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This is a special section of our site to remember and honor our loved - but lost - animal companions. Members and Friends of Animal Advocates of Howard County are invited to submit photos and tributes of their special animal friends who have passed away.

Grief is probably the most confusing, frustrating and emotional thing that a person can experience. It is even more so for a pet owner. Society in general does not give bereaved pet owners "permission" to grieve openly. Consequently, individuals often feel isolated and alone. For those of us who loved and lost a companion animal the pain is deep and lasting.

 Mario  – such a good boy!  Adopted January 2008 – Died 6 April 2023


Our handsome, goofy, and loving companion MARIO died at home on 6 April.  He was 15 years old.  Mario bravely and successfully fought two types of cancers - surviving,  thriving, and enjoying life for 15 months after the initial grim diagnosis of lung cancer in December 2021.  He had an awesome group of care givers – and a special supportive “auntie” who was always there to help us navigate cancer treatment options and difficult decisions.

 Mario was a happy, laid back, and curious dog who was strongly bonded to his life-long companion Molly (now 17 years old).  He was a mamma’s boy, always excited to greet her - after even a short absence - with a whole body “wag”.  He enjoyed ordinary doggie things – walks, naps, treats, playing with Molly, running, mealtime, and barking at delivery trucks. He earned an A+ in begging for pizza and pasta, somehow always knowing when either was on the menu.   Favorite nicknames were Hairyman and Handsome Harry.

 Mario was part of our family for the last 15 years - and although his death leaves a deep sadness, we know he enjoyed a wonderfully happy life with Molly, all his kitty buddies, and a mom and dad who adored him.

 Joanne and Bill


Big Boy
Big Boy Memorial

We said goodbye to Big Boy just short of his 17th birthday.  Attached is a collage of Biglet throughout the years.  How lucky we are to have shared his path, both as his foster parents in the beginning, then again as his forever parents for the second half of his life.  He was born an old soul, almost like he got a glimpse of the heartache that lay ahead when he would become homeless for a second time. When foster pets get adopted, I live in fear of a surprise return but Big Boy was the exception. I missed him every day for 9 years until he made his way back home.   

As he aged, he turned into a comedian.  He, and we, delighted in his "Nightly Performance" which meant we sat down on the couch, he carried on barking or leaping in the air until we applauded and then got up to give him a cookie. It thrilled him to be attended to, listened to, and to be allowed creative power.  
He never had a harsh word for anyone, and especially adored children.  I'll never forget Halloween, seeing Big Boy standing in the middle of a circle of little princesses loving on him; he was in his element.  
He was fearless (except at the vet) and he had amazing determination.  As it became harder to walk well, we got him a wheelchair; the minute he was hooked up, he took off running, intoxicated by the speed. It took so little to make Big happy; until the end his eyes sparkled when he went for a car ride, got a treat, even just going outside was exciting. On his last day, the sparkle dimmed, and we knew it was time. Big Boy came into this world in a ditch on the side of a road, and left being held by people whose lives will never be the same. 

In Celebration of Cooper

 Cooper RIP

 When Animal Advocates first met Cooper, he had been "rescued" by a person who found him in a rural impoverished area, brought him here to Howard County, and then within a few days decided she couldn't keep him because he barked too much.  During our evaluation, he was aloof, refused to engage, and was not particularly friendly, even with his “rescuer”.  He had not lived indoors, we had no foster homes open, and it was clear he was going to be a project. I remember sitting on the ground, thinking about whether we could take this dog and the long road it would be before he could become someone's pet.  Then I heard the person say she was putting him in a crate with a shock collar on, and shocking him every time he barked!  And that they really hadn't "bonded".  Gee, really.  Imagine how hard it must have been for a dog who was used to running free not only to be in a house, but to be shoved into a crate which was unfamiliar to him, then receiving a shock every time he cried out for someone to save him from this scary situation.  No wonder he didn't trust people.  I remember sitting there feeling completely infuriated and just closed my eyes for a minute to try to control myself.  Then I felt a touch, and opened my eyes to feel Cooper brushing hesitantly up against me.  Then we made eye contact and he put his head against my chest and leaned his whole body in. 

 In that moment, Cooper took a chance and tentatively reached out for help from people he could tell were safe. I can’t explain it except to say that our hearts heard each other, and it is still one of the most special moments I’ve had in a two-decades long career. 

  I will say that tentative contact was probably the only tentative thing Cooper did in his time with AAHC; once he was in kind hands he blossomed and barreled full-speed ahead to take on the future.     

  His luck got even better when he was adopted by his permanent Mom and Dad. After a rough start his first week—he tried to plow through a glass patio door and gave himself a concussion; houses are full of unanticipated difficulties for dogs who haven’t lived in one--it was smooth sailing for the next 13 years. 

