I want to thank you all for saving me so much angst and a whole lot of money all these years. You allow me to write about whatever is on my mind and often times you help me get through some really tough stuff. Many of you take the time to write to me and give me your two cents. Your two cents are worth a million dollars to me.
Why did I choose today to thank you so profusely? I felt that I needed to let you know how much you, my loyal readers, give to me... and I really need you right now. I had the choice of faking some light-hearted piece of fluff that would have been painful to write or I could tell you why I am hurting, which would also be painful, but honest and genuine.
I think you all know by now that at LoveFifi.com, we bring our dogs to work. There are sometimes more dogs than people. There are dog beds in the warehouse where we pack your orders and in every office where we create the magic. The dogs wander around and nap wherever they please. We take company dog walks in the park next door and the 2 employees who don’t have dogs of their own often take “dog breaks” and spend some time playing and cuddling any one of the doggies. The environment here is amazing for all concerned.
Today I had to go and pick up the ashes of my beloved Babydoll. I had been dreading it for weeks and just could not bring myself to go and collect her remains. I did it today because I knew everyone was in the office and they would support me during the unveiling. I have been a mess for weeks. I miss her so much.
The last weeks have be very sad for me. Babydoll was a character. She was a true diva in every way. She had more clothes than I did. Although those who didn’t know her well thought of her as a prissy dog, she was actually a pretty tough soldier. Five years ago, she was attacked by huge muscular dog who was not on a leash. He tore her nearly in half and if it were not for the efforts of my brilliant veterinarian, she would have died. To this day, Dr. K says that she was the most injured dog he had ever saved. She was in the hospital for over a month and had several operations. She survived, but was really never the same.
The fact that she was persnickety was probably due to me. When I would take her on walks, she would put one paw on the grass and if it were wet, she would draw her paw back and look at me as to say “I don’t DO wet grass, thank you very much”. I always cooked her food. She enjoyed a diet of chicken and brown rice or lamb and cous cous. I warmed it up in the microwave and if I ever tried to save a little time by giving it to her room temperature, I would get this puzzled look and she would walk right into the kitchen and sit in front of the counter where the microwave was.
She always had a “poof” of long hair tied with a ribbon on the top of her head. She was a fashion icon in the dog world. She honestly loved wearing clothes and it worked well because she had a huge scar that went completely around her body. My friends and family delighted in buying her girly girl stuff that included lots of bling. Her collar was solid rhinestones.
A few years ago I adopted a little boy dog that I call Beau, who had been severely abused. He was and is very shy and the polar opposite of an alpha dog. That was Babydoll. She ruled the world. If I gave them each a bone, she would plot and conspire as to how she would steal Beau’s bone when he wasn’t looking. She wanted both bones and Beau always stepped aside for the Queen.
In November, Babydoll’s breathing became very labored. She had a collapsed trachea after the attack which became more and more of a problem as the years passed. She was on shots and meds for years to help her breathe. Her abdomen had ballooned to an enormous size and the vet said it was because she was taking in air trying to breathe. He kept her for 5 days and then called me in. He felt that it was time to start thinking about putting her down. I couldn’t bear the thought of not bringing her home for at least a little while. It really wasn’t for me, but for her. She had spent 5 days in a cement cell without her family and I knew I could medicate her and care for her and keep her comfortable. Because my vet has known me for over 25 years and because he is very attached to Babydoll, he agreed.
As soon as she got her home she was really happy. She slept a lot, ate well and continued to torture her brother, despite the fact that she had trouble keeping her balance and was weak. We got through Christmas and she continued to come to work with me. I watched her constantly to make sure she wasn’t gasping for breath or uncomfortable.
Towards the end of January, over a weekend, she didn’t want me out of her site. She just wanted to feel my touch and sleep next to me. I cut off her poof so I could pet her head gently as often as possible. I carried her around in a papoose–type dog carrier so she could be close to me. On January 25th, she stopped eating and drinking and I knew it was time. I called my vet at home and he met me at his office late at night. I held her while she went to heaven. I had arranged for her cremation and urn weeks before, so all that was left was to kiss Babydoll for the last time and hug my precious vet.
It took me a whole month to go and collect her urn, but I did it today. I brought it back to the office and my dear ones at work opened the box. I had her ashes put inside a rock that goes in the garden. It was the perfect place for her because she loved to bask in the sun on my patio like the movie star she was.
For those of you who are not animal lovers, you probably stopped reading this article paragraphs ago. For those of you who understand, I know you are feeling me right now. I am trying really hard to concentrate only on the joy and smiles she brought into my life. The sadness of her absence is heart-wrenching at times, but the change in Beau keeps me focused. He stopped eating for a few days when she didn’t come home, but after a while he realized that he was getting all my attention. He’s liking it big time.
If you have read this far, I thank you for sticking with me through this whole thing. I was not feeling funny today. For all of you out there who are pet owners, please give Rocky, or Sophie, or Bruiser an extra dose of love today in Babydoll’s memory. And thank you again for helping me get through a sad time by allowing me to write about it. I am grateful for every time she wagged her tail when I asked her, “Who is the cutest dog in the world?”. I never really minded it when I stepped on one of her squeaky toys in the dark and scared myself. I am thankful for all the help she gave me licking my ankles dry when I got out of the shower. It surely saved me lots of time in the morning. I cherish all the times she made me laugh at her antics and all the times she fell asleep in my arms.
When life is hard, I often find strength in the words of the great philosophers. Today is no exception.