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Posts: 6

My wife, Heather, and I have been married for three years now, and we've owned a little Shih Tzu named Ramon Carlos Rodriguez Haas for the past 4 years.  We inherited Ramon when my parents were moving, and we were dog-sitting for them.  We fell in love with him and just never gave him back.

Ramon was a vibrant, loving, territorial S-O-B, who loved to chase rabbits, go on car rides, play with the neighbor kids and our nephews.  We currently do not have any children, so we considered Ramon our little boy.  He would bark at us when my wife would get in disagreements, he would cuddle with us all the time and he was full of love, life and joy!

Yesterday, on Father's Day, I took him for a ride, and I stopped at a gas station to go inside to buy some Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper.  When I opened the car door, he bolted out the driver's side and ran up the sidewalk.  I chased after him as fast as I could calling his name.  He looked over his right shoulder at me, then turned out into on-coming traffic and was run over by a truck.

I ran out into the street and picked him up, and sprinted back to my car as fast as I could.  On the way to the animal hospital, I was folding him on my lap and squeezing his chest and giving him mouth-to-mouth CPR, and telling him to hold on. 

He just looked up at me and gave a little yelp and then I could see in his eyes that he was no longer with us.  I just screamed Hang on Ramon, Mommy and Daddy loves you!  Somehow as much pain as he was in, I honestly believe he knew that.

My wife was at home during this time and I called her hysterically and told her to get to the animal hospital ASAP.  By the time she made it there, Ramon had already left us. We sat and held our little boy and said our good-byes for a while and then headed home to grieve. 

Last night was one of the toughest nights my wife and I have been through in a long time.  We only slept for about 2 hours combined, and this morning I thought he would come out from underneath our bed and go on a walk with my wife like they had down every morning for the past 4 years.  However that was not the case.

I am just looking for help in the right direction we should go now, as my wife and I are extremely devastated and struggling through this terrible situation together.  We loved our little boy with all our heart, and he was the shining apple of our eyes.  Any help that you could give is very greatly appreciated.

Matt & Heather
Iowa City, IA


Posts: 25
Dear Matt & Heather,
I am so sorry for your loss.  My deepest swmpathies and condolences go out to you both.  You came to the right place to share your grief and all emotions associated with it.  There are alot of really great people here that share your sadness and feelings.
Try to take advantage of all the great materials here and cry like theres no tomorrow is about all I can say to you.  I try not to give advice.  Nobody needs my advice except to say that we all can relate in some way to your loss and sadness.
This website and the people have helped me immensely when my Yngwie passed less than a month ago.
Please just know that we all grieve together here and you are amongst friends and comrades.
This was not your fault in any way shape or form.  Animals do what they do because thats what they do.  I know that grief hits all of in different ways and in different stages but please do not blame yourself for this unfortunate event.  If I had a dime for every night I spent awake wondering if that damn cat was coming home...
Your feelings are safe here, whether they be sorrow, anger guilt, tears or whatever.  Let us help please.  Also, post a pic when you feel up to it.
Again, my sincerest sympathies for you both.

Jennifer   Yngwie's mom

Posts: 1,205
Dear Matt and Heather

You must be in total shock, I am so sorry.  What a devastating thing to have happened.  Your little boy has the most imposing name, for a little one. I bet he is a tough little guy.  I dont know what to say that will comfort you, it is just so hard to lose our babies, especially to such an awful accident.

Your little man is safe and well now and sending you his love.  Have you read the story of the Rainbow Bridge it might give you some comfort.

Thinking of you at this terrible time.  All here know your pain.  Much Love Di xxx

Posts: 657

I am just so sorry for this tragic loss.  I, too, lost my dog suddenly and tragically--not in a car accident, but through my inability to act quickly and rationally when a crisis occurred.  I can only say I understand the devastation you are now going through.  I am so very, very sorry.


