This letter from Mama to Neumann was written on Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dear Neumann,

I hated letting you go today. I can't stop crying. But I feel lucky too. Lucky to have had you for so long. You meant so much to us. And brought so much joy. How you watched over our baby girl and gave her your tail when she learned to swim. How you nudged Papa when her blanket slipped off. You loved us unconditionally as we did you. Thank you for embodying gentility and tenderness in our lives. We love you always. I hope you have met your Mommie again. I see you jumping around like a young dog, no pains, no hardship and my heart smiles. You are love.



This letter from Momma to Danielle was written on Monday, June 18, 2012

Dear Danielle,

How I miss you my sweet one. We had such a deep bond, You were always my special needs girl. You had 2 surgeries on each knee due to luxating patella's, epilepsy since you were 3, heart murmer since you were 8, Cushings disease since the age of 11 and the beginning of the end, congestive heart failure when you were 11. The vet gave you 3 to 6 months in Oct of 2011. We lived and loved each day as if it was your last. You loved to eat, loved to play and loved me and your baby sis Abigail who misses you so much also. What a joyous reunion it will be when we all meet again. I'm waiting for you to send me a feather to let me know your ok up there. Life just hasnt been and never will be the same since you left on March 20th, 2012. Your Grandma misses you so much also. You died in my arms here at home that day. I wish I had known what was happening. I so hope I did all I could for you my love. I can't help but feel that I didnt. Know that your momma will miss and love you forever and a day Lovebug. Danielle...Till we meet again.



This letter from Mom to Baby was written on Thursday, June 14, 2012

Dear Baby,

Today has been a bad day. I am missing you terribly and sitting here crying and wondering where the past 6 months has gone. It feels like it was just days ago I gave you my last kiss. I know you know that you saved my life, I know that I would never have made it with out you. You were my soul mate. I know why they say people with animals live longer. Because they get love so unconditionally. Such an honest and pure love that I can't imagine what its like for people who never know the love of an animal. I see you in my dreams and wake up missing you more. You gave me 18 years and I wish I have one more day with you. I know that is selfish but if I could just hug you once more, feel you little paws on my face, wake with you sleeping on my back just one more time I would give anything.

I know days will be better, I know today is just a bad day. You would hate for me to be like this. Today just feels like I lost you all over again. I can't wait for the day when I get to see your sweet face again. I love you.



This letter from Lily to Pete was written on Wednesday, June 13, 2012Pete

Dear Pete,

I don't know why you died... you never showed any signs of being sick or maybe I never educated my self enough to see them. I regret not taking care of you as I should have. Not paying enough attention or not talking enough to you. But I loved you! So much! You left and I feel empty and sad. Pita asks for you and I just don't know what to say... I told her you left to bird heaven where you are now flying free and where you are now happy. I remember how much you would chirp in the mornings and whenever I came to the room. How jealous Pita would get if anyone got close to you and would try to fight us; she would bite you as well like if it was your fault. You would get to a corner and just look at me. I can't forget all those wonderful years... now I can't stop crying... I just wish you were still here Pete.

Did I scare you? I was cleaning your cage and needed the broom to sweep the fallen seeds and I stood up to grab the broom again you fell backwards to the bottom of the cage and scream oddly, for a second I thought you were stock or something so I ran and got help but when I came right back you were quiet and still... oh my poor Pete, why??? I miss you so much!!! I would do anything just to see you one more time. My sweet and kind Pete. I will take care of Pita, we are starting to bond, she calls for you it's all so resent... I will never forget you Pete! You lay in the backyard where I plan to plant a rose bush in your memory. If there is a bird heaven I hope that you are there and I hope that I will meet you once again. Love you always my precious friend.



This letter from Mommy to Kalo was written on Thursday, May 31, 2012Kalo

Dear Kalo,

I don't know where to begin. I only got to hold you for a year, but it was a wonderful year. You've been gone for a month and I still cry everyday. I keep thinking that I let you down in some way. Maybe I loved you too much because I was trying to get over losing Kodiak and Dusty. I keep thinking that there should have been something else I could do. Maybe I should have taking you to a different vet. Maybe a different medication would have helped you calm down. Maybe it wouldn't have, but I never tried. Your vet would not listen to me when I told them your med wasn't working. "Give it time", and now we have no more time together. I love you my fuzzy buddy and some day we'll be together again. You listen to Kodiak and he will take care of you until I get there. Love and miss you Kalo.



