Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Rest in Peace, Dear Pompey

It is with sadness and gratitude that I write today's post, a tribute to my dear sweet Pompey, who died two weeks ago after fourteen happy, play-filled years.  Pompey's amusing antics graced this blog many times since its inception, and he was a great favorite of many of you, Dear Reader.

Pompey Darling
May 12, 1999 to July 8, 2013

As I reported in an earlier post, we almost lost Pompey a few short months ago.  We were fortunate that we didn't, though, and the time we had with him since then allowed us to cherish him all the more, loving him every moment we were blessed with his company until it came time for us to say our final goodbye.

At the kitchen door at Darlington

Funny, faithful, and loving, Pompey was all that I could have ever hoped for in what I truly believe is "man's best friend."  He certainly was mine.  I did adore him so.

In my arms on Nantucket

I fell in love with Pompey the day we brought him home to Darlington House as a wee puppy, fourteen years ago.  I've been besotted with him ever since.  So good natured, so friendly, such a fond companion Pompey was.  I called him my "little one" and my "little man."  Boy called him his "sweet familiar," a name that always made me smile.

Snug in his bed at Darlington

I knew that when we retrieved Pompey from the animal hospital after his scare in May that we had him on borrowed time.  Although enfeebled by his ordeal, Pompey rallied over the ensuing weeks, and there were times when he almost resembled his old playful, darling self.  A week before he died, though, he started to decline, and it became clear to Boy and me—at first individually and then acknowledged between the two of us—that our sweet fellow was beginning to check out.  The evening before he died Pompey went into a spiral, and no amount of painkiller medicine that I administered to him was able to alleviate his suffering over a long and sleepless night.  Poor, dear little man.

By four in the morning I knew that his time was up.

In a pensive mood

I woke Boy, and the two of us got out of bed with Pompey and carried him downstairs.  We took him out to our screened porch, where the three of us had spent many happy times over the years.  We waited there together as the dawn broke, Pompey lying on the sofa between the two of us, breathing slowly.  A calm settled on us as we sat there quietly, our little family close together for the last time, listening to the sounds of the birds waking and calling their early morning songs.

Happy as a clam with Boy on Nantucket

I telephoned the vet's office as soon as it opened, and arranged to bring Pompey in later that morning.  His end was merciful and swift, and Pompey died with dignity, sheltered in the embrace of those who adored him most, bathed in our tears and love.

I shall miss my dear sweet darling for the rest of my days.

At the Four Seasons in Baltimore

I am truly blessed, Dear Reader, to have had the privilege of Pompey's loving friendship for fourteen years.  I am grateful that Boy and I were able to raise and nurture him with love and care, and that he lived with affection his entire life.  And I am fortunate to have known the devotion of Pompey's faithful companionship for more than a quarter of my own life.  I know I am a better person for it.

On our bed at Darlington

Thank you, dear Pompey, for all the joy, laughter, affection, and fun you brought to me and to those who loved you over the years.  You were a very special, very much loved friend.

May you rest in peace, dear little one.  I will always love you.

Photographs by Boy Fenwick and Reggie Darling

92 comments:

  1. Feeling very sad for you all, he was the perfect boy!

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  2. I am sorry to read about Pompey's passing, Having a pug of my own who is dealing with his own major health issues right now I almost skipped reading this post. My deepest sympathy on your loss.

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  3. Tears pouring down my cheeks –– it's a story that resonates with all of us who have lost a beloved dog. My thoughts are with you.

    He had the best life, filled with love right up till his last breath.

    We remember them always.

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  4. Reggie -- I am so sorry. We lost our adored Oliver last year after 14 and 1/2 years and like you, we had a scare a few months before it was time to let him go. And I found this, which is rather soppy, but is so appropriate . . .

    When you get a dog, it gives you part of its heart,
    when you lose a dog, it takes part of your heart,
    I hope I live long enough to have a heart that is all dog
    and be as kind and loving and forcing as they are.

    We were fortunate that Rescue Dolly came into our lives about 6 weeks before we lost Ollie and she made that pain easier.

    Again, I am so sorry to hear of Pompey's passing.

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  5. I'm gutted for you and Boy. Tears, tears and more tears for your sweet little boy.

