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Posts from the ‘Loss of a Furry Family Member’ Category

Remembering Boo, 2001-2014

My friend Gina’s dog named Boo passed away peacefully over the weekend.  Boo, a Jack Russell Terrier, was full of energy and he loved his family dearly and Boo was able to spend thirteen wonderful years with his family full of love and joy.  I had the opportunity to photograph Boo, shown below.

It is never easy to lose a furry family member.  In some cases, it is more difficult to lose a furry family member than a human due to the special bond and relationship that we have with our animals.  Animals are such a tremendous part of our lives and they are always by our side.  The words below helped me when our Biscuit passed away.

“There is a cycle of love and death that shapes the lives of those who choose to travel in the company of animals.  It is a cycle unlike any other. To those who have never lived through its turnings or walked its rocky path, our willingness to give our hearts with full knowledge they will be broken seems incomprehensible.  Only we know how small a price we pay for what we receive; our grief, no matter how powerful it may be, is an insufficient measure of the joy we have been given.”

Suzanne Clothier

Gina, our hearts go out to you and your husband.  We know that this is a very difficult time.  We are sending you positive and healing thoughts, always.  Boo was a blessing and he will always be with you and he will live on in your hearts.




“Like archaeologists of the soul, we need to excavate our hidden depths to unearth the shards of the spirit, and then reassemble those fragments into a whole self.” ~Caroline Myss

My heart has been working really hard to let itself break when another piece of me wants to keep on pushing through.  It takes a lot of courage to let ourselves feel the pain of any given heartbreak, of any given misfortune.  I am trying to be brave.  I feel fortunate to have Doug, my rock and my beacon of light.

Because even in the dark I know this to be true — eventually hope rises up to meet us.  It cracks open our hearts to the light within ourselves waiting to be seen, to be born again.

Biscuit has been gone for a month today.  Doug and I are very much feeling the loss of our little Biscuit.  We both catch ourselves thinking that he is still here, expecting to see him.  Things are not the same without him.  It has only been a few weeks, but it feels like an eternity since we last saw him.  Biscuit was very integrated into our lives.  Each day we spend time talking about him and we tell each other how much we miss him.  There is not a day that goes by that Biscuit is not at the forefront of our thoughts.  We hope that Biscuit is having a grand time running and playing in a body free of sickness and pain; and we are hopeful that he is watching over us each day.  We know that Biscuit will send us the “right” sheltie friend.

I am grateful to have this blog and my photography — they are helpful to healing and providing an outlet for me.  Your comforting words, thoughtful gifts, and telephone calls have been very much appreciated.  We are so grateful that Biscuit touched so many lives, including our own.  Biscuit has had a tremendous and permanent impact on our hearts and lives.  Doug and I are so grateful to have met and shared our lives with Biscuit.

Below is Biscuit’s paw print (his left paw); and a photograph of Biscuit taken in Vermont this past May.  (Doug and I are still deciding how we are going to preserve and display Biscuit’s paw print).


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Honoring Biscuit: Special Books

This week our friend, Gina, sent us this unexpected and wonderful gift, shown below on the right — the book, Dog Heavenby Cynthia Rylant.  It is a wonderful book that is  also wonderfully illustrated.  I had not heard of this book before receiving it earlier this week.   Reading this book brought tears to my eyes.  This book discusses all that happens to our furry family members in Dog Heaven.  We love it.  Thank you, Gina for this thoughtful gift.

Here is one of my favorite passages from this book, Dog Heaven, “Dogs in Dog Heaven have almost always belonged to somebody on Earth and, of course, the gods remember this.  Heaven is full of memories.  So sometimes an angel will walk a dog back to Earth for a little visit and quietly, invisibly, the dog will sniff about his old backyard, will investigate the cat next door, will follow the child to school, will sit on the front porch and wait for the mail.  When he is satisfied that all is well, the dog will return to Heaven with the angel.”

I like the final passage from this book, Dog Heavensays, “They [dogs] will be there when old friends show up.  They will be there at the door.”

Biscuit is always welcome to come back to see us anytime; and when it is our time, we look forward to seeing Biscuit again when we show up to see him.

We also received some book recommendations from blog readers, shown below on the left — Mayas First Rose by Martin S. Kosins; and Little Dog Like You by Rosemary Sutcliff.  As such, Doug ordered these books for us to read.

In a nutshell, Mayas First Rose by Martin S. Kosins, is about a wonderfully moving chronicle of Martin (author) and Maya’s (furry family member) deep bond and it is a story that a person can relate to who has lost a treasured furry family member.

Another blog reader suggested reading  A Little Dog Like You by Rosemary Sutcliff.  This book is also about a deep bond between a human and a Chihuahua, while discussing the painful discrepancy between the life spans of dogs and humans.

I look forward to reading these books to help me with my healing process.  We are so grateful for the kindness and support that we have received during this time.  It is our hope that Biscuit and his story touched your lives in some way.  Thank you.


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Honoring Biscuit: A Special Commission

This week, we received a surprise in the mail!  To our great delight, we received a very special commission from an anonymous fan of Biscuit!  We received a beautiful custom painted stone of Biscuit, pictured below.  It is just beautiful.  Thank you so very much to the person who had this stone commissioned for us!  We love it and we do not have anything like this!  It is beautiful and it is a welcome addition to our home — thank you!  thank you!

