Mark – I just wanted you to know that your book was wonderful. It took me 2 months to read it because I could not stop crying, but what a wonderful tribute to Spritey, and what an incredible spirit he was. Your book inspired me to write my own story about my baby Luna, whom I lost to Cancer in January 2007 at the young age of 4. To this day I cry for her and miss her terribly, and your book really made me realize that I’m not alone in my grief, that there are many other dog lovers out there suffering as well. You’re in my prayers. Here is her story. It’s very long (sorry):

Luna’s Story

Birthday: 1:15pm October 14, 2002
Birthplace: Norco, CA
Passed through to the Bridge: 2:15pm January 17, 2007


In the summer of 2001, my brother told me of a friend of his with two black labs they were going to breed and sell the pups. I cannot stand it when people do that because there are so many dogs in the world that need homes, but my husband and I were considering adopting another dog as a play mate for our then 8 ½ year-old black lab Gypsy, so we told him to let us know when the pups were born and we’d think about it. We wanted a yellow lab female. Time went by and after a few months, we forgot all about it.

Moving forward a year 1/2, it was now October 2002. I was at home when my brother called, telling me the pups had been born and there were two yellow females. One of them, the runt – a tiny yellow female, was reserved for us if we wanted her. She had been born “blue” – not breathing, and because of that nobody wanted her. I couldn’t quite understand that since she lived and was fine, so off we went to meet her. When her eyes met ours, well, that was it. We were captivated, in love, and all hers. We named her Luna, after the Greek moon Goddess. Luna was 3 ½ weeks old on that day. We were trying to figure out how we were going to wait 4 more weeks before we could take her home! I felt like a new mother. Luna had fur as soft as a bunny, and she had the most amazing hazel eyes, with a perpetual “worried” look on her face. She was beautiful, she was precious, she was perfect, and she was mine. My husband and I instantly fell in love with her. Finally, the day came. We were at my in-laws house in the country having a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner, but our minds were on Luna. We got to take her home today. We drove 2 hours away to my bothers house (he picked the pups up together) as fast as we safely could. What a doll she was, and she was also almost as big as her sister at 7 ½ weeks of age. We brought her home in her crate (which she already loved), and introduced her to her play mate Gypsy. Gypsy wasn’t too thrilled to share her “throne” (the couch) with another dog, but in short time, they were best buds. We were so much in love with that little fur ball it hurt. Little did we know the tragedy that we would have to face and deal with in the very near future.

On her first birthday, we threw Luna a party. Balloons, ribbons, cake (of course Luna had her own cake) gifts, food, friends, the works. 30 people showed up! We were blown away. Luna had an uncanny way of making people fall in love with her at first sight. She was hilarious too, quite the clown. We gave her the nick name Lunaboons or Lunabuna because of all her silly antics. She’d lay on the couch upside down and just grin at you. “Silly Boons” we’d say. She had grown up to be a beautiful, loving, loyal, well behaved dog. Luna was tall, lean and lady-like, like her mother, but just a complete bundle of wiggles and excitement all the time. A new squeaky toy would just make her day. She played with her friends all day long. It was a blast.


About a year later, Luna got very sick. After an urgent trip to the vet, were told that she had colitis, and that it would clear up in time, which after 2 sleepless nights, it did, and in short time we forgot all about it. The next year or two went by with no problems – until October of 2006. That’s when our whole world started to turn inside out.

Digressing just a little bit, we had been living in Southern California for about 9 years in a very small, cramped, overpriced house in a so-so neighborhood. When our son Jacob was born in May 2005, the house got too small and we decided to sell and move in the summer of 2006. Luna and Jacob had become very good buds, so we decided that she would be his dog some day. In September 2006, we bought a house in Las Vegas NV and were in escrow waiting to move in early November. Luna celebrated her 4th birthday in October, and then started limping. We figured she probably twisted her knee while jumping around like the crazy girl she was, but it slowly got worse. Some days she’d limp pretty bad, other days she wouldn’t limp at all. We moved to Las Vegas on November 1, 2006 and immediately took her to the closest vet we could find. After blood work and x-rays, we discovered that she had torn her ACL in her rear right leg. Surgery. $2,700 surgery plus meds, etc. Ouch. This is not the thing we needed after just moving into a new house and taking on a new mortgage! But Luna was young and very much worth it, so we scheduled the surgery for the following week without hesitation.

