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Pip and His Mighty Terrier Heart

Three years ago today, we lost our sweet Pip. He was diagnosed in 2011 with heart disease and given six to twelve months. But he defied the odds and lived almost two more years. During that time, my mom battled cancer, my father had heart surgery and then a stroke, another family member was diagnosed with severe dementia, my daughter had her second surgery to correct a congenital birth defect, we bought and sold two houses, and moved twice.

Pip had an enlarged heart that was made worse by a partially collapsed trachea (the result of past neglect). But against all odds, he fought with all his terrier might to stay with us. And when we were finally settled in a permanent home and the various family medical crises were either resolved or stabilized, he let go. I still find it heartbreaking and sadly ironic that he died of heart disease, specifically an enlarged heart, because Pip was ALL heart. He had the biggest, most generous, beautiful heart of anyone, animal or human, I have ever known.

Mighty Pip's classic Yorkie look with the fur in his eyes

Here are a few of my favorite memories of Pip.

Mighty Pip loved the water and spending time with his family

Pip was a true terrier and liked to stir things up from time to time.

Mighty Pip had the best sweater collection in town

He had the best sweater collection on the planet.

Mighty Pip had dreams of going to medical school

He was a dreamer of big dreams

Mighty Pip loved making friends and most of all he loved water

He loved his friends

Mighty Pip loved hats and making people laugh

He loved making people laugh

Mighty Pip loved sweaters and making funny faces

and was a master of funny faces.

Mighty Pip in his red bowtie surrounded by flowers

He had his own sense of style …

Mighty Pip loved dressing up for the holidays

especially around the holidays.

Mighty Pip loved water so much - it was one of his favorite things

           He loved the water …

Mighty Pip loved his family

and his family.

Mighty Pip was frightened of small things but brave when it mattered most

Pip was frightened of small things, but incredibly brave when it mattered most. He was my “heart of hearts” and I miss him every single day. So many wonderful things have happened with the blog this year – I only wish he was here to share and celebrate with me.

69 Comments

  1. HAPPY HAZEL
    October 19, 2016 / 8:08 am

    I always wanted to know about Pip! What a beautiful sweetheart he was! <3 My first dog Poly the yorkie left me like more than 10 years ago, but still miss him so much and every yorkie I see reminds me of him. 🙂 It was so nice and heartwarming to read about your sweet memories with Pip. Thank you for sharing a beautiful story. <3

  2. Molly and Mackie
    October 19, 2016 / 9:06 am

    We miss you, Pip. You were the bestest♥

  3. Bella Roxy & Macdui
    October 19, 2016 / 9:15 am

    A true terrier…a fighter. What great memories. I think we first met Pip when he and Bunny were going to race….or have we got that wrong.

  4. Yamini MacLean
    October 19, 2016 / 9:34 am

    Hari OMI am just so glad that I got to know Pip a little before he crossed the rainbow; and I love his book! You certainly had a big couple of years… good to look back and find that those things, too, have passed. Blessings, YAM xx

  5. Mark Muller
    October 19, 2016 / 10:08 am

    thanks for sharing your memories… I knew Pip and I always remember the great world tour… hugs to you all, it was such a hard time for you and your family and it is great that you and Ruby are back in Blogville…

  6. Hilary
    October 19, 2016 / 10:39 am

    I can't believe (well I can) that it's been 3 years…. In some ways it feels like yesterday. Pip captured a big piece of my heart and I miss him. But I do know he and Alex are playing together….

  7. Jeanne Pursell
    October 19, 2016 / 11:06 am

    We miss Pip very much…and had no idea three years has gone by already. You sure had quite the time of it with so much happening in your household. I understand the concept of "Heart Dog" very much as that was my Zippo…he was my big guy…the big brother to the girls and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss him. Hugs to you today!

  8. Emma
    October 19, 2016 / 11:35 am

    What an adorable little fellow. We never knew about him before, so thank you for sharing. We would leave his name on the blog as well.

  9. Madi and Mom
    October 19, 2016 / 11:52 am

    We 200% AGREE WITH THE TITLE. Pip is the reason for the blog and he was a fierce warrior for his family and for Shelter animals. It is only fitting the blog be in honor of him. For an itty bitty dog he had the biggest heart and I think in his mind he was a Great Dane. We did not realize it had been 3 years since he passed. Madi says she still remembers going to the dance with him early on and OH did he have some moves. She loved it when he dipped her. Hugs and lots of love Madi and Cecilia

  10. Lola The Rescued Cat
    October 19, 2016 / 12:06 pm

    We're sending you lot sof hugs and purrs today. We're sorry we missed the opportunity to know Pip – he sounds amazing. He gave you extra time with him because he knew you needed it. What a special doggie.

