Nov 222014
 

Phoenix Emerald Bay California

Hi Daddy!

Oh my goodness your precious, delicate heart has been reeling the past 3 months. Now is a good time for me stop by.

I remember a few years back you played a song, “Pictures Of You” by The Cure and as I sat next to you. I asked you why did this song make you cry? You told me that one day it would epitomize me not being there. All you would have, was pictures of me.

Now is that time.

Thanksgiving has always been our favorite day of the year together! I watched you cook and waited for your mistakes. Remember our very first year together when the pumpkin pie with whipped cream fell onto the floor? The complete pandemonium of the two of us diving for it. You, to keep me from it and me, to devour it! We wound up in a whirlwind of wrestling for the dessert, both covered all over in it and then the best part. Laughing and embracing each other. The pie had become irrelevant to our love for each other.

It’s important as we always did over our 11 years, that we now give so many thanks for so many incredible things and people. To the friends who have been there to support you. That how strong you are within and surviving what, at one point, you thought you no longer could. I’m always here for you…

Phoenix, Golden Retriever

I need to address something with you that has troubled you deeply every minute of every day.

Why did this happen like it did?

Let’s back up to last Spring. Please always know how grateful I am to you that you chose the surgeries for me to defeat the cancer. I had so much life left in me to share with you and the outcome was a glorious victory. I would have let you know otherwise.

Phoenix, Golden Retriever

Then came this most amazing summer we had ever had together. Though you have always had a keen sense of self-awareness within yourself. That each day was priceless. Yet, then after beating cancer as I sat next to you, or walked with you or loved my daily rides in my Jeep with you. There was a heightened sense of time. That we both realized there were only a few years left. The hourglass had been turned over and now the sand was trickling down to that final conclusion.

The initial cancer never did return…I beat that crap. What I chose not to let you know was that an entirely different cancer had invaded my body.  One that would be unforgiving. One that I would not be able to defeat. So, why would there be any sense in worrying you about it? My energy was still super high and I was more active than I had ever been. What had built up on the inside of my body would burst regardless. So, I fought the good fight as long as I could for you. Then came our final weekend while unbeknownst to you.

I was so very happy. The music playing and on the road for yet another adventure. The sunroof open and love filling my heart. I only wanted to be with you…

Phoenix, Golden Retriever

We arrived at the cabin and you needed to pee so very badly. You had me stay in my Jeep for a minute then you heard a noise. A crackle. I didn’t bark or whimper a word. Yes…this weekend, this moment…was becoming clear. Out of the brush appeared a calling of beauty and quiet. A calling to me to allow a closure. My time was no longer in years, but hours. It was a beautiful moment wasn’t it?

Lake Davis, California Deer

It was time but I would fight through the next 48 hours for you…

Phoenix, Golden Retriever

Though I knew the time was very near. You had no way of knowing as you saw me eating normally and running like there was no tomorrow in the open fields on our road trip stops. Our last amazing trip together.

Phoenix, Golden Retriever

I wanted to feel that air on this Earth for my last few remaining hours as I knew I would not feel it again this way. Ever.

Phoenix, Golden Retriever

I had 24 hours left to go and you snapped one of your all time favorite pictures of me below here. I know it makes you cry but please keep this in your heart always. For me.

Phoenix, Golden Retriever

It was then I saw the perfect time to exit. Never to hurt you Daddy, but to make it as quick as possible. What we both always wanted was to be in a video together and this did the trick that Sunday night. I made my exit and collapsed seconds after this…

The rest as you and I know happened very quickly and I can assure you as my body was dying that I was in no pain. I could no longer play with my tennis ball as you took this last picture moments before it was time for me to leave Earth. You held me tight, kissed me on the lips once last time and pleaded with all your heart that I would always look upon you. There was never a doubt about that my dear Daddy…

Phoenix Final Minutes

And then one of your deepest secrets that you have never shared with a single living soul in your life.

Ever.

Became your reality.

Not addressing Death.

At 18 years old you jumped into a life as an emergency first responder. On into your 20’s you continued and added being a medic on an ambulance. Seeing men, women and children die in your grasp. Car accidents. A charter plane crash that killed over 70 people. Suicides. Gunshots. You contacted the families afterwards even though you were not supposed to. So that you could check on them and make sure they were ok. Yet, you would not feel. Loss.

Self-preservation.

