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perrysusan

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Posts: 18
 #41 
Hello to you.  I am a new-comer to this group and I have been reading your "Ode to Tuffy".  What an amazing and wonderful tribute to Tuffy.  He sounds like he was an amazing dog...no...even more than that...a very special part of your family.  I can imagine the pain and suffering you felt when you realized that there was nothing more that you could do for Tuffy.  The last couple of weeks have been very rough for my family as we felt (and continue to feel) the same utter heartache and pain when we put down our beloved Lacy on Wednesday, December 10th.  We welcomed Lacy into our family when she was just two years old and she lived with us for 11.5 years.  Our home feels so empty without her and our hearts are completely broken inside.   Writing to Tuffy I am sure has helped you with your healing process.  Thank you for sharing your story and journey with all of us here looking for comfort and to help comfort others too.  We are all in this together.  I am thinking of you and your family tonight as you remember the hardest decision that you had to make ten months ago.   
Mondo

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 #42 
Happy New Year Tuffy,

  Well, I made it through Christmas, no boulder tears, but tearing up and well, you know -- thoughts of you are always with me.  Going back to the in laws without you was very strange.  When we went back home you always turned into a velcro dog, protecting me from the other dogs and those ferocious little kids, and big kids.  :-)    You loved that I slept on an airbed, so you would climb up and down during the night .. you ran hot so you didn't often sleep with me.  But back home, you did, right up against my chest.  Toby at my feet.  Toby still slept at my feet, and you, well, you were in my heart. 

  The first Christmas without you since 2000.  I remember that first Christmas, you in the bedroom with us, wanting to get out because you knew the cats were out there.  lol.  We hardly slept Christmas Eve. 

  Life has changed so much without you.  It's not the way life was before you though.  It will never be the same.  Toby is still hanging in here, hard to believe .. he'll be 14 on January 5th.  He was the sick one, until you got cancer.  Yeah, that's just how you were .. go big or go home.  Nothing half way with you.  Of course there were positives to how you went out, still pretty chipper, playing daily and walking -- against all odds and vet advice.  lol.  We always suspected your arthritis would take you down, and for an active boy like you that would have been sad to see.  So the cancer was a blessing I guess.  It came late, you were almost 14.  We had many good years.  I was just remembering today how you loved to play soccer at the old house, and then at the new house we didn't have the yard for that.  But on walks sometimes you would see boys playing and go over and take the ball away .. all of 18 pounds, you would shoulder the ball along and growl, sometimes you would roll over it, and sometimes it would bounce over you. 

  This was supposed to be about how much better I am.  And I am little buddy.  But darn it, I miss you so much!  February 19th will be a year since you went to the Bridge, and it just seems so unreal that this much time has passed already. 

  I still say hi to you often when I drive by the place we spread your ashes.  I'm glad we set you free, I know a lot of folks keep the ashes .. but, somehow for you that wouldn't have been fitting.  Cooped up inside.  I have your dog tag on my keychain, it'll be there for the rest of my life.

 Everywhere I go you are with me, in my heart, and often on my key chain. 

  I love you little buddy.  I miss you.  I am so blessed that you were in my life. 

Love,
Dad

xo
MeAndTheGirlies

Registered:
Posts: 497
 #43 
Mondo,
  You lost your Tuffy a day after I lost my Winnie...(I came here 5 months before that when I lost Ellie)  Ellie was my younger one but she, like your Tuffy, was diagnosed with cancer....I feel their loss every day...but Ellie's death hit me hardest....she was playful and happy when I took her in for her operation. 
   I looked at the pictures of Tuffy and Toby...Tuffy looks almost like there is some pekingese there.
   I now can get through days without crying half the time....I think it must be generally by not sticking my foot all they way into the stream of grief...when I do(like when I come here or when I really let my mind settle or if I talk or write about my Girlies) then it's like being swept up in that emotion completely...maybe for a second maybe for quite some time.....so, it's always there just buried under the work of the day.

Wishing you peaceful moments and happy memories,

MeAndTheGirlies
Mondo

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 #44 
MeAndTheGirlies,

  I haven't lost Toby yet, so I don't know how that will go.  I'm not thinking good, but our fur babies are all so different.  Toby I see a lot of, he isn't overly affectionate anymore (I think it hurts him to be petted in some places), but he is always nearby.  He was diagnosed with Cushings a couple of years ago, has had a toe amputated, arthritis in his fore legs, has a heart murmur / congestive heart failure, but that is progressing slowly. The vet thinks he should be coughing alot, but he isn't.  He's low activity low maintenance.  Tuffy was more like Ellie, he played every day even as he got older, loved walks, was very nosy and was a real character.  We believe Tuffy was Tibetan Spaniel cross, he was supposed to be a Shih Tzu, but he certainly wasn't. 

