Saying Goodbye is Never Easy

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Hello dear friends. I know that we don’t usually post on Sunday’s, but this isn’t a usual post.

Our hearts are heavy as Thursday we had to say goodbye to our sweet Starbuck.


Starbuck was our faithful friend and loyal family companion for 15 ½ years.

Jennifer and John gifted me Starbuck for Christmas in 2000. Little did I know at that time how much this beautiful little fur ball was going to impact my life. In the beginning my family joked that Starbuck was “Jennifer’s Replacement”, to help prepare me for when Jenn went to college and the house became too quiet. Obviously nothing can replace Jenn, but Starbuck was the perfect distraction.


He was full of energy and loved to play – but more than that, he loved to follow me all around the house. Wherever I was, he wanted to be right next to me…even if it was the bathroom 🙂

On the few occasions that I was sick or recovering from surgery Starbuck would help nurture me back to health. He wouldn’t settle down until I picked him up and he would lay on my chest and fall asleep. He instinctively knew that I wasn’t feeling well and something in his little world wasn’t right. It made both of us feel better.

In the last few years John has started practicing daily yoga. I would find Starbuck lying on the end of his yoga mat every single day. John accommodated him and would do his practice around him. We have joked in the past that the yoga helped Starbuck age well and have a longer life.


I always referred to Starbuck as “Perfect Boy”. When a friend asked me why I called him that I said “Because he’s the perfect man. He doesn’t argue, he does whatever I ask, he doesn’t let me out of his sight and he worships the ground I walk on.” All of those statements are true – even if I didn’t live up to his expectations.


One thing I can definitely proclaim is that Starbuck liked to be dressed up…I wouldn’t have done it otherwise. He always patiently stood while I dressed him – never running away. When I would dress him you could almost see him puffing his chest out in pride. He knew he looked good 🙂 He definitely loved sweaters in the Winter, bandanas in the Summer and costumes for Halloween. He never shook off a hat or garment his entire life. Cute doesn’t even begin to describe how adorable he always was.

While we are on the subject of fashion, it occurred to me as I was going through photos that he also had many hairstyles over the years. His groomer Mrs. Hunter always made him look good…and he knew it 🙂



Starbuck liked to be front-and-center in everything I did, especially my DIY projects and crafts. It was sometimes hard to complete a task as he was underfoot and harder still to take photos without him in them. Don’t even get me started on the time he brushed up on a piece of furniture I was painting in Aubusson Blue. Thank goodness his gorgeous fur cleaned up with soap and water!


When Starbuck was six-years-old he was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease. This is an adrenal condition and it effects humans too. We learned John Kennedy had this disease. Thanks to our super fantastic veterinarian, Dr. Rox, Starbuck became her longest survivor with this disease. Until this past 7 months, you would never know he was ill. And in the end it wasn’t why he declined. His little body was just giving out. After meeting with Dr. Rox this week we were told that he wasn’t having an Addisonian episode and what was happening couldn’t be fixed. We all agreed that the time had come to do what none of us wanted to do.


So on Wednesday John, Jennifer and I gathered and spent the day and evening doting on and loving our Perfect Boy. For the first time in his life he was fed deli roast beef – and he loved it! We each took turns holding him while we sat around pretending it was a normal Wednesday, even though deep down we all knew there was nothing normal about it. Thursday came a little too quickly as our final day with Starbuck. We knew we were doing the right thing…no matter how hard it was.


We loved our little dog very much and we know there will never be another like him. We miss him terribly but are so grateful he enhanced and enriched our lives for so many years. Happy trails Perfect Boy. Saying goodbye is never easy…


  1. Liz Bonin says:

    Vicki I’m so sorry to hear this news. My heart breaks for you and your family. You have written such a beautiful obituary for your perfect boy. Crying myself. Big hugs to all of you. Liz

  2. I am so sorry to hear about Starbuck. I can see how much love there is between all of you. God surely knew what he was doing when he created dogs. I have been thru this a few times myself and after the pain subsides you will be left with love and wonderful memories!

  3. Vicki and Jenn, I’m so sorry for your loss. This is such a beautiful tribute to Starbuck. I’m sending you lots of hugs today, my sweet friends!

  4. Our fur babies sure do take our hearts.
    We love and nurture them like no other. With each and every pet it doesn’t
    get any easier to say goodbye, but we don’t want them to suffer.
    My heart goes out to you. Hugs .

  5. Vicki, I am so sorry for your loss. Starbuck was so blessed to have such a wonderful and loving family as yours. I know he was loved so very much. Saying a prayer for you and your family.

  6. I am so sorry to hear of your loss! Pet lovers know how hard it is to lose them and all the joy they brought you every single day. Hope the happy memories overshadow the sadness soon!

  7. I lost my 2 retired search and rescue dogs last sept and dec. I can only say the hurt lessens with time. Hurt is replaced with smiles in time when you think back on the beautiful memories you had with him. I will also say he will never be replaced but another sweet dog will help with the process of healing. This I can promise because I now have Loki my third search dog. He will never be Murphy but my hurt seemed to be lessen knowing he was there waiting to make new memories.

