Our hearts have been filled with so much sadness and grief since our beloved Joy passed away on February 14, 2012. It’s been so hard to watch as our dear friend’s health slowly deteriorated over the past months. The end was very peaceful for her though. With Rick by her side, she gently drifted off to sleep for the very last time, looking at him with adoration, patience, trust and love he earned throughout almost 15 years. If we could have prolonged Joy’s life by giving up a chunk of our own, we would have done it in a heartbeat.

Joy never let me down; in fact, in many ways I feel I let her down. She always looked at me with such acceptance and endurance. Her gazes were deep, and even if I wanted to ignore her, she would stare me down to communicate what she wanted. As our friendship grew stronger and a special bond was formed, I realized that she wasn’t only cute, sweet, pretty and adorable. Her soul was purer than most people’s I have ever met.

The friendship that Joy offered to me happens once in a blue moon. It was unconditional. It was non-verbal. It was not judgmental or critical. It was not even negotiable. And whether she had four legs and barked, or two legs and talked, I would have loved her just as much.

We promised that we would love Joy forever. And I know she believed us. She left something behind for us. We can’t see it, touch it or hold it. She left a loving light and energy that have no end.

We miss you tremendously, Joy. You found a special place in our hearts, and that is where you will live forever!