My Heart, My Dog

When someone you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure. ~ Unknown

For more than 15 years my life was made whole by…

a set of four little white paws

a pair of spiky ears

two smiling eyes

one black sniffy nose

a rumbling snore

a fierce bigger-than-she-really-was bark that rivaled every dog in the neighborhood

dozens of black polka-dots on pink (except for on her ears, you could really only see them when she was wet :-)

a constant flurry of white fur falling like confetti at a birthday party

a stumpy wagging tail

a million wet kisses

… and one heart filled so full with love, happiness and undying loyalty

she was my girl
MY heart
my DOG…

my Rat Terrier

my Pepper

I know that I was so blessed to have her in my life—a little bundle of joy from above, bestowed on me for what seemed so short a while—but I wouldn't have traded that gift for anything else in the whole world.

Every good and perfect gift is from above. ~ James 1:17

And even though my heart is so very broken by her passing, I know in my heart that she lived the wonderful life that was intended for her—nothing more, nothing less. I give thanks each and every day that she was put into my life and that we had such happy times together.

How do you say goodbye? How do you ever move on?

I don't know yet.

But some things do help…

Remembrance carved into stone. Justin of Justin R Visser Stone Engraving made this memorial stone for me. He is such an awesome nice guy to work with and went the extra mile to make it perfect for me. I couldn't bring myself to put an end date—and in truth there isn't one—she'll always be with me, in my heart forever.

And a little dog tag to help keep her with me always. Melissa of Doggone Tags made this special memento for me. I hung it together with a polymer charm I made and a silver heart. Yes, they're on a dog collar. Pepper's little red collar. It's a bit ironic really—my Pepper rarely ever wore her collar, and if ever I left it on her longer that absolutely necessary she let me know with a funny grimace and vigorous scratching… and since she seldom wore a collar, she never had a name tag—she didn't need any reminder of where she belonged—but if she would have tolerated a collar, I would have bought her a beautiful handmade tag.

And then there's you. You have helped me so so much! Thank you all from the very bottom of my heart for your kind sympathies, and for sharing your stories, and for your love and virtual hugs. My heart still aches and tears still fall daily and some days it feels like she just passed away yesterday, but you have brought me so much comfort and healing.

Thank you, thank you, dear friends.

And slowly, slowly, I'm trying to get back to creating. I need to keep busy…

If there ever comes a time when we can't be together, keep me in your heart. I'll stay there forever. ~ Winnie the Pooh

Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened. ~ Dr Seuss

… and so I try…

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  1. Hugs to you for the loss of your friend. As you say she will be with you forever.

  2. Such a beautiful memorial and keepsake Rebekah - She'll be watching over you now.

  3. I am crying for you, I know how it feels to lose a loved one all too well. What a wonderful memorial, she will be with you always in your heart

  4. What a wonderful tribute for a wonderful dog!

  5. Such a lovely tribute, I love that Dr Suess quote it's perfect. Not always easy to do but a good thing to keep in mind as you swim through the process.

  6. What a lovely post and such a fitting tribute for a much-loved friend. Your photos of Pep are delightful.

  7. Beautiful photos and beautifully written. You captured her spirit, character and loving sweetness. Thank you for sharing. Give yourself time....grieving comes and goes in waves. Hang in there.

  8. Oh Rebekah, I am crying whilst I type this. I am so, so sorry that you have lost your wonderful friend. Your post ,and the last one, moved me to tears and I feel so much for you. All I can do is send a virtual hug. Pippa x

  9. This post was beautiful...I am crying with you..

  10. I am crying with you too...
    I am certain she is aware of how much you love her, she can see you...
    Take your time!! She will bless you!!
    Many hughs

  11. What a sad but beautiful post, and your pictures of Pepper are fabulous :) They comminicate her personality well! My heart goes out to you and I thank you for sharing!

  12. I'm so sorry about your loss. I know that pain too. Time helps a little. I had to have my cat of 16 years put down approx 2 years ago. I still cry. I will always love and miss her. I posted about it on my blog and I painted a portrait of her. There's a community of hearts here that greive with you. Hugs to you!