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Memorials Of Our Labradors

 

bayouBayou: Dear Dr. D I am sure you have received many of these letters over the years and I am sure none of them are easy for you to read.  I write to tell you of the passing of our beloved Bayou.   I know the love and passion you put into each one of your pups before you fledge them around the world, and it is only right that you know when they pass on. I am confident that Bayou now rests comfortably at the side of his mother Stitch and grandmother Bainbridge.

I met Bayou in the fall of 2002.  He was the last remaining pup from a litter by Stitch and Nike. You had trouble getting him to his new owners because the airlines would not fly him to Arizona and you offered him to me because I was driving east and could pick him up in person.  Your sales pitch was simple but memorable.  “He’s a real sweetheart; he’s yours if you want him!” You could not have been more right, except for the fact that he was only mine for a matter of days before he became the exclusive property and confidant of my wife.

I grew up with Labradors all my life and I knew the temperament, drive and affection that is so common with the breed.  But truthfully, I was completely unprepared for Bayou.  From the first days we had him, he was quite possibly the most perfect dog I have ever known.  I have to admit that he had some odd traits for a Labrador; a coarse coat, he would take all day to eat his food, and he rarely showed an interest in retrieving. But Bayou had the soul of a saint and a heart to match it.  We lived many places over Bayou’s nearly 14 years, (Connecticut, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, California, Idaho and Wyoming) and regardless of where we were, Bayou was the center of attention.  From his days as a puppy when strangers would dodge traffic crossing the street to meet him, to his final walks along the beach, his mere presence would elicit smiles and affection from every human that saw him.  I have browsed your website so many times and I know the incredible beauty of all of your dogs, but Bayou had something more; an intangible peace and joy that he spread around him as he made his way through this world.  

We laugh remembering the young boys from the rough neighborhoods of New Haven who were raised to fear dogs but who grew to love Bayou.  When leaving us one day one boy asked “what’s his name again?” When we responded he shouted “peace out Bayou” and went on his way.  A snow-white dog in an all black neighborhood seems completely out of place but Bayou had the same affect on everybody.   Walking bayou on a trail or down the sidewalk was like being with a celebrity.  No one bothered to notice us (humans) all eyes were fixated on our beautiful, charismatic dog. His small grin, his soft ears that would curl a little and bounce as he stepped, delighted all that we met.  His penchant for carrying oversized sticks also made him hard to ignore.

As you know, Bayou didn’t have the easiest life.  He lost an eye to a teenage neighbor’s reckless gunshot when he was nearly 2 years old, but nothing could dampen his spirit.  He carried himself with the dignity of a royal dog his entire life.  He politely crossed his paws whenever he lay down and he refused to go to the bathroom in his own yard. (Bonus for us, apologies to the neighbors)

He was our firstborn child and though our family has added three kids and other pets over the years, Bayou was the one constant.  He watched over our kids and in many ways he watched over us.  Many times our tears were shed in his soft fur as he helped us through our daily challenges. Bayou was not just a member of our family he was the centerpiece.

We want you to know that through our tears, which have been flowing freely for a number of days, we are smiling about what was one of the greatest gifts we have ever received.  I can only assume that your little side business of breeding Labradors has had a much bigger impact on families around the world than your main business with horses.  We feel blessed to have known Bayou and been a part of his life. We thank you for sharing your beautiful dog Bainbridge with us through her offspring.

Chet and Leigh Work.


Jasminie: Dr. Joe – It is with great sadness that I write to tell you that we put Jasmine to rest earlier this week.  Although diagnosed with a rare and very aggressive cancer, I am happy to say that with a great diet and natural supplements she lived pain free and swam right up until her last day.  She was an amazing dog, with a heart of gold.  Even with two other dogs in the house, the quiet is deafening as she was our storyteller and party girl!  From the day I picked her up at the Palm Beach airport until her last breath, we were blessed to have her in our lives even if it was for only 8 short years.  I know in my heart she’s already found new friends and is swimming freely until we meet again.  She will always be loved and never forgotten. While there's no way Jasmine can be replaced, we look forward to the day that another Bainbridge puppy (or 2!) will bless and enrich our lives. - Love, Cherry, Drago, Truffles and Coco


