Remembering Joy – My Soul Dog

Celebrating Joy’s Life May 2010-January 2024

Joy Choose Me to be Her Person

Joy Has a Piece of My Heart


Joy was MY girl. She chose me to be her person.
That had never happened to me before.
Joy was my Soul Dog. We had a kind of otherworldly connection.
Joy & I fit together with a much deeper bond
than any other canine companion before.
Joy was most content near me…

Baby Joy…
This is the day Joy came to live with us

My husband with tiny Joy

Puppies don’t stay very little, for very long.
Bruce put the miniature red bell on Joy
to help us know when she was up under us, to
avoid stepping on our tiny pup.

Joy loved getting a drink out of the river!

No photo description available.

Spring & Joy – what a story they had!

Joy Loved the Snow!

I grew up with dogs.
And Bruce and I had Shelties Summer, Autumn, Winter
and Spring before Joy.

Joy’s death has been like none of the other dogs who went before…

My husband & I live at 9,000 feet.
I’m a writer & a photographer.
Here we are relishing our favorite season
at home with Joy & Spring.

My soul remembered before my consciousness
did that February 20th was ‘love your pet day’.
I was anxious all that day.

Later I remembered –
exactly 4 weeks earlier – Joy had died.

We are having a hard time right now.

My back aches terribly with the stress of Joy’s passing.

Bruce was preparing the salad last night and he noted out loud how Joy loved carrots.

He was eating his fig newton after lunch and said – she’s not here to share it with or stare at me –

Joy would sit up so cute, watching Bruce eat his dessert, until he shared a crumb with her.

Joy had perfect ears; the tips bent over – so adorable! She was born with a broken tail.

She couldn’t pick her tail all the way up. She wagged it like a windshield wiper.

The spaces Joy used to occupy are now huge holes – how can such a little dog leave such big gaps…

My husband
Spring (L) Joy (R)

I wrote a picture book about how Joy got her name, about Joy’s & Spring’s connection…
here’s a hyperlink to my books on my website.

You can see some of my picture book
& listen to me reading a bit from
my award-winning picture book,

Mountain Mutts -Joy’s Tale

Billy Graham said: “God will prepare everything
for our perfect happiness in Heaven,
and if it takes my dog being there,
I believe my dog will be there.”

Joy was most often near me.

Joy Loved the Snow!

Spring (bottom) & Joy

Joy & Spring

I am always taking pictures – always writing

like the mountains, photography & writing are my happy places

I write for our newspaper.

I write essays. I write books.

I take writing classes.

I write CNF – creative non-fiction.

My writing has won some awards.

I tell my stories in words & photographs.

Here’s a hyperlink to my website

where you can see more of my photographs

& read some of my different writings.

Joy loved getting a drink out of the river.

Wild mint grows by the river near our home in the mountains.

Joy loved going down to the river!

We live in a little valley, outside a tiny mountain village.

This is a great place for dogs to grow up and enjoy life!

Joy loved the snow!

Hope & Joy. Hope is our first border collie.
This is the day Hope came to live with us.

My husband gave Joy & Hope their beautiful names.

Celebrating the Feast of St Francis – Francis is the

patron saint of animals – we celebrate by have our pets blessed

Our oldest grandchild, Caleb Bruce & I
are making a sweet memory kite flying
Joy was most often near me…

Joy loved Elsa. I have a master’s in education.
I was Elsa’s nanny / tutor for 7 years,
from when she was 2 -years old to 9 years-old.
When Elsa was at our home,
Joy was near, sweetly watching over Elsa…

Joy running after the sled my husband is pulling with Elsa in it!

Elsa likes watching the fire.
Joy is watching over Elsa.

Elsa in time out…
Joy empathizing…

No photo description available.

The first time Elsa read Mountain Mutts –Joy’s Tale,
she said: “Can I take this book home with me?!”

This picture book is generally for 4-year-olds through 11-year-olds.
It has also been given to comfort people whose dog died
and for new puppy dog owners.

Mountain Mutts – Joy’s Tale
is available in English and Spanish.

The Spanish teacher at our school uses it in her classroom.

Children tell me to write more books like
Mountain Mutts-Joy’s Tale!

Mountain Mutts- Joy’s Tale by Julie A R Stephens,
should be available wherever books are sold.
It is hardback and usually retails for $15.

There’s a free download on the books section of my website, especially for teachers

or homeschooling that accompanies the picture book. Scroll down slowly until you see it.

Joy loved the snow…

Joy loved the river…

We said a prayer in appreciation for Joy’s life…

Thank you for letting me share my heart with you.

Are you a dog person?

Have you ever had a Soul Dog?

Tell me…

“Walks in nature are hugs for my soul.” Julie A R Stephens

Living in the Mountains

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14 thoughts on “Remembering Joy – My Soul Dog”

  1. Julie, I hadn’t heard that you lost your Soul dog. I’m so very sorry. I feel your heartbreak in my bones. I still think of my precious Bardie every day. My heart is with you.

  2. Awww. I have tears. I’m so very sorry. What a beautiful tribute to Joy. My heart hugs yours.

  3. Oh oh oh….I’m so very sorry 😞 I feel your aching heart in mine. What a Love bestowed upon you… JOY. You are in my prayers, now. Sending a hug and shoulder to catch some more tears. Love you, friend.

  4. What a beautiful tribute to your friend. I have always thought that dogs represent chapters of our lives; they demark eras. A child is nearly grown in a dog’s life span; I was a much younger woman when we got our two current four legged companions.

    You gave her a wonderful life and in return, she gave you all the love and loyalty in her heart. And those, in my opinion, is a perfect bargain.

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