Monday, October 20

Jasmine Nicole

Our Lhasa Apso, Jasmine, came into our lives in the midst of an Epic Fight. Mr. Husband has always wanted a Bulldog, and I have always been very set against the idea (you see how that worked out for me). During the Epic Fight, I told Mr. Husband he could get a dog, just not a Bulldog, and he immediately feel in love with the adorable little pup that mostly resembled a hair ball with teeth.

Her first few months in our house I was working from home, and she made me insane. In fact, I hated her. The hair ball with teeth crashed into our lives full speed ahead, slowing only to gnaw on the occassional expensive computer power cord or not replaceable auxiliary power cord. She ran and ran and ran and ran, always with a mischievous grin below the layers of white hair.

I set about house-breaking her by tying a little jingle bell to a piece of elastic and hanging it from the door then teaching her to ring the bell when she wanted to go out. She was a smart little fur ball, so it only took her a few days to catch on. Then she drove me to the brink of a nervous breakdown by taking her new training literally--she rang the bell when she wanted to go out. Every ten seconds. All. day. long. In. Out. In. Out. In. Out.

Eventually, I figured out that if I took her to the nearby dog park and let her run in circles for 45 minutes, she would manage to calm down long enough for me to actually take a shower. So every morning we set out to the park, she to run like the wind, and me to cower low so that nobody would notice that I was still wearing rumpled pj's under that heavy coat and that my hair hadn't seen a comb in quite a while. She wasn't an obedient puppy by any stretch of the imagination, so my pockets were crammed with treats as I tried diligently to teach her that "come" meant to come sit by my feet and let me grab your collar, not run towards me, stop 10 feet away, then dash off again with a smile and a flourish.

It was on one of these early morning trips to the park that I lost Jasmine. It had been snowing and the ground was covering with over a foot of heavy, wet flakes. The flakes stuck to her long fur en masse, creating little snowballs all over her body. The snowballs did nothing to slow her down, and she started her usual running to and fro. She darted about like Dash from The Incredibles, not much more than a white blur amongst the white drifts of snow. Then suddenly, she wasn't even a blur. In fact, she was nowhere to be found. I walked and walked and walked, calling her name, wishing that for JUST ONCE she would obey a simple command. At one point, as I stood cold and shivering in the middle of the huge field, I wondered just how mad Mr. Husband would actually be if I didn't find her. She was, after all, a pain in the ass. Just as I was convincing myself that I could handle his wrath, there she was--a two foot snowball with a tiny whimper. She was so covered in snowballs that she had become one big snowball and could no longer move. I scooped her up, wrapped her in a towel from the car, and took her home to spend two hours blow-drying the snowballs away.

Something happened that day at the park in that little brain--Jasmine finally figured out that it might be in her best interest to listen to me. She continued to ignore Mr. Husband's commands, but suddenly she obeyed me when I told her to sit, stay, come, roll over, beg, etc. I was the reluctant keeper of the Lhasa, the one who was called in to assist when she got unruly, the one that whose heart beamed with pride when she immediately dropped whatever trouble she was in and came to stand by my side.

She was always at my side. Always. She followed me from room to room, all over the place, and made it her mission to keep everyone else away. She chased the three cats into hiding (some of which didn't come out of hiding for years). She threw a holy drooling fit when Meg came into our lives.

Eventually she came to be sort-of friends with her Bulldog opposite. They were, in fact, complete opposites. Jasmine appeared to be the "girly" one, but really Meg is the dog most likely to be scared of her own shadow. They were The Smart One and The Dumb One, The Good One and The Bad One, The Pretty One and The Ugly One. Most days they were buds, but every once in a while they would launch into a battle royale. It may be surprising to learn that the little 15-pound hair ball came out the victor in most of those battles. It seemed that Meg was unable to find actual body in the midst of all that fur, and Jasmine was able to get down lower than Meg and nip at Meg's legs. In fact, one of those nips landed Meg in expensive surgery. I'm sure it was an accident, but I can't help but think that Jasmine was secretly smug that she was able to leave a permanent scar, a permanent reminder that brains will always win over brawn.

