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Posts: 3

It's only been a few days, and we can't believe the magnitude of our grief.  We make efforts to do "normal" things, but our pain keeps surfacing.  We miss our beloved Whidbey so much it actually hurts.

Friday was endless as we waited for our vet to come to the house so Whidbey could find peace.  What we really wanted was for time to go backwards to the years that Whidbey was happy and healthy.  At one time during the day, I was led to the computer to write a letter of introduction for Whidbey to take with him.  I am posting the letter here:

June 20, 2008


Hello.  My name is Whidbey and I’m a Yellow Labrador Retriever.  I have a fancy name also (Captain’s Whidbey), but I’ve been known as Whidbey, Buddy, Goofy, Wibber, Wid, and other cute and sweet names.  I answer to all of them – or none of them – depending on my mood.


I was born on January 21, 1997, and died today.  It was peaceful.  I just went to sleep with my Mommy and Daddy with me.  My nice doctor came to our house, which is where I love to be.  I have a nice house and have always had nice places to live.  In this house, I have a fenced in yard, where I loved to run and play.  Sometimes neighbors came to play with me.  I love kids and, even though Mommy and Daddy don’t have any little kids, there were always bunches for me to play with.  When we lived in Connecticut, I played with Lauren and Stephen all the time.  Stephen used to say that I was everybody’s dog.  I have so much love in me that it was okay that I was shared.  Here in Ocala, I played with Scott and Josh.  I have a special friend.  Her name is Taylor.  Taylor and her brother Zack loved to come over and play with me.  Taylor used to take care of me and hanging out with her was one of my very favorite things.  I like to play with other dogs also.  I had a best friend.  His name is Mickey.  Mickey used to live next door and we’d do our “dog thing” by running back and forth along the fence.  Mickey moved a few weeks ago.  I miss him.  I also played with Semi when she came to visit…Lexi and Hunter, too.  Lexi drove me crazy because she was little and could go places I couldn’t get to (like under beds), but I loved her anyway.  She and Hunter are my cousins.  I have another cousin.  His name is Bixby.  I’ve never met him, because he’s new to the family, but I know I would have loved him.


I’m only 11 years old and really wanted to stay with my Mommy and Daddy for a much longer time, but I got sick last year and there was nothing anyone could do about it.  Mommy, Daddy, Dr. Jason, and other doctors tried to fix me, but it’s one of those things that can’t be fixed.  I’ve never been in pain, so every day I’ve had has been a good day.  Mommy and Daddy really spoiled me.  Mommy and Daddy would cook for me, so I’ve had all my favorites:  eggs (I call them eggies), steak, hamburger, grilled cheese sandwiches, and Frosty Paws.


Actually…Mommy and Daddy have always spoiled me.  I’ve been a very lucky dog!!!  I have a toy box full of toys and always get new stuff.  When Mommy and Daddy went away, I got to stay at really nice hotels where people would play with me.  One of my hotels even had a swimming pool.  We’ve had 2 swimming pools at our houses also.  Since I’m a Lab, I like to swim.  I liked my first pool best.  I used to get on Mommy’s raft and just float around.  Then I used to lie in a comfy chair and dry off in the sun.  Mommy and Daddy let me go swimming, but sometimes I snuck into the pool.  They never got mad at me.  I’ve been to the ocean too.  I even once went into a VERY cold stream.  My fur protected me, so it was fun.


I think I’m pretty smart.  I can spell lots of words.  People never believed Mommy and Daddy when they told them, but I proved it all the time.  I really love people and always make eye contact when people talk to me.  I do this thing with my head where I tilt it and turn it to prove I understand.  Mommy calls it my “exorcist thing.”  I think that was a famous movie or something.


Anyway…I’m a really nice dog.  I love people and have never done anything to hurt anyone.  I have been well-loved.  I hope that someday Mommy and Daddy get another puppy to love.  I won’t be jealous, but I’ll watch over the situation and make sure that puppy is good to my Mommy and Daddy.


I’m saying good-bye to a lot of people that I love and who love me:  Mommy and Daddy (of course), Jason, Ari, Rachel, Grandma, Grandpa, Phil, Melanie, Aunt Sharon, Uncle Ron, Dawn.  I can’t even name everyone who will miss me.  What a lucky dog I am!!!


I’m going to see Nicki, Una, Max, Maisie, Gidget…lot’s of other well-loved dogs.  I’ll be able to run again without my hips hurting me.  That’s a good thing.


I have a special message for my Mommy and Daddy.  I’ll miss you and always be your “puppy.”  I know you have lots of pictures of me since I’m a real ham and loved to have my picture taken.  I know you’ll cry for a while, but the hurt will go away.  I love both of you so much, but it’s time for me to be somewhere else.  You’ll be in my puppy heart forever and I know that I’ll be in yours.


I love you both.


Posts: 1,415
Dear Meryl & Ken--  I'm reading this with tears streaming down my face.  What a moving letter from your precious Whidbey!  There is no doubt that this furchild had a wonderful and loving family & many friends.  Surely he already has made some new ones at the Rainbow Bridge.
    I'm so sorry for your heartbreaking loss.  I know too well that terrible grief when you have to let go.  There is so much history and fond memories to churn all those feelings around into waves of sadness.
    I hope that, in time, you both will find the peace that comes with healing.  Until then, you have this wonderful site with many caring & supportive people.

