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Tribute to Toby ” The Dog at the Lake

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Tribute to Toby ” The Dog at the Lake

This is the story of Toby, the Dog featured on the card ” Dog at the Lake”. Toby belonged to Jacquie Pollit who also took the photo of Toby by the lake.

Jacque Pollitt

November 9, 2018 ·

How lovely it was to receive a message from a dear friend last night whose gorgeous dog recently passed.

They received a card from their vet and on the cover of the card was a photo I took quite a while ago now when Toby was just a young dog.

Even after your own passing Toby, you still give comfort to many and through that comfort you live on much further than the memories of you our family will always hold dear.

Indeed, your reach is much further than I could have ever imagined.


Well old boy, although not old enough in my humble opinion, we said goodbye to you today.

Your favorite humans by your side and me FaceTiming in from Paris. Absolutely I would have preferred to be there with you but just being able to be present in your last moments in life was precious. Many times in my life I might want to be in two places at once but sometimes its not meant to be.

Speaking of not meant to be, you weren’t meant to be our pet either you know Toby. I was dead against you coming home. We did not need a third dog. I cautioned keeping you on the breed you were. You needed exercise, stimulation and training (which I was later proven to be right by your initial run in with one of our chickens and your keenness to chase motorbikes). But once you came home one Christmas for some R&R from the pet store and vet where we were adopting you out you masterfully rascaled your way into people’s hearts and you never left until today.

Except you haven’t really left Toby.

No, like all our pets you will be remembered with such fondness and missed with much heart. So much so our hearts, and the hearts of our families, our friends and your veterinary care team who had the pleasure to know you will ache.

We will reminisce about you. Fondly. Frequently. Fervently. About your character – about how you let me replace an IV catheter single handedly when I busted you out of hospital to care for you at home with one of your bouts of pancreatitis. We’ll remember when one morning you found a baby possum and they clung to your glorious Border Collie mane for warmth and dear life. And we’ll also be grateful for the times when you donated blood to save doggy lives and the times you came to work events and charmed those who visited in our stand. I’ll remember when I took you to do Petpeps and rather than be in the classroom you’d rather be on the basketball court chasing a ball and playing with the kids. And you’ll be remembered by many more than our family because for years you have adorned sympathy cards offering condolences to those families who have lost pets themselves. Now its time for us to lose you today.

I’ll also remember how you got that scar on your snout. You were a rambunctious little puppy and one day Riley, our old setter, had had enough so he told you off. Nothing to hurt you really, as he swiped you to say ‘that’s enough’ his canine caught your snout and that scar stayed with you today. It’s that scar that reminds me you’re the link, old boy, to our past dogs and our present dogs. To Riley and Zaira who passed the Rainbow Bridge before you and who will be there to greet you today. You helped mould Rauri and Chilli and for you to now pass now, it’s with depth and meaning to say, it’s the end of an era.

Not only were you important to guiding our generations of fur family, you were also a bookend in my career and to me as a person. I was a much younger (21) , less experienced person when I met you Toby and I’m so lucky to have had you by my side throughout the good times and the bad times. What couldn’t be cured running my fingers through your thick fur and playing with the long soft wispy bits of fur on your ears?

Rest In Peace dear boy. You fought well until the very end and we had four good extra months with you post your diagnosis. We were able to treasure the time we had with you, knowing it would be limited. You were spoiled, rightfully so, and every time you hit a bump in the road like you have now, a human slept downstairs with you to watch over you. I hope you know how loved you were in life and how you much you will be post your passing.

I know all your life you just wanted to be a good dog. So let the record show that I was wrong about you. You were absolutely meant to find your home with us and no, you weren’t a good dog. You were the best.

pet loss sympathy card

How to write a pet loss sympathy card

The unfortunate truth about pet ownership is that few pets outlive their owners.

When your clients are facing the loss of a pet, one of the best ways you can show how much you care and help them with the grieving process is by sending a pet loss sympathy card.

Keep reading to learn more about how to write a pet loss sympathy card for owners.

Create a Format

It can be hard to know where to start when writing a pet loss sympathy card. For that reason, we recommend using the same format for every card which you can personalise as you go.

Here are all the parts of a sympathy card you need to include.


This can simply be the name of the owner or owners. If it’s a couple, try to add both names. If they have children, you’ll want to include “and family” afterwards to include them as well.


The first part of the body should be a simple line extending your condolences. This is where you should include the name of the pet. It can read something like, “We’re sorry to hear about your loss of Max.”

Personal Note

Next, you want to get personal. If it’s a pet that you had in your clinic for many years, you likely have some good memories of them that you can share or were aware of certain personality quirks. Include these here so the owner sees you knew their pet.

Here are some examples:

“We will truly miss Luna’s sweet and quiet nature. She was always a joy to have here with us.”

“We’ll never forget Brutus and the way he couldn’t wait to get on the scale. He was such a character.”

If you can’t think of something specific or didn’t know the pet well, you may say something like “We will miss seeing Milo on his yearly visits. He was always so healthy.”

Offer Help

The last part of the body should be an offering of assistance. Many pet owners experience grief but have trouble dealing with it because there aren’t a lot of resources.

Encourage owners to call a pet loss counsellor if they need one. If you’re not using one of our cards, provide a phone number or website for them.


A simple “With Deepest Sympathies,” is all you need to close out your pet loss sympathy card. Then, have every member of the clinic sign it.

Need to Buy Pet Sympathy Cards?

Now you know how to write a pet sympathy card using a format. Taking just a few minutes to write out a personalised card makes a huge difference in your relationship with that pet owner.

We have a wide selection of pet sympathy cards available for your purchase. On the back of each of these, owners can find information about contacting a pet loss counsellor should they need one.

See these cards at