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February 8th, 2012 12:01 am WW Staff | Cover Story

Pet Love

Special Valentines: Pooch poetry, cat chat, and warm wishes for goldfishes.

lede_petlove_3814SHAW FLICK - IMAGE: Morgan Green-Hopkins

Love and ink create a potent alloy. Shaw Flick’s chest testifies to that. The 29-year-old Portland man is tattooed with a nearly life-size portrait of his dog, Scurvy.

Make that Flick’s ex-dog—or ex’s dog.

Flick and his then-girlfriend adopted the cairn terrier-poodle puppy from the Oregon Humane Society six years ago. The pooch was a big part of their lives, serving as ring bearer at their 2008 wedding, led down the aisle by the best man.

“He’s very sweet and energetic, and what I miss the most about him is how he would curl up with me at night and nuzzle his face into me or rest his chin on my leg,” Flick says.

Things didn’t work out. The marriage asunder, Scurvy lives in New York with Flick’s ex and her boyfriend. Flick let his ex take the dog, but he did ask her to pay for the tattoo, which was inked in six hours during the couple’s separation.

“I had a talk with Scurvy about how this other guy was not his father, and apparently he’s taken that to heart,” Flick says. “My ex sends me pictures and videos of the dog, and from what I can gather he appears to miss me. That’s what I’d like to believe, anyway.”

As ink goes, newsprint is much more fleeting than a tattoo. But not necessarily any less heartfelt, as you’ll find in these pages. Willamette Week asked readers to pen valentines to their pets, and they responded in droves. Among them you’ll find a note from Flick, too.

“It’s just like, ‘I love you, I miss you, come back to Portland,’” he says. “I don’t necessarily think of the loss or life without him as much as I think about how things were when we were together.”

Someday, Flick says, he may love again. But not yet.

“I like animal companionship,” he says. “But I don’t like the idea of replacing him, because he’s a pretty special guy.”

Abner Jay

My witness is the empty bowl and the warm lap, you love all, not just the kibble.

Aiden McDougal 
Everything is perfect about you, except when you eat the garbage (such a small price to pay for unconditional love).
Love, Your mommas

To the dog that is always licking her butt, eating the turkey from the grocery bag before we catch you, and keeping us up at night with your incessant whimpering...Happy Valentine’s day. You forever complete our family. Josh and Jenni

Apollo and Orion
mew meow maw. kitties, oh kitties. thanks for letting us buy the house so you could run it. we enjoy being your bitches. that is all. meow.

You make my dreams come true. Especially when I dream about being nipped in the middle of the night, or cuddling with you as you purr. I forgive all the sickness. Meow!

BABY (the cat)!
Twelve years of purrfect love! Your squeaks, nudges, & purrs have added fullness to my life that can never be duplicated. Chloe thanks you for being the best fur buddy in the world!

I love you my furry needy princess. Even when I’m in bed & you notice I’m awake so you meow and walk all over me till I get up. Not that you’re hungry or want to play, just to have me up. But, I’m glad you flew with me here from Florida. 

I love you for distributing
the contents of the kitchen garbage bags into more manageable collections on the living room carpet. How thoughtful of you to help

Bama Rama Little Boy Blue, I Love You!

Becky & Brian
How to express the happiness our Chinese cats give us daily. After many tests, pokes and probes, an 18-hour-plus plane ride (with 3 transfers), their own passports…so happy to be in Oregon. Trees, grass, clean air and water, birds, squirrels AND mice! Happy Day you two, happy every day. Love you much, G and G.

Beija Georges
I love you the most, my magical Ouija-Mon Teddy Spaghetti. Thank you 4 being a teen corgi/sharpei dream. I love you so much more than your sister Wishbone. But I still won’t take u to see Katy Perry. xoxoxo Nicole 

Some say I rescued you from that shelter but I realize now that it was you who rescued me.

My dearest kitty cat Benny, you filled my heart with joy again after I lost of my dog of 15 years, Toby, to brain cancer this year. I love how you come to your name to be snuggled and loved. I love how you cry when you are separated from me. In many ways, you are more dog than cat. So please stop peeing on the bed or my boyfriend will give you away. 

