Taking Our Best Memories Along Part III
With the sale of our house pending, the subject has come up of the bittersweetness of leaving behind a home where we have so many happy memories with so many pets. In the summer of 2014 I completed a project here that was very close to my heart – a memorial garden for all of those pets. I am sad to leave that behind, but I will be taking many parts of it with us, and creating a new garden at our new home.
This trellis holds a tag for each pet that lived with us at our current home but have since passed on. In this series I am sharing about each of those pets and how their memories tie in with our home.
When we left off in Part II….1999 was a rough year full of losses, but bringing new pets into our lives helped with the healing. Our cat Miss Bones (shared in Part I) was killed by our neighbor’s dog at the same time that our dog Shelby was undergoing cancer treatment. One of our other cats, Tasha, had disappeared never to be found before all of that. We knew Shelby would only be with us for so long, and we didn’t want our cat Don Juan to be left alone. Not long after Bones’ death, we headed to our local shelter to find another cat.
We selected Conrad from many cats at the shelter (you can read his story “Our Golden Boy” by clicking the link). Conrad was with us for 16 years, and many of his antics in his later years have been shared on this blog. He left us for the Rainbow Bridge in May of last year and knowing what a good long life he had with us is very comforting.
Shelby passed away in the summer, but I needed time before I was ready for another dog. Not long after my mother’s death in October, a stray cat started hanging around the store where my hubby and I both work. I always felt like my Mom sent him to us to give me a distraction from my grief. Franklin was not with us for long (you can read more of his story in my photo series “Black & White Kitties“); he had many health problems. We always felt good that we had basically given him a home in which to live out what was left of his life. Cancer ultimately took him the following year.
Around the same time that we took Franklin in, we found out about a litter of puppies that had been born and belonged to some customers at the store. We decided we were ready then and Maggie came home with us that Christmas. It was even more fun since my sister and her husband also adopted a dog from the same litter. It was fun to look through Maggie’s early photos, and at the same time see how our house looked back then, since it has been through so many changes over the years.
You can read more about Maggie’s life with us in my photo series part X, “Maggie May“. She was a very special dog, though her life with us was too short. I think I can honestly say that I have really never gotten over her death 12 years ago, I have just learned to live with it. On a brighter note, in my next entry in this series, I will share about how Maggie got a brother and we first became a multiple dog household!