  Like you I can be swept up my emotion.  If I start to look at pictures, or revisit my journal the last days of Tuffy .. it's always there, you're right.  And some days that are blue, are just that much bluer when I think of Tuffy.  It's blowing and snowing here today and we'd be disagreeing about whether he should be outside or not.  He'd like win.  You may have seen some snow covered pictures of him.  In -30 weather, blowing snow, he'd want to be outside on the porch, on his memory foam bed.  He would have snow frozen to him, but his belly would be warm.   I miss him so much ..

The happy memories are there, but the pain, as you know, is always there too.  Until we meet again.

Thank you for the warm wishes.  I wish you the same, reading your posts I know how much you are hurting.  Yes, we seem okay on the outside, but, inside, things are quite different.  Time is so strange, it seems like only yesterday that our fur babes were with us.  We remember so well the daily rhythms, their feel and smell.  I used to be afraid that I would forget Tuffy, or forget things about him. But I now realize that will never happen, in fact I often find myself remembering little things or different events .. and nowadays those things make me smile.

Hugs.

Tuffy and Toby's Dad.

Mondo

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 #45 
Hi Perrysusan,

  I am hoping that reading here can help you in your grief.  This has truly been a nightmare, and yet, beautiful in so many ways. 

  I'm not sure about healing.  We do what we have to do, and certainly we need to let the grief come out.  I still talk to Tuffy, and sometimes will purposely devote some time to thinking about him, and talking to the Universe/God about him. 

  Your Lacy sounds like she meant to you and your family as much as Tuffy meant to us.  I wish you strength, peace and comfort in these coming days, weeks and months.  The journey of grief is a complicated one.  There are times that we feel okay, but those feelings can quickly change.  Many speak of grief coming in waves, and that was my experience.  Early on, the waves more frequent and crushing. 

  Be comforted in the fact that you had a great love with Lacy and that nothing will ever change that.  Some day we will all cross over, and that will be a wonderful day of reunion with our loved ones, including our fur babies.  I wouldn't be surprised if Tuffy is the first person I meet crossing over .. he was like that, he'd charge to the front of the line.  :-) 


 I am sorry you had to make this decision for Lacy, but also thankful that you made the difficult decision, putting her needs ahead of yours.  Our final great act of love on this side of Rainbow Bridge, I believe, is to let our fur babes go, sparing them the pain and discomfort -- knowing it will break our hearts.  I don't know that a broken heart ever mends, but it does scab over and the smiles slowly overcome the tears. Give yourself time, it took me the better part of a year to get to a place of acceptance.  And yet I look around my home and yard, and still "see" Tuffy in his places.  I look into my heart, and he's there!

Hugs.

Tuffy and Toby's Dad.


MeAndTheGirlies

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Posts: 497
 #46 
Mondo,
  My Winnie was older (almost 17)...so many health problems like your Toby...heart...kidneys...joint trouble.....hearing and sight loss to some degree...I think the most difficult to deal with was her dementia....she would pace and pace and pant...she would finally settle and sleep.....I feel like I 'lost' her long before she actually passed away.
 Each of my Girlies passed in a different way...Ellie was the only one I wasn't there for...as she passed at the hospital in the middle of the night.
 I trudge through my days....I am glad for the release from that initial raw grief pain...but am left with I guess chronic grief...always there you just learn to live your life with it.
  Yes!  I saw Tuffy in the snow...it cracked me up...I can imagine the original struggle with you trying to convince Tuffy to come inside and finally giving up and figuring he could figure out when it got too cold.....it is a funny picture...he is just covered in a nice blanket of snow...I went and looked at it again..perfectly content....did he actually get cold at some point?  Do you figure his temperature ran hot or he was just determined to be outside no matter what?

MeAndTheGirlies
maxsMandD

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Posts: 1,270
 #47 
Happy New year Tuffy. Hope you had a wonderful day. Visit your dad in a dream he really misses you.  ((hugs))    maxsMandD
LeeLeesMama

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Posts: 2,833
 #48 
Hi Mondo,
I wanted to thank you for your visiting my Lee Lee's page and for your kindness - I appreciate that very much.  I loved your story of Tuffy's love of playing soccer and him taking the ball away.... that made me smile... I know how much you miss your sweet boy.

Toby sounds like such a trooper, I hope he continues to hang in there with you and that 2015 brings comfort and healing to you and your wife although I know that you face a most difficult time with the approach of Tuffy's first anniversary at the Bridge and all the memories that day holds.  I will be thinking of you....

Melanie
~Lee Lee's Mama~
Mondo

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Posts: 994
 #49 
Happy 11th Month Bridge Day Tuffy,

  Oh little buddy, I think of you every day.  Today Toby is coming to join you, 11 months to the day. 

  You two will be together now.  I'll be joining you boys some day .. take care of each other!

