This tribute goes out to Richard from Martha's Vineyard, MA. He sent in his Tribute story about Buster, his dear and loyal Jack Russell companion and Heart Dog. Thank you Richard for sharing your heart felt tribute. May Buster be forever with you in spirit.
A Dog and a Heart
Life has been interesting and an adventure for the last fourteen years, as it is now. The constant in all of that journey has been my Jack Russell Terrier, Buster. Now, I must find the joy and intensity of every day without him. I have never known one of God’s creatures that had more heart, courage, and devotion. His character was so pure and intense, there was no choice but to allow his world to join mine. He will always be with me because his unconditional love became so much a part of my life. This small tribute in grieving is an outpouring of the respect and gratitude he earned.
Buster's heart was broken when I picked him up abandoned at the rescue, and he came to know the truth of my heart. My heart was broken too, and I came to know the truth of his heart. Our bond was that we learned to believe our hearts again in the trusting and loving of each other. Since then we have traveled far and faced much together, but always with heart and courage.
Buster never cared where we were going, only that we were going. He never cared what we were doing, only that we were doing it together. He accepted nothing less than being my companion and went everywhere with me. My heart is too heavy to recount the stories and memories of my co-conspirator right now. I can only bear witness that there was not a day that he did not make me laugh, not a day that he did not made me feel love, and not a day that he did not renew my belief in a world worth exploring. There was not a day that I ever took these gifts for granted.
If you see an old man sitting alone on a park bench, don’t jump to judgement or unfair stereotypes. He may just be like me, a good man with heart and many stories to tell, and he still misses his constant canine companion no longer by his side.
It may seem that these feelings for a dog may be excessive in this world of distractions. Yet my awareness and gratitude for this valuable bond is something I wish to express, just as I do my belief in the truth of all the important bonds of friends and family that I hold dear. The connections with the animals God entrusts to us is a noble endeavor. Buster was a noble dog.
The house is not right tonight; a heartbeat is missing and a heart breaks. Some things can never pass. Our life well lived together will always be in who I am, and who I become… I am a lucky man. I would not trade one moment of our time together to ease this incredible grief. Thank you, Buster, Sun Dog, Funny Little Dog, Funny Big Dog. Funny Old Dog, and my friend. Thank you from my heart that you came to unconditionally trust and believe.
Thank you again Richard for your genuine and heartfelt expression of your love for Buster. Your Heart Dog Tribute is the epitome of the shared connection not only between each of us and our Heart Dog, but between all of us who grieve them. Today marks the 9-month anniversary of losing Maverick and your genuine and authentic words resonate deep in my heart.
Do you have a story to share about your Heart Dog? We are accepting Tribute stories and would be privileged to feature your beloved Heart Dog.
This is the Heart Dog story of Westie..the Westie! He is loved by Karine & Gay Hazan of Montreal. Westie was an adorable little critter filled with love and cuddles for his favourite people. He sadly passed away last year but not a day goes by he is not missed by those who love him. Thank you Karine & Gay for sharing your Heart Dog Tribute story!
When we got married I promised my husband that the day we had a backyard we could get a dog. Fast forward 3 years - we had just purchased and moved into our first home, a duplex, with a backyard. My husband, Gay, was quick to remind me of the promise I made. I retiterated the promise with one condition - the dog had to be a West Highland Terrier. Knowing that my husband wanted to adopt from the SPCA I was convinced we would not find a Westie anytime in the near future. Behold my surprise when one-month later my husband calls to let me know the SPCA does indeed have a Westie. That night, we went to see him and took him for walk. We were instantly smitten but decided to leave him at the SPCA to discuss it and think about it over the weekend. Deliberation didn't quite go as planned - my husband called me the very next day and told me he was on his way home with our new dog Westie :)
From that moment on our lives were changed forever. Westie became part of the family. Our parents were expecting Westie every Shabbat dinner. He enriched our lives in so many ways and during certain busy periods, he was the glue that kept us close. He made sure we were ready to be parents and once that moment came, it seemed as if he was ready to say goodbye. A month after my son was born we found out that Westie had an inoperable tumor at the base of his neck. He left 4 months after my son was born. The hardest part of saying goodbye to Westie was not being able to make him understand that we had to let him go for his own good. We buried him in a farm in Saint-Lazarre and we make a point of going to see him every year on the day we said goodbye, August 8th.
