June 18, 2009



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  1. Oh jill,
    i’m so sorry, my heart breaks for you. you’re still in my thoughts
    take care

  2. I couldn’t finish reading your post ’cause half way down I started tearing up. Mountain Barbie reminded me SO much of my first dog (that we had to put down) that it’s scary. I’m so sorry, Jill!!

  3. Ah Jill Mountain Barbie was such a joy. I know you and your familys heart will be sore for a good while. Treasure each and every thought you have of her.

    Hugs to you all

  4. We lost our dog a few years ago, a goofy black lab, and Mountain Barbie reminded me a lot of her. It is so tough to lose them but I can’t imagine any family could have loved her more.

  5. What a beautiful tribute; the pictures are wonderful.

    I am not a pet person but you have me in tears here.

    MB would love your tribute to her and I know she is looking down on you all and smiling.

  6. I wondered about Alpha Man. Mountain Barbie started out as his dog, after all.

    And I don’t think it’s being overly dramatic to say the lake will never be the same. You said many times that no matter what mood you were in, watching her dive into the lake could put you in a better mood. You looked forward to that as much as she did, I think. And, as with any loss, it just takes time for it not to hurt so much.

    I loved the picture of her in the driver’s seat. It’s almost like she’s saying that the keys are in the ignition and if someone doesn’t come take her to the lake, she’s going on her own…she knows the way, after all.

  7. Beautiful post, Jill. Remember the joy. And it does get easier with time. I still miss Ben, my first dog with DH – and sometimes, when I’m out of sorts and worried, I can feel his chin on my knee as if telling me everything was going to be fine. I bet Izzy does that with you – when you’re frazzled and on deadline, she’ll come into your thoughts and get you to remember the joy of living in the moment and that big doggy grin.

    Sending you all a big hug.

  8. (((Hugs)))

    I lost my beloved Chumley back in Jan 2007, my first cat adoptee, who came into my house in spring 2001, just weeks after my ex-hubby moved out of the house. Chum was with me through everything, the reason I kept getting up in the mornings when I was clinically depressed. He kept me going, kept me living (literally), as did Annie when I adopted her several months later.

    Chumley wasn’t ill, he had a blood clot that let go one night and cut off circulation to the lower part of his body. He suffered greatly in the hour or so it took for me to realize what was wrong (I had been sleeping, woke to his screams) and get him to the emerg vet. Nothing could be done for him and it was the greatest shock to me–I thought he had a blockage, would require surgery. But that was not the case.

    I lived on Gravol (anti-nausea tablets) for a few months afterward, I was so sick and devastated.

    Even 2.5 years later, I still miss him and talk to him. The pain has eased for the most part, though I still have the occasional flash back to *that* night. But always I wish he was still with me.

    My point in sharing this is that while you always will miss Mountain Barbie, always will have a hole in your heart over her loss, time will ease the grief — though never erase it.

    And she always will be with you, in spirit.

    Blessings and Peace.

  9. Work has been busy so I must have missed the news. I’m so sorry to hear the sad news. Losing a pet is always like losing a limb. 8 years later and my mother sees our family cat around the house and thinks of him all the time. Thinking of you and yours during this difficult time.

  10. Grief does not equal Drama Queen.

    I would be devastated without my cats- they truly are members of the family.


    And cookies. Lots of cookies.

  11. No words….this post is so touching. Brought tears to my eyes, and missing my Maggie who died a few years ago. It does get easier, but you will always have these moments where you miss her terribly. Hopefully when you think of her there will be more smiles than tears :cry:

  12. You’re right – there are no words. Thanks for sharing.

  13. My heart aches for you all, Jill. We lost our basset Fred in November and Hub (who would very likely deny it) got teary-eyed over him just a couple of weeks ago.

  14. Everytime I see pictures of Mountain Barbie, they make me think of my dad’s chocolate lab Lizzie. I swear when something happens to her I don’t know what my dad will do. He lives for his dog, which is so funny since he would never let us have an indoor pet growing up. Lizzie has the complete run of the house and knows it. Hugs to you and your entire family Jill. I still miss my dogs George and Sneaky and they have both been in doggie heaven for years.

  15. There is no way that you are being overly dramatic. Losing a pet is like losing a child, in my opinion. She was part of your family. I couldn’t help but get teary-eyed as I finished your post. So sorry for you and your family’s loss, Jill.

  16. It is just so hard to understand how a pup so young and full of vigor could go so fast; I lost my dog Zack in a week-end; Friday, he was fine, Sunday, he was dead — the heartbreak! Our other dog, Zoe, grieved so much. May those wonderful memories of Moutain Barbie make you and your family smile.

  17. At the same time you were faced with Mountain Barbies sudden death we faced similarly sudden and scary medical situation with our much loved Harley.
    I can not begin to imagine how you must be feeling but I do hope that with time your memories produce more smiles and less tears.

