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When my wife was growing up in Riverside, California, she lived across the street from a very large, well kempt cemetery. Her brother and her would play in the cemetery quite regularly and my wife has fond recollections of time spent in that cemetery. To this day, my wife still enjoys trips to a cemetery.

About 20 years ago we went to an old, run down cemetery in Bisbee, Arizona, a former mining town which has since become a Mecca for artists, bikers and hippie wannabes. As I walked amongst the headstones, I couldn’t help but be saddened knowing that each of these gravesites contained a person… a once living being that had a life, a family and friends… and now lies forgotten in this dusty, run down cemetery. And as I walked down the rows of forgotten men, women and children, I felt as if I must straighten the plastic flowers, dust the cobwebs off of the headstones and try to return some respect and dignity to all of those once vibrant souls that once had a place among the living but now have nothing to offer… not even memories.

I say that, to say this. We lost a child yesterday. Her name was Sandy and she had lived with us for over 10 years. A pretty lass with a kind heart and loving soul that grew old and life had sent her on a dark and painful journey. A journey that ended yesterday. At first I thought I would post a memorial for Sandy on Jigidi, but then thought noone will care. Noone knew Sandy. Noone had played with Sandy, noone had cared for Sandy. She was just another dog. Then I realized I was treating Sandy like those long forgotten souls in that gravesite in the desert… forgotten and alone.

So I changed my mind and decided to pay my respect to Sandy by posting her picture and offering her a few kind words. I know none of the people reading this will know of Sandy, her affectionate ways and her loving soul, or remember taking her for walks in the park or romping in our back yard, but I will remember. Sandy, this is for you so that you know that you will not be forgotten. Our Sandy Girl will always have a special place in our hearts.

R.I.P. Sandy Girl… and leave the light on for us
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That was such a beautiful and sensitive story. And what a beautiful dog. She has such a sweet face. Thank you for posting her story, it was lovely and yes, I did shed a tear or two or many, can't help it. It really touched me and I remember all the animals we had during the years. You never really do forget them. Hugs, Wendy


You are most welcome, of course, nanab - thank you for your kind comment. Glad John agreed about a link being posted. ♥︎


Thank you for putting the link to this on the 'Beloved Pet Stories' puzzle.
I loved reading John's story, this will stay with me for a long time. - Pass the tissues please.


Glad you decided to refresh your memory about what you wrote here, John.


John, I feel for you, like you feel for me and the rest of us who've lost pets.
I'm so glad you were able to write Sandy's story and like all the other stories we're heard, and are yet to come, its one that resonates with us.
I envisage, Sandy, Poppy and all the other beloved pets playing together happily, (with Poppy stealing all their food) and waiting for us to return to them one day. Thanks for sharing Sandy with us (❀ᴗ❀) plus a giant hug.


WOW - That was a beautiful, loving tribute to your beloved Sandy. I must point out one glaring error though; "I know none of the people reading this will know of Sandy" -
I know of Sandy. I played with her and walked with her and knew her kind heart because your words took me there.
Thank you so much for sharing.


She was beautiful, and so is her story. Thanks for telling it.


Pam, I have reached that age in life that I do not remember much that I have written or the things that I have done in the past. Prompted by your poking, I reread what my thoughts about Sandy's passing and was surprised to see coherent thoughts and decent sentence structure. My immediate thought was that this was written by a ghost writer... a ghost writer... perhaps a ghost writer with a premonition of things to come...


Thank you for response, John. I just posted a link to this Sandy puzzle at the "beloved pet stories" puzzle. You really touched my heart with what you wrote, here at this tribute puzzle to Sandy.


Pam, you certainly have my permission to mention this puzzle at the "beloved pet stories" puzzle. But I will leave it up to your discretion (most people avoid my inane comments. If you post it, there is a chance someone might notice)…. Being invisible is not all that it is cracked up to be...