Love
Dad

LeeLeesMama

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Posts: 2,833
 #50 
Mondo,
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your wife this sad day.  I hope it comforts your heart a bit to think of the joyous reunion of your two boys - how excited Tuffy must have been to see Toby coming thru the gate today.  You gave them such a wonderful life and I know they were a tremendous blessing to you.  I wish you both peace....
Melanie
~Lee Lee's Mama~
maxsMandD

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Posts: 1,270
 #51 
Happy 11th month Bridgeday Tuffy. Hope you had a great day. You and Toby watch over your mom and dad they need you .

             ((hugs))  maxsMandD
NancyMarie

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Posts: 1,170
 #52 
Happy 11th month bridge day sweet Tuffy, you must have been so happy to see your sweet brother join you today, what a reunion that must have been.

Your Mom and Dad's heart is aching today, please watch over them, they love and miss the both of you so much.

Mondo - I wish you and your wife healing for your hearts.

I will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers.

The love never ends......

Kindest Regards,

Nancy,  Angel Smudgie's Mom and Mom to Sparky, Calie and Jade

Mondo

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 #53 
Thank you everyone.  The tears are flowing tonight ..

The love never ends, I know the hole never heals, but it will scab over and in time the smiles will overtake the tears.

Until then, grieve we must.  When we lose a big part of our hearts, it hurts. 

Tuffy and Toby's Dad.  :-(

Mondo

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 #54 
Good morning Tuffy, Chubby, Pooker ..

  I know that you welcomed Toby with a tail wag and a sniff when he crossed over to Rainbow Bridge on Monday.  We walked him to the gate, and I thought I saw you there.  It's weird, this past couple of weeks, you seemed to be around here. Some strange little signs in some of your places.  Then on Monday morning after I had taken Toby home from the vet after getting his diagnosis and prognosis and making the appointment to send him to Rainbow Bridge later in the afternoon.  He seemed to be going outside an awful lot more than usual.  He was at his pillar, lying on his bed.  Just like the two of you used to do.  I remember so often driving home, and if Mom had beat me home, you would both me out there waiting for me.  Or if I just popped out to the mailbox or walked to the grocery store, I'd get home and you two .. well, you always had to be greeting me.  You drove Mom nuts, because it was all about Dad.  When I was gone you two waited for me.  I'd come home from buying groceries in the car, and you would both me in the sunroom, starting to bark when I opened the gate. I always had to keep an eye on you Tuffy, you were our escape artist. Oh we still have remnants where I had to block little gaps under fences and so on.  I would bring in groceries and suddenly you would sneak out of the yard .. in later years, you usually stayed nearby, and when I looked at you, you would know you were "caught" and go back in the yard without prompting.  I love Toby as you well know, but you were my heart dog, my soul mate.  Losing Toby is different, it's painful, but it isn't all about Toby.  It is about the boys not being the boys anymore, and it brings back all the grief from when you left.   Which is by no means "over", nor will it ever be, nor should it ever be. 

  It was nice taking you and Toby for our Rainbow Bridge walk yesterday.  I took both of your dog tags and headed out on that 1.4 mile walk, which took us 45 minutes.  I did it in 27, but it probably should have taken 30.  I walked a little fast, being upset, sad, remembering.  I stopped where your ashes were spread off the bridge, and talked to you for a while, as you know.  I remember the last time we walked that, 3 days before you left us.  You were pretty sick according to the vet, so I drove there.  Figured we'd walk in and back to the car, but you just kept walking and headed home.  Slowly, but enjoying your walk, as you always did.  You loved walking!  And I loved walking with you!  Toby, he tolerated it because he had to be with us. 

  It's a little over 11 months now that you left.  I made it.  I didn't think I would in those early days.  I was headed for a breakdown.  Thank God for meds and Toby.  I asked him for 3 months but he knew that 3 would not be enough, nor 6, nor 9.  He gave me 11 months.  I started thinking he would make it a whole year .. but like you, the cancer hit and it was end stages.  So like you, we did the most loving painful thing and let him go before it got unbearable.   I remember thinking after you passed, if Toby passed soon, it was going to kill me. 

  It is dark days Tuffster. Another light has gone out.  I can see as I get older, there is more on the other side for me, than on this side.  But that time will come soon enough.  And you would never have given up without a fight.  I often thought of you and Toby as the two sides of me. Being a Gemini.  You were my outgoing side, my energetic side, the extrovert in me, and Toby, my laid back side, my introverted part.  With you and Toby by my side, we were "famous" in the neighbourhood.  I remember introducing you to so many kids and adults.  I remember after having met you, a bunch of 10 year old boys riding their bikes, upon seeing us walking (as we did 3 times a day if not more) -- "Hey, there's Tuffy and Toby."  Walking alone or with Mom I would often run into other dog walking acquaintances, I'd say "Hi" and sometimes they would ask where the boys were, but often they wouldn't recognize me until I said "I'm the guy with the little dogs."  lol.  I met most all of the neighbours when we first moved here because of you guys, being out and about, walking and playing and enjoying each others company.  Me and my posse.  Those days live on in my heart and mind forever, just like you and Toby.

