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 Post subject: Rest in Peace Cuddles
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:30 am 
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Semen Strong
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Cuddles, my sweet boy died this morning at 8 am. Cuddles was 13 and had lived with me for the last 8 years, and he was the most incredibly gentle and sweet dog I have ever known.

He was rescued from Brooklyn ACC in October 2006, where he was on the euthanasia line. He hadn't had a home, but had been a homeless dog, living under cars. My friends rescued him and put him into a foster home where he was very badly attacked by two other dogs. He was on a feeding tube and lost an ear and needed a quiet place to recuperate, so I took him in on January 2, 2007 and from the minute I met him, I knew he was going to be my dog forever. He was really terrified of everything when we met, and that first 6 months was spent training him to not be afraid of things like grass and dark shadows and other dogs. For those first months, his first response to any perceived threat was to throw himself under a car for safety. He wouldn't even let my friend, who was stopping by to walk him while I was at work, take him off my block. But he slowly burgeoned into an incredibly gentle and loving dog, and we had a wonderful time together. I met my husband in May 2007, and it was clearly love at first sight for Cuddles, who immediately adored Brett. We loved Manhattan, but then my coop board objected to Cuddles, saying that he was too big and they began legal proceedings to have me evicted. So we moved to NJ, where he got his very own yard, and we spent a lot of time going on lovely trips together. He was there and so loving when my mother died, he helped me get through so much with his quiet and gentle cuddles. He was always next to me, snuggled up and cozy. My pregnancy was 9 months of long quiet walks with Cuddles for exercise. And when we had Leela, he was the most gentle dog with her and her friends. Leela learned to walk pulling herself up on his fur and using him to help guide her around. He was so gentle on the leash that Leela would "walk" him at a year old, and he would make sure that she felt like she was in charge. Our trips got shorter, but at least I was home all the time with him, but I also had to exile him from our bed, because my allergies were out of control. Last year he had a bad bout of arthritis, but recovered fully and was on medication for his thyroid and he seemed to be really good but very slow - he spent most of his day sleeping, and would wake up and amble over for snacks and snuggles. He definitely seemed to not hear well any more and seemed to get confused easily. And he would often pee in the house, which had never happened before. But I didn't expect that this was the end.

He had been slowing down a lot for the last year, especially after his arthritis attack last year, but it was still a shock. I had taken him to the vet for a senior panel on Monday, and to talk about getting his teeth cleaned and the vet said that he was in good shape for a geriatric dog. He was breathing heavily last night, and so I was going to take him back to the vet this morning, and on the way down the stairs, he had a heart attack and died. He was going downstairs with my husband, and I heard him slip and then he cried for a while and it was this strange sound that I'd never heard before. And then he just lay on the floor panting and I could see the life going out of him. My husband carried him to the car and took him to the vet, and they confirmed that he had passed and we are sending him to the crematorium. I hope to take his ashes out to his favorite beach and say a proper goodbye sometime later this Spring.

I just cannot believe he is gone and I'm heartbroken and feel so much guilt that I didn't spend as much time with him as I could have in the last few years, because having a very active toddler was so challenging. The week before he died, he kept coming into our bedroom and wanting to sleep next to me and I feel so guilty that I didn't just bring him in with me. He slept in bed with my husband, so it wasn't like he was alone, but in retrospect, I feel like he knew it was coming and wanted to say good bye and I just wish I'd done more with him and cuddled him more, and I can't believe I will never get to snuggle him again. I am heartbroken.

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 Post subject: Re: Rest in Peace Cuddles
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:37 am 
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Naked Under Apron
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Oh, my heart is breaking for you so much. Cuddles is one of those dogs that we all feel like we know, even if we didn't meet him in person. I am so, so sorry. Sending you and the rest of your family comforting thoughts.


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 Post subject: Re: Rest in Peace Cuddles
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:55 am 
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I'm so, so sorry to hear this. I agree with Nicole, Cuddles felt like the PPK's dog because we all knew him and heard so many stories about him and saw so many lovely pictures of him.

I don't really have anything much to say, because what can you say in times like these? I do know he was an incredibly fortunate dog to have found a person who saw him and showed him that the world doesn't have to be a scary place. You singlehandedly showed him that the world was a place of love, trust, and beauty, and for the incredible role you played in the life of a sentient being, there is no quantifying how immense that was to that one soul.

I'm so sorry he's gone, but so happy to know he was by your side through so many of your important journeys, not least of which was starting your human family. Please don't feel guilt or regret over not spending more time with him in the last few weeks- you showed him so much immeasurable love and compassion over the course of his life, he most definitely knew he was loved, cherished, and treasured.

Again, I don't know what else to say, but my heart is broken, too! I never met Cuddles but always loved seeing his pictures and hearing his stories. He seemed like a very grateful, very sweet dog and I'm so glad you had each other in your lives, no matter how briefly.

xoxoxo

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 Post subject: Re: Rest in Peace Cuddles
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:04 am 
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Semen Strong
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Thank you so much for those amazing words Erika! And thank you both for your kindness. I feel like the PPK was with me and Cuddles during our journey together, and I thank you for loving him and seeing him and his wonderful nature. He was a very loved dog, and I hope he always knew it. He was such an unconditionally loving and gentle being, and I was so blessed to know him. I just can't believe its over.

