Tributes & Testimonials
This is my favorite picture of Bubba. He came to me when my life was in a very dark place. I had just gotten divorced, lost my job, and lost my house. To be entirely honest, I had also lost my will to live. But this amazing little black cat stood by me and loved me unconditionally as I fought through an incredibly deep depression. Slowly, but surely, he taught me how to care for something again. He taught me how to live again. And he taught me the meaning of unconditional love. He also taught me never to leave him alone with a 6 ounce bag of catnip stashed in the cupboard above the fridge.
Bubba was my best friend for 14 years. My love affair with this little black fur ball began in December of 2002. I was feeling incredibly sad and lonely one Saturday morning, when I somehow summoned up the strength to get my depressed butt off the couch and drive to the Columbia County Humane Society. I told the lady at the counter that I was looking for a feline friend, and that the first kitty who ‘talked’ to me was coming home with me. As soon as she led me into the cat area, this annoying little black cat started hollering at me like there was no tomorrow. The stupid thing just wouldn’t shut up. I asked her, “What’s the deal with the irritating little black one?” She just laughed and said, “Oh, that’s Bart, he’s 2 years old, and he’s been with us almost 6 months now. He just wants to get out of here so bad!” I took one look at him and said, “Today’s your lucky day, Bart, you’re coming home with me.” an hour later I took him home, renamed him Bubba, and the annoying little fur ball didn’t shut up for next 14 years.
In addition to his non-stop talking, Bubba was unique in a million ways. He loved being petted, but he hated being held. He would come when you called his name, and he would run to the door and greet people when the doorbell rang. I’m pretty sure he thought he was a dog. He also loved to go on car rides. I used to load him up in my truck and we would drive around town for hours. He loved to sit up on the dashboard and people watch. We would always end our rides with a trip through one of the local fast food drive thru’s, where I took great pleasure in seeing the stunned looks on the employees faces as we pulled up to the window and Bubba stuck his head out. Taco Bell was always his favorite, because I’d give him a few of the cheese sprinkles from my tacos.
Bubba was a world class escape artist, who could get into or out of anything. We affectionately referred to him as Houdini, for his uncanny ability to get in and out of the most perilous predicaments. Being a petite 10 pound puma has its advantages (and disadvantages). Throughout the course of his 9 lifetimes, I spent countless hours coaxing him and/or extracting him out of trees, heating vents, cupboards, basement piping, suspended ceilings, and countless other conundrums.
Of course, having a black cat in the house is a convenient luxury in October, because you have a permanent Halloween decoration. But like a lot of cats, Bubba’s favorite holiday was always Christmas. He never bothered the Christmas tree much, but he absolutely LOVED to play with garland. We have a large plastic tote full of various colored Christmas garlands, and he would go CRAZY when he saw me open it up every year. He would dive into it and play with it for hours on end. Then once he exhausted himself, he would fall asleep in the pile for a few more hours. Trying to hang the garland was usually a week long process with Bubba in the house.
Bubba was a laugh-a-minute character who was loved (and loved back) by everyone who knew him. He was a favorite of everyone who visited our home. He lived and loved with a youthful exuberance until his very last day on this earth. This was especially impressive since Bubba suffered through debilitating intestinal issues for much of his life. He never let it slow him down though, and he never let it put a damper on his love for action, adventure, and life itself. With Bubba sitting on my lap, I spent many late nights scouring the internet for information and hoping to find a miracle cure for best buddy. My wife and I got opinions and recommendations from several different veterinarians. We tried several different medications, supplements, and foods. Through trial and error, we were able to find a few things that helped a little, but nothing ever helped a lot.
In September of last year, things started to take a turn for the worse. One day in late September I noticed some blood in his litter box and I watched him doubled over in pain while trying to climb back up our steps. These issues got progressively worse over the next few days. Cats are masters at hiding their pain, and when I noticed he could no longer tolerate his disease, it absolutely ripped my heart out. For a while I tried to deny the fact that my little buddy was starting to go downhill fast. I shared a bond with Bubba that I have never shared with any other pet, and I just couldn’t bear the thought of living life without him . With some loving and compassionate convincing from my wife, however, I finally came to the realization that the time had come to ease Bubba’s pain, and I had to let him go to a better place. The best place. As painful as it was for me, I owed that to my best friend.
After a couple days of agonizing thought and research, I made the decision to contact Dr. Kristi Arnquist of Homeward Bound Veterinarian Service. I experienced a very peaceful and comforting feeling when I looked over her website, and I really wanted Bubba to be able to begin his journey to the Rainbow Bridge from the comfort of his favorite spot in our home. After speaking (mostly crying actually) with Dr. Arnquist on the phone for a few minutes, I was convinced that she was the right one to help us ease Bubba’s pain. I will never forget the kindness, compassion, and empathy shown to us by Dr. Arnquist during the final few days we shared with our little buddy. I could live 9 lifetimes and never be able to thank her enough for all that she did to make Bubba’s passage from our world such a gentle, peaceful, and profoundly moving experience.