We loved and will always love Westie the Westie, our Heart Dog.
Westie loved food. It didn’t really matter what it was, he would jump up and try to snatch it out of our hands. We soon discovered that although he loved everything, he had a special place in his heart for cheese and sweet potatoes. Westie would sit at our feet, ears down, licking his chops waiting for us to share with him. He would let out a little yelp every so often to remind us that he was there waiting for his treat.
Westie also had a love for balls, but one ball in particular was his favourite - the “devil ball”. The ball was green and had two little vampire like ears sticking out and it squeaked. I work from home so when he would start playing with the ball all I would hear is squeaking for hours, hence the name “devil ball”.
Our favourite activity with Westie was going for walks. If my husband and I were home he wouldn’t leave the house with only one of us, it had to be the three of us. As it turns out, that stubbornness to be walked by both my husband and I was what made us connect as a family and talk about day, problems, future plans, etc. Westie was the one who made sure we had that special family moment, every day.
There are a few special moments that stick out. For starters, when coming back from our nightly walks, we would let Westie off his leash when we got to our street. As soon as we did this, he would start walking towards the house but always looked back to make sure we were right behind him.
Another special moment happened every day at around 5:30 pm when I would hear Westie jump off the couch, run to the front door, and wait for my husband to return from work. He would sit up and stare at the door for 15 minutes and then curl up against the front door until my husband made it home.
Simply cuddling on the weekend in the basement while watching a movie together was always special as well. We loved listening to his light breathing knowing it meant he felt comfortable and safe.
Lastly, Westie always loved to lie down on my stomach when we watched movies or took naps, but as soon as I was pregnant (even before I was showing), he started putting his head only on my stomach and not all of his body as he had done for 6 years. This perhaps was the most special of all moments because it showed just how intuitive and protective he was of me and my son.
Skills & Tricks
1) Westie knew how to moon walk. Whenever he wanted something he would back up a few feet sliding with his hind legs while moving his behind, that meant give it to me or else..lol.
2) Shabbat dinner, Friday night dinner, starts off with a prayer on the wine and a prayer for the bread. As soon as Westie would hear the start of the prayer he would run up to the person reciting the prayer, sit and wait patiently for the prayer to finish. As soon as it did, he would jump up for his piece of bread.
3) Westie was also very talented at doing a few tricks in a row, especially when it meant an extra special treat was the prize. Once we captured it on a video and created a home movie out of it (click 'play' below to check out Westie's amazing talents!)
Westie loved meeting other friendly dogs but one dog in particular he was really excited about, his girlfriend Zoey. Every time he would spot Zoey (a Golden Retriever), he would pull us towards her and start panting until he got close to her.
Unique quirks or other interesting tidbits
Westie would bump up and down his littl' butt and make these funny noises which always made us smile and laugh.
Would you like to share your Heart Dog Tribute story? It's a simple as filling out this form. It's an opportunity to reminisce and celebrate your Heart Dog. Whether they have passed or still with you, taking the opportunity to showcase all that you love of them will strengthen your bond and help create published memories to last a lifetime.
The bond you have with your Heart Dog is incredibly special. You have a unique connection that has perhaps, at times, made you wonder "What’s up with this?" This special bond you share is very normal - it simply means your fur baby is your canine soulmate (aka. "Heart Dog") Now you are ready to show your Heart Dog off to the world!
Here are 3 easy ways to let the world know you are a proud Heart Dog parent.
