As I was driving home yesterday, I was thinking about Emmett and how much has changed in the past year. One year ago, I said goodbye. One year ago, I sat 10 feet from where I am now with my head on his neck for the last time, while he sighed into my hands, too tired to even roll over for a belly rub. It was a bad day.

I was thinking about how, after he died, our house was the cleanest it had been in years. The tumbleweeds were gone- the ever present little hair balls that found their way into corners no matter how much we brushed or vacuumed. I would look around the tidy floors, and tear up because I missed those tumbleweeds.

And now we have them again, and I have Brody and Koa. I could play the whatif game inside my head all day- whatif Emmett didn’t die? Where would Brody be today? Would Koa still be in rescue? And then I remember, what might have happened, or could have happened, is all irrelevant. All that matters is what did happen.

The tumbleweeds are back, and yes they are different, but they are here, and I am happy.

As I sat at a stoplight mulling this over, a little puff of something- I don’t know what it was exactly, a small white feather or puff of fur- blew in through the open window, and danced in front of my face for a second or two. I grabbed for it, but it had already caught the eddy of wind and blew out the other side of the car. I am probably overthinking things to say that a wayward feather blowing into the car somehow represented an extremely profound moment, but it did.

Yes, it’s going to be a hard day today, but it is OK. Things are as they are supposed to be.

A little while back, I asked on Facebook if anyone would like to contribute a photo of a pet who has passed for a little project I was doing to mark this day. This is it. I hope I have honored them well.

Filed: Cancer sucks, Picks of the Litter Tagged: , ,
  • WEAK–I can’t view it overseas because it has copywritten music. Lamesauce–it’ll just have to wait a week. I saw that Stein is the first picture though–THANK YOU!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thinking about you…

    • I changed it to the vimeo upload- should work now.

  • Pat in east TN

    I can’t even watch it here.

  • wikith

    It’s not letting me view the video ๐Ÿ™ *hugs* to you on this difficult day.

    • OK, I think it’s fixed.

  • Very touching stoplight moment — signs from above! Can’t wait to see the video tribute — even though I have no doubt it will make me cry! Hugs to you on this difficult day.

  • Chile

    Poo, won’t let me see the video, says WMG blocked it due to copyright issues. ๐Ÿ™

    “And then I remember, what might have happened, or could have happened, is all irrelevant. All that matters is what did happen.” I’ll have to remember this. It’s so easy to play the Whatif game. And it can be a heartbreaker. After our emails yesterday, Blade came to hang out in my dreams last night. I sure do miss my boy as I know you miss yours. *hugs*

    • working now!

      • Chile

        ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m crying but I’m also smiling because of all the friends that Blade is surrounded by as well.

        The photo of Blade featured is actually my desktop photo on my Mac here at work. A huge beautiful smile to remind me to be happy.

        Thank you my dear friend.


  • Kim

    I’m in the US and can’t see the video. Either way, I was thinking about you during this time (I saw a porcupine who made me think of Wendell the Porcupine which of course made me think of Jugband Christmas which made me think of Emmett – straightforward, no?). It seems July is just a bad month, but you’re right – it is hard but it will be okay.

    • it’s fixed now, thanks to vimeo!

  • Tonya

    Well, my eyes were already watery this morning from allergies, so might as well have a little cry too. Emmett would be happy that you’re happy. He knows his place in your heart. I will be thinking of you and your menagerie today. It’s a tough day, but it sounds like you are in a good place with it.

    Just thinking about Emmett leads me to think of Shaq, my “Emmett” – if you will. But now I have Clyde, and while he’s a black Lab too, he’s definitely NOT Shaq. After 3 years with him, I think he and I are finally coming to an understanding that I can love him in addition to, not in place of, Shaq. And he can trust me that he has a forever home after being found on the street as a puppy and then being given up to a shelter after having a home for a while. His first 3 years were rough, but the last three have been good. I guess all that matters to him is what did happen too.

  • Megan

    I, Like everyone else, can’t view the video. Darn. I re-read your post about Emmett’s passing today though. It still made me cry like a baby much like it did last year. My thoughts are with you and your family today. I’m taking a moment to remember the very special doggies who have been in my life as well.