maggieMaggie: Dr. Demichael- This is the hardest letter I have ever had to write, which is why it has taken me 4 months to make myself do it. It is with great sadness, but many joyful memories, that I tell you that Bainbridge’s Sweetest Magnolia, “Maggie”, died from spleen cancer on Friday April 13th, 2012. She was born December 9th, 1999. When you sent Maggie to me, you told us that she was the only female of her litter and because of this you gave her extra attention. I believe that that extra attention made her the sweetest dog in the world. Every human and animal that ever met Maggie loved her instantly. You gave me one of the best companions I will ever have. She helped me through the pain of my divorce and added to all the adventures and memories that followed. 8 Years ago I was lucky enough to find a new partner, James, who brought with him a black lab named Belle. The four of us formed our own gang and never looked back. 5 Years ago we had the opportunity to move full time to the coast of North Carolina and purchased a house one block from the sound. It was here that Maggie retrieved an unfathomable number of tennis balls from the water, her favorite activity in the world. Our weekends revolved around taking “The Girls” out on their little flat bottom skiff and finding a shoal or some unoccupied beach where they could run and swim until they couldn’t do it anymore. The fact that Maggie got to spend almost half of her life at the coast brings me much joy because I know how much Maggie loved being in the water with her tennis ball- her big goof ball grin said it all. While I know that Maggie can never be replaced, we hope that the New Year holds a new little white girl from Bainbridge for us to spoil with affection and attention. Our family is just not the same without one. If she happens to be related to Maggie in some way that would make her even more special. We look forward to a drive to Kentucky to pick up our new addition! Memories of Maggie continue to bring us happiness. Thank you. Jule


charlieCharlie: Dear friends and family, With great sadness we put Charlie to rest yesterday at home in the back yard under her favorite tree. She was loved by everyone she met and Cindy and I are very proud parents. Her love was nothing short of remarkable till the very last moment. What a blessing to have learned so much from such a gentle, caring, and considerate being we called “lamb”. Our best friend is gone but she will always be in our hearts. It came to me that every time I lose a dog, they take a piece of my heart with them, and every new dog that comes into my life gifts me a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are. Alanna Chasin, aka The Dog Buddha.


Annie: I wanted to write and let you know that we let our beloved Annie go today. She didn't make it easy, with her bright brown eyes looking hopefully at us to the last. But those same eyes looked at us so apologetically with the frequent accidents in the house - completely out of character for her - and with the struggles she had in trying to rise from her bed or cross a stretch of hardwood floor. She was born March 9, 1998 and would have been 14 in a few weeks. It's hard to believe that the gentle lamb who took a last slow walk with us this morning is the same little girl who destroyed the woodwork in our first kitchen, ate an entire Easter basket, disappeared for three days trying to find our old house and so much other innocent mischief. She was with us through so many milestones: she celebrated our first "Annie"versary (thus her name) with us; welcomed and protected our two children; moved to our 'forever' house; grieved our losses and cheered our triumphs. Her presence is so poignantly gone from our home right now that we physically ache. But we let her go to spare her the increasing ache she was feeling each day. She could still do some things so well, but the medical and physical help she needed was only increasing. Living in Louisville, we see the occasional light-colored yellow lab out walking and I can't help asking the owner, "Hey, is that a Bainbridge Lab?" and we meet another cousin. Even though there's one fewer Bainbridge Lab on the walking path today, we look forward to welcoming another descendant into our lives, in time.


kadiKadi: It is with great sadness that I write to tell you of our dog, Kadi's passing.  She was a wonderfully sweet and highly energetic part of our family- she was the dog who ALWAYS saw the cup more than half full. She was always ready to greet you with a wag of her tail or big sloppy kisses. Unfortunately, this summer we found out she had bone cancer. Understanding we could not cure her, we at least wanted to give her every opportunity to continue to live her life and remain a part of our family, while maintaining the high quality of life she deserved. While we hoped  we could contain the poison in her body by amputating her front leg, we could not control it. After 7+ months post-amputation, the cancer appeared to have spread and we had to put her down this morning. It was a VERY difficult choice to make, as  we knew she still wanted to be here with us. But, Russell and I  could tell it was getting much more difficult for her to breath and she truly appeared uncomfortable (though she never once complained:)) Kadi,our beautiful white dog, will be missed by all who had the opportunity to meet her and receive one( or many--as they usually came rapid-fire) of her big wet kisses.  She brought us more than a decade of joy as we watched her mature from a playful  puppy into a playful bitch--always ready to fetch and dive to the bottom of our pool, run laps around the yard and play with newest addition, Chance.  Kadi would have been 11 in March.  Please help us honor her memory, by taking a second and thinking about something that makes you smile. She would like that, as I am sure you will too. Heidi