John, I think this puzzle would be a good one to mention/list at the new puzzle for gathering beloved pet stories:

Since this is your puzzle, I didn't want to take it upon myself to mention it at "Beloved Pet Stories", unless you gave me an ok to do so. Or, of course, you could mention it... :-)



I come back to this puzzle from time to time, John, and work it, as looking at Sandy's calm, pretty face gives me peace of mind - I'm so glad you created this puzzle in her honor - thank you. ❤️


I don't do "rescue" dogs per se.....but all my dogs have been from someone else......for a myriad of reasons.....and like all our dogs......they were very special


Special blessings to rswestley and his wife, and jeribar...because you are very special people...or angels in disguise. ❤️❤️❤️

Heavenly Paws. What a fine tribute, You should be commended also. Thank you from my heart and all hearts. 8-2-18..1:54pm


John, and your wife too... Thank You for having such a kind and generous heart to
take in and care for all of your dogs. Rescue dogs are the sweetest of all. When I
lived in Texas we had 21 dogs. Most of them were rescued plus we fed about 15
feral cats. Most of them have crossed over the Rainbow Bridge but the few still
remaining live with my niece. We even had a pet cemetary called "Heavenly Paws".

All this time,you wanted us to believe you were invisible and never to be seen. You are the great pretender. With a heart as big as a mountain.You really didn't fool anyone. Hugs, my friend and hugs to the Mrs.. YOU are the best people on earth, to do what you do. Bless your hearts. Bev.8-1-19


Wanda, Bev and Jeri... Thank You for your kind words. You may know that my wife and I rescue dogs and we currently have 14 lost souls living with us. You may also know that rescue dogs are dogs that were abandoned because they are old, sick, ill mannered or just plain homely and their time is running out. Of the 14 dogs we have, 10 would be considered 'special needs' dogs... which means they are special. The "old man', Mouse (a 15 year old chihuahua) is nearly blind, deaf, unsteady on his feet and incontinent and my wife and I are struggling with deciding his future. With 14 unwanted dogs, we go thru this decision making much too often and one would think deciding when to let go and let the little ones rest in peace would get easier, but it never does. They fill our hearts with joy and then they punch holes in our hearts when they leave... holes that never get filled. Thanks again for your kind thoughts...

@wshealy @bevpuzzler8 @jeribar8



Sorry for your loss, John. True we didn't know Sandy but we all have loved those precious little ones and have cherished memories as you do with Sandy. Rest in Peace, Sandy. Thank you for sharing. Wanda

Memories John,
Fourteen months or fourteen days or fourteen hours. It still feels like it just happened.
Beautiful Sandy never to be forgotten!!! Bev. 7-29-19


Rest in Peace, Sandy...
Sorry for your loss, John.


Thank you ElenkaLen... you are very kind


So incredibly sad. I’m sorry for your loss


Thank you Wanda. My wife and I appreciate your sentiments. Though Sandy is no longer with us, she is never far from our thoughts.


Sorry for your and your wife's loss, John. RIP, dear Sandy. Wanda


I'm sure there is.


Judy, nice about the nice guy from Compton that went on to become a doctor. As I mentioned, my wife grew up in Riverside and she went on to be... my wife. I'm sure there is a message in there somewhere


LOL So sorry John, I didn't mean to imply that you were cheap. That was an unfortunate choice of words.
My cousin married a man who grew up in Compton, I'm guessing he saw some things growing up there that would be worse than Riverside. He went on to become a doctor. Super nice guy!


AHEM!!! Judy, I want you to know that I am NOT CHEAP!! I may be inexpensive, but not cheap. I think you owe me an apology :-)

Yes, Robby did grow up in Riverside, but she has NO desire to go back. She said it was tough going to high school in Riverside because there was always a lot of tension... the blacks, the white, the Mexicans... they all clung to their own little groups and she was frightened much of the time. And she says it is much worse now. So she is happy living here with the tarantulas, snakes and lizards.

(editors note: I, in no way am implying that whites, blacks and Mexicans are tarantulas, snakes or lizards... or any kind of reptile or large creepy bugs... or vanilla pudding, Cajun Blackened chicken or a hairy kiwi fruit.... so CHILL all of you haters! Some of my best friends are kiwi fruits...


