“It Came Without Ribbons”

 The Story of Bitsy

Many of you don’t know the story of Bitsy so I’d thought I’d share it with you this Christmas.

To be blessed with an old dog is like no other blessing.  To be blessed with an old dog named Bitsy is a miracle in itself.  She came to us by accident 5 or 6 years ago when my husband found her in the park, lost without a collar and so sick that we thought she might be dying.  He brought her home and with the help of our Vet, we nursed her back to health.  The days went by as we looked for her owner, she slept on our couch and watched us every minute.  We carried her outside to use the bathroom and gradually she started to eat again. She shook and trembled most of the time.

We did everything we could to find her owner. We put up signs, called the shelters and vets in the area in case anyone was looking for her. With each pet of my hand on her head I knew I was falling in love with this dog and when no one called  I made my husband take down the signs.  I knew we would have to give her back if we found her owners but secretly I hoped they wouldn’t call.

And then one day it happened…my husband came home with this sign:


It was her!   I knew I had to call the number.   I called and said  “I think we have your dog.  She’s been very, very sick so we took her to the vet.  She’s feeling better and I know you must miss her.”  The lady who answered told me it was her son’s dog and that she’d have him call me.

It was so hard waiting for the son to call and I knew he’d want her back because she was so sweet.  I told myself it was silly to fall in love with a dog this fast and that she belonged to someone else.  But I couldn’t help wondering why it had taken so long to put up the lost dog sign.

When the son called I said to him “I’ve fallen in love with your dog and if there’s any chance you don’t want her I’d love to keep her”.   That’s when the miracle happened.  It turned out the son was in school and hardly home anymore.  He had to keep her chained in the back yard when he was gone and apparently she’d escaped from her collar and dug her way out.  He hadn’t been home for while and that’s why it took so long for the signs to go up.

The son came over, brought her “papers” and collar and said we could have her.   Bitsy became our dog!  According to her “papers” she’s a Toy Fox Terrier named Bitsy,  born on October 7th.  To me she will always be Bitsy Button Sutton.  I tell her that I wish I could have seen her in her youth…she whispers the same thing back to me tee hee!

She’s a part of our family now and she just turned 16.  She’s given us the best years of her life no doubt about that, and because she’s so special she’ll get a few of her favorite cookies on Christmas day…Mother’s Taffy Cookies!

She spent so much time outside with her first owners she has mast cell tumors (a kind of skin cancer) that we’ve had to have removed.  Surgery after surgery she comes home and acts as if nothing happened.  She bounces back,  recovers and surgery after surgery our vet tells us it’s a miracle she’s alive.   She has scars on her head, side and legs, she’s deaf now and the black on her face has turned gray.  She’s down to a few precious teeth.   But she runs, plays with toys and prances across the yard.  She follows me every where and she’s such a joy!

In September we found another tumor that had to be removed and this time they didn’t get it all.  Because it’s such a slow growing tumor we’ll watch it carefully and say a few prayers.

As I package up the gifts this year I can’t help but remember that Bitsy is the best present I’ve ever received any time of year.    If you own an old dog or cat you know how it feels.  She’s taught me what strength really is and having her in my life has made me a better person.  Who knew a dog could do so much?  She reminds me of the best things about Christmas.  She’s the gift without ribbons!


Dr. Seuss’ Grinch Christmas Quote

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?”


Give your pet a Christmas hug.



Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • Billie Kretzschmar - I’m so happy you found each other. Merry Christmas and enjoy your puppy kisses.ReplyCancel

  • Andrea - What a sweet story; the story of Bitsy. I too have an old gal, Maggie. She was a rescue dog that I ‘fostered’ 9 years ago. Well, I’m still ‘fostering’ her =) She’s a wonderful sassy diva of a Lhasa, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. I think that rescue pets share a particularly special bond with their owners. It’s as if they just know that we’ve helped them, and it makes that bond extra special =)ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - Those TFT’s really get under your skin, don’t they? Luckily, I’ve had my “little guy” from the beginning. He was the opposite of the runt of the litter. In fact, he is probably closer to the size of a runt Fox Terrier. When I saw him I was a little shocked at his large size and the breeder offered me a different TFT. I had fallen in love with my “little guy” and refused the exchange.

    I’m so glad that I have my boy in my life. I too feel like I rescued him (turns out the breeder became a puppy mill) and in return he has rescued me. We have spent 10 wonderful years together so far and I’m looking forward to quite a few more.