  I miss you guys so very much.   I loved you so very much.  You gave me life, and love and taught me so much, made me a better person.  I knew losing you would hurt.  I never imagined it would completely alter my life more than losing my Mom and Dad even.  I remember having a dream when you were still alive.  I had lost you, and was looking for you.  There were some people that I asked if they had seen you, and then I said "He's my whole life."  I remember waking up, thinking that was kind of pathetic.  I thought I overstated it.  My subconscious apparently knew better than I did.  You and Toby, were indeed all that to me.  Next to Mom, you were my whole life.  You were my #1 priority, because Mom could take care of herself, but you and Toby were completely dependent.  I put you before TV, before work, before myself, before most anything.  I think you belonged there.  You gave me 100%, and that is what I owed you.

  Oh Tuffy, take good care of Toby.  You were always the protector.  You'd be at the fence barking, and Toby would be up on the porch, behind the railing, barking.  Or when we went visiting, you would spend all your time at my side. Protecting me.  :-)

  You had no fear.  I remember cutting the grass with the gas mower, you laying in the lawn.  I am passing inches from you, nothing.  I walk right towards you with the mower and have to stop it and get you to move.  Thunder never bothered you.  Sirens made you howl along.  I miss that low eerie howl, it was so strange to see a little 17 pound dog cock his head up and do that howl/moan.  Then you would look at  me .. not sure if I was supposed to join in, or if you felt I was invading a private moment.  Smile. 

  Well, as you can tell, losing Toby has brought it all back again.  I remind myself how worth it you both were.  But it is so hard Tuffy.  So very hard.  I remember when you were still a pup, mere months after we adopted you, holding you and crying because I knew I would lose you some day.  Some might think that is pathetic, but those that understand the love and bond, will understand.

  Soon it will be one year Tuffy.  It seems impossible.  But as many here say, it will be one year closer to holding you again, playing with you, walking you, laying down with you and rubbing your belly and chest.

  Love you forever,
  Dad

xo
Mondo

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 #55 

Just a funny little aside Tuffy.  Well, maybe not funny, but typical.

I remember when you left on Feb 19, 2014, how you had to be sedated.  Even after that, you got up and started to walk, and flopped over.  I picked you up, hugged you and carried you outside.

We sat on the porch and I told you how much I loved you .. and we shared a few moments.  I took you down the steps for a pee, then put you back on your bed for a while that was outside on the porch.  Mom came to get us about 10 minutes later, and we said good bye to you with candles lit and the house full of love. 

Toby was sedated on Monday.  He came into the room at the vet clinic, and Mom and I petted him and he just went to sleep.  Yes, the Vet clinic was Toby's second home, so while you would have been so stressed going there, Toby was wagging his tail when we went in.

The vet came in after about 10 minutes of sedation, we had said our good byes.  She smiled, and said, well, looks like the sedative worked. 

Then she said, "I just gave Toby a fraction of what I gave Tuffy."  :-)  That made me smile.  My spunky Tuffy, and my laid back Toby.  Two pups that couldn't be more different, but two pups that I loved with all my heart.

Love never dies,
Dad

xo

Mondo

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 #56 
Hello Tuffy,

 Well, February is here.  February 2013 was a sad time with our dear friend getting diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and it was the start of him passing and then Mom a short time later.  February 2014 was a sad time with you leaving.  A year ago I would have been making an appointment for you to get your cartrophen injection.  Your eating was increasingly picky.  You didn't seem to lose weight, but I could feel your ribs more and  more. 

  Today I did The Walk.  The one I promised you in the summer of 2013, I told you before you went to Rainbow Bridge we would do it one more time.  It wasn't a long walk really, 1 mile, but for a little dog with arthritis .. well, you could do it, but it took a while.  So in the Fall of 2013, you me and Toby did it.  It took us an hour, but it was wonderful. 

  Then, February 18th 2014, we did it one last time. The day before you left.  We had started a regular shorter walk, we were on the path and the place where we created a path, you started to head home.  It was just you and me, saying good bye.  I looked at you and said "No Tuffy, today we do the whole thing."  and you skipped towards me and off we headed.  I recall running into our neighbour that day, I hadn't seen him for months.  He was out walking his Kosmo, his little Westie that you actually had affection for.  That was the last time I saw him too .. a few months later he died of pancreatic cancer. 

  I recall running into a couple of people walking, they were interested in you and you showed some interest in them.  I was so heartbroken, I had to tell them all about you .. I didn't cry though.  I am not sure how that happened. 

 Well, I did that walk today Tuffy.  It is -15c and it would be perfect for you.  Toby of course would be with us, he didn't like walking, but where we went, he followed. I miss him so much, looking around the yard with fresh snow, and no dog prints.  No poop.  For the first time in 15 years. 

