not herself. I took her to her neurologist thinking a seizure may have caused brain damage. What we found was much worse an autoimmune disease called Meningoencephalitis. We had her take a cocktail of drugs to manage that along with her seizures. After a few er trips and a stay at the hospital twice and finally the breaking point she no longer was able to walk/ stand/ eat/ potty on her own very well. The last er visit was because i knew she was in pain ( i made both of us a promise that if she was going to be living in pain and the quality of life was no longer fair … we would make a decision). Up until then i was able to help manage her quality of life but now i knew it was no longer fair. I was given the information on how her goodbyes could be done at home and she could stay in my arms, have a last meal, enjoy family and see her brother. Tula, was truly my best friend and my husband loved her dearly (more than i ever thought he would) and she was loved by so many of my friends and family.When i brought her home as a puppy i knew i loved her but I do not think I could imagine how much comfort and love she would bring me and all theses people in four years. She was sweet and strong … she was stronger than me at times. On July 27th, 2016 my husband Derek, her aunt Alisa, myself and Dr. Joann gave her to heaven at home … I do not think it was a bad day for her and I do not believe I would have done it any other way. She loved us all so much and what a beautiful way to show her how much we loved her? I love my little Tula!
Rufus was a love bug. That’s the best way to describe him. If he had been a person he would’ve been one of those people who glided through life, carefree and happy, never saying an unkind word about anyone. True, he was skittish around strangers, but I felt honored to be the one he trusted and the one to whom he gave all his love. When his older brother, Reed, passed away from cancer in March of 2016, he and I became even closer and I remember saying to him, “Reed had to leave us, but you and I still have many years together,” and I took comfort in that while I grieved my Reed.
Then the unthinkable happened. Just 7 weeks after Reed passed away, Rufus was also diagnosed with late stage cancer and at the tender age of 10 I had to make the agonizing decision to let him join his brother at Rainbow Bridge. I was so overcome with grief that at one point I didn’t think I was going to be able to stop crying. Dr. Lori Lowery had come to the house to help Reed pass and I knew that she had to come help Rufus, too. When I answered the door that morning, the look on her face was one of shock and empathy. And it was that empathy that helped me through the ordeal. She never once said something like “that’s just how life goes sometimes” or “when it’s your time it’s your time.” She was upset and confused as to how this could be happening, just like I was, and I felt that my feelings were validated. There’s a difference between sympathy and empathy. Sympathy is nice, but it was the empathy exhibited by Dr. Lowery that made me feel that she truly understood the horrible ordeal I was going through. I also turned to the Caring Pathways website, which has some great links to grief counseling resources, including some really great articles on the stages of grief. I found them very helpful in the extremely sad days right after Rufus’s passing.
I can’t say enough about Dr. Lowery, the Caring Pathways team, and the resources they provide. I have recommended them to several friends and talked them up to many more. I’m not a religious person, but I thank God that Caring Pathways exits and I feel blessed that I was able to be comforted by them during an extremely trying time for me.
The day I walked into the Aurora animal shelter 14 years ago I could never have known how strongly it would effect not just my life but the life of my husband and 3 daughters as well. Walking through the kennels seeing all those sweet dogs just wanting someone to take them home I wondered how I would ever chose…then I came across this kennel at the end and I instantly stopped, knelt down and was looking into the most beautiful round brown eyes I have ever seen, it was love at first site!!! I knew instantly this little girl was the perfect fit for our family…besides I am sure my husband would understand…what's one more girl in the house right.
From that day on my love for Cassie just grew. She blended into our family perfectly. She became a best friend, wonderful protector and guardian, especially for our girls, not to mention a play mate, and such a fun and loyal dog who just always wanted more ear scratches and love. When we decided to add to our animal kingdom Cassie was the best teacher to our new addition Toby. She whipped him into shape in no time :)
Through all the years of ups and downs Cassie was a constant smile in my life! Seeing her would always, no matter what, bring a smile to my face and make me feel like everything was just fine, snuggling up to her fury lion main (as she was half Golden and half chow) was so comforting to me in those 14 years.
The last year or so was difficult as she struggled with an issue with her foot we could never get cleared up no matter what the vets tried and in the last month she would mainly use only her 3 good legs to get around…even as she became weaker she still tried to go on walks as she loved to sniff EVERYTHING. The hard decision came regarding her quality of life and that it was time to let her go to heaven and be restored to that beautiful vibrant young girl she once was. We contacted Caring Pathways as we wanted to give her a special send off and not drag her into a cold Vet for her last moments on earth. Caring Pathways was the BEST decision! Dr Walters was so wonderful, she spent time with our precious girl before we started and was very thorough in explaining how everything would take place. I was so blessed to be the one laying in the front yard under the large tree in Cassie's favorite spot holding her and looking into her beautiful brown eyes as they closed for the last time.
I love you Cassie and you will FOREVER be in our hearts and always will be on my mind and I am so excited to see you again in heaven someday where I can watch you run and play on all 4 legs :) All my love Mom!
Opie Satchmo Hanuman Pugadeus Muttzart Behl
My dog snuffles damp leaves
I stand close by
Leashed at the heart
Staccato toenails on the sidewalk
Ears flop in syncopated time
Footsteps keep the back beat
I feel very remiss in not writing before this. When we made the most difficult decision to let go of our most precious boy Teak I was recommended to you by my neighbor Emily. Our kitty Teak was so much more than just a pet. He had given us joy for almost 24 years. When Dr. Lori Lowery arrived immediately my husband Steve and I felt such a sense of calm. She was so graceful and loving as I told her I wasn’t able to be there as my babe took his last breath. She hugged me and said she understood why I couldn't be present. Steve held Teak as he quietly went to sleep. I can’t put into words what having a service like Caring Pathways means to us and so many others. On a lighter note we are going to be the proud parents of two Siberian kittens! They will not replace my Teak but we are thrilled to welcome these precious nuggets into our lives.
Again, we can’t say enough about what you do and it’s so comforting to know you are out there. xoxo Lisa Olsen
I Had Steak Today!
It was a good day, one of my best. I had a steak today, one prepared just for me. It was not a couple of bites of table scraps, or even one of the delicious juicy bones that dad often gives me at the end of our family barbecues. It was not even like the time I nabbed dad’s steak off of his plate while he was answering the door and left it unattended. Boy, the look on his face that day was priceless! I guess he never figured that I could get, and eat, that entire steak so quickly before he returned to his empty plate. Dad still tells that story to this day, and everybody laughs about it.
No, my steak today was different. It was prepared with love by my people, and it was all mine.
The boys and I had a big slumber party the night before. We all stayed up really late and even watched movies deep into the night. I don’t often get to spend a night with all three of them. I usually sleep with the oldest boy, and do my best to avoid being rolled on top of during the nights. Last night was a really wonderful time with all of the boys petting me and snuggling me. I really love this family of mine.
These days the boys are “extra gentle” with me, as it seems that every part of my body that can, usually hurts really badly. The boys joke that this is only natural because I am 115 years old they say, so they go out of their way to be really careful when they pet and hold me. I am happy that they have been able to help me move around the house when I need to. They are loving people.
We have all had some pretty great adventures over the last many years. I have been a part of great celebrations, along with the quiet and comfy times just sitting in the sun. We have had a mostly wonderful life, with some occasional sad times as well, but we have always been there for each other as a family should.
I have had a chance to see my people really develop as a genuinely loving family. I have enjoyed many full days of watching mom and dad flirt with each other in the kitchen. Then we all snuggle in on the couch for some down time. Even though mom and dad love each other as much as anyone possibly could, I still let mom know that dad is my person, and I’m not afraid to push her out of the way just so that I can lie down on dad’s lap.