Posts: 820

So sorry for your loss.  It was a tragic accident and no ones fault.  He was your baby and so naturally you will be grieving.  I too lost my little man, he was a black cat Rupert and I had him for 15 years.  He passed 20 weeks ago and I still feel sad and overwhelmed but time has been a healer.  I will never forget him but as they say life goes on. Not for us though.  Everyone on this board has suffered a loss and we all can share with you the same feelings of guilt and despair.  Write a journal, collect up photos.  All these things helped me to come to terms with my loss.  I still can't accept it but I have enlarged photos and I talk to him.  You will find a way to cope but give yourself time to grieve.  Ruperts Mum 


Posts: 5,100
Dear Matt and Heather,

Please accept my deepest condolences for the tragic, unexpected loss of your beloved little boy, Ramon.  I can think of nothing worse than losing a baby in an accident like this, right before your very eyes.  Oh, my heart is breaking for you. 

I wish there were words I could say that would somehow lessen your pain, but I can only offer my sympathy and support.   And, I can remind you this was a tragic ACCIDENT.   Grief has a way of putting horrible guilt trips on us furparents, so please be gentle with yourself.

Ramon knows your heart.  He knows how dearly you love him.  You and he were together on Father's Day and he could feel your love so strongly.  You did everything you could to save him.   You were such a loving daddy to him. 

I have lit an internet candle for him under his name at AurichWolf's Light a Candle Here thread on this grief board.  You can find it by going to her post ( page one) and clicking on the little Light a Candle icon. It will burn for the next 48 hours.

You and Heather and Ramon were so blessed to belong to each other, even though the time was cut short.   May God hold both of you in the palm of His hand as you grieve your precious boy.   And, may Ramon's boundless, strong spirit surround you with love today and always.

Hugs and many prayers,
Betsy Noodle's forever mommy

Posts: 139
Dear Matt & Heather,

I am truly sorry that this horrible accident happened and you lost your beloved Ramon. I feel your pain and have cried a few tears for you both. It is extremely painful when you lose a precious member of the family but I imagine you are both still in shock right now and probably will be for days if not weeks.  This is a good place to come with your grief because everyone here understands the loss you are feeling at this time.  It's normal at first to feel the guilt set in and just know that your Ramon knew how much he was loved and that means more than anything else.  You were good  parents to him and he knew that.

Take whatever amount of time you need to grieve and try to comfort each other.  Come here and post all your feelings, read the posts that others have left here (I'm sure there will be alot of posts that you will be able to relate to) and know that you both are in my thoughts and prayers tonight and I hope that you can eventually find comfort and support for the days ahead.

My heart goes out to you both.


Posts: 6
WooWooWoo, I'm sorry I am new to this site and I could not find Ramon's candle.  Could you please direct me to the link, I appreciate it very much and I would love to see it.

I also have numerous pictures saved on my computer, but I don't have access to put them up via internet site like Petloss asks us to do.  Does that make sense?

When I came home from work today, a silouette of Ramon appeared in our front window, just like he was there waiting for us like he did every day.  I have been asking for a sign from God, and I think he gave me a little one.

I have cried like a baby over the past 24 hours and I will continue to do so, until I know that our little boy is looking down upon us and giving me that crazy old look that he always gave me.

Writing on here definitely helps.  Friends have called and I have told the story numerous times today.  I am not asking for answers why because I don't think that will ever come.  I just would like to know he is still with us and that he knows how much we loved and cared for him. 

I sit here balling my eyes out as I write this right now, but it helps.  It helps to know that there are others who love their pets like their own children.  My wife and I have thank all of you for your kinds words and thoughts.

Matt & Heather
Iowa City, IA


Posts: 613

Dear Matt and Heather, oh God, how my heart breaks for you, that was the saddest story, and I feel your pain.  It was a very tragic accident, so I hope you are not blaming yourself for this tragedy.  Ramon was cherished, and he knew that every minute of his life.   There is just no explanation for why these things happen, truly there is not one.   When you read about The Rainbow Bridge, I hope that you will find comfort knowing that Ramon has been welcomed by all of our fur babies that preceded him there, and that he will always be watched over and nurtured, just as you did for him there.  Write down everything you remember about him, all of the silly and sweet things that he did, and gather you photos together as well.   These tributes to him will help in the mourning process, and it will make you feel close to him at this terrible time.   I am so very sorry for your loss, we are here for you, take care of yourselves, hugs from Houston, MsSavion, Nike's Mom

Precious Nike, there is a new fur baby at the bridge now, little Ramon.   Please find him, and make sure he is OK....his parents are so worried about him, and so very sad right now.  Cuddle with him, and make him feel secure in his new home.   I love and miss you little doe.   oxoxoxoxxo   mommy


Posts: 699
Dear Matt and Heather,

I'm so sorry you lost your little Ramon so suddenly and so tragically.  My heart aches for you both - losing a beloved furchild is incredibly painful, unlike any other loss we may suffer in our lifetimes.  Everyone understands how much you are hurting right now.  Do come back as it will help to release your thoughts and feelings - we are here for you.

