Forever in Our Hearts

A special page for the dogs that have left paw prints on our hearts and are no longer with us.


February 12, 2018


A very special story of love for Kayla, who came to us last year at 8 years old after another rescue brought her to Tufts, and did not have the resources to treat her. Thank you so much to Meg and family, for all of the love you showed Kayla during her final months with us. ❤

A Valentine’s Love Letter to Kayla (from Kayla’s foster mom): Our dearest Kayla, we met you 10 months ago today, just three days after you had your leg amputated, perhaps a week after you’d been abandoned to the streets with an inoperable tumor on your ankle. Even then you wagged your tail, smiled, and charmed everyone you met. Your love and joy endured until Monday, when the cancer invading your lungs made breathing difficult and your tail could barely wag, so heartbroken, we said goodbye.

While you were dealt a bum hand, your joy and resilience were blessings to our home for nearly 10 months. Once the tears stop flowing, we’ll smile at the memories of how much you loved food; the drool drops on the kitchen floor morning and night while you eagerly awaited your meals, your face streaked with what looked like yellow highlighter because you’d eat cherry tomatoes right off the vines, in the backyard, the hyper awareness of anything food related, and the look you’d give us of, “I think I’d like what you’re having,” which is how we figure out you loved fresh-picked English peas, and pretty much anything else.

You loved sunshine and digging holes. You loved your comfy spot on the sofa where you could keep an eye on the front door, and greet every visitor who entered. You brought sunshine to our hearts by greeting us when we returned, dancing about on your three legs if we’d been gone for long. You kept us safe from squirrels and chipmunks, including the live one London brought in the house that you promptly disposed of.

But most of all you loved your family. And that’s what we were. Your true family. We will love you forever, our dearest Kayla. Find your pack. Run free. We will never forget you. ❤


December 2017


January 27, 2018 – Yesterday marked one month since we said goodbye to our Manny. I have been writing and rewriting this in my head for weeks because, quite honestly, he deserves the best eulogy I can possibly give him. I had been struggling to find the words, until something pretty amazing happened the other night.

I went to a Maureen Hancock show, who is a spirit medium that I’ve seen several times. She is just wonderful. She helps grieving families find peace by connecting with their loved ones – and her Irish Catholic humor makes it even more engaging.

The show was almost over and Maureen was reading a woman two rows ahead of us. Her son, who had passed recently, was trying to make contact with his mother. As soon as she started speaking to this woman, she looked up in our direction and said “Manny. Manuel? Who knows a Manny?”

Seriously. This happened.

My mom just about fell out of her chair as I raised my hand and said “my dog, Manny, just passed away and his nickname was Manuel”. Maureen said that he wanted to tell me “woof” :). As she was going back to the other family, she stopped and said “you put him down, right? He said you did the right thing, that his legs wouldn’t work that night, and he was ready.”

Ummm… As I sat there tearing up, she finally went back to reading the mother in front of us. “Okay, he was an animal lover? I’m seeing a pit bull – did he do pit bull rescue or something?” I had to raise my hand and apologize, because that was still Manny. Interrupting this poor woman’s chance to connect with her beloved son.

Oh, Manny. He was truly our best friend. When he was here, we talked to him – about anything and everything – and he understood. And now I know he still does. He heard me joking with my mom on the way to the show, saying “hey, maybe Manny will show up!”. He hears Sophia and I asking God to give him a hug for us every night when we say our prayers. He is still with us. I will be forever grateful that he made that known.

We always joked that Manny would be the only dog to ever need an actual wake, because so many people loved him. He was the mayor. Everyone’s best friend. The most gentle soul that has ever crossed my path.

He was more human than dog. Anytime we had a cookout, he would find a chair to steal so he could sit with ‘the people’. At one of these parties, I was bragging that our dogs were so polite and never begged for food. As I was talking, he quietly came up and took an entire cheeseburger out of my hand. Thanks, buddy.

He was Jack’s faithful football buddy, nudging his arm up so that he could sneak under it to snuggle for every game.

If we had a blanket or if he was in bed with us, he had to be under the covers – no matter how inconvenient or uncomfortable that may be for us. It was not negotiable.

He did not like sneezes. God forbid you sneezed while he was sitting with you on the couch. He would look at you like you just delivered the world’s worst insult, then retreat to our bedroom for some alone time.

Manny also hated loud voices, which was unfortunate, given that the Dinon brothers and Jack’s best friends are the loudest. people. on. earth. He loved when we had parties, until Kevin and Keith would get going (which, inevitably, they always do). Then they would receive the same treatment as if they had had the gall to sneeze!