kobiKobi: Dr. Joe, My heart aches to write this letter but only seems right because of the tremendous love that shared our lives for 10 ½ yrs.  On January 7, 2012, we lost Kobi to cancer.  Though it seems like just yesterday he picked us to come home with; our gentle giant, Kobi, is now gone.  Through all of what life can bring, Kobi was there.  Whether frolicking in the snow, fitting five tennis balls in his mouth at one time, swimming in the lake, or lying next to our babies rooms; he was our rock, our home, our unconditional constant.  In so many ways he was human but we say he was more; so noble, so true.  I don’t think we will ever fully understand these beautiful souls; his magnificence leaves us in wonder. Our home seems so empty without the snoring at the edge of our bed, the drool down the side of the couch and the greeting when we come through the door.  He grew with us at every turn.  When our two children were born, it was as though he said, “come on boys, let’s live!”  We miss him so. Dr. Joe, thank you.  Kobi gave us some of the best times we ever had.


Palmer: It is with a heavy, sad heart that I write about the life of the greatest dog of all times. Our sweet Palmer, my “doghter”, was perfect in every way (except for the fact that there was only one of her and four of us). Palmer was a wedding gift to us in 2000 from Paula and Stuart Jay – Paloma’s parents. I remember driving our new puppy home from Lexington, and already thinking how sad it was that she wouldn’t be with us forever. During her 11 years in our family she gave us tremendous joy, companionship, and love. Palmer never missed a lake vacation, a trip to see the family, a walk through the park, a chance to hit golf balls with my husband, or playtime with our sons and neighbors. She had the sweetest face, softest ears, and more friends than anyone I know. It has been a very difficult month since she passed away suddenly from a splenic tumor. We are taking it day by day and missing her constantly. We know Palmer could never be replaced, but we look forward to one day welcoming a new Bainbridge puppy into our family.


paloma

Paloma: Our beloved four-legged daughter is no longer with us, but has joined the matriarch of the family, your Bainbridge. She had been feeling the effects of the aging process for awhile, but with love, patience, exercise, a special diet and 7 pills a day, she was able to carry on. Sadly, she had gotten to the point where she could no longer navigate steps by herself, wasn't as eager to go for walks and finally didn't want to get out of bed in the morning. She could barely stand up to eat without my help. I knew the dreaded time had come. Three days after her 14th birthday (98th in canine years), her doctor came to our house. I was lucky enough to have the time with her to tell her how much we loved her and what joy and happiness she had brought. I gave her a sedative an hour before the doctor came. He was very kind and caring. I held her in my arms as he administered two drugs. She died peacefully with grace and dignity. She was still so beautiful. Paloma transformed our lives. We have a million great stories and wonderful memories. Now we feel an incredible sadness and loneliness. Paloma will live forever in my heart, she is our forever dog. She meant so much to us. Thank you for bringing her into our lives.


buddy

A Buddy Story: Our 100 pound, male lab died in surgery on Tuesday night.  He had a tumor in his lungs we all believed was operable.  We did a lot of tests to confirm that it was.  But when the surgeon went in, the area was overwhelmed by tumor.  The surgeon was one of the best I’ve met and fought for hours trying to save Buddy.  Sometimes things don’t go the way you hope.