Your baby boy knows your love.

With deepest sympathy,
Katharine, Grunt's Mom Forever

Posts: 774
I am so sorry for your loss of your very special little dog Ramon. It is so hard to have such a tragic loss like you have had. Any loss is hard enough, but yours was such a devistating thing for you and your wife to have to go through. You do have eachother and you still have your little Ramon as well. Just not in the way you were used to. I have had so many people who have lost their beloved pets, myself included, see their baby's even if just for a split second for several weeks after they have gone. I think maybe this is their energy or something that remains. I think they are always with you. I often see pets that look or act like pets I have known before. I think if you keep an open mind and do't try to force it you will find that he will leave you little signs everywhere, all the time. Another thing that might help is trying to help another animal, like fostering a pet or even just walking dogs at the humane society. It does good for the pets you are helping and I think in the long run it does you good to. At least that is what I do. I loose one I get imersed with trying some way to help another person or pet. Just a thought. even if it doesn't help you at least your doing something good
I am so sorry for your loss and the pain you are in.

Posts: 5,100
Okay, this is how you find it.  Your "thread" is called "Loss of Ramon".  Aurichwolf's "thread" called "Light a Candle Here" can be found if you keep looking at the titles on this same page.  Go to her post on the 1st page of the thread and click on her little icon that says Light a Candle Here.  That will bring up a page of candles with names under them.  If you don't see the candle immediately go to the PL candle group and you will find it there.  Let me know if this helps.


Posts: 6
I was able to find Ramon's candle.  Thank you very much!  Today was easier to get up, but it will never be the same, and I'm starting to understand that.

All the neighborhood dogs, about 12 of them, sat in our front lawn last night and it was like the were waiting for Ramon to come out of the house.  He was the leader of the group.  The fiesty little one that he was!

My wife and I are going to get a new dog, or dogs, in the coming days, as we feel that will help ease the pain.  Obviously the new dog(s) will never replace Ramon, but they will help fill that void and emptiness that is in our house right now.

I would like to thank everyone for their kind words as it helps to know that there are others out there who love(d) their pets just as much as we loved our little boy.  Ramon will forever live in our hearts.

I wanted to share this with you - Ramon ABSOLUTELY LOVED to go on car rides, as he would stick his head out the passenger window.  This morning on my way to work, I found a thin piece of his white hair attached to the seat.  I placed it on the armrest in between the two front seats that way he could go on a car ride with me again and again and again. 

That might sound silly, but it's a way to help me cope with the loss of Ramon.  Once again thank you to everyone for their kind words!

Matt & Heather
Iowa City, IA


Posts: 1,205
Dear Matt and Haether

Nothing that helps you get through each day is silly.  I said goodnight to Basil and Hello, etc for ages.  I have even been known to put my arms around the empty space on the settee where he used to sit, and imagined he was there.

Whatever you have to ok my friends.

Getting a new dog was the only way I started to heal, I too couldnt stand the silence...

I am sure Ramon will lead you to the one or ones for you.

Much Love, Di xxx 

Posts: 5,100
Dear Matt and Heather,

I am so glad you found the candle.  And, I am pleased to hear that you and Heather will be opening your home and heart to another dog soon.  Some people feel the need to welcome a new pup almost immediately: others wait a while.  My Betsy, a mixed breed terrier, has been gone five months and my husband wants so badly to bring a Cairn terrier puppy into our home.  I told him we HAVE to wait, as we have a very precious, but frail 16.8 year old minpin, Ralph, and I am afraid a new puppy might overwhelm him...or even accidentally hurt him by trying to play.  We also have a wonderful 4 year old black lab mix, Gracie, but she is gentle around Ralph now.

