remembering our best friend

May 7(?), 2002 — May 24, 2007

She came into our lives the summer of 2002, and entered our hearts instantly.

She chose us, we chose her — it was a perfect match. She was about 9 weeks old, a sweet rescue mutt with a huge heart and a ton of love to give and receive. On our way home for the first time, I cried tears of happiness as she nuzzled her soft little fuzzy face into my chest and rested her chin there, her eyes gazing up at mine.

We spent a lot of time together in those first weeks — playing, walking, training, napping. Every day for lunch the Amazing M went home to play and walk her. We all developed an incredible bond. Even our 12 year-old kitty seemed enamored by her, after having had us to himself for more than a year since our old pup had died at age 12. He was bigger than her, at first. She was a precious pup, just so special. 

To say she served as our surrogate child back then and through the years we tried to bring home a real live baby is not an exaggeration. She was not only our best friend. On her we bestowed all of our parental love and attention for nearly five years — through infertility, pregnancy, loss, depression. She was the vessel into which we poured that love and affection, for better or worse.

The depth at which we felt love for this pure, gentle being was profound. Her presence brought so much joy. Our home and hearts are much emptier without her. 

We had become a family, the four of us. Yes, she was a dog. She was our puppy. And we loved her as though she was our child. Even though she wasn’t human.

I can see her warm brown eyes, her long beautiful tail, her gorgeous coat, her hilarious smile, the Seussical toe-fur emerging from between her paws. I can hear her lapping up water with such perfect rhythm. I see her sprawled out on the kitchen floor to eat — she’d lie down, get comfy and dine while reclining.

We organized our days and routines around her needs and pleasures. We planned vacations with her in mind, choosing dog-friendly locations and activities. We explored new places together. We had play dates for her. We met new people because of her. A walk with her was always a wonderful way to enjoy some fresh air and clear your mind.

She attended family events and holidays, knew every member by name and would get very excited to see each one. She adored our nieces and nephews, loved playing with them. She loved, I mean loved, babies. She was always so gentle and protective with the babies, so quick to share a tender kiss if allowed. Seeing her so sweet with a small child brought tears to my eyes more than once. We knew she would be the best family friend to greet our baby one day, if and when he/she would ever come.

She licked my belly when I was pregnant and laid with me on bedrest. She comforted me when I sobbed my heart out in a pile on the floor, kissing away tears from my face and hands.

She brought such joy with her sweet gentle nature and pure, unconditional love. She could brighten the darkest day. She made us laugh often. She was so eager to please in her sweet funny way.

She would dig deep in her toy basket searching for the special little nub of a bone she had whittled away — and be so thrilled when she’d find it at the bottom. She would always pull out just the right toy to entertain herself. I can see her holding a big bone between her fuzzy paws, head tilted in a near trance while she gnawed happily, hind legs splayed behind like a frog. I see her playing with a new “greenie,” throwing it around the room in anticipation before gobbling it down.

Often you could find her digging through the drawers or laundry for socks (she had a fetish). Socks were both a plaything and a security blanket for her. She loved them well, yet never destroyed them. 

I can see her in play mode, urging you to join in. She’d even challenge our old kitty to play or chase. Her tail would wag in excitement at the dog park when she’d first spot an old friend, then they’d run to greet each other, as in a slow motion romantic scene in a movie.

I loved the way she’d carry her soccer ball ever so gently in her mouth after kicking it around, and how she’d play with a tennis ball on the hill by our old house, holding it just right so it wouldn’t roll down to the street.

I loved how she’d plop herself down under a tree in the shade after hard play, telling us she was done. Such a good girl.

Greetings were one of her most favorite things. She’d smile and grunt in delight with a full body wag, shower you with love and kisses, jump from chair to chair, run from room to room in excitement until the moment had passed. This routine could bring a smile to your face after even the crappiest day.

She was a wonderful creature of habit who loved her routines and rituals. She enjoyed digging at the beach, hiking on trails, playing at the dog park, camping. But she didn’t care what we did, really. She was so happy just to be with us, no matter what, just to be part of the pack. We spoiled her so. How could we not? She really was the. best. dog. ever. 