Then came Alexis, and Jasmine's world was truly turned upside-down. No longer was she able to commandeer my lap all to herself; she now had to share it with a tiny screaming person. In all honestly, I fully expected that Jasmine would never be able to adapt. I had even thought through who would take her when she first showed signs of aggression towards the baby. It was in her history, after all, to bite the young. She had tried to bite many kids, but we knew she didn't like them, and were able to stop her all but once. That once she left a crooked overbite-shaped bruise on the arm of our just-walking niece. I assumed the same would happen with our own child.

But it didn't.

Somehow, someway, Jasmine understood that Alexis was "part of the pack." She took to watching out for her, protecting her from the Evil Cats, and letting out a quiet bark when she thought Alexis needed something. As Alexis grew up, Jasmine took it upon herself to become The Teacher. She was the one that taught Alexis how to pet an animal, and with gentle nips she taught her that you can't pull hair. Jasmine let Alexis take bones out of her mouth then taught her how fun it is to throw that bone and watch the dog take chase. Jasmine taught Alexis to never leave a peanut butter sandwich laying around. Jasmine taught Alexis the love of a dog, one patient moment at a time.

All weekend Jasmine was sick with diarrhea and vomiting. When we took her to the vet on Saturday, she was given some meds, but wasn't even dehydrated enough to need an IV. She started to show signs of improvement mid-day yesterday, and even spent a few lazy hours on the couch snuggled up on my left side, where she always sat. Alexis sat gently petting her ears and telling her, "I wuv you, Ja-jine."

Last night, our Jasmine passed away in her sleep. We don't know why. We don't know what we could have done differently.

We don't know.

All I know is that there's a Lhasa-shaped hole in my heart and that I dread the first time Alexis asks, "Where's Ja-jine?"

We love you, girl.


Photo taken October 12, 2008

105 comments:

  1. Oh honey, I am so sorry. What a sweet puppy.

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  2. anglophilefootballfanatic.com9:29 AM

    Oh. Burgh Family, I am nearly in tears for you. I still grieve my Cairn I lost in 1998. I hope you realize J knew how much she was loved. Big, huge hugs to all three of you. The menagerie won't be the same without her.

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  3. I'm so sorry for your and your family's loss.

    You and Jasmine were lucky to have each other.

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  4. Oh, no. I am so, so sorry.

    The not knowing is so hard, isn't it? Try (I know, easier said than done) not to dwell on that - you did all that you could for her and then some...

    I'm glad Jasmine was able to spend her last weekend at home with y'all, being snuggled and petted.

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  5. Oh my, I am all teary now.

    I know how very hard it is to lose an animal member of the family. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  6. OMG I am crying for you!! all my warm fuzzies to you and yours honey...

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  7. oh noooooo, honey. i'm so sorry.

    hugs to you all.

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  8. OOOHHHH, I am so sorry for your loss. I end up with all of the critters being mine and I love each of them like they were mine. I understand how you can go from it's a dog to that's my "baby"! Sending all the warm fuzzies I can gather up your way!

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  9. Oh I am so sorry. That just broke my heart. I hope that Jasmine knows she was so very loved.

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  10. I'm so sorry to hear about Jasmine.

    All the best to your family from myself, Amy, Jack, and Jelly.

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  11. Oh no...so sorry. What a sweet dog.

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  12. I am really sorry for you guys.

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  13. I am so sorry for you loss. I know how hard it is to lose a pet.

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  14. What a beautifully written tribute. So glad you got to snuggle and love her at home during her last moments.

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  15. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  16. I am so sorry. Losing a furkid is really tough. It is obvious that Jasmine was loved very much and was a special dog. Take comfort in knowing that she is at the Rainbow Bridge with all of the other loving pets were there to welcome her. I am sure my Collie Sonny was be there to greet her and my beloved guinea pig Rudy that just made the trip on Friday. They are all anxiously awaiting the time we will all be reunited.

    Hug to you all, especially Alexis. I think Meg is going to need one as well.

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  17. I am SO sorry. Reading this made me cry like a baby. I put my chocolate Lab to sleep Friday afternoon and I am beyond heartbroken so, I know how you feel.

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  18. My deepest condolences.

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  19. I am so sorry for your family's loss. Hope you heal soon.
    Praying you find the right answer to give Alexis.

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  20. Oh my, I'm so sorry friend. Hugs to you all...

