Hello sweetheart. I think it's time for me to come and write this note to you. It did not feel right to do it earlier, maybe because I had not yet accepted in my heart that you were not coming home again. During those first couple of weeks you could have been boarded somewhere, or staying with Grandmother, or just someplace. But now it's too long. You should have been home by now. But you're not, and I miss you terribly. Right now, I miss you more each day instead of less. I know the tide will turn again at some point. But today is the day I am missing you so much and I want to tell everybody what a good and wonderful dog you were in the hope that it will ease the ache in my heart.

We brought you home just three months after Barkis died. We didn't expect to have another puppy so soon, but in a way, you picked us and you came to heal our broken hearts. Barkis was named after "Mr. Barkis" who was a character in the book, David Copperfield. When he died, my grief felt endless. I couldn't even bear to look at other yellow Lab boys, because I was searching all their faces for his eyes and his smile. Your dad and I decided that when the time might come that we were ready for another puppy, we would hunt for a black girl -- somebody totally different -- so that we would not be comparing, and so that our new puppy would have a life all her own. I won't bore everybody with the details as to how we first met you and how you came to be ours rather unexpectedly. All that matters is that you did, and the day you walked into our home was the first day that I did not cry for Barkis. I knew you needed me to take care of you, and our life together began. Daddy and I named you "Miss Peggotty" after the book's character who married Mr. Barkis. Very few people knew that was your "real" name and you were simply "Peg" to the rest of the world. But you were always Peggotty to Daddy and me, and we loved you so.

You and I did not always have an easy time. For sure, you were Daddy's girl right from the start, but you and I had some struggles to wade through. You were always quite willful, and as a puppy, you and I definitely had some moments when we were battling for the "alpha" title. As sweetly sociable as you became in later years, it's almost hard for me to remember your youthful exuberance that made it so hard for us to calmly meet other people and dogs. As a youngster, you would pogo up-and-down at my side in your excitement, and then try to catapult yourself at everyone we met. At the beginning, I felt so exhausted by my training failures that I just crossed the street to avoid encounters. But as time passed, you settled down and you and I settled in together. In these final years, there could have been no sweeter dog when it came to meeting and greeting anybody and everybody. You could so certainly have been my official therapy dog had we had the time to make that happen. It was such a pleasure taking you for our walks. You loved everybody, and everybody loved you. Everybody loved Peg. It has been so hard telling your friends, one by one, that you are gone. There have been many more tears shed over you than just mine and Daddy's.

Gosh, there are so many stories I could tell and so many special moments I could share. But mainly I just wanted to tell you how much we have always loved you, and to thank you for being such a good dog. Such a sweetheart. Beautiful big girl with your lovely brown eyes, shiny black coat, and giant bear paws. My Peggotty Pie. I miss you so much today, and I will love you forever.

Your Mom