In Memoriam

Heaven at Home Pet Hospice is giving pet parents in West Michigan a place to share their stories about their departed pets. We feel that sharing and celebrating the life of your pet is an important part of the grieving process.

If you’d like to post a memorial about your pet and share your experience with us, please use the form below to send us what you’d like to say, as well as some happy photos of your pet to go along with your story.

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In Memoriam – Odie

March 1st, 2021 by Laurie Brush

Odie’s Story:
After the passing of my beloved Fido, a 180 lb. St Bernard mix in 2007, I tried to wait before looking for another dog. However I gave in after only two weeks – I started checking the county shelter, as I always do rescue. I’m glad I did because it was on my second visit when I discovered who was to become my Odif. That was Fido spelled backwards, but we soon adjusted that to “Odie”. It was one of the instant connections at first sight things when I discovered her in a small cage on the corner of the bottom row. Our eyes met and she did a “smile” and her tail started wagging. I went up to the front and they said “Kendra” (their name) was brought in as a stray so they had no history. They figured she was about a year old. I asked to exercise her and she never left my side. I knew right then she was it. I did all the paper work, she got fixed and I picked her up a few days later. When I put her in the back of my SUV, I soon realized I had a “car puker” on my hands. What a mess that was by the time i got her home. But we bonded the first day and she adjusted immediately to the “big house” we used to have. She was EXTREMELY social and right from the start made friends with all the neighbor dogs.

After only a year, she got away from me as I was opening the gate to the small park and ran to greet somebody walking across the street. I called her and she came bounding back – but then I saw the car coming. When she got hit, she still had her leash on and went flying about 20 feet. I thought she was gone but she immediately got up and booked. She was terrified and I figured she HAD to be injured. We had the whole neighborhood looking for her and couldn’t find her. I did flyers and hit all the phone poles in the neighborhood and hit all the vets offices in town, the Humane Society and the shelter with the flyers. About two days later, the shelter called me to say they think it was Odie who was brought in. I drove over immediately and there she was. Ironically in the same cage she was in when I first found her. I opened the door and she almost jumped into my arms. The staff couldn’t believe she was hit by a car because after the vet checked her all she had was a small cut on a front leg.

That’s when I decided to start a tradition that lasted for the rest of her years. “Odie’s Birthday Party” started in our small local park. Margaret, a good neighbor friend, did homemade dog treats and a birthday cake and Odie always wound up with a bucket full of toys. It was always a riot and all the pup buddies had a great time. That tradition carried over to our newer, smaller house and every June Odie’s Birthday Party became an annual event. I don’t know what was funnier – us watching the dogs go nutty or the dogs watching their moms and dads consume the pitchers of margaritas and go a little nutty ourselves.

Odie was the sweetest, most socialized and even tempered buddy I ever had. She got walked three times a day and she became almost a mascot of the neighborhood. Everyone knew her, especially the neighborhood kids who would come over to play with her all the time. I think it was the constant exercise that contributed to her old age. When I had to make the decision this past week, she hadn’t quite made it to 15.

I want to thank Heaven at Home so much for assisting in her journey to the rainbow bridge. It was a very peaceful passing – on her favorite spot on the back deck on a nice sunny day. I miss her so much.

In Memoriam: Hannah

February 16th, 2021 by Laurie Brush

Hannah’s Story:
Hannah was a present to me after I graduated from nursing school. She was my very first dog I could call my own. I never imagined I would have the bond that I did with her. Her love for us was unconditional and so pure. As a puppy she loved to curl up next to us on the couch and soak up all the attention we were willing to give. At first she was very shy and timid but everyone that met her fell in love with her. She had such a sweet and lovable personality. I would take her everywhere with me. She always knew when I was going somewhere and would follow me around the house until I put her collar on her. As she got older she grew to be more social. Any time Kevin and I would go to the home improvement store she would go with us. We always knew it would not be a quick trip. She thought everyone there was there to pet her. She did not hesitate to walk up to people and expect them to give her attention. It was so hard to watch her age and watch the pain of arthritis take over. She was a very healthy dog except the arthritis. She never gave up, all the way till the end she would try to play and go for walks. It broke my heart to see her in pain. She gave us 10 of the best years of our lives. She made us smile and laugh every day. It was the hardest decision we have ever had to make to put her to rest. But we did not want to see her suffer and knew it was what was best for her. I am at peace knowing that she is in a much better place, happy, healthy, and pain free. The house feels so empty and quiet now. I look for her to come out of the garage as I pull into the driveway. I miss saying hello to her when I get home from work, and saying good bye in the morning as I leave. She truly was my best friend. She taught me so much about unconditional love. She will always have a very special place in my heart and will always be my baby. Love you Hannah, see you again someday.