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  21. Don't know what to say other than how sorry I truly am.

    Losing a pet leaves such a gap in our lives and hearts and so many of us know that pain intimately.

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  22. I am so very sorry.

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  23. I'm so sorry to all of you :(
    Dogs hold such a special place in a family.

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  24. I'm very sorry about Jasmine.

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  25. Oh sweetie. I am so so sorry. About half way through I realized where you were going with this and broke. I'm so sorry. Especially not knowing why. Your first baby. I'm so sorry.

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  26. What a lovely tribute to such a sweet member of your family.

    Something like this just throws life off its axis, doesn't it?

    Sending positive thoughts to you all . . .

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  27. ImpostorMom10:59 AM

    I'm so so very sorry. I have also lost a pet suddenly and unexpectedly and it is very hard.

    Hugs...

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  28. What a sad thing to happen to a family. I dread for that moment to happen here. Hugs to you.

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  29. There's nothing I can say that will make it any better. Just know that I'm sending love and hugs to you all.

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  30. I am so very sorry and words fail to help. Having lost our beloved 2year old mini doxie not that long ago, I will tell you that it remains one of the hardest things we have ever dealt with.

    Please know that I'm thinking of you all and hoping that your heart heals with time. We framed lots of pics of Nomar and placed them at different locations throughout the house. It has helped a lot. And I still find myself chatting with him as I dust in and around his pic.

    Maybe she's up there playing with my Nomar. He was a lover, not a fighter, so she can conquer him too!

    Hallie :)

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  31. Oh, I could tell it was going there and even I (the non dog person) felt my chest getting tight...I'm so SO sorry!

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  32. I'm so sorry :(

    Sending ::hugs:: to you and your family.

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  33. I am so sorry. I know its so hard.

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  34. Oh - so sorry for your loss! :-(

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  35. There really aren't any words, so I'm sending you {{{HUGS}}}. Please give an extra one to Alexis from me. Poor thing.

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  36. Oh no, Im soooo sorry :( *huge huge hugs*

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  37. Oh Michelle, darlin'.
    Massive hugs to you and Alexis and hubby. I am so very sorry.
    We have lost a few dogs and it's just heartbreaking.

    I am so so sorry. My heart goes out to y'all.

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  38. I have only recently learned how much you can love a doggie when we welcomed little Loki into our home recently. I couldn't even imagine how hard it would be to loose him.

    I'm so sorry your sweet girl is gone. I'm sure you'll be cuddling Meg extra hard.....

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  39. and cue tears at work.

    So sorry you lost your girl. That was a lovely tribute to her. My heart goes out to you, Mr. Husband, and Alexis.

    Take care,
    rpm

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  40. My heart goes out to the whole BurghFamily *hugs* There's nothing you could have done more, it sounds like she was just really, really sick. You did all you could.

    So so so sorry.

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  41. Oh, I am so so sorry! My heart goes out to you and your family. There is nothing like the sadness that comes with losing a beloved pet. I'm just so sorry.

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  42. I am so so sorry :(

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  43. So sorry for your loss. I'm sure you did everything you could, and if she passed in her sleep she must not have been in any pain.

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  44. So Sorry. It is so hard to lose a part of the family.

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  45. Oh no. Poor Jasmine.

    I am so sorry. We will be praying the Alexis takes the news with quiet understanding.

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  46. I'm so sorry for your loss and hopefully Alexis will be able to understand that Jasmine's body just couldn't work anymore. It always seems like the ones that are the worst behaved are the ones you miss most of all. Take care of yourself.

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  47. So very sorry for your loss.

    One of the hardest things about being a parent is to grieve a loss, not just for yourself, but through the eyes and heart of your child.

    Sending my love to your beautiful family...

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  48. I'm sorry to hear that! Your little girl must be so upset. :o(

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  49. I'm so sorry. It's so hard to loose a pet!
    She was so cute.

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  50. That was a beautiful tribute. My heart is crying....for you, and for the memories of a similar furry friend I lost when Jock was little.

    That whole "best friend" thing? Totally true.

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  51. Shannon3:49 PM

    I am so sorry for your loss.
    I'm nearly in tears.
    What a lovely tribute.

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  52. I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful furbaby, Jasmine.