I e-mailed Lisa Beth Carter, the owner of the Rock Art USA and the artist who made this custom painted stone of Biscuit shown below, to let her know that we loved the stone of Biscuit to paint the stone.  Lisa indicated that she used the image shown below of Biscuit.  (Lisa indicated that she reoriented Biscuit pictured in the photograph below to paint the stone.)

Thank you again to the person who sent us this truly unique and thoughtful gift in honor of our little Biscuit.  Doug and I are most grateful and thankful for your kindness and generosity.  We are so grateful for the fans of our little Biscuit and for your sincere support during this time.  Thank you.


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A custom painted stone of your furry family member makes a truly wonderful gift!  If you are interested in a commission, you can contact Lisa Beth Carter at and you may visit her website, Rock Art USA; and you can also visit her Facebook page.

Honoring Biscuit: A Colorado Blue Spruce

Over the weekend we received in the mail a baby Colorado blue spruce tree in honor of Biscuit.  It was a pleasant surprise to receive this piece of non-traditional mail that we were not expecting.  We consulted with a local nursery on how to appropriately plant this tree to ensure that it thrives — we do not want it to die.  Since Doug and I are currently in transition as we are waiting for our new forthcoming home to be finished being built, we planted this little tree in a pot to be kept inside our home, shown below.  Once we move to the new house, we will also frame and place one of our favorite photographs of our little Biscuit by this tree.  (Right now, most of our personal effects are packed away).  Additionally, once we move to the new house and when the time is right, we will eventually plant this little tree outside!  Each time we look at it, we think of our little Biscuit.

Doug is diligently monitoring, watering, and even talking to the little tree in Biscuit’s honor, shown below.  Doug has even coined this tree, “the little guy’s tree.”

Doug and I are currently discussing and working on ways that we will commemorate and honor our little Biscuit.  Thank you for your continued good thoughts and wishes.  We really appreciate it.  Thank you.


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Valerie Shaff: Honoring Rex

Since experiencing the great loss of Biscuit, many people have shared their stories with me.  I thought that the blog would be a nice forum to share these important stories.

My friend, Valerie Shaff, a photographer, whom I interviewed here, recently shared her story with me about her beloved Rhodesian Ridgeback, Rex, shown below.  Val shared with me her deep bond and unique relationship with Rex, since she learned about Biscuit’s passing.  Val truly understands the depths and unique relationships with furry family members.  Val was willing to share here how she honored Rex to help inspire others who share this difficult aspect of dog love.

Val photographed dogs for many years before inviting one to share her life.  Rex was offered to Val at the age of six weeks on a photo shoot.  After the photo shoot, Rex fell asleep in Val’s arms.  Rex was born without his ridgeback ridge, and he would have sold for considerably less money.  However, Rex’s breeder told Val that she could see that Rex would have an excellent home with Val.  Below is a photograph of Rex taken by Val on the first day she met Rex as a puppy.



Val lost Rex in 2012, after thirteen years together.  Val shared and sent photographs to me illustrating how she has honored, commemorated, and memorialized her beloved Rex.  I was very touched by Val’s openness and kindness, and I feel very fortunate.  As shown below, I believe what Val has done to commemorate and memorialize Rex is very touching.



Val framed one (of many) of her puppy photographs that she made of Rex that sits proudly on her mantle in her living room in her home.  Val wrote, “There too he gazes right back at me.  I will miss him for the rest of my life.  That’s just the way it is…but I can carry on.  We will have another dog.  I thank God everyday for the time that we had together.”



Val also wrote, “When I die I want to be cremated and have my ashes mixed with Rex’s ashes…I made a box of decoupage photos of him and his ashes (some of them) and his collar are in that box on my dresser.”

“They say time heals all wounds and here it is months later, almost a year, and I still miss my boy like he’s just gone.  I find consolation in remembering that he was no longer comfortable living in that body.  I find comfort in knowing that when it’s my time to go, I will somehow, in some way, be with him again.”

A photograph of the box Val made for Rex is shown below, which sits on Val’s dresser.  I thought this was a really beautiful and creative idea — one that I had not thought of before seeing this image below from Val.

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Val wrote, “Plant something for Biscuit too.  That helped me.  I planted a weeping willow…and yes, I go there and talk to him and shed a few tears, too.”

Val told me that she took some of Rex’s ashes and placed them at the tree roots when the tree was planted.  Below is an image of the beautiful weeping willow tree that Val planted for Rex.  I think that this is a really splendid idea, and I had also not thought of this idea until Val shared planting a tree to Rex — something very visible and accessible — a constant memorial and reminder of her beloved Rex.



I think what Val has done to commemorate and honor Rex is very heartfelt.  This gives us some ideas to consider as well.

Since Doug and I are currently in transition as we are waiting for our new home to be completed being built in the coming weeks, we had Biscuit’s body cremated.  Last week, we brought Biscuit’s ashes home.  I have not had the courage to actually view the ashes.  At this time, Doug and I are not sure what we are going to do with Biscuit’s ashes.  I am sure, in time, we will figure out what we would like to do with Biscuit’s ashes.  It will take some time.