You were able to give us 6 more wonderful months with Hannah, for that I can never thank you enough. From the first phone call I made to the office I knew that I had made the right call. You really care and are passionate about what you do. This showed in so many ways. Everyone I came in contact with was kind and caring. Although Dr. Hoss had never met Hannah, she treated her as though she had been a patient of hers for years. Thank you to Dr. Tillman for being so kind and compassionate when you came out to the house. You took your time and made a horrible day bearable. And thank you to the receptionist, your knowledge and compassion was beyond what I had expected. Thank you all for what you do. Kevin and Malinda

In Memoriam: Azul

February 11th, 2021 by Laurie Brush

Azul’s Story:
Azul.  I’m not sure I’m ready to post this, but your family has spent the last 24 hours doing nothing but looking at your pictures and remembering all the years we had with you and it has brought us so much joy.
Our first baby.  A wedding gift.  15 years ago, you were the first thing that was “ours.” With those big ole blue eyes you stole our hearts and taught us responsibility and a love we had never had before.  Those first 5 years were so much fun.  Adventures, doggy play dates, lazy cuddly mornings, and of course you were the life of the party.
When we were pregnant with Malachi, we feared how the transition would go.  “She was your baby, she’ll be jealous.” “you know pitbulls, she may hurt the baby” “She may do better in another home”
But all those fears melted away the moment you met our little guy.  It’s like a switch flipped, and you were a different dog.  You went from sleeping in our bed to sleeping under rocking swings.  From long walks to helping wobbly toddlers learn to take their first steps.  Roadtrip adventures to religiously waiting by the door to tag along on school bus pick ups.  You comforted sick babies and slept in the bed of kiddos crippled by night terrors.  My little babies would wake up with sleep still in their eyes and the first thing they’d ask about was you.  Watching you love my sons and daughter will always be one of my greatest joys in life.  There may be other dogs in our future but it will always be you.  The dog who helped raise our babies.
We selfishly held onto you longer than maybe we should have.  I saw in your eyes the pain of not being able to follow your kids around anymore when your legs failed you.  We saw the light start to go out in your eyes but we knew you weren’t going to let go.  So we held your head in our hands and wept as we said goodbye.  It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.  But I know you’re at peace now, and not in pain.  And I know we will see you again.
We love you sweet girl.

Thank you Thank you Thank you. You are strangers who walked us through one of the hardest days of our lives. What you do is such a gift. You helped us give her the most loving goodbye possible.

In Memoriam: Larry Suchecki

February 4th, 2021 by Laurie Brush

Larry Suchecki’s Story:
Larry Moses Suchecki, aged 15 1/2 years, crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Monday, January 25. He peacefully passed away at home with the help of Dr. Katie Tillman from Heaven at Home Pet Hospice. Larry was surrounded in love by his family: Guy, Christine, Hannah and Addie. He was immediately greeted by his sister, Nala the cat, who was anxiously waiting for him in Heaven.

Larry was born on August 9, 2005. He was a mixed breed of a Lab and Border Collie (A “Borador”). He came to the Humane Society of Kent County sometime in 2007 as a stray. We like to think that he ran away because he knew there was a family who needed him more (US!). We were immediately drawn to him and his mad jumping skills. On August 28, 2007, he leapt into our forever home and hearts.