One husband is enough! lol
Doesn't matter how cheap you are John. I just noticed in your above writing that your wife grew up in Riverside. That is really close to Rancho Cucamonga where our grandson lives. I also have some friends in Riverside. Last January when we were in Rancho, they met us at the Marie Callenders in Ontario.


And "Caveat emptor"? …. jyl, you are wise beyond your years.



Judy, I just realized I made a mistake. When I said $1.37, that is in Canadian currency. For us in the U.S., the cost would be $1.04. At that low low price, you could probably afford to buy all 5 of my different personalities.


Caveat emptor, Dusty!!


I didn't know we could purchase a husband for $1.37 on Craigslist!!!


ditto me judy


LOL for $1.37?

You're welcome, Bev. :-))



Thanks Bev!! If you are serious, I think my wife listed me on Craigslist for $1.37. And the price is probably negotiable. My wife has been using the same posting for the last 20 years but has gotten no inquiries. Apparently my fame has spread far and wide...

Thank you John, I LOVE YOU, but don't tell the Mrs. :))Friends!!!!


Bev, there's never a need to apologize. I thrive on stupidity... as witnessed in the comments I make. But honestly, this comment remembering Sandy was twofold... partly about remembering a friend that has left us, but more importantly lamenting the fact that millions of people die and are forgotten. Lying in each of those gravesites is a person that had a family, had loved ones, made an impact on somebody's life and yet no one remembers... as if they never existed. Sad to think that this life is all for nothing and all of us will be forgotten. As if we never existed... as if we were all invisible . I find it very sad.... very sad indeed

@bevpuzzler8 @jals

Oh, crap Judy
I must have been thinking of someone else's dog. I removed my stupidity.
Thank you for saving me.


@bevpuzzler8 Sandy passed away. That is what this puzzle was about.




Thank you Dusty and robin....In the beginning I've read this poem over and over again after Goofie crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I also printed it and keep it with his 'adoption' papers (from the rescue shelter)...along with his vaccination passport.


it is a wonderful poem impie.....and I too have had to do this many times.....sad for me..but can't sit by and let them suffer...that is just being selfish......thanks for the poem..robin


What a wonderful poem! Thank you, for posting this!


To all pet lovers who had to make that sad decision or will have to make the decision in a near future:
I got this beautiful poem from cbmuller when I had to let my kitty Goofie go last year September, 4th.
The 16 years having him in my life were 16 wonderful the end I could tell by the way he looked at me with those glazy eyes that is was time....I had made him a promise (years before) I would never let him suffer and help him if life would become a struggle. 16 Years he gave his all and no matter how painful for me.... it was out of love that I let him go!
I know it's hard....but remember.....Love is also being able to let go! Blessings!


If it should be that I grow frail and weak
and pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then you must do what must be done,
For this--the last battle--can't be won.

You will be sad I understand
Don't let grief then stay your hand.
For on this day, more than the rest,
Your love and friendship must stand the test.

We have had so many happy years,
What is to come can hold no tears.
You'd not want me to suffer, so,
When the time comes, please let me go.

Take me where to my needs they'll tend.
Only stay with me 'til the very end.
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.

I know in time you will agree
It is a kindness you do for me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I will be saved.

Don't grieve that it must be you
Who has to decide this thing to do.
We've been so close these 16 years,
Don't let your heart hold any tears."

I tried but it did not work out for me. I picked him up and set him in the grass. We sat out and it is breezy here today. he seemed to enjoy it. I picked him up and then my back went to hurting and I've got a bum left leg and found myself just standing in place for a few mins. going up just 3 step took a lot of effort. I set him down at the top stair and waited again and then slowly slid him to his little bed. My daughter will take him to the Vet. in the morning , to see whats what.

I will give it a try. At 83, I've lost some strength myself. Bev.