I never met a person that didn’t love him. I never met a dog that didn’t want to play with him. I never met a child or a cat that didn’t want to snuggle up with him.

Everyone had their own nickname for him and he knew them all. Manny, Manuel, Mans, Manny-fans, The fat guy, Maniacal, Manifred, Manny-manny-manny.

He was just plain good. That’s why there was no hesitation when he needed to have surgery to repair a torn ACL … then another torn ACL a year later. No hesitation when he was diagnosed with cancer last year and amputating his leg would keep it from spreading. Just do it. Now we need to pay for six months of chemo? Not a problem. We’ll pay it off someday! He was the million dollar dog because he gave us too much in return to ever even consider denying him something that he needed.

We knew his cancer was back in December and we just hoped to get through one last Christmas with him. He came with us to celebrate with family, plopping himself right in front of the buffet table so that he would get lots of snacks. He visited with everyone and got tons of love. Then he woke us up at 3am to tell us it was time. Jack, Sophia and I all got dressed to take him to the vet, because where else would we be? With our friend, of course, who had given us more love and amazing memories over 11 years than we deserved.

To my sweet boy… In the words of Zac Brown, you made loving you easy.

For as long as I live, I will never have another dog like you. I cannot wait to see you again one day. Until then, I know that Cali and Athene will be taking care of you on the Rainbow Bridge. ~Jack and Michelle Dinon


2012 – January 10, 2018

Tony Memorial Tony Memorial Tony Memorial

We lost a very special boy yesterday. Our Tony, aka Pop, couldn’t fight anymore. 14 months ago, he was diagnosed with kidney disease at the young age of 5. His foster mom, Heather, selflessly decided that he should stay with her as a hospice dog, in the most loving home he had ever known. Tony came to us in July, 2016 from Malden Animal Control. Right away, he wiggled his way in the hearts of all that knew him. Pop even made friends with 2nd grade classes at the Auburn Village School, and they stayed in contact via Facetime. When Heather had to move back to her home state of Texas, Pop made the move with her, riding alongside Heather, who made two car trips from New Hampshire to Texas so that she could bring Pop and her two other pit bulls, Harper and Bentley without putting anyone through the stress of flying. Pop had a great life in Texas. When he told his mom that he was ready to go, she listened, as she had promised. Pop passed away at home in her loving arms. Hugs to all of Pop’s family and many friends, especially to Heather, who loved Pop more than anyone knew.

Thank you to all of Pop’s sponsors 💕


2004 – December 3, 2017

Jake Clay MemorialJake Clay Memorial

A special thanks to all of those who attended and donated to PittieLove Rescue at Jake’s celebration of Life party. 💕

All of our pets are special to us. Jake happened to have an extraordinary kindness that enabled him to live a very public life, and therefore he touched many people’s lives. He certainly was a true ambassador for how wonderful a pit-bull can truly be. His kindness and amazing calm temperament brought all kinds of opportunities to him.

We never really sought these opportunities out, nevertheless, Jake modeled in over a dozen fashion shows, was an extra in a movie (Underdog) and the Showtime series (Brotherhood), was featured in TV spots (The Rhode Show and several local news channels), and did many photo shoots for variety of local magazines. Probably his two most important “jobs”… were being the “floor manager” at Shaggy Chic Pet Boutique for nearly six years and his therapy dog work whether at the Alzheimer’s unit at Epoch Assisted Living or the campuses of Providence College and University of Rhode Island for countless years where he attracted crowds of fans. Jake’s good nature benefitted other animals as well, he worked fundraising events and parades for the Providence Animal Rescue League (PARL), along with sharing his home with 55 foster housemates for PittieLove Rescue over his entire life of thirteen years.

Jake never had a bad day. He always left a wonderful impression everywhere he “worked” and everywhere he went. His impressive resume never went to his head. Jake was just Jakey… super kind and low-key, loved food, loved walks in the woods, loved live music, and especially loved his sister “Onnie.” As heartbroken as we are with his unexpected sudden death on Sunday, December 3rd morning, we saw him live the most normal life up to that moment even taking his picture with Santa the previous afternoon.

So may you rest in peace our sweet beautiful boy. It is time for us now to pay it forward. Jake was found as a stray puppy only weeks old with feral cats in an abandon warehouse. It is volunteer rescue’s like PittieLove Rescue that make the difference where an unfortunate dog is given the assistance and thus, the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life. So here is to Jake, a life well-lived… we will always love you and be forever grateful and proud of you more than words can ever express.