She was young, just five years old when we lost her without warning almost a year ago. One day last May she simply dropped dead from a heart attack (due to an unknown genetic defect). At least she was at one of her happy places, the dog park. Losing her so unexpectedly was devastating. We had said goodbye to other animals from illness and old age, but this was a shock. She left us far too soon.

It happened on moving day. What we thought would be a celebration was just terribly sad. We were just about to begin our new lives together. But her time was up before we ever got to say goodbye.

RIP, beloved friend. We are so grateful to have known you. Our lives are not the same without you. 

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~ by luna on May 7, 2008.

37 Responses to “remembering our best friend”

  1. Such a wonderful tribute to a gorgeous, wonderful animal. It’s amazing how they touch our lives, just being themselves. Thank you for sharing her story, and your love for her. Just a beautiful post.

  2. I know we have talked about our pets before–and its so tough to loose a special friend. She was a beautiful dog–and how lucky she was to have you all as best friends.

  3. Oh what a wonderfully beautiful post. How lucky she was able to have YOU as her best friend!!

  4. OMG Luna, she is the She dog twin of my Max. The eyes are EXACTLY the same. The coat. The ears. Everything. I’m so incredibly sorry you lost her so young.

  5. A beautiful post.

    I lost my dog (fur-baby) Ben in August last year. He too was young (4). He died very suddenly and the loss was devastating.

    It was a catalyst for me to move faster with my TTC plans. The grief is real AND the LOVE is too.

    You will always have a special place in your heart for her

  6. What a beautiful tribute to your sweet pup. I’m sorry for your loss.

  7. What a beautiful girl, both inside and out. I see why you loved her so.

  8. She was so sweet. What a lovely remembrance.

  9. Luna, that was just beautiful. She was such a beautiful girl, and clearly brought you so much joy. About 6 weeks ago, I wouldn’t have really understood the depth of your connection, but since I got my own dog, I really understand. I’m so very sorry you lost her so young, and I wish you much peace and healing as you remember her presence in your lives.

  10. She was a beautiful dog. Oh, how you must miss her. I am sorry you didn’t know her longer. That was such a special tribute to her.

  11. Oh Luna, what a sweet dog, & what a moving tribute to her. I’m so sorry. (((hugs)))

  12. I can’t stop crying now. Anyone who has loved and lost a dog will feel the same – they are so much more than “just” a pet. She was beautiful and I wish you’d had more time with her. It sounds like she didn’t suffer, which is something to hang onto – and it sounds like you gave her such a very happy life.

  13. Such a wonderful tribute to what sounds like was a wonderful dog. Thank you for sharing. What a short life- so unfair!

  14. This is such a beautiful tribute to such a wonderful dog. Our animals are definitely part of our family in a way that only other animal lovers can understand.

  15. I understand how deep that connection runs. I bought my furbaby, Spunky, a few weeks after my 17 year-old sister found out she was pregnant. Spunky made coping easier; I had a focus for the attention that I longed to give to a baby. She’s an 8.5 year old tub of puppy pudge now, and I’m still grateful for her companionship then and now.

    What a sweet homage to your furry friend.

  16. What a lovely and lucky dog. I’m sorry her life was cut short so unexpectedly, but it sounds like she had a wonderful 5 years with you.

  17. Beautiful, Luna. I am so sorry you had to say goodbye to her, that she had to leave you in such a tragic, unexpected way. Thinking of you and your beautiful dog; I’m so sorry.

  18. I’m in tears. I have a dog that I call my infertility angel that I brought home at a low point in my IF journey and she literally saved my life. She has gotten me through my darkest days. All my love and affection has gone to her and she is just so special to me. SO I’m so sad that you lost your best friend Luna. I’m so so sad to hear that because I’m so attached to mine and can only imagine how hard that must have been to lose her so unexpectedly and so suddenly. Thank you for sharing her story. I truly know how much you can love a dog because my two furbabies are my children and I know I would risk my life for them. I’m glad you had a beautiful five years with her and she has forever touched your heart. Hugs to you.