I’m up early, trying to write, to make sense of what happened, so quickly, so unexpectedly.  The morning sounds different without Buddy in the house.  I miss the jingle of his collar and his eager greeting.  “Hey, it’s been all night since I’ve seen you.  God, I love you!” he’d say when  he found me in my chair working and then he’d dip his big, block head, nuzzle into my leg, playful and affectionate. Read More


muggs

Muggs: We will miss Muggs with all our hearts and remember him filling our lives with the love of his own big heart from the moment he arrived, on December 3, 1998, on a Delta flight all the way from Lexington, KY. He was an angel puppy from the very beginning. And he loved to model for me, whether he was the subject or not. When the backdrop came down in the studio—he was ready—because he knew a treat would surely follow. And he did love treats—blueberries and melon for breakfast, an apple slice after lunch, perhaps a home-made dog biscuit at tea-time. He was smart as well as patient and kind—he understood much of what we said to him. Here he happily let Mom put on this silly hat for one of the Graphique de France cards for which he earned a quarterly check for his entire life. The caption they put on this card was—"Congratulations, now go fetch a job." Muggs thought his job was to brighten the lives of everyone who met him—and he did it very well. He also made us laugh a lot. Like when he would find the one part of the bed not covered by his special blanket and rearrange the pillows until they were just right. Two years ago he was still going on long walks with us and charging after the tennis ball that Bliss would hit up the hill behind the house every morning. Muggs would fly up the hill to retrieve the ball and bring it back, releasing it (reluctantly) so Bliss could hit it up the hill again. This photo was taken last week. The tumor on his back hip that we'd first noticed almost a year ago, had grown substantially (see the last photo) and finally ruptured just after Thanksgiving, the bleeding getting increasingly difficult to manage and making him ever weaker. Still our gentle, handsome boy. And ever curious ("I wonder what sort of treat she's going to give me?") These are the two last photos, from this morning, just before Muggs’ kind and caring veterinarian came to the house and we said good-bye. Good-bye Muggs, we will remember you always with love and as our dearest companion. Bliss and I made a contribution to the Peninsula Humane Society in Muggs' Memory. We hope it will help other people find a companion to bring them the sort of happiness Muggs brought into our lives.


sugieThe Serhan family said farewell to our beloved Sugie on 8 March 2011, one day prior to her 14th birthday. Sugie had a distinct personality that never will be replaced. We referred to her as the “sassy one,” Miss center-of-attention. She loved to snuggle, loved her couch by the fire while the family watched TV. She loved riding in the car and even toward the end with sore paws, stiff hips, and a slow gate; she would navigate her way to the car ramp with obvious excitement in her eyes knowing she was going for a ride with the family. She loved treats, had a great appetite, and loved swimming laps in our backyard pond followed by lounging on the patio to dry her fur in the warm sun. But, most of all, she loved being with the family. Sugie was more human than Lab and although she could not express herself in our terms, her eyes and mannerisms spoke volumes.

When we lost Lexi on December 31, 2009 (14 months earlier), Sugie sensed the loss and immediately began a subtle transformation. She was no longer the puppy, the loyal follower to her senior canine companion, Lexi. She now was alone, noticeably saddened, but as always very loyal and loving to her family. We Serhans always referred to Sugie and Lexi as “kids with fur” and we loved them as such and always will. It is difficult to express how much we miss them. We are blessed to have known them while they were with us - for their infinite love and devotion have helped to shape the destiny of our family. Thank you, Dr. Joe, for introducing the Serhans to two angels on earth who are now in heaven. It hurts to know they are gone but warms our hearts to recall the happy times they brought into our lives. Sincerely, Marv, Laurie, Anthony and Nicole Serhan


ivyIvy 1999-2011 Our sweet Ivy, born 12-12-99 left us to go back to her comfy bed in the clouds on 1-4-11.  Our life with her was filled with joy, trips together, beach days, squeaky ball, cuddling, endless walks and more love than can possibly be expressed. Dr. Demichael matched us with the perfect little lady to be our true companion.  We are eternally gratefully for her time with us and will see her again on Rainbow Bridge where all pets wait to take their owners over the bridge from earth to heaven.   We know she is up there enjoying many treats, playing in the waves, healthy and happy again:)  We miss you Ivy girl!!