Probably my favorite part of the past decade has been watching my three boys grow into what are quickly becoming strong, caring, capable young men. They are always dashing off to something fun and usually getting extremely dirty in the process. I really love those guys!
I guess this day has gone down the way that it should. My people all snuggled me for hours. They cried a lot and petted me with happy tears filling their eyes, then daddy held me on his lap in the sun and, with a full belly and a tremendous amount of love, I drifted into a peaceful sleep.
It was a good day, one of my best.
Tasha was more than just the best dog in the world. She was a daughter and a sister in our family, and losing her is perhaps one of the hardest things we've ever gone through. In the 14 years we had her in our lives, Tasha wrapped herself so tightly around her hearts that it's difficult to imagine how we will ever get over losing her, but we know that in the end it was for the best. Her pain was too much for all of us to bear, even together, though we all wish we could have carried some of it for her.
Tasha could run faster than any dog you'll ever see, and her favorite job in the world was patrolling our back yard to "protect" us from wayward squirrels. She loved her obnoxious squeaky red ball, which we all tolerated for the sake of her happiness. Sometimes she'd curl up into a ball on her bed so small and tight you could hardly believe it was a whole dog in there. She was a regular pizza bandit and managed to steal slices off of the plates of our friends when we were kids. She let us call her weird nicknames (Taco, Muffin, Goose) and would come running every time, just because she recognized the affection in our voices as we used them. She loved us so deeply, and would greet us with such joy whenever we came home after a long day away.
Tasha was a very, very special dog. When we knew it was time for our beautiful girl to go, we trusted Caring Pathways to take care of her. We wanted her last moments on Earth to be in the peace and quiet of her own home with her family. Dr. Kary helped make our pain a little easier to bear, and she made sure to talk us through everything as she did it. She gave us our time to say goodbye, and when Tasha was taken away she was wrapped so carefully in a blanket it was almost like she was asleep. Nothing about the experience was cold or detached. Dr. Kary cried with us and hugged us when she had to leave with our girl. Saying goodbye was the hardest thing in the world, and she was understanding and empathetic every step of the way, never once rushing us or making light of our feelings.
Tasha's only responsibility in the world was to love us and accept our love in return, and she did it beautifully. We will miss having her white tufts of fur all over our house. We will miss her radiant soul.
Thank you, Caring Pathways, for all that you've done for us.
Thank you so so much for your caring ways and the time you spent with us. You were so gentle and so there for us. I miss him terribly, and Lucy is lonely but not looking for him.
When we went to pick out a rescue dog in 2006 I asked for an "older, sweet dog who's struggling here". They brought out Bounder. At 3 or 4 years old, "Boog" was just that, a sweetie who just wanted to be somebody's dog. He stuck to me like glue and remained that way until the end (maybe a little less 'stuck', but definitely within eyesight.) Bounder was a bit of a loner when it came to other dogs and preferred to stick around us humans. He could sense even the slightest shift of emotion in both me and Mike and knew exactly when to offer comfort. Mike says that Bounder helped teach him so much about love. It doesn't feel real that he is gone. We miss his fuzzy face, but know that he is now forever bounding in the sun. We love you baby boy.
-Janet and Mike Johnston
Our beloved dog Georgie who we had to part with in April 2016 at 12 1/2 is still such a void in our lives. Our family adored him and his favorite place as this picture represents was laying in the stream and shaking all over us! Caring Pathways was absolutely wonderful. We couldn’t have asked for a more loving way to say goodbye! THANK YOU CARING PATHWAYS!!
-Tim and Sandy Drouillard
You came to our house and helped us say goodbye to our girl. Thank you! This is our tribute to Jetti....we miss her dearly!
Here is the song we composed in tribute to Jetti:
Moomba had been a part of our lives for 12 1/2 years. He came to live with us shortly after our youngest son was in an accident and broke his neck (he is ok). He slept under our son’s bed and this ultimately became his den. No matter how many changes we made to this room he always slept in there.
It is funny how many things we do for our pets and don’t even really think about it - that is until we don’t have to do them any more. Daily things - out the door first thing in the morning, share breakfast, a long walk, eventually a shorter walk. Vacuuming up all of that shedded hair that you now miss, sharing lunch, him sleeping in the yard while you work. Short rides just to get an ice cream cone, special treats that you hope he is still getting. The list could go on and on as your life revolved around support for your friend.
Him meeting you at the door every time you return and wondering what you brought him. The camping excursions, dips in the lake, chasing rabbits and birds. Special holidays where he was just another kid at the table or with presents under the tree. Even had his own birthday parties and gifts. An invaluable member of the neighborhood as he was remembered as the brown dog with the guy in the red coat that was out every day walking.
We miss him today as in every day and will continue to miss him until we meet again at
“The Rainbow Bridge”.
Bob & Jane’e Chad & Brad
Reed was a very important and special part of my life. I’m single and have no children so my pets ARE my children! When I adopted Reed from the shelter they told me he was 11. That was 11 years ago. So that would mean that he lived to the ripe old age of 22. I’m not so sure he was actually that old, but regardless, I’m at peace with the fact that he lived a long, happy life and was healthy right up until the very end. I’m grateful for the years we spent together and very grateful that I quit my corporate job a year ago to start my own business and work from home. Little did I know that would be the last year of Reed’s life and that I would get to spend more quality time with him than I ever had before.
Reed was Mr. Personality and loved everyone as soon as they walked in the door. He had so many personality quirks that I’ve never seen in another cat and I suppose I may never again. He loved to wake me up in the morning by climbing onto the pillow next to mine, and meowing and purring in my face until I woke up and petted him. He would then roll around on the bathmat while I took a shower and then lap the water droplets off of the shower door when I opened it. I wasn’t allowed to get ready in the morning or brush my teeth at night without him on the vanity to “help” me. I couldn’t take a bath without him on the bathmat, either, or him putting his front paws on the edge of the tub so that he could peer into the water. He was always there to greet me when I got home and protested my leaving, especially when there was a suitcase involved. He would even “help” me decorate the house for Christmas by investigating all of the ornament boxes and diving into all of the tissue paper. But I miss cuddling with him on the sofa the most – that was our most precious bonding ritual.
One day in March 2016 he started to act not like himself and a few days later I took him to the vet only to find out he had late stage cancer. A few days after that Dr. Lori Lowery came to the house to help Reed pass into the next life. He was sleeping in his favorite spot in the sun and I’m ever so grateful that he was able to go happily and peacefully. I was devastated by Reed’s passing, but I give my most heartfelt thanks to Dr. Lowery and the Caring Pathways team for doing what they do! Reed was my honey pie and he lives on in my heart forever.
Dear Caring Pathways,
I cannot thank you enough for the wonder care you provide not only for our beloved CeCe, but also for us as we were in a "puddle of tears" on our back porch last evening.
I've always known saying goodbye to a pet is hard, but I had no idea it would be this hard. My heart feels literally broken today, she left such a huge hole.
Sierra, affectionately known as CeCe, was my husband's best buddy. She was a 15 1/2 yo Lab/Vizla mix. He got her from Denver Dumb Friends League back before we met each-other.
CeCe was always full of spunk, loved car rides, dog parks, swimming, talking back to us (literally), and bones! But most of all she loved her family. She was always by Erik's side. He even joked that his darn "Red Dawg" probably knew him better than he knew himself.
I brought 2 other cats and 2 other dogs to our marriage, but CeCe was always the pack leader. Today, our dogs are clearly going through some separation/depression issues; but together we are going to get through this.