Val wrote, “He [Rex] has been gone almost a year now and just last night I was crying over the missing feeling that still arises when I focus in and bring my bond with him into sharp focus.”  I can certainly relate to these feelings as I experience them often.

Val also wrote me, “They say the only way to heal a broken heart is to fall in love again.  There will never be another Biscuit.  There will never be another Rex.  But our hearts have been so deeply touched and open and we must continue to share our love where it is needed.  I know you need some time, but I know that you and Doug will have a new love before too long.  Think of it as another tribute to your love for Biscuit.  Try and remember that true love is eternal.  This much I know is true.”

I am sure, in time, as Doug wrote here, Biscuit, our first dog love, will send us another love, another Sheltie friend.

Please note that all photographs and images contained in this post are courtesy of Valerie Shaff.


Doug and I are truly grateful that we both were able to be at home with Biscuit as he transitioned to his next life.  Just minutes before Biscuit passed away, as he laid in my lap and in my arms, I noticed a white heart shape marking in his fur on the bottom portion of his neck, shown below.  Biscuit was shaved in this area from his recent surgery and we had not noticed this marking since his drain and his cone were both removed last week.  I am grateful for seeing this heart marking on Biscuit.  Perhaps it is a sign of Biscuit’s mutual love for us before he said good-bye for now.  We know Biscuit did everything he could to stay with us for as long as he did.  In fact, Biscuit’s strength was quite remarkable given his circumstances.  He was always a very persistent little guy.  At times, I think that he was stronger than us.

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched — they must be felt with the heart.” ~Hellen Keller

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Additionally, on the evening Biscuit passed away, Sunday, July 7, 2013, during the time of our usual evening walk with Biscuit, Doug and I witnessed on our walk together, a beautiful and breathtaking bright orange and pink sunset like no other sunset we had ever seen before.  Perhaps it was Biscuit telling us, in his own way, that he was OK and that we would be OK.  Doug and I also observed two rainbows during Biscuit’s final days.  (In retrospect, I wish that I had photographed this magnificent sunset; however, at the time, our emotions were very raw).

Further and very interesting, Carol Guth, who heads the Sheltie Haven Sheltie Rescue, Inc., the rescue organization where Biscuit resided prior to us rescuing and adopting him, shared with me that she saw double rainbows outside her home on the evening of Sunday, July 7, 2013, the day Biscuit passed away, which appeared just prior to sunset.   She was so moved by the rainbows that she photographed them and she sent me the images of the beautiful rainbows shown below.  We are very grateful that we received these rainbow images.  We have faith that Biscuit is waiting for us at the rainbow bridge.

We believe that these above observations and occurrences are positive and beneficial signs for all of us.

“I have been in Sorrow’s kitchen and licked out all the pots.  Then I have stood on the peaky mountain wrapped in rainbows, with a harp and a sword in my hands.” ~Zora Neale Hurston

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*The above images are courtesy of Carol GuthSheltie Haven Sheltie Rescue, Inc.

Biscuit: An Appreciation

Doug, Biscuit’s Daddy and my husband and partner is life, wrote a heartfelt appreciation letter to our little Biscuit, shown below.  Additionally, a few of my favorite photographs of Doug and Biscuit together accompany these exceptional words.  The final image, shown below, was taken on Biscuit’s first boat ride in Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia — one of Doug’s favorite images of our little Biscuit.  We both miss Biscuit very deeply.



I truly hoped this day would never come.  You have been gone for only a short time, but already it seems like an eternity.  I miss everything about you: the sound of your nails on the hardwood floor; your Sheltie stretch before a walk; your Sheltie shake after waking up from a nap; the way you seemed to fall over effortlessly for a belly rub.  But most of all I miss your amazing smile.  Your smile had transformative powers:  A single glimpse of it could turn a bad day into a good one or provide reassurance in a time of need.  Your trademark smile always began as a serious forward-looking stare; and then with perfect timing you turned your head to one side and opened your mouth, culminating in a full ear-to-ear smile.  Even on your last day, you managed a momentary smile, as if to tell us that everything will be OK.  I know that you are in a better place now; there is no more pain, no more doctor’s visits…no more restricted diets.  But most importantly, I want you to know how grateful I am to have met you and to have been part of your life.  A more loyal, honest friend does not exist; you are literally the best friend any person could ask for.

I will never forget the first day we met, Christmas Eve 2010.  I knew instantly that you were the perfect Sheltie.  You were simultaneously the most handsome and most sad dog I had ever seen.  You had been found a few months earlier wandering the streets, abandoned and severely malnourished.  When Carol opened the sliding glass door leading to her backyard, all but one of the Shelties ran out and started to play.  You were the sole hold-out, choosing instead to hide on Carol’s deck.  The story of our meeting is important because it demonstrates just how far you came in such a short amount of time.  On that Christmas Eve day, you were timid, shy, and riddled with anxiety.  The Biscuit of today hardly resembles the Sheltie I first met in rescue two and a half years ago.  Your fur coat thickened and changed color; you got your confidence back; you started to walk around the neighborhood with your head held high; you began to engage people and play with other dogs…and you became very persistent requesting more food.  Your transformation was extraordinary.  And your newfound happiness was obvious just by looking at your radiant smile and bright brown eyes.