This letter from Gramma (Amy) to Tilly was written on Tuesday, May 29, 2012Tilly

Dear Tilly,

Nobody understands my grief at your loss, so I need to talk to you instead. They say you were just a chicken. They say chickens don't know or show love. They clearly never met you.

You came to me as Buck's companion, and I didn't even really expect to get attached to you. You didn't seem to want affection like he did, but I remember the moment you figured out that love was a good thing. The look on your face. The total abandonment to the affection. You never looked back. I still love Buck so much, but in all honesty, you were more loving and sweet than even he is. I can't believe how much you stole my heart. It's horrible here without you.

Buck misses you so much that he is not doing well now either. I talk to him about you, and I hold him and tell him it's o.k., but it really isn't without you. We both miss you so much.

I miss how you would melt in my arms when I pet you. I miss how you would rub your face on my face when I would give you kisses. I miss your beautiful face running to be with me when I came in to see you. I miss how good you were with Buck even though he was young and a little silly. I miss everything about you.

I tried so hard to save you. The vet tried hard to save you. We wanted you to stay, but it wasn't to be.

Buck is so sad at your loss, and he is sick now with a tumor that started to grow when you left him. I am hoping beyond hope that he survives. If he makes it through the surgery and recovers, I may need to get him a new companion, but it hurts to even think about it. No other bird could replace you in my heart. I don't believe he will see them the same way he saw you either. You were his perfect match. He is clearly grieving though, and a friend might help a little. I hope you don't see it as replacing you, because that could never happen. It's just in the hope that he will be a little less depressed.

I miss you honey, and I always will. You will forever be my girl. I hope you know how much you were loved. I hope you know how much you are missed. I hope you know that you will never be forgotten. I hope you are now in a better place where everyone sees how wonderful you are, and that you deserve just as much love and respect as any other living being.

Hopefully some day people will understand how wonderful you and your kind are, and people will not be ridiculed for loving one such as you. Hopefully some day people who love beautiful birds like you will be able to talk about it without having people make distasteful comments about eating you. Hopefully your very own legacy will be to further that cause. I still talk about how awesome you were, even though it gets mixed reactions. There are some that appear to be starting to understand. Perhaps that wouldn't have happened without you, and the sad loss of you. You have made a difference with your life. Even if, so far, it is just a few people. Hopefully it will continue to grow.

If nothing else, you were one very well loved little girl who left a great big hole in one human's life. If that was your only legacy, it would be enough for me.

Please wait for me in Heaven. I look forward to seeing you there.


Gramma (Amy)

This letter from Gemma to Tevyn was written on Saturday, May 5, 2012Tevyn

Dear Tevyn,

It's been six months since you left me, suddenly. I know you had an incurable neurological condition, but it is so unfair that you were here for only 18 months. I've never met a bunny quite like you - you loved everyone and everything. The photos I took of you with your canine brothers (and canine foster siblings too) warmed the hearts of many people - they told me so after you passed away. You were an educator; you taught people how intelligent and dynamic and loving bunnies could be. You showed people that life is to be respected, and shared with the ones we love. You made a difference.

I know I will never get over your passing. You were such a blessing to me. We had our routine, day after day, and we both knew it by heart. When I woke up in the morning, you'd be waiting outside my bedroom door with Ted. I'd pet you, then go downstairs for breakfast while you snoozed on the second stair from the top, waking occasionally an venturing downstairs to use your litter box in the pantry. You always waited in the kitchen for dinner, and at just the right time. I'd serve you your pellets and veggies, and you'd eat those right there next to the dogs while they ate their dinners too. After dinner, you'd stretch out on the cool tile, usually snuggled up next to Dylan. As the evening wore on, you'd hop up onto the couch and we'd watch TV together. Sometimes, I'd fall asleep on the couch, and wake up to the sound of you zooming around the room full speed, hopping a foot into the air in pure joy.