Add your past in and you put up an impenetrable wall to life’s final conclusion. To your mom, dad, grandparents and friends. You would never feel Death. Ever.

Until mine.

Now it was real. Where it could truly touch you. This would hurt you where you never allowed to be touched.

Reality came crashing down upon you. It is real. It hurts. And finally you could not hide from it anymore. In an odd way I give thanks for that. Because now you truly feel how fragile life is. There is no promise of tomorrow. Only of the moment you live in. Today.

All of this, Daddy…you have overcome. I’m so very proud of you. Most of all…be proud of yourself. Every day.

Phoenix, Golden Retriever

The moment occurred where I transitioned from this Earth to a new place. As you walked out of the vet’s office it was a crystal clear blue sky except for 2 powerful cloud formations directly above. As you cried hysterically there was a rapturous clap of thunder. A lady walking nearby looked up into the sky as you did and she said, “That is the strangest thing I’ve ever seen.” The clouds then dispersed and vanished as quickly as they appeared.

That was me, Daddy.

I watched you driving home. Alone. Alone for the first time in 11 years.

Without me.

I so desperately wanted to help you but I could not. This is how it had to be. That late afternoon a telephone repairmen was at your house digging up a neighborhood router to several adjoining houses. Your internet connection had been lost and you heard a noise so you went out to investigate in your lost state of mind. You talked to this man for a bit then you both saw something occur. You both had no idea what caused your heads to turn but you saw a golden dog running down the middle of the street. All of a sudden there was no traffic. There was no sound. Just this golden dog running like no tomorrow. He glanced over at the two of you in stride then continued on down the long street until he was out of sight.

The telephone repairman commented, “That is bizarre. I have never seen anything like that ever in my life.”

You decide.

Oh please let Elizabeth next door know that I am doing great. I know she has cried many, many nights over these past 3 months looking for me. She and I grew up together and I know this has been especially hard on her.

Phoenix and Elizabeth Blog

Then things were momentarily fuzzy and quickly became incredible calm. I felt no sadness. No worry. I was filled with joy and of a new journey that was about to unfold.

Next thing I know I’m being greeted by an older man dressed all in white. His eyes looked upon me with a very soft kindness. For my comfort he had a ball cap on. Wow, this would be God!

He kneeled down to pet my head and I just couldn’t resist. I stole God’s ball cap! LOL!

Phoenix, Golden Retriever

It was pointed out to me that it was probably not the best choice of action and gave it back to him.

I know you have been hurting so terribly. That of which tears at your soul. Our’s was a very unique relationship that was actually born out of your childhood. What you have overcome in life and conquered despite the numerous obstacles put in front of you and not chosen by you is beyond admirable.

I loved you right from the start feeling your arms wrapped around me and your strong hands gently keeping me secure in your grasp and heart forever. You would protect me always. And me…you.

Phoenix, Golden Retriever

I’m deeply grateful for all of your amazing friends who have circled the wagons and been there for you. I was thankful that a support group had been put in place a long time ago. I am incredibly thankful to them on this Thanksgiving for you.

You were surprised at the overflowing amount of love that was sent your way. You asked one of your closest buddies, this man who is the least touchy-feeling person in your life, what was it about you and me that people gravitated towards. He sent you this note:

Partly. I think for your readers. It’s like falling in love with a great movie or book. You fall in love with the characters without really knowing them. But you feel like you do through the writing. For those who know you but not Phoenix. They have a better understanding of the relationship. Your intense feelings for him. Some people don’t have that much devotion to their spouse. For those that are in the circle. They know. They know the bond and feel the heartache with and for you. Wouldn’t have mattered if it was your wife, child or pup. We know the bond and feel for you.

I appreciate and give thanks that you have continued to fill my water bowl. I can assure you I will not be drinking out of it again.

I loved being so very close to you and having you read the book Racing In The Rain to me over and over…

Phoenix, Golden Retriever

It is endearing that you have put a treat out for me in the hopes that I would magically appear. Please know I will not be appearing. But hey, wouldn’t that freak you out if the treat was eaten? Ha, ha! I would never do that you.

You desperately miss my physical touch that always calmed you. That will forever be a gift to you that I no longer can give. I’m sorry…

Phoenix, Golden Retriever

Know that there is never a timeline or proper manner for anyone to mourn. Please don’t beat yourself up over that. There is no “moving on” or “time to get over it” when it comes to true love. Continue to take one step forward each day at whatever pace you wish. You are always right and perfect in my heart. You have so many life aspirations that you wish for. Remind yourself always that you are only limited by your imagination.

