I lost my dog, but she wasn’t just my dog. She was my soulmate, my shadow, my best friend, my constant, my everything.
I have two dogs, a Shih Tzu (brown male) and Lhasa apso (white female). I got them in my tumultuous twenties when I didn’t know what the hell I was doing with my life. I hopped from job to job, trying to make ends meet. I had a falling out with my family and I was cast adrift with only my dogs for companions in a cold, harsh world. My dogs became my support system and gave me the fuel I needed to keep going. They didn’t complain that we lived in the ghetto, had one window in the whole apartment or that the smell of cigarette smoke seeped through the walls. They didn’t care that I didn’t have a bed or that I worked two jobs with no days off for months. They didn’t care about anything as long as we were together.
My dogs have been my only constant for eight years and now one of them is gone. It’s like having twins and all of a sudden only having one half. The dogs adapted to my life no matter the circumstance. I dragged them across multiple states, across the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii and was in the process of moving us back to the mainland when my world flipped upside down.
It was a freak accident. My dog got into a large flower pot where my mom tossed old fruits and vegetables. Unbeknownst to us, my girl ate a piece of the old vegetables and it instantly made her sick. I didn’t know that this was considered compost or that it was toxic until I was standing in the vet’s office at nearly one in the morning with the vet telling me there was nothing she could do. It was surreal. My girl was gone in a little over twenty four hours, two weeks from our moving date.
She was the best dog I could ask for. She was loyal, protective, loving. If I left her overnight at my paren’ts house she would wait by the door until I returned. All I had to do was look at her and her tail started wagging. She was enthusiastic, unaware of her strength and always up for an adventure. She was fearless and full of life. I was her world and she was mine. She had a pillow beneath my desk and always let me know when it was time to take a break. She was the happiest dog and always waited patiently for me to open my eyes before she pounced. My dogs are opposites, yin and yang. My girl is the canine version of me- wary, protective, anti social. My boy is friendly, social, lazy. I know, we make a great team. 😊
I knew this move was going to be a massive change, but I never anticipated this. The dogs make any place a home and now I have to learn how to cope without my girl sleeping against my back or snuggled at my feet. I’m so happy that I had eight years with her. She made me a better person and kept me sane. Dogs are amazing creatures that I can’t imagine a life without. They don’t judge you by your appearance, credit score or what you can do for them. They love you for you. Period. They give and expect nothing in return. The only other people who do that are your parents… and sometimes not even them.
It would be remiss of me not to honor my girl when she’s played such a big part in my life. I dedicated Crime Lord’s Captive to my dogs who were there through the whole process and didn’t balk or cringe at my emotional outbursts. They just accept my crazy as part of who I am. Her death coming so close to our move has knocked me off balance, but I’m pushing through and having garage sales (ick) and cleaning and packing (double ick). The move seems to be simultaneously coming too fast and too slowly. I moved out of my apartment early because it suddenly seemed too large and quiet without her.
My boy is doing amazing considering all the massive changes going on and I’m monitoring him closely to make sure he gets past this. We’ve been the Three Musketeers for nearly a decade and now there’s a piece missing. It just doesn’t feel right.
My way of coping is to write. Hence, this blog post. I was hesitant to share something so personal, but I decided to do so because we all go through hard times. Loss sends a shockwave through your entire being and rattles you to your core. It reminds you how important it is to live in the moment and to love deep and true. Anything less is a waste of time.
Anything I had to do for her was worth it. I wish I could have had another decade, but I know even that wouldn’t be enough. The one thing that brings me comfort is knowing that she was loved while she was here and that I was with her at the end. She will be greatly missed for years to come.
Life is short. Make the most of it.