  11. Sketching with Dogs
    October 19, 2016 / 12:06 pm

    You and your family went through so much. I hope everything is okay now.Pip was such a little darling. His personality and sweetness shined through your blog. We miss him dearly.Elliot and Cricket x

  12. Momma Kat and Her Bear Cat
    October 19, 2016 / 12:19 pm

    I'm so glad to finally learn more about Pip! He must have been amazing. I wish I could offer a nugget of comfort or some useful words of understanding, but I'm coming up blank. People always claim that it gets easier – but I don't think so. There's just a new normal and a new way of living without that essential component of your heart.

  13. Marg
    October 19, 2016 / 12:28 pm

    Oh Pip, it is so good to see all the memories of you. We sure do miss you. We are so glad that Mom kept the name of the blog at 'Pip'. You were just the best. Ruby is great too. You all have a great day.

  14. Nichole Burke
    October 19, 2016 / 1:24 pm

    What a beautiful post. And thank you for telling the story behind the name.

  15. Hindy Pearson
    October 19, 2016 / 1:31 pm

    I seriously have tears in my eyes reading this lovely tribute. Of course you would keep Pip's memory alive, and this blog is a wonderful tribute. Plus the pictures are stunning! I know how hard it is to be without him, but you've introduced him to so many of us, who won't soon forget his gorgeous face.

  16. Reilly-Denny Cowspotdogs
    October 19, 2016 / 1:34 pm

    pip will always be in our hearts – we can't believe it has been 3 years.

  17. Amber DaWeenie
    October 19, 2016 / 1:55 pm

    I do believe that Pip IS right there with you sharing all the important things in your life. He was quite the character and one of the very first blogs we started to follow. He will live on and on….forever in the hearts of all who knew and loved him.

  18. Uji, Izzy, Ziggy, Missi, Hiro and Momma Tea
    October 19, 2016 / 2:19 pm

    Pip wos a most speshul guy wivs da most lovin nature an da biggest heart, hims is much missed butts him livs on in all our heartses.Wee will eats cheetos in yor honor wivs all our lovsUji, Izzy, Ziggy, Missi, Hiro & Momma Tea

  19. Casey
    October 19, 2016 / 2:30 pm

    Pip was a truly amazing dog. I think it shows how big his heart was that it's STILL influencing so many of us today!I think I feel the need for a cheesyburger and Cheetos today…

  20. The Menagerie Mom
    October 19, 2016 / 2:38 pm

    Your Pip will always be with you in spirit and in these wonderful memories. I never had the honor of knowing Pip, but it has become so obvious to me that he was a one-of-a-kind boy. He was so lucky to have you, and of course I'm sure you know how lucky you were to have him. My thoughts are with you, as I know that no number of years will erase this day from your mind. Pip forever.

  21. Three Chatty Cats
    October 19, 2016 / 3:28 pm

    Oh my gosh, I loved meeting Pip through this post and wish I had known about your blog a long time ago. That picture of Pip with your daughter is priceless.

  22. Murphy
    October 19, 2016 / 3:33 pm

    Pip was a wonderful boy! We miss him too!Your Pals,Murphy & Stanley

  23. Golden Daily Scoop
    October 19, 2016 / 4:05 pm

    These pictures show how much love Pip had, what wonderful memories to look back on. Our thoughts are with you during this anniversary.

  24. Cathy Armato
    October 19, 2016 / 4:19 pm

    I'm sorry you had to endure so much in such a short time. Obviously Pip stayed here to help you through it, he wouldn't leave you when he knew you still needed him. Thank you for giving him a glimpse into Angel Pip's incredible soul! So many cherished memories.Love & biscuits,Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  25. Cathy Armato
    October 19, 2016 / 4:19 pm

    I'm sorry you had to endure so much in such a short time. Obviously Pip stayed here to help you through it, he wouldn't leave you when he knew you still needed him. Thank you for giving him a glimpse into Angel Pip's incredible soul! So many cherished memories.Love & biscuits,Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  26. 4 Dogs and a Little Lady
    October 19, 2016 / 4:38 pm

    What an amazing pup. Dogs are just amazing, able to know exactly what we need and when.

  27. stellaroselong
    October 19, 2016 / 4:43 pm

    Whenever we look out the window and see the cannon on the hill across the street we always think of sweet Pip, thank you for sharing him with us. Stella rose and momma

  28. Christine Caplan
    October 19, 2016 / 4:52 pm

    I had no idea Pip passed from heart disease. I'm also so sorry to learn about all you went through during that time period. What a terrible year – and it's enough to have one of those things happen but all of them at the same time? These pics are so sweet – I love that you pulled a gallery together to remember Pip, thanks for sharing this.

