Sunday, August 10, 2014

Dog and Butterfly: A Memory Garden

This Sunday, I'm sharing a special memory garden that was created by my childhood friend, Martha Sue. The story behind it is so touching, you'll smile and cry at the same time.

Martha and her late husband, Mike, were owned by an adorable Jack Russell terrier named Petey.
"Petey Ecclesiastes was a gorgeous Jack Russell Terrier," Martha said. "Petey (his name was Pete Ecclesiastes so his nick was Petey) lived to be 16 years old.  His life story is very interesting, because he was special to me and my late husband, Mike."

"Petey was our little clown!" Martha said.  "He loved Halloween!  We dressed him in a different costume every year.  This particular Halloween, Petey wanted to be Superman.  He loved to greet  trick-or-treaters at the door."

"Pete, forever faithful, forever true, watching over my two-year-old granddaughter," Martha said. "When she visited Nana, Pete never left her side."

  "Nine years later, he was still guarding over his baby girl."

A cherished photo of Petey and Martha. "He was my baby," she said.

 In 2012,  shortly before Mike lost his long battle with heart ailments, Petey seemed to know something was wrong.

"Petey died a few months before my husband, Mike, had his third heart attack in 2012," Martha said.  "Petey knew Mike was sick and it upset Petey so badly, that he wouldn't go around Mike or even look at him.  He'd just walk around Mike, making a sighing noise.  He no doubt knew about Mike's future.  I took Petey to the vet because he stopped eating and the vet really didn't know what was wrong.  I suspect Petey knew Mike's time to go was near and it upset him. Petey went on to Heaven ahead of Mike so that it might be easier for Mike.  Petey was like that."

 "Here is a picture of a butterfly," Martha said. " The butterfly isn't  very visible.  But I just had to take the picture when it landed on the lantana in front of Petey's tombstone."

"Petey loved birds, especially hummingbirds and butterflies," Martha explained. "He wouldn't hurt a flea--no pun intended--and when he napped outside, butterflies would light on him and spend time.  Pete would allow butterflies to do that. When I go up to the garden, from spring through early fall, I can always find a butterfly visiting his grave; sometimes dancing around on his tombstone."   

Martha's two children live nearby, and she is blessed with two beautiful grandchildren.

Martha's love of gardening extends to creating beautiful, seasonal wreaths for her front door. 

She always smiles when she sees a butterfly in Petey's memory garden.

What a beautiful garden, so full of love, just like Martha herself.
The flowers seem to remind us that life goes on. But memories are in full bloom.

Metamorphosis Monday contribution.

Photo Credits: Martha Sue P.

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  1. That is a sincerely heart-touched share, ML. Thank you.

    dog and Butterly reminds me of a friend from college who absolutely loved that song. Haven't heard it in years. A classic to be sure, hugs.

    1. So glad you saw it, Michele. Love that song, too!

  2. Everything about Petey was adorable. You are so right, I smiled, I was so touched and then I cried. What a touching memorial to Petey. I absolutely believe animals know things.

    1. They really do...somehow...someway.

    2. Sweet post, Michael Lee. For us, our pets are our children. They are sensitive to every thing around them. Your post is very touching. How sweet that Martha has the butterfly garden as Petey's Memorial. My heart aches for your friend. Her loss was great ~ both her husband and her Petey.

    3. Martha is my age; we grew up together--and her late husband was a good friend, too. Her story is an inspiration in so many ways.

  3. This is such a sweet story! We are animal lovers as well and have lost our family cat within the last year or so. What a loving tribute! I just may have to do the same sort of memorial for our Jessie.

    And, on a different note, Rattlebridge Farm, I LOVE YOUR HEADER! Beautiful site. I found you through Jenna over at

    1. Kim, glad you're here! The header was made by The Blog Fairy.

  4. Loved this post..
    I have 3 poms and we spend about 85%of the time alone together.. I lost my Sassy girl last november and we all still miss her. She was our Fetch Queen and would play ball till she dropped over to rest lol.. one day we'll all be together again.

    1. Sonny, so sorry for your loss.
      Your Poms sound like my Yorkies! We have a Fetch King.

  5. What a beautiful story. Our pet sure know us well and always so happy to see us. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.
    Have a wonderful week.

  6. Made me cry, sad. Beautiful words, sweet contribution. We have a terrier also, Our "Buddy". Gosh we dread that day.

  7. Petey went on ahead, to heaven, so he could greet his human dad when he arrived. Beautiful story and memory garden.

  8. It's the most beautiful, moving story I've read in long time
    I admit - I'm in tears now....

  9. What a heartwarming story, Michael Lee. I love the butterlies and the memory garden and Martha's love for Mike and Petey. Grandchildren help to bless our lives.

  10. What a sweet, sad, heartwarming story. I had to go sit by my 12 year old lab mix mutt and give her a good rub- she is showing her age, and I know the day will come that I won't be able to. Dogs are such special animals - I like to think that God gave us dogs so we'd have a tiny understanding of what His unconditional love is like. Thanks for the sweet tears and smile,


  11. Such a sweet story. We are owned by an eleven year old golden retriever! We do what he tells is when he tells us! He I a a member of the family and I do not want to think about when he passes. He is still quire healthy and manages his family very well!
    Sheila @mykentuckyliving.