You were my baby boy, and I suppose you still are. You were my smallest love, at a mere 3 pounds. But you knew how to hang with the big boys. You were fearless. You were trusting. You loved unconditionally. You lived life the way I wish I could live life. I've been tainted by my experiences in this world; you never were. You always remained pure.

Your very last night, I knew I was losing you. I sat with you in my lap for most of the night. We fell asleep together. By the morning you were gone. I will always feel guilty for your life. I will always wonder why you didn't live a full, long life. It isn't fair that bunnies like you live lives of neglect, shut away in cages, lonely, sick, and suffering - and those bunnies make it longer than you did. It just isn't fair. For either of us. I loved you. I cared. I don't know why you left me. It breaks my heart every single day. Things aren't the same around here without you. Big Bunny misses you. You were her soul mate and she's made it very clear that she is not moving on from you either. She's doing ok, but you were it for her. People miss you. They miss your photos - the stories we told through them, the lessons we taught. You were such a wonderful advocate. You left such a legacy. But that's over now.

I know I have to move on. But I can't. I can't move on. I miss you. I love you.



This letter from Mom, Dad, Anthony, Domino & Nestles. XOXO to Clutch was written on Monday, April 30, 2012Clutch

Dear Clutch,

It will be two weeks on Tuesday since you went to rainbow bridge. Four weeks from the time we found out you were sick. We did not find out until you were gone that you had Cancer and nothing more could have been done. You never let us know that you were feeling bad and you were always there for me at night, right at my feet where you liked to sleep. I still remember picking you out of the litter. We bred your daddy just to get you- you were his gift to us. The two of you were my pride and joy. Always comforting me when I needed you, always patient with your little boy who loved to play between you. Your Aunt Nestles and your sister Domino spent days mourning your loss. The blank space in our home is evident. We remember you daily, the way you would sit on the couch like the rest of us, like a person. The way you protected our home and your boy from any harm that may come. You were always a true and loving soul, and we will always remember you and love you. I remember the little butterball you were when I picked you up from your canine Mommy's home. The way you trained your human Daddy on the rules of living with a doberman and how you bonded with every member of the family in your own way. Domino has taken over your place on the couch and tries her best to be brave when the mailman comes- she knows you taught her what you could, but she wants you to know that she is only a boxer with small teeth after all- but she is trying her best to do your teaching proud and barks at the mailman daily! Aunt Nestles has been diagnosed with spinal stenosis. The vet says she has about 6 months to a year before she won't be able to use her hind legs anymore. She is a strong girl as you know, but I want you to keep a place for her with you and the rest of the family at the bridge- be there to welcome her in. Finally, I want you to know how very much we all loved you- I think that you knew that all the time anyway. We know that we will meet you again one day, and we will all be a family close again. Until then, run, play, smell the flowers, be pain free, smile your funny little smile and give your daddy a big wet kiss for us. We miss you, you are very much loved.


Mom, Dad, Anthony, Domino & Nestles. XOXO

This letter from Shari to Kona was written on Sunday, April 29, 2012Kona

Dear Kona,

Has it really been 10 days since I held you in my arms and heard you breathe your last breath?

In one way, it seems like it was yesterday. My emotions are still every bit as ragged and raw, and I still wake up nightly with my heart pounding and my adrenaline surging as if something terrible is wrong.

What’s wrong?!

And then I remember.

In another way, it seems like you’ve been gone much longer. When I think of you, I tend to remember the times before your back legs stopped working, before you couldn’t control your bladder or your bowels, before you became so vulnerable. Before we made that awful, but necessary, decision to free you from a physical body that was no longer able to keep up with your spirit.

For most of your life, you were strong and confidant and majestic. You could chase a coyote a half-mile to the top of a ridge at full speed and run back down again when you heard me calling you. You could hike up mountains, and run alongside my bike, and play at the dog park without ever getting tired. You were so proudly independent -- like a cat, we sometimes said about you. And although you were too proud to ask for attention, you sure loved getting it!

