always_tuffy
Having read SusieSquillions post of "Dog's Will" and many posts from others considering a new Furbaby I've got to add my "nickels" worth.

My love of all things animal began at 4 yrs of age.  (a long, long time ago)  My Dad brought home a squirming little puppy.  I named him Yogi. I was an only child, living in the country.  He became my best friend.  I don't know how long he & I were together or when we parted.  I do remember he was no longer a puppy.  I do remember I was inconsolable when I awoke one day and he was gone.  I also remember my parents told me "he ran away".  I remember crying and waiting for him to come home.  I didn't find out till I was "all grown up" and for some reason (guilt perhaps) my Mom told me Yogi didn't run away.  Apparently he became too protective of me so my Dad and Uncle......  I'll just say Yogi didn't run away.  I grieved his loss again, but at least I knew the truth.  OK ugly story but..

So from Yogi through unknown numbers of friends.  Cats, kittens, puppies, dogs, turtles you name them, I've loved them.

Through all these years up to the here and now and recent loss of Tuffy, my grief has always been, loud, long and heartbreaking.

If I had a nickel for all the times I've heard, "You get too attached" or "Why do you let yourself get so attached?" here is my reply to all those fools.

I DO NOT "GET" NOR DO I "LET" MYSELF GET ATTACHED. I "CHOOSE" TO!

Yes I wade in heart deep, each time.  I take each of them into my heart.  I've never replaced one with another.  They have all been unique and special to me.  I have always been blessed to share my heart and life with my babies.   Every one has given me a lesson in love.  Every one has enriched my life.

I know that all of you here at the Bridge choose to give your hearts to your friends.  We choose them, even though we know the risks of losing.  We never get used to parting from them, but it doesn't stop us from loving the next special friend.

I will say that between Tuffy and my last friend Bronco there was a gap of about 3 yrs.  The loss of Bronco at 4 1/2 months was, well really really bad.  I held him the last few seconds. Enough said.

I chose Tuffy or he chose me in '05, My heart was finally ready.  I thought I had all the bases covered.  Tuffy would live to a ripe, old age, We would NOT part prematurely.  But I was wrong.  No accident parted us.  It was illness, renal failure, from out of the blue.

My point.  When you choose, you know you may lose, but thank God for each of us that are willing to take that risk, knowing what may be involved.  I think of all the animal friends in the world that have been given life and love and a place of honor, because we choose to get so attached.

I will never be afraid to love, no matter what the cost.

I will never be afraid to love, tho' my heart may be lost.

 

(P.S.: Tuffy, thank you for choosing me. I can not imagine never knowing you.)

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal;
Love leaves a memory no one can steal.

Tuffy, My Puppy Love
June 20, 2005-July 26, 2010

Becky Leigh, Queen of my Heart
December 2010-November 10, 2015
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nicokudo
Tuffy's mom,

Beautifully said!  WAAAAY more than a "nickels" worth

Karen





Karen,Kudo and Nico's mom
Earth mom to Marco and Bella
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SammysDad
Well said!!!

I have had dogs since I was a child.  The first one I remember was when I was two.  The dog was originally acquired for my big brother (4 years older than me).  Buster was a German Shepard and was a very very good friend to my brother.  I was a secondary thought to the dog..but what I remember was feeding the dog ice cream at my birthday party.  No real memories beyond that.  There have been numerous others.

My wife and I met in 1982.  By the end of the year we got Aja.  A full breed Samoyed.  He was with us until 1994.  He was quite the "voyager".  In our first 12 years together, my wife and I lived in Milford, Ct, McAllen, Tx, Columbus, Oh, Hartford Ct, Washington D.C., New Orleans and San Francisco, before settling here in Dallas.  Aja was quite the traveler.  The funny sight was that he accompanied me on the moves.  Picture a big white dog sitting in the passenger's seat of my car all the way during the drive.  Sometimes we traveled as much as 16 hours together...stopping for Aja to stretch his legs and take care of business.  He LOVED to travel.  If there was a place to go...he wanted in.  Aja was part of our lives when we brought our son home from the hospital after his birth in New Orleans.  Up to 1989, Aja was our only child...then our son came along.  Another family member to love and cherish, as only Aja could.  What a passionate dog!

For any of you who have seen Marley and me...that was Aja's story as well.  A tortioned stomach cost hm his life around Thanksgiving of 1994.  We were crushed.  He had played such a large part of our lives.  My wife was with him every day for his entire life.  She was a stay at home mom...while I worked...so Aja got mostly her attention.  We waited five years until adopting Sammy, who was a Basset / Beagle mix and only nine weeks old.

Story had it that Sammy's mom was the Basset and his dad was the beagle.  The owners of the Basset were quite upset that the puppies were mixed breed...so they packed the puppies in a box and left them in the middle of a field for either someone to find...or left to die.  Luckily, some children came across the box, with the crying puppies...brought them home...and the parents rushed the puppies to Operation Kindness in Carrolton...where all survived and were cared for until each and every puppy was adopted out.