sunnySunny 1997 - 2010 Dear Joe, My name is Sammy Goldstein. I just lost my best-friend Sunny. He was the best present I've ever gotten. Sunny was an amazing dog. It's been so hard to lose him. Sunny was born before I was, and I have lived my whole life with him by my side. I have never lost anyone important in my life before. I can't remember but I've seen photos of him on my parents' favorite couch nestling me when I was only a few weeks old. When Sunny was a baby, my family and I would play Crazy Sunny. Sunny would get very wet, and then run all around our backyard while my little brother and I tried to chase him. Some of my best memories are with Sunny. I got to see my baby videos recently, and there was not a shot that Sunny was not in. He was always there for you. Sometimes, when I would get discouraged about something that happened, and I wouldn't want to talk to my family about it, Sunny would always be by my side so I could put my face next to his and confess my troubles. I loved Sunny so infinitely much, he was truly a ball of fun. Thank you for our Sunny miracle. I'm sure he is looking at us from above (or wherever else dogs go) and panting. Not a "I'm so hot!" pant, but one of the happy pants I always see him do when he's joyful. Sunny would totally rock your socks off. -Samantha


quincyQuincy 2000-2009 When we decided to open our home to a dog, we researched until we found the best dogs around.  We ended up at Bainbridge and it was the best decision of our lives.  We drove down to meet our Quincy when she was a puppy and drove back again when she was 11 weeks old to take her home with us to Indiana.  From the day we brought her home she gave us nothing but joy and love.  She cryed the first night and that was it.  She was potty trained the first week and each week after she learned a new trick.  Her ability to understand our words was amazing and many people commented on how you could talk to her like a human and she understood.  She was big at 95 pounds but more gentle than most smaller dogs.  She was calm and easy from the very beginning.

She lived for her meals and treats and retrieving her squeeky toys until we were the ones worn out.  She loved long walks and runs which we did together every day.  She traveled with us wherever we could take her and was as well behaved away from our home.  What an easy dog she was!!

We had her for 8 1/2 years and although her life ended much too soon we can now look beyond our grief and smile at the memories of her.   She was the best and can never be replaced but we are now ready to open our home and hearts to another Bainbridge Lab!  In Quincy's memory we will welcome Maisy Mae to our home as soon as we can.

John and Vickie


moabMOAB (6/99 - 8/10) I am extremely sad to say that our beautiful Moab died today. I can't believe he is gone. He was the sweetest and gentlest dog.  We wil miss him terribly - he was the last of the 3 angel dogs.  Hopefully they are all together. Love Shelly, Jeff, Kade and Kenedy (PA)




lexiHi! My name is Sugar. When Dr. Joe sent me to southern California in 1996 to meet my new family, the Serhans, I did not know what to expect. Marv and Laurie Serhan met me at the San Diego airport and took me to my new home in Scripps Ranch where I met their nice children, Nicole and Anthony. They named me Sugar but now mainly call me “Sugie.” After getting accustomed to all that cool Kentucky grass back at Dr. Joe’s, I found California to be sunny and warm - 24/7/365. Then the Serhans introduced me to Lexi (also a Dr. Joe Lab) and she quickly became my new best friend and companion. From day one of my arrival at my new California home, Lexi took me in and treated me as if I was her own puppy. She cared for me, protected me from every danger, always made sure everything was ok, and literally placed my welfare before her own.  For example, on one occasion, in April of 1999, we had some rattlesnakes stop by for a visit to our back yard. They looked strange to me and made all kinds of frightening noises, but Lexi placed herself between me and those nasty snakes, and would not let me get close to them. She kept barking to let everyone know there was a problem. On another occasion after we had moved to Washington State, I was pretty sick after some surgery, and Lexi stayed with me all night to make me feel better. Now Lexi is gone, and I feel really sad. She was my best friend and I will always miss her. Lexi literally was the nicest, sweetest, most loving friend that any one could ever have. Life is not the same without her here for the Serhans or me. It hurts so bad not to have her here, and we all miss her so very much and always will! (1995 – 2009)


ellieEllie K. The girl with the "cashmere ears". Not only was she the most beautiful to look at, but she was the sweetest, kindest and happiest little spirit. Her giant brown eyes pooled with love and affection. Ellie was pure love and joy. She is missed! (1995-2010)