  18. Jill,
    I think you should write a Mountain Barbie book..you have it mostly done already..just put it together in book form..with pictures..have your publisher publish one or one million of them…dedicated it to Alpha Man since Mountain Barbie was his fifth love (you and the girls are 1 thr 4) and you and your family will have it forever to enjoy…and one day when the girls are grown with kids and Mountain Barbie dogs of their own, it will be a nice thing to show the grandkids and to remind you of that special, but short, time in your lives.
    Hang in there…

  19. Ah man I’m tearing up over here. Big hugs Jill to you and Alpha Man and the girls. Those pictures are so sweet. MB reminds me of our silly black lab Oliver. The kids and I just came home after being gone for 5 days and he was so stinkin’ glad to see us. I love that crazy dog. So I can’t imagine losing him so fast (he’s only a year old).

    You and your family are in my thoughts. Really you are.

  20. Jill so sorry for your loss. Thanks for the lovely tribute to Mountain Barbie who was obviously a very much loved member of your family. Thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time. Take care and thanks again for sharing the wonderful pictures and thoughts today.

  21. I’m glad you have so many beautiful pictures to remember her by. I always look forward to your dog/cat/bear/animal posts, but Mountain Barbie was my favorite.

    You’re not a drama queen. I can’t imagine what will happen to me when my Pumpkin goes to kitty heaven. I can only hope to have the grace and and fortitude you show in these posts. More likely I’ll be a quivering mess on the floor somewhere.

  22. ok I think I’m done crying. There is nothing more comforting then your dog and nothing more devistating then losing said dog. The goofier they are, the bigger the impact they have on your life. My dogs were just awarded extra dog treats, just because. My golden got so excited he knocked my into the kitchen counter. Your pets are like children(sometimes even better..they don’t talk back and give your pissy attitudes) take care of yourself and remember MB with love and affection

  23. The suddenness of it all makes it so harder to bear. But remembering the sheer joy that she brought you (and you brought her)will always be with you. As so terribly painful losing her is, not having had her is a sadder thought. (hugs)

  24. We had to make the painful decision back in October to end our poor dog’s suffering. My husband had to do it, because she was his girl. Neither one of us have truly gotten over it. We still haven’t talked about getting another dog yet. I don’t think either one of us are ready to lose our heart again.

    I just want you to know that I relate to your pain and that my thoughts are still with you and your family. *hugs*

  25. My heart hurts for you and I’m sitting here crying. She was so beautiful I loved hearing about her. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  26. Jill, a touching tribute to Mountain Barbie. Was in total shock when I read the first post on this, please know you & the family are in our thoughts and prayers. Hope Sadie & Ashes are OK as well.

  27. I so understand what you are going through Jill. I spent 32 years of my life with a very special Quarter Horse named Chatter and to this day I still walk in the barn at times expecting to hear his former always present nicker. It’s been 4 years and I still miss him meeting me at the gate when I get home. I’m not sure that ever goes away and there are just some really special fur people that we will never be able to forget or replace. The good news is that others, unique and special in their own way, come to fill that void and share their love with us when we open that door again.

    I second Jill D. This is a lovely reminder of such a special soul. Just look how many lives she touched in such a short time! And Julie H gave me a great idea. I am going to start making Shutterfly books in memory of my beloved furry friends that have gone before I and taken a piece of my heart with them. It must look like swiss cheese by now and my book shelves would be full of the memory books.

    Thanks for sharing your experience Jill. It is courageous and touching and has taken me to a place of such gratitude for all the amazing spirits that have shared my life since I was barely old enough to walk. May Mountain Barbie live on in your heart forever.

  28. Gee, I am tearing up even though I only knew Mountain Barbie through your blogs. I feel so sad for your family. :cry:

    My family and I were devastated when our dog died, and I haven’t been brave enough to get another pet. I think it is good for you and your family to still have pets at your home. You can all help each other get through this.

    I am sure that a lot of us wish we could be there to have a cup of coffee on your deck with you. (Sending you a virtual hug!!!)

  29. Jill, I didn’t know about Mountain Barbie until a good friend to both of us told me. I wanted to tell you … well the whole Internet knows how I feel about my dogs and Buddy is 11 – I can’t imagine your pain. I don’t know what else to say except I am thinking about you.
    Hugs across the miles …

  30. Your post may me cry. I know what it’s like to lose a favored pet. I am so sorry. Please know that you and your family are in my prayers. Sending wishes and Hugs.

  31. This breaks my heart.

  32. I have been gone out of town for over a week. I just got back and read about Mountain Barbie. My thoughts and prayers are with the whole family. I will miss all the antics she got into. Take care and hugs.

