Notes from a N’awlins evacuee

I “met” Ray Whiting on-line about 9 years ago when I joined the Scribe Tribe, then a group dedicated to the art of journaling. He was the “other” token gay man in the group besides me. He has lived for many years in New Orleans and I learned through a friend (who still keeps in touch with him) that when Katrina hit he had not evacuated, primarily because he refused to leave without his dog, Hazel. Through the days that followed, we waited in horror as little bits and pieces of Ray’s story would get to us through his cell phone calls to his daughter in Houston. Ray has finally been evacuated to Houston to be with his family. He’s got a blog up and he’s writing frequently. He has much to say and many stories to tell. If you want to read some of them, go to his site,

Pet Loss and Grief Resources

Here is the list of resources published in a local pet lover’s newspaper:

Animal Humane Society Pet Loss Support Group – 763-522-4325

ASPCA National Pet Loss Hotline (24 hours a day)
Enter PIN #104-7211 then your phone number. The call will be returned promptly.

College of Vet Medicine at University of IL/C.A.R.E. Pet Loss Helpline

Grief Recovery Hotline

Iowa State University Pet Loss Support Hotline

UC Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine, Pet Loss Support Hotline

Animal Love and Loss Network

Animals in Our Hearts

Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement

Argus Institute for Families and Vet Medicine

Cornell University Pet Loss Support Hotline

Eternal Animals

Gardens of Memory

Grief Healing

In Memory of Pets

Kindred Spirits

Pet Loss

The Pet Loss Grief Support Website and Candle Ceremony

Rainbow Pet Memorial

I can’t vouch for any of these sites – I haven’t checked them out yet. Just thought I would share them in case you or anyone you know might benefit from this info.

Pictures of Jasper

As a tribute to my furry friend, I thought I would post some pictures taken of him soon after I got him. He came home with me only a few days after the 9/11 tragedy. Those who knew him knew that he made himself completely at home in my house (as these pictures clearly attest) from the moment he arrived. He even started answering to his new name from the time I brought him home (his prior owners had boringly named him “Kitty”).

Jasper is gone

My worst fears about Jasper’s prognosis were realized this morning. When I woke up, Jasper was crying from downstairs and didn’t come up like he always does and I knew something was wrong and rushed downstairs to find Jasper on the floor, the back half of his body completely paralyzed. Ever since the last episode, I knew this day was a possibility. But you’re just never ready. I rushed him to the vet and long talks with the doctor about his continued prognosis, his worsening heart disease, left me with the difficult decision to make. In the end, I decided that Jasper was too good of a friend, too much of a love, to allow him to die slowly in bits and pieces as these clots from his heart broke off and stole his life bit by bit. I held him at the end and he was purring loudly and nestled his head in my arm as the doctor gave him the shot.

I feel like I’ve lost my best friend in the whole world, the one who listened to every complaint, endured with patience every bad mood, and always was there to love me and anyone who came into our home. I am bereft. This house is going to be so lonely without him. Who will cuddle quietly next to me now when I lay down to rest?