Larry loved the outdoors. He loved to go on walks, chase deer and squirrels, go for boat rides, run after the quad, and attempt to herd the girls while nipping at their ankles. He loved going on trips to the cabin, camping, swimming, and car rides anywhere and everywhere . He loved a good, comfy couch or chair and liked to think he was a little lap dog. He also liked to take up as much room as possible on the bed much to his dad’s dismay. He was a smart boy and would listen most of the time. He could sit and shake on command, but never saw the point in rolling over. He also loved to be dressed up for Halloween…a beanie baby, a ghost, and a shark to name a few. Most of all, Larry’s passion was food. He was known as a “grazer” and a “gulper” because of the way he grazed along the counter to see what he could find to eat and then the way he gulped it down. He never met a meal or a treat he didn’t like. Birthdays were always his favorite because he would get a cake topped with dog biscuits and in his later years he grew accustomed to filet mignon cake. He also loved venison and would get excited when he would discover pieces of venison in his food dish left there by his dad (who NEVER fed him people food). By that small act, Larry knew he really loved him too. He loved everybody he met. He especially loved attacking the front window when any delivery person came to the door. He left scratches on the floor from going absolutely ballistic and acting like a crazy man.

Larry will be deeply missed by all his family and friends, but especially by his mom. Larry didn’t leave her side very often. They had a special bond. He was her constant companion, her bud, her pal, her best friend. There for heartache, moves, grief and joy. He was a good listener! And although he didn’t give kisses, his mom sure loved to kiss his cold, wet, nose! He was good at a lot of things, but he was best at giving unconditional love to his family. Through thick and thin they loved him with all their hearts and he with his.

The last couple years have been physically tough on this old boy, but he never complained. He fought so hard to be the young, playful pup he had once been. But his body was just too tired to keep up any longer.

He will be forever missed and remembered forever. As sad as they all feel today, it in no way compares to have never had him in their lives at all. His family asks that you all give your fur babies some extra love and treats tonight in memory of Larry.

Goodbye for now, Larry. Thank you for loving us. We will see you again.

We are so grateful to the staff at Heaven at Home Pet Hospice for the care they’ve given Larry over the past year. Dr. Katie was so amazing with her compassion and love for Larry on his last day. You would have thought she had known Larry his whole life. She put all of us at ease with the whole process. I cannot recommend their services enough. My husband said it was worth every penny. Thank you so much for your care and kindness.

In Memoriam: Lexie

January 25th, 2021 by Laurie Brush

Lexie’s Story:
We are so proud to have been your humans Lexie! You are a Pampered Poodle for sure girl with close to fifty wonderful babies in your lifetime. Your temperment was so exceptional. You were your Dad’s greatest companion when he was living the lonely bachelor life before I came along. I knew if he ever loved me half as much as he loved you I’d be one lucky gal! Losing you has left a HUGE hole in our hearts. We still have your daughter Rosalie and your granddaughter Pearl. I don’t know what we would do without their comfort. We have a piece of you through them. Not everyone is lucky enough to have three generations.

Your boy Dawson keeps saying, “Lexie, where are you.” For only being two he sure doesn’t miss a thing! There’s just so much to say about you sweet girl. You backed a stray dog off once when I was gardening. Then you dutifully stood watch even after it was gone util I finished. I’ll never forget you licking the tears off my face when I miscarried my first pregnancy after many years of infertility. I didn’t think I’d ever stop crying and for three days you laid with me. Consoling me just with your presence.

Oh and you in the water!!! You loved the lake near the house where you were born! Your human Grandma Barb and our neice Harlee were so good to you! So much fun with them. They got a kick out of you putting your head under water for so long looking for that ball!

So many stories sweetheart. We just want to say thank you and we all love you. Missing you everyday. Til we meet again Lex.

The wonderful care from the Dr. that came to the house was so appreciated. She was gentle and caring with our girl as if she was her own. Thankful doesn’t begin to cover how we felt. Her life was honored in the highest way we knew possible. Glad we made the call.

In Memoriam: Casey

January 18th, 2021 by Laurie Brush

Casey’s Story:
We adopted Casey and her sister Nicky in 2008. My husband and I had gone to the Humane Society to (hopefully) find a kitty to bring home. We ended up bringing home both girls. My husband was Casey’s human. She loved her dad so much. At the end of his work day, she would sit on his lap while we watched tv. She was so sweet and beautiful. We miss her very much. We were fortunate to have Casey in our life. She is at peace now.

When I called Heaven at Home, Mary was kind and helpful. Dr Katie was a calm and reassuring professional when she was at our home. It’s people’s kindness that is very much appreciated when going through the distress of a life coming to an end.

In Memoriam: Kodiak

December 17th, 2020 by Laurie Brush

Kodiak’s Story:
My dear sweet boy, Kodiak. Rest well my dear pups; thank you for everything you’ve taught me about life & how to live it.

