If you have been a member for more than a year, you probably know that I do a Memorial Christmas Tree for all the dogs, both alive and waiting at the bridge, every Christmas. I am a bit late in posting pictures this year, but the tree is here and standing in my family room right now. On the tree are decorations I have gathered on trips to save dogs, ones that people have sent, and many brass bells that have come to stand for each dog that has passed here and on the other lab forum. This year the bells just became too heavy for the branches of the tree, so they hang in various places around the house. I have lost count, but there are well over 400 bells now, each one with the name of a cherished companion etched in it face.
Because of the numbers and sheer weight of the bells, I have had to switch to mini bells from this summer on to memorialize the dogs that have passed.
As with most Christmas trees, there is an angel on top. Right beside the angel is the beautiful hand made decoration that Chris (Kassabella) made for me a few years ago. It is triangles sewn together to make a tree, and at each corner is a very tiny bell, some of which have names glued to them. There is one for my Maggy, and one for Kassa, as well as a few others. I will treasure this gift forever since it was made with love and came from Chris' heart. It will always be right there at the top.
Just below are a few of the ornaments for the dogs that have passed. Maggy, Hank, Bailey, Max, Murphy, Dear sweet Maddie, Diesel, Poppy and others are all there. Bailey always loved her rubber ducky
Maddie and a few of the miniature bells that made it on to the tree.
Laura's Boomer and Connie's Crash
Shaq and one of the special hand blown glass ornaments.
The Swarasky (sp) crystal cardinal from the ornament exchange this year, a hand blown purple heart, and as always, a few more bells.
I see all your smiling faces when I look at the tree and the bells. I know that you are here right next to me every day and are helping to guide me in the decisions I make and the dogs I place. I miss you all, and think of you often. Save me a spot on the shade, I will be coming home to be with you forever soon.
I'm Still Here
I stood by your bed last night; I came to have a peep.
I could see that you were crying, you found it hard to sleep.
I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear,
"It's me, I haven't left you, I'm well, I'm fine, and I'm here."
I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea,
you were thinking of the many times, your hands reached down to me.
I was with you at the shops today; your arms were getting sore.
I longed to take your parcels; I wish I could do more.
I was with you at my grave today; you tend it with such care.
I want to reassure you, that I'm not lying there.
I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key.
I gently put my paw on you; I smiled and said "it's me."
You looked so very tired, as you sank into a chair.
I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.
It's possible for me, to be so near you everyday.
To say to you with certainty, "I never went away."
You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew ... in the
stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.
The day is over... I smile and watch you yawning
and say "goodnight, God bless, I'll see you in the morning."
And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,
I'll rush across to greet you we'll be side by side once again.
I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.
Be patient, live your journey out ... then come home to be with me.
I know it is hard to see and hear about the ones that have passed. But I have come to think of all the dogs here on the forums as my very close friends as I think of you all. It is only fitting that they have a special place where everyone came remember them along with me. I hope you all enjoy the pictures and know that I am thinking of your pups all the time. Merry Christmas my friends, and sorry this is so late in coming.
Southwest Pennsylvania Retriever Rescue Organization or S.P.A.R.R.O. and Shades Of Grey Senior Sanctuary
A 501c3 Non Profit Organization.
Saving one dog will not change the world But, surely, for that one dog the world will change forever!
That made me want to cry and smile at the same time. How wonderful to remember our faithful friends. It is a beautiful tree!
Absolutely beautiful. Awesome.
The tree and the poem are beautiful.
Awesome Joe beautiful tree and poem, your such a wonderful guy.
Wonderful Joe. This bought tears. You are such a wonderful man to all our precious puppers.Merry Xmas and I hope 2008 is the best year for you and your pups.
The bells on the ornament are for you to put any name you wish on them. I put names on as examples.
Joe you are an amazing man
~Abby, Molly, and Penny (the honorary lab)
Beautiful Joe. I've never seen a more beautiful Christmas tree in my life.
that has got to be my favorite poem. i send it to friends whose furbabies have crossed over. thanks for sharing. nice job.
It's BEAUTIFUL ~ What a fabulous way to remember old friends.