Friday, February 16, 2018

Bart of My Heart
A Love Letter to My Dog
Bart Williams
10/06/2002 - 01/05/2018

Dear Bart,

In the six weeks since you left us, Dad and I have struggled to adjust to life without you—a challenge after sharing fifteen years together.  We see you everywhere in the house and the yard, listen for you…miss your warm body in our bed every night.  We can’t drive down the street without remembering the countless times we walked you; we may never go to the park again.  We’re lonely and empty, but at the same time, full of gratitude.  You brought us so much happiness and enriched our lives.  How could any pet parents ask for more?

We have a memorial for you on the hearth, where you used to lie on your bed in front of the fireplace.  Your photo pillow is surrounded by your favorite toys.  We have three candles, one for each of us, which we light every morning and evening.  Your pictures greet us as we move from room to room, carrying your memory with us.  You’re never more than a thought away.

You were a beautiful dog, Bart, in heart, mind, and spirit.  You showed kindness to other animals and to children—not a mean bark in your body.  When we adopted you at eleven weeks old, your death seemed so far off.  You lived longer than we expected—dared to hope—and we cared for you the best we could during your senior years.  It was no sacrifice on our part.  You were our fur baby, a member of the family, and we loved you.  You loved us, too, the way no one else could: unconditionally.

When Dad and I talk about you, we smile through our tears.  The road of grief stretches endlessly before us, but we know we will recover from our pain; your love will heal us.  You will remain in our hearts forever, because love never dies.  That’s our one true comfort in your absence.  You will always be with us, Bart.  Always.

All our love,
Mama Linda & Daddy Tim

*     *     *
Thanks for sharing our memories of Bart.  If you've lost a beloved fur baby, please feel free to leave a comment.  Have you written a letter to your pet?  What ways have you found to cope with your loss?



  1. Truly beautiful letter, Linda - tears in my eyes. I miss my Splatter so much - I would give the world to just hold him one more time, to stretch out beside him and put my arms around him. Like Bart, Splatter was with me for 15 years - I adopted him when he was 3 months old. He never disappointed me and brought me joy every day. I have not written a letter to him, but I do have a poem I wrote in 2013 when he was in surgery and I thought he might die. I'll post it here. It's called FOR SPLATTER:
    How many tears can one person shed?
    I sit with swollen eyes, waiting,
    Waiting to hear from the doctor,
    Will my best friend live?

    He has been with me since he was 3 months old,
    Together, we’ve walked the high desert,
    Swam in irrigation ponds,
    And chased cormorants in the salty sea.

    We took long walks,
    And he was always by my side,
    At home, he followed me from room to room,
    Just wanting to lie down near me.
    But now I may lose him,
    And the tears just won’t stop flowing,
    I know he is a dog and is not expected to outlive me,
    But to me, he is my child,
    And I don’t know how I will go on without him.

    So, I wait and I pray,
    And I cry.

    1. Thanks for sharing your heartfelt poem, Linda. I know how dearly you loved Splatter; your grief is my own. Big hugs!

  2. I'm in tears. Such a beautiful letter. Linda, the picture at the end looks like my black Lab, so it is a double dose of sadness for me. I had goose bumps as I read it. You did Bart proud,

    1. Thank you, Carole. It was a good recommendation from a pet loss grief support group, which I'm glad I followed. Writing Bart a letter was cathartic.

  3. I'm in tears too, Carole! This is such a heartfelt post, Linda. It made me think back to when I lost my calico Mia. She lived until her senior years as well, but she came into my life when I was thirteen years old. She was always a part of me, followed me around, even waited for me at the door when she heard the school bus. She was very sweet, though now and then she had somewhat feisty moments. Who doesn't, right? So many memories to cherish...

    I never wrote a letter or poem to her, but I keep a picture of her on my bookshelf, and I look at her every night before I go to sleep. She'll always be with me. Perhaps it's silly, but I'd like to think that pet spirits are reincarnated into other animals, and they eventually find us again. In that sense, it isn't too far of a reach to think of life as a circle rather than a line from point A to B. Anyway, it's a thought I keep close in my heart.

    1. Anyone who loves a pet understands the pain associated with losing a precious animal companion. Mia and you shared a special bond. I have often sensed my pets' spirits in nature. Do I think they try to communicate with us? Yes...but we have to be aware of the subtle signs.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing fond memories of your cat.

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