My dearest, most handsome Billy-Poof...you are my little life partner and my best friend. I’ve loved the last 10+ years we’ve spent together and am so happy you trusted me enough to let me bring you in off the cold stinky streets back in B.C. I love you so much! You are my Valentine, sweet Bill. Thanks for being awesome. Love always, your Daddy 

Binca LaRue
Lover of everything and everyone who knew her, has passed on. She is sorely missed this St. Valentine’s Day. Rest in peace, my little Rue.

Blanche and Dorothy
To our golden girls -
Who says your valentine has to be human. You love us unconditionally and bring happiness to our lives every day. So, this valentine is for our two adorable dachshunds, Blanche and Dorothy...will you be our valentine? -S&B

Blue Bowen
As soon as we locked eyes at the animal shelter, I knew we were to become inseparable. I don’t mind that you ate my favorite hat, and always steal and hide my socks. You are my best friend, and I love you so much. Thank you for being part of our family.
Love your mum.

We are so lucky someone decided they didn’t want you anymore—their loss is our big win. You filled that hole in our heart that was left when we lost Jake in November. We love you more than chocolate, candy and flowers, and hope that you love us more than bones, tennis balls and trips to the park too!

Mr. B - wonderful combination of tough and sweet - attacking a prowler - guarding our baby grandchildren - always ready to play - credit to all German Sheps - many thanks - fondly remembered

The whole dog world can just shut it down—you’ve got this. Love, Zeke, Quimby, Patience, Rhoda, Bunt, The Swede, and all your friends at WW.

How do I let you know how much I love you? It’s only been a short time we’ve been together, just think of all the fun adventures we have in our future. Here’s to us you old lucky guy!

Bud Pardo Epstein
“Ode to Bud”
Oh, Little Man
Hungry all the time
Still spazzing at the mailman
Like you did in your prime

Coat like milk chocolate
Paws, frosted white
Eyes, golden caramels
Such a sweet delight

You came from mean streets
But us? Meant to be
Now we both know
YOU rescued ME

You’ve been my buddy for over 10 years. You sit on my chest and claw my beard when I’m sleepy, you wait patiently for me to work through my hangover before I feed you in the morning. You love the ladies as much as me. You are the best tabby cat ever.

Since we met, you’ve bravely weathered countless shitstorms by my side. Your hopeful eyes staring into mine, the sole reason I got back up and struggled to make a better life for us when I wanted to curl up and die. You have my heart for eternity. Love, Mama.

Buster Nutts Brown
You are the fastest wiener dog in PTown, you’re so fast you even ran away from the pound and into my life, turning my frown upside down, and that’s why you’re my Buster Nutts Brown! Happy Birthday and Valentine’s Day to the biggest and fastest Wiener Dog around, and I’ll always be picking your poop up off of the ground!

Oh the places you did go. la new york tokyo.
escaping on planes gave you a rush. coast to coast the vets’ biggest
pet crush. we all miss your charming fuzzy ways. and think of you
fondly every day. meow.

Cash (puppy) and Ebi (kitty)
Mom and Dad love you kids. We pick up your poo and give you crunchy food to your heart’s desire!
Hugs and Kisses,
Mom and Dad

OMG! Your perfectly adorable face and head tilt! COME CUDDLE WITH ME!

Even though you are no longer with us. You will forever be in our hearts. We all miss you especially your cat friend Linus. Thanks for a wonderful 12 years. Love, Mom & Dad

Chester and Chance
You claw up my roommate’s stuff. You eat my headphones. You vomit on my bed at 5 AM. I scoop your poop...yet, I still let you live here. If that doesn’t say I love you, perhaps this ad will. I love you.

Hunter of bed mice, white feathers, and everything that moves. I love it when you get The Darts, the Scootsies, and the Rollsies. I love the way you demand food and all your “help” folding laundry. You’re the cutest cat in the world! I chews you! Love, Sara

Chewie Lee
Our eyes first met 6 years ago, the saddest looking girl in the pound.
We’ve laughed, cried, sang, napped...and napped more
You’re the best bitch ever, til death do us part
And even though you’re old and grey, you always have the key to my heart

Chloe (the dog)!
Thanks for all the licks & hugs over the years! You’ve added more love in my life that I didn’t know was possible. You’re the best frisbee catcher this side of the Mississippi! furBaby loves your companionship 4ever!!!