  We have been so blessed to get regular updates and follow Cooper throughout his life; photos with Santa, birthdays, goofy moments, and being the ring bearer in his parent’s wedding!   We are grateful to have been able to share in the joys of Cooper’s life, and now we join his Mom and Dad in sharing the sorrow of this special boy’s passing. 

  Mom reports “He had his favorite froggy blanket with him, and he went very peacefully.  Dave and I will forever be grateful to you for giving us the chance to have him with us for almost 13 years. Cooper has enriched our lives in immeasurable ways, and we will never be the same.”

  Thank you so very much to Cooper’s parents. This dog came to us with nothing, and you gave him everything.  This is the way all dogs are supposed to be loved, and our hearts are full.  




Zackary Serelis died at home on Sunday, May 17, 2014.  His spirit left his body as two pairs of loving hands caressed him.  Bill and I were honored to have him as a member of our family for more than 22 years.  He was adopted as a kitten from Howard County Animal Control in February 1992.  He joined Lucy (another new kitty) and Cosmos (our new pooch) as we began to grow our 2nd pet family. 
Zackary was a gentle soul - and such a good boy!  He and Lucy were great pals, but he spent much of his time sleeping under various beds to escape Sophia's bullying (Sophia was the third cat to join our 2nd pet family - and she was THE BOSS).  When Sophia died in 2009, Zackary 'came out' - literally - from under the beds.  He walked around, joined my visiting parents, took naps all over the house, enjoyed basking in the conservatory sunshine, thumped up and down the stairs without fear, and 'talked' to us often.  He became quite vocal to let us know he was there and wanted some attention or food.  And we helped him make up for lost time in the cuddling department!  
In his long life, he called 4 dogs his friends – Cosmos and Cayce, and then Molly and Mario.  He often joined Mario napping on a favorite chair - and Mario was always very gentle when he moved on, careful not to step on old Zacky.  Zackary's original kitty siblings were Lucy, Nino, and Sophia.  He left behind his kitty buddies:  Jake, Charlotte, and Nellie- and those ever-barking dogs, Molly and Mario. 
Jake was a close presence for Zackary, as he was for Sophia near the end of her life.  Jake often kept Zackary company during his naps on the various dog beds, or he would curl up a few feet away from where Zack was resting - just to keep him company or to groom his head.  Jake was the only pet who spent his nights sleeping in the family room with Zack and me (or Bill) during Zack's final weeks.  Jake seemed to sense that Zackary's end was near.  Jake is another gentle, and seemingly very old, soul.
Dr. Russell, his vet, called him 'awesome' - he was the calmest cat we (and she) ever knew.  Zack was the best acupuncture patient, too.  Calm, laid back, happy, and gentle - with a Geiger counter sounding purr.   He loved-loved-loved to be brushed, especially under his chin.   Despite his declining health, Zackary managed his physical ailments with strength and dignity - alert, purring, and 'talking' in his final hours.  One of our most lasting memories of him will be his throaty meow/huff and blinking his eyes to express his love for us.
Zack hung onto life with incredible calmness and tenacity.... he did not "go gently into the night" even though his body was approaching a crisis point.  We miss him so much, but we know that he had the best life a cat could have had - lots of love and companionship and few health issues other than the last year of his long life.
He was truly an 'awesome' cat.  THE BEST!  Our Zack-man.  Our Zacka-doo.

In Memory of Phoenix


With Love from Andrew, Laura, Garrah, Helaena, Jonathan and Theo


In Loving Memory of our sweet girl Latte

To Laurie and the Folks at Animal Advocates:   

I do not know if you remember my wife and I when we adopted Latte the Lab 3 years ago in May, we are writing to let you know of her passing. Latte was diagnosed with stage three Mast Cell Cancer in December and was given just weeks to live, she fought bravely until today when she succumbed to this horrible disease after a brief remission. We adopted Latte shortly after the passing of our Lab Beth and we were not sure if getting a new dog was the right thing to do or not, as it turned out Latte was just what we both needed.

A year after we adopted her my wife had to have emergency surgery and almost died, during her recovery Latte was right there next to Mary and was just like a nurse always checking on her and giving affection. A year later I got seriously ill and she was right there for me as well, we came to refer to her as the nurse dog because she was so caring.

A more loving animal neither one of us has ever had.She was a complete joy to have and she just wrapped us and the neighborhood around her paws, she knew just where she could find some love or get a treat and she also loved to play with the neighborhood children. She was a lot of fun to have and was a great friend and family member and we will miss her terribly.

We just wanted to write to say thank you for bringing Latte into our life, I know that we are better people for having had her. 

Thank you,

Steve and Mary

Latte is a bit of a legend with us here at Animal Advocates.  When we talk about how stable, solid, or nice a dog's temperament is, we explain by saying "almost as sweet as Latte".  She's the only dog I've ever felt entirely comfortable taking into a room full of children where anything can happen.  She could eat up the attention from 30 children all at once like no other dog I've ever seen. 

