Middy, I can't believe you are gone. We knew you were ill and the lymphoma would take you from us. We just didn't think it would be so soon. You are half labrador retriever and half golden retriever and you had the best qualities from each. You loved everyone and were always so gentle with little children. We miss you so much. All of your favorite spots are so empty. In true retriever fashion, you loved your food. I always shared the last bite with you; your beautiful brown eyes were so accomplished at begging. You were so healthy until the lymphoma showed up, I guess we were hoping you would always be here. Nicholas misses you just as much as I do. I'm not sure we can ever fill the void of your absence. They truly did "break the mold" when you were born. I will be back to write more later. Just know how very much we loved you and how much you meant to us. I hope you are running in the sunshine, healthy and pain-free again. I only wish it could have happened when you were still here with us. We love you, baby girl.|
7/14/14 (Nick's message)
I will never forget you, baby girl. You will always be in my heart. You are the best dog a growing boy/college student could have. As my life moves on, I will always treasure the time we had and live knowing you are always watching. I am so, so sorry I was not there that final night, but I know you passed in the loving arms of my mom. I never was able to say good-bye, but I know you felt my love until the end and as you passed to the other side. My image of you is that of a young, healthy dog bounding through the meadows, happy as can be. Pain-free, worry-free, just missing us as we miss you. Whenever my time comes, I know you will be there, waiting to greet me, toy in mouth and tail wagging. I will always love you, Middy.
7/16/14 (Nick): Middy - Life moves on but it doesn't seem quite as bright without your kind-hearted spirit. I have looked at all the past photos documenting our time together, and they bring a smile to my face. We could never have enough time together. I am officially moving out of our house on 7/22 - but I am bringing your collar to remind me of your everlasting message - be kind and gentle, love everyone, be mean to no one. Your death also brought to me the harsh reality that life is short, and to live every day purposefully and happily. I know at the end I will see you again, but my job on Earth is not done. I know you will be watching over me as I live my life, waiting for the day you can come running to me happily with a toy so we can play fetch! I love you so much Middy, and a part of you will always live on in me.
7/20/14 (Nick): Well Middy, the time has come for a new chapter in my life to begin. It is terribly sad yet undeniably fitting that a new chapter to your existence began at the same time. I will never stop regretting the fact I never got to say my final good-bye to you, but I can only imagine how horrible it would have been to leave with you battling cancer, knowing that I would never see you again. You have made me reconsider my feelings on death, and I know that whatever death is, you have experienced it, and one day I will experience it - you made it through and so can I. Because of this, I no longer fear death as I once did. Now, I know to live life to the fullest, because life is short. And whenever death chooses to come to me, I know you will be there to help me through to the other side. I can't wait to feel your warm fur and happy doggie-kisses as we greet each other again, ready for our next adventure together.
As you know, I have been coming and going in the later years of your life, due to college and schooling far away. Now, I am done with that, and thus the time has come to leave my "mother's nest" and live my own life. It is an exciting yet somber time. However, my mom, my family, and you have taught me valuable lessons along the way, allowing me to be confident in my abilities to live a happy, fulfilling life, filled with doing good for others as a pharmacist. I am taking the last collar you wore, one of your toys, and a beautiful picture Gillian drew of you and me together. I will never forget you, Middy - these tokens are so others can see how much you meant to me, and to remind me of the lessons I learned from you. As my next chapter begins, I know you will always be watching over me, assuring I am happy as my adult life continues on. I know you are waiting patiently but eagerly so that we may all be re-united. I will always hold you close to my heart, Middy, and I will love you forever.
7/24/14 (Nick): Middy - I made it to Minneapolis to my new job and new place to live. I still think of you every night - it will be that way for a long time and I am ok with that - you deserve it. Your collar has a place of honor right next to our door - to remind me of the kind, gentle life you lead. It also reminds me to live every day to the fullest. It is great to be back with Leah and finally have time together where we don't have to say good-bye to each other every 2 weeks. I love our apartment, but I miss you and miss animals. I need something to love and take care of. Leah has a yellow lab named Bubba who reminds me of you. I loved petting him, but of course I wish it was you under my hands, feeling my love. I know you are up there, watching me, wanting the same. Don't ever think we have forgotten about you, baby girl dog, you will always be with my mom and myself, in our hearts. As time passes, our reunion date comes closer and closer. I love you always, Middy.