My little poofball with all your fur, you are a little pupcake. When the snow falls down you get little snow balls in your hair it is so cute. You only weigh 3 pounds and you are full grown. I love your personality. You make our family laugh, and you make are family complete from your admirer, ???

You are the best puppy the best in the world. Coco ,you are a little pupcake. I love you so, so, so, much. You are very cute and silly. The first time I laid eyes on you I knew you were perfect. Sometimes Coco is crazy but we still love her. I love you to pieces, Coco.

To our lovely little Coconut. You are a bright, shining light and we are so lucky to have you... Who rescued who?

I love that you know just when to wake me up, by scratching incessantly at my bedside.
I love your love of crumpled TriMet tickets, and your ability to play fetch for hours on end with them as you launch yourself down the stairs and return with your prize.
I love your soft, soft fur, and your attention to detail at bath time.
I love your sweet, little, wet nose.
And your 3 extra toes.
I’ll love you ’til the end of time.
Please, please, please stay mine!

Dame Isabella Donna deBlanco (Bella)
I am a Wiccan, and as such believe in familiars. My Bella is my familiar—a part of my soul left behind in heaven to rejoin me in animal form to make this life more tolerable. I love her so much and cannot fathom a day when she won’t be by my side.

When you joined our family, we thought about changing your name, but we soon realized that you are so a Danci with an “i” and over that i is a heart instead of a dot. We heart you bigtime! The Hasan Family

Dandy Lion
You are the best cat on the face of the planet. I can never say no to your big fluffy kittycat face. My door will always be open to you when you want pets. You are my neighbor’s cat, but you have a warm place in my heart. I love you, Dandles.

Darby and June Bug
What zany antics you bring into our home. You both are as crazy as Icarus who flew to close to the sun. Why fly when you can calmly clomp clomp your paws and not make us so dizzy. Pretty soon this entire partnership will progress into a treasure of memory and togetherness. Ant & Bee.

You are the #1 dog.
You were twice as big and a lot more bitey than we thought you’d be when we adopted you. Now that you know we won’t abandon you or hurt you, you’re the sweetest and most loyal and intelligent pal anyone could ever ask for.

To the only man whose never let me down,
We’ve been through a lot together: 9 moves, 3 states, 2 coasts, 2 ex-boyfriends, 2 hospital stays, hell, you’ve even done time at the pound. Twice. Through it all it’s always been us. At 18 years you’re my longest (healthy) relationship. Anyone who knows me has to go through you first. We’re a package deal, always have been and always will be. What gets me through most things is knowing that no matter what, I have to do right by you. I almost lost you this year and it was scary. Some people called it a Christmas miracle. I call it modern veterinary science and $1,000. But then again, knowing what you mean to me, what we mean to each other, maybe someone or something new that I’m not strong enough to be without you. Not yet. I love you...even though you always come between my boyfriend and me...literally...every night. Egyptians believed that cats serve as the temporary resting place for human souls. That must be true. You are a crotchety, dirty old man. My valentine, my cat David.

You are not just my best friend, but my family and I am so glad I rescued you because we needed each other.
You are such a good boy, Stinky, and the best hound around.
I love how excited you are to see me after work and our trips to the dog park.
I love how you snuggle with me when I am down and I love when you get your fox and run around the house.
I couldn’t have asked for a better dog.
Happy Valentine’s Day.

Dexter and Willy
You cuddle with the best of ’em. You’re little...tiny even. You both know how to throw your own toys for solo entertainment and you’re ridiculously cute. Because of this, I will look past the accidents, farting, and eating of cords, socks, headphones and bras.
Love you furever (GET IT?!).

The man who was selling you asked me, “Do you want a mean one, or a nice one?” (Southern accent) Although you constantly have goopy eyes and scabs all over you, I’m glad I picked you that fateful morning. I wouldn’t want anyone else to take up half the bed...and well, no one else ever will. Thanks for being there sweet D and for living up to my choice of a “mean” kitty. Your tiny head is one that only I could love. 

I know love shouldn’t hurt, but sometimes I love you so much that it does.  The amount of time I spend thinking about you might disturb some people, but I’m certain you’re the embodiment of unconditional love. You are the Dooley Lama.