    Sending you TFT hugs and wishing you and Bitsy all the best.ReplyCancel

  • Fee - What a wonderful story Anne,

    Our pets are our world so I know how you feel we lost one of our elderly pets this past year and it was heartbreaking but I keep her in my heart and am thankful that we had her in our lives.

    Have a merry Christmas.

    hugs – Fee XReplyCancel

  • Sharon - What a beautiful post! Thanks for sharing this story!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly Wenhold - The people I work with are going to wonder why I’m crying. We, too, recused a dog who was in bad shape from the SPCA. She was kept in a cage for so long that she had lost all muscle development. And little did we know until we took her home that she hated men. So we are guessing that a man was the abuser. It took her time but she grew to love the men in our family. She lived with us for seven years. I held her in my arms when she took her last breath two years ago, she was a great dog! Thanks for sharing your story!ReplyCancel

  • Sandy R - Thank you for sharing your story. We have two rescue dogs, both part Corgi. One is blond and one is blacked haired. Loving dogs both!ReplyCancel

  • Julie C. - That is a wonderful story for Christmas, Anne. We lost our dog 6 months ago and it was so hard to say goodbye. Since then,we’ve gotten a new puppy and even though he’s got big shoes to fill, we love him just the same. Thanks for reminding us of the furry spirit of Christmas.ReplyCancel

  • Lynn - Thank you for the story. Odd timing as my husband just returned from the garden center with some flowers for a little garden where we are going to bury our dog’s ashes. What a loss this has been. One one hand it seems a bit silly to be this torn up about a dog and yet I am. My kids ask if I want another dog and I’m not ready yet. It seems though, after reading this that in a while I’ll be ready to give the right one a family and a home. So thanks and Merry Christmas.ReplyCancel

  • Leslie - Hi Anne!
    What a wonderful story!
    We just adopted a jack russel and fox terrier. He is so cute, like Bitsy would have looked in her younger days!
    We had a lab dog, the runt of his litter, but the best dog. We had to put him down 2 yrs ago because of a cancerous tumour they told us was only a fat pad! Huh! I was right, it was something to be concerned about, but too late for our dog.
    Have a wonderful Christmas with your family, your story has warmed my heart!
    Take care, give Bitsy a hug!, LeslieReplyCancel

  • Sinta - That is such a wonderful story Anne! She was in need of a new home where someone could be with her and take care of her.
    My dog always gets to open the first present of Christmas. She is always so excited and then goes to everyone after that to “ehlp” them open their gifts also. And she never peeks at presents under the tree early!
    Merry Christmas to you Anne and your family, including your 4 legged children


  • Beverley - What a lovely story. I am so glad you love your dog.
    We have just adopted a 5 year old cat called Lola. She is so sweet and affectionate. We had her just before my Dad died suddenly, and she has been my saving grace.

  • Piecefully Pam - Merry Christmas to Bitsy and her loving humans! I couldn’t agree more, the lessons a dog teaches can be quite amazing and life changing. Our dog, Jingle, has been a precious gift indeed and he has forever changed our lives in ways never imagined. Blessings come in all varieties! ; ) Thank you for the reminder, Anne. <3ReplyCancel

  • Pauline - What a sweet story Anne…..it was a sad day when our ‘Bennie’ got his angel wings. He was the best and sweetest dog and so afraid of his own shadow….even the leaves blowing down the sidewalk and the thunder made him shake so bad. During his last 6 months we carried him a lot and he walked very little. He was in a lot of pain, his tail always down…. until he heard the popcorn in the microwave and he would do a wee dance. He made us laugh and cry…..he was so gentle, a loved member of our family.

    Give Bitsy a hug…..PaulineReplyCancel

  • LeAnn Keenan - That was a wonderful story. We have been blessed with three tuxedo cats who have been “sent” to us. I don’t know what I do without any of them.ReplyCancel

  • Marcia - Hi Ann
    allow me to thank you for your love and kindness to the most innocent among us. I know exactly what you mean. We have three beagles, all are cast offs. I will tell you of one, my jasiu(that’s polish for john). A beagle just showed up in my back yard. His eye was bulging and terribly red. Yet he was wagging his tail. I gave him some dog food which he inhaled and had another helping. I could tell he was still very young. I called my hubby and told him I had to take this lost pup to the vet, he was hurt and needed care and we were going to be spending a great deal of money. Hubby said ” ok with me, take care of him”. After shots, surgeries and food and love he healed nicely. We too contacted vets, humane society and put up posters. No takers. Which is well that it should be so; we fell in love. To this day he is our precious boy, healthy, happy and yes quite old now. We love him so much!ReplyCancel

  • Jan A. - I love your story about Bitsy Buttons, Anne, and thank you for sharing it with us. You are so right, there is no dog like an old dog to tug at your heartstrings. My miniature schnauzer is almost 13 and has had many surgeries, but always bounces back. I know deep down that we are on the wane of our time together and I try to cherish every minute with this wonderful dog. I wish for your precious Bitsy a wonderful year and hope she enjoys her Christmas cookies!ReplyCancel

  • Dee - I’m glad you shared your story and I hope Bitsy is around for a long time to come.ReplyCancel

  • Cheryl - This is the best story. Merry Christmas to you, Bitsy, and your family! We have 3 cats who are our “babies” to love because no one else wanted to.ReplyCancel

  • selina - I hate it when stories are so great they make me cry. This was a 2 tissue cry. Merry Christmas with love to you and Bitsy from me and Tink.ReplyCancel

  • Nancy C. in Utah - Oh Anne, this story touches my heart so much. We have a 11 year old Schnauzer that has been our little “bright eyes” since we got her at just 8 weeks old and now she is failing quickly. We know that every single day with her is a gift and we cherish every moment because we are rapidly approaching the day we will have to tell her goodbye. We will still have her sister, Sadie Jo who came to us as a full grown dog, badly abused and we spent many and anxious hour waiting to see if she could be saved. Now, 6 years later, she is chubby and very happy that way, LOL. You said in your story about Chelsea that you knew it was “silly to fall in love with a dog so fast”. But I think Chelsea was like our Sadie, it is love at first sight, plain and simple. All of our pets, both dogs and cats over the years have held special places in our hearts and brought with them their own special gifts and there is no way in the world we could repay the love, laughter, joy and companionship they bring into our lives. What a sad world this would be without our little furry kids. Bundles of love wrapped in fur, each and every one of them. Thanks so much for sharing Chelsea’s story with us. I love the picture of her carrying the long red toy…both of mine have their own just like hers except theirs are green and blue. Hugs…ReplyCancel

  • KimwithaK - Thanks for the Bitsy Button Sutton story…you are both so fortunate!
    May she continue to be strong and happy!
    Merry Christmas!ReplyCancel

  • Nancy C. in Utah - Sorry Anne, I hit the publish button before I wished you and yours all a very Happy and Blessed Christmas and my furry girls wish all your furry kids Merry Christmas too. OH…and Sadie Jo wants to know if Chelsea plans on sharing those yummy cookies??? They are after all a favorite of hers. (but then anything she can chew and swallow is a favorite of hers *wink*) Hugs…ReplyCancel

  • Barb - Thank you so much for sharing the story of Bitsy – it is a wonderful reminder of just how much our sweet little fur babies enrich our lives. You both were blessed when you found each other.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!ReplyCancel

  • Lou - That is such a beautiful story. We just lost our 11 year old Newf and she taught me so much about life, too. We miss her terribly. Thanks so much for reminding me how great our lives are enriched by the presence of our pets.ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - Oh Anne, I am not an emotional person but your Bitsy story has made me all teary. What a wonderful gift she has been. I think you two were meant to be together and I’m sure you will be forever grateful that she found you. I can’t even imagine how her previous owner couldn’t have wanted her – how awful to have a pet and not take proper care of it!

    Now, I’m going to go and hug Abby and Derby, my two Jack Russell Terriers, and say a little prayer of thanks for our cat, Rex, who was with us for 19 years and JRT Bosun who was hit by a car when he was only 2.ReplyCancel

  • Cindy - What a wonderful post!! Thanks for sharing Bitsy’s story with all of us. Isn’t it amazing how our pets can forever change our lives in ways we would have never imagine.
    Have a Merry Christmas.

  • Pam @ Antique or Not - Anne, I’m sitting here blubbering after reading your story about Bitsy. Our 11-year-old cat Osira has had her share of health problems too, along with several surgeries, the last one to remove a fibrosarcoma. It too is a slow-moving cancer and we are watching her carefully and dreading finding another lump.

    Unlike your Bitsy, Osira has been with us since she was a baby and has been loved and pampered her whole life. Bitsy is so lucky that you came into her life…


  • Teah Barrow - Anne, Thank you so much for sharing this special story. I love the message and how you shared your heart and home with her and she’s given so much back. Her fighting spirit is delightful. Just enough spunk to keep her going. Bitsy is clearly loved. Everybody hug your fur babies- they don’t last forever!ReplyCancel

  • DeAnna - Oh, what a precious story. Bitsy is a doll.ReplyCancel

  • Rhonda D in southeast Missouri - I love your story aout Bitsy. Our basset hound, Wrigley, was a stray that we rescued, and he lived to be 15. We have a yorkie now, named Gobble, who is 8 years old. Older pups are wonderful. What a heart-warming story. Merry Christmas to you & Bitsy.ReplyCancel

  • Ann P. - What a beautiful story! I miss our 2 dogs and cat. A pet is truly a family member. This story brought tears to my eyes. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    Ann P.ReplyCancel

  • Lynda - Oh, Anne, Bitsy Button Sutton’s story is a gift! I’m *so* glad your dear husband found her, and had the compassionate heart to bring her home. What a life-changing event for all of you.

    My husband and I live with kitties, all of whom have been rescues. Our girl Maren, came to us almost exactly eight years ago after someone abandoned her outside our vet’s office. She’d been hideously abused and left in a cardboard box, from which she escaped; she was living in the nearby bushes. It took the staff several days to win her trust enough so that they could hold her and bring her inside. She was in such awful condition I don’t even like to tell people about it, but Dr. C. and his fantastic staff took exquisite care of her … and called us.

    We’d just had to have our precious tuxedo boy, Willy, put down in October, and darling TJ put down the week before the call about Maren. The vet tech who called apologized profusely about the timing, saying she’d understand if it was too soon, but as they took care of this sick, scrawny, scared little cat they all kept thinking of us, and would I like to come look at her? Well, what was I gonna say? I called my husband at work and all he said was, “Bring a carrier.”

    She had to stay another several days to heal some more, but from the day we brought her home she’s been our Maraboo, queen of the household. We adopted two rescue kittens a few months later, and there’s never been any question about who’s the boss. Maren loves lying in the sun, head + tummy rubs, drinking from the bathroom sink faucet and lying on me when I read in bed. A gift without ribbons, indeed.ReplyCancel

  • Anne C. - A most touching story. Thanks for sharing. I wish the whole Sutton gang a very Merry Christmas!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - What a sweet baby! Thanks for sharing her story. It is wonderful!!ReplyCancel

  • Tina - Bitsy’s story of how she became Bitsy Button Sutton brought tears to my eyes – what a wonderful blessing for you and for Bitsy! I wish her many, many more happy, healthy years with you and your family.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!ReplyCancel

  • Regina - I did not know Bitsy’s story. But you can tell she’s a special little girl.
    You can really tell a story. Thanks for sharing .ReplyCancel

  • poppyinpink - I love your story and am soo glad for the part where you got to have your little dog, it melted my heart to see her eyes, easy to appreciate why you love her! I’ll add my prayers to yours for her.ReplyCancel

  • pam - Oh Bitsy! I’m so happy you have found each other. Pets are such good family member s and good company. Love you Anne! Merry Christmas! xoReplyCancel

  • Allie - This brought tears to my eyes – how blessed is Bitsy that your hubby found her, you’ve given her a wonderful life! And she’s been just as much of a blessing to you. She is precious and I’m adding some prayers to yours for her!ReplyCancel

  • Laura - i don’t usually comment but bitsy is soo!! cute:) it is truely amazing how our pets can enrich our lives i’m giving my cat a good squeeze right now:)ReplyCancel

  • Sunnybec - What a lovely lovely story. We have two rescue dogs. One is now 18 years and 7 months – I think the months are important when they get to such an age, she is a spaniel cross called Lady – and the other a Jack Russell (Sam) who is about 11 years, he has no papers so we aren’t sure of his exact age. Lady is now nearly blind and very deaf, she doesn’t do much except eat and sleep but still wags her tail and occasionally she tries to play but her old legs can’t stand it now. Sam had cancer October 2010, as far as we know all of it has been removed. Having a dog changes your life completely. We have been married 40 years next year and had a dog for most of those years. They are the best. Merry Christmas! LindaReplyCancel