I commented earlier and extend my sympathies again. I have had to say goodbye to too many furry loves, but they all live on in my heart. I had a beautiful shepherd/husky mix who lived to be over 15. Towards the end, she got weaker and weaker and it was very hard for her to get up, walk, get in the car. I couldn't lift her. I wrapped a large bath towel under her between her front and hind legs, then pulled the ends up and used that to help support her weight as she went from place to place and in and out. Perhaps bevpuzzler could use that idea to help Max if he has any strength at all still in his hind legs and jrwestley could use that until his little rescue shepherd mix gets stronger.

thank you everyone....It just so sad.


Blessings,'s never easy...but when you love...


bev, you and Max will "know" when it's time to say good-bye. Max will 'tell' you.

I had my last dog for 17 years, and when the time came, she let me know. My heart goes out to you at this time.

Hugs to all of you.


I am in tears for you and the Mrs. and also in tears because my Max has lost the back limbs and cannot get up. He scoots and my heart is so broken. He tries so hard to lift himself but to no avail.
His big brown sad eyes just looks at me and wonders why he cannot get up. My daughter and I carry him outside and we lay him in the grass for a bit. He will scoot himself from place to place, but soon gives up. He eats ok and seems to function ok, but I am afraid things are beginning to shut down.
I know I must be merciful, but I just can't let him go to soon.
Gotta go my keyboard is all wet.
Thank you for listening. Bev. 6-3-18


I just realized that I forgot to acknowledge and recognize everyone that contributed such kind and warm wishes. I guess I am just a horrible host, but my wife and I both appreciate all of your thoughtful and supportive comments. A big "THANK YOU" to each and everyone of you... you guys are the best!


I somehow missed this post. John, I am so very sorry for your loss. This is a lovely and heartwarming tribute to your Sandy Girl. And even though none of us knew her, we still feel your loss.

Oh, John,
I am so sorry for your loss. I have lost two pets and I have memory books of them. Even now when I review them ---I come to tears. Take care and comfort one another. Bev.


Thank you Pam and Dusty for the kind words. Just yesterday we got Sandy's ashes back from the vet, so now Sandy is back with us in spirit AND body. Sandy will not be forgotten. The memories of he mischievous deeds and loving soul will be with us always. Thank you both for your kind thoughts


Thinking of you, and hoping that you are doing a bit better. I understand that it's only been a short while, and you will grieve for a long time. My thoughts are with you and your family.


I just came across this memorial puzzle, John. So glad you decided to post a puzzle to honor your beautiful Sandy. Thank you for sharing with us.




Dear John thank you for sharing this beautiful sensitive side of you with us and what a loving warm precious tribute to your gorgeous Sandy. May she rest in peace and just know that she will always be with you day in and day out forever more - lots of love ♥ sparklightie, brightspark and spaklies ☺☺☺


p.s. She's beautiful!


Aww John, Sandy sounds like a lovely companion. I am sorry for you and your wife's loss. I know you both loved her and will miss her. She will live on in your memories and your hearts. I know you made her world better by keeping her with you. Bless you!


she is beautiful john........and I love her already.....I agree with sharon....we all know the sadness of losing our dog....many of our dogs as I sit here having a "little" cry for sandy....I think also of the ones I have lost too......and they were all my "best friends".....wonderful post john....thanks for sharing her with us....robin


What a loving memorial for your sweet Sandy. I know how hard it is to lose a fur baby. It leaves a huge hole in the heart. Each four legged child I have had to say goodbye to still holds a place in my heart and I will always be thankful for my time with them and the unconditional love they gave me. I hope your beautiful memories of Sandy will soon begin to bring more smiles than tears.


R.I.P. Sandy. We pet owners, feel your pain, my friend.

I so feel your pain. It breaks one's heart to lose a pet who brought nothing but happiness. You will someday smile when you think of Sandy! She has now crossed Rainbow Bridge -- all her pain is gone. She is romping like a puppy .... until you meet her again.
God Please you in this most sorrowful time.