The days following her surgery were long and horrible to say the least. She had to wear an Elizabethan collar so she wouldn’t chew off her stitches. Needless to say, she hated that collar with a passion and often whimpered so we would take it off of her. 2 weeks later her stitches were removed and she didn’t have to wear the collar again, however, we noticed pretty quickly that she wasn’t getting any better. She wouldn’t eat, vomited quite often, and had very bad diarrhea. So back to the vet she went, and her vet thought she was probably sensitive to the pain meds and they put her on a much milder type of medication. It didn’t help. Luna started getting thinner and thinner. We tried giving her boiled chicken and beef, rice, yogurt, cottage cheese, bacon, eggs, lunch meat, anything she would be willing to eat. It didn’t matter – she just wouldn’t eat. It was now mid-December and construction had started on our new yard. The “yard” was for Luna, Gypsy and Jacob to enjoy (and of course us too). So back to the vet she went to try to figure out what the problem was. She was limping very badly on her newly constructed leg too, which wasn’t a good sign. After extensive tests, x-rays, and thousands of dollars in vet bills, nobody could find the problem, so an ultrasound was finally done. Luna had been at the vet for a week getting IV fluids. The vet called me and told me to come see her. My stomach knotted up – I knew something was very wrong. My husband stayed home with my son and I drove to the vet – I was already crying. When the vet showed me the ultrasound I knew. I’m not even a vet, but I knew – it was cancer, and it was everywhere. Her liver, intestines, everywhere. There was absolutely nothing her vet could do for her. She referred me to an Oncologist, gave me her condolences, and I took Luna home. I bawled the entire way. When I walked in the door and my husband saw the look on my face, he started crying too – I didn’t even have to tell him.

“It’s always the nice ones”:

The next day Luna and I saw an Oncologist. He told us the type of cancer Luna had was extremely rare, usually found in cats. Most dogs who get cancer are usually 7 years or older and Lymphoma is usually detectable because the Lymph nodes swell up. Her Lymphoma was all internal, festering away for years unknown and unseen. He said the leg surgery probably “woke up” the cancer and made it spread like crazy. Some cancers can stay dormant until air hits it. When I told him she was a “blue” baby, he said she was probably born with a “defective” (for lack of a better word) digestive system and cancer quickly, easily got in and made itself at home. Surgery was out of the question.

He tried with all his might to give me the news in the easiest way he could. $6,500 minimum for the Chemotherapy, and IF she responded to it (it could actually kill her), it would extend her life 6-12 months at best. She was going to die from the disease and there was absolutely nothing anybody could do about it. He gave her a week to live at best. The pain I felt when he told me that was unbearable. I took her home and my husband and I sat on her bed with her between us, petting her head, crying, and making the hardest decision we ever thought we could. We were not going to let her suffer any longer. We slept down stairs with her that night and cried all night long. We knew that she knew something was wrong and it was about her, but she slept in between us on a mattress on the floor all night, and took turns resting her head on one of our stomachs, trying to make us feel better. We never slept.

The next day I’ll never forget as long as I live. I remember every second of every minute of that day, as if in slow motion. It’s like a recurring nightmare, constantly reminding me of that horrible day. I tried to forget, I really did – but it’s impossible. We bought a concrete stepping stone kit from a craft store and made a stepping stone with her paw print on it. She layed between us on the kitchen floor while we decorated it together with stones and crystal butterflies, trying hard not to mess it up with our tears. We got a babysitter for our son, and took her to the vet. After a brief consultation with the vet, we layed her down on a blanket on the floor (in my lap) in the exam room, and told her not to be afraid – it was ok to let go and be an angel. She quietly died in my lap. She was 4 years, 3 months and 3 days old, almost to the hour. We sat in the room with her for a few minutes and cried. She looked so peaceful. Even her vet cried. “It’s always the nice ones” she said. That night I cried so hard I seriously thought I might die. The pain of her loss was worse than anything I had ever experienced in my life. I layed down and fell asleep finally after a few hours, but it was very restless sleep. What happened next amazes me to this day. During my twighlight sleep, I could feel my husband next to me on the bed – a warm body just laying there, but not able to get close to me because he knew I needed my space. At least, that’s who I thought was there. When he actually did come to bed about an hour later I asked him where he had gone. I figured he had gotten out of bed because he too was having a hard time sleeping. He looked at me like I was crazy. “What do you mean? I’m just now coming to bed.” I told him I could feel him lying in bed next to me the whole time I’d been there. That’s when we both looked at each other and started crying. We both know now that it was Luna laying there, keeping me company, trying to ease my pain. There’s no doubt in our minds about it at all. For this reason alone, if you ask me if I believe in angels – yes, I do.

