Hi! My name is Julie Kisser, and I would like to tell you a little about myself and my "blue dog" and how I came to make pet memorials.
 
In the fall of 1990, my husband and I went to look at a litter of Blue Heeler puppies. There was a little blue male that caught our eye, but we just were not sure; we left without buying him. We drove about 2 miles down the road, turned around, and went back and bought "Petie." I didn't know it at the time, but my life would never be the same.

My husband and I own a landscape supply business, and Petie came to work with me every day. He rode in the truck, he hung out in the greenhouse, slept in my office...he was my constant companion. I have never had a more intelligent and devoted animal friend.

In the late fall of 1994, Petie was diagnosed with cancer in his nasal passage. In March of 1995, I brought him to the UW Veterinary Hospital in Madison where his diagnosis was confirmed. I chose not to do the radiation therapy or chemo that was recommended, and Petie was given 3-6 months to live. That was one of the hardest winters of my life---I slept on the floor with him on his bad nights, and did everything I could to make him comfortable, all the while preparing myself for the worst.

If love can heal, it healed Petie. When the cold winter weather left, so did Petie's symptoms, and they never returned! My vet always said he was a miracle.

In late May/early June of 2001, Petie's demeanor seemed a bit off. I took him to the vet, but they could find nothing wrong. I took him back again, because I knew something had to be wrong since he just didn't seem like himself. After running a number of tests, doing x-rays, and then 2 ultrasounds, it was confirmed that he had a mass in his lung and fluid in his chest cavity. The cancer had returned.

I had Petie euthanized on July 26, 2001. He died in my arms in our back yard. That was the hardest thing I have ever done and I truly feel that a part of me died with him that day. I feel blessed for having had the pleasure of his company and thankful that God gave me 6 "bonus" years with him.

After Petie's death, I needed to do something to show how much he had meant to me, and I made my first memorial for him. Once again, Petie had reached out and touched my life even in death. I have since started making memorials for others who have lost animal friends. In doing so, I feel as if I am doing something of spiritual importance that hopefully helps the people left behind cope with the loss of their beloved animal companion.
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