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In Memory of Toby

February 17, 2002 - November 19, 2009

"If I could reach up and hold a star for every time you made me smile,
The entire evening sky would be in the palm of my hand."

It is with deep sadness that we share with you that Toby died on November 19, 2009. He succumbed to the disease and its complications after nearly a 7 year battle. He was brave and loved life until the end in spite of this cruel disease. He inspired us always! He remained bright and alert but it was his body that finally gave out. He died peacefully surrounded by love and that is all we could ask. He is free now! He never complained and was so happy for the littlest thing you did for him. He was the sweetest, smartest and most loving dog we have ever had the privilege of knowing and sharing our lives with. For us he was more than just our dog'he was our boy! We will miss him every day for the rest of our lives.

Time Passes Friends come and go.
But the love of a true companion
Touches your life FOREVER...

ASHGI wrote a moving tribute to Toby, describing him as "one of the most significant Aussies of the past decade..." Click here to read the full press release.

Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep

Poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep;
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

"Farewell Master, yet not farewell.
Where I go, ye too shall dwell.
I am gone before your face,
A moment's time, a little space.
But when ye come where I have stepped
Ye will wonder why ye wept"
After Death by Edwin Arnold

We received this poem after Toby's passing and it was very moving in describing this journey we were on with Toby for 7 years.

At Heaven's Gate

I would have carried you to heaven if I could have.
I would have wrapped you in my arms, then step by step
I would have told you stories of all our yesterdays,
Of Memories created, a journey shared, of lives, our lives,
Filled with laughter and love, a passion, an energy,
Yet a softness that soothed our souls.
Visions would have danced in our heads remembering the very
moment that made your heart mine and my heart yours.
You, a companion, friend, partner, listener, teacher, a student...

"Some people only dream of angels, you held one in your arms."

I would have thanked you for all you gave,
your heart was big and your soul radiant.
I would have thanked you for sharing your life with me.
We would have reflected on our journey, our family, our friends.
As the time grew closer I would have held
You tightly as if to never let you go.
I would have kissed you "Good Night" and then very carefully
Handed you over at heaven's gate.
I would have told you, "It's ok to go for we will meet again."
I would have if I could have, but I didn't have to.
You made it on your own,
As I can hear you telling stories from heaven above.
The memories and the joy of knowing you live on in my heart.
Thank you for the journey of a lifetime.
~Author Unknown

"There's a place in heaven where peaceful waters flow,
flowers bloom, it's always spring, and all the good dogs go."
"They are gone from our sight but never our memory,
Gone from our hearing'but never our hearts,
Gone from our touch'but their presence is felt,
And the love that they gave us never departs."

The Rainbow Bridge

Author Unknown

There is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth. It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors. Just this side of Rainbow Bridge is a special land.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills and valleys with lush green grass for all of our special friends, so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food and water and sunshine, and our friends are warn and comfortable. All the animals who have been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again...just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing. They miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. The bright eyes are intent, the nose twitches and the eager body quivers. Suddenly, this one breaks away from the group, flying over the green grass, legs carrying them faster and faster.

YOU have been spotted and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, NEVER to be parted again! The happy kisses rain upon your face. Your hands again caress the beloved head and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your long gone from your life, but never absent from your heart.

Then, you cross the Rainbow Bridge together...

It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them.
And every new dog that comes into my life gifts me a piece of their heart.
If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog
and I will become as generous and loving as they are." - Unknown