Our time together was short, but filled with enough memories to last a lifetime.  I cannot possibly list everything here, but I wanted to share some of my fondest memories with you one last time.  We learned early that your favorite food was barbecue chicken and your favorite dessert was vanilla ice cream from Chick-Fil-A.  I don’t know how many trips we made to Andy Nelson’s or Mission BBQ for dinner, but I can assure you that the restaurant staff knew you as a regular.  I will never forget sharing Chick-Fil-A ice cream cups with you; or how you liked to stick your snout into the cup to get every last bit of ice cream.  You were always a good-sport, tolerating indignities such as a panda bear Halloween costume, reindeer antlers at Christmas, and seasonal Steven Van Zandt-like  bandannas.  You were adventurous and an excellent traveler: you visited five Orvis stores in four states, including the flagship store in Manchester, Vermont; you toured the LL Bean campus in Freeport, Maine; you visited your grandparents in Michigan and Ohio two times; and you spent two summer vacations in Nova Scotia.  In Canada, you enjoyed lazy days napping on the deck, tours around Halifax in your Hound-About, and evening runs on the beach.  In your mind, I think the specific destination was always secondary; the most important thing was simply spending time with us.  I couldn’t agree with you more.  Things will never be same without you.

Most of our adventures together have been documented on your blog.  But Biscuit’s Space is more than a website; it is a place where special dogs are given a second chance.  You are the inspiration, namesake, and living proof of the power of Biscuit’s Space.  I promise you that Biscuit’s Space will not end because you are gone, but will continue in your honor.  And when the time is right, I am sure that you will send us another Sheltie in need of a second chance just like you.

I miss you dearly.  Our time together was much too short, but I would not trade it for anything.  You will aways be the most handsome Sheltie I have ever seen.  I love you.  Please wait for us at the bridge….


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The Ordinary Things

“There is a sacredness in tears.  They are not the mark of weakness but of power.  They are messengers of overwhelming grief and of unspeakable love.” ~Washington Irving

Doug and I are missing Biscuit very much.  We especially miss the ordinary events and things that happen naturally throughout the course of a normal day together.  The toughest moments so far are when we come home, we anticipate that we will hear Biscuit’s nails hitting the hardwood floors as he comes walking out of the bedroom doing his sheltie stretch with a smile, happy to see us, ready for either a belly rub, a walk, or dinner — depending upon the time of day, Biscuit always let us know what he wanted and needed!

Whenever Doug and I left the house together, on the rare occasions when Biscuit did not (or could not) come with us, depending upon where we were going, we talked to him to reassure him know that we would be back shortly and not to worry.  Biscuit always wanted to be with us and his biggest fear and anxiety was being left somewhere without us!  Biscuit usually understood that we would be back to greet him soon, and he gladly went and took a nap on his bed in front of his fan in our bedroom.  However, sometimes, Biscuit wanted to come with us and he let us know this as he walked right up to the front door trying, with all his might, after we opened the front door slightly, to push through the slight opening of the front door leading to the outside to come with us!  There were times that Biscuit successfully meandered through the front door opening to the outside onto the front porch, and we then had to take him off the porch and put him in back in the house!  Other times, when we could, we modified our plans so that he could come with us and be included like he wanted.  It always broke our hearts when we were unable to take him with us.  He was a smart little sheltie!  However, we have many, many fond memories of taking Biscuit various places with us.  Biscuit accompanied us to countless places more often than not.

As I work at my computer at home, I anticipate looking down and seeing Biscuit by my side.  I wrote almost every blog post with Biscuit by my side.  He was also always by my side with me as I culled and edited photos; and when I worked on other things while at my desk.  I truly enjoyed our time together.  I loved that Biscuit always followed me around the house to be by my side.  I miss Biscuit by my side.

Our nighttime ritual is not the same; I miss how we all had a “tuck-in” ritual and Biscuit always gave me licks and kisses just before bed (these were the only times he showed this type of affection); and Doug always gave Biscuit a belly rub before bed; and, sometimes, if Biscuit was awake in the morning, before Doug left for work, he would give Biscuit a “tuck out” in the mornings — consisting of a belly rub and kind, comforting words.  Sometimes, when I took a bath before bed, Biscuit transited our bathroom waiting for me to come into the bedroom to begin our “tuck-in” ritual.  Biscuit always began sleeping on my side of the bed directly in front of my night stand.  Most mornings he was found in our bedroom sleeping on his Orvis bed atop his comfy duvet!  Biscuit always let us sleep in on the weekends, which was very nice!  Biscuit was always very routine oriented.  He knew how he liked it — a particular way!  (I can appreciate this quality!)

I also very much miss seeing Biscuit during the morning.  Doug always came into our bedroom to see us before leaving for work, and then I started to get ready for the day, and Biscuit and I had the same routine each morning.  He would immediately want his Greenie Pill Pockets, which was the only way he agreed to take his various medicines and supplements two times a day.  Biscuit transited the bathroom as I got ready each morning.  He patiently sat just outside the bathroom as I showered and dried my hair.  After I finished getting ready, we took our morning walk together.  I greatly enjoyed our time in the mornings together.  After our walks, Biscuit always came back into the house and sat by our coffee table in the living room and waited patiently for a few pieces of his prescription kibble — a treat and reward for going potty during his walk!  Again, Biscuit loved the routine and I came to love our routine as well, which became a fixture in our lives.