My my heart goes out to you and Sandy – – I feel your pain – – had to have my yellow lab put down a year ago – – it's still so fresh in my heart – – her paw prints are still there and always will be – – I miss her terribly – – I keep her picture beside me and talk to her every day – – she was a wonderful Pet.--she was more than a pet--she will never be forgotten – – I can't have another dog – – my age and health won't let me -- I Love your Sandy – – she looks as gentle as my KC--maybe they're up in dog heaven running around together – – that would be swell! God bless and take care – – she knows how much you loved her.


I have to disagree with you. Those who touch our lives (no matter how many feet) change us, and we become their legacy. So they are not only not forgotten, they actually live on. I didn't have to know Sandy to send you my sympathy.


I am so sorry for your loss. She was a beautiful girl. R.I.P. Sandy.

We are going through something similar with our girl Sierra, She is battling every single day to stay with us. I cherish each one.


I'm so sorry for your loss. It's so hard to let go and I know how much you must be hurting over losing your beloved pet. I recently lost my sweet kitty boy Goofie (age 16) on September 4 and it still hurts. I miss him very much. Take the time to grief over Sandy and know everyone who read your touching story about her really cares and shares in your pain. She'll be forever in your heart.
R.I.P. dear Sandy...♡


I will think of Sandy...and of you as well. She was lucky to have the chance to live with you. Her memory in your heart as long as you live, is what she would have wanted. That's her grave, that's place, that's her home.


I'm so sorry for your loss and am glad you changed your mind and shared your love of Sandy here. Your memorial brought tears to my eyes. You are right. I did not know your beautiful girl, or romp with her, or know her affectionate ways, but I do know the joy of loving fur babies, how they enrich our lives and the heartache of losing them. On July 17 it will be one year since Tango crossed the Rainbow Bridge at 14. He was such a love, with a big personality, who gave so much. It seemed too soon yet it was his time. He will always be with me as Sandy Girl will be with you.....their paw prints are forever on our hearts.


Sandy was a lucky dog to have found a special place with special people who loved her. It is clear that she loved you back. I am happy that you shared so many good years, while I am crying for your loss. Be kind to yourselves in your grief - it hurts so much because she was such an important part of your life. Know, too, that you will heal with time - she wouldn't want it any other way.

Many times I LOL at you and your funny remarks.
Today, right now, I am in tears. My Max, a Shih-Tzu, is 11 years old in June. He is slowing a bit,
but hanging in the he can. A am I. :) R.I.P Sandy Girl.


I am so sorry for your loss of Sandy. Sorry, if I mistype any words here, as I am crying. I wish I could give you a hug, and share the tears with you. We all share your sorrow at this time.
Like Carol said. We ALL care, and hurt for you.
Dusty's Mom


We are all "parts" of the ones who made us who we are...those who enter our lives each and every day here. My very best parts come from the pets I have loved...who loved me unconditionally in return. We never forget them. They are part of our hearts...the soft, tender part...and now the empty part. While that bit of emptiness never goes does fill up with lovely memories and eventually, loving smiles. SamSammy says that's when Sam's tail thumps in her heart.

While we may not have known Sandy, we know what you are going through. We rescued our Coffee at one year of age...and had her for almost thirteen years. She has been gone almost seven years now...and we still think of her every day. People blessed with dogs in their lives know the universal love, the unconditional acceptance of who you matter your faults...that all dogs offer their caregivers. Rest in joy, Sandy. Blessings


You came to the right place. Jigidi is inhabited by the most caring animal lovers anywhere. When a Jigidi friend looses a furry baby, everyone shares your sorrow. I send much love to you and your wife. Sandy has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge, be comforted knowing she is in a happy place waiting for you.


After 6 generations of knowing that loss, I cried when I read your memorial. Over the years, each dog got his own puppy to mentor. After I lost my husband then our last pup who was almost 15, I thought I'd never have another dog. Guess again! Anyway, you have inspired me to create a puzzle as a tribute to our last two loving friends, Moochie and Merlyn.


Some of the hardest friend to lose have been critters. They are all in my mind and soul.

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