Thursday, April 18, 2024

Our Gentle Giant Teddy Bear


Dedicated to Angel Lightning

May 4, 2011 - April 10, 2024

Today and every day we are so thankful to have had the privilege and honor to share our lives with Lightning.  Let us take a trip down Memory Lane through the life cycle of our dear boy,

Love at first sight - the first photo from the breeder.

Getting ready to head to my furever home in OP.

I'm ready - let's GO!!!

First look at MY new kingdom!!!

I think I am going to like it here a lot!!!

What was that?  I have to SHARE my kingdom???  With THREE more Sibes???

Meeting Angel Thunder - he sure is a big boy!!!

Keeping my eye on Angel Ciara - I hear she is a real sweetheart!!!

And now time to greet the patriarch of the furamily - Angel Phantom - I am pretty sure he is going to be my good buddy!!!

Working my way to joining the Pack altogether.

And I DID it!!!

We were a fabulous foursome for several years.  We could really woo up a storm.

Thunder, Phantom, Lightning, and Ciara

And then as the years went by, our pack changed.  

First we lost  Angel Thunder very suddenly at the age of seven to IMHA.

Despite the hole in our pack and in our hearts, the Pack carried on as the Terrific Trio.

Two years later it was time to say farewell to another pack member - dear Phantom at the age of 16 1/2.

This Dream Duo would carry on for another year and a half.  But it was a rough time for Angel Ciara who finally gave up her fight against the devastating and evil epilepsy.

Thanks to some wonderful friends who pulled off a miracle, Lightning was not alone for very long.

In the fall of 2016, only a few weeks after losing Ciara, Lightning was joined by Misty, and the two bonded immediately

Less than a year later, Timber decided the Pack needed to be a threesome again and found his way to our home.

And so the Pack remained until last week.

This post has been very long and very photo loaded, but we wanted you to see Lightning's life through the years.  Most of our regular readers are very familiar with his life with Misty and Timber so we will just add a few more memorable moments from our recent posts.

Mom's Reflection:  Lightning was such a good dog and a wonderful companion.  He was undoubtedly a quirky boy, but it was what made him special.  From the first day we met him, he was terrified of bikes, skateboards, scooters, baby strollers, anything with wheels.  He also disliked balloons, boxes, construction cones, yard signs, etc.  We have no idea where all this craziness came from, but we think he may have been a singleton pup and never really got the very early learning from a pack of pups.   I always knew to cross the street or go a different way if I knew there would be "wheels" ahead.  But he loved children, just not their toys on wheels.  He was a favorite with the grands.  When they were young, he would just lie still while they stroked his fur, and he loved cleaning up the crumbs they dropped on the floor:).  Whenever the whole family was here to visit, Lightning was right there looking for a friendly hand to love on him.  He was always a little shy with anyone new, but if you let him come at his own pace, he would be your best friend in no time.  

One of my fondest memories really makes me teary, and the tears come back every night since he left.  At night when my husband and I sit on the sofa to watch TV, each at their own end so as to have an end table at hand, Lightning would come and sit between us.  He would be looking at me to see if I had some gentle ear scritchies or pats on the head for him.  If my response was too slow, he would twist his head backwards and give his Dad that look that said "your turn".  This could go on back and forth between us for 10 minutes or so, and then he would settle to a down position with his head tucked under the coffee table. In recent months he couldn't sit that long because of his back and leg pain, so the 10 minutes became 5, then 2, then maybe just 1, but long enough to get some attention. Now that space is empty. Neither Misty nor Timber have moved to that spot yet.

Lightning never turned down anything to eat. That was why his refusal to eat on his last Monday raised huge red flags. It was the beginning of the end.  He loved his kibble, treats, yogurt, ice cream, any kind of meat, ice cream, lettuce, apple, strawberries, blueberries.  Maybe not too keen on bananas, but he would get a slice down eventually.  He looked forward at night to his share of a few of Dad's blueberries from his after-dinner snack bowl of blueberries and strawberries.   Dad has a tough time downing those blueberries now that his sharing partner is not there.  Sad memories but ones that one day will make us smile.

