This letter from Aunt Itee to Ellie Bear was written on Monday, January 7, 2013Ellie Bear

Dear Ellie Bear,

You were the best niece I could have asked for! Your mama was crazy for getting a kitten when she first moved to Pittsburgh, but I'm thankful she brought you into my life. You had the sweetest little face and I will miss you laying on my chest while we watched TV. I know you are in a better place with no more pain and you can finally eat again. I am so thankful we could spend the day together on Saturday before we had to say goodbye. Your mama made the best decision for you but that doesn't make it hurt any less. Please say hello to Grandpa Ganoe for me, he'll keep you company until Amber or myself get there. As I always told your mom I'd take you if anything happened to her, now you have to take me if I go before the twin.

Love you with all my heart sweet Bear.


Aunt Itee

This letter from Mama to Ellie was written on Monday, January 7, 2013Ellie

Dear Ellie,

It's only been two days since I had to make the hardest decision of my life..and that was to let you go. You were only 6 years old with your birthday being next month. So young, So Pretty and So full of life! But God was ready for you! You will always be my baby girl, my Baby Bear! I remember when I first laid eyes on you...This little ball of gray and white fur...with those big green/yellow eyes and your courious attitude! I knew right then you were mine! You were there for me when times were ruff and never judged me. When those guys in my life decided to leave you were always there! You knew how to make Mama feel better and I can still feel your small body laying on my chest when we would watch tv and cuddle in bed. I miss you so much! And think about you every minute of every day. I wish I was able to save you and get rid of that cancer that took you away...I wanted to keep you but I knew you were in pain. You were a fighter though. I hope I didn't make the wrong choice but I could tell you were no longer yourself. I wish I had more years with you but we will meet again soon. Please know Ellie Bear that mama loves you so much and misses you!!! I still look around for you and feel your spirit. I hope your having fun up there..No more pain and now you can eat!! I love you Bear!



This letter from Mom to Baby was written on Friday, January 4, 2013Baby

Dear Baby,

This picture was taken December 24th, 2011 and you passed January 3, 2012. Not a day goes by that my heart does not ache for you. We were together for 18 + years and you fought cancer like my little champ. But you told me one year ago today that you had enough and I had to let you go. I know you are in a better place but I have to admit that I am not in a better place with out you. You saved my life countless times and I will never be able to thank you enough for being there for me.

If I could have 5 more minutes with you I would thank you and tell you how much I love and miss you. My Angel Baby, I miss and love you more then I could even express. But I know you always knew.



This letter from Your surrogate mama, Chris to Chico was written on Sunday, December 30, 2012Chico

Dear Chico,

You came into my home a mere two years ago. You brought your sidekick Buddy, your owner and love with you. I will miss the little things you did to make me smile.

Head in my lap with soulful eyes peering up at me for a scratch behind the ears.

The " happy dance" when getting a back scratch.

Sitting "pretty" for a treat.

The obstacle course you created when I wanted in the bathroom.

Being the last out the door to announce possible marauding invaders.

The first in the chow line.

But most of all, just the devotion you had for the people in your life.

You are missed.

Goodbyes are always painful, but know this:

You will always have a special place in my heart.


Your surrogate mama, Chris

This letter from Your mama to Chico was written on Saturday, December 29, 2012Chico

Dear Chico,

I will miss you so.

We had a great life together.

Camping trips, road trips, running on the beach, going to work.

Not many dogs can say they had two jobs in their lifetime.

You were the "dock dog" at the ferry dock and the "office dog"

at the dog bathing and grooming joint.

You touched so many lives, you are loved by many more people

than you know.

Your pals Buddy and Smokey will see you over

the rainbow bridge when it's their time.

I love you my boy.

Missing You,

Your mama

This letter from Mom and Dad to Spencer was written on Saturday, December 8, 2012Spencer

Dear Spencer,

For 17 1/2 years you were our son. You saw us through grief, loss, tragedy and also joy. You were always the light of my life. You were "my sunshine". My heart feels overwhelmingly empty without you. Your Dad is being very patient. The other morning I was in the bath, you know I love the bath and I looked over to find you and there you were sleeping under my pajamas like you always did. Of course, I realized it wasn't really you but it looked like you. We always found some peace there, together. The house is so empty without you. I miss you every day. I know you didn't want to leave and I know that it was time for you to leave. You were so brave and hung on so long I hope you have found peace as I am sure you have. If there is a heaven and I hope that there is; then I hope that you have found your Grandma's and are sitting by their side. I love you and I miss you. I promise to be better because, I know if you were here you would insist I not be sad.


Mom and Dad

This letter from "Moma" to Miss "Mouse" was written on Saturday, December 8, 2012Miss "Mouse"

Dear Miss "Mouse",

You died in my arms on Dec.4th,2010 with a Heart went quickly,but you took a piece of my heart with you.I miss the sound of your Meow calling "Moma" when I get up,and we sure worked hard and fought the battle together up and down the road to the vet,the last 6mos. of your life,that we found out you had hyper-thyroid desease.I know you hated to go to the vet and I'd just cry when you did.I put up your favorite rug,so no one else got it.Joleen sure missed you a lot and picked up a lot of your ways as you trained her.I see a lot of the things you taught her like where to go hide,and you thought the clothes basket was a pet taxi,so run. She does ,too.I still love & Miss you my "Mousie".I know you never mated or had kittens,even though you were never spayed,but you didn't seem to mind.We had a bond those last years,and I hope to see you again as you were when you were young.We had 14 wonderful years together,I just hope someday,It will be ForEver. You're in my Heart & Mind untill then>Play in the sun.I Love You.

