Tori Mae - A Life Well Lived

Tori Mae helped pick a winner for my blog ~ 2009

It's so hard for me to post this, but we lost our Tori Mae to stomach cancer almost 2 weeks ago.  Once we found out she had this evil disease (mid-October), our time with her was short.

Tori was a strong force in our house.  She kept Trixie Lou and Ringo in check - yes, believe it or not, she was our alpha dog, and even Ringo paid attention to her!

Tori was the absolute queen when it came to fetch.  We had to put her toys up in a cupboard, because she would not stop bringing them to us, 24/7.

But that girl was a smart cookie and decided that she called the shots.  And so an empty toilet paper roll became a fetch toy.  A stray sock laying on the floor became a fetch toy.  Even bones became a fetch toy! ANYTHING had fetch potential in her book.

Her soft frisbee was her #1 favorite toy.  Tori's frisbee created a spark in her eyes and a focused determination that was unrivaled.

She was determined to play fetch.  In the summertime, we had to make her stop or I honestly think this girl would have fetched herself to a frenzied hot faint!

Our hearts are hurting, and yet, I know that Tori had a spectacularly good life. I adopted her from an Australian Shepherd rescue near Columbus, Ohio, in December 2004.  She was only a year old and I wanted Trixie to have a playmate.  They became fast friends, although Tori did take over supervision of the household from the very beginning.

Tori (left) and Trixie - southern Ohio cabin getaway
The house seems a little less full, and lot more empty, without her keeping everything in check.

On the Friday after Thanksgiving I shot some video of her playing Frisbee with her dad -- Tom was Tori's person.  (As a side note, Tori defected from me shortly after I moved to Kansas.  She liked Tom way better than me!)

Note:  There are actually two videos of Tori playing Frisbee on YouTube. They are both rather long, but I was trying to capture her focus, which shows up better in the 2nd video above.  You'll also see the horses, and a bit of the guineas and the chickens.

Tori ate less and less as the cancer invaded her stomach.  Her last two weeks she refused to eat even a bite of anything - and we tried everything.  You might be able to see in the video how much weight she had lost, and yet, amazingly, she still wanted to fetch her  Frisbee!

Just writing this blog post brings tears to my eyes and a hurt to my heart.

She finally lost the spunk for her beloved Frisbee two weekends ago, and we knew it was time.

As we held her at the vet's office, she turned her head to me for one last kiss, and then we let her go.

I will never forget that last kiss from one of the best dogs in my life ~ she may have been a lucky girl to find a home with us, but I know the truth of the matter is that WE were the lucky ones to have this beautiful and smart girl grace our lives.

Tori Mae,  2003 ~2012
Her memory will live forever in our hearts


  1. Oh ... this makes me cry. I'm so sorry. I know this must be so so difficult for you. Sending hugs and more hugs during this sad time...

  2. this made me cry...sending love and hugs and so proud that you're my sister with the one of the biggest hearts I know.

  3. So very sorry, Susan. Hugs to you and Tom.

  4. Oh I'm bawling. I wish I could come over and pour you a drink and sit and talk. (((HUGS)))

  5. It is so hard to lose a beloved pet. They are truly family members and take a bit of our hearts with them while somehow making it fuller and bigger. They are with us for such a short time but we wouldn't trade those short years for all of the tea in China!

    Hugs and warm thoughts are with you...

  6. Oh Susan....I am so, so sorry to read this. I know how much you loved Tori Mae. You and I see things the same way. Friends always say how lucky our "kids" are. No, WE are the lucky ones! And you and Tori Mae were so awesomely blessed.
    Tori crossed the Rainbow Bridge and God handed her a frisbee and said, "A life well lived on Earth, now go play for eternity in Heaven.."
    xo, misha

  7. It sure hurts to lose our buddies. You putting your loss into words as you did sure is beautiful, though I know it had to make the tears flow. Amelia and I both read your tribute to Tori and both send our love.

    Your Bro

  8. Susan, sorry to hear about your loss. I've had to tearfully go through your sadness many times through out my life so in this retirement season of life decided there will be no more pets. My heart goes out to you.

  9. So, so sorry to hear about Tori. It's terribly hard to lose a beloved, furry family member, and even doubly so during the holidays. {Hugs} and more {hugs} to you.

  10. You've written a beautiful remembrance of your precious Tori Mae. Anyone reading who has loved a pet is sharing your sadness. May you find peace in your memories and in the knowledge that you provided her with a full and happy life and a devoted loving family. My heart is with you.

  11. ((((((Suz)))))) (((((((Tom))))))

    We know when we adopt them into our lives that they will, most likely, leave this earth before we do . . . and we still let them in . . . and we don't regret it, despite the aggravations and final good-byes . . . because there are no guarantees in life, but we can choose to love or not, and you chose to love Tori Mae, and she was one blessed dog who blessed you back.

    I love the line in the movie COURAGEOUS: Be thankful for the time you DID have with her rather than regretful for the time you didn't have. (my paraphrase)

    Tell the Tori-stories over and over . . . and laugh and cry over them. She will always be with you!

    Love you

  12. They don't ask for much and give back unconditional love...sorry for your loss.

  13. I am sorry for your loss Susan. Watching Tori Mae on the video patiently waiting for someone to throw that frisbee (with the strong wind a blowing--just as I remember KS) made me smile.

  14. Oh no. I am so sorry to hear of your loss Susan. I know how much you love your babies and I know she will be in your heart forever. Sending big hugs your way.

  15. Even my pups had great memories with Tori. Thankfully she got to spend her last few years running around a farm instead of pacing on a city lot.

  16. So sorry to read this..I was catching up with you and this post caught me by surprise..she had a good life..with you and will be waiting at the Rainbow Bridge..sending a hug..:)