  8. So sorry for your loss. You wrote so lovingly of Starbuck that I feel I know him even though I never had the pleasure of meeting him. He was blessed to have a wonderful, caring family. His presence will be in your hearts forever.

  9. So sorry about your loss. It is never an easy thing even when we know it is the right thing to do. The wonderful memories help the pain lessen as time goes by. We lost our baby two years ago and there isn’t a day goes by that I don’t think of her and miss her company.

  10. I’m so sorry for your loss it is so hard loosing a fur-baby. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. He was such a cutie.

  11. So sorry for your loss. It’s never easy saying goodbye to a loved one, a dear friend or a pet that becomes a member of the family. We will all go through this difficult part of our journey in life, I have several times. I can say this…the unconditional love you received and the special love you poured out to this beautiful boy is unique and one of a kind. It will be preserved forever. You are in our prayers#

  12. I’m so sorry for your loss. What a great tribute to a sweet little guy. He was very blessed to have you all as his family. Thinking of you!! Hugs!!

  13. I am so very sorry for the loss of Starbuck! Please know you and Starbuck are in my heart and prayers.

  14. Vicki, your story made me cry…I have 2 current shih-tzu’s and also 2 past ones that lived to be 15 and 17 years. Your Starbuck looks so much like my Gabbie I have now. It is always so hard to make the decision to let them go, I did the same with mine. One I got to love the day before just like you. It still hurts to think of Gizmo, but I know I did the right thing. He had hip displaysia, and I never really knew if he was in pain. He could no longer walk, but scooted around on the hardwood floors earning him the nickname “Scooter”. Sweet stories, pictures, and memories of your Starbuck will be with you forever. I’m sorry for your loss.

  15. I’m so sorry for your loss. It is one of life’s most difficult things to go through. Words don’t even come close. But you have wonderful memories and he is waiting at the Rainbow Bridge for you.

  16. My heart breaks for you! When you can may I suggest reading the book A Dogs Purpose It helped me after I lost my beautiful boy Hogan. Prayers for all of you and your beautiful Starbuck!

  17. Alayne Langford says:

    I don’t know you but I feel I do through your story of the wonderful life with Starbuck. My Diego could be his twin so I feel for you as a dog owner of two brother Shihtzu mixes. I know the love he gave you will never be matched but will warm your heart in years to come. May I ask what breed Starbuck was, he is just so lovely. Thoughts and prayers xo

  18. I’m so sorry for your loss. We lost a furry family member the day before I left for Haven last summer and I still miss him terribly. Love your tribute to Starbuck! Hugs!!

  19. Alby Furlong says:

    I am so sorry for your lose. We lost our JoJo after seventeen years so we have experienced the pain. We sad we would never have another dog, and we didn’t for about fourteen years. Now we have five dogs. It was an accident. We never had puppies and when our Maltese had puppies, we got too attached and kept them. Our poodle is fifteen on May 4th. We found out she has Cushings disease and that we will not have her much longer. Our hearts are already breaking.
    Like you, we are grateful for the time we have had her in our lives and we are spoiling her very well.
    We pray that your hearts will heal soon.

  20. mary scott says:

    My heart breaks for you. I lost my most beloved cat on his 21st birthday after a long fight against kidney disease. I still miss him after 6 years. I have kitties, but they are all unique. One doesn’t just replace another. Best wishes to you all.

  21. Vicki, my heart is heavy for you. I’m so so sorry. I have a 15 year old “puppy” 🙂 myself and I know our goodbye is coming sooner rather than later as well. Starbuck does seem like the “perfect boy,” and you obviously loved him very well friend. Praying for your family today..

  22. It’s hard to know what to say after reading this heartbreaking post. The words “I’m sorry” just doesn’t seem adequate enough and yet those are the words I feel. I’m sorry your heart hurts and you had to go through all of this. I know how much you loved him and the joy he gave you daily. I’m sending you big hugs and prayers for peace as you mourn the loss of The Perfect Boy. With love, CoCo

  23. Vicki and Jenn, I am so sorry about your Starbuck and my heart is breaking for you. I know it is sooo hard to lose and or put a dog down that you have had for so many years. They are family. I’m thinking of you and big hugs and prayers to you. xoxo, Lisa

  24. I too feel sorry for you and your lost. Starbuck’s story bring back memories of when
    we lost our beautiful Tasha. Its been 3 years….still miss her. Beautiful white Maltese’s
    …never had her hair cut, and went to the beauty shop every Friday! Not spoiled at all.
    They are sooo loved. They don’t talk back, or ask to take the car, they are so precious
    to us. I did get a cat about 6 mo.s later ( wasn’t looking…happened) Prince Harry, a real
    character. He is interesting and we love him but will never stop missing Tasha.
    God Bless You and your family.

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