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.







  1. Robin Whitmore on July 20, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    I am so, so, sorry Mia. I wish I had the words to make you feel better. I have lost many family members over the years. I call my “pets” family cuz that is what they are to me. Right now I have 2 dogs, a Chihuahua, and a Yorkie. I know what you mean when you say, your dogs are always there for you. I have had breast cancer and now ovarian cancer. Those dogs were gifts from God for me. Their love has made such a difference in my life, the comfort they give. I was so touched by your post. I just needed to tell you that You hang in there. I understand, and I am sure other readers of your’s will too. Going to say a prayer, that God will see you through this.,
    Kind Regards,

    • Mia on July 20, 2017 at 6:14 pm

      Thank you Robin. This was one of my worst fears in the flesh. I’m happy that I still have my boy. It’s hard seeing the effect this has had on him. I’ve always had two dogs and I don’t want my boy to be alone so maybe once I settle in Vegas I will get another when we’re both ready… You are a strong woman! I tip my hat off to you for your trials. Dogs make a world of difference because their support and love is unwavering and boundless. Thank you for your prayers and kind words, they mean a lot to me.

  2. Coincidentally, my name is Robin, too on July 25, 2017 at 2:35 am

    I’m so sorry you lost your girl. While reading Recaptured by the Crime Lord, when Beau the pit bull was introduced and became part of the family, I realized that you are a writer who knows and loves dogs. I wanted to find out more about your books, and saw your comment made just a few days ago about the loss of your furry friend. I’ve loved and lost many beloved furry friends by now and it never gets easier. The last one I lost was big Rottie boy with a bigger heart. A dear friend sent me a placque that reads, “It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them, and every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. if I live long enough all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are.” I kind of doubt that I will ever love as selflessly as a dog, but it’s something to aspire to. Zelda Fitzgerald wrote, ” Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.” That I do believe. Dogs remind us of what love really is, in its purest form; selfless, forgiving, devoted and enduring. The depth of your grief reflects the depth of your love. I wish you comfort and the sustenance offered by your memories – those will never fade.

    • Mia on July 25, 2017 at 5:55 am

      Hi Robin, I love those quotes. It brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much! I’ve gotten a lot of “they’re just dogs” from people. If people can love their cars, houses and other inanimate objects, how much more would you ‘love’ a being who has feelings and returns that love, unreserved? It makes me feel better hearing from people like you who understand and sympathize. I saw a post recently of someone ranting that dogs are not babies. I know dogs aren’t babies, but that doesn’t make them any less important or undeserving. Anyway, thank you for taking the time to write me such beautiful words. It means a lot to me.

  3. Binta on July 25, 2017 at 4:36 am

    I am truly sorry for your loss. It’s almost 1:00am here and I don’t know what made me come onto your site and read your blog. But I’m glad I did. I too have lost dogs and it’s heart wrenching. I still cry and it’s been almost a year. I recently got a Lab for my little one who’s 4 years old, but the dog is almost as big as he is. My Lab is a puppy but the biggest dog we’ve had so it’s an adjustment for the 3 of us. However, not a single day goes by that I don’t miss or think of my other loves. I miss them. But I think about how much they loved me and my son.
    I hope that the years you spent with her brings you deep comfort when you’re feeling low. God bless you and your boy.

    • Mia on July 25, 2017 at 6:04 am

      Aw Binta thank you! I wanted to write a post to express how much she meant to me so it means a lot to me that people are touched by it and are responding with their own stories of their loved ones that have passed. It’s crazy that she was such a big part of my life and yet she never spoke a word. She was just there, my rock. I don’t want her to be forgotten and yours and other replies make me feel like she lives on. I’m so happy I had her and would gladly do it all over again. Hearing that you got another dog but still miss the others makes me feel better since I’m thinking about getting another partner for my boy. You warmed my heart and made me smile through the tears. Thank you.

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