In Memory of Master Pecorus "Peco" Romine

January 3, 2017




Posted on January 20, 2019, at 5:30 p.m.


My heart is broken. Today I sent the other half of my soul to heaven after 17.5 years together. There are no words great enough to express my love for you, the depth of my pain, and how much I will miss you. Thank you for every day we had together.

Thank you for waiting for me to get off the school bus every day, for sitting on the back porch swing reading in the mornings, for perfuming yourself on dryer exhaust, for waking me up at midnight when you felt sick and needed my help, for getting up at midnight to lay at my side when I was sick with food poisoning because I needed you. Thank you for teasing Roxie so we always got in trouble with mom, and for showing Mocha and Karmie that you could still romp with the young pups, for yodeling when you were excited for walks and for the way your eyes lit up every time you saw me.

I love you. I love the stories I will tell about you for the rest of my life. Thank you for loving me above all others, Peco. I will never forget you. Someday, when I'm ready, I hope to honor your memory by showing this love to another pup who needs a home. Whitney

Skyla: Luv-a-Bull Pretty Pittie Princess

Posted on January 20, 2019, at 5:32 p.m.



My husband and I raised Skyla since she was 8 weeks old. She was a pit bull (the runt of a litter of 8 and only white pit bull) and she had the ideal situation for her breed growing up. Her dog mom and brother lived diagonally from us in her early years and our first niece was born 2 months after Skyla was born. Skyla was socialized very early to be around animals and people of all ages (babies/puppies thru senior adults/dogs). We raised and showed Skyla nothing but unconditional love and that is what she gave to everyone she encountered. We couldn't be any prouder of her, as she was a true ambassador to her breed, and defied the stigma of all pit bulls being aggressive and dangerous. Skyla loved to dress up and would only kill you with sweet puppy kisses.

The only challenge we faced with her (outside of skin allergies) was the prejudice of other people because of her breed... many in our own neighborhood until frequent walk encounters changed many of their perspectives. We never had a single incident reported in over 11 years of her life. We had to put her down (9/21/18) due to cancer and that was one of the hardest things we ever had to do. She gave us nothing but immeasurable joy and we love and miss her every single day, but we have SO MANY treasured memories and take comfort in knowing her spirit is still with us. She will always remain in our hearts as "Mama's Big Baby & Daddy's Girl XO."

~Brenna"

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This is a story about my sweet senior poodle named Mifflin. Mifflin spent most of her life in a puppy mill where she was bred over and over again by selfish humans to make money for them. Her puppies were torn away from her and she was left with inadequate food in crowded cages where she was forced to lay in her own waste. Sweet dogs like Mifflin who are raised in these awful mills are usually killed or sold when they can no longer produce puppies - aka profit. On conditions of anonymity, the horrendous mills sometimes consider selling dogs to make one last dollar on them instead of killing them. On the night of November 10, 2014, Mifflin and six other mothers like her were sold to a man in a van at the side of a road and the man, a shelter volunteer, took them to a rescue. The rescue named all seven dogs after Ohio cities and that's how Mifflin received her name. Unfortunately, Mifflin was terrified of humans - who could blame her? - and she had extensive blood in her urine. She was in desperate need of a bath and grooming; her nails were grinding into the pads of her paws. Her back legs were so injured from being overcrowded in the puppy mill cages that she crossed them and could not walk well. It took Mifflin over 2 full months in the hospital to recover.


When they brought her back to the rescue, it was quickly obvious that she was too afraid of people to be adopted. The rescue found a kind and patient foster parent for her and she was fostered for over a month to learn where to potty and how to walk to the best of her ability on a leash. After her days in foster care, Mifflin returned to the rescue and lived in the kennel with a sign on her cage door: "No walks per vet." Instead, kind volunteers and shelter staff would try to simply pet Mifflin to help her acclimate to humans. I met Mifflin one March day in 2015 when I was washing laundry at the shelter. She was shaking and held her head low. I asked the staff if I could spend time with her and we went to a private room at the rescue. I sat on the floor with her and kept a distance where she wouldn't feel intimidated. She had an accident on the floor immediately but I didn't mind; she must have been frightened. I offered my hand for her to smell and she came near me.


A few visits later, I adopted Mifflin, bringing her to her forever home where she would be loved for the first time. She needed prescription food due to the years of abuse to her system. We taught her how to walk with a steady stride and she accompanied me to work. She learned to trust people and she was my best friend. We rode in the car together, we laid on the couch together, and she kept all my secrets. When we brought Lucy the sheltie home after a family member passed, Lucy helped Mifflin gain even more confidence. Mifflin continued to take anti-depressants to help her be her best self. Without them, she would hide away and howl in the corners of the house. Puppy mill mothers are often plagued with lifelong emotional distress. As Lucy was dying as a result of a stroke and retreating to other areas of the house last year, Mifflin followed and sat by her side with no nudging from me at all. When Macy the yorkie, another puppy mill mother, joined the house last November, Mifflin naturally took a leading role in showing Macy how to take a walk on a leash, where to go potty, and how to go up a ramp to get to the couch.


