The following items were sent in by our clients who have lost a pet.
If you would like to have a story and/or photos posted, please send us an email with the information.
The love of our life.
When I was around eight years old and my sister was six I begged my dad for a cat for my birthday for two years straight until one day he finally said yes. Later that week my mom, sister, dad, and I went to the Champaign Humane Society to take a look at the cats for adoption. As I was looking through the crates full of kittens I was quickly gravitating towards the them and my sister was on the opposite side of me looking at the cats. I didn't take me long to pick out a kitten that I wanted. The kitten was about four weeks old and it was a male. But my sister was still looking at the cats and she said "Look Sam how about this one!!" And I went over to her and I saw the cat that she was obsessing over and we both knew at that moment that that was the cat we both wanted to take home. It was true love at first sight for the both of us. Then we told my parents that we wanted that cat and the shelter attendant took the cat out of the crate and brought her over to a room where we could visit her. The rest is history! The next day my dad picked up Sunflower after work from the Humane Society and told me and my sister that she was meowing the entire way home. (She always did this during car rides!) We took her out of her box and she ran under the bed to hide from us. She was a little nervous for the first week but after that she came around and was the sweetest cat ever. The picture that I included of her laying down with her yellow collar is that moment when she hid from us. If it wasn't for my sister, I wouldn't have Sunflower. I will always thank her for the rest of my life for picking her to be the love our life. She was a very lovable cat that helped me get through the hardest of times. She was everything to me and our family. The loss has been very hard on me and my entire family. But I will always remember those days very well. It still feels like it was yesterday when we adopted her. That's a memory that I will always carry in my heart for the rest of my life until I see my beautiful Sunflower once again.
We'd nearly always been a 3 dog household; and then because the elder two passed, we found ourselves down to Lady. I watched her and thought she'd really be fine alone, if we paid extra attention to her. She went to the park with us, on many walks, and we settled into this new life. Unknown to me, my husband wanted another Pomeranian (we'd lost our first Pom Kicker that spring) and told Sandy at the Douglas County Shelter to be on the look out. I love dogs so much, and we've always adopted but I was NOT happy when Jim came home and said our new dog was waiting for us at the shelter. Weren't we ok with just the one? Other people have just one dog...less hair to sweep, less food to buy and so forth. I was grumpy when Jim drove me to the closed shelter over the weekend. "Just have a look through the fence and tell me he isn't adorable." Well, I was sunk on the spot. There he was, a 'red' Pom and he was barking at us so hard that his front feet came off the pavement each time. You could tell he was young, and his coat was gorgeous. Monday couldn't come fast enough for us to go adopt him. Once we got him cleaned up and in the house, Jim remarked "All is right in the world." Rocky was full of energy and love for everyone. He and Lady got along so well, and Rocky actually got Lady to play for the first time in her life! They spent much time playing and chasing each other through the house until Lady got too old. A remarkable thing about Rocky was that he always noticed stuff in the sky! We'd never had a dog do that before. He noticed and barked at the moon; geese flying overhead, and even a low-flying plane once. We always got a charge out of that. Rocky was also the 'mayor' of our neighborhood and bossed everyone around. Jim will miss Rocky waiting in his little bed near the door,sleeping on his back with all fours in the air, snoring little puppy snores. I'll miss hearing him climb up the doggy stairs so he could sleep near my feet. He was a sweet boy, loving and adorable. We were lucky to have him for such a long and colorful life.
"Bayla Ariella" Awalt
When Bayla was first brought into Albin Animal Hospital, she was brought in with the purpose of being euthanized, per the breeder's request. You see, Bayla was white, and she was deaf and would bring no money to the breeder. In the eyes of the breeder, she was of no value to her. I happened to be grooming in the clinic the day she was brought in. As soon as I laid eyes on her, my heart just melted, and I called her beautiful. At first I did not know her reason for being there other than a puppy check-up. When I was informed what the breeder's wishes were, I felt sick in my heart. Unbeknownst to me,the girls at the front desk, had asked the breeder if she would consider relinquishing ownership and letting the clinic foster her. Three other girls were interested in her, but husbands said no. I was 4th on the list. Praying that she would be placed in the home best suited for her. You see, we already had 4 dogs and 4 cats, and no experience raising a deaf dog who had the potential of health issues down the road due to her breeding. Within 3 days, I received a phone call, she was mine if I still wanted.
We named this 6 week old, fluffball of white fur, Bayla Ariella, which means Beautiful Lioness of God. She was with us for 2 years. Things were great for the first 9 months, and then she began experiencing one health issue after another. On May 27th, 2014, we said our final goodbyes. That day, I felt a piece of my heart went with her and we miss her terribly. As challenging as it was, I would not trade 1 day I had with her.