Thanks to Dr. Lori Lowery for taking such good care of our old girl! Thanks for honoring her in the pitch of night on our back porch, just where our sweet girl got to watch her last sunset.
Rest in peace sweet Sierra! We will come pick you up on the other side of the rainbow bridge.
Kristin & Erik Williams
Fourteen years. That’s how long Max was with us.
We met him at a Humane Society shelter in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. The moment we saw his eyes from behind the stall gate, both my wife Audrey and I knew. He was then a three months old German shepherd mix.
Since then he’d faithfully follow us, through eight consecutive moves, across Countries and even on different continents. If he could have described himself, he would have probably started by pointing out that, yes, he was a…well-travelled dog…! Darn, if only canine Air Miles were available…!
Whenever we could not take him with us somewhere, though we always were lucky to find very special persons to tend to him while we were away, we’d feel guilty and apprehensive: despite everything, we’d feel like bad parents!!!
Otherwise…always with us, always with those sweet eyes looking at us intently, those floppy ears and his big nose, he truly made our lives special. So special, in fact, that life now, a mere week after his departure, is surreal. We walk in the house, fully expecting him to walk up to us and greet us back: “Hey you two, about time!”- Not anymore.
It’s taking us time to realize that he’s there, but only in spirit. His mobility, in the last few months had deteriorated to such a point where his hind legs would not allow him to stand, walk or otherwise feel like a normal, healthy dog would. Eating, drinking, going for walks, which he loved…it all had become a struggle.
Yes, we will miss that too, believe it or not: we will miss how gentle and, yes, considerate he always was. Can you say that about a dog? Well…yeah!! We can.
Maxy, you’ve left a deep void, yet Mama and I are very grateful for how very special, warm and complete you made us feel for all the years you were with us.
We shall meet again, Bambino!!!
We wish to extend a very special thanks to Dr. Larry Magnuson and the “Caring Pathways” Team, for the care and compassion they have shown us throughout this difficult time and to allow our friend Max to depart with dignity and love.
Maggie we love you
Our dear beloved boston terrier Maggie died this morning, we had Dr. Kelly Knoll from “Caring pathways” come and help Maggie go to be with the Lord. It was ever so hard watching Maggie suffer, she was very brave and we knew in our hearts that there was no other option. We asked some friends to pray for us and Maggie. Once the doctor got here she sedated Maggie and she quieted down for the rest of the procedure. Barb told Maggie that she was going ahead but we would be seeing her when it was our time. Both Barb and I believe this to the bottom of our hearts. It seems really clear that God blesses our animal friends with the gift of His love and compassion so that they can minister to our needs with their unconditional love (which God gives them). We know Our Lord loves for people, and I believe all of his creatures to be instruments of his love for others. No one can be on the receiving end of this love and not feel this. Maggie was born on July 15th, 2002 and died on April 2nd,2016. Her ashes will be scattered on Gods good earth, we dearly love her and expect to be with her again. We are most grateful that a loving God gave us Maggie. May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ bless and keep her in his bosom.
-Ed and Barb Sears
April 2nd, 2016
Having been gifted by God with dreams of loved ones and friends who have passed shortly following their deaths, I truly believe these are gifts from the Lord letting me know my friends are with Him. Just before waking up this morning, Maggie walked up to me to greet me. I couldn’t believe my eyes, it was her! I scooped her up in my arms, lavishing her with all the love I had. Then I handed her over to Barbara so she could do the same. God is so gracious and compassionate, a dream is a small thing, but sometimes they can hold very precious meaning, certainly this is the case with this one. God gives with joyful abandon to bless those who love Him. Thank you Heavenly Father, and bless you.
April 24th, 2016
I never knew one could love an animal so much until Kassi passed away. Such grief. I had seen friends lose pets and think "Why don't you just get a new one?" as if they were interchangeable furballs. It is not like that. They have personalities, you get to know them, they get to know you, you love them, you lose them, it hurts.
For ten years I tended to Kassi's daily care. She returned daily love uncomplicated by conditions.
She had several traumas when I adopted her. These faded over time but never left completely.
I did not notice Kassi's golden eyes had slightly different colors until a friend pointed it out. She watched you continuously for clues.
She spoke with her ears, back and down for "Yes, Boss" or up and out for listening in hunting mode.
It was the brown nose that captured my heart; that and the sleek coat of this beautiful grey ghost from Germany.
Kassi loved to go jogging around the lake. On cool days, I could not keep up; on hot days, she refused to keep up, plopping down on shady grass whenever we passed a tree. She taught me to lighten up: enjoy a good workout but don't forget to smell the roses.
Kassi loved small animals, a feeling not shared by the critters. One time, when I was not watching, she jumped into the lake, kersplash, in hot pursuit. Another time, arriving home from work, I found her standing proudly over a squirrel she had (finally) caught. Truly an intrepid hunter.
I sometimes practice mindfulness meditation where one sits gazing downward and holds attention on the breath. Kassi would come over and sit directly in front of me, her nose two inches from mine, just watching. I'm not looking right at her but, you know, there's a large dog staring at me. What's its problem? I will not laugh! If I burst out laughing, she slurps her tongue across my face and wins this game. No way, not gonna happen.
And ... he loses it. Kassi often won this game.
She definitely practiced something though; I'll call it Dirvana.
As Kassi aged, she developed lipoma (fatty tumors) on her underside and earned the nickname "Lumpy".
Later she began having trouble with her hips, trouble walking, difficulty climbing stairs, incontinence.
I tried pain medications and became proficient hiding them in hot dogs.
Sometimes I was afraid. She could become disoriented, stumble about, stand shivering with claws dug into floor, would not eat for two days. I held her, tried to sooth her. Then it would pass and she just wanted her favorite piggy ear snack.
It is most difficult. Is she happy? Am I being selfish for keeping her here? The next minute I am crying and swearing I could never do that, never put her to sleep. It went like this for some weeks.
Kassi passed away March 31, 2016. She was fourteen or fifteen years old.
When I come home, where is the puppy whose entire butt wiggles for lack of proper tail?
When I finish dinner, where is the drooling beast so eager to lick my bowl clean?
Where is the unselfish friend who drags her bed next to my foot as I read, who protects me as I sleep, who remains when others desert?
My thoughts, habits, dreams and memories: this sweet grey ghost dances there.
I did not know it was possible to love an animal so much. I am so grateful Kassi spent part of her life with me. Goodbye, baby girl.
I created a playlist that most reminds me of Kassi's gentle soul. I cannot post the media but many are available on YouTube, iTunes, and other providers.