Your bad breath, your stinky bum, I love both, but they make some run. Your snaggletoothed grin, your yappy bark, let me know I’m safe in the dark. The scale says 6 lbs., your brave heart says 60, conquering any fear and adventure with me. I love you Eddie! 

You came and you made us so happy, now we love you so much, it’s sappy. You have such a sweet little noggin, you are my Valentine’s Day doggin. 

Your late-night sprints down the hallway, high-pitched squeals followed by a quick spin to seize your tail and silly puppy smiles ignite many giggles; your snuggles spark great warmth; and your precious essence continually opens my heart.

Fergie Davis
Feisty, funny, smart & well-read, she hails from Amish Country, our little redhead, give her commands she turns the other cheek, kisses she supplies every day of the week! Thank you red-haired devil for all that you do on V-Day & beyond, we will eternally love you!

I love your squishy little Persian face & how you snort & snore.
I love that you sit next to me for dinner & eat my maple syrup. I love that you stand on one leg, like a pirate, when you use your litter box. That really makes me laugh.

I love every ounce of you. All 272 ounces. Forever and ever. Please get off my chest.

Roses are red, violets are blue. Even when you poop in the corner, I still love you and want to snuggle.

Snort snort sniff sneeze. Sneeze sneeze sniff hump. Head-tilt. Sneeze sniff. Burp fart sneeze, head-tilt.
Sniff sneeze fart,
Love, Dad

Roses are red
Violets are blue
My best friend is orange
With a heart of gold so true!

Guido aka Burrito
I saved you from a trailer park, starvation, and my creeper ex that tried to steal you. You saved me from myself. I vow to hide your pills in tasty treats and supply you with a plethora of toys. Who’s the best boy? That’s right, it’s you.

Hamster Igor
I send my highest regards and blessings from under the rose bush. Unfortunately I have passed on and am awaiting the apocalypse to return as a zombie. Please know that your new family will treat you with nothing but respect and kindness. Enjoy my wheel.
-Hamster Shiva

You are a ray of sunshine!  Thank you for brightening every day with your sassiness and loving spirit!

Henry & Sunny
Oh little schnuggies, we love you so! We love to watch you play and grow. In our hearts you’ll always be, soft and snuggly and cute as two peas!

You are my friend, you are my kid,
I love you despite the carpet stain that you did.
I’m so proud of how well you were reared,
I don’t like puns, because they make me feel weird,
But, Holden, you’re the Valentine I want to be “holden.”

Even though you are not my dog, I love you. You, with your sass and your small-dog swag. No other Westie has been able to capture not only my heart, but my soul like you have. We are sisters, Iv. Sisters forever!

Jack Jensen
Without you I would not know the smell of kitty poop as well as I do. Without you, I would not know what a hair-free toothbrush would taste like. Because of you, my life is filled with laughter and joy. Happy valentine’s day to my stinky boy. 

Puppy J, This year marks out 10th year together (or thereabouts). Thank you for being such a great dog. You make every day better. I love you, pups.

Jeremiah Weed
To my sweet fish face,
you light up my world.
I couldn’t ask for a better fish
To come home to each day.
Thank you for being a great
Listener. You read my energy.
It is true. I love you.

Happy Valentine’s day to the cutest, most loving puppy ever! Love, Mommy

Killa Finnagen  
Remember when you attacked the neighbor for climbing in our window, or when you bit the rude vet, the way you sleep in front of the bedroom door to ward off evildoers? We love the way you run to the door when we come home, the way you prove your loyalty by viciously attacking everyone but us. Thank you for being the best guard dog a cat could ever be. 

Since the day I adopted you, you have brought me much happiness and given me insane amounts of love. You’re the best dog a girl could ask for and I love you (even if you fart like a beast). 

I love you more than you love wet food. Thank you for always greeting me belly up at the door, no matter how bad of a day I’ve had it always makes me smile. Let’s play paw-paw and be BFFs forever!