Lightning was a gentle soul, who became even more gentle as he aged.  He was always very tolerant of the antics of his younger siblings, Misty and Timber.  And they could be quite annoying as young pups. He never balked at either of them poking their snooters into his bowl, but he did begin to eat a little faster:). If we were out for the day, one or both of us, he was always the one lying at the back door, patiently waiting for our return. In recent weeks that became a bit of a problem as he had such a hard time getting up we couldn't get the door open, and we often worried he wouldn't move fast enough for us to get inside to unset the house alarm.  Yes, he did struggle a lot with his mobility. But the sweet boy NEVER complained, NEVER cried out, just did the best he could with help.  We tried all kinds of options for pain relief, but none seemed to do the trick. At least it is comforting to us now to know that he has no more pain. We are happy that his life has come full circle, and he is now with his early pack members running free and being happy.

I could add volumes more photos and stories about this dear pup, but the blog is here for you to reminisce if you so wish.  Now it is time for you to give your loved ones, furry or human, a big hug and a whisper of how much you love them.

Our song for Lightning (click HERE to listen on YouTube)

Oh we never know where life will take us
I know it's just a ride on the wheel
And we never know when death will shake us
And we wonder how it will feel

So goodbye my friend
I know I'll never see you again
But the time together through all the years
Will take away these tears
It's okay now
Goodbye my friend

I've seen a lot things that make me crazy
And I guess I held on to you
We could've run away and left well maybe
But it wasn't time and we both knew

So goodbye my friend
I know I'll never see you again
But the love you gave me through all the years
Will take away these tears
I'm okay now
Goodbye my friend

Life's so fragile and love's so pure
We can't hold on but we try
We watch how quickly it disappears
And we never know why

But I'm okay now
Goodbye my friend
You can go now
Goodbye my friend

Kathie, Misty and Timber (and the Five Angels)

NOTE: We send our thanks to Ann of Zoolatry for the wonderful memory images she created for us of Lightning, our new blog header and features, and all the work she has done for us for so many years.

Please visit Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop for more posts of thankfulness.


  1. What a beautiful tribute to Lightning life. You gave him the very best life possible.

    Big healing hugs to you both. I know how hard this is. ♥

  2. Thank you, Kathie! What a joy, mixed with heartfelt tears, to see Lightning grow up all over again ... and admittedly Misty & Timber, too. A wonderful collection of photos, a beautiful story well told. And touching to see the "pack" together again (remembering them all so well). Yes, it hurts, too. But we know we cannot have the joy without the sorrow, can we? You and David have shared a full life with your pack, a good life, and long and blessed life and again ~ thank you for sharing it with so many of us.

  3. A sad but beautiful post. Every photo of Lightning, and every word about him, is to be treasured.
    Thank you for sharing his precious life.
    Gail (and Nobby).

  4. What a beautiful tribute to such a handsome boy and such a cute puppy. I remember every single one of your angels, Kathie. I understand the pain of the osteoarthritis. It's an awful disease and brings so much pain to our loved furkids. Molly was afraid of wheels too and she loved food just like Lightning did. It's still so hard to get through the days without tears. Huge hugs to you and your hubby and to Misty and Timber♥

  5. Hari OM
    Just lovely, Kathie. It could not have been easy to write but you truly brought forth memories. I had only just started to know Ciara when she departed, and have followed Lightning, Misty and Timber with you ever since. All these lives have been eventful, that is for sure! One thing is clear - the Love and Care you put into your furkids is an example for us all. Blessings and Love to you in turn, dear blogpal, as you process this grief and allow Misty and Timber to expand into the space that has been left. YAM xx

  6. Thank you for sharing all of those memories and we've love each and every one of your dear pups. We always knew that dear Lightning was a kind and special soul. Hugs and love from all of us. Ann did a wonderful job on the photos and your header. Thanks for joining Angel Brian's Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!

  7. Beautiful tribute to your sweet boy. XO

  8. His first puppy picture was sooooo cutie pie. Thanks for all the pictures. Hugs to all.

  9. What a woo of woo's - we checked this morning to see if maybe it was there - so it was a special surprise this evening - NAL would be quite proud of the tribute all of you put together in some way - we all have our 'quirks' so why should our furries be any different - Willow also has a BIG issue with bikes, cycles, wheels - thanks for sharing all the special photos and memories - and the Linda R song - I actually had Jim Croce pop in my head as wrote photos and memories - and have that worming my head not - and course, the shot of NAP made me smile THAT smile thinking of NAK aka MFT -

    It's never easy - and we know this day is coming from the day we bring them home - yet we make that promise to them -

    We hope all the OP KS NowAngels will visit and let you know how they miss you -

    PeeEssWoo: Now off to visit NAM's post which we had checked for as well

  10. Kathie, thank you for this beautiful tribute to Lightning. I still remember the day that Lightning joined your pack. And looking back at all the pictures brought back a lot of memories. All your furangels will forever be watching over you and their family. Hugs....