- Into Dust, Mazzy Star, So Tonight That I Might See
- Re: Stacks, Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago
- Elegy, Lisa Gerrard and Patrick Cassidy, Immortal Memory
- In The Dirt, S. Carey, All We Grow
- Promise, Ben Howard, Every Kingdom
- To The Evening Child, Stephan Micus, To The Evening Child
- Never Ending Road (Amhran Duit), Loreena McKennitt, An Ancient Muse
- Gayaneh's Adagio, Wiener Philharmonic & Aram Khachaturian, Spartacus - Gayaneh: The Seasons
- Soul Travel, Paul Horn, Traveler
This is a Tribute to Cloudnines Etched in Stone "MOSES"
"Moses" was an excellent, intelligent, Beautiful Samoyed. "Moses" loved everybody and they loved "Moses". Moses loved to go to Dog shows, and did Excellent in the shows. "Moses" was loved by "Hiccup" and "Bug" our Kitty friends, and Ramses his cousin. "Moses" is Truly missed by Nancy and I. I have not stopped crying, since "Moses" went to Heaven. I will see "Moses" in the next life, I know Lord, will let me see "Moses" again. "Moses" you fly with Ramses and the Angels, We will see each other soon. God Bless and keep you in His arms. We Love You "Moses"
Molli became a part of our family over 13 years ago and every day with her was a blessing. Happy to see us and sad when we left she was the truest expression of pure love you could imagine. Always a greeting at the door with her tail wagging and a shoe in her mouth after hours of watching for us through the front door, she never left our side. He favorite thing in life was going for a walk and, of course, eating. We walked hundreds of miles and she was ever on the lookout for rabbits, birds, or anything a Golden Retriever searched for. She was especially wary of large blow-up Santa's or reindeer. Molli loved being rubbed on her chest, hated being brushed, and was chief navigator by leaning on the front console of the car. For many years we had the pleasure of Molli and her brother, Max, sleeping on our bed and we didn't have the courage to kick them off. She was a loving member of our family and our house will never be the same. God Bless Caring Pathways and Kerry Muhovich for taking such wonderful care of our dear girl.
We may not be together
In the way we used to be;
We are still connected by a
Cord no eye can see.
So whenever you need to find me
We're never far apart
If you look beyond the horizon
And listen with your heart.
Lucky was one of a kind, short little corgi legs, big golden retriever body and a thick coat of chow hair. For reasons I will never comprehend but am thankful for, he was left at a shelter at about age 3 and a half. From the photo on pet finders.com, I was expecting a small corgi size dog, instead, he was about 50 pounds of love and energy. When I met him, he was with a foster family and he came bounding out and sat on my feet. I knew he had chosen me and despite not being prepared that day to take him home, I did. Instantly, we fit perfectly into each other's lives. He was loving, independent, projective, sweet, gentle, talkative, happy and loved exploring his park. The nearly 12 years we had together were filled with adventures that I will always cherish. Letting him go was the hardest thing I have ever done and I am so grateful to Dr. Kelly Knoll and Caring Pathways for making the end of my time with him as beautiful, loving and gentle as it possibly could have been. He is a part of my heart and I know I was the lucky one.
Macey came to us in her 13th year. She had been our daughter's dog and when they got a new puppy, Macey was not happy. She had always lived in the city and so coming to our home and having lots of land was new to her. Before long she was running and jumping like a dog many years her junior. It didn't take long for our hearts to bond with hers. When we came home from work, she greeted us with a little dance, jumping for joy to see us. After over two years living with us, she became ill about a year ago. We determined to do everything we could to help her get well. After many months, though, she was getting weaker and it was difficult for her to walk. One day she began falling down and we realized it was time. We were holding her here for us because the pain of letting her go was too much. Caring Pathways became our answer. Dr. Kelly was so loving and kind. Macey snuggled up between our daughter and me, laid her head to the side, and closed her eyes. It was a if she were saying "Thank you". She was so ready to go.
We miss her terribly, but are so grateful her last moments on this earth were filled with compassion and love. What a wonderful gift you gave to Macey and to us!
We have known that the end was approaching for our beloved American Bulldog Lazarus but we thought he had weeks, maybe even a month or two left. Last week he went downhill fast and we knew it was time to say goodbye. We have always opted for in-home euthanasia for our dogs. We called Caring Pathways and were able to make arrangements for the next day (New Year’s). When Dr. Kary Walters arrived she took the time to get to know about Laz and what he meant to us. She did a great job explaining what to expect. She was patient and caring. In today’s mail we received a very thoughtful handwritten condolence card from Dr. Kary. With the card was a Pet Lover’s Code spelling out “10 Inalienable Rights After the Death of a Special Companion Animal”, which we have already found helpful (good to know that “griefbursts” are not unusual). There was also a card enclosed that told us a donation to the Morris Foundation for Animals had been made in Honor and Memory of Lazarus. We are so appreciative of Dr. Kary and her kindness and compassion. What a wonderful human being and what a fine company.
This is my best friend Louie. Born July 30, 2003, passed October 1st 2015. We got Louie at 7 weeks old and chose him because we saw his dad, Rowdy, standing on a hill in the sunset in Cave Creek, AZ. He grew up to be the spitting image of his dad.
We moved into a new home in Lone Tree, Colorado in 2005 and he became the neighborhood favorite, getting out, chasing rabbits, running free! I could tell so many stories about him, but will suffice to say our family all loved him dearly and he returned that love to all of us, ten fold!
We miss him terribly, maybe that is one reason it has taken me so long to write this tribute.
I would like to thank Caring Pathways, especially Megan Coveyou and Danielle Rope. Although Louie ended picking his own time and place, with my wife and I at his side, Megan and Danielle were there when we needed them. I know he is alive in our hearts and will always be. I look forward to having him by my side on the other side.
Thank you Caring Pathways,
Tom & Terri Davidson
Dear Brutus/Baby Bear:
You were 5 pounds when we got your from a breeder and absolutely adorable. On our way home you peed all over my lap and I didn’t even care. I was just so happy to have you. In those early days you loved carrying around shoes that were twice your size and chewing on wooden spoons that were 3 times as long as you. You were eager to learn and please. I remember coaxing you down the sidewalk as I was teaching you how to walk on a leash.
I took you to training classes…agility and pet therapy. You were SO excited when I asked if you wanted to “go to class.” You loved being around the other dogs and people and passed all your certifications with flying colors. I was so proud of you and the way you puffed out your chest I knew you knew.
Brutus, you were my solace and safety as we both suffered through the abuse of my first marriage. As he isolated me more and more from friends and family, you were my best friend and my comfort. Our trips to the dog park were our one escape. We would spend hours there.
Everyone called you the dog park greeter because every time another dog would come into the park, you would run to the gate to greet them and walk in with them. You had many friends there, both dog and human. You would chase the ball when you felt like it, but mostly just liked to play keep away with it….especially if it was someone else’s ball. An angry dog owner would be chasing you for a half hour and you would just delight in it.
You would hunker down with me as the anger and hate swirled around us. Sometimes he would take you from me and go behind a locked door. I could hear you whining and crying. Sometimes I would scream at the door, begging to be let in to save you. Sometimes I would quietly cry, hoping it would be over soon, knowing that my begging only brought him more pleasure in hurting you.
As things grew worse, I knew that leaving was my only option. I could have endured longer and tried to make it work, but this life was not fair to you. You did not deserve to live in fear of this man. YOU saved me from that marriage. You were my motivation to leave and never return. Although my self-esteem was crushed to nothingness, I at least knew that my precious dog needed a better life.
When we came to Colorado, you were by my side licking away tears as I worked through the fear and anxiety. You were my therapy and my strength. When Matt eventually came along, you let me know that he was a good and kind man. I knew that if you could trust him, I could trust him too.
Brutus, you’ve been a trooper these last few years as I’ve brought so many changes to your life. You adored and loved 5 sweet kids that I brought to you. And you’ve been so patient with baby Lexi…licking her head to show her love and howling when she cried as if you wanted to comfort her but didn’t know how. You amazed me as you were so brave in going blind. You never stopped wagging your tail or loving your walks. You were smart and valiant as you found your way despite the darkness.
When I let you out on Friday you were spunky and happy as you ran out the door with Buster. I thought it would be like any other potty break…you’d be barking at the door in a few minutes. I went inside to get out ingredients for dinner and then came back to the door to call you in. Buster was there, but you were not. Since you always stayed close to the house, I began to panic. Buster kept going through the grass at the front of the house to the fence as if he was telling me where you were. Then I heard the cars…hitting something wet. It wasn’t raining.