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  53. Oh no, no, no. I am so sorry. I am just in tears for you. I certainly didn't expect this post to end this way. I am just so sorry.

    This was such a lovely tribute to your Jasmine.

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  54. You are a gifted writer, poor Alexis - poor mom. That is so hard to explain and it's so hard on mommies.

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  55. Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that! I'm sorry I've missed the last couple posts, too.

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  56. Oh I'm so sorry for your loss. We lost our lab in March and my son still talks about her and asks about her. BUT, it does get better, I promise.

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  57. So sorry on the loss of Jasmine...It is so difficult to lose a dear pet but you created a beautiful tribute to her and her family.

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  58. I know too well where you are at. My heart goes out to you especially, but to Mr. H and the Toddler as well. I wish I had some words of wisdom or inspiration, but unfortunately find myself at a loss. In the absence of wisdom or inspiration, know that my thoughts are with you, and that if you need anything, please let me know.

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  59. Oh, I am so sorry. The lose of a beloved pet is truly a hard thing to cope with or understand if it's never happened to you.
    I hope you can find the right words to to say to Alexis. Children are very resilient.

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  60. MY PRECIOUS FAMILY I AM OVERWHELMED WITH SADNESS. SHE WAS NANA'S BEAUTIFUL GIRL. SHE WAS MY FAVORITE OF ALL GRAND DOGGIES I HAD. HER MOMMY WOULD EVEN PUT BOWS AND RIBBONS IN HER HAIR WHEN SHE CAME TO SEE HER NANA. SHE KNEW HOW MUCH I LOVED HER IN THEM. WHEN I DOGGIE SAT WHEN THEY CAME HOME TO INDIANA SHE WOULD LAY NEXT TO ME OR ON MY FEET. SHE KNEW NANA WOULD GIVE HER TREATS AND SPECIAL ATTENTION. SHE WAS MY PRETTY GIRL. I AM SO SAD. SO MOMMY (ESPECIALLY MOMMY) DADDY AND MY ANGEL ALEXIS I KNOW YOU ARE GRIEVING THE LOSS OF YOUR SPECIAL GIRL. MY HEART AND ALL MY LOVE GO OUT TO ALL OF YOU. I LOVED JASMINE AND SHE WILL BE MISSED. MY PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU. MAY YOU BE COMFORTED IN KNOWING THAT JASMINE KNEW HOW MUCH SHE WAS LOVED AND CARED FOR. MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL. LOVE NANA

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  61. Sending hugs hun! I am so sorry you have lost a family member & best friend!

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  62. I am so so sorry for your loss. I wondered when you said she had been throwing up all weekend. Poor baby and poor you! UGH!

    ((hug))

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  63. I'm so sorry. I know there were problems and I'm very sad it ended that way.

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  64. oh I'm am so sorry. what a sweet tribute to an adorable little pup. i love the little lost snowball story.
    Rest well sweet Jasmine.

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  65. That stinks! I am sorry for your doggie loss.

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  66. Oh, sweetie. Your family's loss is huge. Sending hugs and shoulders to cry on, your way.

    Our dog passed away seven years ago and we still think about her. Jasmine will never be forgotten. You'll find her hairs somewhere years from now and you'll cry all over again.

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  67. I'm so sorry for your loss.
    Jasmine sounds like she was one of the truly Good Dogs out there.
    She was lucky to have a family like yours to be a part of.

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  68. I am so sorry. She looks like a sweet dog, and your story was touching. I hope your family is finding comfort, that sweet doggie knew that she was loved.

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  69. Hugs to you, Burgh family, and your dear fluffy friend.

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  70. I've been thinking of you, Alexis & Mr. Husband all day. Near tears. My kitty, Echo, was put down in early summer by my dad. I love him & my mom for how they cared for her. And for getting to that hard choice, and going through with it as it was my decision from afar, but it's taken us a while to get over it. But it's made us stronger and closer. And it makes me happy that she'll be at the Rainbow Bridge waiting for me. :-) (and now I'm full out crying! with a smile!)

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  71. I'm sorry for your loss. :(
    I definitely know how it feels to lose such a precious "family member." *Hugs*

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  72. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  73. Oh, BB. I am so, so very sorry. I can't even imagine how devasted you and Mr. H are.

    I'm sending you hugs, even though I know that everything will feel very hollow right now.