You were adopted as a 7 week old puppy in 2007 from a good friend of mine who passed away in 2015. I wasn’t a very good owner during the 1st year of your life, having no clue on how to raise a “Good Dog”. Fortunately for me, you were always a good dog who didn’t require me to be a good owner, and unfathomably smart as well, learning to be potty trained in around a week from adopting you, much to everyone’s surprise.

I had just turned 24 years old when I adopted you, simply to make my girlfriend at the time happy. Of course, like any pretentious & arrogant 24 year old, I smugly had “life” figured out w/ everything falling perfectly into place, where I viewed you more as an accessory / property that shouldn’t be a bother nor inconvenience to me, & certainly not a family member. I’d get mad when you knocked something over when trying to play inside or didn’t do as I asked, and especially if you annoyed me by pawing at my shoulder when I was busy doing “important” stuff for work to get ahead for the next promotion… I’d put cowardly put you in your crate in the back of my closet, whining & yipping for affection & comfort if you did something I thought was naughty, just so I could get back to work or having fun w/ “friends”… I was so selfish…

Then the recession of 2009 came where I found myself jobless, losing my girlfriend, our home, all of my prized possessions, a lot of “friends”, as well as my pride & self-respect; however, you were always there right by my side, like a shadow, pawing at my shoulder, eventually “noodling” under my arm & into my lap when I was hurting & needed comfort. Always with a wagging tail, bright happy eyes with your adorable face, and an infectious eagerness to do absolutely anything besides mope around w/ self-pity. You likely saved my life during those well needed (& deserved) hard times, Kodiak.

We became best friends over that following year while I looked for work, learning & earning each other’s respect, friendship, & love as we played in the backyard, using fetch as our way to earn each other’s lifelong camaraderie. We eventually grew bored of playing in the backyard & started going on longer & longer hikes thru the woods in our backyard, then the state park, & along the beach for miles on end, playing fetch every time I needed to take a break because you’d literally NEVER tire out, even after 10 to 15+ miles while playing fetch, doing flips & leaping 5 feet or more into the air to catch the frisby or ball mid-air, for hours on end!

You never left my side, nor would stray more than eye sight when off leash & encouraged to go explore while I lagged behind, always coming right back as fast as you could muster w/ tail wagging high & your bright happy eyes after just a quick whistle or soft click w/ my tongue to call you back, regardless of how enticing the smells & sights of the woods were. You did like to roll your back & neck fur in bear & coyote poop though, but were so sweet to everything from squirrels to cats & thankfully skunks & opossums too (Those minks would often throw you for a loop though w/ their odd behavior.)…

After that summer of bonding & founded friendship, I came close to having to give you up for adoption after receiving an offer out of state where the relatives I’d be staying with said, “Absolutely NO!” to having you come along too… I had no options left, as our home was foreclosed w/ forceful eviction coming soon. I lost over 30 lbs of weight, causing my parents & friends to be concerned about how skinny I was becoming in order to afford food to keep you fed & happy. It broke my heart having to consider losing you, where I very seriously thought about living in my car “down by the river” near my relative’s home out of state so we didn’t have to part ways. It was both a great year having you by my side, but also the worst time of my life…

God answered my prayers to provide a home and job that allowed me to keep you as my best friend at the literal last possible minute (bags packed, travel arrangements made for me, & agreements made for your adoption w/ a new family).

Over the next two years, all was well once again. We’d hike & explore our new town on the weekends & after work, playing fetch in the backyard & literally dropping jaws at every dog park we’d visit with how incredibly fast & tenacious you were in getting the ball before any other dog could, where every other dog would either tire or grow disinterested due to never being able to get the ball before you did. You were always the friendly alpha in every dog pack you’d find yourself in: Never mean or aggressive & always friendly & curious, but always had to be “top respected dog” w/ a harmless, albeit assertive “check” if another pups was acting out of place & becoming aggressive to you or other dogs that you believed to be in YOUR pack.

