Friday, I had to say goodbye to my best friend after 13 1/2 years.
Truthfully, at first, I wanted her sister to be my BFF, but I was outvoted. I named her Roxy and from that first day, we were inseparable. She chose me as her human. I was a stay-at-home-mom then so I did everything for this sweet baby from 6 weeks old on. I potty trained her and taught her to sit & shake. She was a shit head a lot of her younger years. Always eating something she wasn’t supposed to like Xmas presents that were wrapped under the tree or the baseboards of the house. Smh. But her gorgeous, sweet face always made me smile and laugh. The way she would chase the water from the hose or hop into the tub when it was time to take a bath. The way her jowls would get hung up on her teeth and she’d look like Elvis. An underbite only a mother could love.
She started out sleeping in the bed with me so when I felt her stir at night, I could take her out. She got too big to sleep in the bed how she wanted to sleep in the bed because she would punch ‘n stretch out on my face or back. So she got moved to the floor for nighttime sleeping in a dog bed right next to me.
She wouldn’t let me out of her sight for more than 5 min, she always had to know where I was and what I was doing. She would walk into the bathroom and see me sitting on the toilet and was like, “oh ok, there you are” and leave but she be outside the door waiting for me. This continued through her life. She had separation anxiety and FOMO 🤣 We were like peas and carrots. My ride or die.
A couple years ago when she was 10 or 11, maybe even 9, she started to show signs of old age. Slowing down, back legs started slipping on the slicker floors, and she was already starting to gray but it started moving all over her face instead of just the black on her snout turning. I bought rugs to line a path for her to help slow the progression and make it easier for her. She started to get smellier faster than normal. Started falling more ‘n more. Everything got really bad this last year and she was falling all the time, rugs or not. Her back legs would just go willy nilly and trip her up. She got out of breath so easily and every time she tried to get up was a struggle. Once she fell, she couldn’t get herself back up so me or my daughter would have to pick up her caboose and get her straight again. You could tell Roxy was defeated and hated it, but she still chugged on. She used to be the princess who didn’t want to get her feet wet and would rather hold it than go outside in the rain. But she learned to love it the last couple years. She would just go stand in the grass and sniff the air, wagging her nubbin and feeling the rain. It made me so happy to see her happy. It made me feel that she still wanted to be here with me. So I held on. I held on tight. Of course her good days outweighed her bad ones so I kept fighting with her and trying to make everything easier for her. But when the bad days started outweighing the good, I knew it was time to let her have some peace. I’ve never had to witness it because the last pet I decided to let her go, she passed as soon as we got to the vet and no needles were involved or anything.
I had a mobile vet come for Roxy because she would be stressed enough just having strangers around not to mention trying to get her in the car and her not liking the car etc. I held her face in my hands and my daughter hugged her around her neck. I whispered to her even though she was deaf, “it’s ok, it’s ok”. “Sweet dreams, baby. Sweet dreams.”
Every time I come out of the bathroom a jolt runs through me when I see she’s not there. Every time I turn the corner to come into my bedroom a jolt runs through me when I see she’s not there. I used to stay in my bed as long as possible in the mornings so I didn’t wake her. I can still feel the weight of her head in my hands. Her floppy jowls bunched up. Everything I’ve done over the past 2+ years, I’ve thought about how I can run my errands or go to work and be home for my Roxy as soon as possible. Her anxiety got worse over the past couple of years and didn’t like me out of her sight so I tried to be here for her all the time, putting my life on hold for her. The pandemic helped a lot. I don’t think she would’ve fared well had I been working in the office instead of here by her side every day. Some things just work out for the best, I suppose.
I’m so glad I got to spend this time with her. She is deeply loved and will be dearly missed. My heart. My soul. My home.
RIP my sweet Roxy Girl. Sweet dreams. Mama loves you.
11/24/2007 - 4/2/2021