    Bonnie

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  6. Reggie,
    My deepest heartfelt sympathies to you and Boy. Pompey was loved unconditionally.
    pve

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  7. So sorry to read this but you were blessed with him for a long time and I know you will see him again in a happier place. Peace be with you both.

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  8. A beautiful tribute to a great little dog. No matter how long we have them it is never long enough. I remember being struck, watching you cradle Pompey in your arm like a baby that Thanksgiving so many years ago, that Pugs were formed and functioned as child substitutes. If you took an infant and covered it in fur it would make a very good Pug. Pompey was a Very Good Pug.

    xox,
    Yr sister, Hermione

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  9. I am so sorry for your loss.

    I would love to send this loving tribute post to my husband but I don't think he could handle it. His dog (my stepdog, as my husband got him with his first wife), Mr. Magnum, is a 16 year old grumpy little pug/dachshund with an arthritic camel back who is still going, going, going. He needs a boost up the stairs at night, but he's holding on strong. I just hope his passing is as peaceful as Pompey's sounded.

    xoxo

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  10. Dear Reggie,
    Having buried a number of beloved pets, I offer you my deep condolences. Take heart that you and Boy gave Pompey a wonderful life filled with affection, beauty and joy. I do believe our pets make us better humans and perhaps that is why the pain is so acute when they leave us.
    Karen

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  11. All of us who have loved our dogs beyond reason and have had to send them on to a better place stand with you and Boy during this most difficult time.

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  12. It is so sad to loose a pet who is truly a member of a family. I know it. So sorry, Reggie.

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  13. Oh, I am so sorry for your loss. I hope all your wonderful memories of your little man Pompey will be a source of comfort to you. Your tribute to him was beautiful to read. In every way he knew he was loved and cherished.

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  14. So sorry for the loss to your family. Hopefully fond memories help you through this hard time.

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  15. We just lost our old lab Sunday at age 17. We were so fortunate to have had him. We are thinking of you in your time of grief. Know that he had a happy, happy life and will be loved by you forever.

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  16. My pets are beloved family members, but it is a wise and unselfish decision when time is up. I am sorry for your loss.

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  17. There is nothing like the companionship and love of a good dog. My heartfelt condolences for your loss.

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  18. What a loving tribute you wrote. I had to say goodbye to my sweet cat, Bella, July 3 after 14 years together so I am grieving along with you. We are destined to outlive our dear pets so all we can do is show them great love in both their life and their passing, and you have truly done this for dear Pompey. My condolences on your loss.

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  19. They become members of a litany I run through each day, these short-lived loved ones -- I think about Brownie, Cookie, Julius and Matthias on a daily basis. After Matthias died, I vowed no more dogs -- and I haven't been able to bear another these 5 years.

    Pompey was a joy to see here and it sounds like he was a greater joy in life. My deepest condolences.

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  20. Dear RD,

    So sorry to hear of your loss. What a beautiful creature he was! Pugs are so sweet. RIP dear Mr. Pompey

    Dean

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  21. Tears blurred words so BEAUTIFULLY WROUGHT by a loving parent of an Angel! Sitting all together on the Cusp of a New Dawn says it ALL...but Pompey waited for you both to realize it was his final gift of Memory for your Souls to Share.

    I cannot say enough, spell GOD backwards and the true definition is found - ONE WHO LOVES ONE UNCONDITIONALLY, IS BY UOUR SODE THRU THE DARKEST TIMES, AND IS ALWAYS FORGIVING - too bad most humans don't realize.

    Sending LOVE AND LIGHT to you both!

    A Penpal of Pompey

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  22. Will miss very much hearing of your life and adventures with Pompey. He seemed to have quite a warm, funny personality. So sorry he's gone.

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  23. You have my deepest sympathy.

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  24. Oh Reggie, what a beautiful tribute. Such an eloquent testament to love of man for animal. I am so sorry for your loss, and send my love to you and Boy.

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  25. oh , Reggie, my heart is breaking for you. I just don't know what to say.