I also miss taking Biscuit with us to the new house.  This week was the first time our little Biscuit was not there to accompany us to the new house, which made us sad.  We do believe that after all those enjoyable trips to the new house, that Biscuit knew we were making a new home for all of us.  We know that he will still be there with us in the new house where his images will continue to adorn our home.

We also miss taking him to dinner with us as well.  With it being summer time, Biscuit came with us out to dinner quite often.  We enjoyed the spring and summer months because the outside temperatures would allow us to take Biscuit out to eat with us.  Doug always discovered and thought of interesting places to take Biscuit to keep Biscuit engaged, especially as we waited to move to our new home.

We also miss our daily walks together.  Our walks together was a time all three of us spent together outside reflecting on the day together.  Biscuit never complained about his arthritis and he was always happy to go on walks together as he led the way for us each day.  Doug was always an attentive Daddy to Biscuit as he kept track of Biscuit’s “poop schedule” to help prevent any accidents in the house!

These above items are only a few things we miss about Biscuit.  He really added so much joy to our lives.  Right now, it feels very different without him.  Doug and I have never experienced a loss as great as Biscuit.  Our relationship and bond with Biscuit was like no other.  Some truly can relate to this relationship, while others, who have never experienced such a relationship, do not understand and are unable to comprehend the depths and love of such a special and unique relationship.

I am reminded of the importance to be brave in sadness and to be brave in love — that we must sit with the wholeness of who we are and what we experience, that we must honor the beauty and the pain, that we can be sad yet grateful, angry yet compassionate, broken yet held in wholeness.  This is life.  This is what it means to show up.  This is what it means to live with an open heart where love and fear are adjacent companions.  This is what it means to honor every experience however heartbreaking.  To be brave in sadness; and to be brave in love.  I am trying to be brave.  Biscuit was always so brave and strong.

Doug and I do not have Pinterest (or Facebook) accounts; however, as we were recently going through the many photographs and videos of Biscuit at home, we learned that Biscuit is on Pinterest — what a happy surprise!  A small snapshot is shown below.  We are so happy that others fell in love with our little Biscuit via the blog and by meeting Biscuit in person!

Finally, per Carol Guth, who heads the Sheltie Haven Sheltie Rescue, Inc., the rescue organization where Biscuit resided prior to us rescuing and adopting him, donations have already been received by this rescue organization in Biscuit’s honor.  Thank you very much for your donations in honor of our little Biscuit.  It means the world to us. Thank you.  Thank you again for your kind, thoughtful, and heartfelt cards that you have sent; and thank you for your comforting words, which has been updated (and will continue to be updated) with your kind words since yesterday’s blog post.  Thank you.

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Comforting Words

Below is a sampling of the heartfelt, thoughtful, and comforting words we have received during this difficult time.  We know that there are others, like us, who have experienced the tremendous loss of their furry family member(s).  Thank you for your support.  Doug and I are very grateful for your kindness.

Someone recently shared with me during times like these, during periods of great loss, to continue to have faith because “with great love all is possible!”

Katie and Doug


Dear Doug and Katie,

I am so sorry to learn that Biscuit passed away today.  That makes me very sad.  I know you must be heartbroken.  There is such a loss after losing a special pet.  I know your memories of Biscuit will last forever.  How lucky you both were to share this friendship.



Dear Doug and Katie,

I am soooo sad and very sorry to hear about Biscuit.  It makes me cry.  And I know you will be crying for a long time, Nothing replaces your lovy.   Please know I am thinking of all of you.




Hi Katie,

Just learned that Biscuit passed away today.  I am so sorry & I know there is nothing I can say to make things any easier for you.  Wish I was there to just give you a hug.

You & Doug were the best thing that ever happened for Biscuit & you gave him a good life.  You took care of all his medical issues doing everything humanly possible for him & he thanks you so much for that.  He is at peace now & is not suffering anymore.  You, Doug & Biscuit will be together again.

Maybe in time you can offer your heart & home to another lucky dog.  I think Biscuit would like that & he would want to see you happy again.  I know how special he was & there will never be another Biscuit.

Don & I are going tonight to see fireworks, but I will give you a call one night this week.  If there is anything at all I can do please let me know.

Our hearts go out to you & Doug & you are both in our thoughts & prayers.

Love, Charmi


Hi Katie and Doug,

Just wanted to say hi and that Mom told me about Biscuit today at John and Linda’s.  He was a special dog and will be missed.  I know he meant a lot to you.  Keeping you in my thoughts during this difficult time.




I am so sorry Katie and Doug.  Biscuit touched so many in a short period of time.  Remember the fun and the joy and know this: all dogs go to heaven.  You will meet again.  Gina


Dear Katie and Doug,

Sandy and I were very sorry to read about Biscuit’s passing.  He obviously provided you with much joy, happiness; and you provide Biscuit with the same feelings and much love.  You helped a special animal, a dog, who might have missed out without your presence.  You will miss him, a wonderful and important part of your family!

Best Wishes,


Milo & Sandy

I am so very sorry to hear about Biscuit.  You have my deepest sympathies.  I know how much you love him and I am truly sorry you and Doug have to go through this.  I didn’t realize he was that sick.  You have my thoughts and prayers.  Let me know if you need anything.