I know you miss me terribly and I’m always here for you. I don’t have the feelings and emotions of missing anyone or anything. Just of peace. Ok, I do miss getting on your bed while you were at work!

I loved our talk at Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe that day where we reminisced about the past 11 years together. I loved all of our talks always…

Phoenix, Golden Retriever

I don’t have the magical answers for you that you always looked to me for. You have always had them. I just showed you the path. Please remember to be true to yourself always. Therein lies a really big life answer. Do onto others as you would have them do onto you. And most of all…love yourself. After that the rest will all flow.

So, it’s time to wrap this up and I’m sending you and your friends a very Happy Thanksgiving! And I will end this here with this…

You have said to me always and everyone around you that I was your lifelong dream come true. Please know this as well…

Daddy, you…were my lifelong dream come true too!

I love you for this eternity and beyond…I’m always here when you need me. I am forever your Golden Retriever…

Alanis Moriessette, “Guardian”…

Phoenix, Golden Retriever

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Phoenix

  142 Responses to “Happy Thanksgiving To My Daddy And Our Friends! A Love Story”

  1. Awww Phoenix, Your story made me Cry! Im hoping that Mike has an amazing Turkey Day, I know your there for him always and forever. We are all so thankful for you and Mike as you made him who he is, he has learned how to open up, when he wants. Close down, when he wants, and you helped him get over his fear of flying again. He flys now to be 9-10 miles closer to you in heaven. We love you guys. And next time give a tissue warning

  2. He’s a good kid. Miss you Phoenix.

  3. Dear Mike

    What a loving tribute to Phoenix. That must have been so hard for you to put together. When they go before they reach old age it becomes extremely painful to let go. I have lost a few cats that should have lived much longer than they did. The unconditional love they provide is so much stronger than most human love. They don’t ever judge us as others do. It hurts and it takes a lifetime to get over it. I still shed a tear for Samantha who went to kitty heaven in December 1990.

    That is super great that he has appeared to you. I have had two of my cats make an appearance several times, it is very comforting. They definitely teach us so much about ourselves and help heal what is wrong. I am sure that is why we were given pets to love.

    Thank you so much for sharing your life with us.

    Happy Thanksgiving and I am better off for having known you and Phoenix.

    Mary

    • Oh my gosh it’s so awesome to hear from you, Mary. I soooo miss your blog! Happy Thanksgiving and please do keep in touch when you can 🙂

  4. I’m so happy to see your words here again. Happy (American) Thanksgiving. 🙂
    I went to a funeral a couple weekends ago, and at the interment, it was bloody cold as hell, and we all stood huddled around the grave. The urn was lowered into the ground, and then the cloudy sky parted as we all said our final farewells, and the sun peeked through – just a glimpse at first, and then we were blinded by the light. Then, the orange light disappeared once again behind the clouds. We knew it was him – he is alright, he is saying goodbye and thank you. I believe these things happen.

    • I always pay attention to moments like that those, Colleen, as do you. Thank you for sharing that 🙂

  5. Several tissues were in order. Always know we are here for you day or night just as Phoenix always will be. Love you

  6. Fortunately, I was already sitting next to a box of tissues when I read this. Thank you for sharing yourself and Phoenix with us again. I’m happy that you know that Phoenix is still always with you as are the gifts he gave you. I think/hope he taught you to have unconditional positive regard for yourself, just as he had for you. I hope you will find another dog to love someday—-not as a replacement for Phoenix, but in addition to Phoenix. When I was pregnant with our second child, I worried that I wouldn’t be able to love him as much as I loved his brother, but what they say is true, love isn’t finite—once you know how to love (thanks to Phoenix), it has the capacity to grow. Now that you have your wings back, you can visit your east coast friends—just don’t fly through O’Hare 😉

    • I would love to visit my East Coast friends, Suzanne. Thank you, that made me smile 🙂

  7. Hey Phoenix, thanks for keeping in touch. I know you mean a lot, to a lot of people. Great to hear from you.

    • You are welcome and thank you for being such a good friend to my Dad, Mike 🙂

  8. This touched my heart! Phoenix, we all fell in love with you and miss you. Mike, we are here and always will be. Thank you both for sharing this incredible story.❤️