October 6th, 2016 was a gorgeous autumn day in Spring Green. Somewhere around 8 am I woke up to the familiar sound of Bubba’s non-stop chattering. We promptly strolled to the kitchen together, where I opened up an entire can a tuna fish for him. You see, today was Bubba’s last day on earth, and we were gonna do this thing right! After devouring half the can in record time, we went outside and walked around the yard for about an hour or so. I took a few pictures and recorded a couple videos, but mostly I just tried to soak in and cherish the last few hours I had with my friend. We had a great walk and we had a great talk. We shared a lot of memories and a lot of laughs. We also shared an awful lot of tears. Then we went back in the house to finish off that can of tuna. After a couple hours of quality lap time and heavy petting, it was time for us to load up and take one last fast food drive-thru trip. My daughter Rachel and I loaded up Bubba and headed to Culver’s to get some lunch. I had a fish sandwich, my daughter had a cheeseburger, Bubba had a small dish of vanilla custard, and the Culver’s employees had a look of shocked disbelief as we pulled up to the window and Bubba tried to jump through it! It took a lot to make me laugh on this day, but this classic Bubba moment had me giggling uncontrollably all the way home.
Once we got back to the house, Bubba had a couple nibbles of my fish sandwich, and then devoured a sizable amount of his vanilla custard. He had plenty left over though, so he shared some with his kitty brothers Max and Frankie. He also shared some with his doggie sister Tessa, and his doggie brother Oscar. It was a very special moment amongst our furry family members, and much needed at the time, as my grief over Bubba’s pending exit was beginning to overwhelm me. Thankfully about this time my wife Colleen arrived home from work and was able to spend some quality time with Bubba. Even though he was ‘my boy’, I always got the feeling that he may have liked her better. I know he liked her lap better. One of my favorite memories of that day was watching my wife and Bubba share their final moments together out in our yard. She was such a good mommy to him, and even though her heart was breaking as much as mine was, the final few moments they shared together that day were truly magical and heartwarming.
My wife and I were outside with Bubba, when Dr. Arnquist pulled into our driveway around. I suddenly felt a pain in my heart like nothing I had ever felt before. Even though I felt incredibly blessed that we had several days to say our goodbyes to Bubba, I just wasn’t ready for our friendship to end. In my mind I kept replaying the words from the day before, when a friend told me that the least selfish thing you can ever do is to let your pet go when it’s their time. I didn’t really understand those words at the time, but later that afternoon I would come to understand it perfectly.
Words could never express how peaceful, gentle, tender, and loving Dr. Kristi was with Bubba. Her heartfelt caring and compassion made his final moments with us a profoundly moving and beautiful experience.
At 3:12 pm, with my wife and I sitting by his side, Bubba began his journey to the Rainbow Bridge from his favorite spot on our love seat. His pain was finally gone, and he was on his way to a better place. The best place.
After we had said our final goodbyes, Bubba left our home with Dr. Arnquist. As they pulled out of our driveway, I was overwhelmed with a flood of emotions. A part of me was incredibly relieved that my friend and was no longer suffering, and was now in a better place. But most of me was devastated by the realization that I would never see my best buddy again. I was just numb. Then suddenly my mind started replaying the words spoken to me 14 years ago, by the kindhearted volunteer at the Humane Society on the day that I adopted Bubba. After I had signed all of the paperwork, she looked lovingly into my eyes and said, “I didn’t want to tell you this earlier, but Bart was scheduled to be put down next week, and you just saved his life.” But as I stood there in my driveway with tears pouring down my face, it suddenly dawned on me. I didn’t save Bubba’s life. He saved mine.
The rest of that evening is just a blur. I remember my wife and I taking our dogs down to the park to get our minds off of Bubba, but other than that I don’t remember much. I was trying hard to be strong for my wife, but I was experiencing pain like I’ve never felt before. Bubba and I had shared every single moment in each others lives for the past 14 years, and now there were no more moments left. I was completely devastated. Outwardly though, I stayed strong and managed to put on a fairly happy face, until my wife went to bed around 10 o’clock. After she fell asleep I sat down in the living room and cried my eyes out for the better part of 3 hours. I just couldn’t stop. At one point, in an effort to comfort myself, I went downstairs and found a couple of Bubba’s old toys, including a little stuffed birdie that makes an unmistakable (and incredibly annoying) chirping sound when it’s batted around. He used to slap that thing around the house for hours on end. He was obsessed with it, and it used to drive my wife crazy. After a couple hours of non-stop chirping she would holler, “Would you please take that damn thing away from him!” I would laugh and take it away from him. Then I’d hide it. But no matter how well I hid it, he would eventually find it… and the entire bird chirping circus would start all over again. On the night that Bubba left us, I spent my last waking hour sitting silently in the darkness, and holding onto his birdie for dear life. My last thought, as I set it down on the end table and went to bed, was how I would give anything to hear that annoying little birdie chirping just one more time.
