Archive for October, 2010

Tears and Kisses

I had a meltdown last night about Joie.  I wept.  And wept.  And wept.  I made myself listen to Anything But Mine.  Big mistake.  I wept again.  Then I made Tony listen to it.  And he wept.  We sat on the floor together, weeping.  My little Princess walked in.  She looked at me and looked at my hand that I had just wiped my tears with.  She stood in front of me.  And just looked.  I’m not sure what the look was.  It almost felt like she was saying “really?  Are we going to do this again?? Really??”  She sat down in front of me. 

She pants now, a lot more than she used to.  The lumps in her neck are pushing on her windpipe.  The vet assured me that the cancer won’t suffocate her.  I can hear her struggling to breathe at times.  She snores at night.  The vet said she will adjust.  It’s moments like these that I am amazed at her strength and resilience. 

So, there we were.  The two weeping willows and the irritated dog.  She was wagging her tail though.  She always does that when I look at her.  When I say “Joie” it wags a little bit faster. 

Looking at her big brown eyes made the tears flow again.  She is such a pretty girl.  How can I get through any day without looking at that face??  My heart hurt instantly.  It ached.  I was overwhelmed with sadness, anger, frustration, grief and fear all at once. 

And then, in her usual tender way she leaned in to kiss me.  This time though, she kissed my nose and wiped the first tear.  She licked my cheek over and over again.  She licked my hand where I had tried to hide my tears.  She sat back, smiling.  Panting.  And tail wagging.  That’s my girl. 

We picked up another prescription for her tonight.  This one is suppose to slow the cancer.  I gave her the first pill praying that it would destroy the cancer. 

If ever someone deserved a miracle, it is Joie.


My Girl

In January, it will be six years ago that my life changed.  It was on January 14th, 2005 I was introduced to someone who changed my life forever. 

Right away I learned one lesson from her.  She was herself.  She knew what she wanted.  She knew how to GET what she wanted.  She was strong, yet scared.  I was as new to her as she was to me. 

She had these big brown eyes that told me she would love me forever.  Her smile told me that she would always make me laugh.  The way she snuggled up to me at night told me that she would be the one that would keep me safe. 

I think she knew by looking at me that I would love her.  She could sense it.  She read my heart like no one ever had.  She saw the peacefulness and the love in me that I was dying for someone else to see. 

Her presences in my life could not have come at a more necessary time.  I had just moved to a new state and the only real friend I had decided that we shouldn’t be friends anymore.  I was dating a lot, but not anyone I saw a future with.  I met a lot of people who didn’t treat me the way I knew I deserved to be treated.  I was tired of life.  I was tired of trying to have faith in the fact that I would ever be important to someone.  I was frustrated with one bad experience after the next.  I was coming to believe that the story of my life would be of the girl who no one really ever knew or loved.

And then my angel entered.  Or, should I say, God brought me my angel. 

She loved me so much right away.  She licked my face when I was sad.  She ran to the door to greet me with a toy in her mouth as soon as I came home, and still does.  She looked at me to guide her.  She trusted me.  She loved me in an unconditional way I never thought I would experience.  We developed our own language with each other.  She laid at my feet while I sat at my desk doing homework.  She has never been far from my side.  And at night, she is always curled up next to me or at my feet.

This is a love I have never experienced.

She is someone that I don’t have to thank.  A pat on the head or a belly rub tells her everything she needs to hear.  She would rather go for a walk or a ride in the car than to have a million dollars.  She has provided me with hours of entertainment.  She makes me laugh when I feel like the world has beat me down. 

She is a huge blessing.  An angel.  My baby girl. 

How can I ever say goodbye to her??  How can I know for sure that I gave her half of what she gave me? 

Her diagnosis is terminal cancer.  My diagnosis is heartbroken.

I am devastated.  Lost.  Inconsolable.  Scared. 

We used to drive about an hour from my house to my sister’s house.  She would ride shotgun in my truck.  High above the rest of the cars, she would sit perched on the seat as if she were human.  I never told her she wasn’t.  I even told the kennel to never tell her that she is a dog.  She would have been heartbroken.  We would ride in the truck, and I would talk to her.  She would listen as if just hearing my voice was the greatest sound she had ever heard.  I would tell her about work, or my latest date.  I would play new CD’s and ask what she thought of them.  Sometimes we would sing along.  She would smile and I would sing loudly, off-key.  Our song, we decided, was “Anything But Mine”, by Kenny Chesney.  I can’t listen to that song right now.  It brings back memories that are so bittersweet.

I decided that I can’t put her through chemo.  The doctor said that it might add a couple of months on to her life, but I can’t take the trauma it would cause her.  She would have to be away from me to get her treatment.  It would make her sick.  And it wouldn’t cure it, only delay the inevitable.  Am I making the right choice?  Don’t I owe her the courtesy of trying everything in the world to save her?  Or is that just me being selfish and fearing the inevitable. 

She’s only 6.  She’s still a puppy.  She shouldn’t have to go through this.  I shouldn’t have to go through this.  I’m not ready to say good-bye to her.  I’m not ready.  I am so angry.  I’m scared.  More than anything, I don’t want her to hurt.  We made a deal though, she would fight as hard as she could and I promised I wouldn’t let her suffer.  We even shook on it.  I will think of her needs before my own.  After all, she would do the same for me.  She has always thought more about me than herself. 

The only consistent that I had as I went through my own treatments was her.  On the days that I didn’t feel so good, she would lay with me and wait patiently for my sickness to pass.  Her presence calmed me.  I would pet her and forget about what I was dealing with.  I often wonder if she knew what I was going through.  Obviously not intellectually, but in her own way, I believe she knew. 

I’m giving her cancer to God.  That’s all I can do.  I’m trusting that God will get us both through this. 

I am blessed to have had this sweet angel in my life.  I am beyond blessed.   And thankful.  I can’t express the gratitude I have for her.  To some, all they see is a dog.  I see her soul like she sees mine.  I see her heart as she sees mine.  I see her personality.  I know her likes and her dislikes.  She knows my commands and she obeys them.  She isn’t “just a dog”, she is a creation of God’s.  God’s gift to me. 

And  don’t see how she could ever be, Anything But Mine.