gunner and charlieJoe:  I hope this note finds you and all your family doing very well.  It’s taken me a little while to send this to you because I can’t believe I’m writing it.  It seems like just the other day that I met Bainbridge’s Kentucky Tail Gunner at the airport.  My wife and son waiting in the car, I rushed into O’Hare airport very, very concerned about the well being of this little puppy who was joining our family.  I frantically asked around to find the cargo delivery for Delta!  I rushed around the corner and checked in at the pick-up window certain that I was going to find a scared, shaken puppy traumatized by the flight from Kentucky.  In that moment, my life was forever changed by what I saw next.  At least 6 airline cargo workers came into view with smiles on their faces, sticking their fingers through the crate window and cooing at this little animal being carried toward me.  When they handed me my crate, I looked inside and saw his face.  Looking back up at me what this little white face with huge black eyes and nose.  Lying down, calm as could be and stretching out from what obviously was a very comfortable nap he had just taken was my Gunner.

I put my face to the crate and he began licking me through the door immediately.  I thanked the workers and rushed back out to the car to his waiting family.  Thus began our relationship with our best buddy and without question the most loyal, friendly, strong, and dedicated friend I have ever known.

I set out on a quest to be the best dog owner I could be.  Training, late night walks, early morning rising, and endless hours together created a bond between us that soon became unspoken.  We had such great fun with our new buddy.  Looking more like a polar bear than a dog, this little guy never ceased to turn heads and cause a commotion with adoring onlookers no matter where we went. 

Hundreds, maybe thousands of memories and pictures later, after years of children growing up, life changes, illnesses, and the other peaks and valleys that make up life, my one constant through it all was Gunner.
His brother, another pup from Isa and Zazu, Charlie arrived a few years later.  Charlie, like the rest of us instantly was attached to Gunner.  They literally never spent more than a few minutes apart from each other for the next 8 years.  Charlie’s loving intelligence matched with Gunner’s steady fortitude was a combination to beat.

Well, right to the end, they were together.  As I wrote to you earlier, Charlie left us this past November 6th.  Suddenly and sadly, we let Charlie go, his happy tail wagging right to the end. Gunner was there to make us feel better, selfless as always.  Finally, just 3 weeks later, after a steady decline beginning the day his brother passed, Gunner said goodbye and passed away on December 2, 2009. 

My two friends are together again, and are certainly together with all their brothers and sisters from Bainbridge again. 

Thank you, Joe.  For sharing Bainbridge and her beauty with all of us over the years.  Your puppies are wonderful gifts to all of us.  As I said earlier, my life has been forever changed by my two buddies who were my constant source of enjoyment, love, and companionship.

Here are a couple of pictures of the boys.  Take care, Joe.


shiroHi Joe, I got Maggie from you 15 years ago and had the most wonderful companion every day of her life!  I actually came to Lexington and picked her up with her sister Molly and brought them home.  Through you I met Sharon and Richard, who own Molly, and who have become two of my closest friends. While they didn’t live under the same roof, Maggie and Molly had each other to frolic in the waves at the beach, to hike in the mountains, to go to the dog park, to play, to share treats, to sleep and like all siblings to “fight” together. It was amazing to watch them run toward each other in recognition and joy.  

I thought it would take a long time before I could get another dog, but I am finding that the gift from her of being able to kiss her goodbye, tell her how much I love her and what joy she brought to my life, eased the pain and sadness.  With that connection now in my heart there is room for another Bainbridge Lab to join my world.  

You certainly picked just the right dog for me and I know you will again.  Maggie’s “dad” was Sugar Foot and her “mom” was Mercer Blanche.  Thank you for Bainbridge’s Majestic Maggie.  She was a beacon of light in my life! Laurie


shiroDear Dr. Joseph Demichael I am Kiyohiko Noguchi who owned Martha, the first girl of Shiro and Zazu. Martha was borned at Lake Yamanaka and 3 days later her photo was taken in front of Mt. Fuji , of which picture was listed on your home page. (Shiro was a Bainbridge Labrador born and raised in Kentucky who left to live in Japan with her owners Shuhei and Keiko. When fully grown, Shiro returned to her KY home to be bred to our male Zazu. Once diagnosed as pregnant, she returned to Japan to deliver her litter, which included Martha.) Since Martha came my home, everything was changed in my family. Martha was always together with us wherever we were. She was the center of our family. I myself Martha came back home directly from office , our family go to mountain or river instead of Dessny Land.. 10 years past,,,, suddenly parting came. Suddenly, on Sep-30 , 2009 , she has gone with same face without any suffering to Shiro s place. I could not solve my shock till now , but at the same time I thank Martha and you and Shuhei who gave me such a great pleasure and love. Shuhei told me Martha was very very special puppy of Shiros babies , and now I understood what it meant. Thanks again Dr. Joseph Demichael, and Shuhei who gave me such greart opportunity for me for my life. Thanks for lovely Martha. Kiyohiko Noguchi