I ran to the road with a flashlight, praying that the blood in the road was not yours. I could finally see you lying in the road, with the white hair on your chest giving you away. I still kept praying that it wasn’t really you. I waited for cars to pass, just wanting to get to you. Finally I ran to you, screaming, “Brutus, Brutus.” But you were gone….a small blessing; I hope you went quickly. As I drug your lifeless body from the road I screamed “No, No….what have I done?” over and over and over.
As I sit at the window overlooking the road where you died, I am angry at those cars who drive this road. I hate them for hurting you. I hate them for taking you from me.
My crying seems ceaseless. Everything reminds me of you. I cry in the night when I hear Lexi because I know you are no longer sleeping in her room watching over her. I cry in the morning, not wanting to get up to face a day without you. I cry when it’s time to give you your insulin, because you aren’t there reminding me it is time. I cry when I leave the house because you aren’t there to say goodbye to. I cry when I return home because you aren’t there to greet me. I cry as I try to work because you aren’t laying on the floor beside me. I cry as I eat, because you aren’t under me begging for food. I cry as I sit on the couch because you aren’t there lying by me eating your bone. You were a part of nearly everything I did.
God, was this your will? Was I right that Brutus had seemed different the last couple weeks? Was he growing ill? Was this your merciful way of saving me from the decision to put him down? Was this your merciful way of saving me from seeing him suffer? God, I accept your will, but please will you tell me…is he happy? Is he with you? And please, will I be with him again?
Brutus, you were much more than just a dog to me. You were my savior, my best friend, my companion, my joy, my inspiration, my motivation, my solace, my comfort…I love you Brutus. I miss you Brutus. You will forever be in my heart.
This is my boy, Rudy. We rescued him from a bad situation when he was 1 1/2 years old. We had a special bond, I was his person.
He was diagnosed with cancer two months ago. The cancer had metastasized to his lungs and our focus was keeping him as comfortable as possible. When he went lame, I made that final decision. He was 12 years old. I am heartbroken.
The last two months poor Rudy was in and out of two different vet clinics. These trips stressed him out so badly, he would make himself sick. I am very grateful to Caring Pathways and Dr. Walters in particular for helping us make his final moments as peaceful and relaxing as possible.
Lena was our grand dog. She bounded into our life at 1 l/2 when our son moved overseas and has been such an important part of our life ever since. Her joy of living was apparent as she did everything with great enthusiasm – whether it was playing catch, wrestling or just chasing rabbits or catching flies. She was our walking partner, our companion, always ready to comfort or to play. She maneuvered herself into our lives and into our hearts and we will miss her greatly. It is no wonder that as she fell into peaceful sleep in her special spot in the backyard, a hummingbird hovered over her for the longest time, a symbol of joy and enjoyment of life. We imagine her now playing with her old friend Maddie, herding her around and tricking her into giving up her treats.
We want to thank Dr Kary Walters at Caring Pathways for her compassion during this most difficult time.
Bruce & Jean Leigh
From Gabriel, A Poem,
The mountaintop is not in sight
Because there is no mountaintop
Poor Sisyphus grief
To read this full, heartfelt story, please read the following articles:
What can I say about my beautiful balloon princess....you were the best baby in the world. So smart we had to spell words until in time you figured those out. You were such a big part of our heart for 13 years. Taught us so much about love. You were with us in happy and difficult times in our life's , it is so painful to imagine every tomorrow without you in it.
Everyone that ever met you thought you were a little angel from above. Discovered your love of balloons a few years ago, we blew them up and you would gently hold them in your mouth while I took a picture to post for your many admirers on Facebook, some as far away as Hong Kong. They even had daily contests to guess what color balloon we would post next. Your little brother Cooper misses you as much as we do.
You were so strong and brave when you had your cancer surgery back in February. We had so hoped for more precious time but when we realized you were suffering we loved you enough to let you go. One of the hardest things I have ever done. You were asleep but I held your paw and kissed your little face the entire time. You took a piece of Mommies heart when you left. I have cried so many tears but I know you are in Heaven running and playing with a million balloons. You will forever live in our hearts....Until we meet again little Princess....
Love, Mom, Dad & Cooper
Thank you so much Caring Pathways for your compassion during this difficult time.....
On August 28, 2015, I had to say goodbye to my baby girl, Lilly. She was a 10 1/2 year old cocker spaniel. Lilly was “THE” greatest dog I could ever ask for. When I 1st got Lilly she was 2 months old. Lilly loved playing in the snow, walking to the park, dingos(rawhide treats) and me. We have shared a lot in our lives together. It was just her and I and now it’s just me. She was loving, loyal and a wonderful companion. I'm going to miss her dearly. She will always have a huge piece of my heart and I will never forget her.
I would like to thank Caring Pathways for providing such a wonderful service. They were extremely kind, caring and understanding. It wasn’t an easy decision to let Lilly go but Caring Pathways was there to make Lilly’s new journey to the Rainbow Bridge a little less difficult.
We recently lost our beloved 9-1/2 year old bullmastiff named Jack Landin. We used Caring Pathways services and was comforted by Dr. Kelly Knoll during our time of loss. She was wonderful to work with during such a difficult time.
We received Jack's ashes today and would love to honor him on your website. A little about Jack, he was welcomed into our home at the age of 9 weeks old. He was born with one eye and we decided to name him Jack like "one eyed Jack"! Jack was a loving, smart, loyal, stubborn as he got older and very protective of his family. Our family will never be the same and he will be missed dearly.
Michael, Trena & Jazlyn Landin
Belle was my first baby. When I was looking for a kitty to love she was the first one I saw and I loved her right then and there. She was full of personality, a true Himalayan, She had many sides to her. She was loving, sassy, and playful. Se loved to sleep right above my head and had the loudest purr of any cat I have ever known. I loved her so much and she was everything to me.
When I had my first daughter I was unsure of how belle would handle not being the center of my attention, but she was so happy to meet our baby Ashlyn. She adopted Ashlyn and loved her so much!! Once Ashlyn was out of her crib she started to sleep with her at night. They were 2 peas in a pod. always around each other. When Ashlyn would be scared at night Belle would put her paw on Ashlyn's hair and pet her head, it was the most endearing thing I have ever seen. When we had our 2nd little girl Addisyn, Belle was just as patient with her and loved her dearly as well.
In her final hours Belle chose to be in the one spot she loved most, Ashlyn's room. I would like to thank Dr. Magnuson for being so wonderful to us in this very hard time. I am so thankful we came across Caring Pathways.
Duke and Maggie
It’s only been 98 hours since Duke, our super sweet, long-haired German Shepherd (12 y.o.), and Maggie (17 y.o), the shepherd mix “Dingo” who touched 1,000 lives, crossed the rainbow bridge in our backyard. Duke has never known life without his beloved Maggie, and they were truly best friends. These dogs have moved across the country, been “therapy” to humans in darkest of times, and always been the most loyal of any animal or human I’ve ever known.