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  26. Oh Reggie and Boy, My heart is heavy for your loss. I have dogs and know of your ache. Years ago my vet gave me this poem, I still cry only tears of joy, not sadness. HKH

    http://www.lgd.org/library/kipling.htm

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  27. Our dogs give us one thing that is incredibly rare...unconditional love and loyalty. You and your partner will miss him and the ache is palpable thru this post. You are to be commended for making the right and merciful choice and for being with the sweet little guy as he passed to the other side. Being held by you as he drifted away he felt no fear or anxiety...he was secure with his masters. Well done on that score. Tearing up now...must sign off.

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  28. my sympathies for your loss. We lost our dog this past fall and a friend shared the poem below with us....the opening an appropriate visual for Pompey playing at Darlington House.

    http://www.newrainbowbridge.com/NRB/rbpoem.htm

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  29. Oh no... We are so sorry. We loved Pompey and thought of him as an honorary cat! He will be missed.

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  30. Such a lucky dog to have wonderful parents--and, such luck parents to have him. RIP Pompey.

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  31. Our beloved dogs ask so little and give so much. We are fortunate to have them in our lives. I am sorry for your loss and will miss hearing about his antics.

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  32. What a lovely post, Reggie. I'm so sorry for your loss--a pet can be regarded as close as a human member of the family, and I know you'll miss him.

    You'll no doubt have wonderful memories to look back on, so I hope the healing process goes quickly for you.

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  33. Sweet, beautiful face! My heart goes out to you in your grieving. How lucky you were to have such a companion. Pompey was lucky too , to be so loved.
    xx
    julie

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  34. Rest in peace, dear Pompey.

    I am so very sorry for your loss Reggie and Boy. I've been there too many times, but there is something about dogs that just keeps us all going back for more; more of their love and antics that cannot be fulfilled by any other creature on this planet.

    Thank you for sharing such beautiful photos of Pompey that truly must capture his spirit so very well.



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  35. Oh no! I feel I got to know Pompey through your loving posts about him. What a cutie he was. So sorry you and Boy are hurting. I'll miss Pompey. Rest in peace, little man.

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  36. When the body that lived at your single will,
    With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still);
    When the spirit that answered your every mood
    Is gone-wherever it goes-- for good,
    You will discover how much you care,
    And will give your heart to a dog to tear.

    From The power of the Dog by Rudyard Kipling

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  37. I am so sorry for your loss. I know he lived a wonderful life, you can always feel good about that.

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  38. I'm so sorry, Reggie. Pompey was one in a million, and he honored you with his love. He had excellent parents whom he could trust to do the right thing at the end. That is the most loving act we can perform.

    Your lives will be very empty for a while: you will see him often, out of the corner of your eye, on his way to his usual spots. I join you in your
    grief for your sweet boy.

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  39. We grieve with you both ... our deepest sympathy in the passing of the darling dearest wee soul ... a true gentle heart ...

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  40. Dear Reggie and Boy, I am so sorry for your loss. He was truly a fine boy and friend. I hope that you will find much comfort in your fond memories and when looking at his darling photos -- also in knowing all the love that was mutually shared for so many years together. Farewell, dear Pompey. May you rest in peace. Hugs, Reggie and Boy. I know how much his absence is felt.

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  41. Hello Reggie, I am very sorry to hear this sad news, especially after the hopeful reprieve that you recently reported. Pompey earned his cherished place with his love, disposition and presence, and enlivened tales of Reggie Darling and Darlington with his antics and winsome looks.
    --Jim

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  42. Reggie and Boy, I am so sorry for your loss, what a fitting tribute to your faithful friend.

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  43. I wanted to comment for the first time on this blog to offer my condolences. Having lost a dear four legged family member several years ago I truly empathize. Pompey was well loved and that is the best gift one can give (and recieve) from a dear pet.

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  44. Beautiful and touching. Am so sorry for your loss. Maybe you have read the Rainbow Bridge story/poem? Corny but sweet---about meeting again in the future with loved pets. Pets remain always with us just like people we hold dear. They are part of us.

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  45. I'm really sorry to hear about Pompey. I'm sure he knew how much you both loved him.

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  46. It's so sad, yet so very humane to ease an animal, a beloved pet, faithful companion, out of their life here with us. Never forgotten, always loved. My deepest sympathy to you and Boy.