But, she was making up for lost time.  Latte spent the first 7 years of her life in an outside cage.  A terrible life for any dog, but especially one as loving and people-oriented as Latte.  As if that weren't enough, she came to Animal Advocates with heartworms.  Latte sailed through what can be a tough treatment regimen with her tail wagging and her happy big brown eyes shining the whole time. 

Latte hadn't had much luck in her life, until she was adopted by Mary and Steve. It seems so unfair that after all she had been through, Latte didn't live to be twenty once she had a real family and got to live a real life. 

But knowing Latte, I'm sure she packed an entire lifetime into the past three and a half years.  Latte's story is truly a tribute to the forgiving nature of dogs, the commitment of all-too-rare people like Mary and Steve, and the indomitable miracle called Love.




In Loving Memory of Morgan

What on Earth were we thinking? Did we really want to adopt this terrified dog that was practically hiding behind the sofa at a GRREAT (Golden Retriever Rescue Education and Training) foster home? I was too naïve to know that this dog had big issues – I wanted her from the moment I saw her. My husband had serious doubts, but I prevailed and we took her home. She watched us closely from a safe distance for two whole days before she softened and started to love us back. Morgan had been abused at some point in her West Virginia past (she was approx. one year old when we adopted her) – and she distrusted most men, except for my husband. It was years before Morgan trusted everyone, but she loved us quickly, and we loved her right back. Morgan was the gentlest dog I’ve ever known. We didn’t know her birth date, so we chose July 4th as the day we would celebrate. Not a good choice. Morgan was very upset by fireworks (and thunder) so, as it turned out, she was guaranteed to be with us and to be hugged on her birthday! She had one blue eye and one brown eye, which was a conversation starter. If I heard “is she blind” once, I heard it a hundred times. Her blue eye was my favorite and I truly miss it and the brown one gazing adoringly up at me!

We discovered in March of 2009 that Morgan had a tumor on or near her liver. By this point she was 12 years old – surgery was not in the cards as we could have lost her on the operating table. We made a wise choice and she lived a good life for another year and 11 months before she let us know that it was time for us to let her go.

The house is cleaner now, we have more room in the pantry for our stuff, and we don’t miss the vet bills, but the best dog in the world is gone from our lives and we will never, ever, forget her. Someone else’s reject brought joy to our lives every day for almost 13 years. She’s been gone since February (2011) and I still say good-night to her, out loud, every night, as I did when she was sleeping in her bed next to me. Good night, Morgan, in heaven. We will always love you. 





In Loving Memory of Ruby

I just wanted to Thank you so very much for allowing me to adopt the Dobe who became a soul mate in my life..  I adopted this shy Doberman Pinscher, aptly named "Ruby" for her coloring, in 2003 at age 2. She was  a bit scared at first....but soon became my true companion.  She was, as they say about Doberman Pinschers, a true  "velcro dog"  always wanting to be right by my side. It is with deep sadness that Ruby crossed over the Bridge in October of 2010 after a very sudden and aggessive cancer. We had 7 (!) wonderful years together.....We ran, played fetch, went hiking and she became my snuggle-bunny. She captured my neighborhood's heart and many came to say their final farewells to her. There is a silence in my home and heart that is aching, however, I know my RubyGirl is no longer suffering.  Until we meet again:  Night, night sweet baby, Mama loves you.   KaraAnn




In Loving Memory of Samaya

In 1998 I adopted two cats from the Howard County Animal Control and Adoption Facility-a large, part Maine Coon, 14-month male named Roman and a beautiful little 2-year-old domestic short hair named Samaya.  Roman and Samaya shared my life, I was married in 2001 and my wife Christina and I thought of Roman and Samaya as our children.  In 2008 we welcomed a daughter into our lives and Roman and Samaya adjusted to this new and radical change.

Samaya was always a sweet and loving (on her terms of course) cat.  She would sleep with us at night and wake us up (too early) in the morning.  She loved attention and would cozy up to friend, family, and stranger alike.  She was always a joy.

We recently learned that Samaya had cancer, it was aggressive, and it was advanced.  After a mercifully short illness, Samaya passed away early Sunday, April 25, 2010.  We did what we would to treat her, but when it became clear that she could not be cured we took care to ensure her comfort.

I had been out of town during the final days of her life, and via updates from my wife I was very much afraid that I would not have an opportunity to say my goodbyes to Samaya.  I returned home Saturday evening and Christina and I spent the evening with Samaya.  As we sat and held her she meowed, she purred, and she died knowing how much we loved her.

I remain convinced that Samaya waited until I returned from my travels so that I could have those final hours with her-she was just that sweet.