    • You touched our hearts for your amazing friendship and thank you, Chareese 🙂

  9. Oh Mike, words cannot express how I feel. Phoenix, you are an amazing soul. Keep watching your daddy from on high. Hugs to both of you xx

    • You are amazing lady too, Caz, and I will most definitely keep my eye on him 🙂

  10. Beautifully written! This is a very hard story to read. I cant imagine how hard it must have been to write.

    Thank you Phoenix. Thank you for being everything that Mike could have ever wanted and then some. Thank you for loving him, looking out for him, and being his everything. Nothing brought a smile to his face like when he talked about you. He still talks about you and even though there are tears of sadness for losing you, they also become mixed in tears of joy for bringing back loving memories of your time spent together. We all hurt for Mike and miss you, we will make sure he’s looked after and that he’s ok.

    Mike, I’m going to keep it short. We have had many conversations and emails over the last few months. I don’t think there’s anything I can say that I haven’t said to you already. Sometimes in can get repetitive and not be what you want to hear at the time. But I don’t think people can ever hear that they are loved enough. Thank you for sharing Phoenix with all of us and on a personal note, always being there and having time for me, even when you probably weren’t up to it. I love you buddy.

    • Tony, this is an awesome email and thank you for always being so good to both us. You are indeed a very special best friend 🙂

  11. Your should have warned us to have the tissues handy.

    This was a lovely tribute to Phoenix. He will be with you always, in your heart and your mind. We have lost several of our furry family members over the years, and it’s hard. The last dog and cat that we lost were particularly difficult, because we were all (kids as well) with them at the very end, saying goodbye. It’s so hard to say goodbye…they bring so much joy and light into our life. But they do live on in our memories. We have those forever. I hope you will find room to love another dog someday and make new memories. I think Phoenix would want that.

    • I appreciate this so much, Michelle, and I hope all of you have a very Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

  12. This is utterly beautiful – a duel tribute of Phoenix’s love for you, Mike, and of yours for him. It is probably one of the strongest and most wonderful bonds I’ve seen between man and dog. And I’m so glad that Phoenix has been making his dear soul-presence felt, even after his physical presence has gone.

    And like his namesake, you will rise from the ashes of your grief, at some point, and continue in glorious fire and flame, with passion for life in the way he demonstrated every day he could.

    • Absolutely awesome and thank you also for your support on Saturday, Lizzi 🙂

  13. How so very beautiful, Spirit of Phoenix. This post should come with a warning ‘tears guaranteed’! Mike was an amazing Daddy and you were an integral part of his journey.

    Mike, thank you for this post and again showing us what true love looks like. The photos are absolutely gorgeous. I can’t pick a favorite. Happy Thanksgiving to you much love to you. Xoxo

    • It was an amazing journey and you have been so good to both of us always. Thank you, Lisa 🙂

  14. Beautiful, Mike. Thanks for sharing this personal story from the heart-warming and touching perspective of your beloved Phoenix. He’s always going to be in your heart and the great memories will make you smile. You were lucky to have such a wonderful friend.

    • Yes, he and were both so incredibly blessed and it’s awesome to hear from you, Cathy 🙂

  15. Hi Phoenix,

    I am so happy to see you, pictures have a fantastic appeal! Man, you looked so young and healthy! I know you want to celebrate thanksgiving with your dad, don’t worry, we are all with him. We are taking care of your dad, Phoenix. I am glad you are watching too. Love you and remember you fondly. You live in our hearts, you always will, hope you know that, dear.

    Oh! how I wish we could get some special days to be together again…I know your dad is saying that and you too are nodding your head, your magical answers are reaching us all. Don’t grieve, remember those happy times and stay blessed! Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Oh what a nice comment and thank you, Balroop, and you are so right on magical answers 🙂

  16. Phoenix, our fear friend. Thank you so very much for stopping by the blog and sharing your story–your friendship, your best memories, your beautiful life that you and Mike had together. He misses you more than words can ever say, and your blog friends around the world (me included) do too. You will always be my favorite golden, ever. Xoxox.

    • You are so wonderful Jessica and thank you for being there for him to chat whenever he had needed that 🙂

  17. Has there ever been a sweeter more precious faced dog than Phoenix? I know it’s been so tough on you, mike, and I have no words to make it better. He was a part of you. He will always be, and your relationship is so beautiful and warm, something so many people never experience. I am better for knowing you two, and I’m grateful for the year of Phoenix that you two shared with me. I hope you have a wonderful thanksgiving and that he makes another clap of Thunder style appearance. Warm hugs to you.