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  47. I had to wait until I could see the screen again to tell you how sad and happy I am for you. I understand fully. We also have a dog on borrowed time and that time is so precious. I hope that I, too, am a better person for having had this lovely being in my life.

    My heart goes out to you and Boy.

    With sympathy,

    Kay

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  48. Barbara P from MAJuly 24, 2013 at 7:43 PM

    So sorry to learn of Pompey's passing-My heart goes out to you and Boy- We too are dealing with our failing big guy (standard poodle) and I am having a really hard time with it- Your post has me in tears as I sympathize with your loss-Take heart in knowing that Pompey lived an especially wonderful life in your loving care-Your post is a beautiful tribute to him-

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  49. Dear Reggie and Boy -
    I'm very sorry for your lost. Pompey enjoyed a privileged life, and had many fans around the world, including us in Wash, DC. As mother would say when we lost our beloved pets, they've gone over the rainbow bridge. Thanks for sharing Pompey with us through your posts ~
    Loi and Tom

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  50. Poor little fellow. You and Boy gave him the best life that any dog could ever hope to have. I am so dreadfully sorry. RIP Pompey.

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  51. I am so sorry for your loss. Pompey was well-celebrated and I know that I am one of many who enjoyed reading about him.

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  52. Pompey will continue to be in your life... Just when you least expect it, a happy memory will trigger a sudden mirage.
    You gave each other a gift by caring for one another, and that's what counts the most in this world.

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  53. What a beautifully written tribute - I am so sorry for your loss and my thoughts are with you and your family. Pompey had a marvelous, happy life and that was a wonderful gift to him, as he was a gift to you.
    With deep sympathy,
    Elizabeth

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  54. Dear Reggie & Boy,

    As John Galsworthy wrote, 'Not the least hard thing to bear when they go from us, these quiet friends, is that they carry away with them so many years of our own lives.' Thank you for sharing your dear Pompey with us on this blog. My deepest sympathy goes out to you.

    Kind regards,
    Bitsy

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  55. Rest in Peace Pompey - a pug is a wonderful dog. Deepest sympathy from a fan in Australia

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  56. Tears are welling up in my eyes.............am so sorry........a beautiful tribute!

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  57. Sorry, guys. Sounds like he was a great pup. Hard to lose such a friend.
    Best -
    - Mike

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  58. What a wonderful heartfelt post. There is nothing like a dog who wants only to please you.

    Jrandyv
    Vancouver WA

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  59. Deepest condolences from this fan in Chicago. Thank you for sharing magical little Pompey with us here. I am so sorry for you and Boy.

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  60. We have always had Pugs and usually more than one at the same time. They are such personable little dogs and you wonder how you ever got along without having such an endearing creature in your home. But no matter the breed, our 'best' friends are exactly that. Your tribute was lovingly written and leaves no doubt that your Pompey was completely encompassed by the one thing that all dogs yearn for.

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  61. So very sorry for your loss. Our pets are truly family, and the loss of a pet, even in old age, is the loss of a beloved family member as well as a true friend.

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  62. Thank you for sharing. Your tribute touched me. Blessings to both of you.

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  63. Thank you for sharing that -- your readers also loved hearing about him. I am glad his suffering is now at an end.

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  64. The thought of the three of you watching the dawn .....

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  65. My heart aches for you and Boy. What a wonderful friend Pompey was and what a fitting tribute you wrote here. Thank you for sharing Pompey with us throughout the years. We will all miss him and send you our sympathy through tears.

    Elizabeth

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  66. the Elegant EconomistJuly 26, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    Thank you for sharing that fond farewell, thus allowing Pompey's friends and fans to say goodbye too.

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  67. Yes, our dogs are part of our family. And we grieve them as we would children and best friends. Sending prayers for the next few difficult weeks, months.
    Mary

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  68. Been offline for a few days; hugs to you both and thinking of you.

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  69. bethabates@gmail.comJuly 26, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    So beautiful..thank you for your inspiration and courage..I am going through the same with our 13 year old lab. My sadness and heart overwhelmes me for you and your loss...may the memories of your sweet boy warm your heart and may you feel his spirit with you forever.

