Memories of Pine Cone
He was always there to greet us; always cheerful and playful; protective of Mom and a constant faithful companion. He never complained, even when pain overtook him. Faithful and true even as that great heart was stilled. I miss you so--your bark, your face and the look in those precious eyes. With time, and with God's grace, we will meet again. Until that day, my precious pup, may you run through fields of warm tall grass. May you always find cool water to quench your thirst, and tasty food to eat. May your toys be always near, and may our Good Lord hold you close. Run free, my friend! Run free!
It's been one year already, since our baby Pine Cone has been gone, but every day tears of one kind or another have been shed. It seems like yesterday that he was here.
As for me, I met him in dreams several years before we ever thought about getting a dog. I remember every single dream that Pine Cone was in. I consider Pine cone a spiritual animal due to these dreams. He also helped us--especially me during the times I was alone at night when my husband was at work; when our son was in Marine Corps Boot Camp and was then in Iraq at war. He always was with me when I was sick; he never left me. He knew I wanted him to get up without me saying a word or giving a body clue. I just thought, "I wish you could get up", and he would.
He got sad on walks if we came upon a dead animal's body, especially mice and birds; he'd hang his head and tail as if in mourning. He was also happy when he greeted you; he'd whimper and whistle and then bowl you over with kisses by jumping up to greet you.
When it snowed, he would plow the snow with his nose, eat snowballs, and jump straight up into the air, in a field of snow like foxes do. He looked SO funny! He was one of fourteen puppies and was bottle fed. Our cat, Temmoku (now deceased) sort of raised him--and he acted like a cat by preening and sitting on the back of the couch, looking out of the window.
During his last year he slowed down, turned white in the face and when I looked into his eyes, I knew something was wrong.
Then, on his last walk, he collapsed with a heart attack. After taking him to two different vets, we took him to an animal hospital's intensive care. While we were waiting there for the doctor to call, I fell asleep and had a dream. Pine Cone was in my face in the dream. He aid, "I am dying; I am going to die!" I woke up immediately.
One hour later, the doctor called and said that he had cancer--a large clot in his heart and in his spleen and liver. That afternoon on a rainy day, we all gathered and had to make a terrible decision. We could not take him home. The doctor told us that nothing could be done; he was suffering too greatly.
Our son, who we originally got him for, went in to Room #1, after we had tried tearfully to say our goodbyes. He stayed with Pine Cone until the very end; that is the way he wanted it.
Unfortunately, we had to cremate Pine Cone. We could not bury him at Ft. Lewis Animal Cemetery like we had wanted; it was the weekend.
Our baby's ashes sit in state, wrapped in one of his blankets that he loved, away from our new puppy, Ben. Someday, when we get some land, we will lay Pine Cone to rest. We will erect an engraved basaltic column over his resting place. It will be inscribed, "Here lies Pine Cone, Prince of Enumclaw, Prince of Wrinkleon, (he had wrinkles on his forehead, unlike any other Golden--very expressive!) Cone of Cones!" (All Golden Retrievers seem to love pine cones) Dog of Dogs. We will always love you, now and forever.
Also on this day last year, when we came back after making that terrible decision the coyotes in the field across the street sang like they never sang before. In the days following, all the dogs in the neighborhood were quiet and seemingly bowing their heads, as if in mourning.
We do hope that on our deathbeds, that we will hear his beautiful voice as we slip away, and see his gleaming body as we enter Heaven, there to greet us.
We will never forget you, our precious baby. Please don't forget us!
Jennifer and Eagle Tovar (Mommy and Daddy)
We have a new baby--his name's Ben; he, too, is a Golden Retriever. He's the direct opposite of Pine Cone in so many ways--but he acts like a baby, too--and he takes care of Mommy when I'm away.
Still, though, every now and then I'll pick up one of Pine Cone's toys and the pain comes back, along with the hole in my heart that will never be filled. Rest easy, my faithful friend--we'll meet again!
Yet another addition to the family...Sophie was received from a guy who said he had to sell her to move. She had a cyst on her head that had been there for all of her two years. We had it removed, and now the evidence (a scar) is almost gone. She is quite a lovely young lady--and we found that she is related to both Pine Cone and Ben!
We also moved...now we have a corral for them to run in--and run they do! They play and romp, and it puts a smile on my face. I picture Pine Cone there--how I wish that he could have had that land to run and play on!
Soon, we will plant a beautiful weeping cherry tree. There, we will finally place our boy--Pine Cone, along with the toys that he loved. There will he rest--and one day, in God's good time, we pray that we will be united again, all of us; to see that great, good, faithful friend again! I truly believe that we will meet again.
It has been said that time heals all wounds. In our case, the bleeding may stop--but there is a huge hole in our hearts still. I think sometimes that I have finally stopped grieving--but then I'll see his picture and remember the true, unconditional love that pets give and my heart turns to Jello once again. Yes, tears are still falling freely for our beloved dog. And I believe that they always will; and I also believe that for the precious lives of our families, close friends and our devoted, loyal pets that this is the way it should be.
Five years. It has been almost five years exactly since we said goodbye to our faithful friend. We have grown; we have moved out to the country to a place that Pine Cone would have loved. We now have THREE new babies--Ben, Sophie and Luke--all Goldens. They each have their own personality and they are so welcome as our loved ones and close family usually are--for they ARE faily, just like Pine Cone.
But it still hurts a bit when we remember our gorgeous, beautiful Pine Cone. We don't have too many human friends--although we are friendly and outgoing, have no trouble communicating or being neighborly, we are very upright people--you could say almost Quaker-like in our lifestyles. Our dogs, however, are our close companions and immediate guardians--they are my wife's companions and guards when I am gone. Still, we always remember our first--Pine Cone--and know that we can never repay or compensate for the unconditional love and loyalty that seem to be the exclusive domain of dogs--our companions and friends.
Still, I recognize that we must move on; I also know that it is fitting and well to cherish those who have been good to us. Thus, once in a while, I'll stop for a bit in a quiet place and remember fondly the companionship and friendship shown by our true "fur-baby"--Pine Cone. Rest well, my friend.
The pain that we feel when we lose someone or something that we cherish does not diminish with the years. It becomes easier to bear but the pain is still as strong as ever. And sometimes when circumstances are right it can still cut deeply.
I looked at the picture of our first golden baby, and the tears still flow. We, as humans, are frail and faulted creatures. God saw fit to bless us with dogs as our companions. Faithful, steadfast and true, they give us unconditional love and loyalty, caring for us regardless of our looks, our age, our financial status or our community standing. And in dogs, we see intelligence, love and compassion every time we gaze into those deep, soulful eyes.
We have three dogs now, all Goldens--Ben and Sophie, both from the same bloodline as Pine Cone. And Luke--just a bit smaller but compactly muscled and fast as lightning. We love all of them greatly, and deeply. But I will never forget our Pine Cone; our companion, my wife's guardian when I was not there, and my friend. If God blesses us, one day it will be our turn to cross that Rainbow Bridge. If I have been found worthy in God's sight, when I will cross that bridge I will see a big, golden, fluffy fellow waiting for me there.
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