  19. What a treasure! And that puppy face … well I just melted inside when I scrolled down. Sorry she was taken far too soon but clearly she was cherished and made to feel special every day she was with you.

  20. Oh, she was an absolutely beautiful dog! I’m so sorry she left you too soon. It sounds like she had a really great life with you.

  21. This beautiful post really captures what a wonderful dog she was, and how much she meant to you and the Amazing M. I’m so sorry that you lost her so suddenly and so prematurely – you should have had many more years together.

  22. Oh, geez. I’m bawling like a baby. Gotta collect myself.

    Beautiful words. Beautiful dog.

  23. What a beautiful dog, and how sad to lose her. I really felt your love–and your puppy’s love–in your words and pictures.

  24. Thank you for reminding me how much I treasure our two cats — and how we’ve always been a family together, baby or not.

    I’m so sorry for such a cruel and unexpected loss. Sounds like she enjoyed a lot of love in her short life, though. Thank God for our pets…

  25. Hi Luna –

    I loved your tribute to your pup. She was a beautiful dog, and sounds like she was a real sweetie. What soulful eyes. I understand how much you miss her.

    We lost a cat to cancer in 2005 – it all happened so suddenly. We buried her in the yard – I placed a photo and a letter I wrote to her in her grave. I think of her almost every day still.

    A year later, almost to the day, our other cat disappeared one morning. Probably a coyote. I still look for her every day because I don’t know for certain what happened to her.

    I hope that composing that post and selecting those beautiful photos helped you to grieve her loss.

    Hugs

    Alacrity

  26. Your photos are as beautiful as your words. Thinking of you. Thanks for thinking of me, too.

  27. oh my gosh, what a sad, sudden ending to a beautiful story, a beautiful girl. I can’t imagine what it must be like to lose a dog at such a young age. I am so sorry for your loss.

  28. […] Day weekend. One we lost to cancer at the near ripe old age of 12 in 2001, and then last year, our best friend unexpectedly left us at just 5 years old on May […]

  29. I just finished reading this post, and I am bawling my eyes out. I could see myself and my beloved dog in everything you wrote. He is my baby; we treat him like a child. He has been with me through every infertility treatment, through all my lupus-related illnesses and surgeries, through every disappointment and bad day. He knows when I don’t feel well, and he will refuse to leave my side. In the absence of a child, my dog is my everything.

    I am so sorry you lost your best friend tragically early and in such a traumatic fashion. For you to honor her with this post is amazing. She will always live on through your words and in your heart.

    Thank you for making me stop and appreciate my dog even more than I already did (if that is possible).

    I’m so glad to meet a fellow animal lover and I look forward to reading many more of your posts and getting to know you better.

  30. […] remembers our pup K as a part of our family. She used to shower him gently with kisses and never tired of playing […]

  31. […] the meantime, it has been two years since we lost our best friend, and we still miss her terribly. Thinking of you, sweet […]

  32. This is a beautiful tribute to such a gorgeous girl. As someone else who knows the love and loss of a beloved dog, I am touched by this entry (and crying my eyes out!). I found this a little later, but felt compelled to comment. What a sweet girl. I can see why she is missed so deeply.

  33. […] or sustain life. Multiple surgeries and recoveries. Multiple treatments. All failed. Then we lost our best friend. And we were adrift, again. […]

  34. […] After everyone went home and Baby J awoke from her nap, the three of us opened her birthday presents and we sang to her once more. She got some awesome gifts — i.e., nothing big and plastic (thank you for listening, people!), just good books, cool wooden toys, some beautiful clothes, and a snuggly puppy puppet that looks just like our old sweet pup. […]

  35. […] favorite new puppy puppet just so happens to look a lot like our old pup. She loves this thing so much that she smiles and laughs when she sees him, leans in to hug and kiss […]

  36. […] “MaMa.” She has also been trying to say “doggie,” and she pets the photo of our old girl (which nearly brought me to tears). Maybe time for a new pup […]

  37. […] on the heels of an even worse year or two. Really bad years — like, losing your baby and your best friend years. Sad […]

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