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  70. What a wonderful companion! I have often smiled at his adorable pictures here, and my deepest condolences for your loss. He will be missed.

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  71. My tears are streaming for this little darling that I have come to love so dearly. I always hoped for updates about him here and enjoyed every mention of him. I am so sorry for your loss, Reggie and Boy.

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  72. So sorry for your loss. What a lovely tribute.

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  73. I am so so sorry to hear about your dearest Pompey, and send my deepest condolences to you and Boy Fenwick. The image of the three of you watching dawn rise above the horizon breaks my heart. But what a special creature he was! He lived a grand life, filled with love, friendship, laughter and beauty -- one to be envied by anyone. Even though I never met him, he has a special place in my heart too. xxx

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  74. I am so very sorry for the loss of your beloved Pompey. We lost our Maddie (a blue merle Sheltie) at age 15 1/2 last year and I wasn't so sure my heart would survive. You and Boy gave him the very things every dog needs: a loving home, the best food and vet care and security in knowing that he was loved every day. Just think how he returned all that love and care! And even when you go on to another dog (because you must!) those that have come before will always have their own very special corner of your heart.

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  75. I'm so glad that you knew the love of Pompey and were such a loving guardian. May your fond memories comfort you.

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  76. Oh my.
    I've just found your blog- and this post brought tears to my eyes. I know this kind of pain all too well.

    Thoughts with you.

    Manda from Eat Cake

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  77. As a fan of Pompey I will miss hearing about him very much...what wonderful friends you were. Blessings to you.

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  78. I am so sorry, there is nothing like the love you get from and the love you give to a dog.

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  79. My deepest sympathy, Reggie and Boy. I have enjoyed looking at pictures of Pompey. He was so precious.

    ---Julie

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  80. Dear Reggie and Boy
    I am so sorry to hear of your loss of the sweet Pompey. You were truly blessed, the 3 of you to have enjoyed so many wonderful years together and to be there to comfort him in the end.
    As my younger son says "All a dog ever wants is to be loved and give love" Sounds like you had that in spades.
    xx SP

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  81. Oh dear, I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your pup. They truly are part of the family and I certainly love mine like my own child. I hope you can find peace in your heart during your time of loss.

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  82. I am so sad to learn that you lost Pompey. There is nothing like the unconditional love of a pet and with Pompey you seem to have had it in spades. Pompey surely left a legacy of warm and happy memories for you.

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  83. Do you know this quotation from J.D.Ackerley?...:

    "A dog has but one aim in life, to bestow his heart"

    ----david terry
    www.davidterryart.com

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  84. I haven't commented on this post until now because we shared his passing in private a few days before you wrote this beautiful tribute to your faithful companion. I also couldn't get past the first paragraph. However, I feel I should leave my footprints here, in one of your most moving posts, as you have been a dear and faithful friend since we met. Come on over and have a little laugh. xxoo Roxie

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  85. Such a sweet tribute to your Pompey.

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  86. Pompey it seems as though you were loved by so many. It seems that your life brought lots of love and happy memories to your family for your fourteen years. I think that you looked adorable lying on the bed at the Four Seasons in Baltimore. From these photos you can tell that your smile lights up a room. I am sure that you will truly be missed.


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  87. I'm so sorry for you loss. Your pictures and tales of Pompey were such a joy.

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  88. Sorry to hear of Pompey's passing. What a great little guy he was! I enjoyed reading about his amusing antics and loved looking at pictures of his cute little face. So expressive, and so photogenic. There are no words to describe what a faithful loving dog means in your life, but we fellow dog owners know only too well. I hope it is some comfort to you to know that you gave Pompey a great and happy life, and he in return enriched yours. Rest in peace little fellow~!

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  89. I have been a long-time reader of this blog and always appreciated Pompey's adventures and utterly adorable hijinks. He seemed to be a four-legged ball of pure fun. I thank you for letting him into our lives, and am saddened by the fact that we shall see him no longer.

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  90. Such a lovely and heartfelt tribute to your dear Pompey...how they enter our hearts. We know they can only be with us for so long, but it's still difficult none the less when we have to say goodbye. What a blessing you both were to him, and he to you...and his memory will continue to be a blessing forever as well.
    xo J~

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