Walked up the driveway like Rocky but wasn’t doing too well in the streets. Feral man. And I started putting out food. Well, you all know how that story goes. Two years later, I got him fixed up and adopted him into my home. We slowly became the very best of buddies. A unique and special bond. I loved him with all my heart, and he loved me the same back. Damn, I miss you, Black Cat. Sweet kisses, baby. To infinity and beyond. My beauty.
— Leanne M., December 2022
My sweet, precious girl came into my life when she was almost 4 years old, and we enjoyed over 13 years together, with a few gaps here and there. I was working early mornings at my local Starbucks and doing dog walks in the neighbourhood. It was through this that I was introduced to Ramona’s owner who was a student, and asked if I would walk her in the middle of the day, but this ended up being much more. Her owner was at school for long hours and I couldn’t see little Ramona being on her own for so long, often into the evenings. So, she became part of my walking group and she fitted right in.
We would spend endless hours exploring the beaches, parks and trails in Kitsilano, and she became a fixture. She would often spend overnights and weekends with us at our home, which became her second one. I would pick her up after work, which was early morning, and she would spend the day, often going home after dinner, in the evenings, just before her owner got home.
Ramona was a beach girl (and she could surf !), having been born in Costa Rica and spending the first few years there, giving birth to two puppies when she was about two years old. When Emma and Ramona returned to Canada, she lived in Ottawa with her parents before coming to Vancouver to university.
I have so many memories of Ramona, but some of the most memorable ones are of her at the beach, where she would run and play with her favourite stick, carrying it proudly as she ran and selected a spot to dig and bury it. She was a ferocious digger, and I often said she could dig a hole that any Rottweiler would be proud of! I recall one day at Jericho when I was enjoying the sun and looked around, wondering where she had gone. Then I saw a plume of sand flying up down the beach and discovered she had dug so deep she was down in the hole with her stick. I stood laughing so hard…. and I can visualize it to this day!
Ramona was a feisty girl, independent, but she had a soft side too. She was a therapy dog to my husband, who had major surgery, and when he came home, she would climb up on his chest and lay across his wound area as if to help heal his scar. This was truly amazing, I thought.
When Emma finished her dentistry at UBC, she got a job in Sechelt, and I got to visit Ramona there before she decided to return back East, to Ottawa, after a year. This was a very sad time for me, having to say farewell to our dear little friend, who was a part of our family.
We kept in touch, and she enjoyed a couple of visits back to Vancouver, and it was at one of these visits that she got to meet our rescue dog “Coco,” who is a chocolate brown colour, like Ramona, a cross between a Chihuahua, Dachshund and some Jack Russell. They got along OK and spent the last four years of Ramona’s life as “sisters” when we were asked to officially adopt Ramona when her owner could no longer keep her. How could I say no?
I recall that evening when I met her at the airport, opening her travel crate, and she jumped into my arms. My heart skipped a beat or two, I can tell you! When we got to our house, she got out of the car, ran up to the door, and when it was opened, she ran straight up the stairs without a backward glance. She was HOME…….
She fitted right into our lives and went on trips with us to motor racing events all around B.C. and into the USA. She remained active, and we had so many fun times, especially dressing up on special events, such as St. Patrick’s Day (her birthday), Easter, and Halloween when we all dressed up in a theme and were legendary in the neighbourhood. Ramona was a good girl “off-leash,” and when we reached the corner of our street, I would let her off, and she would run in her funny little skippy style down to our driveway and peel off and wait at the front door for Coco and me to get there. Coco had lost her sight to glaucoma, so she had to walk on a leash, and she would often bump into Ramona, who would just carry on and not get upset.
Ramona was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in the last month of her life and battled on till the end, walking independently and even having a beach morning in her last days. We had a coffee party for her on her last morning at our favourite coffee spot, Casereccio, and a whole lot of her doggy friends and their owners joined in the fun. She was very lively that day, she always liked a good party, and she had ham and chicken and treated galore! It was such a nice send-off for her. She had a last walk around the block with her little friend Gypsy, and my heart sank as he walked down the block towards the house for the last time and waited at the door, but she could not do the stairs anymore in her final weeks and waited to be carried up.
It was a glorious sunny afternoon when Dr. Jeff came to help her on her final earthly journey. He was so kind and gentle and respectful of my feelings, for which I am so grateful. And so we shared our last cuddle, and she slipped away peacefully as I looked into her wonderful, expressive eyes for the last time. She was privately cremated at “Until We Meet Again,” and her ashes are shared in an urn; we will scatter the others in her favourite places when we can all get together again.
I have put up a tribute to her on a big tree at the end of our driveway for all who pass by to see. And we share her farewell with you all below.
My farewell to everyone who knew me, from”RAMONA” ”
March 17th 2005 – Sept 27th 2022
(Aged 17 1/2)
I left this World, on the wings of Angels, in the arms of my best friend and Mum, Sue, and crossed the Rainbow Bridge on a glorious, sunny afternoon, Tuesday, September 27th, 2022.
Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free. I left behind some misery.
My days of youthful agility
Were no longer a possibility.
My weak joints and cloudy eyes,
were longing for the heavenly skies. Before I lost all my dignity,
You let me enter eternity.
Do not grieve for me.
You’ve set me free.