Missing You,


This letter from Mommie to Darwin was written on Tuesday, December 4, 2012Darwin

Dear Darwin,

It's been a whole week since you left. I miss you so much. Daddie does too. Humphrey is doing his best to keep his tail wagging and has been taking advantage of the extra cuddles available. I take him out now in the car everywhere I go. The first few trips were horrendous - you taught him well, my boy! He barks and whines and yips like the best of them - you should be proud of your work!

I don't know how you feel about this but we've signed up to be foster parents to give a temporary home to someone else in need. Remember when you were in the pound? If we hadn't come along, I'll bet you would have wanted a foster Mum instead, right? And remember when we first went to meet Humph with his foster family? Well, it'll be a bit like that. No-one will ever replace you, that's not what it's about. No-one could, my darling beagle boy. But we feel like we have a place to share and there are pups out there who need us. We chose a 'senior dog' rescue to volunteer with, so that means that Humphrey will probably end up having an older brother (or sister) again - albeit a foster-bro/sis. That should keep him in line, eh? We're going to let the foster pup use your bowl and bed and leash. And of course they can share the toys with Humphrey too. But your collar is in my purse and no-one's going to use that. I took your name tag - the copper one - off the collar and Daddie has it on his keyring now. When I chose it, I kind of had that in mind because I knew this time would come and how desperately hard it would be especially for Daddie. So, every time he picks up his keys, he's going to see the tag you wore so proudly - Darwin, the missing piece of our family puzzle.

So we're still waiting to collect your ashes. It was so hard to leave you there last Wednesday although it's a lovely place. If you were watching from wherever you are, you might have seen that Daddie, Humphrey and I spent some time walking in the grounds, looking at the other graves and memorials. If it hadn't been raining, it would have been beautiful. And did you see Humphrey's reaction when we came nose to beak with that emu? Oh. My. Goodness. He was so perplexed by it: a huge feathery dog with two legs! I actually smiled for the first time! We went into the town afterwards and got a cup of coffee as, for the first time in sooooo many years, there was no reason to rush home. The house is empty without you, my love. I don't know how you did it but honestly your little 30lb self filled this house and made it our home.

There are flowers all over the dining room table - folks who love you and miss you. I'm not sure you'd like them though - the smell might get up your beagley nose!

Today's hard. Tomorrow might be easier. Remember that I love you and I'll remember that you love me too. And Daddie and Humphrey. And that never dies, does it my darling boy?



This letter from Lisa and your siblings to (Queen) Bee was written on Monday, December 3, 2012(Queen) Bee

Dear (Queen) Bee,

Every day we miss you. Elijah didn't mean to attack in his quest for dog ranking when you were sick. Hapi is still wild--but trying to assume the role of Queen pack leader. She is a silly willy--you were more serious and regal. Your new fur siblings are Lady, Ronny, Darla and Sandy. Lady is more like you--even with her bad foot. She is calm, serious, sweet as pie. She was 122 lbs and has lost weight now that her thyroid is better. Darla looks like you except 14 lbs with fur. Same color markings. You would love her. Ronny is excitable. Remember when you farted and woke yourself up? Ronny would run like a fireball if you did that to him. Sandy is precious. Found her in the back of the house where I used to walk you. She is a love. She would love to have learned from you, followed you around the house. She also thinks Hapi is to goofy and should calm down. She "checks" her rambunctious behavior just like you used to to. We know you are here Bee. I feel you. I loved you so much. Your daddy James feels horribly guilty for leaving you with me. You were the best child he ever had--considering he took care of non of his human children. He took care of you the longest. He's a bit of a punk--you know that, but that's your Daddy and you took care of him many times. Elijah is getting up there and perhaps, feels bad for the things he did to you. But he loves you and appreciates everything about you. He's a senior now. Now he knows what its like to be a little tired, bones ache, and lots of tumor growths for no reason. You other family misses you. Do you hang with Miss Kitty? Grandma? Kiss Grandma for me!! I love you Bee. Everyone loved you. You are still legendary among the Rottis. The oldest to have ever graced the earth for as long as you did. My bones ache too Bee. I miss you and look forward to your kisses once more.

Missing You,

Lisa and your siblings

This letter from Mary to Sandy was written on Monday, December 3, 2012Sandy

Dear Sandy,

It has been two long years since I've seen you. And I miss you every single day. I remember I had just started volunteering at our local shelter when I saw you. You skinny thing, you were terrified of everything. Someone found you running along the highway and brought you in. I brought everyone who was looking for a pet to your cage, hoping they'd adopt you. Days went by and you began to cough. I knew what that meant. On the last day I decided to take you myself. I had no idea what I was in for. You were very sick, so we had to quarantine you from our other two pups for weeks. You wouldn't eat and you were so thin. But slowly you got better. However, you and our corgi mix Molly took one look at each other and it was WWIII. For three years we had to keep you separated. When I decided to move out and end my marriage, of course you went with me. I remember that first night in the apartment. You and I eyed each other like "okay, now what?" You were my best buddy for the next eleven years. Remember those great naps we took? No matter where you were or what you were doing, if I laid down on the couch, you were there with me. You were sick often; I think you must have had a terrible illness as a puppy, and it flared up every now and then. When I realized that you weren't going to get better, I had a very difficult decision to make. I always hoped you'd spare me and that I'd one day find you peacefully gone. But that's not how it worked out. You were the best beagle ever and I will never forget you. No dog will ever replace you in my heart. I'll see you some day, Sander McSander, Sandy Boo-Boo Kitty.