  18. Mike,

    I couldn’t imagine the courage it took to write this. It is truly touching. The bond the two of you shared is unlike most bonds people share today. He is always with you and watching over you. We are by your side every step. Always here for you. Virtual hugs being sent your way. Happy Thanksgiving to you.

    • This was so kind and nice of you to stop by comment, Danielle. Your support has been amazing as well 🙂

  19. Wow! What an amazing Thanksgiving gift for all of your friends. I wish everyone could be blessed enough to have this type of relationship with another being. You and Phoenix definitely had that special bond. And your friend was right, it doesn’t matter if it is with your spouse, child, dog, or other being. What is important is that you experienced and shared the love. Many people are not so lucky.

    Thank you for sharing this story with everyone. Hopefully you found some level of peace and healing through sharing with us. I hope you have a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving. If you need some support on Thanksgiving, you know how to find me.

    • You have been incredible to me and I’m very grateful for that always, Diane. And very Happy Thanksgiving to you 🙂

  20. Mike, I am a blubbering mess and thank goodness those tissues were nearby. This was heartbreaking yet such a beautiful tribute. I am so glad to see you writing again. You and Phoenix had such an enviable and special relationship. How lucky for the two of you to have spent 11 memorable years together. Happy Thanksgiving, Mike. And I hope you whip up an extra something special to share with us.

    • Mary, I appreciate this very much and yes they were the best 11 years of my life hands down 🙂

  21. That was incredibly beautiful.

  22. Really beautiful and moving story…
    Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving!

  23. Oh Phoenix – what a beautiful post! The tears are flowing out of my eyes making it so difficult to type. Your dad is so lucky that you were able to send him this letter and let him know you are okay. I know you love your daddy just as much as he loves you

    Oh Mike – I truly believe that Phoenix sent you both signs. And more will follow. Thanks for sharing this story. I know how difficult it is. Huge hugs

    • It was most definitely a mutually loving relationship and thank you, Hilary 🙂

  24. I don’t even know so much what to say, because the words get bumbled up inside. I love The Cure and that song has historically made me cry, in different ways. For me it was about love and loss in a more general than specific way. Just in my case.
    This is a very true, a very spiritual and a very unique love story. Please know that. It sums up destiny, magic and love for me in one post.
    I’m blowing my nose a lot and I don’t know if it’s my cold or Phoenix’s amazing words!

    • You have been a great friend to my Dad and thank you dearly for that, Tamara. You will feel better soon – promise 🙂

  25. So great to hear from you again, Phoenix (and Mike). Not many dogs and their daddies have reached out and achieved that deep soul to soul relationship you have.

    • It was incredibly deep and thank you so much for saying and sharing that, Mette 🙂

  26. Miss you and your posts, Phoenix. Thank you for this beautiful Love Story.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  27. ——-Dear, Mike,
    my heart is overflowing.
    Such and emotional journey. Such LOVE.
    You know what I know for sure?
    You and Phoenix will be together again one day…he will jump
    in you arms and say “Daddy, I’ve been waiting for you!

    xxxx LOVE from MN.

    • Yes we will and I believe that too with him leaping into my arms. Hopefully 72 pounds is lighter in Heaven 🙂

  28. A beautiful tribute. I am so sorry for your loss and so happy for your wonderful memories.

  29. *sniffles*

    Nothing can teach us more than animals.

    • Excellent point, Beth, they truly are masters of teaching if we listen 🙂

  30. What a sweet, beautiful post. Everything written here is so, so true – take it at your own pace, you have the answers, love yourself, etc.

    Reminded me what a cute, photogenic dog Pheonix is too, he looks so adoreable in every single photo. Made me realise, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bad photo of him!

    • Thank you, Catherine, and I was incredibly blessed with everything about him including how photogenic he was. He loved to pose 🙂

  31. Dear, sweet Phoenix; What a wonderful tribute this is and, although the tears are streaming, my heart is warmed by the enormity of the love that flowed between you and your Dad. ♥
    Dear Mike; I can imagine how difficult it must have been to write this post. It was beautifully done! May the waves of grief subside little by little, but as you said, it will take its own time. You have so much love to give and another pup would definitely benefit from that. someday. Thank you for sharing your soulmate with us. We loved every minute. Wishing you all the best for a Happy Thanksgiving and beyond.

