In Loving Memory of

Philip Peter



Remembered by T. Rea Okerberg (Bowers)

Philip Peter was found in a ditch on the side of the road up in Sparta at the start of the pandemic in 2020. He was underweight, filthy, and terrified. He was brought to me, and I was fortunate to have the honour of giving him the best life I could in his twilight years.

Some of my favourite memories of him (and it’s difficult to only choose a few, as there were so many in the near-four years I had him!):

The day he came home to me, I had met my friend outside at his truck and we got Phil out after I put a leash on him. He was curious, he was confused, but he was SO sweet! His tail never seemed to ever stop wagging. Even in as his clock wound down towards the end of his time on earth, he always wagged his tail. He never knew a stranger, ever. He was gentle, patient, and had such a big personality, even with how calm he always was.

He loved car rides. Whenever we would go somewhere, it was ALWAYS an adventure. It didn’t matter if it was just going to my late-MIL’s to visit, or even just taking walks around the property where we live, he was always SO curious about what other neighbours were doing, what the animals were doing, and always wanting to sniff all the things.

Whenever it was snowing out, he LOVED going outside to dig around in the snow. He loved to dig his nose down into the snow and sniff, flipping the snow up and off his face – sometimes a little bit would stick to his nose when he did this, which always made me laugh.

At my MIL’s house, there was a little cat we named Tina. She ADORED Phil, who seemed to grudgingly accept her affections. 😉 She would follow him all over the place when we were over there, and when she had kittens, she taught them to do the same. He just seemed to quietly accept this furry little entourage. He never would admit it, but he did love those kitties. When out for walks, he knew the kitties were with him, and if he didn’t see them, he’d stop, turn around, and patiently wait for them to catch up, and then he’d start walking again.

His “old man” snores. When he would sleep, he snored. A LOT. It was so soothing to hear, it would put me to sleep, too, even when I would be sitting at my desk working, or just watching something on YouTube or the telly.

He was affectionate, he was quiet (he rarely barked), he was always so bouncy and excited when it was time to be fed, and if I dared not move fast enough for his liking, he’d bark at me as if to tell me, “Excuse me, ma’am, but I’m STARVING over here. Look at me, I’m skin and bones! Hurry up, I’m absolutely wasting away!” I have a video of him on TikTok from a little over a year or two ago when I was prepping his dinner and he was dancing around, all impatient and excited because it was time to stuff his face, and he knew I had his favourite food.

He wasn’t an overly kissy dog, but when he gave kisses, he was quite gentle about it, just a quick little slurp. Those kisses were rare, so it was always a big deal when he would grant such display of affection.

Last summer, a cat I had rescued, unbeknownst to us, was pregnant. When her babies were old enough to be out and about to explore their surroundings, one of the kittens, Fizz, was racing around the room like a little maniac and he ran up, skidded to a halt on Phil’s bed, right under Phil’s nose. He stared up at Phil, wide-eyed, as if he was asking, “What are YOU?!” Phil, ever the calm, patient boy, would just look down at him like he was saying hello and asking if he was lost. Another one of the kittens in the litter, Kasper, absolutely hero-worshiped Phil, always walking up to him and rubbing up against him, “kitty hugs” we called them, and Phil would just allow him to do whatever he wanted. Kasper adored his Uncle Phil, and Phil adored his baby kitten nephew. I was able to get a short video of them together, their interaction.

Phil is terribly missed by all who knew him. He was the gentlest, sweetest little ball of furry Zen I’ve ever met, and sometimes I feel like he’s still around. I sometimes feel like he’s in the room with me, like right as I’m waking up in the mornings, or when the world’s asleep at night and I’m working on a project. I’ve seen him out of the corner of my eye a few times; I think he’s just checking in on me.

Just before it was time to help him across the Rainbow Bridge, he had this habit of going over to the bedroom door and standing there, looking into the living room where my kiddo sleeps, and he’d just listen, watching to make sure his human brother was okay, and when he was satisfied that all was well, he’d come over and stand next to me, waiting for me to pet him. At bedtime, he’d lay on his bed, and I’d reach down to pet his fur, scratching his ears, and telling him how much I love him and that he is the bestest, goodest boy in the whole, entire universe, ever, ever, EVER, and I’d see him in the morning. His snoring always helped me sleep.

I made him a promise that I will be okay, and that when the time is right, I know he will send his successor along to me like my Dachshund who crossed the Bridge in 2019 had done when she sent Phil to me in 2020. I have asked him not to send me anyone that can out-stubborn him, and I’m certain he’s up there giggling and saying, “Sure, Mom, sure. Okay.” He was funny, he was so soft, and he will always, always have a big spot in my heart.

Rest well, my sweet boy. God willing, when my time comes, we will see each other again.

I love you to beyond forever and back, Puppy-dude! Until we meet again, please be good and try not to drive Jesus nuts. 😉


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