She brought so much joy to our lives for 12 years that we were blessed with her.  We want others to have the same opportunity.  We would also ask that people be encouraged to adopt adult cats.  I came to animal control that day in 1998 intent on adopting two kittens.  Then I saw Roman and Samaya, both had been in the facility many weeks.  I realized then that kittens will always find a good home, but people seem to be reluctant to adopt adult cats.  Please share my assurance with everyone that adult cats will bring every bit as much joy and companionship and they truly need someone to take them home and welcome them into a family.

Todd and Christina


 A Tribute to Champ


I wanted to let you know that Champ went over The Bridge on Saturday night.  The Vet came to the house and Joe and I were with him.  As always, he was a brave boy and went peacefully…

His story is one for the books – I guess there are others but I can’t imagine that there are many dogs who overcame what he did – abuse, living on a chain, ending up with a dog rescue that wrote him off and threw him into a kennel that did nothing but feed him, and then adopted him into a bad home.  Finally he ended up in another rescue with folks that really tried to erase all the bad memories, and he eventually came to live with us.  

After he came here, I really believe he had a great life, not just a mediocre one as so many animals do.  We had to make a major leap in our minds, and at our house, to take him in.  It wasn’t an easy undertaking, but once we decided to bring him home, we never looked back – we both feel so fortunate to have made the decision – it’s a great feeling when you can actually say “we can” versus “we can’t”.  He had a wonderful home – including a fenced in yard (never even thought of a fence until he came along) where he felt safe and was loved… and yup, he loved us too…
I only wish that more humans could make this leap…

He battled cancer and while going through chemo got Lyme disease.  Then was bitten by a copperhead which he just threw off, and then finally falls and tears his ACL and still, he did his best to come back from all of that….he really was a Champ… in every sense of the word.

Ruth & Joe

Tribute to Charlie...

Charlie was a very special dog who recently left this world at the grand old age of 18.  He was the first, and most beloved dog of his family, who fosters dogs for Animal Advocates.  He was adopted from a shelter when he was 3 years old, and spent those early years teaching his human toddlers all about the joys of canines, as you can see in his video.  As Charlie got older, more dogs joined the family, and he showed them the ropes.  Most recently, in his senior years, he played an especially important role in helping to socialize puppies for our organization. He performed this duty up until the week he died!  Charlie loved puppies and was gentle and patient with them, building their confidence and making meeting Big Dogs a positive experience.  

We aren't sure how we will manage without Charlie, but our hope is that one day, all dogs will get to live a full life in a permanent home, and be as appreciated as he was.  In celebration of Charlie's life, please watch this moving tribute to him with your sound turned the whole way up!




Sophia Serelis died at home on Saturday, March 28, 2009.  We were privileged to have her as a member of our family for more than 16 years - she was adopted from Howard County Animal Control on February 18, 1993.  I had accidentally wandered into the quarantine area and there she was - a gorgeous, long haired silver tabby with a hint of Persian - and an attitude of huffiness that never left her.


Her passion was carrying dog toys in her mouth (some bigger than she was) and meowing very loudly as she wandered around with them.  Sometimes, her intent was to bring the item to me or Bill - other times, she just wandered around with the toy in her mouth meowing as she struggled to walk with it dangling between her front legs.  She would carry rope bones, stuffed toys, slippers, socks, small pillows – often down the stairs, meowing as she thumped the item down each of the 14 stairs.


Sophia’s favorite person in the world was her dad – she loved sleeping on his chest, especially as he dozed off while watching late night TV.  In her youth she would bite his nose to wake him up in the morning.  She especially loved the dogs of the house – and only tolerated (or chased away) the other cats.  She was especially close to our lab mix Cayce, and showed him affection by licking his head.  Cayce would whine and do an army crawl after her - begging her to give him her special attention – she mostly complied, but sometimes she just bit him and trotted away.  


  She often stood by the window next to our front door waiting for the dogs to return from a walk… almost as if she were worried about them.  Sometimes she would be at that same window watching me drive off to work – and I always stopped, rolled down the window, and waved goodbye to her.  Many times she would be at that same window as I drove down the driveway, as if she knew I was coming home.   

She was the alpha pet of the house and she let everyone know she was the boss.  She was also the tiniest of all our recent pets, weighing in at around 7 lbs.  She had a beautiful long coat, but hated to be combed or groomed in any way.  She knew her name and would come trotting like a silver fox when called.  


In her long life, she called 4 dogs her friends – Cosmos and Cayce, and more recently - Molly and Mario.  Her original kitty buddies were Lucy, Nino, and Zackary – only Zackary remains with us.  Affectionate Lucy was the only cat that ever tried to groom grouchy Sophia.  Sophia’s newest feline companions – Nellie, Jake, and Charlotte were tolerated.  Jake stayed close to her over the past few months, and he would curl up next to her or lay down a foot or so from where she was resting to keep her company.  In her final days, he was insistent on being near her and I think his presence gave her comfort.