  33. Hang in Alpha Man.
    Jill that last picture you posted makes me grin every time I see it .
    This time tears were running down my face while I was grinning.
    By the way this is while I’m on break at work. I’m getting some strange looks.

    My first dog Griffin, a great Great Dane, passed away at 7 1/2. I miss him every day 3 years later.
    I can’t imagine loosing a pal so young.
    I got a totally diferent breed of dog this time and some day when the hurt is a little less I will have a Dane again. Take Ashes out for a long walk and enjoy your time together.

  34. Jill, you are not being a Drama Queen. Mountain Barbie was a big part of your family and will always have a piece of your heart. We went through the same ups and downs when we lost Charlie over 15 years ago. The up side is we still talk about him and the silly things he used to do, the best part is we laugh now without any tears or heartache.

  35. What a lovely tribute to Mountain Barbie. {{Jill and family}}}

  36. I agree. Grief doesn’t equal drama queen.

    I read this blog daily (well sometimes a few days at a time but it’s a blog I never miss reading). And from reading your posts, I felt I “knew” Mountain Barbie. I’m so so sad at her losee. And I know you’re feeling it ten times more.

    My thoughts are with you and your family. Especially Alpha Man. I had wondered about him as I know she was “his” dog. Sending some warm hugs your way.

  37. My heart goes out to you and your family. A pet does become a family member who is definitely missed.

  38. Thanks for sharing the pictures and the words. Rips my heart out for you and your family, but I’ve loved every Mountain Barbie moment you’ve shared with us.

  39. Jill, evidently, my earlier post went into the ether. My heart goes out to you & Alpha Man (& daughters) over the loss of your beloved Mountain Barbie. I don’t have a pet (had an asthmatic son), but, I loved your posts about her–it was such a joy to watch her, even via pix. I’ll never forget the photo of AM lying beside MB after she had been spayed–so sweet. My brother lives in So. Lake Tahoe, & I always thought of him when you featured MB leaping, gracefully, into Donner Lake. It was so obvious how happy it made her. Nothing can ease your pain, but, please know my thoughts are with all of you.

  40. Jill, not only did she touch your family’s lives, she touched so many of our lives just through the loving, funny, wonderful posts that you wrote about her. My thoughts are with you and your family. Losing a pet is losing a family member. Take your time to grieve. Be as drama-queen-like as you want or need to be. I’m loving looking at all the beautiful, joyous pictures of MB and remembering how much love, exasperation, and joy you always expressed when you wrote of her.

  41. What a beautiful tribute, Jill! We lost our beagle (Trooper) this past March. I knew we would miss him – I just had no idea how much. Our Sadie (Boston Terrier mutt) still looks for him…. Hugs to your whole family!!

  42. Aw, you have me all teary eyed and that’s a very hard thing to do. I never met Mountain Barbie but I feel like I knew her so well from your posts. I know how much it hurts to lose your dog. They’re the best friends you can ever have. They love you no matter what is going on. And their main purpose in life is to be happy and make you happy. I hope you’re feeling better. Know that you and your family are still in my thoughts.

  43. Oh my, it is so hard and empty when they are gone isn’t it? Your words bring tears to my eyes remembering my own furbabies that have passed. But she lived an adventurous and fulfilled life in the Shalvis household and was truly loved and doted on. Some dogs never get that, so your family brought as much love into her life as she brought into yours.

  44. {{Big bear hugs}}

  45. Through this blog, I feel like I know you and Alpha Man and I am so sad for you both. It was so nice to hear that you both read all the posts, although I know it couldn’t have been easy.

    I have loved this blog for a long time now and I am just so sorry you have to experience such a sad loss.

    Love coming to you from Rhode Island!!!! :cry:

  46. OH MY GOSH!! I have been out of touch for a couple of weeks and just found out. I am so terribly sorry for ya’lls loss. I always look forward to your Mountain Barbie stories. We will miss her terribly. :cry:

  47. This just makes me teary. It’s happy and sad at the same time – happy in that she had a fabulous life and sad in that you lost her. Big hugs to you and Alpha Man.

  48. Hang in there. Big honkin’ hugs to you all!

  49. I was away on a business trip last week and your blog is blocked at work. I worried about you and the fam after losing Mountain Barbie so suddenly. Gosh this makes me cry. Such a beautiful girl. I think she spoke to that crazy, uncoordinated, joyful kid in all of us. She is sorely missed by those of us you shared your MB stories with. Thank you for bringing her into our lives. Hugs to you all for losing such a precious and loving family member.

  50. Jill – I’ve been out of the country this month… in your country actually.

    I was terribly shocked and so sorry to read about Mountain Barbie. My heart goes out to you and Alpha Man and the girls.

    I have come to love Mountain Barbie over the months of reading your blog. She reminded me so much of my own Gracie Allen Golden Pup. I know how I would feel if she were suddenly gone. I am thinking of you all loudly.


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