 I took you and Toby's dog tags, held them in my hand and wore mitts.  Dog walking mitts.  :-)  That's why I have them .. along with coats, and hikers.  I used to have dog walking/playing jeans. Because the knees on those would go, so I didn't wear them except for yard stuff and for you guys. 20 minutes today that walk took.  75 minutes our last day.  I would much prefer it take 75 minutes again.  Yeah .. the tears flowed.

  I miss my boys ... so very much. 

Tuffy and Toby's Dad.
Mondo

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 #57 
Hello my good boys, 

  I guess I'll talk to you boys here .. seems like a good place.  I just got home from a walk, of course you both were with me in spirit, and I have your dog tags on my keychain.  Yes, I talked to you both ..

  Is this ever going to get easier?  I feel this walk honors you both.  It was the 3 of us most every day, rain, shine or snow, 2 or 3 times a day for, well, I guess 13 years.  The first 6 months were just Tuffy and me, the last year (!) just Toby and me. 

  As I told you on our walk, I hope to do this once a day .. this little one mile loop that took us 45 minutes when you two were both healthy and, prior to old age.  It takes me 20, but I sure wish it took longer (that would mean you guys were with me ..) 

  Maybe tomorrow I won't cry.  Okay, maybe next week, next month .. of course, I well know that even years from now, there will be days the tears come.  I miss my boys and always will, until we meet again at Rainbow Bridge. 

  Love,
  Dad

  xo
NancyMarie

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Posts: 1,170
 #58 
Dear Mondo,

Your posts to your boys are so full of love, what a beautiful life you and your wife gave them.  I come here too to talk to my beloved Smudgie who I lost almost 11 months ago, I feel close to her here and I also still cry, I can't imagine not crying for her, she was my heart.  I love the fact that you go for a daily walk to honor your beloved boys,  I hope tomorrow when you go for your walk you can feel their sweet little spirits walking right along side you. 

"No soul remembered is ever really gone.”  Author Mitch Albom

I wish you peace for your hurting heart, comfort for your soul and sweet dreams of your beloved boys.

Kindest Regards,

Nancy, Mom to Angel Smudgie and Mom to earthbound Calie, Sparky and Jade

Memphisgirl1

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Posts: 339
 #59 
Dear Mondo,
  Your letters to your boys Tuffy and Toby bring such tears to my eyes as I read them, but in a good way because I can feel all the magnificent love you had for them both in your oh so touching words. I think they were certainly the luckiest little guys to have had that kind of love from you and can imagine all the joy and happiness you gave to those two precious little lives. Not all little animals are ever so lucky as that to have known such love and devotion. You certainly gave them a life filled with love and tenderness, and that is not something that will ever cease to exist between you and them. A bond that immense can never be broken. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers and ask god to grant some peace and comfort to your broken heart.
Hugs,
Pam
Hunter's Mommy
Mondo

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 #60 
Hi Nancy and Pam,

 Thank you for stopping in.  It means a lot to us. 

  I too come here to talk to my boys.  I of course talk to them every day.  My wife had a print made up with a picture, and I stand in front of it and talk to them, trying to hug them .. and I know their spirits understand and are embraced.  On my walks I always talk to them, kind of like I used to .. if we're going across a street I'll tell them to hurry. We used to usually run across streets.  Then I see the landmarks, fence posts, mail boxes, garbage cans etc that I know they would sniff and mark.  I imagine that they are with me, but.  But.

  These bonds can never be broken, they are eternal.  As the Candlelight Ceremony last night reminded me. 

  It is wonderful that all of us in our grief, can reach out and support others.

  Thank you so much.

Hugs,
Tuffy and Toby's Dad


PS.  I just got back from my walk with the boys.  5f, with a -10f windchill.  The Sun is shining and there is fresh snow on the ground.  It would have been a perfect day for Tuffy.  I said to myself "It's kind of cold out here." and I heard Tuffy say "No Dad, this is a beautiful day for walking."  And Toby said "Whatever, you guys wanna walk, I'll walk."  ...

Thinking on my walk about love and loss.  This is called the Pet Loss Grief Support forum, but it is also an extraordinary Pet LOVE forum!

Foxdfive

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Posts: 306
 #61 
Hi Mondo,
A lovely letter to your boy's gave me a burning lump in my throat actually. Your dedication and love for your babies helps me feel somewhat normal when I come here. Memories can be such great things sometimes, especially when it's all we have. I think about you and your boy's a lot and think about many others here as well. Somehow I feel safe here and for the past few days have been a little down and needed to come--finally getting a chance tonight. I came here initially to write to Toy, but got caught up reading post and replying to a few, so perhaps I will come tomorrow and talk to him. It will be a year next month, but sometimes these really bad days show up and I miss him almost as much as the first day. I don't necessarily believe that time heals all wounds, we just bandage them and eventually the wound opens back up. Hope you are doing okay. I see they made you a moderator now, which is good because you are always dropping in on others and posting to their needs as well as yours. I try to do the same because I received so much help here in the primary stages. The first few days and weeks I may have overlooked how other people felt and what they were going through because I was so hurt and desperate. Now I try to repay the favor. I'll talk to you soon Mondo.