I personally CANNOT IMAGINE a home without a dog, so I totally understand why you want to bring one in now.  And, we understand that this new dog will never replace Ramon.   I would only offer one word of caution.  You are still in shock, so be prepared to feel the overhwhelming waves of grief even with the new pup there.  Grief is a weird thing and is so unpredictable...and cruel.  It has a way of pulling the rug out of from under you when you least expect it.  That said, your new pup may be just the healing balm your heart needs.  I fell deeply in love with Gracie after Betsy passed.  Prior to that, she was always a bit of the stepchild unfortunately because she was initially a bit rough with Ralph and Betsy, who were much older (she adopted us in 2005 and we couldn't/wouldn't turn her away).  Anyway, I was crying in the bathroom one morning over Betsy, and Gracie came and put her head in my lap, then licked my tears away. Wow, what a healing moment.  Now, she's my baby girl....and she seems to understand now that Ralph is delicate, so she is gentle with him.

Big Hugs from the Texas Hill Country,

Posts: 1,328
This must be a total nightmare for you both. Time doesn't necessarily heal a darn thing, but it will make it more manageable--through time you get a farther distance and more perspective.
You gave your dog alot of love and you have memories of that. I know that Ramon is romping and playing right now. He still loves you and you both love him. Somehow, I believe that that love is still there. There's nothing that can ever take it away. I hope you 2 find some peace. Take care.

Posts: 686
Dear Matt & Heather

My heart is absolutely breaking for you.  What a tragic loss.  I wish I had words to take away your pain, but all I can do is offer my thoughts and prayers. 

Ramon sounds like a wonderful little guy and I know how much you miss him.  I think it is a tribute to him that you want to open your hearts to another furbaby.  It is your way of saying that he brought so much love and joy into your life that you can't imagine life without another dog.  Of course, there will never be another Ramon, but each furbaby we have finds a special place in our hearts.  I know Ramon will lead your heart to another dog who needs a loving home.  Just be patient and wait for him to guide you.

Thinking of you,
Kate (Gus' mom)


Posts: 317

Dear Matt & Heather,
I'm so sorry for the loss of your little Ramon. I thought so much about my husband and I when I read your post. We are three years married and when we were newlyweds we got our cat Neko. I had to leave two dogs with my parents because I could not take them with me to my new home. One of them passed away 3 months ago and I suffered because I could not be there with her on the last moments of her life. So Neko became our baby. He was such a special cat, and he was o sweet, everybody just aodred him. Then four weeks ago we just played with him and let him out. Like two hoirs later came a girl with his necklace saying he was hit by a car. We immediately went to the place and there he was, our boy, laying on the ground lifeless. We were devastated, we still cannot believe it happened. And it made us so angry becuase it was in a road with a speed limit of about 18 miles an hour. We could not sleep and we felt so bad. We could not stand being at home!!! We were the three followin days after his death out of the house. We just thought that the best in our situation was to adopt another kitty, though our Neko could not be replaced. And here we are, I still cry for him, my husband also has difficult times, but at least we remember him with love and we thank God for those wonderful 3 years he was with us.
Diana, Jessie and Neko's mom.

Posts: 2,245
Dearest Matt and Heather:
I can barely see through my tears to answer your post.  I saw your post yesterday, but I was so heartbroken for you I was at a loss for words.  I simply cannot imagine what a nightmare it must have been losing your Precious Ramon like that.  I lost my little Shih Tzu Christopher almost 15 months ago.  I will Never forget the day he dies in my arms-Never.  At least I had the time to say goodbye.  They are Special Little Angels who live for affection and Love.  I am still in pain and tears every day.  I wish there was something I could say about your tragic loss that would ease your pain.  There are just no words that help.  You, Heather and Ramon are in my Prayers. 

