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: Annie

September 24th, 2020 by Laurie Brush

Annie’s Story:
Annie came to my husband from Curious World Pet Store. Yes, they actually sold puppies at these stores many years ago. All her other brothers and sisters had been adopted and she was all alone. She went home that night to our family full of kids that would smother her with love.
She was such a loyal girl and would always be by our sides. She lived to the healthy age of 16 which is pretty long for a Labrador. She was spunky until the end. She was always the first one to greet us at the door and to bark when it was food time. Which was always. We swear she could tell time as she always sat by the dining room window when she knew we would be home from work or school soon.
Saying our girl loved to eat was an understatement. She loved her car rides to get a doggie sundae and knew if she stuck that cute head of hers out the window far enough the drive thru would give her chicken nuggets. Our memories of her will keep us going until we meet again. We love and miss you Annie girl. Run free pretty girl!!

I cannot say enough good things about Heaven at Home. From my initial phone call with Mary to Dr Laurie coming out to the house. They were compassionate and caring and I would never choose any other way to care for my animals at the end of their life.


In Memoriam: Duke

August 6th, 2020 by Laurie Brush

Duke’s Story:
He showed up on my Facebook feed. Duke. A 10 year old golden retriever at the Animal Shelter. How does a ten year old golden end up at the shelter? I messaged them and asked if he was available. I went to meet him. “He sleeps 23 hours a day” I was told. He smelled horrible. He had just been neutered and couldn’t be bathed for a week. His breath was wicked. It didn’t matter. He was mine. I brought him home to a four year old brother, a golden retriever named Micah. Micah had anxiety issues and wasn’t happy to have a brother…in the beginning. Duke settled in and soon began to win the hearts of family, friends and neighbors. He was the kindest and most loving dog I’ve ever met. Micah adjusted and they were best buddies. When it was time for a walk, Duke did a happy dance. He loved to visit neighbors. And they all loved Duke. When the Pandemic started, I noticed him vomiting and having diarrhea. It came and it went. I held off as long as I could and took him to the vet. It’s likely cancer they said. I was heartbroken. When I brought him home, I was thinking I would give him a great six months or year. It was just short of three. I called Heaven at Home next. It was so important to me that Duke leave this world in the place he felt most loved and cherished. When I made the decision that it was time, I was having to help Duke up and down. He ate less and was losing weight. But I wanted Duke to go while he was still having quality of life and dignity. The night before we sat at ate chocolate chip cookies together. He was tired but happy. Dr Tay came the next afternoon and Duke immediately went up to her and leaned on her, because he was quite sure she wanted to love on him too. She was so kind and patient. I told her his story. It was peaceful for Duke, heartbreaking for me. But doing the right thing when it comes to our pets always is. I am so grateful for all the amazing staff at Heaven at Home who have such a difficult job and do it with such class and grace. Rest in Peace Duke.


Pookie and Scooter

July 30th, 2020 by Laurie Brush

Pookie and Scooter’s Story:
I can’t tell Pookie’s story without first telling Scooter’s. Scooter, our amazing black cat, came to us in 1997 as a tiny kitten. She was already a survivor, having had and beaten some awful illness that took the rest of her siblings and left her with a weak rear end. That never stopped her from getting into whatever she could, though. Scooter was very vocal, often sounding like a baby or a goat, depending on who was on the phone with one of us. She was also demanding of attention and loved to be on laps or near us as we slept. She was never aggressive toward our daughter, even though she was already 7 when we brought a baby home. She was so healthy all through her life, but as she approached her 20th birthday in July 2017, she had slowed down significantly. I found Heaven at Home and had Dr. Tay out for a hospice visit, where we thought she might feel better with some pain meds and tried it out for a bit. She had another couple of good weeks but when the time came, Dr. Tay came and helped her cross peacefully, while she lay in her favorite spot. We were devastated to lose our faithful girl, but knew it was time.

After that, I said that I was going to take a break from having to take care of a pet for a while. I just *happened* to look at Petfinder about a month after Scooter’s passing, in late August 2017…and saw a post from Tyson’s Place, a local rescue, about this 16 year old cat who was given up by her owner as she had Stage IV cancer and could no longer care for her. Tyson’s had had Pookie since November 2016 and no one had even inquired about her since that time. I couldn’t bear to think about that – if I’d had to give up any of my pets, it would tear me apart to think no one else wanted them. So in September of that year, we picked Pookie up from her foster home. She was the opposite of Scooter in many ways – she was overweight, she wasn’t a lap cat, and she wasn’t vocal. But she worked her way into our hearts by the way she followed us around (silently!)…especially Cat Dad. You could find her most often by knowing where he was. She was a big fan of her catnip banana, scratching posts, and protecting her family from evil paper towel rolls (she once found an almost empty roll on the floor and attacked it…bunny kicked it to shreds).