One of my last fond memories is of Sophia walking down the hallway with my father this past Christmas.  Dad was plodding along to get a bit of exercise, and Sophia kept pace with him, walking beside him, back and forth, back and forth.  Two old souls taking a final stroll together.


Sophia hung onto life with incredible tenacity.... she did not "go gently into the night".  She was very strong-willed and a real presence - her absence leaves a huge void in our lives.   We will miss her always..... gone, but never ever forgotten.


-Joanne and Bill



Thoughts of Zoe D. Beagle
1/1995 to 8/2008


Zoe was a rescue from a research lab and was 7 months old when I got her.  I was told she had never been experimented on but I always said I think they took her brain, as she was not the sharpest of mind.  She was wall-eyed and bowlegged and dumb!  What more could a mother want!   I loved her right from the start. 

Zoe and I have aged together, rather ungracefully most of the time.  Although the vet tech told me once that she never thought of a beagle and grace in the same sentence anyhow.  We were the perfect fit though — couch potatoes who loved to eat.  We aged together, grayed together, slept together, lounged together and got fat together.  There is a void now and she will be missed. 

In loving memory of Teddy P.

Thank you, dear Lord, for opening your gates
and calling St. Francis to escort Teddy, our beloved companion,
across the Rainbow Bridge.

Please assign him to a place of honor,
for he was a faithful servant
and always did his best to please us.

Bless the hands that sent him to you,
for they did so with love and compassion,
freeing him from pain and suffering.

Grant me the strength not to dwell on my loss.
Help me remember the details of his life
with the love he showed me.
And grant me the courage to honor him
by sharing those memories with others.

Let him remember us as well
and let him know that I will always love him.

And when it's my time to pass over into Your paradise,
please allow him to accompany those who will bring me home.

Thank you, Lord,
for the gift of his companionship
and for the time we had together.
Adapted from a poem by Brandy Duckworth, 1998

We named him Lord Jim because of his regal stature. We affectionately called him Jimmy, a sweet loving orange tabby that won our hearts. He came into our lives fourteen years ago as we were still grieving the death of our fifteen year old cat, Princess. Our daughter-in-law got him from a friend who got him from her parents. Her father did not like cats and kicked this one whenever he came near. This made Jimmy very leary of men. However, with patience, he became a wonderful companion to my husband who won Jimmy's love and affection. Jimmy had a very peculiar purr. The vet said it came from a heart murmur and didn't expect too long a life span for our boy. But Jimmy fooled him and us. Jimmy's purr was loud and could be heard in the next room when he really got going. He would wake us up with his purr when he jumped in our bed at night. He was so affectionate. One habit he had that really made us laugh was his way of intimidating our dogs, two eighty pound monsters. Jimmy would sit in the doorway of the room that the dogs were in and dare them to get by him. I would hear our Buster whine and find him unwilling to get past Jimmy. What a character Jimmy was. We called him our "roof rabbit" because he would use the roof, two stories high to get into the house. He was an indoor/outdoor cat and used the door to get out and then in the middle of the night we would hear him purring and batting at the window to get our attention. This was our bedroom window. Jimmy would go on the roof in any weather. We hated to open the door when it was cold outside. I was always a dog person and not too fond of cats. However, ever since my marriage 44 years ago, my husband, the cat lover had a cat. I soon changed my mind about cats when Jimmy entered our lives. What a wonderful companion he was. We will truly miss him. ~Sharon

One of our very special pets has left us, in the best way possible. Here’s a Tribute to Will, and to his family, Sue and Paul.

It’s been almost a year and a half since Will became part of our family. Over that
time, he gradually improved to the point where he could start "living" a
bit, enjoying his environment and his animal companions. He even began playing, and that was cause for a celebration on everyone’s part.

However, over the last few months, he has begun deteriorating. Paul and I are amazed that he has lived as long as he has, especially given that his kidneys were in such bad shape in March 2006. I think, I hope, we have done everything we can
for him. He has had all the food he can eat (especially Fancy Feast grilled salmon, his favorite), all the water he needs, all the peaceful sleeping places any cat could want, and a wonderful companion in Paul, to whom he became very attached. I say this not to brag about what we have done, because it truly took little effort on our part. But more to say this is the best we could do, and sometimes that has to be enough. He is very weak now and very, very thin. He is struggling to get to some of his favorite places; the desk where we have our computer, the kitchen counter (yep, we never did this before with our cats in the past!) where he could always find his salmon. I've asked him to tell us when he is ready to go.

Over the past few days, Will went further downhill. And he let us know. Will is in heaven now. He got cheated in life. I hope cat heaven is very good to him.