Mifflin was diagnosed with stage IV cancer this spring and she took her last breath in my arms on June 4. I wanted Macy to understand that Mifflin had passed and in advance I had asked the vet how I could support my surviving dog. At the vet's suggestion, I took Mifflin's body to Macy and allowed her to smell her to try to help her know that Mifflin was no longer with us. After between 5 and 7 minutes, Macy left Mifflin's side, ready to say goodbye. I wasn't so ready.


Mifflin, Macy, and thousands of other puppy mill parents have been put through sheer torture and abuse. Macy has a broken jaw that cannot be fixed and she is without her left eye. Her ears and legs were so badly eaten by bugs that they are still healing seven months later. I am forever grateful to her foster mom, Lisa, and her rescue.


You can take action to STOP these criminals. Please DO NOT SHOP at Petland, Pets Pajamas, or any other pet store that is not approved by the Humane Society or the ASPCA. Do NOT buy puppies from people selling them in Amish country near the side of the road and do NOT buy dogs online. They are selling my girls' puppies. Ohio has the second largest number of puppy mills in the country and our senate is working to advance legislation to stop puppy mill operators and bring them into the light.


Please consider adopting a senior puppy mill mother. It will be hard but they are counting on us. My girls have been such a treasure and I miss Mifflin so much. Spread the word, take action, and let's shut these people down!


http://www.humanesociety.org/news/magazines/2018/07-08/stop-puppy-mils-ohio.html?credit=web_id80597225 

Peach

Posted on March 10, 2017 at 12:30 AM

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Peach

Peach was still a little kitten when I started taking her back and forth to college with me, a two plus hour one way trip. (Sometimes I also took one of my parents' cats, Pixie, because she and Peach were buddies when Peach was little. I felt it was better for them to be able to keep each other company during the day. Often, though, it was just the two of us.) Neither of us liked the drive, but she was a great little traveler, and when we got to my apartment, she owned the place. I tried to make it nice for her for when I was at class during the day, but it was clear she missed me every day when I came home. She was so excited that she'd call to me as soon as she recognized me walking down the hall. I still have no idea how she could tell it was me, but she often knew even when I was at the very end of the hall. She'd bunt the door as I unlocked it and would come rushing out into the hall to greet me. Her funny short, thick tail would be bent forward over her back and flickering, as it always would when she was especially happy. Peach would flop on her side and expect immediate petting. I tried to never disappoint her. She was always the brightest part of my day.


Just the two of us living in that apartment for a time, we grew very close. We ate together, slept together, played and relaxed. And when I was stressed, anxious, depressed, unable to sleep, or unwell, Peach was there with me. We grew up together, and she grew old with me. We were together as often as we could be and were both happiest that way. She was my baby, my best friend and the best medicine. I will always
love her.

Marnie, GAPs client

My little gazelle-Puss Puss

Posted on November 22, 2016 at 4:05 PM

Puss Puss was always chasing me around the house since he was a little kitten.

I will miss and love you forever. Love- Jenni

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Kirby- we will always love you! 

Posted on November 22, 2016 at 12:00 AM

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Kirby- we will always love you! 

Nearly fourteen years ago the Summit County Humane Society had an approximately 2 year old cute and very thin Shepherd-Akita mixed dog with snow on his nose that caught Therese's attention. Therese and Kirby knew what they were doing, because we brought him home and he turned out to be the most wonderful dog a family could have. He was fantastic with kids and adults alike. He was fluffy and always open to being hugged and petted, even putting his paw over your arm so you wouldn't stop. He was extremely active loving to walk, and when we'd let him, run off the leash at schools and parks, chasing squirrels, deer, etc. He was quite athletic for a 90 pound dog, even jumping out the car window once when he saw a groundhog while we were stopped at a traffic light. So it was difficult to see him slow down the last few years, his walks getting shorter and shorter as his hips/back and stomach issues became worse. What he never stopped doing was loving us. We did one of the most difficult things there is to do today, having the vet come to our home to put him down. We knew we needed to do it to relieve him from further pain and discomfort, especially with winter ice, etc. forthcoming. As only dog people know, the loss is enormous, crying as I write this. We miss him so much already! At the same time, we take solace in knowing that he is no longer in pain and hoping that he is now running in doggy heaven. As my mom said, he's gone but not forgotten. Kirby - we will always love you. We pray that you rest in peace. Love always,


David and Therese

The Bubbles

Posted on October 26, 2015 at 12:25 AM

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Kirby- we will always love you! 