  32. Oh Sweet Phoenix. It’s such a blessing to see your words here although I could barely read at times through my tears. I thank YOU for the chance to know you and your daddy and please tell Mike that we’re all thinking of him, and that there is forever no time limit on his grief for you. The two of you were – and will always be – a true gift to one another, and to all of us who know you both through this blog. Sending so much love and peace this Thanksgiving and every week. Always. xxoo

    • Ah yes a gift indeed and you are appreciated and thanked always, Kristi 🙂

  33. Mike, another beautiful tribute to Phoenix. My two furbabies are sitting here wondering why I am crying. We all have that special “baby” that touches us like no other. You, with your beautiful words have made Phoenix touch all of us. I wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving and know Phoenix will be in heaven finally eating that Pumpkin Pie. XOXO!

    • That is so very kind of you to say and I’m thrilled you stopped by to read and comment, Margaret. All my best to you 🙂

  34. What a heartfelt tribute to one of the closest human – animal connections I have ever had the privilege of witnessing – even if it’s just virtually. I feel so sad for you Mike when I read this and I do know how hard this was to write – but then I’m happy when I look at the fantastic moments you shared together. This is a very powerful piece coming at a time when family means so much. I’ll be thinking of you on Thanksgiving – and the year your pumpkin pie ended on the floor.

    Loved that book you mentioned – The Art of Racing in the Rain.
    It’s a treat to read a piece by you again. I do so hope you keep your blog going.

    • You too have been there for he and I since last March and it is greatly appreciated always, Leigh. Beautiful comment 🙂

  35. What a beautiful piece of writing! I love love love that you decided to write from Phoenix’s point of view. I got teary eyed about 1/10th in and I was full on crying by the time I finished reading. It’s just such a beautiful and heart-breaking story. I received the same true and unconditional friendship from my Lenka, so I know how it feels.

    • This is so wonderful, Melissa, and I would love to hear about Lenka if you ever wish to share with me sometime 🙂

    • She was the sweetest dog you could imagine. Wouldn’t hurt a fly. She was such kind and generous soul, and a real friend. She’s been gone for a couple of years now but I still miss her a lot. I can send you some pics of her if you like? 🙂

    • I loved hearing about Lenka and I will be sending you a note offline so that you can send me those pictures of your beautiful girl, Melissa. Thank you 🙂

  36. Heartbreaking…We all miss someone, and we all are thankful for the memories. Mike I hope you are able to have a nice Thanksgiving. I think we all miss Phoenix!

  37. Although I needed a lot of tissues to get through this touching story Mike, I’m so happy to see you writing again. This story told through Phoenix eyes shows how many beautiful and loving memories you have of beloved Phoenix, treasure these forever. I’m so glad you still had this amazing summer together. Nobody will ever be able to replace Phoenix but like Suzanne Fluhr said earlier in her comment, love isn’t finite and has the capacity to grow and I hope you will find another dog to love one day in addition to your love for Phoenix.

    • You and Suzanne are both spot on with love being infinite and thank you for being there so much, Freya 🙂

  38. You seem to be on the path to healing, Mike. Keep taking it one day at a time and keep writing.

  39. Phoenix, I know that you’re going to send him so many signs as he walks through the first aide isle. Make sure you knock over some polysporin with the added pain reliever cause that shit is some amazing stuff. And you can throw in some fun character ones too because Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles make hearts smile even if it’s just for a wee bit.
    I hope you know that you did amazing huge wonderful things not only for Mike but for all of us here in the Internets. You sure brought a smile to my face every time I visited 🙂 My furry kid is still an asshole for the record. I hope that you didn’t rub your butt across the floor like mine just did.
    Don’t do that in spirit form.
    Kidding. Do that. Mike will LOVE that. Hee hee.
    Also, lick the shit out of his face whenever he’s needing it and when he’s like bleeding severely. Something is going to have to start the clotting process. xoxoo

    • Oh Kimberly I most definitely have a few things on tap for the boy. Thank you for the incredibly kind words 🙂

  40. Beautiful. So beautiful.

    <3

  41. Happy Thanksgiving, Phoenix!

    I’m so glad you shared your story with us.

    I know that up there in heaven, you have a million tennis balls, a gajillion ball caps, and thousands of loafers to steal, just make sure you pop down here once in a while and play a trick or two on your daddy. Whenever he can’t find his hat he’ll know it’s you messing with him!