A few years ago Maverick was attacked by another dog while we were out for one of our usual walks. All he wanted to do was say hello - being his usual friendly self - and the dog went postal! This incident was a huge shocker to say the least! Luckily, Maverick was not physically harmed but he was shaken up, and so was I. Big time. That day made me realize I need to toughen up and make it clear that no one messes with my Heart Dog. So I found this sweater and wear it often in pride when we go out for walks. No further incidents have happened since then and I like to think the sweater definitely has something to do with it ;o)
Other than my awesome "Don't-Mess-With-Me" sweater, what I would really love to get is a Heart Dog specific t-shirt. Hmm...the ideas are beginning to formulate on how I can make this happen but if you know of a place that already makes them, I would love to hear about it!
We have all seen bumper stickers, signs, and various memorabilia from dog owners proudly displaying their beloved canine. My favourite signs are gifts from my brother – he tends to score an A+ in holiday gift giving. Anyone who knows me well knows any dog-related gift (specifically sheltie) is a surefire way to put a smile on my face and make my house feel even more like a home.
A newer option, thanks to my awesomely talented mom, Shirley, are cross-stitch tissue boxes. She has just started making them so they aren’t officially up for grabs yet but if you’d love one, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or comment to this blog and I’ll put you on the wait list. She also makes full-size boxes with a full profile picture of many dog breeds. I love seeing the one of a sheltie that looks just like Maverick every time I walk past it in my hallway.
Write About It
As I’m sure you know, this is my favourite way to brag about my Heart Dog, Maverick. You can read all about him here. Writing a Tribute for your Heart Dog is very cathartic. Whether your Heart Dog has passed away recently, a long time ago, or fortunately is still with you, it feels great to share with the world all the things you love about him or her. You can read some recent Tribute stories to see what it’s all about – Pebbles, Oliver, and Wynston have been our most recent Tribute posts.
To make it as easy as pie, I created a form so you can easily fill out your responses, hit send, and I’ll take it from there. No need to worry about grammar or spelling or making it “sound good”. I love writing and editing and will spruce it up for you. All that matters is that you share your heart felt Heart Dog story and tell us what makes your canine soulmate so special. Then you can sit back and enjoy seeing your Heart Dog be a star!
How do you show off your Heart Dog? Am I missing some great ideas? Please comment and share below.
Pebbles is a spunky Pomeranian Shitzu mix owned and loved by Amy Jevtic of Beamsville, Ontario. Pebbles sadly passed away this past summer - she will be forever loved and missed by all those she knew. Although I never met her, I had the pleasure of hearing her trademark bark & growl whenever I went to Amy's for aesthetic services. Thank you Amy for sharing your Heart Dog Tribute and helping reassure all Heart Dog moms/dads out there that they are not alone when dealing with the grief of their canine soulmate.
Almost 12 years ago I fell in love with my Pebbles. I was so excited when I brought her home only weighing 1.5 lbs. She was full of love and energy! The first year was training year, but as time went on she settled in to my routine. Eventually I started to work from home which was great for Pebbles. It was so nice to be home with her! She loved it too! She was my sidekick, my best friend really, and she never left my side through tough times I went through personally. She knew when I went through my separation from my first marriage. She literally kissed my tears away. I noticed she really knew when her mommy was sad. She helped me get through a very difficult time in my life and I will always be grateful for that! Over the years our bond just grew and grew.
This past March she was diagnosed with Cushing's Disease. I was devastated! I chose to medicate her and she needed constant blood work, but the vet bill wasn't an issue. I only wanted her to be as healthy as she could be considering she was over 11 years old. But as time went on she wasn't getting better, her breathing was getting worse. She was having breathing fits every day. I knew she was not herself as her health problems were taking over. It was unbearable to see her struggle to breath on a daily basis. I knew deep down there was another underlying issue. My vet said she may be full of cancer. He offered to dig deeper to find out what else is going on with her but whatever he found, chances are he wouldn't be able to treat her.
So I made the decision to say goodbye. I just couldn't put her through anymore suffering. With her breathing problems, I couldn't walk her and it was so bad she couldn't even go outside to pee as the heat affected her so badly. I felt it wasn't fair to her, since she loved to go outside. Friends told me I did a selfless act but my goodness it was the toughest decision of my life. Having to say goodbye to my best friend was devastating. Many thoughts of guilt were all I thought of in the beginning. How could I have done what I did?! Was it the right time? Maybe I should of waited!? I cried for weeks. I missed her so very much. We had our daily routine together; I was lost without her and struggled to know how I was going to go on without her.