It's so hard when someone dies, because you just won't ever have another chance to show them just how much they meant to you. I wish I could go back in time and feed him pizza slices and go for a last walk on Asbury Park beach with him and take the time to stop at ever rock and sniff it a thousand times. I wish we had had one more doggy summer together. He taught me patience, he taught me that when you love someone you don't even care that they pee on your stuff, because they are so much more important than things, he taught me so much about being unconditionally loving, because he loved me even though as a first time dog-guardian, I made so many mistakes and he never loved me any less for any of them.

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 Post subject: Re: Rest in Peace Cuddles
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:13 am 
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Oh, I'm so sorry. I felt like I knew Cuddles, too, from all your stories and photos. He really seemed like such a sweet, special guy. Thinking about his start in life and where he ended up gives me hope for homeless and neglected animals. He was so lucky to find you. You and Brett and Leela are in my thoughts.


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 Post subject: Re: Rest in Peace Cuddles
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:15 am 
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Oh I am so sorry to hear this, tofulish. Cuddles was fortunate to have found a home with your family. Your eulogy is such a testament to your love for him, it's had me crying. Take care of yourself.

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 Post subject: Re: Rest in Peace Cuddles
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:18 am 
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oh T, I am so, so, so sorry for your loss. You will be in my thoughts.

Erika said it better, but I'll echo that Cuddles was a wonderful dog and your stories about him brought many moments of happiness into my life & many many others I'm sure.

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 Post subject: Re: Rest in Peace Cuddles
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:19 am 
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I am so, so sorry. Cuddles was so lucky to have your family. He was so loved and loved back in return. Isn't that all we can ever ask for? RIP, sweet pupple.

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 Post subject: Re: Rest in Peace Cuddles
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:27 am 
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I'm so sorry for you. Reading this made me cry. I wish you all the best.

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 Post subject: Re: Rest in Peace Cuddles
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:53 am 
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*hugs*

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 Post subject: Re: Rest in Peace Cuddles
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 11:57 am 
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I'm so sorry for your loss. My eyes welled up reading about your little guy, he sounds like an amazing dog. Rest in peace Cuddles x

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 Post subject: Re: Rest in Peace Cuddles
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:00 pm 
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Oh, Tofulish, I'm so, so sorry for your loss.


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 Post subject: Re: Rest in Peace Cuddles
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:16 pm 
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Oh noooo! I'm so sorry for your loss. :( Sending big loving thoughts to you and your family today. <3

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 Post subject: Re: Rest in Peace Cuddles
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:18 pm 
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I'm really sorry for your loss. Cuddles sounds like he was a fantastic dog and he was so lucky to have such a loving family.

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 Post subject: Re: Rest in Peace Cuddles
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:22 pm 
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Oh no, Cuddles. From your stories, he seemed like the sweetest, nicest dog. I am really sorry for your loss. It might be little comfort now, but he was such a lucky dog to be rescued by someone who loved him so much.


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 Post subject: Re: Rest in Peace Cuddles
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:25 pm 
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I'm really sorry for your loss Tofulish. You gave him a wonderful life.

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 Post subject: Re: Rest in Peace Cuddles
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 12:35 pm 
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Tofulish, my heart is breaking for your loss. I'm crying from your tribute and everyone's beautiful tributes to Cuddles in this thread. He was loved by all of us who only had to hear about what a beautiful, resilient spirit he was to love him. Remember you and your family gave him a wonderful life with tons of love and that is the best life that any creature in this world could ask for. <3 <3 <3

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 Post subject: Re: Rest in Peace Cuddles
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 1:00 pm 
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Oh, Cuddles :( I'm so sorry for your loss, Tofulish. Just remember that you gave him the sort of home and love that he never would have known without you.

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 Post subject: Re: Rest in Peace Cuddles
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 1:18 pm 
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Oh god. I'm so sorry.


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 Post subject: Re: Rest in Peace Cuddles
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 1:49 pm 
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Cuddles was so lucky to have you. All of you guys. The story of how you got him was always something that stuck in my memory, you did an awesome thing here and inspired a lot of people. big hugs to all of you.

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 Post subject: Re: Rest in Peace Cuddles
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:19 pm 
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My heart is broken for you xxxxx

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 Post subject: Re: Rest in Peace Cuddles
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:22 pm 
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I'm so, so sorry for your loss. Cuddles was such a wonderful dog and your tribute was just beautiful. I'm so glad he got to spend those last 8 years as part of such a wonderful family.


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 Post subject: Re: Rest in Peace Cuddles
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:00 pm 
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I'm so sorry, t. Hugs.


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 Post subject: Re: Rest in Peace Cuddles
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:08 pm 
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Whenever I see a large Pitty instead of being afraid as I used to be, I think of your descriptions of Cuddles and how wonderful a dogfriend he is. You are amazing to have given him a loving home.

I know there is a large Cuddles-sized hole in your heart but I also know that you gave him an awesome life. Please be comforted by all you did for Cuddles and all the love he had for you.

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 Post subject: Re: Rest in Peace Cuddles
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:43 pm 
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I'm so sorry :(


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