When you got sick in 2012, with a mysterious “abscess” on your chest (who’s cause was never figured out after lots of testing & lab work) that nearly killed you & required extensive surgery to remove, we started camping, backpacking, & hiking together into further & further away destinations in order to make “the best of the rest”, as I realized you were not going to be around forever…

We snowshoed deep into federal & state forest lands & wilderness areas, were you begrudgingly needed me to carry you on some stretches because the snow was too deep & you couldn’t hop high enough to get out of the hole you dug trying to get out. We would illegally hike & camp in Millennium park in the forested areas that no one ever goes to, making sure we were quiet w/ a tiny fire you’d tightly ball up next to w/ your eyes always on the watch for intruders, being as quiet as a fallen leaf so no one would find us. It was the start of something a bit more than just owning a dog; we had some awesome, & some scary, adventures over the next few years.

Fortunately, I once again found myself unemployed in 2015, after having selfishly wasted so much of your best years with me being only partially present in 2013 & 2014, treating our time together more like a chore when I was busy with “super important” work projects in attempts to chase the never ending goal of “being more important”… This time around though, I had the financial means to take some well needed time off from finding new employment to make it up to you.

We spent that following 18 months going on week’s long, & eventually month’s long adventures backpacking & camping every awesome trail, forest, & wilderness area I could find. From the GPS logs I’ve kept, I estimate we spent around 130 nights in the woods over that year from April to December, with an additional 40 nights the following March thru June. We had the best of times, except for that one night early November 2015 where we almost died from a sudden & unexpected freezing rain storm while we camped out on the beach w/ 75MPH wind gusts… That was more than scary, but you slept thru the whole thing without a care in the world, comfortable & sprawled out on my sleeping bag while I sat on my knees all night & early morning to hold the walls of our cheap $30 tent up with outstretched arms, borderlining on hypothermia due to being soaking wet.

You never tired in the slightest bit, always wanting to play fetch well into the evening & morning hours, even after constant 20+ mile a day hikes where I’d be half dead & too sore to gather much wood for a campfire. On nights I was too tired & sore to start a campfire, the milky way was bright w/ stars blanketing the sky in an awe inspiring display, or the moon would be out making the woods & dunes appear in an eery bluish cast as if we were on another planet. I’d throw the tiny twig that you’d gingerly bring to me into the pitch black darkness; you’d always come back w/ that same exact tiny, tattered, slobber soaked twig a minute or so later, without fail, wanting me to toss it “just one more time” for as long as I was willing to stay up with you. Unbeknownst to you, I’ve kept a lot of your small twigs & chewed up sticks in the basement that we’ve collected over the years from memorable trips & adventures taken over the years. I’d occasionally bring one up to play fetch w/ in the backyard, where you’d go absolutely nuts for them, as if you also remembered where they came from & the memories had fetching them at some of our favorite spots.

We did that year of work hiatus right, Kodiak; it’s been the most cherished time of my life thus far, doubt it could be topped. We kept it up this time too, as best as I could afford with my new job, for the past 5 years since then, always trying to “out do” our last trip. We succeeded in making memories & earning lessons in humility and self-reliance that few folks will ever have the privilege of experiencing or knowing. We’ve seen views & sites that few people know about, we’ve traveled & hiked areas that no one has visited in decades, bushwhacking & navigating our way thru dense thick forests for a promising spot I’d seen on the map, or sometimes just letting you lead the way until we found a clearing in the woods. You always loved when we’d “bushwhack” & navigate by compass or GPS off established trails to find our own “secret spots” & hidden gems that only we know about.

As you “grew old” over the past few years, showing signs of being tired & a bit sore after hikes & trails that you used to do without skipping a single beat, I bought an SUV so we could “overland” and do camping & hiking from a basecamp, allowing us to adventure to new areas with a heavy comfy tent, plush thick bed, & luxury gear to relax when we were done exploring & playing fetch for the day. The campfires grew in size, where I’d have to drag your blanket & pad further away than you wanted, as you always liked to snuggle right up to the fire like we used to do when we backpacked. I’d sometimes find in the morning that a small ember burned a small bald spot in your fur. I found it adorable, where over the next few months this bald spot would remind of our adventures & to start planning the next one.