My Precious Angel
Please Watch Out for Ramon
and Make Sure He is Safe.
Him Mommy and Daddy Miss Him So Much.
You Are MY Man And I Love You

Posts: 8

Sadly I lost my baby monday night after he was hit by a car! It's the most devastating thing I've ever been put through. The past two nights I've probably slept a total of 6 hours. I toss and turn. I think about him constantly and when I wake up I realize the nightmare continues. I keep thinking he's going to walk in my room or he's snuggled up against me in bed. I used to spend a lot of time in the morning yelling at him to stop purring and kneeding me bc I was tired. Now I'd give anything to have him there. I know how you feel. Life just doesn't feel the same. And losing your loved one's in such a tragic way hurts even more. Stay strong as I'm trying to do myself. It's hard but hopefully we can all look back someday and smile with happiness that we were the lucky one's because we got the best years with our little friends.


Posts: 540
Dear Matt and Heather, reading your story about losing Ramon brought tears to my eyes, I am so very sorry for your loss and the horrible pain you are suffering from right now. Losing that special one of a kind spiritual connection that we have with our furbabies is not an easy thing to get over. I don't thinkwe ever truly get over it we just have to learn to live our lives without them in it. Today is my Peanut's one year anniversary and she died from old age and other health issues, she was 17, but having to make the decision to end her life as been one I have been beating myself up for ever since she passed, regretting it and thinking we should have waited. I think no matter how they leave us, whether it is a tragic accident, a severe illness, or simply old age, the fact is they are gone and we will forever miss and grieve for them.  The fact that it happened on Father's Day really makes it hard I am sure as we lost Peanut two days after Father's Day last year and so now it seems like it always puts a damper on Father's Day which is supposed to be a happy day for my husband but deep down I feel dread and sorrow.  I think it is wonderful that you and your wife want to bring another sweet furbaby into your life to help with the pain you are suffering from as well as a special tribute to Ramon. He would definately want you to do just that and to show all the love that he experienced with another.

Hugs and prayers are with you both,


Posts: 6
Someone mentioned in one of the posts that when my wife and I decided to get a new dog(s) that we would take a lot of the precious things Ramon taught us and teach them to the new dog(s).

This might seem quick to some people, but we have purchased two 10-week old black poodles - Maggie and Molly.  I feel bad in some instances because I feel as though I am using them to help ease my pain and get over Ramon.  However, I also know that these puppies will get the same type of love and care from us that Ramon received.

Our house just felt so empty, and I have had a dog in my life since I was 2 years old, and I'm now 33.  So for 31 straight years I've had a loving companion at my side, and I just could not bare the thought of not having a dog in the house.  It was driving both my wife and myself nuts.

These dogs are sisters and are going to be fun to train all over again, as well as love and play with.  I found myself taking some of Ramon's toys away from them and putting those aside, because after all those were his favorite toys, and Ramon had toys like women have shoes - tons of them!!!  I left some of his toys out for Maggie and Molly, but I put his special ones up on our mantle.

These dogs will definitely help both my wife and myself overcome this tragedy, but they will never be like Ramon and I don't expect them to be.  We couldn't go with the same breed (Shih Tzu), as we felt we would be comparing that dog to Ramon too much.

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers and kind words.  I believe Ramon has sent me a couple of signs, for example my wife tells me that the change in the weather is a little sign from him.  Over the past four days, it's been 80 degrees and sunny as all could be - I believe that's a sign from my little boy telling me everything will be OK.  The previous week to two weeks to his death was full of rain, flooding and everything else you could think of. 

Ramon is definitely with us and will always be!


Matt & Heather
Iowa City, IA


Posts: 1,205
Dear Matt and Heather

I am so, so pleased for you.  As I mentioned before, I adopted Ben, just 3 weeks after I lost Basil.  I too have had animals around me all of my life, and the silence without any, was unbearable.  For the first time I actually felt lonely when I was alone.

I didnt feel at all disloyal to my Basil, as I know that he loves me and wants me to be happy, as Ramon would want you to be. 

You are giving two little puppies a fantastic and loving home, they could have ended up with anybody.  My Ben was a rescue, so he has also found a loving home.  I think that it is a testament to our babies at the bridge, that we want to give loving homes to others.

Good luck my friends, and I know that your babies will help you to heal.  Much love, Di xxx

Posts: 5,100
Welcome, sweet Maggie and Molly!!!
Congratulations dear Matt and Heather on your two new babies.  I know they will bring great joy and love to your grieving hearts.   I, too, have ALWAYS had dogs (since the age of two when my mom adopted a chihuahua named Angel).  