Toy's Dad David
Mondo

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 #62 
Hi David,

  You should feel normal, because you are normal.   He types through tear filled eyes.   We adopted Ryley yesterday, and he is a good boy.   But Toby hasn't been gone 3 weeks, Tuffy's  first year will be coming up on Feb 19, and, it isn't fair to Ryley, but he is both a reminder of both of the boys, and he is not Toby nor Tuffy.  Not his fault.  I know I will grow to love him,  but there is only one Toby and only one Tuffy.  Comparing him to them .. is pointless, and yet it seems to be there.   He has brought some joy already and will bring more.  It's just this odd mix of intense grief, and suddenly another presence in our home.  He doesn't lie on the dog beds like Toby did.  He isn't big into playing.  He doesn't smooch.   He loves walking, he loves cuddling.   His own unique personality.   Somehow right now he just highlights the pain of losing Tuffy and Toby.  

  Like you I stuck around to help others, as I was and am helped immensely by the caring and loving people at this forum. 

  No, time does not heal.  I miss my boys so much, I miss Tuffy so much, almost a year later.   Of course, Toby is still daily tears ... and now I have to sign off.  They are dripping down my face, today is just one of those very hard days.

 I think about you and Toy a lot too.  We have a bond forged in grief and love, that we shared with each other in a very intense time.  You are a good friend.

Take care of your self David, I hope you can find comfort and peace most days, most of the time.   It is about the best we can hope for.

Tuffy and Toby's Dad,
Erwin



 
Mondo

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 #63 
Happy Birthday Tuffy,

  So many words and tears have passed.  But the love has not passed.  I miss you every day Tuffster.

 You would have been 15 years old today.  There is no reason that you should still be with us, but somehow I thought you might be the one that made it to 15 or 16.  It's hard to believe that close to 14 months have passed since you left us for Rainbow Bridge.  Toby is now there with you too .. the boys together!

  As you know, Missy and Ellie have now joined us.  It is nice to have the energy of these young ladies with us, and they are good girls, we all have a lot to learn together.

  But as you also know, you were and are by far the hardest loss I have had, including Mom and Dad.  Just the other night Mom and I were out for dinner, talking about the girls and you boys.  I am talking about you and suddenly there I am crying.  lol.  It's okay you're worth it.  It is comforting to know that while time eases the pain, I will always miss you (and Toby).  New relationships don't take the place of old ones.

  You were a great friend, annoying, lovable, unique in so many ways.   I don't think we'll ever have a dog that howls along with sirens the way you did.  I watched Missy the other night wondering, but no, that was just you. 

How I wish I could give you a belly rub and toss some toys with you.  How I wish you could come over to me for a snuggle, and I could push you away, and you would keep coming back and then finally just roll over.  How I wish I could corner you in the basement and you could do your "trick" where you run through my legs.  How I wish we could have a game of chase and you could go to the door, not quite understanding that the person chasing you is the one that is opening the door.  How I wish ...

And yet how full of gratitude I am for having had you in our lives for close to 14 years.


  Until we meet again, you have a piece of my heart.  Take care of Toby ..


  Love
  Dad

  xo
brenrae

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 #64 
Happy birthday, Tuffy. Please share with Toby. Also, please visit your mom and dad.

Mondo, you are right, new relationships do not diminish the old, they just add the love you have in your heart. I am sure that Toby and Tuffy are happy that you have opened your home and heart to these 2 girls. Though the pain does diminish, the missing them never goes away. But, one day, sometime in the future, you will see your boys again, and as you cross the bridge, they will be there waiting, their tails wagging, and you can play chase again, and take those long walks, as they show you all the wonders to be found.  
EliseT

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 #65 
Dear Erwin,

So many beautiful memories of your Tuffy - every time I read about him from you, I get another special glimpse into his unique personality. What an amazing boy. It's so hard when those unexpected tears come just out of nowhere, but I've come to realize that this is just part of life now and it only means we love them utterly and completely.

I can just see Tuffy and Toby playing together and celebrating Tuffy's 15th birthday - I know he had lots of fun with all of our sweet babies and enjoyed lots of his favorite treats, too.

Thanks for sharing your special memories,

Sending you hugs of comfort and peace,

Elise, mom to Shiloh and Angel Buddy

P.S. Please give your sweet girls a hug from me.

Mondo

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 #66 
Merry Christmas my Tuffy boy,

  You know I think of you every day, but lately, even more.  Remembering Christmas events with you, you barking at the dancing Santa.  Or the time we built a snowman in yard while you were out with us .. then later that night we let you out to do your business, and suddenly you are barking your head off, circling the intruder. After that you just ended to mark it.  :-)

  You were my best friend.  Next to Mom, my best friend ever.  I guess that's the life of an introvert, lol.  Man I miss you buddy.  Our second Christmas apart.  Two Christmases closer to being together again. 