We knew that adopting a 16 year old cat wouldn’t be for the long term, but it didn’t make the decision any easier. After a stressful diagnosis and rapid downward slide in her health and happiness, we knew the time was nearing. I will forever be grateful for the service that Heaven at Home provides, especially right now when vet offices are not allowing owners inside with their pets. Dr. Hoss came out on July 24 and, on a beautiful afternoon, helped our Pookster cross peacefully on our front porch. We miss her, but knowing that she is no longer in pain helps.

Thank you, so very much. So glad that all of you are so willing to do one of the toughest jobs a veterinarian has so often.


In Memoriam: el Aitcho

July 23rd, 2020 by Laurie Brush

el Aitcho’s Story:
Aurora and Boring Alice came into our lives 17 years ago. We loved them from the very first day. They were our first sister cats. People would ask which one was Aurora. I’d answer “the Long Haired One, Boring Alice is the Other One.” So our kitties ended up with two names. Aurora, aka el Aitcho, or LHO. Boring Alice, aka OhOh. Unfortunately, OhOh was in a car accident, and we lost her in 2005. She was the best mouser, and she would lay mouse heads by our doorstep like trophies.
LHO was my darling, I think I’ve never loved any cat more than her. She was so beautiful, and had pretty amber/green eyes. She was shy around strangers, but never ever mean. I would know what she wanted by her language. Food, water, snack, or a cuddle. She would know when I needed her. She came to me when I was watching tv, reading a book, or needed comforting. We were one.
She was the purringest cat. Napping, upon awakening, smiling, playing, and with the first stroke of her lovely fur, and especially while being brushed. Oh, how she loved to be groomed. She was always a lady. Our routine was scratch her back, brush the loose fur, brush around her face, repeat. End with a snack. She would be waiting for me in the kitchen when it was time for me to make my lunch for work. LHO would let me share my turkey or ham with her. Her favorite toys were a catnip flavored mouse, a crumpled piece of paper to bat around and chase on the linoleum, or a length of lanyard tied to a stick. LHO was my sleep buddy and slept either by my face or on top of me in bed. A perfect lap cat too. We would sit and watch videos for cats on the laptop computer together.
She got the skin cancer on her forehead and there wasn’t much we could do for her. It was slow growing and really didn’t bother her too much until it grew so large, it started closing her left eye. But she never complained and was content to slow down and rest in her later years, still a lady. On June 22, Dr Hoss was here to help her into her final sleep. I miss LHO terribly and still mourn. I am broken. She was a part of my life for a quarter of my life. I am comforted in knowing she didn’t suffer pain on her last day with us.

Thank you Dr Hoss, Dr Tay, and Heaven at Home for tending to LHO on her final day.


In Memoriam: Seal

July 1st, 2020 by Laurie Brush

Seal’s Story:
We adopted Seal 15 years ago to be a companion for another aging kitty we had; Goblin. Goblin had just lost her pet companion Moochie and was not doing well with the loss. In the end our vet suggested getting a kitten. After we made the decision, we traveled to the Humane Society of West Michigan. We saw Seal (who then had the name of Paul) and asked to visit with her. In the end we almost lost our opportunity as another couple wanted her. But we got our Seal. Seal was part Bombay, a breed known for bonding with people. Right from the beginning Seal bonded with us. We used to find her doing the most hair raising things, like climbing to the top of the cabinets and balancing on a 4″ wide piece of molding, racing around our living room at top speed and going over the knee wall to land at the bottom of the basement steps and much more. But most of all she stole our hearts with her snuggles, mutual grooming, and deep warm purrs. She was a cat with OCD. She learned our time to get up and would be vocalizing before the alarm would go off, she knew my routine when I came home from work. And she’d keep me to it. Her beautiful black fur was so soft and you couldn’t help petting her if she’d allow it. If she was laying in the sun you could see the darker brown stripes that weren’t visible in ordinary light. When she was about 4 she started having urinary tract infections. We’d get them cleared up and not have any for awhile. When she was 9 they started to become more frequent. We could tell she was hurting and the vet would prescribe an antibiotic and send her home. By the time she was 13 she was having urinary tract infections 3 to 4 times a year. In this last year she had 9 plus two other infections. She started hating to go to the vet. She became hostile to the vet techs and pretty soon they wanted nothing to do with her. She was hurting and trying to be good but just couldn’t do it. This final urinary tract infection came on when she was still on antibiotics. The vet didn’t want to help and suggested I contact Heaven at Home for pallitive and end of life care/counseling. Katherine and Mary were fantastic as we played phone tag. Dr. Amy Hoss, I cannot express to you how much your compassion and gentle manner helped us when you came to help our Seal on June 18. I think you know just how hard it was for us. You confirmed she didn’t have a mass in her abdomen. It was a very hardened bladder from so many urinary tract infections and antibiotics.
Seal our Seal, our beautiful Seal – it is so hard to live without you. You will be our forever love, we’ll never forget you. I miss you chirping, your meows, your mad dashes through the house after using your litter box. I miss you snuggling and finding you under our comforter. I miss your purr, your touch and your wonderful gaze into my eyes. You were the smartest cat, the most in tune with me. We love you Seal!