Several years ago, Duke had to go on incredible amounts of medication to be able to sustain his ability to get around, as he had musculoskeletal issues that were making his life difficult and painful. Despite his obvious change in his quality of life, his eyes and ears remained perky and his determination remained steadfast, because he had to a “job” to do--- to remain with us and his best friend, Maggie. He was a trooper. He could scarcely get his entire back end off the floor when he had to get up, but he was determined. You could feel it in his energy. When Maggie got sick, Duke knew and he would sometimes howl with anxiety if she were upstairs, because he couldn’t see her. As Maggie’s days came to a close, we reminisced about the dog with many lives, as she was absolutely the most stubborn, resilient dog I have ever seen. She recovered from a stroke, managed to dodge traffic more than once on her “walkabouts” and let absolutely nothing get her down in life. She was known as “Houdini” more than once, as she could figure out any system designed to keep her from “breaking out,” and we would frequently get calls at work... “Um, I think I have your dog, Maggie. She’s been in my cubicle all day at work today…she’s great!” I have always said I would write a book from Maggie’s perspective. She had many experiences in her 17 years. So, obviously, when her time came, and she went from the usual, resilient old girl to so tired she didn’t want to bother getting up, we knew it was time. Even more interesting, Duke knew too, and his entire demeanor changed from “hanging in there with my pack” to a very tired dog who was ready to cross the rainbow bridge with his best friend. It was absolutely gut wrenching and obvious. I needed an absolute sign and peace about making such a huge decision, and Duke gave me the signs I needed. They were clear. My two best friends were ready to go, together.
We did not know a vet personally who made house calls, so we found Caring Pathways online. To be honest, everything was a blur at that point. I know I read some reviews, and I remember making the phone call to set it up, and scarcely remember speaking to a kind person on the other end who was gentle and kind, as I cried and choked up the words I didn’t want to say. There was an availability that day, and I chose the time slot.
Dr. Lori Lowery pulled up in the driveway, and as she parked her SUV and opened her door to greet me, she said gently, “I am so sorry.” She was absolutely the gentlest soul, with the perfect temperament and character for such a difficult job. She took time to meet each person who was here (our “pack” – family members), write down their names and of course, took time to explain every single step, what to expect, etc. She rushed absolutely nothing and left the timing of everything to us. She handed me a colorful, small book entitled “When Your Pet Dies: A Guide to Mourning, Remembering and Healing Compassionate support and practical suggestions to help you understand your grief and begin to heal.” Although completely in a mental warp at this point, I was still able to appreciate the fact that she handed me something that showed compassion for the humans about to lose precious members of their pack. (The book, so far, has been helpful. I am still struggling to read more than a sentence or two without breaking down in profound, sad sobs.)
Our two best friends laid side by side in the soft grass, under the shade of an umbrella, tired and completely submissive to their next journey together. Their peace is the ONLY thing that gave me peace. They could not have made things clearer to us and they appeared grateful, and more than ready to pass over the rainbow bridge, as if they were looking right at it, together.
Being the only nurse in the group, I know that I noticed things the other humans were not focused on. When Lori (she insisted on being called Lori) was administering their injections, she was good to tell us that sometimes finding a vein on a geriatric dog is difficult…and it was. She changed needles when she had to move to another area (Unnecessary medically, but a step she did to ensure dignity and kindness, for the sake of the humans in the pack…not the dogs, who have no clue what’s happening because they are sedated and unaware). She also tenderly put a bandage on their legs after injecting their veins (once again, not really medically necessary), but as a way of showing dignity and kindness (so we humans aren’t upset by any bleeding, etc). I was very moved by her acts of dignity for our sweet dogs. Oftentimes, it is the small things others do that make an experience better. Before we began any injections, Lori put two clean towels that were folded under our dogs’ heads, and just made them super comfy. That little touch meant a lot. After our dogs peacefully passed, she swaddled my dogs in clean, nice blankets, just like you would a baby. They looked incredibly peaceful and beautiful. I really appreciate that act of dignity and kindness as well. My husband carried “his girl” (Maggie) to the SUV, and we had our big, sweet giant of a boy swaddled on a stretcher, that was carried to the SUV as well. They were laid gently in the vehicle, swaddled and beautiful. Once again, it’s the little things—the vehicle was in pristine condition, clean, and ready to receive our sweet best friends. Something about having them leave in a nice, clean, comfortable vehicle made things even easier for me.
Three days after they were euthanized, we received a sympathy card in the mail that had a significant handwritten greeting from Lori in it. In the card was also a “Pet Lover’s Code” card that lists “10 Inalienable Rights After the Death of a Special Companion Animal” (Very good for healing and for validating one’s feelings in this journey). We also got a colorful Rainbow Bridge Poem, which I utterly cannot get through at this point without crying my eyeballs out; it’s beautiful. Lastly, a little card was enclosed that said, “In Honor and Memory of Duke and Maggie …we have sent a donation to Morris Foundation for Animals…..to help fight for the betterment of the health of our beloved pets.” How wonderful. We really appreciated that unexpected kindness.
So, I cannot say enough wonderful things about this organization; everything from my initial phone call, until the card we received in the mail, was done in a dignified and compassionate manner. Our beloved Duke and Maggie, absolute best of friends, had a beautiful and peaceful transition, resting in the soft grass of their favorite, comfy spots. Inseparable in life and death, we were able to fulfill their desires to leave together in a beautiful way.
I also appreciate the way Caring Pathways cares for the humans involved as much as they do the animals. Thank you for taking the time to find resources in our transition and adjustment to life without our beloved companions.
What a wonderful, wonderful organization.
Sending them love,
Pam, Doug, Chelsea, John & Parker
Haas: my furry kid, my best friend, my companion,
Tomorrow ends our physical journey together and I am beyond heartbroken. Almost 10 years ago, you survived Hurricane Rita and several tornadoes that touched down in your hometown of Hackberry, LA. One day, in all that devastation, you sat on my feet, put your head down on my shoulder and picked me. It is a day that forever changed my life. I will forever say that it is you who saved me and made me a better human being. You and I have shared so many adventures and so many life experiences. Forever in my heart you have never wavered in your love and not once have you ever left my side. You have known me at times, sometimes better than I've known myself, and you always knew when to do the perfect doggy grin, plant some slobber or just cuddle close. A couple of nights ago when the only way to comfort you was to cuddle with you in your doggy bed, I realized how blessed I am that you had a final romp and roam in the course of a year, at two of your favorite places, Archer's Poudre River Resort and Third Street Apple Orchard. I have been praying so hard the last few days that I am making the right decision and right now at this moment, I don’t know if it makes it any easier or harder that you forgive me for whatever decision I make, even though in your heart there is no forgiving that is needed. It is so hard to imagine physical life without you in it. You and I connected on such a level, I shall be forever thankful. Peaceful and pain free journey my best friend…Forever romp, roam, bless lives on a different “plain” and until we meet again…
From the beginning when I sat down at the Pet Shelter and Zo ran up to me to greet me, I knew she was something special. The shelter allows cats to roam the premises and out in the yard. Out of all of the cats there, Zo came over and said hello. From that point forward, Zo and I developed a relationship that lasted for over 13 years.
Zo was a brown tabby and full of energy. She began following me around the house. Wherever I went, she followed. She always slept on a table next to my left elbow in my office. She reclined on my lap when I sat and read. We bought her a stick with a string and “mouse” attached to it for her. Rather than play with it, she would drag it to whatever room I was in giving off a guttural sound as she walked with it, She even brought it up on the bed during the night. Then, she would knead me periodically throughout the night. Zo would seek me out when she was frightened by a bang or noise of some kind. She would sit on the table in front of me when I read the morning paper and have some coffee. She would lay on my chest while I stroked her under the chin and petted her across her body.
When feeding her, she would sit and wait patiently while I was putting wet food in her bowl. If she finished and wanted more, she would sit and patiently wait for me to give her some more. At the vet’s, she was always accommodating, always loving always sweet. She was quiet, meowed very little. She was love in its perfection. She became the love of my life and I’m devastated at her loss. I miss her terribly, but when I look at her photo, I see a reassurance in her eyes that was always there.