Over this past year, you were such a happy & good boy, acting like your normal self when we were on the move or playing, but growing strangely more tired over the past 6 months, a bit less enthusiastic when I’d rattle your collar or bounce the tennis ball after a previous long hard day out in the woods…

I should have taken notice of the signs sooner & brought you into a vet for a checkup when I noticed these signs in July, but “COVID” panic caused pause in doing so, as no one was wanting to see you for a routine checkup & care (only emergencies), most wouldn’t even call back after leaving them a message……. I foolishly told myself you were just becoming an “Old Dog” as you were still in high spirits & acting like your usual self, just a bit more tired than the crazy, “never stop” self you once were as a pups.

We spent your 13th Birthday early September at our most favorite “secret spot” playing fetch while I setup camp, meeting lots of awesome new friends to go on trips with & their dogs when hiking trails and swimming in the nearby river; however, I could tell you were much more tired than you’ve ever been, not following me around like a shadow after we’d get back to camp. You wanted to play with as much enthusiasm & vigor as you’ve ever had when I’d waive your favorite toys & sticks that we’d bring along; however, you tired so quickly and needed to take a day long break in-between days of giving it your all…

The day you became sick at the end of September, nearly four weeks after your 13th birthday, I took the rest of the week off work to care for you, expecting things to pass w/ a bit of care & comfort; however, you didn’t get better after a few days… I wasn’t prepared for the diagnosis of end stage liver failure from an inoperable massive liver neoplasm…

The heartbreak was harsh, knowing that our time together was limited, but mostly of gut-wrenching regret & guilt for not having done something when I 1st noticed you were growing tired, as well as remembering all of those times over the past 13 years where you wanted to play, wagging your tail w/ your adorable face & bright eyes wanting my affection, but I was simply “too busy” to give anything more than annoyed pat on the head & telling you to go lay down, which you always did without fail, albeit not without a bit of whimpering & sad eyes to let me know that I was breaking your heart…

We had lots of good days since that heartbreaking diagnosis two months ago. We went on two more week long camping trips to our favorite spots, hiking & playing fetch as you’d see fit to do, nearly completing our bucket list of “one last time” visits to our “secret spots” around the state, plus countless illegal backyard bonfires where we’d play fetch for a few minutes at a time so you wouldn’t get too sore, while I smoked Salmon & chicken thighs for us to eat as treats over the following week. We made some lifelong memories over the past few months, pups; however, we were on borrowed time…

Last week, you were so tired when we’d play but just for a few minutes in the backyard. I set the date, once again, after having canceled several previous “last goodbye” times after a miraculous recovery after a few bad days… It broke my heart to do so, but I knew this was the final time… There’d be no miraculous recovery…

The day before you passed, I had a subconscious feeling that you were not going to make to our scheduled date to say our final goodbye. You were so tired & weak when we were playing fetch in the backyard that I had to stop things before you hurt yourself, as you wanted to keep going…

We spent that evening watching your favorite nature documentaries that you used to excitedly woof & wag your tail at, along with a few “tear jerker” dog movies for me, where you’d perk up occasionally & give a tired muffled “woof” seeing an animal on screen before falling back asleep. You nibbled on a bit of your favorite treat of smoked Salmon when it was time to go to bed, and intently watched me eat some ice-cream, but was too tired to get up & beg to lick the bowl after I was done like you used to…

The next morning, you gazingly watched me from your bed as I went about getting ready for the day as you always have, seemingly comfortable & content, but oh so tired & increasingly weak compared to the day before… For some inexplicable reason, I went to the hardware store to buy a bird feeder for the backyard, instead of spending these last moments of your time with you, knowing in the back of my mind that today was likely the last day I’d have to look into your bright eyes & thank you for being such a good boy to me…

I felt like such a coward having left you when I got back home, as it was an escape for the inevitable I’d be facing that day, finding you scared and struggling to breath after partially falling off your bed & getting into a bad position while I was away, likely from you trying to get up to come with me or see where I was… I should have been there for you, but once again I decided to childishly prioritize something foolish instead of prioritizing you.

I hastily brought you outside & tried to create “the scene” I had envisioned for your passing that was scheduled for the following day, with one of our illegal bonfires & some soft music playing in the background. We finally got you into a comfortable position on your bed that I brought outside for our last goodbye. I could see you watching my every move, as you usually did w/ your bright eyes, following every frantic step & gesture I made while I speaking on the phone w/ the doctor.