    • working now. I had a feeling YouTube would mess this up.

  • I was tearing up just thinking about this. The video worked for me…Oh, so sweet. Thinking about my yellow lab Hudson who left us 8 years ago. Hugs to you on this difficult day too.

  • Megumi

    Beautiful video, many hugs to you.

  • I could barely see it but not because it wasn’t working! Bawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwl!

    So hard knowing all these souls have moved on but good job Dr. V…..
    sigh, deep breaths!!

  • Lisa W

    Absolutely beautiful. And as I figured, I am crying at work after watching it. But I’m kind of facing a corner so it’s okay.

    I knew that today was the anniversary and I have of course been thinking of you. Thank you for including my Bailey in the tribute. I envision all of these beautiful babies sitting together and looking down at us, knowing how loved they were and are. Many hugs and much love to you as well as to Brody and Koa; they are the beneficiaries of Emmett’s legacy of love, which is also a marvelous tribute to him.

    • Lisa W

      BTW, awesome song choice as well. I listen to Eva Cassidy’s version when I am feeling especially close to Bailey…

  • Melissa

    A great tribute. I am thinking about my 2 dogs I lost 5 years ago and am now crying at my desk at work hoping none of my coworkers walk by ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing and hugs to you today

  • Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’m crying at work & having a hard time seeing the the monitor. Each time one of my fur kids, Sandy, Bianca, Willow, popped up it took my breath away. I’m sending this link to family. It’s a beautifully done video. I would love to post it on my blog with links to your blog. It’s a wonderful tribute to Emmett, and all who have gone over the the Rainbow Bridge. I’ll be thinking of you today, sending strength & love. and big sloppy Dane kisses from Xander.

  • My father just lost his pet this year (We had, had her since I was young) This video made me cry, but warmed my heart knowing that she too, could be with all those sweet loved pets.

  • macula_densa

    Made me cry at work. I’m sitting here trying to pretend like the sniffles are just allergies. ;-P

  • Great video! Your Emmett was my Baxter. I see bits of him in all of my dogs, especially Sophie, and sometimes even goofy Argos. Herman Roosevelt Quinn was the cat the all of my cats aspire to, and I see glimses of him in Barnie and the other kitties. I think it is their way of saying hello-everything is OK.

  • Shannon

    Absolutely beautiful and touching. That is my favorite version of ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’. I had wanted to send in a pic of Candi, but I don’t have a scanner – no digital pics, either. It will be 5 years in December, and I still think about her every single day. I like to think that she’s sitting with my Grandaddy, and he’s feeding her cheese sandwiches. They were attached at the hip. Hugs to you from Daisy and I on this tough day. ๐Ÿ™

  • Patricia

    Thanks for this. I just lost my best four-legged friend a couple of months ago, and at a friend’s suggestion, I’ve been following you ever since I learned of his cancer in 2009. You have no idea how much your words are comforting, sometimes in a world where some people don’t understand how a dog can sometimes be there for a person in a way that no other human being can. I hope it’s of comfort to you to know that Emmett is probably up there showing my guy, Early Boy, the ropes – where the best treats are, where the softest pillows are, and where the nicest spots are to sit and keep an eye on you and me from afar.

  • Great post and use of social media to both share and remember with others our friends that are no longer with us. Impressive blog! I will come back when I have more time to check it out in detail.

  • Hope

    The tumbleweeds. A house isn’t really a home without them. Luckily I’m at home today, so I was able to bawl freely. I share in everyone’s sadness and the fond memories of all those beautiful creatures from who we have been parted.

  • K

    WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Snuff snuff. That was so AWESOME. Taffy is probably up there telling Emmett all our dirty secrets about when we were kids and how she got away with peeing on the carpet every day of her life LOL. In honor of Emmett, buffy this morning ate my one plant (housewarming gift) that survived my black thumb. *Sigh* Big hugs. So grateful for the time we had together and looking forward to new friendships going forward.

  • Beautiful video ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m sorry your heart hurts- it’s hard, I know. I’m sorry.

  • Liz

    What a beautiful tribute. I am almost crying. My kitty and I are thinking of you at this time.