    • You would not believe all the cool stuff here, Chris, and absolutely on his hat 🙂

  42. What a special connection between the two of you, and this post is such a fitting one that shows that we all manage to go on and cherish the good memories. I can relate to what you write about not having faced death.

    • I appreciate that Jeri and I would be interested on your experience with the latter 🙂

  43. I’m so sorry for your loss Mike! Phoenix was obviously a very special dog, and was super lucky to have had so much love. He lived an amazing life thanks to you. Sending thoughts and prayers your way. I know you will see him again one day.

    • It is so wonderful to hear from you and thank you for stopping by, Meredith. I hope all is well with you and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family 🙂

  44. Oh Mike….you made me cry. Phoenix, you are beyond beautiful – you are every parents dream.
    I love how you wrote to your Dad, and how you are looking after him from heaven.
    I have no words of comfort, but after our scary weekend I can say this – life is precious and every second counts.
    Love more
    Laugh more
    Cry More
    Feel More
    Experience More
    and tell those close to you that they are so very important cause life can change in a blink of an eye.
    I love you Phoenix, always have, always will and Mike I wished I could give you a hug xxx

    • Yes, like I wrote here and you did in your post…every moment is priceless, Lisa. You are blessed 🙂

  45. Mike thanks for sharing this most precious part of your life.

    Hugs,

    Carrie

    • Thank you for stopping to be to read it, Carrie, and it’s appreciated 🙂

  46. First tears prickled at my eyelids – after the first couple of sentences, and after a few minutes I was Reading-Every-Word-Very-Slowly because tears were streaming down my face. It must have been so hard to write, but also I hope perhaps it was a release of some kind too. Phoenix was very special, and you made him so real (and quite human!) through your words, and I used to love your blog posts in which he featured. I hope that you’ll continue blogging, you should do, your recipes are also keenly anticipated, but you know what, perhaps Phoenix is there holding open another door, and welcoming you through to a different blogging future, with a ‘Woof’ 🙂 Great to see you back in the Blogosphere, Mike.

    • Thank you so much for your encouragement, Johanna, and that meant a lot to me 🙂

  47. Wow! What an absolutely wonderful post dear Phoenix. I sat here being pushed out of my space on the sofa by my two beagles and wanted to yell at them. Instead l snuggled up close to them. We just never know how much time we have left do we? Say hello to my dear Lucky and Chicklett if you see them. As well you know, your dad is going to be okay. Keep watching over him. 🙂

    • We are all wonderful here, Kemkem, and most definitely I will be keeping an eye on him always. Hello’s sent to Lucky and Chicklett too 🙂

  48. My eyes are tearing, Mike! This is so beautiful. I love that Phoenix stole God’s cap. God has a great sense of humor. I’m so glad that you shared your lifelong journey with Phoenix! He was such a special pup, and I seldom look at a Golden without thinking of him or Brandon. They’re together now, you know. Phoenix has made a lasting impact on all of us, and so have you. Continue to let your light shine and continue to honor Phoenix’s memory through your writing. Thanks for sharing this – such a great story to start my day!

    • You really hit it for me, Dana, in that I always want to honor him. Thank you 🙂

  49. Reading that got me all teary. Phoenix is missed. I hope you find the strength to get through this thanksgiving without him.

  50. I hope you have a happy thanksgiving Mike. I can see this post as saying thank-you for the time you had with Phoenix. I’ve cried tears reading your posts in the past and this one really grabbed me. I hope it was a healing post and that this Thanksgiving will bring happiness and peace for you.

    • Thank you, Jan, and I hope you and your husband have a wonderful Thanksgiving 🙂

  51. Woo, This true is a love story capture with nice pictures. So inspiring.

  52. You made me cry at work phoenix!!! We miss you and I am sure mike must be doing a lot better now! You notice the little thing. Loved your first day with mike picture! keep looking up on dad always 🙂

  53. Mike, this was beautiful. I wasn’t planning on crying so early this morning! I love my dog, but I don’t think we come close to the bond that you and Phoenix had. I’m so sorry he isn’t physically in your life anymore. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing with us.