Just remember how I used to be……
Dogs come into our lives,
leave pawprints on our hearts, and we are forever changed.
Love, Sue, Gerry and your friend “Coco” -Sue P.
Chico, known in the neighbourhood as “Punky” because he was just like a little slice of pumpkin pie: delightful, a special treat, and spiced to perfection.
This little man knew how to be comfortable. Chico would swoon when wrapped up and warm in his favourite faux fur.
‘Punky’ loved to sleep in bed with his Mom. At only 2 kg, she was terrified of squashing him so surrounded him with pillows to keep him safe. One night he went missing, only to be discovered way over under his Mom’s pillow, trying to be closer to her. What a sweetie!
Forever remembered, forever loved💕
— Gaeron C, September 2022
We adopted Ashy she was already 13 and we were her 3rd home. The third time is a charm, as that was her retirement home! This bug brought us so much joy during her almost 6 years with us. She was one of a kind and truly the best kitty. When she was diagnosed with a terminal disease she was still a champ, still a love bug, but sadly it started taking a toll on her little body. Dr. Jennifer Boterf and the whole team at Lifting Stars were kind and compassionate, making such a difficult moment peaceful. As much as we miss her, I like to think Ashy is now chasing birds, napping at the best sunbeams she can find, and eating tuna in kitty heaven.
— Vania Pacheco, October 2022
We had to say goodbye to our fur baby Maxx on September 19, 2022. Maxx was an amazing cocker spaniel with a huge personality that we had so enjoyed over the years. He loved playing fetch, going for walks with his nose tight to the ground sniffing everything in his path, spending time in the kitchen hoping a tidbit of food would hit the floor, going on pet-friendly vacations, showing off his swimming skills, greeting everyone at the door with a bark, getting his squeak toys to squeak, always wanting to chase squirrels up trees, snuggling up with us to watch a movie, he was always a part of the signing of special cards to loved ones, spending time with his four legged cousins, and at the end of each and every day, cuddling in bed with us! We miss him and his energy dearly! Maxx, you were loved beyond what words can say and will live in our hearts forever.
— Shane & Carolyn, September 2022
Peaches came from a small town in Manitoba called Winnipegosis. Peach was the only kitten in her litter that purred and licked my finger whenever I picked her up. She was so tiny – she would lay on my lap and start falling asleep; it was so cute! I didn’t dare move an inch lest her sleep be disturbed. Despite my parents’ disapproval of a third pet, I brought Peaches home to Winnipeg and discovered (very audibly) during the ride how much she hated car rides. She still won the hearts of my parents, even with the hefty vet bill for her shots, spay, and ear mites. She also won over our dog Kacey, but unfortunately not our cat Sadey (not a surprise; Sadey didn’t like anyone!).
There was never a time that Peaches wasn’t purring. Her favourite spot to sleep was curled up on my chest or next to Kacey. She would always rub her face against mine or bump her head up to get a forehead kiss. By the age of 5, both Kacey and Sadey had passed, and we moved east to Milton, Ontario – eventually Oakville a year after. Peaches’ new friend in Ontario was a 6-year-old Siamese named Caesar – they didn’t get along at first but eventually learned to co-exist. For such a young cat, Peaches had some very bad teeth and ended up getting most of them pulled! With only six teeth left on her bottom-front jaw, her cuteness only increased due to the resulting ‘old-man-face’ she would now make involuntarily.
After Peaches turned 8, she said goodbye to Caesar as we left Ontario and moved to Burnaby, British Columbia, where we eventually found out that Peach had developed diabetes. The insulin injections, thankfully, only lasted a few months as she went into remission and was put on a strict vet-prescribed diet. Being on wet food and having barely any teeth did not stop Peaches, and she made it VERY well known throughout the household whenever she was hungry. Her meows turned into rhythmic ‘meow-hums’ when she scuttled along after me as I went to fetch her next meal.
She was an extremely playful and silly cat. She didn’t need any fancy or expensive cat toys; all she needed was a laser pointer or a piece of string, and she was entertained with no end in sight. During her 11th year, Peaches had a lump (benign) removed from her mouth; she mysteriously caught bronchitis and began suffering from chronic constipation. After a worrisome visit to the emergency, a new ingredient was added to her regular diet – stool softener! For a time, Peach was back to her plain-old, silly self, including her not knowing how to cover up her own poos in the litter box.
Around her 12th birthday, we adopted a new friend for Peaches to play with – a Pomsky puppy named Nova! Sadly, we thought we had many more years of Peaches in our lives, but Peach had developed an even bigger lump in her mouth which turned out to be OSCC. We were devastated to learn that we wouldn’t be able to save her as all the nearby oncology departments were back-logged, and the tumor had already spread into her jawbone. Peaches lived out the remainder of her days with her friend Nova and – with the help of strong painkillers – was able to enjoy being spoiled with treats and delicious foods she normally couldn’t have from her previous diabetes. She got all the extra pets and cuddles and loved being brushed.
Peaches was such a good kitty. We held her tiny paw as she left us, and we’ll never forget her. Even though she was only 12, she had traveled all over Canada, watched me go through three relationships, and helped me cope with the breakups as well as the deaths of loved ones. She was my anchor. I’m glad I was able to give her a life full of love and silliness. She’ll always be my little baby.
— Harrison & Hannah, September 2022