What happened next is the most incredible, unexplainable, and inspirational experience of my lifetime.
At approximately 6:20 am, as I was sound asleep in bed, I was awakened by the unmistakable sound of Bubba’s birdie. I am not a morning person, so it takes a LOT to wake me up at that time of day. For a minute or two I just laid there, half asleep, listening to the birdie chirping over and over and over again. It sounded much louder than I had ever heard it before, but there was no doubt that it was his birdie. I’ve never heard a real bird chirp like his birdie toy does, and if one ever did my wife would probably shoot it. After a couple minutes of listening to the non-stop chirping, my brain began to wake up. I starting smiling as I thought to myself, ‘Awww, Bubba found his little birdie.’ Then suddenly it hit me. BUBBA ISN’T HERE ANYMORE! I jumped out of bed and ran to the living room, thinking that one of our other cats must be playing with the birdie. But when I got to the living room, the birdie was sitting silently on the end table, exactly where I had placed it when I went to bed. Yet the unmistakable chirping sound continued to play, over and over and over.
After a few moments of confusion, it finally dawned on me that the sound wasn’t coming from Bubba’s birdie, it was coming from the deck outside of our bedroom window. I ran back to the bedroom and looked out the window, almost certain that I would find a bird chirping away on the deck railing. But there wasn’t a bird in sight. There was nothing in sight. Only the familiar sound of Bubba’s birdie, continuing to chirp away, over and over and over again. I sat there staring through the open window in shock and disbelief. I could see exactly where the sound was emanating from on our deck, less than six feet away from me, but there was nothing there. The chirping continued on and on an on for another two minutes or so, while I just sat there in total bewilderment, gazing at absolutely nothing making the sound of Bubba’s birdie. Then, just as abruptly as it had started, it stopped.
I continued staring blankly out the window for another hour or so, completely paralyzed by the thoughts and emotions that were racing through my head. I just kept thinking to myself. Did that really happen? What just happened? Where did that sound come from? How did that happen? How is this possible? Why did this happen to me? Who did that? Was that Bubba? Was that divine intervention? Did I just witness a miracle? Was that God?
I tried going back to sleep, but I couldn’t. All of these questions just keep rushing through my mind, and I was really struggling to make any sense out of what just happened. I kept replaying things over and over in my mind, searching for some kind of answer or logical explanation. There was none. I finally got up and was instantly greeted by our ‘fat cat’ Max, who was furiously pawing at the patio door. It was a beautiful sunny fall morning, and as he often does on warm days, Max wanted to go outside and roam around on the deck for a while. Actually, ‘roam’ is probably not the correct term. Max goes on the deck to find a comfortable lawn chair and ‘sit’. He’s very good at it. Sometimes he can do it for hours. But this morning was different. Instead of seeking out his favorite chair as always, Max walked over to the exact spot where I had heard Bubba’s birdie chirping from a couple hours earlier and just stood there looking at something. He stared at it, sniffed it, pawed at it, and rubbed up against it for the better part of 20 minutes or so. The only problem was, there wasn’t anything there. It was incredibly eeiry, but it was also kind of comforting, as I felt that Max was in some way reconfirming that I wasn’t losing my mind.
I left Max out on the deck and came into the house to get ready for work. My mind was racing and I just kept replaying every moment of that morning in my mind. I am a person who tries to find a logical explanation for everything, but as I searched my mind over and over again, I could not find a logical explanation for the events of that morning. It was about this time that I remembered a conversation that my wife and I had with Dr. Arnquist the day before. She had told us a few stories about pets ‘communicating’ with their owners after they had passed on, and that as vocal as Bubba was in life, we shouldn’t be surprised if he somehow tried to communicate with us after he was gone. I believe her words were, “watch for signs” or something to that effect. In all honesty though, I just thought she was telling us these things to help ease our pain after losing Bubba. Never in a million years did I think something like this would actually happen! So many thoughts continued to overwhelm my mind.
As I pulled out of the driveway to leave for work, I starting thinking to myself, I should call Dr. Arnquist and tell her this story. Then I thought… no way, she will never believe this. Nobody is ever going to believe this. A few seconds later my phone rang. It was Dr. Arnquist. Could this day get any stranger? I don’t remember much about our phone conversation, other than me rambling hysterically about everything that had happened earlier that morning. My mind was cluttered with so many thoughts and feelings, and everything inside of me just came pouring out on Dr. Kristi. I just went on and on and on about how I thought Bubba had communicated with me that morning. I was fairly certain that I just kept repeating myself and wasn’t making any sense. At one point I remember thinking to myself, I’ve just gotta stop talking or this lady is going to think I’m insane. Yet after all of my incoherent ramblings about Bubba and his birdie, I will never forget the words that Dr. Kristi said to me once I finally gave her a chance to speak. With an unforgettable calmness in her voice she simply stated, “Bubba gave you a gift, and you should cherish it.” Then she reassured me by adding, “I told you not to be surprised if something like this happened,” almost like she expected for something like this to happen. As scattered and shattered as I was I was feeling that morning, the words she spoke suddenly overwhelmed me with an incredible sense of peacefulness and gratitude, because I realized that she was right. I don’t know how, and I don’t know why, but Bubba had given me a gift. A truly unbelievable and unexplainable gift.