baileyDear Dr DeMichael, We lost our beloved Bailey. She was just short of 15 years old. From the day she arrived she gave us her heart. She was with me through both pregnancies and embraced both my children when they arrived. Coming home to an empty house was startling. Her spirit permeates our home. Her love is still felt. She was my best friend. Adjusting to the loss has been difficult. We talk about her a lot keeping her memories close. We wonder what she would of thought of the new outside sofa. Mostly we are grateful for all the joy and love she gave us. We will miss her greatly. We are awaiting the arrival of an offspring from the mother of Bailey. We wait with anticipation of all the joy ahead and less of the grief we've experienced. Thank you for the joy you have given us.


ajaxAJAX
Sept 14, 1994 – Jan 10, 2009                                   

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep
I Pray the Lord my Soul to Keep……

After 14 ½ years, we said good bye to our dear friend and faithful companion, Ajax. From the first day we had him, he gave us his heart and soul. What he taught us about patience, loyalty and mostly unconditional love!!! And now, peace. How we should all strive for the standards he set!

He was a great guy with an incredible heart and love of life.  We already miss him for many reasons but most of all because he was just always there – the walks, car rides, boat trips, mountain hikes, and just laying at your feet while you worked at your desk.  Long before they could pronounce the words “mom” or “dad” our children could say Ajax.

He, and we, are blessed to have had a great life together with so many friends, neighbors, and family who loved him, took care of him, brought him back when he wandered into your house, yard, or swimming pool. To one and all, thank you for loving him – he loved you just the same.

We will never forget watching Layla, (our 2 1/2 year old neice) “serenading” him (over and over and over and over again) with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star during his last days when he was trying so hard to be brave; his buddy Sparky comforted him in his own way just the same.

Ajax, we know you can hear us. Thank you for all of the wonderful, lasting memories. May your new life be full of muddy meadows to run in, ponds and lakes to swim in, Colorado mountains to hike, Osa’s to play with and children to snuggle with and to tuck you in at night. You will forever be in our hearts.

We love you. Greg, Kathy and family, (TX).


clay and maddieDear Dr. Demichael: On September 18, 2008 our beloved Clay was suddenly and unexpectedly taken ill.  Within a few short minutes he was gone, never even a moment for us to say good bye to this incredible, wonderful dog.  From the moment we saw Clay, eight years ago, after the drive from Georgia to Kentucky, we knew we had been given a very special gift.  Clay was born an old soul.  He never had a “puppy stage” where a shoe was chewed or a hole was dug.  He knew instinctively his place was with me, resting on the bed when I needed to because of my arthritis, or walking slowly beside my husband.  Chasing a ball was done once, maybe twice and that was enough “dog play” for him, he knew he had other duties that were more important.  To say our hearts are broken would be to admit that words could even describe the emptiness and grief we feel, they can’t.  Clay was here for a reason and today I can say “well done Clay, your job is finished and you can rest now”.  In grateful and loving memory of our sweet Clay.  Andy and Jean Pomeroy, Macon, Georgia.


bellaOur beautiful Bella passed away in the comfort of her own home after a brief illness. Bella was known for her outgoing and affectionate manner, her partying ways, greeting everyone with a toy in her mouth and an invitation to get involved in some heavy petting. She brought us immeasurable joy and wisdom. Bella had the good fortune of enjoying a decade-long relationship with the handsome monsieur Beausoleil. She had a great sense of humour, yet knew immediately who in the room needed her attention and support. Thank you to everyone who treated her kindly and complimented her on her looks - she loved that! Patti and Peter (CAN)