    • I am appreciative and thankful that you stopped by Dana! I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend 🙂

  54. Wow this is so moving, brought a tear to my eye!

  55. Phoenix, we will always love you! Thank you for the words of comfort and advice to your Daddy

    Mike, your post made me cry, because it was like I lived every moment you beautifully described. Thank you for sharing these lovely moments with us, and these wonderful photos too. I will always think of Phoenix when I see a golden retriever. Yes, there is no time to ‘get over’ a loss as monumental as this, but who says we should get over them anyway? We can just treasure our memories and smile as we think of those who made our lives worth living. I wish you many more happy moments in the time to come, Mike x

    • Tarana, I’m so glad you were able to stop by so I could share it with you. I appreciate your very kind words 🙂

  56. Beautiful.

  57. Again so wonderful to read about the amazing relationship that you and Mike have. Very inspiring! Thank you both for sharing. Happy Thanksgiving Mike!

    • I appreciate this for my Daddy and for you being such a good friend, Adrian 🙂

  58. Mike, I mean, Phoenix, this is absolutely a stunning piece of writing. Like others I didn’t make it through it without tissues. It touches us all – anyone who has lost a close furry friend can relate to every sentence, every moment described here. I know Phoenix will continue to be one precious guardian angel, Mike, and don’t forget he’s got a team here on earth that will help him out at a moment’s notice!

    • Thank you, Jackie, and yes I will always be there for him and for those down there 🙂

  59. I MISS HIM A LOT THESE DAYS!!!

  60. Lovely and heartwarming post! And your header is gorgeous. Thank you so much for sharing, and warm greetings from Montreal, Canada. 🙂

    • Thank you so much for the compliment, Linda. And warming thoughts being sent your way to the chilly North! 🙂

  61. Happy (belated) Thanksgiving! What a touching post! Good to hear that Phoenix is still active in the blogosphere 🙂

    • Same to you and what an awesome nice thing to say about Phoenix! I appreciate that, Michelle 🙂

  62. Hey Phoenix, what a beautiful look back through your amazing time together. Thanks for sharing some of your moments with us and keep looking out for you Daddy.

    • I’m glad you read it and liked it and I’m always looking over him, Bintu 🙂

  63. Hi Phoenix,
    Thanks for sharing the article about happy thanksgiving to my daddy and our friend! A love story.
    Very interesting article. I liked it. Because these love story are so interesting.
    Great Article. Plz carry on.

    • Yes, love stories like our’s was and always will be amazing, Ajay! Thank you 🙂

  64. I really hate it that your Phoenix stories make me cry. Your boy was so gorgeous and seemed so full of life that even I, a stranger, can’t help but be sad with his passing. This is lovely, lovely piece, Mike. I hope it helped somewhat, writing this. Someday, you;ll take a look at his photos or remember him and have nothing but a smile for the days you’ve spent together. In the meantime, I’m giving you a virtual hug!

    • Oh thank you so very much, Aleah! Wow, what a huge compliment to him and yes I miss him terribly. All hugs, virtual or otherwise, are gladly encouraged and accepted by me! 🙂

  65. I am at a loss for words. You put it all so eloquently Phoenix. I can’t believe you’re gone and to read these words from you is a gift. Sending hugs out to you and Mike.

    • It is so wonderful to hear from you, Michele. My daddy is so blessed to have wonderful friends always stopping by for friendship and blogging fun as well 🙂

  66. Happy Thanksgiving my friend! Sending my love to you and all of your family members :).

    • Thank you, Agness, and back at you to your family as well my dear friend 🙂

  67. We lost our Kerri 2 days after Thanksgiving this year. She was with us almost 14 years. As I read this post it was like remembering our time with Kerri. Perhaps yours, Jeri’s, and mine are all playing together at Rainbow Bridge.

    • Oh I most definitely think they are all playing together, Cheryl! I loved your post you wrote about Kerri and again I’m so deeply sorry. I KNOW it’s an incredibly painful loss.

  68. You made me cry Mike 🙁

    So touching….

    • Sorry Krystle, but you really came to “know” Phoenix quite well and I am always very grateful for your friendship to him and I. I hope you have a really good day 🙂

  69. I’ve got tears in my eyes Mike. I know many people in the blogging community miss Phoenix a lot and me included…
    But, I loved this post. We learned a little bit more about you.
    “Know that there is never a timeline or proper manner for anyone to mourn.” Sooo true. Thinking of you.

    • Wow, I got teared up reading your comment Rita and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your beautiful words. It’s still really hard on me. I miss him soooo terribly. Thank you for always being there too 🙂

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