  I see people coming here every day, new people.  Some ask "How long?".  I truly wish for them it isn't as long as it is for me.  You are worth it and I would do it over again in a heartbeat.  It's almost 2 years later, and here I am crying.  I know that time passed and you'd be 16 this April, and well, I never expected you to live to 16.  I hoped for 13 and we almost got 14.  We weren't short changed, but anything short of forever isn't long enough.

  I hope you are having fun at Rainbow Bridge, enjoying the snow that I know you would be ordering!  Be nice to Toby, he lives there too.  I used to tell you that back when you two were still with us, and you might growl at Toby when he walked by you (the nerve!), or just annoy you by his presence.  lol.  "He lives here too Tuffy."  And you'd give me a look and let him pass. 

  The girls, Ellie and Missy are awesome.  You and Toby of course come along for all our walks, in my heart, and on my keychain.  I often take out your tags and give them a little rub, or put them to my heart.  I miss you both terribly, but you know Tuffy, I miss you more than all the rest.  Mom, Dad, Toby.  Not sure why, it is what it is.  My boy.

  Love you forever, until we meet again,
  Dad

xo
Mondo

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 #67 
Dear Tuffy,

  It's been four years since you had your seizure and we learned of your prognosis.  In many ways it still seems like yesterday.  

  I read a few of my old posts here.  The deep gripping, at times endless pain.  Today it all came back .. and again I remind myself I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

  I can't believe it has been 4 years.  Still think of you every day, still have your dog tag on my keychain (along with Toby's).  Ellie and Missy have been with us close to 3 years now.  I love them dearly.

  But you are and will forever be my boy.  Love you with all my heart.  Four years closer to being together again.

All my love forever,
Dad

xo
Mondo

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 #68 
Four years ago you left us Tuffy. Yet you never truly did leave. You live on in my heart, and a piece of me is with you. [2764]

Four years and things have gotten better, but there have been a lot of tears this week and today as I remember you.  My boy.  

A favourite memory among the hundreds:

Your Mom and I made a snowman in the back yard when you were still a puppy.  You were out with us as we made it, romping around.   Later that night we let you out, only to hear you barking furiously.  We were wondering what the heck was going on .. took a look out the back window, and there you were,  circling the intruder snowman .. barking your head off.

Love is forever!

Mondo

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 #69 
Good morning Tuffy my forever boy.  

Five years ago today I took you and Toby to the groomer around now.  30 minutes later I got a call, that you had a seizure, had bled out and .. 

That was the start.  Of all this.  Saying good-bye.  Realizing that no matter how bad I knew it would be, it would be far worse.  The darkest month of my life.  I see the new grief here, and  know there is nothing to say except "I understand".  To think that I got through it gives me hope that all can.   You were my hardest loss .. harder than Dad, harder than Mom.  

I love you with my whole heart.  Even though physically you are gone, we are still together.  Inseparable even in death.  Until we meet again.  

Your tag is still on my keychain (along with Toby's).  I think of you every day, and Mom and I still talk about you.  The time you bumped her when taking a hot pizza out of the oven.  It fell and hot cheese was everywhere and you thought it was great.  Apparently the hot cheese didn't burn your tongue. We speak of your antics often.  I recall in your latter years how our evening walks had to be separate.  I would take Toby out for a short walk, come home and you would be on the porch ready to go for your.  And later yet, carrying you to the corner so we could get a short walk home.  Not sure why we did some of these things, we just did.

Toby left 11 months after you.  The girls came to live with us a couple of months later.  So now they have been with us for close to 4 years.  Love them dearly.  Ellie has adopted me as her heart Dad.  Missy prefers Mom.  

But  you.  You will always be my heart dog #1.  

Love you forever.  

Dad
xo
ourbrandy

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 #70 
Dear Mondo:

I remember so well your stories of Tuffy and Toby.  The love you had for your boys was so evident by everything you wrote about.

Five years seems like forever, doesn't it?  That one really hit me hard last July when Brandy's 5 year bridge day came around.  If only we could just walk them one more time, hold them and tell them how much we love them.  Six years for us is coming up.  It just seems so unreal.  And it was a year in November that we had to say goodbye to Miriam.  So many tears shed....

I'm glad you have your girls to love and cherish now.  It doesn't bring Tuffy and Toby back, but at least gives you a purpose and a certain amount of comfort.

We adopted a 6 year old cocker spaniel in August named Bree and she fills our home with love and joy.  I know her "sisters" brought her to us.

Wishing you much happiness with Ellie and Missy and hoping your wonderful memories of Tuffy (and Toby) bring smiles to you.