  11. What a beautiful tribute to your special boy. We loved taking this trip down memory lane and can remember every one that you showed us here. We bet that in time someone will take up that spot between you and your husband during TV time. Sending hugs to you all.

  12. Thank you so much for the heartwarming post. I have tears in my eyes. ❤️💕❤️💕❤️💕❤️

  13. This is a beautiful tribute and obviously written from the heart. Lightning always looked such a gentle boy, but that first photo is beyond adorable. Sending big virtual hugs.

  14. This memorial to Lightning is also a memorial to all of your pack. I have scrolled up and down and read and stared at the beautiful header. I am so glad you took the time to post all of this. I came to your blog when it was the pack of three and did not know any of this history. Lightning's puppy photos are so precious and each photo made me smile and smile until I got to the pack of four and my eyes filled with tears. but they dried as I finished. there is so much joy here from all of your precious woos. your description of Lightning fits Beau like Cinderellas slipper. he does the same thing on the sofa, and the funny thing is, when we are sitting on the sofa at either end, and he needs to go out to potty, he comes and touches my knee, I say do you have to go out, he looks at Bob and Bob gets up and takes him out. no matter how many times he says Mama, tell daddy to take me out we laugh. its the memories of things like this that make us cry. crying is good and I am so sorry you have need to cry. hugs to all of you

  15. What a beautiful walk down memory lane. I remember those days of the fab four. Time goes by so fast. It is hard to believe Lightning, that little pup is gone. What a wonderful life you gave him and that he had with you. Forever in your hearts (and ours). ♥

  16. Oh My Woos what a beautiful post every single word.
    Lightning was a wee Woo. I always thought his profile was most regal..long nose and very erect ears. I am not sure I ever saw his photos before he joined the Woos of OP. Hew was born with that regal profile. The song was exactly all about Lightning...lovely words and vocals.
    Lightning was indeed a gentle snow giant.
    I've been watching A girl with Dogs (she is a groomer) on YouTube. She recently groomed a huskie ...she warned everyone that he Woo'd the song of his people all the time. I knew they were Woo'ers but omds
    Hugs and healing prayers to you and David and Misty and Timber as you adjust. I know the bipeds will truly miss him when they are visiting
    The new header is beautiful...
    Love Cecilia

  17. You have beautiful memories, you gave him a beautiful life.

  18. Only you could have written the perfect blog for your wonderful dog but we took a crack at it. It is on our page

  19. Thank you for sharing these beautiful memories with us. You truly gave him a beautiful life. I'm sure they're all together up there, running freely. Much love and hugs, Yasmine, Kai Bear and angel Maxx. (hope he meets the pack)

  20. Such a beautiful tribute. So many sweet memories. Now We are all leaky-eyed again. Hugs and paw-kisses. Trixie, Caspurr, Shimshi and Shimona.

  21. Thank you for taking us back through the wonderful life of Lightning. It has been an honour to know him and your pack. Thank you for sharing him with us. Know he will be remembered fondly. Hugs. Lee and Phod's Lady

  22. I am so sorry for your loss The time will come for you to smile again about your lovely boy and laugh as you remember his quirks. I hope your other dogs are coping with the loss of their companion and adjusting to their new places in the hierarchy.

  23. Hello
    I just learned that your darling Lighning has left you and i know how very sad that makes you all. We haven't talked much recently but I do remember you and the days when we chatted all the time. So with lots of love, here's to Lightning and the siblings he left behind.

  24. Lulu: "What a wonderful tribute to Lightning! He was such an adorable little fuzzball!"
    Chaplin: "Yes he was! And it was nice to see pictures of all the old pack, including Dennis's old friends who we only knew through stories he told us."
    Charlee: "We just know Lightning and Thunder and Phantom and Ciara are wooing it up North of the Rainbow Bridge right now! And snow-loving Trixie is probably stopping by to visit them with bags of treats from Tucker's Everlasting Rainbow Bridge Buffet!"

  25. A beautiful and touching tribute to your sweet Timber.

  26. This post is a wonderful tribute to Lightning and all the beautiful pups that he shared his life with! What a great time he had through all of his years...and all the good friends he had in your angels and the huskies that remain. He was one lucky dog to have found you.


Thanks for wooing at us. We love your comments!