  29. ♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥
    October 19, 2016 / 5:35 pm

    And how we LOVE Angel Pip – he was the sweetest of the sweets. Thank you for this very special post in his memory.Woos – Lightning and Misty

  30. Kelsie - It's Dog or Nothing
    October 19, 2016 / 5:52 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to such a sweet boy <3 I'm sorry I didn't get the opportunity to know him, but you do an amazing job of communicating his personality through pictures.

  31. Raising Your Pets Naturally with Tonya Wilhelm
    October 19, 2016 / 6:05 pm

    Oh, Pip. What an amazing little dog. It looks like he had loads of adventures. Thank you for sharing him with us.

  32. Dory and the Mama
    October 19, 2016 / 6:31 pm

    We know Ange Pip will always live in your heart…he was such a loving an adorable part of Blogville. Such a lovely collection of memories!!Hugs!Dory and Mama Beth

  33. The Flynnigans
    October 19, 2016 / 6:35 pm

    Wow, what a rough year that was.I know that I was one of the confused ones at first and I apologize, I didn't know. He was surely a handsome fella that blessed your lives and you his. Thank you for sharing with us and the beautiful photos. I think red was definitely his colour – I love the little red sweater on him.Give Rubes a smooch from us. xo

  34. Kia
    October 19, 2016 / 7:52 pm

    Oh wow…you have been through a lot of stuff all happening at the same time. I am so sorry for that. RIP Pip! He seemed like one amazing dog!

  35. Brian
    October 19, 2016 / 7:53 pm

    Three years ago there was a disturbance in the force. We miss that sweet boy.

  36. Idaho PugRanch
    October 19, 2016 / 8:25 pm

    We are pawsitive that Pip is right there with you in spirit. We remeber the fun of the Pip & Puddles world tour.hugsMr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  37. Jackie Bouchard
    October 19, 2016 / 8:39 pm

    He looks like he was such a sweetie! It's so hard to miss your heart dog. Thank you for sharing this tribute to him today! Having come to your blog more recently, I knew it was named after your sweet boy, but didn't know that much about him. You were lucky to have each other!

  38. Hailey and Zaphod and their Lady
    October 19, 2016 / 8:44 pm

    Pip was a wonderful pup. We miss him. (His book is on our dog picture shelf in our bedroom so I look at him daily).

  39. da tabbies o trout towne
    October 19, 2016 / 8:54 pm

    guys…pip iz all wayz with yur mom…..just coz ya canna see him doez knot meen he iz knot heer….da tabbies blog will all wayz say: welcome two trout towne; ther bee 5 oh uz; even if two R knot fizz aclee "heer"……dude and sauce iz still…all wayz…..heer…doez that make centz…. ??thanx for sharin pip's storee two day & his fotoz, we noe itz KNOT eazee….N ewe guyz all reddee noe R fav oh rite one …sendin hugz & lovez ~~~~~~ ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

  40. Bryn Nowell
    October 19, 2016 / 9:02 pm

    I'm so sorry for your loss. Time doesn't heal all wounds, no matter how long ago it occurred. This is a lovely tribute to Pip and I enjoyed seeing all of the amazing photos while you shared your memories. Sending love to you and your family on this anniversary of your loss.

  41. 24 Paws of Love
    October 19, 2016 / 9:16 pm

    Pip is with you and will always be. We were so blessed to have gotten to know he before he passed on. I know how much you miss him, I feel the same way about Brut. Like you We will always be the 24 Paws of Love. Thank you so much for sharing about Pip. I miss the little guy. 🙁

  42. AmyShojai
    October 19, 2016 / 9:25 pm

    What a lovely story and tribute. I truly believe we are gifted with the dogs (and cats) that we need at the time…don't always know the "why" but so glad you had him if only a short time.

  43. Ruth Epstein
    October 19, 2016 / 10:15 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to a brave lil Pip, my heart goes out to you as I know how hard it is to lose someone special who has gone through so many hardships with you, sending hugs xx

  44. Rosa Doodle
    October 19, 2016 / 10:20 pm

    This is such a lovely post about Pip. I can't even imagine your heartbreak. The pictures you shared are amazing. He looks so happy!

  45. Melissa, Mudpie and Angel Truffles (Mochas, Mysteries and Meows)
    October 19, 2016 / 10:57 pm

    What a beautiful post. All pets are extraordinary, but some are life changing. It's very obvious how special your sweet Pip was.

  46. The Island Cats
    October 19, 2016 / 11:04 pm

    Pip was one of a kind. Purrs to you as you remember him this day.