It’s now been 7 months since Bubba left us, and not a day has gone by that I haven’t pondered the chirping of his birdie the following morning. I have analyzed and replayed the events of that morning thousands of times, but I’m just as mystified today as I was on that day. As hard as I’ve searched to find a rational explanation, I simply cannot. Maybe that’s the way it’s supposed to be, because that’s how faith works. I don’t know? What I do know, is that there are just too many unexplainable and undeniable facts for my experience to be considered a random happening. I truly believe that my experience was a result of some type of divine intervention. I’m not going to pretend I know how God works, because I don’t, but I’ve always been told that he’s merciful and works in mysterious ways. It is my belief that God saw me suffering terribly over the loss of my best buddy and sent me an unmistakable sign to comfort me. Or as Dr. Krist so eloquently stated, he sent me a gift. The greatest gift I’ve ever received, and a gift that has truly changed my life. I don’t know what I did to deserve this gift, but I’m 100% certain that God wanted to ease my pain by letting me know that Bubba arrived safely at the Rainbow Bridge, and that he would be waiting for me when it’s my time to go.
Prior to this experience, I believed in the possibility of life after death, or heaven, or whatever you wish to call it. After this experience, however, I am now convinced that this life is not the end for any of us. My hope is that my story will provide a level of peace and comfort to those who have lost someone or something that you have loved with all of your heart. Live a good life, be kind to all living things, and I am certain that you will be reunited with your loved ones when this life is over. And if someday you find yourself at the Rainbow Bridge, be sure to say hello to a little black cat named Bubba. You can’t miss him. He’ll be the loud one in the tree, wrapped in garland, eating ice cream and Taco Bell.
Dr. Kristi helped our dear 18-year old Charlie to the other side on December 18, 2014. It was everything we had hoped for him…peaceful and gentle and a loving goodbye. She is evidence of angels among us. Thank you so much Kristi!
A Tribute to Daily
My Daily passed on in my living room, bathed in the sunshine of the day. She was 14 1/2 years old and lived with me for all of that except the first 10 months.
Daily arrived as a free-spirited wild child; except for her physical abilities she departed unchanged. She had a large personality. She was a very physical dog and in her early days did everything way bigger than she needed too. She adored Washington Island and running… running everywhere. I swear that dog came here to run and smell. She had her own opinions of what was allowed…and very often she and I were not in agreement. Frequently I would see in Daily’s eyes a sort of resignation, that somehow she had to make allowances for me. She was very intelligent and somehow I got the uneasy feeling that she was right and I really wasn’t understanding her. This inspired a desire in me to learn more about how dogs think and communicate.
She broadened my horizons and my life is better for her having been in it. I thanked her many times for being there while I was sick. She exemplified dogged perseverance. I can only hope to do half as well as she did trying to overcome obstacles. Whether they were her physical limitations or my attitude! At the end, Daily was ready to go. I had the ultimate triumvirate of end of life care for her.
I want to thank Rebecca Moravec who is an animal communicator. With her help I was able to wait until Daily was ready to go and explain to Daily how it would happen. That morning when the vet walked in my house Daily was happy to see her and knew what she was there for. There were no surprises. Daily called the shots.
I want to thank Dr. Kristi Arnquist who specializes in at home euthanasia and hospice care. She came all the way from Madison. I knew 9 months ago she would be the one to help Daily. It was the Russian Wolfhounds on her website that did it ultimately. I knew she understood the hound personality and that she would like Daily. She was loving, kind and compassionate to Daily. And made sure her exit was smooth and speedy. That is all I could have hoped for, for my girl.
I want to thank Peaceful Pets of Wisconsin in West Bend. I was able to take Daily’s body there to be cremated and wait for her ashes. They do single cremations. Kim was very professional and compassionate.
Of course.. that was for me….
These 3 people were kind and supportive and tolerated all my tears as I made arrangements for Daily’s departure. Thank-you, and to all who knew her, for the kindness you have shown Daily.
Like all loss this will take some getting used too. I am sure there are still a few tears left. But, I have great memories of a larger than life dog I was lucky enough to watch over for all this time. The memories of our adventures are rich indeed.
Dear Dr. Kristi –
It has taken me a while to be able to write and express my gratitude to you for the care and understanding that you took with us when my Lucky faced the end of his road. You understood how hard letting him go was for me, and I truly appreciate it. You listened to our story of how he came to live with us. He was already 10 when he came to me. He was with his first owner for 8 years, until she died. He then went to her sister, but she was also elderly and had to move to a nursing home. Lucky’s next stop was with a family who thought he would be good for their young son. Alas, the boy really wanted a puppy and through friends we decided to take a look at him. I happened to be out of town, but my husband, son, and our Westie Zeus went to see if we would be a good fit for him. When I came home, Lucky was a member of our household.
