Saturday, September 30, 2017

No Postage Needed - a letter to Ted

Good Morning to friends, family, colleagues and students,

Today, Saturday, September 30,  marks one month since my pup (although nearly fifteen) passed on from his land of play, treats; his soft, green bed; a multitude of toys, his special water bowl and even his "fine china" for meals. With gratitude to a student (1) (see below this letter for a few details), I began a letter to Ted which is providing a bittersweet catharsis during the grief that is an understood cross one bears when having the honor to host and care for such distinguished, even royal furry family members, one of the few family members permitted to run around the house, unabashedly, entirely naked. I share this portion of the beginning of my letter to Ted. Thank you for reading.

September 27, 2017

Dear Ted, 
     A month has nearly passed since you were gifted with wings lifting you to painless and joyful heights. Indeed, you went home in God's arms, where puppy angels begin and end their journeys. You must be near, as close as another panting breath, a squabble for treats or your sweet and furry body trusting my right arm to lift and lower you (2). Far more than a dog in the typical connotative sense - no, your spirit and presence watched over me through all your years here. You always gave me your love; always happy to see me; always ready for a romp for as long as there was romping and then your chariot (3) (once paralysis took hold). Your body continued to respond in joy through Teddy bops and then Teddy wobbles - movements that you could muster as long as possible - all this with your wonky leg (4) and all. You provided so much joy, the very glue that perpetuated my own sense of purpose. Playfully engaged, I was and will ever bee your Daddy: puppy school, walks (especially the Clare route (5), treats- certain treats; beating you up, a coded phrase for pup and Daddy's hug time on the floor. There's so much more to say; you're near. Stay near. Say "Hi" now and then. I'll write more later. 
Osh, Osh (6),

1. A student of mine discovered we share an admiration and appreciation of fountain pens. This young gentleman provided me with some superb information in addition to gifts of a bottle of very fine ink and paper specifically suited for fountain pens. Wanting to try my hand at writing with these new materials, I initially had no idea what to write. I started with the date. Then, it was clear: "Dear Ted,". Thanks to that student. You have indeed granted me a cathartic place. 
2. This lift and lower phrase was our daily routine for his needs due to paralysis from the waist down. 
3. His chariot was the name given his wheels, his cart, that allowed him to zoom around as usual, supporting his back legs, something like a dog with his carriage. An endearing sight. 
4. One leg, front right when facing Ted, was crooked in that his foot seemed to want to rotate away from his body. There were times it seemed it would turn completely backward. He didn't seem to mind. 
5. On our walks, we had several routes. Ted typically chose the route. The Clare route took us near the home of our dear friend, Clare, who helped care for him, loved him, and also was his trainer in puppy school. 
6. I have no idea where this phrase came from - it was my Daddy language, among many other words and phrases. It was playful and had Ted's attention. 


  1. Tim, my heart just aches for you and Joey in the loss of your precious Teddy. I feel so privileged that I got to meet and love on your gorgeous and sweet fur baby when I was blessed to visit your home, which by the way was such a beautiful and eclectic home that one can tell was full of love for not only your beautiful things but your fur babies as well. I know Teddy KNEW he was not only loved but also treasured by both of you. Not many "humans" let alone fur babies are treated as kindly and lovingly and truly part of a family as precious Teddy and his kitty friend are/were. He was blessed with 2 parents who only gave him the very best of life. He was definatly KING of his castle...being served on fine china and always a beautiful table setting, not just for y'all but for him as well and some delish food! Only the best! Yes, y'all loved him and return he loved the two of you. That's a big hole left in your hearts and home. Like loosing any close treasured family member it will take time for your hearts to heal. Maybe someday another precious little soul will be welcomed into your home and can help ease the pain and loneliness left by Teddy, he or she will have some small but very mighty little paws to fill, but if it happens I know that little soul will be loved and treasured just as sweet Teddy was. Love y'all big time and still praying for your hearts to heal daily! ❤️

    1. Lisa,
      I'm truly moved by your response...what a heart you have. Thanks so much. This has been difficult, far more than I expected. Ted is still teaching me lessons even through his passing. There will only be one Ted. Thanks, dear friend.

    2. Still love reading your words. You always bless my heart and mind with your words. Always a blessing. Thank you and Joey for sharing your words and your precious Teddy with all of us. Anyone that had ever met him knew what a special boy he was. I know the one time I met him I was in love with him. ❤️😊🤣

  2. Replies
    1. question...words are not adequate even. To you, many thanks.

  3. Hello, I'm a friend of Joey's on Facebook. He shared your blog with me just now, and I wanted to say, your writing is a treasure, and I know for certain that Teddy is near you always. God bless you and thank you for sharing your heart with us so beautifully.

    1. Stephani,
      Thank you so very much. Writing, while often prompted when least expected, is an amazing catharsis for expression. I'm delighted you enjoyed this missive about Ted and to Ted. I'm presently working on a collection of letters, a memoir, with Ted as the focus. Writing letters to him have been very healing and help me stay in touch with him, feeling he is near - somehow, even if in simple, soft, furry whispers. Best to you, Stephani. Tim