Those of us with Animal Advocates think the term “cheated” isn’t really right. Yes, Will died before he got to be an old man. But he left this world with people who loved him, and that’s more than so many cats can hope for.

Will left a legacy with regard to the story of his life before he came to us. To see Will’s whole story, please click here .

The following poem is dedicated in the memories of Teddy and Champ, two beloved dogs who were adopted from the shelter, both of whom passed away last week (2.10.07)

Written by Eve Lowery


Beautiful Lucy
Beautiful, gorgeous, sweet, loving, gentle Lucy died on 4 Sept 2006. Lucy came from the Howard Co shelter - she was adopted in Jan 1992. She picked me - stuck her paw out of the cage and was very, very vocal about the fact that she wanted O-U-T.

Lucy was Italian - eating was one of her favorite activities - 3:30 was her time to start announcing that she was hungry - 3:30am and 3:30pm, like clockwork. She supervised the preparation of the various vitamins and supplements at every meal, and she was adept at stealing bites of cat food as it was being dished out. She ate with gusto - to the left of the kitchen sink - every day for 14 years. That spot on the counter will always be "hers".

Although Lucy did ordinary cat things that endeared her to us - using her scratching post, sleeping in the sun, chirping at birds, rubbing her head on chairs, playing with her jingle toy - but she was anything but ordinary. She enjoyed grooming the other cats - feisty Nino, grumpy Sophia, and shy Zack: all got their share of head lickings from her over the years. She was a true nursemaid who willingly provided comfort to other creatures in need. She slept by both of my dogs, Cosmos and Cayce, during their dying days, when she could have been anywhere else in the house.

Lucy was a Pets on Wheels cat for several years in her youth - she was very, very calm and just melted into any lap - not too many cats have such a temperment. She became a special friend to one senior admirer, Elisabeth - a fellow New Englander and a real "cat lady" in her hey-day. Lucy visited with Elisabeth weekly for several years - first at Harmony Hall assisted living, then at the Lorien nursing home. Her friendship followed Elisabeth's physical decline and ultimate death.

I like to believe that Lucy is with her buddies Cosmos, Cayce, and Nino....and that she has once again found her friend Elisabeth's lap to cuddle in. She had a wonderful, happy life and this gentle and loving soul was one of my best friends. I miss her every day.




Our beloved Cayce (pictured on the top left) died on Monday, 22 May - he was14+ years old. We were privileged to have him as a member of our family for 12 years. He was a healthy, happy, energetic dog - quick to wag his tail and nuzzle an unoccupied hand for a head rub. He especially loved his "cookies" and would shamelessly beg for them whenever he could get your attention. He craved affection and physical contact, and was a real "momma's boy".
Thanks to homeopathy and his support group of holistic providers, we have been fortunate that Cayce had few health problems throughout his life. He died at home in the conservatory where he spent his first night with us - with his mom and dad at his side, and with his kitty buddies (Lucy, Sophia, Zack) nearby.
Cayce was adopted in 1994 from the Howard County Shelter a few weeks after I attended a vigil on pet overpopulation there; the vigil was sponsored by Animal Advocates. I was looking for a "sign" that we should adopt a second dog (Cosmos - pictured on the top right) had been our first and only dog up to then) - and I received it at this event. A paper chain of hundreds of "links" containing the name of an animal that had been euthanized at the shelter that year was made, and vigil participants were asked to carry a part of the chain as it was fully expanded. I happened to grab a link in the paper chain that contained the name PENNY - which was the name that Cosmos came into the shelter with. Brenda Purvis, the Shelter Administrator at the time, was instrumental in helping me decide on Cayce - she assured me he was cat friendly, was full grown, and encouraged me to bring Cosmos by for an acquaintance visit. Cayce was named after the famous psychic, Edgar Cayce.
Cosmos (1991 - 2005) was our first poochie. She was a
gentle, loving soul with a brave, calm spirit. She died just last September. She was adopted from the Howard County Shelter in 1992 and spent 13.5 of her 14 years with us. She loved to sleep on her back with her legs straight up - and she was friendly to everyone... always wagging her flowing tail and giving kisses to anyone who came close enough. We recently learned she was a border collie mix.
Cosmos and Cayce were life-long best buddies and did everything together. I will forever miss these two dogs standing at the window by the front door "waving" good-bye as I drove off to work - and then joyously greeting me upon my return as if I had been gone for weeks. Our Sunday walks in Schooley Mill Park were among their happiest times. ~ Joanne



My heart is truly broken,
My soul in grief sadly cries.
I have lost a great companion-
Vagabond has died.

My joy has been taken,
A devoted glow gone out.
I have years of memories
So many I can't count.

Heaven has gained my treasure,
He's gone to his celestial home.
He'll walk in the fields up yonder,
One earth he'll ne'er more roam.