For almost 5 years Lucky was my buddy. He loved to play in the woods, sleep in the sunshine and go for car rides. When it got so that he couldn’t walk very far, we took him for rides in our Ranger. His ears would fly and he would get a big grin on his face as we drove through the woods. He loved to wear his sweater in the winter and so got the nickname of “Happy Little Sweater Dog”.
Although my heart felt like it was breaking, being able to sit on his bed, holding him in my lap, without him feeling fear or pain, made letting him go possible. You made letting him go with dignity and love possible. I can never thank you enough.
We want to thank you for helping our OliBear find a graceful exit from his depleted body, for helping us say good-bye with a peaceful heart, for making this difficult departure feel so right. We will miss our “Bear” but we know he is now at peace.
I don’t know that I could ever do it differently, should we ever need to say good-bye to another beloved pet.
Anne and Rick and family
I felt your heart beating with mine today
As I lay holding you in my arms
I felt your dreams soaring
Your breathing eased
My song guiding you on your winged flight
I felt your pain slipping away
To places dreamland will never know
I promised to love you forever
Even after you let go
I will always be with you
As you’ll be with me
Our memories frozen in time
Relief is on the horizon now
As we say our last good-byes
My runaway tears speak for themselves
As your pacified relief becomes mine
Farewell to your feeble fortress
As you leave your depleted body behind
Move on, dear boy; now you are free
Your boundless spirit always with me
We love you, Oli
We can’t bear to see you suffer anymore.
July 27, 2014
Thank you for the support you gave me in the months leading up to Bailey’s death. It was so helpful to know that someone understood and appreciated hospice care and what I was going through. As you know, Bailey was an amazing dog and we are so thankful for the peacefulness you brought to him in his final moments with us. I wouldn’t have changed anything, it was my final gift to him. Writing this has been tough. I’ve started and stopped several times. The memories of him come flooding back, but I know he is where he belongs.
You have amazing compassion and you are a very caring person. I hope that you’ll be able to share something we did for Bailey to help someone else.
Take care and we hope to see you again soon under more positive circumstances and when my eyes aren’t so swollen.
Joan and Mark
I wanted my kids to grow up loving and respecting animals, so when Jade was 6 months old she and I took a short drive to the Humane Society in Prescott, AZ. From the first time I looked at you, I knew you were the one. You had a smile on your face and your tail was thumping. I asked to have you taken out of the kennel so I could see how you were with babies. As Jade sat there in her stroller, they took you off leash and you RAN to her. You gently put your paws in her lap and began giving kisses. I was sold!! The only thing I knew about you was your age and that a man threw you from a truck in a parking lot. You came home and it was obvious how you hated men.
About a year later we packed up the house and started a 3 day journey to Wisconsin. You were afraid but rode shotgun with Grandpa Bill in the truck. I’m not sure if it was because grandpa has a way with dogs, all the cheeseburgers and fries, or both, but you formed a bond with him that rings true all these years later.
You always guarded Jade and never chewed a single toy. You acted as the Momma dog to her and loved your cats just as much. When Aiden was born you gave me a great feeling knowing you would lay next to him and protect him as you did Jade. Any time I said “your kids” you would round them up, look for them, and I knew you would always protect them.
Your spirit and zest for our family is second to none. EVERY day for the past 13 1/2 yrs. When you see us you give a smile and thump your tail as you did the first day. You have brought so much joy, love, and companionship to our family.
A few years ago we discovered you had cancer. I will never forget the hurt I felt getting that call. Through the surgery and pain you have stayed strong and never gave up. I would give anything to make you better and take your pain away.
Today I have to say goodbye, something I cannot do easily. Jazzy Bean you have filled the hearts of our family with so much unconditional love, and so many great memories. Today is the day I choose to end the pain you have endured for to long and set you free. You are the most amazing girl I could have ever asked for and you deserve the dignity and respect not to suffer through another day. You will live on in our hearts and memories forever. We will keep an eye on your kids, as well as Ken, Deuce, and Smoke, for you. Jasmine, now is your time to be at peace. Please go find Precious and Speckles, tell them we love them, and have fun playing pain free with them.
Jazzy Bean, we love you more than words can express and I am so thankful we had so many great years together. Forever you will live on in my heart.
Jage, Jade and Aiden
“Dr. Kristi made my last day here peaceful and free from pain.
I was so comfortable as she touched me with such compassion and love. She treated me with dignity, as my master sometimes lost sight of, as you can see making us wear these silly hats.
I felt so at ease as I went to a happy place to join my daddy. Thank you, Dr. Kristi, from the bottom of my big heart.”
I’m on the left with the Easter bonnet.
Words cannot express how thankful I am to you for helping Greta. Last fall Gary wanted me to plant some
flowers for him and here is Greta watching over them this spring. God, we loved that dog.