She came to us at a time when we were sure didn’t want another dog. We are a couple that loves dogs; that have owned and cared gently for dogs. Notice the plural--and all were cast off or rescued from the Douglas County Animal Shelter.Some had behavior problems. Some, we discovered after adopting, had chronic or long-term health problems.
All loving dog owners will tell you, however, that you can fall into this place where you’re just not ready to have another. We’d had three great dogs, and when Bernice, the female and a Benjie type terrier mix had to be put down at age 11 after suffering an unexpected stroke, we grieved and loved the other two. The eldest male, Bernard, was not Bernice’s litter mate (he was a standard poodle/something else mutt) but they were inseparable. He grieved in a way I’ve never witnessed before or after. His little buddy, Kicker, a blonde Pom that the neighbors didn’t want,kept us all entertained. It was a sad household for quite a while.
One day Jim and his friend Jerry went to the recycling center (when it was) near the Animal Shelter. As they were there, this skinny black dog came right up to them and proceeded to get in the car. She was outside the shelter, and we never knew if she was left in the outside holding pen and got out, or was dumped nearby and found her way to that area. Jim talked sweet to her, but shooed her out of the car and they left. Upon reflection, he decided she was probably hungry, and drove through Burger King for a Whopper. She gobbled it up, tomato and all! Jim thought she was adorable, but left her a second time. Upon returning to his insurance office, he regaled his assistant with the story of this cute little dog. She was quick to scold Jim for leaving her at the shelter,and sent him back to get her. Never mind that I didn’t know what was happening, or that Jim wasn’t really sure he wanted another dog—back he went and dutifully retrieved the skinny black dog.
I first laid eyes on her when Jim carried her up the drive and into the house. I knew that I was to clean her up, and if we really didn’t want her the assistant would take her and try to find her a new home. Her first bath was epic. She held still, but was so flea-ridden we knew right away that professional help was in order. (I had flea nightmares!) We were grateful that Cozy Critters could take her right away, and she came back gorgeous. There were periodic feedings throughout the day since she couldn’t seem to get enough, and lots of pets and sweet words…but no intent to keep her. No, she was going home with Jim’s assistant-and she did. As it turned out her dog (and husband) weren’t in on the deal and we got a call the next morning about this pretty girl staying at our house until an appropriate owner could be found. Classified ads had already been placed, and we were looking at a week or two, tops.
Well, we had to name her. Each dog has their own personality and spirit, and we just couldn’t call her ‘dog’ for two weeks. She reminded me of “Lady”from the Disney movie (…and the Tramp), so that worked as we all got acquainted. I can tell you that some dogs fit right in, and others take longer. Well, Lady didn’t bother Kicker at all but she couldn’t get enough of Bernard’s company-following him everywhere. She definitely had too much energy in those early days. Whew! We couldn’t keep up!However, she was so loving and pleasing and quite the cuddle bunch. We laughed at her, loved on her, and socialized her for this unknown future owner. Then, out of the blue we got a phone call from a potential owner. Jim took the call, so I’m listening to him answer questions about her personality and characteristics…and with each moment ticking away I got grouchier and grouchier. It was obvious that the caller wasn’t sure yet, and Jim closed the call politely and hung up. He looked at me to fill me in, and I said in resignation “Jim, we can’t give our dog away”.
We put our darling girl down this week. She was ‘about’ 17 years old, and we enjoyed every minute. Not long after our decision to keep her, we found out she was epileptic AND in heat. She tried to mate with her best bud Bernard before we could get her fixed! Never mind that he was old and neutered. He was her man and no matter how many times I chased her off, there they were one night-and I was sure he wouldn’t survive without a broken hip. It took a really long time to teach her to walk on a leash. We took lots of pictures of her, knowing they wouldn’t come out great—she was so black—all you could see was her eyes. She was also hard to see in a dark room, and we almost stepped on her too many times. She got on well with so many of her subordinates, except for the last dog Missy. They had a WWF smackdown fight at first sight, and had to learn to coexist over time. We love thinking about her running on the tennis court, wresting with our second Pom, Rocky, and busting in the door after her morning walk. She’d run in the front door and jump up on the couch to pounce on Dad. He loves that memory best of all. I think of her snoring the curtains off the wall…and her wonderful puppy kisses. I got a couple the day before her last trip to the vet.
Yes, we are sad. Just like every other loving pet owner out there, we’ll be sad for a good while. It’s ok. It was a wonderful experience in the life of a wonderful, loving dog.