Moving on:

It’s been over a year now since Luna crossed over the bridge, and we still cry for her often. We know that there will come a day when the pain will go away, even if just a little, but it still feels very new. We still look for her, and I can swear some times I see a flash of blonde dart across the yard. Maybe it’s her checking in on us. Maybe she’s relaxing out in the yard that she never got to enjoy. Her ashes are in a beautiful oak box in our living room with her picture on top, and we talk to her often. Somehow, it helps. Losing a pet is always so hard, but with God’s help, we cope. We finally figured out that Luna was never “ours.” She always belonged to God. God lend her to us for a few years to take care of her for Him. To love her and to learn from her and she from us. We knew there would come a day when He would take her back, and even though we feel He took her too soon, we’re not angry at God for that. Instead, we thank God every day for her – what a blessing she was. We know that some day God will bring us another loving soul in need of companionship, and we also know that Luna will always be there, watching over us. I know in my heart that I will see her again some day, and on that day, we will cross the bridge together and we will never be parted again. It’s amazing how God speaks. Through Luna, God brought me closer to Him, and for that, I’ll be forever grateful.

Tribute to Luna:

Here are some of the wonderful things I remember about Luna. I remember her beautiful, soft fur. Her fur was the softest fur I’ve ever felt on a dog. I remember her eyes, beautiful hazel eyes that looked at you with such wonder, content, joy, and love. They looked through you and captured your soul. I remember how funny she was. No matter how miserable your day was, she always found a way to make you laugh. To make you smile would make her day. I remember her voice. Her little “woof.” She would “woof” at anything and everything. It drove us nuts sometimes, but oh what I would do to hear that woof now. “Quiet!” I’d tell her after countless woofs. She’d just dart that “I know I’m driving you nuts and I love it” look and “woof” again, only quieter this time, as if mocking you. You couldn’t help but giggle when she did that. I remember how she would constantly scratch herself. She had allergies and her skin was constantly itchy. Poor girl. She’d scratch herself raw sometimes and we’d have to put antibacterial spray on her. Like all things life threw at her though, she never complained. She had that “it is what it is, life is too short to dwell on it” attitude all the time. I remember how incredibly smart she was. She whizzed her way through basic, intermediate and even advanced obedience training. By the time she was a year old she was completely trained off leash. Her dog trainer Dave suggested to us that we put her in obedience shows and train her for agility. If only we could. She would have loved it. I remember the day we got home late from dinner and found the back gate wide open. We didn’t worry at all though, because she and her sister Gypsy were laying at the opening waiting for us, as if to say “I could have run away, but I didn’t – aren’t I a good girl?” That amazed us. We even have a picture of it. I remember the passion she had for her toys – especially ones that squeaked. Those cheap, flimsy little squeaky cheeseburgers. She’d work at getting the squeaker out, then play with it like she was a cat, batting it around, pouncing on it, tossing it up in the air with her mouth and then catching it again. It was the funniest, cutest thing to watch. I remember how she LOVED lemons, especially the tiny green ones, not yet mature. She’d put them between her paws and eat them, and make the funniest face because they were so sour. And she’d rub herself on them because they smelled so good. She always smelled like lemons. Aw Boons, how we miss you. You’re our forever Lunaboons and we’ll never ever forget you. We’ll see you at the bridge some day sweet girl, but until then, you’re forever in our hearts. Thank you Luna, for everything. Mommy & Daddy.

Gerlie from NV


One Response

  1. Linda Says:

    What a beautiful story – I cried thru the whole thing. May God bless you with a new love soon!!