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  74. :-(

    I have tears in my eyes. You know how I am about dogs. I'm so sorry for your loss and for the inexplicable way in which it happened. How old was she? How did you explain this to Alexis?

    Jasmine has given one more lesson to your daughter - how to miss someone you love.

    Peace - D

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  75. I'm so sorry to hear about Jasmine. I lost one of my guinea pigs last Thanksgiving Day, and I know that at least one more of mine is near the end of his short little life (he's 6), so I can understand what you are going through. Have you heard of the Rainbow Bridge poem?

    http://rainbowsbridge.com/Poem.htm

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  76. Oh, I'm so sorry. I'm sending you many hugs your way.

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  77. I'm so sorry! That's so sad...hopefully she wasn't in any pain. Hugs to all of you.

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  78. Oh, I am sooo sorry. We lost one of our furbabies last year but we at least had the small 'comfort' of knowing what it was that took him from us.

    My thoughts are with you, Alexis, Meg and the whole gang as you go through this.

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  79. In Hebrew, the word for dog is kelev. There is a saying that this comes from the words kol (all) and lev (heart). All heart.

    So sorry for your loss.

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  80. Oh, so sad. I am sure she will be missed. It is always hard losing a member of the family even if they are of the furry variety.

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  81. Oh my, I am so sorry for your loss. I am in tears because I know how hard it is to have to say goodbye to a dear four-legged family member.

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  82. Oh, I am so sorry. It was a very sweet story. She was such a cute dog. So sad.

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  83. I am so, so sorry about Jasmine. I, too, have been where you're at and it is a very awful type of awful. All I can say is, I'm sorry.

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  84. That just sucks. I am so sorry.
    Big (((hugs))) for all of you.

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  85. I wish Pascal would only listen to me. Instead he listens to whoever is closest or newest to the room!

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  86. Ohhh I'm so sorry. My heart goes out to you. I knew as soon as I started reading that she had passed away, because generally when people blog about their pets it means something bad has happened to the pet.
    My own beloved doggie Chopper died of cancer, exactly a year ago this Friday. I still cry when I think about her. The one good thing that makes me feel better about your situation is that Jasmine died in her sleep. We had to take Chopper to be euthanized in the end when she was in too much pain, and it was my worst nightmare. I am glad that your family, at least, didn't have to go through that.
    My heart goes out to you all! :(

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  87. I am so sorry, you two were lucky to have eachother!

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  88. Oh no. I am so sorry. She was a wonderful pup.

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  89. I'm sorry to hear... I'm sorry for your loss... my mom had to put down the 2 cats i grew up with this year. I know that hurt. It will get better ((hug))

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  90. I'm sorry to hear... I'm sorry for your loss... my mom had to put down the 2 cats i grew up with this year. I know that hurt. It will get better ((hug))

    (ranting in pgh)

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  91. oh me. what a shock that must have been. I'm utterly sorry about the loss of your little Jasmine. They're such a part of the family *sigh* what a heart breaker.

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  92. I'm so sorry, hon. This is a reality for me. :(

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  93. Oh crap, I'm so sorry!

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  94. I am so sorry to hear about Jasmine.They always take a place in our hearts and even though we try to fight it we can't stop it.

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  95. I'm so sorry to hear the news and so sad for you guys. I've been there a bunch of times and I know how hard it is - especially with kids.

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  96. I am so sorry for your loss.

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  97. Oh no - I'm so sorry to read this post. I've been out of the loop, obviously, and missed this. Losing a pet is absolutely horrible.

    *lamely adding* I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  98. I'm so sorry. ((hugs)) Losing our fur babies is never easy.

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  99. I am so sorry for your loss. I got behind on my blog reading and had no idea. I hope you are ok soon. Take time to cry and heal.

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  100. I'm so sorry for your loss. It is not easy to lose a pet that has been such an important part of your life. ((HUGS))

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  101. I kept seeing the tweets about the new puppy hoped that the new addition wasn't the result of the loss of one of your babies. I'm so sorry to see that you lost Jasmine. We lost our 15 YO Tessa in 2006. My heart still aches when I think of her. People who don't understand how they become so important in our lives are soooo wrong.

    Will keep you guys in my prayers. xoxoxo

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