Once, during the numerous times she went to the vet’s with health problems that plagued her throughout her life, she was in the kitty hospital after surgery. I stopped in to see her. When I got there, I stood and watched her without her being aware of my presence. She had tubes running out of her, but she was sitting up in a cage. She looked depressed. I walked over to her. When she looked up and saw me, she her face brightened up. She meowed, one of those kinds of meows where she moved her mouth and face, but there was no sound.
With Zo gone now, there is more love in me because of Zo. I think in terms of Zo’s legacy,which is love. Wherever I go, whatever I do,I think of Zo and I think of love. She is a guiding light to my soul to try in my clumsy way to be as loving as she was.
September 18, 1999 – April 11, 2015
Boomer came into my life in October 2006 when he was 7 years old. He had been an unwanted third dog of a friend of my friend Christi, and she brought him to my home after her dog Jake died. I was Boomer’s third owner. From what I was told, he originally was trained as a search-and-rescue dog, but didn’t have the right temperament. After that he was a companion dog to an older woman who (supposedly) had to give him up due to a change in her living arrangements. (It was her daughter that had him as the unwanted third dog.)
At first I was ambivalent to Boomer, but as time went on, I grew to love him as a valued companion. He added so much to my life – companionship, loyalty, friendship and unconditional love. Years ago I made a promise to him that he would be with me “until death do us part”.
Shortly after he came to live with me, I adopted him as MY dog, and signed up for training classes at Petsmart. The classes at Petsmart were more for me than for him, because he was already very well trained. But I learned how dogs learn, and how to interact with Boomer to elicit the responses and behaviors that I wanted. They also provided an early opportunity for us to bond. After graduation, I had a much better sense of what it takes to be a good dog owner.
One of the things Boomer loved the most was walks. Since I am not a believer in attaching a leash to a dog’s collar, I bought a harness, and the first time I put it on him and took him out for a walk he was uncertain of what this activity was all about. After that, however, the mere sight of me taking the harness from its storage place was enough to generate happy excitement. After I took up cycling, he quickly learned that every bike ride was followed by a walk, and at the sight of me preparing for a ride, his excitement and anticipation of the walk to come was a joy to behold.
Boomer was always good with people. He never approached a human with anything other than happy greeting. He was not always so good with other dogs, however, especially when he was on the leash. After the first few tangles with other dogs while on walks, I learned to keep him away from them. Off leash, he was fine, but I was always wary about him interacting with other dogs.
After a few years, I installed dog doors in my house so that he could go outside at his leisure. I soon saw that he LOVED the outside, to the point where he would often sleep outside (except in winter) and would spend his days outdoors when I was not at home. This in turn became a problem because he barked excessively at times. I learned of this issue through a couple complaints from neighbors, and had to restrict his outside time during the days when I was at work.
After Boomer turned 12 years old, I started to think about his mortality and wonder when he would start to fail. I was pleasantly surprised by his continued robust health and longevity as time went on. Indeed, on one of his semi-annual visits to the veterinarian, I was complimented for HIS good health!
As Boomer turned 15 on the fall of 2014, I took him to the vet for his checkup and learned that he was starting to have arthritis in his spine and was a little bit underweight. I started giving him Prednisone and added wet food to his diet. This helped him to maintain his health a little bit longer, but at his checkup in March 2015 his spinal neuropathy had progressed to the point his rear legs were getting weak and his mobility was starting to be impaired.
In just the month since then, his situation worsened to the point that a few nights ago I heard him barking in the back yard at midnight. I went outside to see what was up, and saw that he was unable to get up by himself. I carried him into the house and set him down, and he was unable to walk normally for a while. I took him to an emergency vet clinic and he improved, but that was the sign it was time to consider euthanizing him. After discussing his situation with the emergency vet and his normal vet and obtaining their consensus that the time was right, I started to give the matter serious thought.
In researching the topic of pet euthanasia online, I found a couple of assessments that helped me decide that while he may continue to be viable for a short while longer, in watching him visibly deteriorate just since last month, combined with the incident where he couldn’t get up I decided that I could not stand the thought of him being in distress while nobody was home to help him.
I made the decision to put him to rest on Tuesday April 6th, and set up the appointment for Saturday. I contacted Caring Pathways to come to my home to perform the euthanasia, and I scheduled the appointment for Saturday afternoon, so that I would have a chance to take him for one last walk Saturday morning.
Watching Boomer deteriorate and having to make this decision and hold him while he died have been very difficult – in fact, more difficult than I expected. However, if that is the cost of having had Boomer in my life, I have paid it gladly. That is how much he meant to me.
I will go forward in my life in the hope that we will be reunited in heaven.
Boomer, thanks for being such a great dog – I’ll miss you so much.
Additional note: I appreciated the compassion shown by Dr. Mary Anne, the “When Your Pet Dies” booklet she left with us, and the sympathy card. I truly believe that Caring Pathways is THE compassionate choice in a supremely difficult time.
My dog Cowboy gave us 13 years of love, love and more love.
I will miss him always, for his spirit will live on forever. Thank you, Del Bolack.
I first wanted to thank Caring Pathways for being so caring and compassionate during a very difficult time. Nothing can prepare you for the loss of a pet, but Caring Pathways helped us in knowing that Mocha would pass peacefully. I had Mocha since she 8 weeks old. The first day I got her, we were walking in a parking lot and I was wondering why she was walking funny. I seriously thought something was wrong with her! Thankful that my sister was with me, she said that her paws were probably sensitive to the hot pavement. So I picked her up and proceeded to carry her to the car. From that moment, I knew Mocha was going to play a huge part in my life for the next 12 years. Mocha was not only my backpacking and hiking buddy, she was also a best friend who was there for me through all the ups and downs. She knew my emotions and always knew the way to put a smile on my face. I miss her more than anything, but I know that she is heaven, running, playing, and eating all the peanut butter she wants! When Mocha passed away, a little piece of me left with her. She will always be in my heart.
The morning of March 17th, 2015 at 3:30am, my whole world turned upside down when my husband and I had to rush my dog Zeb to the animal hospital. All of a sudden he couldn't walk and was very weak. When the nurses let me know that he had cancer and internal bleeding I had felt lost, it all happened so fast. I was willing to do anything to save him. We ended up getting him a blood transfusion to hopefully clot the bleeding, and buy us time. We had no idea when, or how long it would give us. When I picked Zebba up, he was walking again. The next day I laid with him all day and took the week off work to spend time with him.
Then week after, he was back to his normal self. He was eating, begging, howling and just being Zeb. I cant begin to explain the joy it gave me to be able to spend the time with him that I could.
Again, on 4-3-2015 he started to weaken again. On April 4th, I knew that there was nothing that I could do. I contacted Caring Pathways, which was a very hard thing to do, and let them know that I needed their services. Choking with my words, wondering if I should hang up the phone. But, seeing my sweet boy in pain was cutting me like a knife. I made the appointment for later that evening at 9pm so that I could lay with him and let him know how special he was to me, and thanking him for the special 12 years he gave to me.
When the time came, I saw the car pull up and there was a huge knot in my stomach. The moment the Dr walked in, she showed so much sympathy, and made me feel at eased right away. She listened to me and also let me spend as much time with my boy as I wanted. In the end, Zeb went peacefully in my arms, and did look very peaceful when he was gone. The way that she handled the situation was very professional. I would recommend Caring Pathways services to anyone!
In the end, I don't have my boy, but I know that he was taken good care of. And I thank Caring Pathways for treating Zeb like they knew he meant so much to me. Im glad that I was able to hold him until the end and be by his side, like he was ALWAYS by mine.