Sam was the most incredible dog I have ever known.  We got him in November of 1999.  He immediately became the center of it all.  He was engaging, intelligent, sometimes naughty in a fun way (always knew how to stir it up with our son), and the most loving creature I have ever known.  I can remember one time, where I had health issues.  Severe athsma to a point that one evening I stopped breathing for about 30 seconds.  Sammy was the only one home and he kept kissing me and rubbing against my face until I could calm down enough to take short breaths.  At that point...I drove to the emergency room, where I had three breathing treatments to get things back to normal.  The next morning...I returned home around 5am from the OR and Sam was waiting for he.  He openly wept...he vocally cried and told me how glad he was that I was back.  Sam and I shared a very special relationship from the day we brought him home.  He was my "other" little boy.  I work from home...so while my son is away at school, and my wife works...Sam and I spent every day together.  He would often sit by my side...I would rub his chest and then rub his tummy.  We shared popcorn during baseball games, and he was another "voyager".  My wife and I like to hike on trails around lakes and such...and Sam was always there with us.  I recall one time in particular...where Sammy hiked at least six miles with us.  He loved the adventure and loved being with us all the time. 

As you spoke earlier...Sammy and Aja were two totally different individuals, who were passionate about love and life.  Sammy never replaced Aja...he just created his own relationship.  It is unfortunate that Aja passed the way he did.  That traumatized my wife, who was with him during his last minutes, while I consoled our son.  Sammy died on his bed at home after a brief, shocking and overwhelming three days...when we found that he had lynphoma and that his red blood cells were almost totally gone.  It broke our hearts..but we held him and I rubbed his tummy as he passed on July 31, 2010.  I even tried to revive him, but could not.  He went in peace and was loved and loved right to the last second...I can only hope that when my time comes, that can have the dignity and grace that he did. 

I have been blessed twice in my adult life to know such wonderful souls.  The house is so empty without the boys.  My wife and I have discussed wanting to save another dog, when the time is right.  Both Aja and Sammy have taught us so much about love...and we still have a lot to share.  There may come a day when we take that chance again.  I would have given my own life to save Sammy's...guess that's unconditional love.  I learned that from Him. 

Sorry if I am going on and on....I miss Sammy so much it hurts every day.  My son has a friend who is a painter...and she took my favorite picture of Sammy and did a painting of it.  The picture came home yesterday and my wife and I openly wept at how the picture brings his essence back to us.  Once framed, I will hang the picture in the room with Sammy's remains.

It hurts to lose someone so close to you.  It is devastating...but I am such a "dog" person...I cannot think of NOT having one again.  When the time is right...I will open my heart again.  I can't imagine the mayhem one day when I cross the Rainbow bridge and Aja and Sammy are there waiting for me.  To me...that IS Heaven!

Peace to all!  Love to all babies

Here is my favorite photo of Sammy
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DebbieD
Beautiful boy. Like he's thinking about all the adventures you've already had and planning the next ones!

It's so hard to lose our babies, but the love and joy they've brought all of us can never be taken away. And that's worth holding on to.
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always_tuffy
SammysDad,

Thank you for sharing the special memories of you and your friends.  You truly paint pictures with your words.  The richness they all bring to our lives is beyond compare.  When the time is right, and your hearts and spirits are ready to venture forth again, your next friend will be so blessed.  Of course you both will too!  I am sorry for those in life who never understand.  Oh the joys they miss. 
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal;
Love leaves a memory no one can steal.

Tuffy, My Puppy Love
June 20, 2005-July 26, 2010

Becky Leigh, Queen of my Heart
December 2010-November 10, 2015
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Polly

I couldn't agree more. Losing Casper so quickly broke my heart but I wouldn't change a single moment of the 22 months we shared. He was that special to me. He still is, and always will be.

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jo
Sammy's Dad
 
Your story was so sweet and I'm truly sorry for your loss.
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SammysDad
always tuffy

I hope you don't think I was hijacking your thread.  I do understand your position and told a story to show my understanding.  Polly and Debby...thank you for your kindness.  We all share common emotions and tuffy...you really got me with your original post.  It is an honor to share with all of you.  Many thanks.  I really miss and love Sammy more than I can explain.  He was my rock as much as I may have been his.
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always_tuffy
SammysDad,

Don't give it another thought.  Each word written no matter where enriches us all and pays tribute to those we grieve for.

I too love and miss Tuffy more than I can put in words.  I was blessed that his life and mine travelled this earthly road for a while.  Although our time together was way to short and the loneliness is so great, I would not hesitate to do it all again
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal;
Love leaves a memory no one can steal.

Tuffy, My Puppy Love
June 20, 2005-July 26, 2010

Becky Leigh, Queen of my Heart
December 2010-November 10, 2015
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donnalee

always_tuffy, I always enjoy reading what you write.   That is so true.  We choose these special friends, companions even with the knowledge they probably won't live as long as us.  So, even though we have to go through the terrible pain of the loss when they go, it is still SO worth it.  I'm sure none of would trade the experience.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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Susie_Squillions
Hear, hear!  Perfect post. Absolutely perfect.
My heart is battered and bruised, but I will not let it break. It holds such precious cargo, I must protect it now. (Susie Squillions)

"Memories of loved ones are like songs in our soul." Margaret Wakeley

T.J.'S RESIDENCY:
http://RainbowsBridge.com/residents/TJ006/Resident.htm

BUDDY GUY AYRES~LYNCH'S RESIDENCY:
http://www.rainbowsbridge.com/residents/Buddy128/resident.HTM

KING BING THE GOD CAT'S RESIDENCY:
http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/BINGO009/Resident.htm

In one of the stars, I shall be living.
In one of them, I shall be laughing.
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing when you look at the sky at night.
~ The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery
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