Your beloved Ramon will, no doubt, be your guardian angel watching over the four of you ALWAYS.


Posts: 6


I just wanted to share this with everyone.  This is something that my wife and I wrote up to help remember all the good things about our little boy!





May 23, 2003 - June 15, 2008


 “You’ll Always Be Our Little Boy!”




*  Go on your morning walks with mommy each & every day


*  Chase rabbits with daddy in the field or in the backyard


*  Greet mommy & daddy at the front window & then run to the backdoor when

    we got home each day


*  Stick you head out the window of the car & “huff” at the people walking by


*  Try to roll the window down with your paw


Always have to sit on the arm rest in between mommy & daddy while in the car


Get jealous & jump up & down when mommy & daddy kissed or hugged each



Love to be petted on your head or have your tummy rubbed


Lay down at the foot of the couch & daddy would almost step on you when he

    would get up


Love to play with the other dogs in the neighborhood


Pull all your toys out of your box until you got to the one toy that you wanted

    to play with


Snuggle with mommy & daddy in bed or on the couch


Run up to the front screen door & look to see what dog was walking by


Love to play with little kids & were so good at giving them little kisses on

    their faces


Perk you head up when the word “treat” or “car ride” or “outside” was



Knock over your water bowl or food bowl when they were empty, letting us

    know you wanted more


Eat most of daddy’s pork chops, so much so daddy eventually just started

    cooking one just for you


Love to go to the “puppy spa” & get your hair cut


Bark at the vacuum cleaner & lawn mower


Tear up the cardboard from the paper towel rolls & toilet paper rolls


Jump up on the couch & look out the front window when a bird or squirrel was

    in the yard


Love to get your picture taken by your mommy & daddy


*  Go nuts for Pupperoni & scarf the entire thing down as quickly as you


Play with your little blue ball until you would lose it under the couch or the

    entertainment center


Sleep under mommy & daddy’s bed until you wanted to come up on the bed &

    become a bed hog


Rest your head on mommy & daddy’s legs while on the bed or the couch


Lay down in the laundry basket full of clothes


Run out the backdoor when daddy yelled “ooh, ooh, ohh” & chase whatever was

    in the backyard


*  Sit by the suitcase or bag anxiously waiting when you knew that we were

    going on a trip


*  Lay on the floor by the entry way to the kitchen while mommy was cooking



*  Go in & out the backdoor while daddy was cooking on the grill, patiently

    waiting for some "yummies"   



Loyal, Loving, Brave, Tough, Silly, Playful & Full of Life!


Love Mommy & Daddy



Posts: 317
Congratulations with your two new additions to the family: Maggie and Molly. I have to say that the memorial your wife wrote over Ramon is beatiful and it brought tears to my eyes. I hope you can enjoy your new puppies and remember with a smile how special Ramon was.
Diana, Jessie and Neko's mom.

Posts: 6
I was finally able to post a picture of Ramon.  This is a picture that I took 2 weeks prior to his death. 

I found a painter her in Iowa City that is doing a painting of this picture for us to help remember OUR LITTLE BOY!

Ramon Carlos Rodriguez Haas

May 23, 2003 - June 15, 2008





Posts: 139
What a beautiful picture of your boy.  I know that you will find a special place in your home because he is already in your hearts.


Posts: 16
Dear Matt and Heather,
When I read your post, it totally brought tears to my eyes.  I also own a Shih Tzu and tomorrow I am taking him to the vet to put him to sleep because he's suffering from a recurring tumor that has severely impacted his ability to eliminate waste.  You lost your Ramone to a tragic accident.  I don't know which is worse, losing your beloved pet to an accident to taking him to the vet to put him to sleep.  Either way, they are no longer here with us and we feel sad every day thinking and missing them.  Aren't Shih Tzus the cutest most loving dogs?  I love mine like he's my human baby.  My heart wrenches at the thought of him passing in my arms tomorrow at the vet's office.  I'm glad you have decided to extend your love to two lucky dogs.  I hope with each passing day, our pain will ease and we will eventually go through a whole day without crying. 
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