Heaven at Home Pet Hospice helped us through a very difficult time. Their kindness and compassion during such a hard decision help to ease the stress and pain. They sent us a condolence card and we feel they truly understand our pain and loss.


In Memoriam – TeeTee

May 14th, 2020 by Laurie Brush

TeeTee’s Story:
Thinking about our girl TeeTee today on what would’ve been her 11th birthday. We said goodbye three weeks ago, and what an empty space she left behind! We miss her so much — her playfulness, her cuddles, her sweet spirit, and her carefree attitude. TeeTee was a force of love in our home and our hearts.

Even during the current restrictions, Dr. Brush made our goodbye to TeeTee peaceful and comforting. We’re so thankful to her for explaining each step and for honoring our love for our dear TeeTee. Thank you, Heaven at Home! Tracy, Beth, & Marilyn


In Memoriam – Libby Lu

April 28th, 2020 by Laurie Brush

Libby Lu’s Story:
Libby was such an awesome dog! She loved us with all she had to give! She was very active, loved to play catch and tug-of-war. She snored like a sailor. She was my ‘baby’. The last two years she went downhill quickly, and slowed down a great deal. She was my shadow and loved treats. I feel her absence deeply. She was one of a kind.

This was such an emotional time in our family. The staff was wonderful. They were loving and showed compassion. I couldn’t take Libby to the vet and have her last moments on earth be scared. She was at peace and the doctor was amazing. They made this experience very comforting.


In Memoriam – Trixie

April 23rd, 2020 by Laurie Brush

Trixie’s Story:
Trixie was a Christmas gift to me 12 years ago from my husband. She was by far the sweetest best friend we could have asked for. She loved everyone and gave a lot of love to our family. God decided he needed her more now than us. We are thankful for her not having to suffer. She couldn’t have loved us anymore, or us her. We are so very sad and will need time to heal. But God is good all the time. We will never forget her! Love you Trixie to the moon and back. Love mom and dad

I can’t begin to thank Laurie for her sweet spirit and caring nature for our situation. As hard as it is to let go of our family member, I was blessed to have her be home during this time. We got to lay with her and say goodbye as she left us peacefully and went home to Jesus. Thank you all so much. God Bless. Betsy and Kevin


In Memoriam: JoJo

February 25th, 2020 by Laurie Brush

JoJo’s Story:
JoJo had a rough start in life, but she and I hit it off right away at the animal shelter when she was about a year old, and she came home with me. It took us a while to figure each other out, but eventually we grew into a really deep and special bond where it often felt like we could read each other’s minds. She always knew when I needed cheering up and was happy to curl up next to me and purr for awhile.

JoJo was quirky and funny and very, very clever, keeping me and my other cat on our toes. Her favorite toy in the world was a sock that got mixed into our laundry shortly after I adopted her, that she carried around for 12 years. Her favorite song was “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and always came running when I sang it, even if she was in a bad mood. She bit my fingers gently several times a day to say “I love you” and loved it when I grabbed her whole face in my hand. JoJo went for hikes in the woods with me, riding on my shoulder and occasionally asking to get down so she could climb a tree or chase a bird. She liked walking on a leash, while wearing a shark costume. She always snuggled up when I was sick, and once brought me her 3 most favorite toys when I had a fever.

She had renal failure for a full, happy, energetic 5 years before it was suddenly time to say goodbye at the age of 13. I was so thankful for the wonderful years together, and for the gentle and loving goodbye that we had. The vet always tactfully referred to her as “spicy” but she was always my sweet, my wonderful, my marvelous girl.

Dr. Tay did such a wonderful job of taking care of me and JoJo in those last moments. I had been planning for years how I wanted it to happen, and was so touched that Dr. Tay and the whole staff not only lived up to what I expected, but even anticipated needs I didn’t know I would have. My last image of JoJo was far more peaceful and loving than I could have imagined. I’ve recommended their service to any friend that has found themselves in the same sad situation, knowing they’ll get the very best care. I’m sure it’s not easy to have a job that involves so much sadness, but I really hope they all understand how joyful and loving they manage to make it for their clients. It meant the world to me, always will.


In Memoriam – Savannah and Mocha

February 4th, 2020 by Laurie Brush

Savannah and Mocha’s Story:

Savannah was a feisty, moody, strong willed yet caring, gentle and loving cat. She was my best friend since we brought her home as a kitten when I was 5 til she crossed the rainbow bridge 18 years later. She seemed to have a way of knowing when you were sad and needed some cuddles and would curl up on your lap.


Mocha was the opposite, a shy and timid kitty, we brought her home after our other cat suddenly passed away. Despite their differences, Savannah and Mocha were the best of friends and partners in crime. She even would help groom Savannah when she got older and arthritic. And in the end they took their final journey across the bridge side by side.

It would have been traumatic for them to be brought to the vet office so we are very thankful they could pass at home where they were comfortable. We got their paw prints and fur and they passed peacefully in their momma’s lap. Thank you so much.


 
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