Sue & Rocky
Words can not express the graditute that we have for Dr. Arnquist. We had the difficult decision to put our 13th year old yellow lab Beau to sleep recently and Kristi was our guiding light in helping us deal with the loss we would endure. Not only did she come to our home to perform the wonderful service she offers, but she was also so great in handling everything that was needed for Beau afterwards in his cremation. We will never forget the peace and comfort that Dr. Anquist made us feel during this terrible loss of Beau. We have a 10 year old black lab and will be reaching out to Kristi for her services when that day arrives for us send him to heaven. Thank you again Kristi for everything you did for us with our loss of Beau.
Dear Dr. Kristi,
We cannot express in words alone how happy we are that we found you. We were feeling so lost and overwhelmed with the decision we had to make for our sweet boy, Bandit. Even though he was only 4-1/2 years young, sadly we knew he wasn’t going to get better. You helped us come to terms and understand that even though we weren’t ready to let him go, we were doing the right and “kind” thing for our boy. Your caring compassion will always be remembered and appreciated. The time you spent with us and Bandit during his final hours brought security and peace of mind to us. Not to mention the thoughtful card and phone call afterwards.
Thank you so much for all you do. You’re a special person and blessing for all us pet parents.
We miss him like crazy. Even though his life was way too short the memories we have of him will last a lifetime!
Thanks again Dr. Kristi for helping us make such a devastating decision more bearable.
Brian and Lisa Cisewski
It hurts to lose a beloved pet – especially when you have to make the choice to let them go. That day came for us with our loving and faithful Crystal of 17 years. Some people, like Dr. Kristi, possess that special gift of providing the comfort, care and reassurance needed to finally let them go.
We are extremely grateful to her for making our last moments with her loving and lasting ones. In time, our sadness will pass.
We would also like to say a very special thank you for the beautiful donation made in Crystal’s memory. What a wonderful organization it must be. We were truly touched by your act of kindness. You helped us through some very difficult days. We still miss her, but have many happy memories held in our hearts of her.
Thank you Dr. Kristi,
Pat & Mel Larson
Life is a journey, and things do happen for a reason. Last year our paths crossed on an unrelated matter. Otherwise, I might not have known to reach out to you when Sparky needed help. I am thankful for that. Hershey is learning to live her life without her “best buddy” by her side. The most difficult time for her (and for us) was when we removed Sparky’s crate from our room. It just seemed so final. Now, the same memories that first caused tears are providing comfort and smiles. The healing has begun, but we will miss her always.
Sparky could be a handful, yet so loyal and loving. She was determined, proud, and embraced life with that “no fear” attitude. . . until the last few months . . . You were so patient and compassionate with Sparky (and with me). The clay paw print you made in her memory has landed on my desk, beside her picture. It’s a daily reminder that, while she no longer walks beside us, she is forever in our hearts. Thank you!!!
Kristi, thank you for who you are and what you do. You are a special doctor who provides dignity, compassion, and care at perhaps the most difficult time in a pet and “pet parent’s” life. You are a very special person.
Dear Dr. Arnquist,
There really are not words to thank you for your caring and concern during the difficult days of Tally’s illness and passing. You made a horrible situation a tiny bit more tolerable. Having Tally comfortable at home in her final moments gave me an immeasurable amount of comfort. Your guidance in those final days meant so much to me.
I miss Tally all the time, but you helped me to be confident in my decision. Thank you so much for giving my special girl all the dignity and respect she deserved.
I just had to share this photo of our Floyd. A friend of mine snapped this picture on a special day when her kids and our kids met at the park for a summer playdate. Two sets of twins, and older siblings, a brand new puppy and us mom’s trying to keep them all together And, of course, Floyd was having the time of his life running around playing chase across the soccer field with all of them. That’s the kind of thing he loved and he stayed right around our group the whole time…a beagle!
He loved our kids so much. Lily has been putting handfuls of his treats in his “home” and on his bed and all over the house for that matter. Jack has been sleeping with his blanket after I washed it for him. Ella says she’s not sad anymore because she knows Floyd is in her heart forever. We miss him terribly.
Thank you again for your service to our family and taking such care with Floyd. He is so missed… Also, I wanted to thank you for the lovely note. So kind of you. I couldn’t have asked for someone who was a better fit for to help our family through this difficult time of letting go. Jon even thanked me for finding you, which is out of the norm for him to make a comment like that.
Hugs to you Dr. Arnquist! Maurine, Jon, Ella, Lily and Jack
Thank you so much for your compassionate care of our Fred and Cheyenne. I knew you were right from the minute you walked into the cabin door and you went right to Fred and sat on his bed. Cheyenne then came over and gave her approval. You made a very painful and difficult day a little more bearable by your calm, comforting words and your own show of emotion. We are so grateful for being able to say goodbye to our fur-kids in a place we all love and in the comfort of a warm cabin on their own beds. They just simply fell asleep in our hearts. We are so heartbroken over our loss and wanted to thank you again for your continued support through emails and calls afterward. You are a very special person who genuinely cares for all God’s creatures. We miss Fred and Cheyenne every day but know they will rest peacefully in paradise.
