World Pet Memorial Day 2016

Throughout our marriage, my husband & I have loved and lost most of what we like to refer as “Our Children”. However; these children have all been furry, four-legged, loveable creatures that we have adopted and rescued. Each one was a unique individual and each had a strikingly different personality. We miss them every single day! We currently live with three children (1 cat & 2 dogs) which after all these years, we think may be the last of our brood, since the reality of our own mortality seems to grow closer with each passing year.  


Wouldn’t it be comforting to know that this poem, “I Am Still Here” is true? I have posted it here in Memory of our Children in Heaven. We miss you all!


(Pictured above) Gulliver, Guinevere, Tiger, Pandora, Emmet, Marcus, Willow, Jasper, Misty, Buster, Bear, Heidi, Christian, Chloe, O’Reilly, Delilah, Angel and Barnaby.



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Alas, these three “trouble makers are still alive & well! “We don’t miss them~ yet!~ JGT



Don’t forget to visit your local Animal Shelter before purchasing a pet from a pet store.  Here are a few links to my favorite pet charities.

Popcorn Park

Adopt a Pet ASPCA

Angels of Animals

New Jersey SPCA

Pets for Patriots





Jasper Howard *2000-2015 ( My Sweet Boy~ My Valentine!)


Combo 2010 020JasparIt took my husband Luke 4 months to trap Jasper & his brother (Buster) after my mother had scooped their small sister (Misty) up in her arms in June of 2000. Once we had him & brought him to our house to join Misty he disappeared somewhere into the house (we never found out where) but came out to eat & use the litter box. Indeed; he was like a little ghost! After looking up the name ‘Casper’ in a baby names book, I discovered that it was interchangeable with the name ‘Jasper’ & thus he was named!

Jasper soon discovered that he had been rescued by humans who had not only ensnared him but whom also lived with four dogs! (He had no idea that those dogs had recently lost the last of three elderly cats that they had lived with & suffered through all their losses.) Those wonderful dogs welcomed him into our home as if he were one of them. Our dogs, Marcus, Willow, Christian & Emmet all welcomed him into the “pack” & it wasn’t long before he became a member of the Howard family!Combo 2010 046

Jasper discovered that he adored ALL dogs! Indeed, we have always believed that he preferred them over us! Over the past 15 years we have rescued & lost dogs & cats and lost family members and friends that he had been accustomed to receiving affection from. Jasper had lived through it all including the losses of his litter mates Misty & Buster who left us in 2011 & 2012. We know that he mourned the losses of the four dogs that he met in 2000 as well as our adopted dogs Bear & Heidi who he welcomed years later but subsequently mourned their losses as well in 2011 & 2012.

Duffy came to us in mid-2012 & boxed with Jasper until just a few days ago. We knew he was ready to leave us & move on to meet up with his old playmates in Heaven. I truly do believe that there are Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates~~ and my faith in God through Jesus Christ has convinced me that our beloved Jasper who passed on today will be meeting up with all of his Howard family sibling cats & dogs who have gone on before him over the years.

Thank you, Jasper for sharing your life with all of us these 15 years.  We will miss you, Jasper and we pray that you will give our love to the “gang” when you meet them at the Rainbow Bridge & let them ALL know that we still miss & love them all & we know that they are happy for you to join up with them at last.

“Not even a sparrow, worth only half a penny, can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.” ~ Matthew 10:29.

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The Following is Posted Very Low on the Refrigerator Door.

Dear Dogs and Cats: The dishes with the paw prints are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Racing me to the bottom is not the object and I’ll have you know that tripping me doesn’t help because I will fall faster than you can run!

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this, however; do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch forever to ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also realize that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm on your part.

And, for the last time, there is no secret exit from the bathroom! I have been using the bathroom for years and canine/feline attendance is not required. If, by some miracle, I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to bark, claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge in an attempt to open the door. Just realize I must exit through the same door I entered~ eventually!

The proper order for kissing is: Kiss me first, then go smell the other dog or cat’s butt~ I cannot stress this enough!

Finally, in fairness, dear pets, I have posted the following message on the front door:


(1) They live here. You don’t.

(2) If you don’t want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture! That’s why they call it ‘fur’-niture.

 (3) I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.

 (4) To you, they are animals. To me, they are adopted sons/daughters who are short, hairy, walk on all fours and don’t speak clearly.

Remember, dogs & cats are better than kids because they:

 (1) Eat less,

 (2) Don’t ask for money all the time,

 (3) Are easier to train,

 (4) Normally come when called,

 (5) Never ask to drive the car,

 (6) Don’t smoke or drink,

 (7) Don’t want to wear your clothes,

 (8) Don’t have to buy the latest fashions,

 (9) Don’t need a gazillion dollars for college,

and finally;

 (10) If they get pregnant, you can legally sell their children!

If you don’t like our rules, don’t visit us! Remember; I’ll be watching you!~Duffy


Although the first writer of the above is unknown, I know that many “tweaks” to the original have been made over the years~ and through my own experience, I have done so as well! ~JGT


BEARYou may already be aware of a reported outbreak of dog flu/canine influenza in the Chicago area, with a few reported cases in Wisconsin and Indiana. I don’t wish to cause alarm, but I consider this an important situation for dog owners which calls for some extra awareness and attention. Canine influenza (CI), or dog flu, is caused by an influenza A virus. Originally believed to be a strain of the H3N8 canine influenza identified in the U.S. dog population in 2004, this virus is now considered closely related to Asian strains of influenza A H3N2 viruses. Although it does not infect people, it’s highly contagious to other dogs and can occur year round. Most dogs recover within 2-3 weeks; however, some fatal cases of pneumonia resulting from CI have been reported. Exposure to the virus comes from other dogs, in situations such as boarding, dog parks, or other activities where contact with respiratory secretions may occur. If the New Jersey area becomes affected, I will update this page ASAP. Meanwhile, for prevention I recommend temporarily limiting those activities that expose your dog to others. If your dog is exhibiting any of the following signs, please contact us immediately:

  • coughing or labored breathing
  • sneezing
  • nasal or eye discharge
  • lethargy
  • reduced appetite
  • fever

We lost our dog, Bear to the canine flu in 2012. The article I published back then can be viewed here. https://jerseygirltoday.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/bear-canine-influenza-danger/  We still miss you every, single day! ~JGT

It’s also worth noting that the H3N2 virus has caused infection and respiratory illness in cats, so if your cat goes outside or socializes with cats who do, keep an eye out for these signs, as well. These resources provide some more detailed information: