I'm so sorry Trina. I read the first line of loving your puppy forever and posted my reply before reading the blog. Now that I've read it, I'm ashamed of sharing my happy exuberance of puppy-life with you when your 4-legged loved one is suffering. I can imagine your heart breaking, your pain, your suffering, the ache in your soul, but I can't know exactly how you feel. Regardless, let me bore you with my own dog story and perhaps show you the light at the end of the tunnel. I wish I could be more linguistically prudent, but sadly I'm long-winded so bare with me.
Over a decade ago, my significant other and I decided not to have children, we would get a puppy. We will call the significant other Bob for now. I wanted a big dog so I could walk him on the city streets at night and not be afraid. I found my baby, loved him and named him Tiberius, Bear for short. He was my life, my love, my child.
Bob and I moved out into a farmhouse in the country and Bear was super-happy. Acres to run around on. He snuggled me at night and often would stretch his 160pound self and kick me out of the bed. He thought he was a lap dog and would try to sit like a human on the couch. I was convinced nobody had ever loved a dog more than I, except for Bob.
As life in the country went on, Bear got happier, and I got sadder. This was not the life for me, Bob wasn't the life for me, and I left our home. I moved to a small apartment that didn't allow dogs in a beautiful town. I would visit my baby regularly to clean his beautiful floppy ears and trim his toenails and get my lovins. I also visited the farmhouse because Bob and I were still close, and my sister and her son had moved into a section of the large house to help with the mortgage and get out of the city they were living in.
Now to make a long story, much less longer than it could be, 9 months after I left, my sister was murdered by Bob and my sister's son and buried in the backyard of my farmhouse. There was nowhere for Bear to go. He couldn't come with me, so he went to Bob's uncle's farm. I convinced myself this was the best thing for Bear, he would have room to run and other animals to play with. It broke my heart.
About a year later, Bob's uncle showed up at the courthouse during one of the trials with Bear. Bear didn't recognize me. I cried. I wept on the courthouse stairs in to my Best Friend's arms. Pulling myself together, I continued to try to remind Bear of who I was, when recognition finally clicked in his big brown eyes, he kissed me all over with his big sloppy tongue. It was during this lovefest that I noticed nobody had cleaned his ears. His toenails were too long. He wasn't the spoiled little prince I had raised him to be and my already shattered heart broke a little more.
Fast forward a year later. Without going into more detail about my role in the murder investigation and the events following it, let's just say my life had flipped upside down and my world was torn apart. No amount of therapy or medication was helping me. The only thing that pulled me out of these episodes of sorrow and horror was my mom's dog Cara. A small little fluffy shi-poo who loves to give kisses and cuddle and does the cutest things. My "babysitting" and visiting time spent with Cara became known as Carapy as oppose to Therapy. It worked better. My other sister and my mom and my therapist kept pushing me to get a dog of my own, because it seemed to be the one thing that cheered me up, made me smile, and forced me out of the house. I couldn't do it. The guilt over Bear was overwhelming. I felt I didn't deserve another puppy. I would forever punish myself for not being there for him at the end, for not following through my promise of "As long as I'm living my puppy you'll be."
Finally, about 4 months ago I pushed past the guilt, or pushed it to a far corner of my mind, forcing myself not to go there anymore. I started to look for my own puppy. It took a long time, a lot of effort from my sister, my mother and my friends - but finally I found a sweetheart who "fit". I had to run it by my landlord, and part of me hoped he would say no. He's a sweet guy though, and knows what I've been through and said as long as it was small and quiet, it was cool with him. Damn, I thought. Now what will the excuse be? Because even I knew my guilt was slightly misplaced - I was looking for reasons not to get a puppy at every twist and turn without admitting aloud that Bear was the real cause of my delay.
Regardless, two weeks ago I met Princess Trixie. A 6.8 pound pile of Pomeranian love and cuteness. I smiled so much that first day I had her in my arms, that my cheeks ached. So far, she is the ultimate form of therapy.
Now Trina, I know loss. I know loss in a way nobody should ever know loss. To love and lose is horrendous. To love and know eventually that you will watch your love suffer and die takes a special kind of courage. We all get a pet knowing somewhere deep inside that we will outlive them. The point is to love them while we have them, for they are truly special creatures.
When your heart heals a little, and the crisis passes, remember the good times with Maddie, the love and happiness she brought to you, and more importantly, the love and happiness you brought to her life.
It may not seem like it right now, but it's worth it.
My deepest regrets and biggest hugs to you and yours, plus a kiss on the nose for Maddie,