These photos were taken at our cabing in healthier times.
Jenny and Dan
With a heavy heart I share the passing of my sweet boy “Legend” (CH Starborough Dimitri) 11.25.2001-12.15.2013. My companion and best friend of 12 years, he was there for me always, with a smile and an eagerness to please, through thick and thin, for better and for worse. He joyed for the best of me, put up with the worst of me, but always gave me his best, his ever-steady best.
I learned many of life’s lessons from him, things like love, joy, friendship, resilience, fortitude, devotion and forgiveness. He was a goofy boy with a wise soul who, despite being handicapped for his last year, accepted his changed “lifestyle” as simply something new and different, if perhaps a minor inconvenience. We walked together every day those last months and talked about everything.
He loved his walks, and so did I. He never lost his joy for life…until that last day. He didn’t want to get up or move, even with my assistance as we’d done for so many months. He’d always done whatever I’d asked of him so I knew he just didn’t have it in him to try anymore. I believe he wanted me to let him go, so I did. I will always love you, my sweet boy. You’ll be in my heart forever. Rest in peace, and run on new legs, until we see each other again.
Dear Dr. Kristi,
Words cannot express how grateful we are for your compassion and your gentle manner. We are so lucky to have found you online. You made a difficult decision bearable, and Jasper was very comfortable with you. You were patient and informative and calming and helped us smile through the tears. Seriously, pets and pet owners need you! Your sweet condolence card and the memorial contribution to the veterinary mission were touching. We look at the plaster paw print every day. We will recommend your services to anyone needing help during this heartbreaking time.
Thanks again, you are an angel.
Sue and Jeff, proud parents of a giant sweet old dog
I have no words to express how grateful Scott and I are for your services this last year. You made a really really hard situation a little less painful. It is obvious how much you care for each and every animal and the owners you work with. Riley was especially hard for us and you understood what we needed without having to say anything. Let’s hope our next meeting won’t need so many Kleenexes!
You are the best!
Paula and Scott Graham
Dear Dr. Kristi,
We wanted to thank you again for all your help and sympathy at the passing of our beautiful “little girl”, Micky. It meant so much to us to have you come to our aid at the night of her passing. I don’t know what we would have done without you. You treated Micky with dignity and respect and for that we will always be grateful.
You are truly a blessing to the pet community of Madison. Please accept this enclosed charm as a token of our appreciation in memory of Micky and all the beautiful pets you have helped. In loving memory of our beautiful little girl and best buddy who went to doggie heaven on 9/10/13. We miss you Micky. Thank you Dr. Kristi for helping us through a very difficult time.
God Bless you and your work.
Jen & Randy Lange
Dear Dr A – Thank you so much for the care and compassion you showed us during this horrific time. We are heart sick over our loss. We are comforted by the fact that you did everything in your power to make the experience as gentle and loving as possible. Hailley really rallied for you when you came in the door. She treated you like an old friend. She seemed grateful for the relief you brought to her.
We will always be in your debt for your professional and compassionate conduct during your time with us. You shared a deeply intimate experience and you are so kind that we felt so comfortable in your presence and could truly express the grief that the day brought to us.
Thank you so much
Cate and Doug
Hi Dr. Arnquist,
Just wanted to echo Cate’s sentiments about the kind and compassionate way in which you helped us with our Hailley girl. You made this very difficult situation as easy and comforting as it could possibly be. I especially appreciate the way you propped up Hailley’s head after I put her in the back of your car. It made for a great final image of our girl.
Dear Dr. Kristi – I am writing to you on behalf of Tom & myself to thank you for who you are, and how you have helped us and our critters! You are so kind and so sweet to them and to us, and you came out to our house when most vets would not. You are an angel. You really came to the rescue when Grendel, Maggie, Tom & I needed a miracle. Thank you for your sweet condolence cards in both cases. You are a sweetheart, and we love you! The staff at Wyllow Pet Hospital know how highly we think of you. You are doing God’s work…and you do it kindly & with compasion. God bless you!
Missy & Tom
Hi Kristi. I want to thank you so much for your kindness and caring during the our very difficult time. It was a true blessing to be able to say goodbye to Annie in our house where she could be more comfortable and surrounded by our family. Your service was a true gift to us and we can not thank you enough!!
Thank you again for coming to the farm and helping Midnight find her peace. You are one of the most kind and compassionate people I have ever met. You are truly a loving advocate for animals.
Cheri Gest and Ellen Porter
Hi Doc….I wanted to thank you so very much for your care and support with my lab mix, Harley, back in January. Although the grieving process was/is tough, your services and genuine concern really helped. Also thank you for the gift of kindness on Harley’s behalf as well!! A week ago I brought my new puppy Brodi home and he is helping to warm my heart once again. Blessing, love and light to you!!