8/4/14 (Nick): Today was my first day at work, starting the new chapter I've been telling you about. It was enjoyable, but bittersweet. A day never goes by without me thinking about you, baby girl. You are always close to my heart - I wouldn't want any less. Your life was long but ended prematurely. I still wish I would have had just another few months to enjoy all the great times you would have provided. But, all things happen for a reason, and I take with me every day the joy you gave me. If only I could just have one extra day to go running with you in the park, playing fetch with your favorite toys, and cuddling with you at night. I would give up a lot for that one day. Then, at least, you could leave me with the understanding that we love each other so much, and nothing will separate us forever. As for now, my life continues as a pharmacist, and I will trudge on as things slowly get better. Time will heal some of my grief, but you will never be forgotten. Love you forever Middy
8/13/14 (Mom): Oh Middy, we lost you a month ago today. I still miss you so much and think of you every day. When I turn off the lights and go upstairs to bed, I still expect to hear your paw steps behind me. I still have trouble eating the last bite of anything, that was always your bite! Seems we shared almost all food, except the few items that you didn't like. When I get home, I always expect to see you, with a toy in your mouth and ready to go outside, when I open the garage door. I guess it will take time to get used to life without you. I wish you would have had an easier passing; I just didn't realize how sick you were. I guess we were hoping the prednisone would help you, like it did Simon. I just hope you realize how really special you were and how much we loved you; you were a part of our family. You were such a companion that I have thought of trying to get another dog. I have looked at rescues, so many big, black dogs need homes. Maybe someday, guess I am not quite ready yet. I came down the stairs a few days ago and Sophie was laying in the hallway. Only her dark tail was visible and for a minute, I thought it was you! Her tail is dark with fans, like yours. I hope there is a Rainbow Bridge and you are now cancer-free and able to run and enjoy life again. For your age, you were in such good shape. Your teeth were good and you had very little trouble with arthritis, etc. Without that darn cancer, you would still be here. Run free, little Middy, we will always love and miss you. No dog can ever take your place, you have your own spot safely tucked away in our hearts.
8/28/14 (Nick): I still think about you multiple times every day, little Middy. Still, my heart is heavy with grief. You were such a kind and gentle dog, I wish I could spend forever with you around. Any dogs I get in the future will have a tough time coming close to the perfection of you, Middy. I am so glad, at least, I was able to notice that cancer early so we could have another year with you. Yet, it was a terrible end, as cancer always is. My job is going well, and I have my own new toys (new computer, new TV) that keep me content but it is hard to be 100% happy until time heals my grief for you. Don't worry about me though, I have plenty going on in my life to keep me busy. I miss you so much, even though I am not at Mom's anymore. Before, when I was gone, I always knew you would be there to greet me when I returned to visit. But now I know that when I go back, something will be missing. I take solace in the fact that your life was so happy and you impacted my mom's life and my life in such positive ways that when your time came, we feel so sad. It speaks to your greatness. Know how much we care, and run free, enjoy whatever is on our next journey. I will always keep you close to my heart, Middy, and look forward to spending time with you again on the "other side." Love you, "Mooey-do."
9/24/14 (Nick): Tough day for me today, Middy. Although your life was great, your final hours were not. At the time, I know (and I hope you know) we were doing what we thought was best, but hindsight is 20-20 of course. If only we had put you down Friday. You still ate, you still played, you still loved, but something happened that Saturday night/Sunday morning that was unrecoverable. I could see in your eyes you still had life and wanted to live, so I do not regret our decision to wait, but I just feel terrible for the suffering you had to endure as a result. We knew we were going to take you in Monday to end your pain, but you beat us by one day. I hope that you knew we meant the best, and only wanted the best for you. Mom and I treasured you so dearly, little Middy. I still think of you every day, and your collar will always hold a place of honor in my home. I pass by it every time I leave my apartment, knowing a part of you is watching me, keeping me safe through my journey through life. Sadly, humans and dogs do not have the same time on Earth, but either way our journey here will end, and the next one will begin. Keep enjoying yourself in your next adventure, Middy, and know that we will always love and miss you, until we are finally re-united at our journey's end. Love you Middy - Nick.
11/1/14 (Nick): So many small things remind me of you, Middy. You are still in my thoughts daily. I gave a veterinarian a flu shot the other day, which of course reminded me of you and the many trips we took to the vet together. I find myself thinking of all the time I could have spent with you throughout the years. All the time you spent sleeping on the chair, when I could be petting you. It makes me really evaluate what I spend my time doing and the choices I make. I value family time and social time much more, as that time is limited. When you were young, time seemed limitless. I have stories from my 8th grade English project, when you were 3 or 4, about how awesome of a dog you were, how young you were, and how much we cared for you. And before I knew it, you were gone. I struggle to focus on the good times we had together, which I know you would like me to focus on, rather than the extra time we could have had. We knew it was soon, Middy, but the way you went was so sudden. I know I should remember all the good times - when Mom would bring you with her when she would pick me up from school, when we would go on walks around the neighborhood, when Angela and I took you to the park and you discovered you did NOT like swimming (that toy is probably still at the bottom of Lion's Club Pond), or when we used to play football together when we were young. I remember throwing the toy to myself, and you would always try to get it, and we would tackle each other. It was great fun. We both loved rough-housing every now and then. Your collar still hangs in a place of honor in my apartment, and will stay with me wherever I end up. I am hoping to get a new pet soon, I feel somewhat of a void that needs to be filled, plus so many dogs and cats need homes. We will talk again soon, Middy, and never forget that I will always love you and never let your memory fade. Run free, Middy, until next time.