You are my Sancho, my Watson, my Tonto, my Robin, my Silent Bob, my Gabrielle, my Garth, my Ethel, my Vanna, my Garfunkel, my Willow, my Weasley, my Costanza, my Al Gore, my Hobbes, my Samwise, and my Chewbacca. Thanks

Just over a year ago, you came into our home and our hearts. You helped us heal old wounds, gave us unconditional love and made us laugh more than once. We love you more than words can say, Little Monster!

You came into my life as a rescue dog...tiny...only 6 weeks old, but so full of life! Amber, Veda and Tucker became your Moms and Dad. From day one you tried to “hang” with the big kids and often got tired...now you are all grown and can hang with the gang. I love you for being part of my family...for introducing me to other people through dock jumping...for being my little furball that could!!!! —your Mom Silvia

Lil’ G
I love you even though you smell like ass.

Though more sour than sweet you are, you have been my loveliest pet by far. Never have I met a feline with such sass in her glare, and because of that glare I know you don’t care but...Happy Valentine’s Day anyway! 

My little one, baby bear, kookie monster, cuddle fish, sweetie pie, springer spaniel/border collie, wagger wag cakes, little face, dogs with jobs...You make PDX worth living! Happy Valentine’s Day to you and all the little ones in the world! -Mama bear

Lily and Jake
I regret to inform you that after ten years of trying, both of you have repeatedly failed to qualify for the Mensa Cat Society of America. But since you’ve cuddled with me through 8 breakups and cancer, and haven’t pooped on the floor yet, I’ll keep you.

Linus and Indiana Bones
“Mirror mirror on the wall
Who’s the sweetest Valentine of All?”
Linus is so cute
He is a bit aloof
While with Indiana Bones
You’ll find Trouble is his “jones,”
So when the verdict’s in
It’s the one with the grin
That brings bacon home again!
PetLove Valentines they win

You stretchy-paw my face to get me to pet you and are a general furry nuisance. You’re lucky you’re so cute and helpless, because at 5 am every day, I am tempted to let the raccoon in our yard have you as his dinner instead of feeding you your breakfast.

Lola, the bulldog (nickname Loles)
It’s Valentine’s Day
Lola, my girl
You’re such a good laugh...
The best dog in the world

So today, let’s wrestle
And play Tug O’ War
We’ll snuggle and hug
Between naps and snores

No denying it, Loles
You’ve stolen my heart
In spite of the drool
And frequent farts

My love for you is so great that I don’t even care if you poop in the house. Now in your golden years, know without a doubt that Mommy will go into debt keeping you alive. My Heart Will Always Belong To You, Mommy

It’s hard to believe it’s been two years since we busted you out. We promise to protect you from the vacuum cleaner and Carolina Kitty if you keep up your vigilance against kids on skateboards and guys with hats. Happy Valentine’s Day to our favorite rascally terrier!

Lucy Spotted Tongue Burn Strong
Our memory of life before you has vanished; likely because we can’t imagine life without you, sweet girl. Your bear and skunk parents are thankful beyond words. Thank you for crossing over into the human realm and injecting your canine joy and unconditional love into every day. 

To my pup,
I woke up this morning
and what did I see?
A wrinkled up Pug face
Just staring at me!
She had big black eyes
And a short little nose.
Soft velvet ears
folded up like a rose.
Just inches away
She gave a big wheeze,
Sucked in some air,
Let out a giant sneeze!
A joy? A pleasure? A thrill?
It IS not!
To be waked in the morning
By a spray of Pug snot!
-Author Unknown

Luke and Doug
Even though you sometimes look like a creepy clown, and even though you throw up every time you get in the car, I still love you. You’re the best monsters a gal could ever ask for.
Love, Caity

Please, pretty please with salmon and bacon on top, please be my Valentine. I love watching you eat, play and sleep. You are so perfectly furry and I don’t care that your breath sometimes smells like your bottom. You are the pup for me.
Love, Dan

Madeline (Maddy)
I could never express how much I love you so I just shower you with affection and cuddles instead. You bring me endless joy and amusement. People tell me all the time what I already know, and that is you are the cutest and sweetest pug ever.

Madeline Hayes
Just like all pretty girls, you are batshit crazy, I have no idea why you are so obsessed with my socks, but I can’t quit you, and if I was still in high school, I would take you to the prom!
Love, Dad

Click on the image below for a full-screen slideshow of all the submitted pet pics

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