Zeb was a one of a kind boy. He had a big impact on many people, and had many visitors during his final days. I had him since he was a baby, and he was a mamas boy for sure. Came with me everywhere. Whether it be to the store, to grandmas, to our cabin in the mountains, to work...he was always by my side, and I know even though he is not here physically, he still will be with me everywhere I go.
Thank you again Caring Pathways.
Ashley Strimpel Sasse
In Memoriam - Zo -
2000-2015 - “Unconditional love is universally paramount!”
Our beautiful girl, Stella, just lost her battle with bone cancer at the end of February, 2015. She lived to be 12 years old and we are grateful for every moment she spent with us. When she was just a puppy of just one year old, she had TPLO surgery and lived most of her life with a plate and screws in one of her hind legs. She went on to lead the most amazing life with us, hiking, camping and boating- she loved doing everything outdoors with us and it will not be the same this summer without her there to share in our adventures. Her spirit was contagious and lit up our lives. There is a hole in our hearts now but a joy that we had her in our lives. We are thankful to Caring Pathways for helping her transition past that old painful body of hers in such a peaceful and loving manner. We will always love you Stella and will carry you in our hearts wherever we go. We miss you Stella girl!!
My Little Man was such a special friend. He was his own unique spirit. We all miss him dearly. I miss seeing him play, but I know he is a brilliant field somewhere with all of our family and loved ones. We love you Paco and I know I will see you again on the other side of the rainbow.
After almost 17 years, we said good to one of my very best friends. Callisto was named after a character on the old show Xena warrior princess that we watched with our children, and she was a sweet, very loving beagle. She was also very smart and strong willed, and as such, she pretty much had us trained! Callisto loved to be held and petted and she was happiest when she was with us.
She was fortunately very healthy until her last 6 months and never required much, except love and attention. But she gave us so much in return. As a person working from home, she was a near constant companion, enduring listening to my long conference calls. She even moved her “bed” from its normal spot in our bedroom to our den to be near me when I had to stay up all night working on a paper –and she was already 16 then. In fact, she was still trudging through 6-8 inches of snow about this time last year – her ability to adapt and persevere was inspiring.
She was an amazing part of our family, and we miss her so much.
I want to thank Dr. Magnuson for making this process as positive as possible. He also trudged through the snow to help us give her a very peaceful ending, and we are eternally grateful for what he did and does.
Thank you so much for your kindness and compassion that you showed my family during a very difficult time. Dr. Amy Coulter came to our house quickly and professionally to assist Shotze’s euthanasia. Dr. Coulter went above my expectations. What was thought to be a scary situation for my daughters turned out to be a graceful journey for Shotze. There were so many tears, but Dr. Coulter helped us with the whole grieving process and explained every step that was going to happen. Our younger dog was even involved and was able to participate.
Again, I could not have asked for a more blessed experience with our beloved Shotze. Thank you for your services and providing us with a peaceful process of life.
Roxy our dear sweet girl,
From the moment we laid eyes on you we knew your were meant to be part of our family. You couldn’t be a more perfect fit. Your sweet and loving nature left an impression of everyone you touched. We could not be more grateful and thankful for everyday of the last nine years with you. We thank you for all of your caring, kindness, compassion and most of all, your love. Thank you for all the good times and great memories. We are better people for having you in our family. It has been an honor and privilege to call you ours. One sweet day we will see you again.
We will love and miss you always sweet girl
Mom and Dad
Bailey who's nick name was Engergizer Bunny lived a wonderful life of 14 years and 2 months. Her favorite event of any day was to get into her kiddy pool and if it was not weather for the pool then it was rolling in the snow until there was no more snow in that spot. She was blessed to live with her blood line cousin who she leaves behind wondering who was going to explore the back yard, blaze through the snow and fetch all the balls for her.
We miss you Bailey.
The 13.5 years that we spent with our Golden Retreiver, Aran, went by way too quickly. Aran spent many happy hours with us retrieving balls. She loved the water and swam with her head held high doing a graceful doggie paddle.
Sadly in the fall of 2014 we came to realize that our magnificent pet was quickly failing in health. She had problems walking and was loosing weight. We struggled with the fact that we needed to do the right thing and allow her to pass on in peace. But who should we call?
I explored the Internet and was lucky to find Caring Pathways who provided services 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. I called in the early morning and was told a vet would be at my house by 10:00 am.
Right on time, Kelly Knolls, knocked on my door. As soon as Kelly entered our home she put us at ease with her compassion. Aran managed to get up to greet her with a wag and her Golden Retriever smile. Kelly explained the procedure and made sure our questions were answered. I sat on the floor with Aran's head in my lap and spoke softly to her of better days. She died peacefully with us and the most compassionate vet that I have ever met.
Thank you Kelly, you are truly a beautiful person who along with Aran, will be in our hearts forever.
Claudia & Neil Serafin
December 31, 2014. I lost a loved one today. Hercules. We parted ways this morning. The decision to bring the suffering of a loved one to an end is never easy. I hope I did right by you Hercules because you, my furry 10 lb. canine, have taught me how to be a better human. In the simplest of ways you taught me what it means to live the good life... Enjoy the sunshine. Stop and smell the roses, or rather stop for interesting smells. Long walks are good for you. The importance of cuddling, i.e., lap time. When you’re happy to see someone you show it (whether they've been gone 5 minutes or 5 days). Always heed your inner explorer. Enjoy every meal as if it were your last. There is no such thing as enough kisses. Check in with those important to you to make sure they're ok. There is nothing better than naps in the sunshine. Togetherness is everything. Sometimes obedience/discipline is over rated. When you love someone, you'll do whatever it takes, even when it hurts. How to sit alone and ponder the wonders of the world, and how to be social amongst a group of your peers. How to be a good listener. And how to sit with someone when there just are no words. You've seen me at my best and my worst. We have shared six houses in two states. You belonged to someone else when we first met, you were six weeks old, but I fell in love instantly, and when you were six months old, you were given to me to look after. I hope I did ok Herc..... I tell everyone that you are the longest relationship I've ever had. They laugh. But on so many levels it's true. You've had 5 other canine companions, Sam & Lila (R.I.P.), Sarge & Levi, and most recently Lola. All the girls were ‘L's’ and all the boys were 'S's’ except for you. Hercules. You lived up to your name quite well. Always a trooper my ever faithful companion and my sidekick. 15 years we have been together, I cry alone today for you, no longer at my side. Hercules. A dog, a Taoist, an accidental mentor and best friend. You are one of a kind, I will never forget you.
A Pet’s Prayer
by Hope Harrington Kolb
My people are so precious,
Lord; I know You think so too…
And I believe You put me here
To love them just for You!
They take such gentle care of me
And have such tender hearts.
Please use me, Lord to comfort them
Whenever tear drops start.
They face a lot of battles
As they live & work each day…
They need me, Lord
To make them smile
And show them how to play!
The world is full of people,
But sometimes real friends are few...
Please let my love & loyalty
Remind them, Lord, of You.
And when my final moment comes,
Lord, tell them as we part…
I was a made-to-order gift
From Your great, loving heart!
Lilla was a great buddy we did lots of road trips and she love to hike and chase rabbits thats the beagle in her when she couldn't hike I started to flat water kayak with her we will miss her dearly in my heart I know she had great life and lots of loving care I am so happy she left this life at home with us all there for her and having our hands on her it was good for me and her Lilla will always be in our hearts and with me where ever I go.
Thank you Caring Pathways
In Loving Memory of...
Bailey and Tess
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