12/12/14 (Nick): You are missed so much, baby doggy. I am so glad I have your collar by my front door, so I can touch it and remember you. I still have many sad nights and moments thinking of you. Slowly, I hope, all the happy moments will override the ultimate sadness of losing you. We had great times together - I still laugh when I remember how much we used to rough-house when we played football together. I remember how I won the licking contest, where Mom, Cinda, and I all laid on the ground to see who could stand being "lick-attacked" the longest. Good times, baby girl dog. You had a huge impact and my mom's life and my own. The impression you left on our hearts will never be gone. Mine will never fade. Your heart lives on in mine, Middy. I am going back home soon, to visit my mom and brother/his family. It will be sad to come home for the first time without that wagging tail, toy-in-mouth happy face I am used to. But, I am definitely looking forward to seeing everyone again. I will write to you again, I am sure, when I am back home. Stay happy for me, keep me safe, and know that our reunion will be grand and filled with happiness. Love you, until next time.
1/6/15 (Nick): Well Middy, I went home and saw my mom, brother, sister-in-law, and nieces. You always had fun with Kennedy and Gillian - I have some great pictures of you guys together. It was great to see my mom, especially, and spend time with her. I miss my family - I live too far away. You made me realize the value of the time spent with those you care about - it is truly priceless. A hard lesson to learn. The circle has completed and now I have your ashes and a bit of your fur. I am happy I have this to keep. You were still causing mischief in the airport - I had your ashes in my bag which went through security, and they mistook them for a powdery substance. I explained situation and it was alright. I thought you would find that funny. You were always easy-going. I think about you every day, Middy, and miss you greatly. I would give a great deal for one last day together, for that final good-bye we never had. I hope you know that, and also know how much I love you. I will see you later, baby doggie, I hope the meadows are gorgeous (much better than the cold, snowy winter we are having here!).
3/8/15 (Nick): Been a little longer than usual, baby doggie. I suppose that is a natural part of the healing process. I know you understand. I still miss you and think of you all the time, every day. My co-worker had to put her cat to sleep this week, and her daughter got to come home to that sadness after midterms at college. Although I did not get to say my final good-bye, at least we spent your last months together. I would have felt terrible to come home to a home without you. I feel for both of them - but at least the cat's passing was peaceful. She was around 14 years old. On a happier note, I was accepted into medical school so I begin that journey in July - very exciting! I am happy to be able to attend so I can learn how to help others live longer, happier lives and feel more fulfilled in my own life. At the pharmacy. many people come to the drive through with dogs, because we give them Milk-bones - it is really cute. I do get a bit sad though, because every time it reminds me of you. I have so much to remind me of you, Middy, which I am thankful for. I am thankful I had a dog to give me such great memories. But with great memories comes great sadness during the inevitable loss. One day, we will be re-united, Middy. Maybe it will seem like tomorrow for you. For now, continue frolicking in the meadows, and enjoy your freedom from pain.
7/13/15 (Nick): One year has passed, Middy. This time last year, I was sleeping in a tent at Devil's Tower with my family while you were spending your last night on Earth. As I have said so many times previously, I wish I could have been there to give you my love at the end. Cinda gave me a very cute picture of you and I together when you were young and full of energy. It embodies our relationship perfectly. I moved to Vermillion, SD this week to begin medical school. Hopefully, I will be able to provide patients with all the love and empathy everyone deserves. I will always keep the lessons you taught me close to my heart. Taking care of patients' pain and suffering at end-of-life. I hope whatever is across the Rainbow Bridge is everyone you want it to be, baby doggie. I am so sorry I was not there at the end, but I treasured every moment of life we shared. Time dulls the pain, but never completely lets it heal. I would never want it to completely heal, lest I lose anything of how much you meant to me. I love you, Middy - continue basking in sunlight and loving the afterlife. I will talk to you later.
7/13/17 (Nick): Middy, it has been three years since my mother and I lost you. Still, I have memories of you frequently and you bring a smile to my face when I am down. We truly had a great time together and I could not ask for a better companion growing up. You were gentle, loving, and kind. Looking back at all the pictures, it seems like only yesterday you were just a young puppy that I could hold in my arms. Everyone seems so much younger in those pictures. Time dulls the pain of your death, but know that you will never be forgotten. You still have a huge place in my heart and my home. Your collar still sits right beside my bed where I sleep every night. Your ashes still sit on my desk, next to where I spend many of my days and evenings studying up to be a doctor. Where your memories remain mirror where you spent your time in life. Although I cannot physically interact with you anymore (walks, toys, tug-of-war), your essence and memories live on in Mom and me. I am mowing her lawn this summer, and every day I remember mowing the lawn with you around. You loved to run in the back yard, sometimes getting grass all over you. Here's hoping you are enjoying such moments now, waiting for the time that my mother and I cross the Rainbow Bridge and get to join you in eternal peace. I love you Middy, now and forever.