His pain has forever passed,
His life is happy and free.
I sit and fondly remember
The time he spent with me.

I pray I'll meet him someday
When my breath is silent and still.
I have loved you so much, Darling,
And, Vaggie, I always will.

Viola Mae

The first moment I laid eyes on Hobo was when Keith and I were sitting on the deck having dinner. When I heard a very quiet meow. I looked over and saw the tiniest black cat who had apparently been outside for quite sometime and obviously was not enjoying his experience. I went over to him and right away he came to me and started rubbing all over me. My husband automatically said , "don't you even think about it" (obviously knowing me very well.) I remember being so surprised that a cat that just had been through so much could be so loving. Even after feeding him, it was the kindness and human touch he truly seeked not just the food. Well a few days later after a well placed call to Ann. You could say Hobo was my link to Animal Advocates. We took Hobo to the vet and brought him inside to live with us. I have had cats in my life but none that have or will ever touch me the way he did. I will forever remember the "quirky" little things he did and all the happiness he brought to our lives. Yes, I say our lives. Hobo immediately began working on Keith. Before long Keith was putty in his paw. He slept on Keith's side of the bed, squeaked when he came through the door and would come set on his lap while he was working in his office. He had successfully won "the dog" person in the house over in less than two weeks. Of course he already had the rest of won over from day one. If I can take the time to remember some of his best qualities they would be the fact that he always was looking for love, to be petted or scratched. He would raise his little butt in the air when you would pet him just the right way. Even though his past experience with people had probably been anything but loving he was willing to keep trying. He was a loyal, sweet, gentle and loving cat and he will be missed more than words can say. But he will never be forgotten. He changed our lives forever. Hobo I hope you find someone who can scratch just right until I can be there to do it myself. Rest in peace my beautiful boy.

In Loving Memory of Mable

"Not only did this dog enrich the lives of Kim and Brent Miller, the loving family who provided her the "forever home" she so deserved, but she touched the heart of every volunteer and worker at the Howard County Animal Shelter. No one who ever came in contact with Mabel dog will ever forget her. She lives on in our hearts."

Tribute to Mable (aka "Rottie Girl")
She fit into our home like a glove! She welcomed the new name we gave her as if it was all she had ever known. She let me know the time, ie: time to be fed, time to walk, time to go to bed, time to wake up, time to get a bath, and time for love. She never let her devotion to us fail or falter in any way. After she lost her brother, she stepped up to take his place and filled his shoes quite honorably. She never left our sides and always had to be in the middle of whatever we did. The first night we adopted her...she crawled into my husband's lap to give him wet kisses. She did this simply to thank him for her new forever home. We were her forever home. Mable passed away on 9/26/02, at her home. Before she died, she managed to let us know how much she loved us once again as she did the day we brought her home...she give us one more wet kiss. There is now quiet within our home that lets us know in a solemn manner that she is gone but will never be forgotten. The nearly two years she spent with us turned our lives so upside down that we will never be able to forget her. She was, is, and will always be our "big girl" Mable and we will love her forever. ~Her mommy and daddy (Kim and Brent Miller)


In Loving Memory of Cara
Cara, my pretty girl, my heart aches for you. I can hardly believe you are gone. When I close my eyes, I can still feel your soft fur and gentle nose against my cheek. I miss your sprightly gait, your white-tipped tail, and your brave spirit. You were - and always will be - more than just a dog to me. My beautiful Caragirl, my Caradog, rest in heavenly peace forever.
~Linda, Brian and Jason Spar

In Loving Memory of Maggie and Gulliver

Just My Dog
He's just my dog.
He is my other eyes that can see above the clouds, my other ears that hear above the winds. He is the part of me that can reach out to sea.
He has told me a thousand times over that I am his reason for being-by the way he rests against my leg; by the way he thumps his tail at my smallest smile; by the way he shows his hurt when I leave without taking him-I think it makes him sick with worry when he is not along to care for me.
When I am wrong, he is delighted to forgive.
When I am angry, he clowns to make me smile.
When I am happy, he is joy unbounded.
When I am a fool, he ignores it. When I succeed, he brags.
Without him, I am only another man. With him I am all-powerful.
He is loyalty itself. He has taught me the meaning of devotion.
With him, I know a secret comfort and a private peace. He has brought me understanding where before I was ignorant.
His head on my knee can heal human hurts. His presence by my side is protection against my fears of dark and unknown things. He has promised to wait for me-whenever, wherever-in case I need him.
And I expect I will, as I always have.
He's just my dog. (poem by Gene Hill)
~ Ann, Paul, Jesse and Aron Selnick


In Loving Memory of Jasper

Jasper was a 12 1⁄2 year old tricolor Smooth Collie Mix (with a hint of a foxhound!) who died on March 4, 2002. He was an unique, loving and distinguished dog in our eyes. Among the many aspects of Jasper we will remember here are a few:

  • His lithe, elegant and graceful body with white front legs and so many markings they were of continual interest.
  • His ability to sail effortlessly over logs, to bound up and down hills like a deer and to take off running in an instant.
  • Jasper loved to sleep on one of our beds at night---diagonally! He would lie down with his head towards the top right corner of the bed and then stretch so the paws of his hind legs would touch the bottom left corner of the bed. Needless to say, this was a tight fit for us, but we wouldn't have traded his company for anything-not even the ability to stretch in our own beds!
  • For a dog who spent half of his life in L.A., he was amazingly a cold weather animal. He LOVED the snow and never wanted to stop the play.
  • He definitely had a collie "herding" nature. If I fell asleep watching TV he would be there gently nudging my hand to urge me to go to bed. What a dog!
  • Most telling was Jasper's gentle, sweet, spirited, intelligent, curious and loving nature which will not be forgotten. He is dearly missed by us.
    ~Diana Watson and Susan Herrera

In Loving Memory of Scooby

My Sweet Boy
Scooby was a 12 year old miniature poodle. I adopted him when he was ten, and it was the best thing I've ever done. My sister Teddey loves dogs, and I've never been an animal person, so when my sister's friend called and said Animal Advocates was looking for a home for this poodle, we all thought Teddey should take him. She was concerned because she already had four dogs, so on a whim, I told her I would come and see this little guy too. Well, when they brought him into the visiting room, he jumped straight onto my lap and put his head on my shoulder. Of course, I took him home right away! He was so sweet and loving. He was fairly old when I adopted him, but still had plenty of energy. He was a perfect first dog for me, since he was already house-broken, and even followed voice commands. When I first saw him, he was skinny and a little scared. I think he had a rough life, and it was gratifying to see him respond so well to all the love and attention I gave him. Scooby liked to go hiking in the woods and walking around the neighborhood, greeting all the other dogs. His favorite things were cuddling on the couch and chasing his shih-tzu cousin around outside. Even though we only had a short time together, he changed my life forever, by teaching me how to love and care for another living thing.
~Courtney Odum-Duncan

In Loving Memory of Duck

Duck was named after the town of Duck, North Carolina where she was abandoned then rescued by her parents who were vacationing there. The name turned out to be quite fitting as her meow sounded more like a "quack". Duck was responsible for training her Dad, Kenon, who had never had cats, to respond in a timely fashion to her many very loud demands-- for food ("I will starve to death if I am not fed NOW") , for petting ("pet me only a couple of times and nowhere except my head and shoulders NOW") and for play ("get out my fishing pole NOW"). When her people lost all their sense and good judgement and added dogs (ugh) to the family, Duck was forced to expand her teaching role. Canines Tucker and Scooby learned it is not appropriate to eat out of the litter box, terribly impolite to interfere with laptime, and pointless to expect a positive response to that ridiculous thing called a play bow. Although all this education she was thrust into performing was quite tiresome, often tedious, and always beneath her station, it did eventually pay off. She and the dogs reached an understanding after the dogs learned the rules. Duck and the dogs curled up together to share a patch of sunshine on the window seat, and her friend and brother Tucker mourned for months after she died. Perhaps Duck's greatest achievement was converting her Dad into at least the "semi-cat-person" category. Kenon fondly remembers his first cat as being "cool"; she won his heart when she proved herself to be a hockey fan. They spent many hours watching hockey on TV together-- he watched the game, and was doubly entertained as Duck chased the players while they chased the puck. Her legend lives on; anytime one of their current cats misbehaves, Kenon and Laurie still begin their correction, out of habit, by yelling "Duck No!" We know she's up there (or down there?!) witnessing this with a big cat grin.
~Laurie Wallace and Kenon Smith

In Loving Memory of Sonya

~The Dowell Family: Mr. Dorian and Rev. Lainie Dowell


In Loving Memory of Sir Al of Bundy aka "Al"

Oct 1993-April 2004
When we brought Al home he was all ears and attitude. His spunk and personality will never be duplicated and with his passing he has left a void in our heart and home. He would play with his tennis ball for hour upon hour and now that he is over the Rainbow Bridge is free once again to play. His paralyzed legs made him unhappy and sad. He wanted to fetch so bad and would sit in front of his toy box and bark. The day we had to say good bye was indeed the darkest day in our family. He is back home where he belongs and still guards the front door as he always did. Al's spirit and memory will forever be etched into our hearts and never never forgotten.
~ Until we meet again little Bun Bun, mommy daddy and Misty miss you.


In Loving Memory of Caribou

We will mis you... ~Pamela and Bob Sherman


Animal Advocates of Howard County | PO Box 1403 • Ellicott City, MD 21041
(410) 880-2488 •