  • Stop with the making me cry, woman! Seriously, though … thanks for including Penelope Grace (my dal). She has been gone 6 years this summer, and we still miss her.

    Plus, she promised to send us the winning powerball numbers from the other side. So far? Nothing!

  • Heather

    I’m nearly crying now. sending lots of love and good thoughts your way. thank you for this. this gave me a chance to stop and remember my Tammy and Tiger. Tammy was the biggest goof of a Lab and Tiger was my wise old (even as a puppy) man-dog.

  • Tabitha

    Thank you so much for including my Mindy (the rat). On the weekend I fianlly was able to hang the degree she helped me earn over three years ago. It means so much to me.
    I am thinking of you today and everyone that lost a pet.

  • I would not be the person I am today without all the animals I have shared my life with. Thank you for a wonderful tribute to how special and unique our relationships are.

  • I’ve watched this 3 times already & still cry.

  • Thanks Dr. V, it was really a very touching video, and to see Ziggy and Noel up there with all the other beautiful pets people have lost… I’m gonna be showing it to everyone I know.

    Loss never gets easier, you just get used to it after a while. Hang in there during this difficult anniversary.

  • Oh boy, you had me crying on this one. So many sweet faces now in dog heaven. I automatically think of my childhood dog, Shandy, a black lab/greyhound mix who we had to put down 9 years ago due to lymphoma. It was the day after Thanksgiving and each year I think of her on that day. So yes, I agree, cancer sucks. Big time.

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful video. You honored everyone greatly.

  • What a remarkable way to honor such a beautiful life and companion. Thank you for doing Emmett and all the other sweet faces this service.

  • Cilantro

    Thanks for honoring my beautiful babies on your wonderful video. I was crying before I got to their picture, but after that it was all over.

  • Agustina

    What a wonderful, touching, heartbreaking video. I have not lost a pet yet, and still, I cried my eyes out while holding on to Blue, who watched the screen intently.

    When the video ended, I gave Blue a cookie and he was happy to do his nose-balancing trick, which I taught him right when Emmett passed in memory of him. In fact, the command we give is “Emmett.”

    Sending my love to all who lost a furbaby and who shared their beautiful faces with us. And an especially huge hug to you, Jess.

  • I think I’m going to run out of tissues.

  • Pikachu

    Oh My Dr V , I had to warch this several times because I couldnt stop crying . Its such a beautiful tribute. Huge hugs and kisses to you today.

  • Pauses4paws

    Oh Dr. V. This tribute is just SO beautiful and heart-wrenching and touching and….well….Wow! Thank you for sharing Emmett and all of these beauties with us in such a special way.

  • Jamie

    We have been on vacation and only had internet access through my phone, which wouldn’t play the video. So this morning is the first time I have had a chance to watch it. Thank you for including Chase in the video. It means the world to me, and I still miss him like crazy, every day. Wonderful video tribute, even if it made me teary eyed.

  • crazy weinerdog lady

    What was I thinking trying to watch this at work the other day??? I was relieving the receptionist at the FRONT DESK and tried to watch it up there. Sitting there BAWLING like a baby. I was crying WAY before it got to my Max and then I totally lost it!

  • Fiona

    I am a day late in watching because i wasnt home yesterday, but thank you SO much for this touching tribute. I am in tears, and seeing my sweet Gibby in this company made just a little of those tears happy ones. My heart goes out to all who so loved their legged ones, and a big thank you to you for doing such a wonderful thing. BIG HUGs for all

  • Spectacular video. Thanks so much for sharing it.

  • this is such a sweet sweet tribute to that precious lil boy. I can relate as I had to put my Mr. Zeus down last year in November, I found myself really really missing him today…then I found your site and your video. It’s going to be wonderful when we get to that bridge and find our precious fur babies waiting on us. Bless you!

  • I came here from “Will My Dog Hate Me”‘s website…I’ve just watched your tribute with my three pups, Big Mac, Molly & Moxie sitting at my feet and at my side and have been bawling from the first frame~with pups all around me trying to figure out what’s wrong with me ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Just a phenomenal tribute! I truly believe that “puff of fur” was real and had all the meaning you thought it did! I agree with Mark Twain….I want to go to the Heaven that my pups go to….
    Kelly & Crew