I have always considered myself to be a strong man. Mentally strong, I mean, able to do what has to be done no matter how difficult. I could, but won’t, cite dozens of examples of times that I endured grievous pain, both physical and mental, and handled it stoically. However, it serves no purpose to dwell on what has been when you are faced with one of the most painful situations you will ever endure. All that matters now is what you do tomorrow. I hate to be melodramatic but am unable to do what I have to do without talking it out with myself. Writing has always been a relieving outlet for me so I must write this tonight to enable myself to get through the next few days.


It is no surprise that we are now facing the final days for our beloved little Bubbles. We knew two years ago that her days were numbered. That she has survived, and well I might add, is a testament to her strength and the size of her heart. Bubbles has more than eclipsed all predictions of longevity and for the most part has had a happy existence. Unfortunately the past three weeks have been a downward spiral for her and thus for Sue and me. Long stays at the Veterinarian’s hospital have been punctuated by far too short stints at home. As I write this she is back at the Vet’s taking oxygen, IVs and no doubt she is scared and lonely. It’s not a life I would want for me and I don’t want it for my little buddy either. She has been listless for awhile and is now refusing to eat as her organs are losing their functionality. So especially sad for a creature whose greatest joy in life was eating …….lots and often.


My inner conflict stems from knowing that my dog is slowly dying and not having the strength to put her out of the misery she is obviously in. I am so conflicted because I know euthanasia will give her peace but selfishly I know how much I am going to miss my little pal. We have been putting it off for awhile but it has become obvious that the time has come to do what is best for our Bubbles.


You either get it or you don’t. There was a time in my life I would not have gotten it. It’s just a dog……That’s life…………Time heals everything………the clichés don’t do justice to how you feel inside when your faithful pet has to go. Well, I get it now, dammit and it hurts!


Life is going to be different now. I will so miss the trips to the garage to get the dry food from the barrel. Bubbles always went along to watch. She would even go along when I took out the trash just in case I opened the food bucket. Now, sadly, I’ll have to make those trips alone.


Walks will continue with Lily but the excitement won’t be the same. I’ll miss the little “Yips” and how she would twirl in circles when Bubbles heard the word ‘walk’ and saw me put on my “walkin’ hat”. Lily is a wonderful dog but I will miss the little scamp who would twirl in circles for no reason during our walk. She would trot like a racehorse and literally pull us down the sidewalk, then inexplicably stop and twirl in a circle. Lily will still meet me at the door after work but who is going to lick my face incessantly until Sue has to say, “Bubbles! Stop It!”? Who is going to hop in bed with me at naptime and prop herself up on my pillow forcing me to completely change my sleep habits? Working on the computer will never be the same without those big brown eyes staring holes in the back of my neck until I lean back far enough for her to stretch her front paws to my chair enabling her to lick my neck.


This tiny creature who was so wary of me for two full years that she would not let me touch her has become my finest companion. She decided somewhere along the way that I must be OK and a bond was formed that I cannot explain or dismiss lightly. Bubbles put her trust in me, knowing instinctively that I would never let her come to harm and would do everything in my power to protect her and give her a good life. I cannot betray that trust by now allowing her to live out her life in discomfort, unable to breathe and eat. I have to humanely end her young life and it is killing me to do it.


I know in my mind it is for the best to let her go in peace and end the suffering but my heart is broken and I don’t know how to deal with it. I have had pets who died and I was sad but it was never like this.


Bubbles was a special creature who completely changed me and my outlook on pets. I was a guy who wouldn’t let the dog in the same room with me while I ate, so afraid was I of a dog hair in my food. Over the past three years I have had many lunches with Bubbles on my lap, my plate resting on her back. I never liked dogs in my bed. Now after Sue leaves for work Bubbles sleeps on my pillow next to my head. I grudgingly used to let dogs lick my hand. Bubbles however has gained full access to my face, neck, ears, she even once got that “Frog Tongue” of hers in my mouth when I wasn’t paying attention and I didn’t even flinch. Such was the bond we had, Bubbles and I.


I know we will get another dog as Lily will be sad without her “sister”. Lily is sensitive and will need a companion at home while we are not there. I also know the next pet will grow on me and will capture my heart, as I am truly enlightened now as to the value of a loving pet. I can only hope the joy of a new dog will help lessen the pain in my heart that I now feel. But nothing will ever take the place of my beloved Bubbles, my Little Buddy. She is my heart. Rest in Peace our Sweet Little Girl. I loved you so.


Dad (alias Jim Starcher)

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