This photo of our dear Daisy was taken just about two years ago when her leg was still o.k. Do you see that “heart shape” between her front legs, her smile and her happy wagging tail? We know it was the best and right thing to do for Daisy, but it’s sure sad for us. Thank you so much for your wonderful, calm, caring and thoughtful interaction with us and with Daisy. She was very comfortable with you and liked you right away. It meant so much to us to be at home with Daisy so she could be surrounded by her family and not be scared or upset by different surroundings. It was such a peaceful way for her and good for us to know she was loved until the end. We appreciated your prayer as well. God’s creatures have helped us through so many days, have heard our stories, felt our tears and just “been there” for us without fail, without question, and with forgiveness in their hearts. No grudges on their part. Thanks again for helping us through this sad loss.
“One year later, Daisies for Daisy, a garden memorial for our girl. Thinking of you, sweet Daisy. We will always love and miss you.”
Our Nell came to us quite by accident, in the fall of 1993. She wandered out of a wet Seattle alley as a very young kitty and into our lives as if she had chosen us. We hauled her (complaining all the way) across the country to Madison, where she greatly enjoyed her life with us for many years – fully an equal member of our little family. We’d have long conversations with her, mostly about the status of her food dish, and she’d nestle in bed between us on cold nights.
As we all do, she grew old and creaky with increasingly severe health issues, and finally that terrible day arrived when we reluctantly had to let her go. The very last thing we wanted was to have to take her to a vet’s office and watch her disappear through a door, never to be seen again. It was, therefore, such a comfort and relief that Dr. Kristi was able to come to our home, so that we could be with Nell in her final moments. Kristi helped us say goodbye to Nell in a quiet and peaceful way that we felt honored Nell’s place in our family.
Thank you again for all that you did to help us and our sweet Nell. Her passing was so peaceful and we will be forever grateful to you for making it so.
Gordon & Jeanette Ranney
Dear Dr. Arnquist,
Thank you for the compassionate care Abby received during her final hours. The loss was very painful but your kindness and prayer were a great comfort. Abby is in a better place. We are at peace.
Bob and Ken
I am grateful to Doctor Arnquist for helping me to spare my dog’s pain and preserve his dignity as he entered the final days of his life. Gilligan was a beautiful buff Cocker and a dear companion of 14 years. I would say that: as sad as it was to face that day we all fear with our pets, the kindness and emotional support she offered during the procedure helped to soothe the pain of losing him in the physical realm. He is still there in my heart and i will always remember him!
This is another oil portrait of Cezar, a 17 year old cat who recently passed away. My son, James did this portrait for the owner. It captures a little more character and can be done from a photo. If anyone is interested in having an ink, oil or watercolor portrait of their dog or cat friends that have passed on, James would be honored. Contact him at: email@example.com.
Dear Dr. Arnquist,
Thank you very much for your help at a time of much emotion and angst. Your compassion for Fluffy and your empathy for Ashley made a huge difference. We will always appreciate your assistance during that time.
Bonnie, Ed & Ashley Vanderbosch
“Dr. Arnquist is WONDERFUL. We were so blessed to have her come to our home and help us. Lambeau would be very stressed going in to the vet so having her laid to rest at home was peaceful and not stressful. Lambeau had started not feeling well in July we had many vet visits, medications and various different types of food. Our vet recommended Dr.Arnquist and after much consideration my husband and I decided it was time. Lambeau loved to play with her buddies, rest on the bed, and snuggle. She was our protector, a brave girl.
We lost our beloved Lambeau in November. Our house and hearts felt empty. My husband and I had discussed getting a puppy in the spring. But the universe had a different plan for us. Santa brought us puppy named Kole. Some would say we got a pet to soon, but our family was delighted. When I told Dr. Arnquist she said, “it is just what this doctor would order for you and your family.” That made us so happy. We think about Lambeau daily but we know she is in a better place and is resting on a cloud. Kole is a new adventure in our life, not to replace our beloved Lambeau but to start a new journey with a dog in our lives.” Thank you for all that you do Dr. Arnquist!” – Tracy Z. January, 2013
We can’t begin to thank you for all your kindness and attention during our last months with Reilly. Know that whenever we think of him, we will offer a prayer of thanksgiving for you having helped him to his place of final peace so lovingly.
Dick and Dar Lange & Quincy, too!
“Dear Dr. Arnquist and your great staff, I cannot express to you how grateful I am for your help and guidance through Bullet’s last weeks. You are the most thoughtful and caring people I have ever met. Your calls to check in on Bullet and your kindness on the day we had to let him go mean so much.” – The Williams Family
“Dear Dr. Arnquist, This is just a note to thank you and express my gratitude for treating and taking such an interest in Templeton.” – Sue Radcliffe
“Dear Dr. Arnquist, Thank you very much for your help at a time of much emotion and angst. Your compassion for Fluffy and your empathy for Ashley made a huge difference. We will always appreciate your assistance during that time.” – Bonnie, Ed and Ashley Vanderbosch