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Culture: Tributes
An Unbreakable Bond
How a Chow named Chelsea made life worth living
My heart remains very heavy after the profound loss of my beloved Chow, Chelsea, on August 22, 2009. My best friend for the last nine years, I still struggle through each day trying to cope with the fact that she is no longer with me. She remains in my heart and in my thoughts, as she always will, yet I miss looking into her beautiful eyes and the feel of her soft, black fur. I have been blessed...
Culture: Tributes
Cameron Chillin’
Memories of Christmas and his last family vacation
This is a picture of my best friend and soul mate, Cameron. I lost him unexpectedly on Aug. 6, 2009 at the age of 14-and-a-half years. He was a black and tan mini-Dachshund. I miss seeing his beautiful face, the jingle of his tags and his paws tapping the floor. I got him when he was just six-weeks-old, and he was the perfect companion. He helped my mother during her illness, and helped me get...
Culture: Tributes
Herbie, The Foodie
The story of a Beagle and his belly.
To call Herbie, my family’s rotund former Beagle, a “foodie” isn’t entirely accurate, as that term implies some selectivity in consumption, which Herbie did not have. His time with us was certainly borne of a love of good food, though, more specifically, a love of good drink, having been purchased by my parents from a pet store after their better judgment was drowned in too many margaritas at the...
Culture: Tributes
Cooper in Autumn
Rest In Peace, October 9, 2009
Age has sprayed his muzzle gray; Scooped hollows behind his eyes; Slackened his shoulders and belly; And undermined the legs that used to hold him So reliably upright. Once a proud protector, He grows dependent like a child, Yet like an old man endures spells of shapeless unease And a daily parade of pills. We no longer require or expect The niceties of housetraining, Though we feel...
Culture: Tributes
Jennydog, The Beautiful One
Jennydog left us a year ago after a shockingly short illness. She was an intense Border Collie—strong, elegant, fast and bossily dominant. She was noise-phobic, terrified of falling baby gates, unbelievably kind to my elderly mother, intolerant of rudeness in other dogs and people. She ruled the boys with relentlessness in some things and not in others. Jenny was our strength in times of tragedy...
Culture: Tributes
Constant Companion
The first hello in the morning and the last goodnight each night.
Almost all the memories I have of my childhood include one large, brown, lovable ingredient: our family dog, Kodi. A chocolate Labrador, Kodi was the four-legged love of our lives, and when he passed away this past Thanksgiving at 13-years-old we were devastated. I can still remember the day my father came home and told us we were going to get a puppy. I had never had a dog before and was so...
Culture: Tributes
Gifts of A Lifetime
Rosie Marie and Albert Joseph were lucky in love.
“Found on a remote part of the beach” stated her intake report. “Golden Retriever, young, malnourished, stray” it continued. Unlike most of the other dogs in the cement and cyclone cages, her restrained behavior—analytical, you might say—was un-Golden-like in her observation of us. Golden Retrievers are known and valued for their unabashed love of people. This dog, however, seemed resigned to her...
Culture: Tributes
Friend for Life
Her last wishes were my first choices.
Six months before her ninth birthday in May 2002, Nessi was diagnosed with kidney failure. At the time, her vet said she would only live a couple of weeks. I researched naturopathic diets, vitamins and nutrients that have been shown to help the immune system in dogs whose kidneys are failing. I talked to vets all over the U.S. Finally, I had enough information and I put together a special diet...
Culture: Tributes
Goodbye to Clayton, The Great Heart
It was a match made in heaven…
I met him at a Borders bookstore. I had been avoiding such “open houses” since an ill-fated Internet match did not work out in the least, but a neighbor urged me to look again, and there he was … in all his fluffy, furry glory. Clayton was not an easy dog to own at first: stubborn, arrogant and prone to running out the door. I remember his first Christmas at my mom’s, the star of the show,...
Culture: Tributes
Duncan the Wonder Dog
From scruffy mutt to regal specimen.
I wonder if Duncan’s first owners thought he was a Scottish Terrier. Why else would they have given him such a grand Gaelic name? We met Duncan when he was six-months-old—by then he weighed thirty pounds with legs like stilts and ears like goalposts. Obviously, Duncan was not a Scottish Terrier. We were visiting the shelter in search of a big dog, but when we saw Duncan we wondered if he was the...

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