  47. Kerri Irwin
    October 19, 2016 / 11:15 pm

    beautiful photos! Pip is one lucky pup

  48. Caren Gittleman
    October 20, 2016 / 12:14 am

    Sending you MUCH LOVE and many, many (((hugs))) We miss Pip and loved him so much. I had forgotten all you endured at that time. My Bobo also had an enlarged heart and lived 2 years longer than expected, but you went through so much along with that. You are in my thoughts and prayers as you remember. We miss Pip, we still love him and we love you! DakotasDen

  49. Tweedles -- that's me
    October 20, 2016 / 12:34 am

    We loved Pip too!lovetweedles

  50. McGuffy Ann Morris
    October 20, 2016 / 12:41 am

    This made me smile through tears. Thank you for this. Hugs.

  51. M Dawson
    October 20, 2016 / 12:48 am

    Like us and Dash, we were inspired to keep blogging and keep the name because so many people had loved Dash to start with. Pip looks awesome.

  52. Amber Ketchum
    October 20, 2016 / 1:05 am

    What a beautiful memorial for Pip. The reason I do what I do is to know that people love their pets as much as you love(d) Pip. What an awful two years you had! Thank you for sharing Pip's story. I love your theme by the way!

  53. Groovy Goldendoodles
    October 20, 2016 / 2:32 am

    Pip sounds A-mazing and looks adorable. Thanks for introducing him to me.

  54. Jans Funny Farm
    October 20, 2016 / 3:05 am

    We remember Pip's bucket tour. What fun that was, though for such a sad reason.

  55. meowmeowmans
    October 20, 2016 / 3:55 am

    What a lovely remembrance of little pip, who had such a big, big heart. Hugs as you remember…

  56. Tenacious Little Terrier
    October 20, 2016 / 7:41 am

    Pip was a mighty terrier. He has so much in common with Mr. N! I can see why you comment on the resemblance.

  57. Rosa Silva
    October 20, 2016 / 10:18 am

    What a beautiful way to celebrate your love for sweet Pip!

  58. tubby3pug
    October 20, 2016 / 2:10 pm

    beautiful post, pip was a very special boy

  59. Sweet Purrfections
    October 20, 2016 / 3:01 pm

    I do remember Pip. What a great way to remember him.

  60. Sammy Sam
    October 20, 2016 / 6:02 pm

    We remember Pip. We're glad that you kept Pip's name as part of your blog title. My peeps lost their first set of "kids" more than 12 years ago. But at dusk on every anniversary of their passing, my dad turns on the front porch light and leaves it on overnight until the next morning, when he turns it off. My dad says that it's so they can find their way home if they feel like visiting. So we understand how you feel about Pip.

  61. The Swiss Cats
    October 20, 2016 / 8:13 pm

    What a beautiful tribute to Pip ! Such sweet memories. Purrs

  62. Millie and Walter
    October 20, 2016 / 9:17 pm

    Such a great tribute to sweet Pip. We weren't around when he was here but our mom says she remembers him fondly.

  63. K9s OverCoffee
    October 20, 2016 / 11:22 pm

    I am so sorry you lost your Pip. I can tell how much he was loved by looking at your wonderful pictures of him. He is living on in your heart now.

  64. Chasing Dog Tales
    October 21, 2016 / 1:08 am

    It was so wonderful to read about Pip and see some of the pictures. That was such a stressful time for you and I know it was incredibly hard to lose him. No doubt, you gave him all the love in the world and you both were so blessed to have each other. Thanks for sharing Pip with those of us who weren't around blogging at that time.

  65. KB Bear
    October 21, 2016 / 4:42 am

    Pip had a heart of gold. You and he were so lucky to share such love. I remember so many of those photos from the first times you posted them. I feel as if I knew Pip just a little bit. I'm so glad that I did.

  66. The Adventures of The Bell Fur Zoo
    October 22, 2016 / 7:49 pm

    Such beautiful memories of Pip. He sure was a handsome boy!!xoxo,Bell Fur Zoo Mama

  67. sprinkles
    October 23, 2016 / 8:13 am

    Has it really been three years already? Wow, it almost seems like just yesterday. I didn't realize your daughter has a congenital heart defect. I hope she's doing well.

  68. Lovable Lily
    October 23, 2016 / 5:41 pm

    Pip was amazing. We always loved his sense of adventure (especially with Puddles.) We too miss him very much.Hugs,Lily Belle & Muffin

  69. Janet Keefe
    October 23, 2016 / 8:50 pm

    What beautiful memories. Since I didn't know your blog back then, I really enjoyed meeting Pip. What an adorable and special boy. I can see why you miss him every day.Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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