Man’s Best Friend & The Hole in Our Hearts – Goodbye “Baby Girl”

by on November 18, 2012

in bruce's thoughts

RIP Izzy Written Nov 18, 2012, 1938hrs

Saturday night, our dog Izzy died after several weeks of fighting a battle against some unknown ailment. This ailment was just a systemic failure and her life coming to a close and her leaving the planet.

We adopted her several years ago in a state known for its hunting culture. She had hit the ripe old age of 6 and was deemed useless as the tool she used to be and was dumped on the street. We found her on a shelter’s website, with a picture of her and one of the pieces of information about her being that she is easy to walk and never leaves your side. We later learned that that was code for “This dog has separation anxiety!”

Aside from that, she did indeed love walking with us, loved our cats and dearly loved us. And she had a few interesting quirks. Having been primarily a hunting dog, she didn’t know toys or played with things. But she did love grabbing cardboard things and not letting us have them. That tug-o-war, was her only fun aside from hanging by our sides. Her other quirky things turned out to be “chasing” fireworks, trains and roller coasters. Yes… roller coasters.

Here she is, chasing a roller coaster outside of Great America in Sunnyvale.

Crazy girl, that Izzy, off to save those hapless, screaming passengers!

She was a rare dog and one of the best. She even loved kids and was so gentle and patient with all she came in contact with. She was the most loyal friend a human could ever have in an animal, as she stayed within feet of us at all times, day or night. Some days, that seemed annoying. Right now, not so much.

We have wonderful memories of her and she went to the beaches, mountains, deserts and everywhere in between with us.  She saw much of this planet with us.

But then things got a little whacky with her health over the last few months. We chased her symptoms but it seemed she was trying to go away. Two weeks ago, I swear she sent me a dream.

I had dreamed that she jumped out of my truck and started walking in a relaxed trot down the busy sidewalk, away from me. I tried to catch up but somehow could not. She approached a street corner half a block away, in the shadow of a polished brown colored stone building and she took one last calm look over her left shoulder at me, turned left, and disappeared.  I rushed to the corner and found myself staring at a field of flowing wheat, waving in a gentle breeze. That was the last I ever saw of her in my dream.

As you can imagine, It messed with my head pretty badly.

Then last week she had a resurgence of energy and we almost had a normal dog for a few days. In fact way too normal as she started busting down gates to get at our cat’s food. Which was weird for her, but hey, she was acting like a dog.

Then suddenly on Friday things started to change and we took her into the vet Saturday afternoon. We had to leave her in the ICU, something she hated… being away from us.  That was the last we saw our “baby girl” alive. Apparently she got agitated that we were gone and they couldn’t calm her down. And then a few hours later they called us to come back, but we weren’t fast enough. Too many damn stop lights along the way on the longest drive of our lives.

They called us as we were rushing into the lobby of the vet’s, to let us know she just passed.

Izzy walking away to somewhere better

Now all those things I found annoying about her, are just huge silent gaps of her absence. All those times we had to step over her, is now just a big empty spot in the hallway. All those nights of having to turn up the TV to hear it over her breathing… is not somberly quiet. The cats stare at where her mattress and towels used to be in the bedroom. They knew. On that last day she was with us, one of them kept sitting at her feet that entire day.

For weeks after she left us I kept looking out the back door, looking for her. But there was nothing but empty grass. Nothing to clean up.

The dream haunted me, as if she was saying goodbye. Our “abandoning” her at the vet, where she died without us, will be something I will never be able to let go of.

There is such a huge painful silent gap in our lives. We miss our buddy terribly. We never expected this last visit to the vet to be her last, but one of many more.

The next time you’re annoyed with your dog-buddy, try to not get too upset. One day, you just might find yourself missing those quirky things and hating the gap called silence, where your dog use to occupy.

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