"Mr. Stripes" Adkisson Discovered:August 6, 2009 New Soul Journey: August 24, 2011
Mr. Stripes wandered into our lives one day and quickly adopted us all. We miss him sitting by the fridge waiting for an ice cube in his water; playing with the tape measure while jumping in &out of his purple cube; and especially getting tapped on the cheek with his paw when he wanted his head scratched some more.
Mr.Stripes was especially fond of G-ma. He followed her everywhere, and on the rare occasion he wasn't on her lap napping,battling for her food or competing for her attention with the newspaper, he always kept one eye open and on her at all times. Ready for whatever might happen next?.
He was quite a character!
We're grateful for the quality time we got to share with Mr. Stripes and will miss him dearly. He was a blessing to us all.
"Bogart" Charter 2003 - 2011
Bogart died April 20, 2011 following diagnosis of an extensive, non operable, malignant and rapidly growing tumor along his spinal cord. His last month was very very painful. Bogart was much more than ?a good dog?. He was an energy field, a powerful bundle of muscle and fur, always ready to chase or protect and also always eager to share your food.
He is missed and will be remembered. He was a large, stubborn and sometimes difficult dog. Over the last couple of years he became much more responsive to voice commands and actually ignored the deer in our yard in Colorado. Bogart was mainly Chesapeake. He was a hunter and fiercely protective of his house, his family and his territory. Bogart had zero tolerance for cats and foxes. He loved children and was, if anything, a little over protective of them. Bogart was a very serious dog.
He was very ?present?. You knew he was there. He had the greatest eyesight. He would sit in the car or truck for hours looking out the window. He could see a fox a block away. He became a classic Frisbee dog,chasing and leaping and grabbing the Frisbee out of the air. When he returned the Frisbee he'd shake it savagely to make sure it was dead and was reluctant to give it up. He never really hunted and now he?ll never have an opportunity.
Bogart was adopted as a pup from breeders of Chesapeake and Boviers, a breeder's mistake. He followed Alfie, a large yellow Labrador, in the home of Curt, Barbara and Amelia Charter which was indeed a tough act to follow. Bogart?s adoption had been preceded by a few days with the adoption of Audrey from El Paso County Humane Society. Audrey is a smaller dog, though not that small, and she took on the responsibility of raising Bogart as though he were her pup. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship that Amelia, Barbara and Curt were privileged to witness and share.
Why does Cancer and other stupid diseases cause dogs such pain and an early death? Pain and suffering for dogs ranks high in the context of ?life is unfair?. It just is not right.
Bogart is still here. His presence is permanent in our lives. His size and strength and brilliance and yes his love and devotion for Barbara and Amelia and me will live ? kind of just outside our field of vision- forever.
"Catin" Senter June 1990 - Feb 2011
I was at the breeders looking at the pretty kittens. A cute kitten jumped on the cages and soon jumped in my arms. She looked like she said "Here I am mom." Since then she has been my best friend. She took care of me when I was sick and we played when we felt good. She was my baby doll. She died when she was 22. I miss her so much. How can I live without her.
"Mystic" Adkisson Adopted: April 17th, 2006 - New Soul Journey: Sept 13, 2010
Mystic was a vocal cat and lived the life of a princess. She will be fondly remembered for her early morning "It's time for breakfast" announcements; her proclamations that the litter box needs to be scooped, which was after every visit; her commands to open up any closed door she passed, particularly the refrigerator where she knew there was always fresh tuna or turkey lunch meat; and her favorite activity, lap naps, which of course we loved too.
Mystic filled both our home and our hearts with many great memories and lots of love. She will be missed; never forgotten.
"Stanley" Hathaway-Gass 1991 - July 28, 2010
"Cheyanne" Green March 1995 - June 2010
We all miss you. Have fun running around with "Boone."
"Malachi" Cler Adopted June 2006 - Nov 2, 2009
We miss you Mal!!
"Cooper" Quinn Feb 19, 2007 - April 9, 2009
"Starr" Schultz Oct 9, 1999 - Feb 23, 2008
"Pookie" Stone 1992-2008
It's been over a month now, and it's still hard to think about Pookie. Often, I am convinced that I can hear her in the next room--and then I'm devastated again when I realize she's not there. She was my baby for 15 of her 16 years. She will always be in our hearts. Pookie Marie Stone
Our Beloved Mac
January 5, 1992 - October 29, 2007
"Boone" Green 1993 - 2006
He loved chin scratches, belly rubs and four wheeler rides. We all miss you. You were one of a kind.