I must say my husband, family and friends were all so understanding. They just let me cry and gave comfort to me. Not long after she was gone, Jodi told me about what a Heart Dog is. When she was telling me about it all I could do was think Pebbles was definitely my Heart Dog! It really has brought comfort knowing I'm not the only one who has suffered such a loss. I will say time does heal the heart, as it has only been 11 weeks since I said goodbye and each day gets a little bit easier. Yet not a day goes by where I don't think of her. I did make a special spot on my dresser for Pebbles ashes, my Heart Dog. Each morning I visit my special spot for her. I tell her how much I love and miss her so. I allow myself to grieve and cry when I needed to. So to all the Heart Dog moms and dads, please know you're not the only one missing your fur baby! And it's ok to grieve in which ever way you need!
Whenever I went away and would come home, she was just so happy to see me!! Jumping and barking for hugs and kisses!
She had three special dog friends that were my moms. Mocha and her had a very special bond. Pebbles would do whatever Mocha did! Also, she loved Tassie and Dolly. Mocha and Tassie are in heaven as well.
Pebbles always let herself known when a client came to the house - she would bark then growl at the same time...lol!
Do you share a special bond with your Heart Dog that you would like to share? If so, please complete our Tribute Template and be featured on Heart Dog Tribute!
Heart Dog Tribute is a place to offer support and celebration of our beloved Heart Dogs (aka canine soulmates). What better way to do it that submitting your very own Tribute story? Your Heart Dog(s) will be "paws"itively thrilled!
Here are the 5 Reasons to Share your Heart Dog Tribute:
1. To Honour Your Heart Dog
Your Heart Dog loves you as much as you love him (or her). The funny part is they may not realize they are the star of the show when published on Heart Dog Tribute but you'll know and will forever cherish your story being eternalized in their memory online.
2. Opportunity to Recall, Reflect, & Rejoice
The super cool thing about writing a Tribute is that it allows you to "paws" for a moment and truly reflect on all the things you already know are so special about your Heart Dog. Whether you are seeking solace or closure of their passing, or celebration of the life you have the fortune of continuing to share with them, writing a Tribute will offer the opportunity to contemplate and express all things you love about your Heart Dog.
3. So Simple to do!
Now that the Tribute questions are available on our online form, there is no more need to download the template and deal with any troubling tech issues. It's as easy as shake a paw :)
4. The Opportunity to Share with your Friends and Family
Writing a Tribute will help you express the special connection you and your canine soulmate share, which will make you feel every bit the proud parent you are. And what proud parent doesn't like to brag about their baby? Here's your chance! Once published, you can share your Heart Dog Tribute on Facebook, email, or any other social media platform you'd like!
5. Be part of our Growing Community!
Every day, Heart Dog Tribute is connecting with new canine-loving friends with one thing in common: we have experienced what it feels like to have a canine soulmate; all the love, joy, sadness, and despair that comes with it and we wouldn't give up a minute with our Heart Dog for any treat in the world. We also understand the value of celebrating this connection as much as the benefit of having a community to offer support in times of need.
How do I submit my Heart Dog Tribute?
First of all, know that all Heart Dogs qualify! No matter how old or young or if they are still with you or have passed. If your Heart Dog is a duo or trio, or another type of fur friend altogether, the unique bond you share is the only qualifying aspect of contributing your Tribute story.
So what are you waiting for? Click here to go straight to the Tribute form and submit your Tribute today!
Any question? Email me at email@example.com
How can this blog help you?
This website and blog originated from the experience of learning to let go of my beloved Heart Dog, Maverick. By sharing my story and offering the opportunity for you to share yours, I hope we can all truly celebrate their lives. pay tribute, and heal from the loss of our one true canine companion. I hope this website will also raise awareness of the meaning of a Heart Dog because it is a concept that is not largely understood.