Our hearts go out to you.  We are so sorry about Biscuit.  I read your blog this morning.  What a loving tribute to such a wonderful dog.  Yours and Doug’s love shines through in every line.  He was one lucky dog to have such a wonderful Momma and Daddy.

Only time will make the pain of losing Biscuit less intense.  His memory will be with you always….and you have some truly beautiful and wonderful memories of him and your time with him.

Know that we are here for you always.  We loved Biscuit very much and he will remain in our hearts forever and ever.  His photos will continue to grace our home.

Biscuit truly adored you both and his life was so much richer for having been rescued by you both.  He may no longer be with us physically, but his spirit and memory will live forever.

We love you dearly.  If you need anything, please let us know.

Love, Mom


Dear Katie and Doug,

Thank you for keeping me in Biscuit’s life.  I have never placed a sheltie who has been so venerated and love as Biscuit.  Thanks for bringing shelties to the public eye with your wonderful photos and contest winnings.  You are truly amazing.  Your tribute was awesome.

I know your house will be empty for a while.  Hopefully, when you move into the new house you will want a new start for everyone.  Maybe by Christmas there will be a new dog here that will need you as much as Biscuit did.  Please keep in touch even if it is not about Biscuit – we are still friends!

Carol and the Sheltie Gang

Sheltie Haven Sheltie Rescue, Inc.


Dear Katie & Doug,

I know words are lame at this time of terrible sorrow, but I hope it helps a little to know that others are thinking of you and remembering ever so fondly your little Biscuit.  May the time be swift until you can look back with more smiles than tears.  Love is all.  Keep giving it, even when you get hurt.  I am so very, very sorry for your loss.

Condolences & Hugs,




I am so sorry to hear about your loss.  You gave him a wonderful life and he was very very lucky to have found you and your husband. I wish you had gotten more time with him.

There’s nothing I can say or do to make it easier, I know, and the time it takes to heal takes too much time entirely.

I am so sorry.

If there is any way I can help, just let me know.




OMG…How are you?  How is your wife?  I am soo soo sorry to hear about Biscuit.  I know there are no words to express your grief, but please know that I am praying for strength for you and your family.  Take care and give your wife my love.




I was sad to hear the news of precious Biscuit.  What a fabulous dog that you rescued……….and after reading your blog……..he rescued you and Doug right back by sharing such an unconditional love.  The love, the looks, the “quirks” (which we all have but so much cuter in our animals), the gusto for little mundane things in life that might get overlooked if you had not shared them with Biscuit.  He grew into such a beautiful gentle dog and now an ever present spirit.  I know it is a struggle and the meltdowns will be replaced by more and more fond memories, stories, chuckles and banter about the best dog that shared and enriched your life in ways beyond compare!   Even some of the “crappy” stories become worth remembering and will make you laugh.   My heart feels for you……..  Hugs for Biscuit, you, and Doug.




I am so sorry to hear this news.

Biscuit was a very lucky dog to have had the devotion of both of you.  And you both were lucky to have had the good fortune of Biscuits walk with you for part of your journey through this life.  We all will miss Biscuit but know that he is in greener pastures and walks on his well deserved path through the heavens.



As I’m crying reading this word can not express how truly sorry I am that you lost Biscuit.  You guys both gave him the best. I know that you guys did everything you could do to make him happy and healthy.  Please let me know when I can talk to you both, I know you must still be very sad and upset so when you feel up to it.

With love and prayers,

Beth and Terena


Katie and Doug,

There is nothing I can say that you don’t already know.

You rescued Biscuit and he responded with a love unlike anything you have ever felt before.

Cherish those times with him.  Let the tears flow for they are tears of a deep and true love for one of God’s greatest creations.

He is happy and pain free now, playing and waiting at the Rainbow Bridge for the day that you are all together again.

You are in our thoughts and prayers, and Biscuit is forever in our memories.


John, Cathy, & Maggie


Hi Katie, I am very sorry to hear this news.  You must be very sad.  I was not expecting this so soon. Did you have any indication?  I’m glad you were with him when he passed.  Our hearts go out to you.  Kenji and I have both lost beloved pets.  I know it is not an easy thing to go through.  May all of your memories give you some comfort.  And know that Biscuit is at peace now, hopefully chasing clouds in doggy heaven.




I’m sorry to hear about biscuit’s passing….at least he was happy for the last few years and was well taken care of.  It didn’t sound like there was any more you and Doug could have done for him.




Words cannot express the sadness we feel upon hearing this news.

Biscuit was loved by all of us.    Thank God that he found you to spend the beautiful time he had on earth with.

Please do not hesitate to let us know if there is anything we can do. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Biscuit

With much love and sadness,

The Wilson family


I am sobbing.  He was such a Beautiful little doggie.  The way you loved him, stepping right into pet parenthood with such grace and deep devotion had touched me knowing what it is like, myself, to love a furkid.

I am going to lunch with my neighbor and got on here to print a restaurant coupon I have.  I just got finished putting on my makeup.

I have to go wash my face and try to put it back on again. But I can’t stop the tears, floodgates wide open.

With a very heavy heart, I am so sorry for your Loss.