  • Melody - This bought a tear to my eye as Bitsy’s story reminds me of my little Essie’s story. My little dogs mean the world to me. The way people treat animals is, in my view, a true reflection of their character and it is one of the reasons I think you are a wonderful and truly good person. Your kindness shines through every pattern you design, every blog post you make.
    Have the most wonderful Christmas with your family and adorable pets, and please give dear Bitsy a gentle hug from me.ReplyCancel

  • Carmen Wyant - Aren’t animals the best thing in the world. I remember & cherish every animal that we’ve ever had. At the moment it is 2 doxies and 2 kitties. Thanks so much for the story and celebrate every day that you have with Bitsy.ReplyCancel

  • Susan Liu - What a wonderful story, thank you so much for what you did for this dog. She is one lucky dog :)ReplyCancel

  • Jeanne Langston - Oh, what a heartfelt story. I know exactly how you feel, but your words explained it so elequently. What a sweet dog and to have had to go through so much healthwise. I know it takes special people to take care of, emotionally and monetarily, a special pet. I know Bitsy loves you, so good luck this next year on another wonderful year together. Our Golden Lab, Luke, and our cat, Mr. Petey Blue, (both rescues), send their love!

    Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to you and your family,

    Jeanne in MOReplyCancel

  • Melanie - What a beautiful story! How fortunate for both of you that you found one another. May you both have a blessed Christmas and enjoy many puppy hugs and kisses! Thank you for sharing. It’s a nice reminder of how these innocent little creatures depend on us and give us so much love.ReplyCancel

  • isabela - Bonita historia la de tu perro, son una parte importante en nuestras vidas, todos deverian tener una mascota, yo tengo a Tom es encantador y un compañero fiel. gracias por compartir tu historia un abrazo y feliz navidadReplyCancel

  • MaryBeth - Oh my, Bitsy’s former owner certainly didn’t deserve her if he hadn’t been home to care for her and love her. We do not OWN our pets, do we? We have always had dogs. We had an Australian shepherd who died of cance a few years ago. For his last 2 hears we treated him with Chinese herbal medicine and I actually cooked his food for him rather than feed him commercial dog food. My vet convinced me it would help him and I really do feel we “bought” him an extra year and a half, but best of all, we brought his smile back. Now have 2 little havanese girls – 1 year old sisters. We didn’t think we’d adopt Dot – she was born with a badly deformed jaw and we knew she’d require a lot of dental work, but she snuggled into my husband and he was hers, LOL. They are a constant source of joy and amusement. Merry Christmas to you and yours, and of course to Bitsy.ReplyCancel

  • JudyCinNC - A beautiful story of love and I believe Bitsy came into your life for a reason – pets always know who will love and help them. It would have been such a great lost if Bitsy Button had never come into your life and made such a difference. Our sweet boy Brady had many health problems and I think the depth of our love was greater because of his needs . Thank you Anne for sharing your special story – this is our first Christmas without our Brady – and I love knowing that others feel about their pets as we did. They are so important in our everyday lives. Warmest wishes for a lovely Christmas surrounded by family and friends. Judy C in NCReplyCancel

  • Hildy - Anne, thank you for your beautiful Bitsy story! Animals do have a special way to find a way in our hearts. There was almost every day in my life a cat around me and I’m truely thankful for that. I can’t imagine my life without a pet and I’m glad about that. They’re making better people of us;-)
    Merry christmas to you and your family (including the furry ones)

  • Julie Zaloudek - Bitsy’s story touched me. My pets have all found me, and I am grateful that I am the one they found. When Daisy came to us I was afraid to let her sit and look out the front door in fear that her previous owner might walk by and try to claim her.She’s a charming declawed kitty that I’ve always believed ran away from the old home in search of her true people–us!ReplyCancel

  • Nancy - What a wonderful story! Rescuing a dog in need is a ton of work. Somehow, we do what is needed and find we get more back from the experience than we could ever imagine. We fostered a dog who was very ill. At first I was mad that I was sent a dog who wet his bedding and was so ill. Over time, he won our hearts with his love and joy. We spent weeks teaching him to keep his bedding clean, running after him when he climbed the fence, and treating him with various medicines. He loved us and his new life. I could get him to do anything just by sweet-talking. Sadly, he had kidney failure. We spent $1200 at the vet, but finally had to let him go. We were all grief stricken. The love and gratitude given back by these grateful little guys enriches our lives. Bitsy is one lucky pouch to have wandered into your life!ReplyCancel

  • Debbie - Nothing sweeter than on old dog. They give and they give. You were lucky to find each other. Give Bitsy a hug!ReplyCancel

  • Carrie P. - I do understand. I miss my 2 girls and have been thinking about getting a new buddy to keep me company.
    Bitsy knows she is loved.ReplyCancel

  • Anna - Oh Anne…you make me cry so early in the morning! Bitsy and I share a birthday…maybe as I get old everyone will think I am sweet also!ReplyCancel

  • jayne - This story made me hug my little one! We have two Bichons and one is a rescue pup. He reminds us always that they have feelings and they have a past…We have no idea what happened to “Palmer” (his given name from the rescue) before he came to live with us but we have so enjoyed watching him change over the past two years. His love of people, his love of hugging and cuddling and his peace with his new home is evident each day…we do know that he feels the love!

    Merry Christmas to all our little firends – they are the true joy of the season!

    Thanks for sharing…ReplyCancel

  • Mary T. Salmon - I don’t like to cry this early in the morning. Alas, I know exactly how you feel…Thank God for our animals for they are emotionally more human than a lot of the world.
    Thanks Anne for sharing your story.

  • Christie Dougal - Dear Anne,
    I do know how you feel, I miss my Rosebud but Shellie and her loving trust of me knows no bounds.
    She & I send you and Bitsy many warm Christmas hugs!!
    Christie & ShellieReplyCancel

  • Beth R - Merry Christmas, Anne,

    I always check your blog because I love your patterns and because you feature your pets. Oh my goodness, this brought tears to my eyes! I’m so happy for Bitsy and for you and your husband and the miracle that brought her to you. I even read it out loud to my college age son and he had to come see her adorable pictures and agreed she is “really cute”. My daughter just rescued a teeny kitten so her adventure begins. She will be bringing him home from college to meet our three adult rescue cats. Pets are the best – can’t imagine life without them! Thanks so much for sharing Bitsy’s story and I hope she continues to bring you much joy!ReplyCancel

  • Joanne Moore - Thanks for sharing the story of Bitsy Button Sutton! What a lucky pup to be in your home. Mothers Taffy cookies are the best!! Growing up our family dog was named Taffy! pets are truely a gift without ribbons! My daughter got in last night with her cat Maynard. I am awaiting a circus this morning when Maynard encounters Cindy Bear the pppy and visaversa. Our 15 year old cat Stewart William had that look on his face as if to say “oh no not you again”. he even threw up this morning as if to tell me, Look, Elliot cat is gone as of last week..good..now pipsqueak comes back and I have this puppy on my back every day..He is like Mr. Wilson from Dennis the Menace..Martha, my nerve medicine! What would we do without them? Merry Christmas to the Sutton pets from the Moore pets!ReplyCancel

  • connie kapralos - Dear Ann,
    when I started to read your story of Bitsy I though you were writing my story of my dog Lucky…found her in my car while empting the car of groceries…she too had been a stray for 2 weeks in the neighborhood..I.placed ad in newspaper and my friend found a Lost dog ad down the street…I was so afraid to give her up phew…just looked like her but not her….finally found someoneho knew who she belonged to but they said she was abused and my home was a better place for her the owners really never wanted her anyway… that happened the year my “baby” went off to college….I really needed a pet to fill the void in my heart
    Lucky has had a tumor removed fortunally only only one..she has been with us 11 years now and certainly a best friend like BITSY….THANKS FOR SHARING OUR STORY
    Merry Christmas to you and your pets!ReplyCancel

  • janan - Bitsy story so touched my heart. She is a beautiful dog.
    I too have an older dog, Enos, who is 13 yoa. He is a rat terrier,
    and his black face has also now turned gray. I love him dearly!ReplyCancel

  • Renee - I loved reading the story of Bitsy and you. I think dogs that are rescued know it and they are thankful the rest of their lives. We lost our rescue after only having him three years. He was the best dog and I miss him every day. Thank you for bringing back some wonderful memories. Have a very Merry Christmas!ReplyCancel

  • mimi'sdarlins - Anne, I’ve hardly had time to check my favorite blog :) or even my email lately, but I’m so glad I checked today! I love your story about Bitsy, gave me goosebumps and had me in tears. It’s amazing to have an older pet, whether you’ve had her 6 years or in my case w/ my darling little Max, 22 years! She was such a wonderful, tender little cat, and it is really something how the older they get, the more they understand you and are ‘there’ for you. Despite the ‘myth’ that cats are arrogant, they do want to please you, too.
    Thanks for sharing your very sweet story with us!
    Merry Christmas,
    diane :)ReplyCancel

  • Karen in Breezy Point - I have tears in my eyes–what a sweet story! Thanks for sharing the tale of Bitsy.
    Karen in Breezy PointReplyCancel

  • Linda - When I had my old Cocker, I thought the same thing–I was so blessed ot have an old dog—–so blessed– it was an honor to take care of her–the bond was both ways– I held on her until she went her own way–the love grows deeper with each year that passes…

    What a beautiful story you wrote–no–Christmas doesn’t come in a box—–love never will……ReplyCancel

  • kathy in nc - bless you & Bitsy. I have a Bichon 16, lost his vison this year & hearing almost gone :0( same with skin.
    Lost out Beagle 3 yrs ago prostaate cancer 13. terrier 2 yrs ago a 15 . It is so hard.. every hr & every penny
    like your children mabe more than your kids :0). you said it so well. bless youReplyCancel

  • Gwen Windham - This made me smile… and get a lump in my throat…. I have been blessed to love 4 older dogs in my lifetime… I’ll always miss you, Bugle, Pierre, Benji and Missy.. My Mandy is 10 years old, and Kolby is 7… I hope they live a long, long life..

    Your post reminded me of a story I read once…

    I was called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. I was his veterinarian. His owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

    I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

    As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

    The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker’s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

    The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up and said, “I know why.”

    Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation.

    He said, “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good Life—like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The six-year-old continued, “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t need to stay as long.”ReplyCancel

  • Lynn Koeppen - What an awesome story! You are the lucky one! That Bitsy is a real sweetheart!ReplyCancel

  • Karen Gonzalez - When I read your story it reminded me of our resident.
    Miss Priss is our autumn long haired calico kitty. When we bought the house she was in the back yard. It took months to befriend her, then it did not take long before she moved into the house. She was 7 when we bought the house, now she is 17, two teeth remaining, like you many trips to the vet because she too went without. But she is the happiest gal, that plays with her toys in short spirts, and has quite the life.
    I would prefer to rescue a pet in need any day.ReplyCancel

  • Jackie R. in NC - My eyes are moist, my fingers type “ahhhhh”….love your words & Bitsy :)ReplyCancel

  • Zooperson - Bless little Bitsy’s heart and yours too. The best gifts do come without ribbons.ReplyCancel

  • Bronwyn - That is the best story I have heard in ages. I must admit I got a little teary. I have a cheeky Jack Russell who is eleven. He is my third child. They just know you so well don’t they?ReplyCancel

  • Jamie - OK so I’m in the blobby-eyed camp! Thank you so much for your story Anne. Pets can certainly be an extension of ourselves. That Bitsy-girl may not be a quilter and designer but she is her own kind of wonderful! Any talk of old pets has my heart. I lost my Amos at 17 last year but I am fortunate to still have my Skippy, who is almost 16. Both dogs were strays but I would argue I was the one “rescued.”ReplyCancel

  • Carmen - Oh, I love the story of how you came to have Bitsy. We do love our furry friends! Merry Christmas to you and all those you love!ReplyCancel

  • Pam - This is the most heart warming story; Bitsy is luckiest dog in the whole wide world; to have owners like you people who have cared for her and loved her is just so wonderful; your quote says it all; I hope you don’t mind but I posted it on my facebook page; it has so much meaning; if Christmas could be like that everyone would be so much happier…you are a hero!! and so is Bitsy….ReplyCancel

  • Monica - That ia the sweetest story ever! Thank you so much for sharing. We rescued a dog, Curry, and she truly gave us many wonderful years. She is now chasing her sister, Chili, the golden, and Pepper, the cat. Your story reminded me why I love dogs and cats unconditionally. They are wonderful creatures.ReplyCancel

  • Jean - Oh, Anne, what a wonderful story of unconditional love. I wish I could come over and give Bitsy a big hug and kiss – I feel like I know her. On behalf of myelf and also my sister who is a dog rescuer and works with her local animal rescue agency rescuing and fostering dogs, I send a big thank you for not just turning away when Bitsy entered your life and needed you so!