Michelle & Tom Clay


2006 – 2017


I just wanted to inform you that Liam was put to sleep in our home on Thursday 11/16/17. My family adopted him back in the fall of 2006. I don’t know if you recall our previous conversation about him having muscle masticatory myositis that he was diagnosed with back in about 2012. He has more recently developed mild hypothyroidism as well as liver disease. He was doing fine up until the weather started to turn cold and his health took a turn for the worst, I won’t get in to details but I made the very tough decision with my mother to have a vet come and put him to rest before his many health problems made his last days ones not to remember for him or us.

I am writing you just to let you know how much I appreciate everything you do. Liam changed the lives of everyone in our family. He was a great dog and you believe me, we had a blast these past 11 years. Back in 2010, I was 20 years old and a Pre-med, sophomore at Temple University. There was a plan set in place since Liam was brought home that had him moving out with me once I had my own job, apartment, and stable academic situation, but when the time came for him to move out and come live with me no one would have it (my mom, stepdad, and 4 sisters, who all still lived there). I realized he was now bonded to the family and I couldn’t take him away from the family or the family away from him because they needed each other. So I settled with just coming home usually on a Saturday or Sunday to take him to the woods for some exercise and fun with my friends dogs. One day I met another student who told me about fostering animals.

I was so lonely without Liam and he made me such an advocate for pit bulls that I felt compelled to take action, if I couldn’t have him I was going to make a difference in the life of some other pups. I contacted my local rescue (Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society- Philly PAWS) and they agreed to let me take care of a Pit Bull they named Chicken Dumpling, she had severe separation anxiety and was very tough to place, it took 9 months to find her a home on a produce farm owned and operated by 2 brothers who were in the army and had experience with separation anxiety. After spending all that time working with that pup and finally finding her the perfect home I was hooked. Since then I have spent many days visiting the shelter to exercise the dogs and help out in the spay and neuter clinic. After Chicken I went on to have 16 other foster dogs of all shapes and sizes and 1 cat. I am still continuing to foster and just want you to realize that saving Liam all those years ago lead to me helping save a bunch of other dogs and that is something to be proud of.

I cannot thank you enough for what you do, and though this is an email that stemmed from a sad thing I hope I was also able to bring you joy in knowing how Liam made a difference and what you do for all those dogs makes a difference too. Thanks




2001 – 2016


Every ounce of my being shatters my heart to be writing this. I lost my beloved Poncho yesterday just a few days after his 15th Birthday. Blessed to have had him in my life for so long, but it will never be enough. He went very peacefully with a kind at home vet in one of his dog beds, outside in the beautiful summer sunshine. Poncho, my Punkie boy, my little man. Words could never express my love for you. I rescued you off of a 3 ft. chain tied to a tree on a freezing cold January day.

My love for pit bull type dogs started with you. I started rescuing because of you. PittieLove Rescue was started because of you. So many dogs’ lives saved because of you. Poncho, one of the happiest, crazy, fun loving dogs I’ve had the pleasure of being a Mom to. No person was ever a stranger. You greeted every single person you met with a wagging tail and the best kisses ever. Take care of Rosie, I know she is waiting for you. You were soul mates. Mommy loves you and misses you terribly. Someday my heart will heal. Until we see each other again my boy. xoxo


7-1-02 – 3-12-16


Goodbye my love, my princess, my everything. As I type this with tears streaming down my face. They just will not stop. Rosie came into my life almost 14 years ago, found on the side of a city street with her Mom and two siblings. She was approx. 4 months old. My baby girl, since day one, has never been anything short of amazing. She loved everyone. Dogs, cats and children alike. A Certified Therapy Dog, PittieLove Rescue’s mascot, a true breed ambassador. She changed so many people’s minds about the so many misconceptions of pit bull type dogs. Despite her many health issues (2 torn acl’s, chronic skin issues, ear tumors, removal of her spleen and 3 large masses) she suffered over the years, not once did she ever show an ounce of pain. Tail wagging and ever so gentle kisses at all times. Even as she took her last breath yesterday, she was wagging her tail. Part of my heart and soul went with her and I so struggle finding strength to go on. My Poncho, who is not well himself at almost 15 and my girl Cassidy need me as do the so many dogs needing rescue. I truly believe that I was put on this earth for a reason and Rosie will show me the way.

“Until one has loved an animal a part of ones soul remains awakened”
-Anabole France.
What we have once enjoyed we can never lose, all that we love deeply becomes part of us”.
-Helen Keller.

Thanks and love to my wonderful friends and family for being here for me. Forever grateful. Until we meet again my baby girl. Love you more than words could ever say. ~Noreen



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