      All my thoughts & prayers are with you-- Teddy's Mom

Posts: 205
MerylKen...what a beautiful letter....anyone can see how much love Whidbey gave and received were very blessed to have her in your lives with all the beautiful memories...cherish them....We had to assist myy Tai-Chi to the RB 4 months was the hardest thing we ever had to do, but we now know she is at peace...Tai-Chi's mom Lisa


Posts: 1,328

Sorry for your loss of Whidbey. He sounds like he had it made--you two took real good care of him. Take care.


Posts: 1,288
What a wonderful, full, and loving life you had with Whidbey. A life full of fun and so much love. He was a very lucky dog to have had so many friends. A life well lived, I guess you could say. What more could you ask for your family member, except that they never had to leave us.

From Whidbey's letter to you I can tell that he was one very lucky guy and that he will always love you, he will miss you also but he has friends waiting for him at the Bridge to keep him company.

I am sending you my deepest sympathies for your loss, I know just how big a loss it is. I hope you and your husband can find some peace during this time.


Posts: 846
Oh my goodness what a beautiful letter.  I'm crying like a baby.  Whidbey sounds like a very sweet, special soul.  I'm so very sorry for your loss.  You've come to the right place.  The people here say such wonderful, inspiring things.  Labs are simply amazing creatures.  I lost my two labs last year - Luna, a yellow lab like your Whidbey, died in January 07 of cancer (she was 4 years old), and  Gypsy, a black lab, died in September 07 of old age - she was 13.  They both took a part of me with them when they died.  I truly understand your pain and my heart hurts for you.  I'll be sure to keep you in my prayers, and I'll ask my girls to welcome Whidbey with open paws and lots of yummy treats.  God Bless you and your precious Whidbey.  May God lift you up into His arms and grant you peace.  Many hugs to you.

Gerlie (Gypsy and Luna's forever mom)

Posts: 3
The support we're getting is amazing.  I didn't even know this site existed until I Googled "Rainbow Bridge."  The box with Whidbey's remains was wrapped in a blue velvet sack with the embroidered inscription "Until we meet again at the Rainbow Bridge."  You people are awesome.  We have many friends who really could have used this website.  We also have many friends who will need it some day.

I know we'll heal and...eventually...get another furbaby to love.  We know that's what Whidbey would want.

Posts: 699
Dear MerylKen,

Your Whidbey must have been one very special boy, and loved immensely.  Reading his letter, I wept and wept - how beautiful it is.  I send you my deepest sympathy during this very painful time.  It sounds like your beloved boy left you with a legacy of love, a priceless gift to be cherished and shared, and a lifetime of wonderful memories.  Whidbey's love for you, and yours for him will help to heal your hurting hearts.

Katharine, Grunt's Mom Forever

Posts: 1,093

After reading Luna13's post, I knew I had to read the inspiration for her post. I am sitting here almost sobbing. This post is so beautiful and a wonderful tribute to your Whidbey.

I am so sorry for your loss. Whidbey sounds like a wonderful old soul, and I know he will be by your side, and those who loved him so, forever. These wonderful souls that cross our paths do not leave, even in death, but can be felt near us always.

Hugs to you and all of those whose lives Whidbey touched.



Posts: 5,100
Dear MerylKen,

I am crying so hard I am not sure how much I can actually type.  Your beautiful, matter of fact, unique manner of memorializing your beloved Whidbey was so poignant.   I know the heart of a Labrador is a heart of pure, unadulterated, unconditional love.  And, I know you are inconsolable right now.  I am so sorry for your loss.

We had only been married a couple of years when my husband lost his beloved German Shorthaired Pointer, "Easy Come Easy Go", in Sept. of 2005.  His grief was so profound, he would not even let me mention Easy's name for months.  Almost nine months later to the day, a strikingly beautiful Black Lab pup was "dumped" in front of our home in a terrible thunderstorm.  We were on the Board of the local Humane Society at the time and I guess the owners knew we would not turn her away.   My husband named her "Grace" because he truly believes the Grace of God brought her to our door (not to mention that she is his "saving grace").   She is the most loving creature we have ever known.   So, when he and I read your post we both cried.  He had to leave the room.

I have lit an internet candle for Whidbey under the name WID.  You can find it by going to the first page (and first post) on AurichWolf's thread entitled "Light a Candle Here" on this grief board.  Click on the little Light a Candle icon inside her post and you will bring up a candle page.  This candle will burn for 48 hours.  May your grieving hearts be comforted by all your wonderful memories of your beloved Whidbey.  And, please, don't hesitate to come and share with us more memories of him, if it will help you.  We will be here for you.

You are in our prayers.

Melissa and George
Betsy's and Easy's forever loving mom and dad


Posts: 686
Dear MerylKen,

Oh what a beautiful letter.  I read it through tears.  Your sweet Whidbey sounds like an absolutely wonderful dog.  I can tell you loved him with all of your heart.  He will always have a special place in your heart.

Kate (Gus' mom)

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