cooperHi Joe, As much as we look forward to our new puppy and your help in picking just the right one for us, we are even more appreciative of the kindness you have shown us following Whidbey’s death in January.  He was born in 1995.  Sugarfoot was his father and the beloved Bainbridge was his mother.  We named him Whidbey to carry-on your tradition of naming your dogs after places in the Pacific Northwest.  Although we live in Los Angeles, we spent a month every summer on Whidbey Island, Washington while our children were growing up.  We thought it only fitting to name him after the next island over from Bainbridge Island, his mother’s namesake.  Not to mention a place where you practiced veterinary medicine (a year or two ago…).  The first summer following Whidbey’s arrival in our home, he flew back to Lexington to spend time with you, Bainbridge, and his sisters while we visited Whidbey Island for our annual vacation.  At the time, you told us that Whidbey was the only dog to come ‘home’ for a visit.  He was the kindest, sweetest dog we have ever owned.  Or, more accurately, he owned us.  Until he fell ill last year, he was the healthiest and happiest dog we have ever seen.  His only medical problem arose from wagging his tail so hard when we came home once, that he split the end of it!  When his time came to an end, we were all there with him.  As we cried, he picked-up his head one last time and looked at each of us as if to assure that everything was ok, then closed his eyes and was gone.  We still cry when we think of it.  We loved him. After much family debate, we have decided to name our new boy Cooper, after Coupeville, a town around the bay from Oak Harbor, your former home on Whidbey Island.  We can’t wait until Cooper comes home to us next month. Many thanks for the friendship and kindness you have shown us over the years, Mark and Patty - California


mercuryIt is very hard to put into words how much Mercury meant to us. From the moment we picked her up from the airport she became the center of our lives. Mercury was the sweetest, gentlest and most wonderful dog. We always said that she carried all the special spirits of our past pets, all rolled up into one incredible dog. The memories she leaves us with. of learning to swim, carrying around her toy hedgehog, morning kisses when we woke up, helping me make lunch every morning, to the gentle sound of her breathing while she slept, or her face in the window as she watched us leave for work, will never really replace the feel, sound and smell of her. But they will have to do.for last Saturday Mercury was taken from us. Our oldest son put it best when our German Shepard, Man-Dee, died many years ago. He told me he knew Man-Dee was asleep in God's lap. I know that Mercury is there as well. Mercury can never be replaced in our hearts, but has simply joined the other pets from our past.and we look forward to making room in our hearts for a new puppy. never to replace, simply to join. Good-bye, Mercury, we miss you very much! Love, mommy, daddy, Brandon and Danny.3/2008


beau soleil“Beau”, Bainbridge’s Beausoleil,
July 4, 1995 – January 12, 2007
Our beautiful boy Beau left us yesterday gently and sweetly.  As you may know Beau was diagnosed with  cancer just before Peter's 60th birthday. Talk about mixed blessings!  Beau had a great time in his last days. He has always thoroughly enjoyed Christmas and ripping his presents open.  He also sang Happy Birthday to Bella last week (his favourite song).  Just this Wednesday Beau enjoyed walks in the park with both Peter and Beau's good friend Elizabeth from Paws in High Park.  Both of them remarked on how much fun he had on the walks and he didn't seem to know or want to let on he was sick.  He even went so far as to "hump" the lovely Bella in our hallway.  Sadly, on Thursday things took a very sudden turn and he let Patti know it was his time to go.  He died in his own home yesterday, with Bella nearby and Patti and Dahla giving him lots of hugs and kisses from everyone.  We shall miss him madly probably as long as we live, but are so so grateful for the joy and lessons he brought us daily.  He was just an incredibly sweet (and did we mention handsome?) guy and we take solace in how great a life he had. Patti, Peter and Bella, Canada


haileyHailey was my heart. She was loving, sweet, smart, funny, gentle and a tender hearted girl. She was my best friend (next to my hubby). She would spoon me at night and then go down to the bottom of the bed to sleep. Your beautiful labs are not run of the mill, everyone she every met, loved her. I really never considered her a dog, but a little person. She new my every feeling. She just passed away, 13 years of a great life. I will always miss her, but will see her again at Rainbow Bridge. I am heart broken, but looking forward to a new incredible pup. Your labs are the best there are, there is just something special about them. Thank you for your special dogs. Michelle in Granada Hills, CA

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