    Bless you and Bless Bitsy!!!!ReplyCancel

  • Brigitte - Dear warmhearted Anne,
    how can you make that you type some keys on your keyboard and when I look at my screen I feel the depth of your soul and the love you have to give? You speak from your heart and the story of Bitsy touched me and is my small Christmas miracle. Be blessed!

    Hugs, BrigitteReplyCancel

  • Kathy R - What a sweet story with a happy ending. Bitsy is right where she should be, and she knows it. My Beagle/Jack Russell is 9 years old and turing white and losing her vision and I love her more every single day. Thank you for the wonderful Christmas story.ReplyCancel

  • Sherry - Bitsy’s story is so sweet. Thank you for sharing. Happy Holidays to you & your family.ReplyCancel

  • regina chronister - Merry Christmas Anne I loved the love story I have loved deeply and lost some of the greatest dogs on earth. I have 3 doxies now, I love when you tell us or show pictures of all your sweet babies.ReplyCancel

  • Trelly - wordless, a big hug for you, Bitsy, Chelsea, all your rich and lucky family. Merry Christmas!!!ReplyCancel

  • Martine - Merry Christmas to you and your family.ReplyCancel

  • Beth Patrick - thank you for sharing your story with Bitsy – it touched me deeply because both of my guys came to me thru rescues and I wouldn’t do it any other way.
    I hope you have many years with Bitsy to come.

    Happy Holidays!
    Beth in DallasReplyCancel

  • Tricia L - I love the story of Bitsy! So heartwarming! She is truly where she is meant to be. I will say a prayer for her health. She is such a sweet little lady and I love hearing updates about her (and Miss Chelsea too!).ReplyCancel

  • Kim - ahhhhhh
    I’ve never had a little dog……maybe one day.
    My DH says no…..he is allergic.

    thanks for sharing this heart warming story.

    Happy New Year and Happy sewingReplyCancel

  • Charo - I always have had dogs in my house, but my husband don´t want more pet in our house. Now I have a Schnauzer, but this dog has a history. Mam ill and the doctor didn´t know what was she had. So they tell as the maybe she need a pet, because the thought that she was depression. My brother brought a Schnauzer , and mam was very happy. She always got in her bed and pet it. She always laugh because when we scolded KOBY hiding in mom´s slipper. Two month later mon died of lung Cancer. Befor she died she said me to stay with it. After mom died we have to decided what we are going to do with this puppy. My hasband just say, The dog stay in home. Koby helped me because into a very strong depression when mom died. Now a feel great, Mom did not return, but she left a good company, that do my life different.
    Big HugsReplyCancel

  • MJ Smith - Love your story about Bitsy. I think Bitsy was very lucky to find you! I can tell she will live out her senior years content and happy.ReplyCancel

  • Meghan Grace - Bitsy is adorable! I have a rescued toy fox terrier named CoCo! She ended up in our neighbor’s driveway and when I went outsideto go to my car one day, she ran into my arms and never left! This was after our animal loving neighbor chased her all over the neighborhood for two days trying to catch her. We put up signs and put ads in the paper all to no avail. We finally had her checked out by our vet and found that she had heartworms so we think that maybe she was dumped. It was a hard treatment to put her through but she came through it with flying colors. We fell in love with her hard! So, two and 1/2 years later, she is a darling, happy little girl that is getting more grey hair by the day! The vet thinks that she is old because she has a kidney condition that is usually only found in old dogs. No matter, we will love her as long as we can. Hugs to Bitsy!ReplyCancel

  • Sandy G - Have a blessed New Year Anne and family, and that includes Chelsea and Bitsy! They are family after all.
    Thanks so much for sharing Bitsy’s story. I wish you and Chelsea and Bitsy could meet Gertie, she’s my 7 1/2 year old Golden who lost a leg at one years of age. She is so well known in the neighborhood, that when I meet someone for the first time they say “oh, your Gertie’s Mom”. Gotta love those dogs! And thank you, as I am writing this I am printing off Henrietta Whiskers, in honor of Tyler.ReplyCancel

  • Linda - Such a heartwarming story! Thanks so much for sharing. I’m laughing about the cookies you got for Bitsy — you are exactly right — when you’re that old you can eat ANYTHING that you want!!!! :-)ReplyCancel

  • The book goes to… and, what I got for Christmas : All About Applique - […] quote Dr. Seuss (and Anne Sutton, who recently told us the heartwarming story of Bitsy Button Sutton), “It came without ribbons.” I didn’t want a kitty for Christmas, but it’s […]ReplyCancel