I never told you this before, but we brought you into our lives to help us deal with the death of our baby boy. I was pregnant for 22 weeks when I went into labor on our honeymoon in Hawaii. When we came home, we were very, very sad that we couldn’t bring our boy with us. Your dad said that maybe getting a puppy would make us happier, because then we’d have somewhere to put all the love that we had been saving up for a baby. I wasn’t so sure, but he convinced me to at least consider it.

Once we took one look at you, we knew it was the right decision. You were gorgeous, with expressive brown eyes and little tufts of fur framing your ears. But it was your gentle spirit, sweetness and intelligence that really made us fall for you. We named you Kona, a Hawaiian word, which means “wind from the west.”

I'm so grateful to your dad for bringing us together, because you made it possible for me to care again. I soon came to realize that inside that fluffy, white body was an old, wise, nurturing soul who loved me unconditionally. Sometimes it actually felt like you carried the spirit of my little boy inside you.

And now that you’re gone, I’ve lost you both.

For more than 15 years, our identities were linked. You were woven into my DNA like my hair color and eye color. Without you, I don't know who I am anymore. I've heard it said that losing someone you love is like losing a limb. Without you, Kona, it's worse; I’ve lost my heart.

I’m grateful we had time together that last day. Those minutes when I was spooning you by the fire were so precious. And that look you gave me when the girls brought you up the driveway in the wagon: ears up and pulled slightly together; eyes bright, alert and focused directly on me. It was the same look that melted my heart countless times before. Pure adoration. Pure joy. Pure love.

I dreamed about you the other night. Your dad and I were visiting a dog pound, standing in front of a large, elevated platform enclosed by a chain-link fence. Inside were about 20 dogs, sitting along the back wall as if they were in a police lineup. There was one white dog that caught my eye. Then I realized... it was you. We made eye contact and you ran over to me. We touched through the fence. You licked my hand. And then you gave me that look.

I told the man in charge that you were mine and I wanted to take you home. He said, “Fine, but you’ll have to wait until 6:00.”

What? Why do I have to wait until 6:00?

“That’s the time when we can check them out.”

Oh, please! Let me take him now!

“No, you’ll have to come back at 6:00.”

We had to leave, so we did. To pass the time, we went for a drive. We kept checking our watches, but the hands never seemed to move.

When will it be 6:00?

Then I woke up. Sweating, heart pounding, adrenaline surging…

What’s wrong?!

Oh, yeah.



This letter from Mim to Elwood was written on Sunday, April 29, 2012Elwood

Dear Elwood,

It's been a while now since I lost you. Your death was sudden and shocking. You were young and healthy when you woke up that morning. The vet explained that it was autoimmune hemolytic anemia. He said he could treat it, but that didn't feel right. I had only minutes to decide, but I've gone over those minutes many times in the last two and a half years. I think it was the right decision. You had so many mysterious health problems that I think it would have affected your quality of life if I had accepted treatment. I believe more than ever that it was better for you to let you go when I did, before you really, truly suffered.

But it is your life I want to write about: your wonderful life. You were such a thoughtful, caring dog. I never thought an animal could be so generous, or so considerate. Thank you so much for taking of Spider when he was a kitten. You made such a difference in his life. Do you know that he looked under the covers for you every night for six months after you went to the rainbow bridge? And he never slept there again. I think in some way he still misses you. But I also believe that he learned from you how to be a friend. He is very patient with all the other cats.

I had known that dogs are good companions, and I have loved all the dogs in my life. But you were my best friend, Elwood. You and I shared some kind of bond that I've never had with another dog.

You were so lucky, Elwood. Even though you had only five years on this Earth, you got to have two forever homes. I hope you remember your first mother, Annie. She was very upset to hear that you were gone. I sent her my favorite pictures of you, and I made sure to send the ones of you and Spider together. She loved those.

Thank you for your companionship, and for your friendship. And thank you for all you taught me about life, and love, and family. I will remember it always, and you are always in my heart. But you knew that already, didn't you?