The doctor came… You were ready… I gazed into your fading bright eyes for one last glimpse of “you”, as you fell asleep for one last time. I held you softly until it didn’t feel like you anymore, then I held you some more… It felt like forever watching you disappear into the skies above me during your cremation; however, knowing you’ll be raining down & nourishing the Earth once again with your presence helps with the hurt.

I know you’ve forgiven me for every time I’ve broken your heart over the past 13 years. In time, I’ll forgive myself too… I hope that I’ve made you feel as loved & comforted, as much as you loved & comforted me. I miss you more than 13 year’s worth of memories and over 13 thousand photos I’ve taken can comfort. In exchange for teaching you some fancy tricks, you taught me a whole lot of life lessons.

Rest well, Kodiak. You’ll be loved & never forgotten. Can’t wait to see those bright happy eyes & wagging tail when we meet again to throw a few sticks.

In Memoriam – Chihiro

November 9th, 2020 by Laurie Brush

Chihiro’s Story:
Fathered by a Southeast side alley cat, Chihiro needed a home. A yellow tabby without a whole lot going on, he nevertheless instantly captivated Caitlin, who was six or seven years old at the time. We tried our best to keep him inside, but between five kids opening and closing doors and, in his later years, grandchildren doing the same, we never quite succeeded. He spent his days roaming the woods behind our home having all kinds of adventures. He gave us 18 years of companionship. When we were with the vet on our back deck saying our final goodbyes, a huge buck came to the edge of the yard as if he was offering his respect. The mice, voles, and rabbits may be sighing with relief, but we will always miss him.

Thank you so much for giving Chihiro such a beautiful departure.

In Memoriam – Sadie

October 28th, 2020 by Laurie Brush

Sadie’s Story:
Sadie was born in 2008, but did not make her way to our family until early 2011.  Our family was thrilled to welcome in our beautiful, rambunctious new black lab, and she immediately became both a companion and an exceptional guard dog.
Sadie enjoyed opening the pantry and eating her favorite people foods, mostly bread and peanut butter.  She once opened a jar of peanut butter all by herself, although her family is still not entirely sure how she managed without thumbs.  In her younger years, Sadie enjoyed sneaking out the door when her young family members would open it.  She would run enthusiastically through the neighborhood before eventually returning for dinner and water.  Although she slowed down in her senior years, she still enjoyed a good game of fetch in the backyard.  Sadie was always thrilled when a bunny or squirrel would find themselves in the backyard, as it meant that the chase was on.  Although she never caught one of these small critters, she never stopped trying.
Sadie walked with our family through a marriage, the birth of a baby, a move into a new home, vacations, trips to the beach, and many other memorable and everyday events.
Sadie crossed the rainbow bridge peacefully at home on Saturday, October 24th, 2020.  Despite being diagnosed with cancer, Sadie continued to enthusiastically catch treats and play tug of war until her very last day.
She leaves behind her Mom, her Dad, and two sisters all of whom loved her more than they had ever loved any other dog before.  In addition to her immediate family, Sadie leaves behind two sets of human grandparents, as well as her best friend canine, Roscoe, who will all miss her dearly.
She was very special.

In Memoriam – Monkey Bair

October 20th, 2020 by Laurie Brush

Monkey’s Story:
My wife and I adopted “Dobie” from the Lake County Animal Shelter in Crown Point, Indiana only a few months after getting married. We changed his name to Monkey due to his unusual curly tail and his boundless energy.

Monkey loved being in the sun, chasing birds, destroying squeaky toys, eating snow, and long walks around parks and the neighborhood. He had a particular dislike for the rain and fireworks, both of which would set him into an intense tizzy. Every storm and Fourth of July brought lots of sleepless and emotional nights.

Monkey helped us grow and mature into being first time dog parents and, later on, human parents. He took his role as the protector or guardian of the household very seriously. We will always remember him as our “baby” and for all of the ear kisses he gave us.

Monkey passed away at home on September 10, 2020 after a lengthy battle with a number of chronic medical conditions.

Monkey’s final months and last day were incredibly difficult and painful, but they would’ve been much more so without the help of Dr. Hoss. She was patient, kind, and generous throughout the entire process. From the outset of our hospice journey, we always felt comfortable and at ease interacting with her. While words will never express our sentiments adequately, we truly valued her empathy, compassion, and professionalism.

Compassionate home care for your companions!
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