Hugs,
Barb (Angel Brandy's and Angel Miriam's mom) and now mom to Bree
~forever~
mawlawva

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 #71 
Dear Mondo,

It was right for me to be here today and to read your wonderful thread.  I'm also writing in advance of the ultimate decision.  I've been through this so many times and to say it doesn't get any easier is an understatement.  My Zip is in state 4 CHF.  He slows a bit more each day.  I love dogs and have formed two packs.  Zip is the alpha and my best friend.  Zip learned a lot from his predecessor, Widget (also alpha of pack #1).  Zip has a 6 month old protege' he is working on.  There are four others, but Zip and young Charley stick close to each other.  It's painfully wonderful to watch.  You mentioned in so many of your messages to Tuffy that the pain exceeded that of the loss of your parents.  Many of us feel that way, but hesitate to actually share that with others (who are not as lucky as we) ... it sounds kind of cold to some others, but it makes perfect sense to me.  Your parents love and nurtured you.  Perhaps you provided some care late in life, but you pretty much went on your own.  You spent every day nurturing and loving Tuffy.  We fool ourselves into thinking we are doing it for them.  It's the least we can give for the remarkable unconditional love they give us.  Instead of moving away as we did, our fur babies begin to need us more and more as they age.  We form a bond that pulls them closer to your heart than you have ever known (maybe some moms might call me on this).  While you have them it is so wonderful that is should come as no surprise that the loss is so difficult to process.  I do believe in The Bridge and wonder just how it's going to be when I'm met with two steer and two llamas (along with countless others who have blessed me along the way).  I smile and cry at the same time.  Painfully wonderful.  You are in my thoughts and Zip and I will talk about you and Tuffy tonight (yeah I don't share that little tidbit of my life either).  Prayers and smiles your way Mondo.
Mondo

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 #72 
Dear Barb,

   Thanks for your kind words.  I sure do miss my boys, and love my girls.    At first it was so difficult, still grieving the boys and bonding with the girls.  Laughter and tears daily.    Memories of the boys bring mainly smiles, and at certain times some tears come too.  As you well know.  

  Five years.  It's forever, and in other ways, seems like only yesterday.    Some memories fade, but suddenly at times, there is a memory that hasn't been remembered in a long time.  Some smell, or sound.  Or coming here and reading other posts, remembering!  Six years for Brandy?  Where does time go?   Then again, Ellie is 5 and Missy will be 5 soon.  I remember Tuffy and Toby being this age, not long ago it seems.  Sorry to hear about Miriam .. so many tears.  The price we pay for love - so worth it.  Of course we would do it all over again in a heartprint!  The girls are loved and are more cuddly than the boys were, hard to me to adjust at first.  Was used to more distance.  As you say, they do bring purpose.  Part of my mind set with adopting them was to honour the boys, and to give a good life to a couple of girls that had a tough start in life.  

  I am so glad to hear that you have Bree giving you love and joy; totally agree that her sisters brought her to you.  As I know Tuffy and Toby had a paw in bringing the girls our way.   The girls have benefited so much from what Tuffy and Toby taught us, and what we learned afterwards, of all the things we did wrong.  

Hugs to you!
Tuffy, Toby, Ellie and Missy's Dad

Mondo

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 #73 

Dear Mawlawa,

  I am so sorry to hear what you are now going through.  The anticipatory grief is so difficult.   With Tuffy we had 6 days to prepare, with Toby we decided to let him go on the same day.  Both scenarios are heart breaking.  We were grateful to have close to 14 years with Tuffy, and 14 years and 2 weeks with Toby.  

  We don't choose our grief.  It was hard for me at first grieving Tuffy to recognize the truth, that his loss was so very devastating, looking back the words I find are 'soul crushing'.  I recall having chest pains and just feeling so desolate, breaking down and ugly crying multiple times a day -- I smile thinking of this now.  Smile knowing that we can get through that and be better for it.  But I sure am looking forward to seeing my Tuffy again, and Toby, and a lot of my family that has crossed over.  

  Thank you for your thoughts.  I will be sending out positive thoughts to you and Zip. All will be well.  The night before Tuffy left we laid on the floor for what seemed an eternity, rubbing his chest with his paw against my shoulder as we often did -- and "spoke", or so it felt.  Afterwards it just felt like he had told me it was going to be okay, that we were doing the right thing for him.  A wonderful comfort for me was that Tuffy came to visit in my dreams early on.  It was so real and we "spoke" and upon waking I was just so happy to know he was okay, and that he had visited!  Couldn't wait to tell my wife.  He has visited a few times in the past years, and once Tuffy and Toby both came. These "dreams" had a quality.   I knew that Tuffy (and Toby) were passed, and that this was a very special visit. 

  Wishing you strength and peace in the coming days.  Love never dies, Zip knows!


Hugs,
Tuffy, Toby, Ellie and Missy's Dad


mawlawva

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 #74 
Mondo,

Thanks for the kind words.  "Ugly crying" ... I like that.  I've been looking for a word for it.  It's the kind that is not the least bit cathartic and gives you a nasty headache.  Yeah I have those times.  Now I have a name for it 😉 <-- ya gotta keep ur sense of humour
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