I am so, so, so…..sorry to hear about biscuit.  I am very sad.  How are you and Doug doing?  Please hang in there and know that Biscuit is watching and his spirit is with you.




Hi Katherine:

I just saw your post about Biscuit and I wanted to write back to you personally.  Three years ago, we lost our beloved dog Charlie (he too was my muse for 12 years) so I know the heartbreak you are feeling.  I remember dreading the day that we would lose him and it was unexpected but regardless, you can never fully prepare yourself.  I wanted to let you know I think you really shared yourself with the public through your blog and all the writings you did about Biscuit and what he meant to you and your husband.  It was done very tastefully and you will always have all your writings and of course, images to look back on.

I had so many images of Charlie – everywhere I turned, there he was.  It took me awhile to be able to look at all those years of portraits, but now I look back on all of it, and we laugh about how crazy he was and the joy he gave us.  I also put my grief into a creating a sympathy book called Saying Goodbye, which I would like to send to you.  You won’t want to look at it right away, but over time, you might want to.  I found that I needed a creative outlet to put my grief, and I have no doubt that you will find a creative way to cope with your loss.

Again, I am so sorry for your loss.

Thinking of you, Kim



I’m so very sorry to hear about Biscuit’s passing.  I will be thinking about you and your husband.  I don’t know if it helps, but in my neighborhood we say that dogs like Biscuit “win doggie lotto” when they get to live in such a loving home as yours. I know that you all benefited greatly by being in each other’s lives.

Take good care during this difficult time.





I am so sorry to hear about Biscuit’s passing. Biscuit was so happy when he was with you guys; clearly evidenced by great pictures you took of him.  My heart goes out to you and Doug.  If you are around tonight or later this week, I’d like to give you a call.



What a beautiful tribute to Biscuit, this just shows how much love was given to him.  It is amazing how they become a member of our family.  Our Cocker, Andy, is now 13.  So many memories.  On June 17th I bumped our Andy with our van.  He is now recovering, with every other day trips to the vet for bandage changes (pretty much skinned him on his right side).  The vet says he is healing fantastic.  We love our animals like our kids.  God Bless.



Dear Katie and Doug,

I am SO SORRY that Biscuit passed away.  It is really tough for you even though you know he has health problems, but the day came too soon.  I really feel so sad and warm and fuzzy reading your story of your precious time with Biscuit. Biscuit had certainly influenced you so greatly that you got involved again with photography.

I hope the fantastic daily memories and trips with Biscuit will sustain you both in this time of grief.

I am thinking of you all and continue praying for you.




Dear Katie,

I’m truly sorry for your loss and hope that you find solace and peace in this time of grief. If there is anything that we can do, please let me know.  My prayers are with you and with Biscuit as he moves on.  I’ve have put him on our prayers list.

With Love,



Your relationship/companionship with Biscuit was extraordinary and makes you realize that there are some dogs, just as some people, who are very special in this world.  I hope and pray that energy carries Biscuit over into the next life or place that we go to.  The blog posts are very touching.

Dr. Hitt


I am so sorry Katie for the loss of Biscuit. Losing a pet is as difficult as losing any family member.  Animals are like children as they are innocent and to see them sick is just as heart-wrenching.  I hope you can find comfort in that he is no longer sick; and I believe that pets go someplace special, just like people when they pass on.  He is not truly gone.  He will always be in your hearts and I know he understands all of the love that you two gave him.  I think he was better traveled that I am, lol.  You brought him to so many amazing places and he was truly a part of your life. Your in my thoughts as you heal through this difficult time.



Hi, Katie (and Doug).  I have no perfect words to express how truly sad I am for both of you.  Biscuit brought both of you so much happiness and it hurts to know that he isn’t here any longer to do that.  The sentiments on your blog speak volumes to the incredible love Doug and you had for Biscuit.  I hope the pain of his passing diminishes little by little with each passing day and eventually the pain you feel now is replaced with all of the happy memories he gave to you.  I will make a donation in Biscuit’s memory to the rescue shelter within the next several days.

Keeping Doug and you in my heart and thoughts  …  Sandi


Dear Katie:

I read your email about Biscuit with tears in my eyes.  I am so very sorry that he passed away.  The pain and sorrow you feel right now will be with you for awhile, but, eventually your pain will lessen.  It helped me to realize that my dogs are still my dogs no matter where they are.  I believe I will be reunited with all my loved ones someday, including my pets.  I had a dream (vision?) one night before I fell asleep that my Dad was walking on a green hill with my dog Randy.  My Dad died many years before I got Randy and I hope this was a glimpse of heaven.

There is an artist Lara Harris that did a beautiful painting of the rainbow bridge.  (Studiolara316 on Etsy).  Are you familiar with that poem?  I think I may have Lara paint my dogs at the bridge sometime and I’ll try to send her link to you.  Now, it is even more important that I have a photo of Biscuit.  It will be my pleasure to honor his life in my home.

I’m here if you need someone to talk to or share stories about Biscuit with.

Take care, Sharon


Hi Katie,

I am so sorry to hear about Biscuit.  I cried tonight as I was catching up on your blog.   Your husband’s letter to Biscuit is very poignant.

The love that the three of you shared was very special and I know you’ll always remember him with love and joy.  Despite the pain you feel now, it will lessen with time.

Thank you for sharing him with the world as much as you did.  I have no doubt that he brought many, many smiles!

Please know that my thoughts are with you and your husband.

All the best,


Daily Dog Tag


Hi Katie,

Beautiful letter that Doug wrote.  Made me cry…he so encapsulated the bond that we have with our animals.

This is a hard time but it does get lighter even though it feels like it never will.  The happy times are what we remember with time.

I hope a little sheltie that needs your love will be directed to you both by Biscuit in his continuing travels.



My deepest sympathies I extend to you and Doug!  I know all too well the depth of loss of a four legged-friend. Yesterday would have been Rex’s 14th birthday had he not left us last September at a respectable age.  I was thinking all day about how in a mere 13 years of his full life, we forged such deep relations and though he had a full life span, the sadness of his absence from this earth seems sometimes unbearable.  Such is the price of true love and attachment…. Like you say, compensated by the indescribable joy.  Biscuit was one lucky fellow.  Thanks for your inspiration on all fronts.

Sending love!




to me, the silver linings are all the moments you spent with darling Biscuit.  you were so very blessed to have him in your lives, Katie, and the three of you experienced such a sharing of love and compassion.  the deeper the feelings and the attachment, the deeper the suffering.

loss of a loved one is considered a “true suffering” in Buddhism, with the point being that these kinds of sufferings are natural while we are ordinary beings.  as a Buddhist, you view it as incentive to do the work (study, meditation, etc.) to become an enlightened being (or at least become liberated yourself) so you don’t have to continue to experience.  but in the meantime, we’re destined to experience it if we allow ourselves to love and become attached.

so what’s the alternative?  I would rather love to my largest capacity and take the grief and suffering — like the most wonderful quote you had about choosing to love animal companions despite knowing it will likely cause grief at some point.  Buddhism wants you to not get too attached to any one being in order not to suffer, but we are who we are.  so we suffer.

Buddha says that the end of rising is falling; the end of coming is going; the end of life is death, etc.  all is impermanence — nothing stays the same.  death is reality.

for what it’s worth, my best advice is two things:

1) let yourselves grieve; cry, cry, cry or yell or whatever you need to do, whenever the need arises

2) BE THANKFUL.  it may not feel like it at the moment, but you have so much to be thankful for!  think of the many, many moments of joy you got to experience because this life touched yours.  be thankful that Biscuit found you — seriously, could he POSSIBLY have had two better parents?!?  (I think not!!!)  be thankful that the two of you did not have to leave HIM.  be thankful of what it did for your photography.  be thankful of the people it brought together through your blog.  I’m sure I could go on, but you get the point.  You were TRULY BLESSED to have him in your lives, Katie.  If he lived to be 16, he would still die too soon.  it was his karma and his time.

we have karmic connections though, so chances are you’ll meet him again, one way or the other, if that helps.

I really can’t say this enough:  I am so deeply, deeply sorry for your loss, Katie.

with love,



Dear Katie – This is a hard note to write.  Meeting you and Biscuit was a wonderful thing for me.  It was almost like having Major all over again.  Your notes and photos were so descriptive I felt I could almost feel Biscuit’s fur and look in his eyes.  You can’t help but be sad but later you will realize how lucky you were.  Most people never really know what it is to give and receive love   from a furry friend.  In Biscuit’s short life he had such an impact on many people and other dogs.  I don’t like the term “pet” – to me they are a family member.  Wouldn’t you rather have had Biscuit in your life and have to give him up than never have known him?  I understand how very hard it is.  I would cry at the mention of Major’s name and sometimes still do.  I was hoping Biscuit would get to move to the new house.  Thank you so much for the cards and pictures to remember him by.  What a beautiful boy he was.  After much thought I have decided the best thing I can do is make a donation to the Sheltie rescue in his name.   I will give you a call some evening soon.  I would love to stay in touch.  Biscuit can never be replaced but who knows maybe sometime down the line another little Sheltie in need of love will come into your life.

Wish I could give you a hug.

With love and sympathy, Pat


Dearest Katie and Doug,

I just learned tonight of Biscuit’s passing.

My heart is deeply touched and I can only imagine your loss.  You cared for him with love.  He brought meaning and comfort to yours.  He brightened your life and I believe many others.  Such a beautiful exchange.

I feel I know Biscuit.  His life was too short but so powerful and meaningful.  I loved to hear of his experiences and you so elegantly shared them.  Due to this, I felt I could see him even beyond his photographs.

My word could not be clearer.  I believe you will begin to see this precious Biscuit in all the animals you will come in contact with know from now on.  To love an animal as you have both have done is to love all animals with the same heart of knowledge of their vulnerability and their worth beyond human words or comparison.

Do know that all the good he brought to you and to others in this world is now his to receive.  We will perform a Phowa for him and to transfer his consciousness to the Pure land beyond suffering and pain.

Katie, let me know if a call would be meaningful I am happy to speak with you and have you share your experience.   It would be my privilege.  We have said prayers for his rebirth tonight here at the Meditation Center and will continue too.

May the blessing of all the Buddha’s rain down upon him and hold him and you deeply with the hook of their compassion.

With Love and Prayers,



Biscuit Orvis Beach