Shared by: Sue Inge
Our little Lady Girl had been left behind not once, not twice but three times... we were her fourth family.
A cottony soft sweet Shih-Tzu / Bichon mix who melted my heart the first time she trotted around our sidewalk, wagging of her tail. Her big plume-y white tail was my favorite part of her, besides her big brown eyes, and of course besides her big warm heart. She loved everyone–never met a stranger.
When her last family didn't want her, I already knew she would be ours. Her biggest crime? She was never house-trained and had lots of accidents, but who could blame her? She was passed around too much to learn. So, our solution to helping her not go to the bathroom inside was to let her sleep with our son on his bed at night-something he loved more than anything! She cuddled up with him and then stayed until he got up in the morning. She quickly became his best friend.
Lady and our other dog Marley, a Cockapoo, became best friends too... and they even started to look alike. They were like bread and butter, two peas in a pod. So the day Lady came inside with dirt on her face seemed like normal doggie mischief, Marley and she loved searching for lizards in our yard. Of course it was right before we were supposed to leave and she was filthy, so I threw her in the tub and poured water over her. To my horror, all of a sudden she went totally limp and her legs went out from under her. She stared blankly as if in a trance. I thought I had somehow drowned her!! I screamed out for help and we wrapped her up soaking wet and drove like mad to the ER vet.
We were not prepared for the gravity of the situation. My son was devastated-he stayed home with my other son as we were given her grave news. Lady's gums were pale. They suspected internal bleeding. Texts from my son kept rolling in-is she ok? Please tell me she is ok!! But she was barely alive and they recommended putting her to sleep. That day was unbelievably hard, but I knew I wasn't ready to let her go of her there, I had to get her home to my son. He needed her to be with him one more night. So we took our sweet girl home. We laid with her all night. She became a little stronger because of some herbal pills the vet gave us, and she made it long enough for us to get her to our vet.
Turns out Lady had hemangiosarcoma, a cruel and quick growing cancer that most times doesn't give but a few more months, even after surgery/treatment. We knew we were going to lose her. Those last few months with her were so bittersweet. We knew she was not going to be with us forever. But my kids helped me realize we couldn't dwell on it, but instead just spoil her every minute and make her last days happy. She and Marley got lots of extra treats and love. Her favorite thing to do was to feel the sun and breeze on her face.
I would watch her through the window as she sat near our pool thinking, she was experiencing pure joy. What if we could all just live each day, every minute just in the moment? I learned a lot those last few months. I didn't take anything with her for granted. Every snuggle, every stroke, every lick became treasured.
We lost our Lady G just as summer came. She grew weak and I knew the right thing was to take her to put her to sleep. I wasn't sure how my son was going to handle not having her in his bed at night. I knew he would be so lonely without her. And he was. That first night he couldn't be in his room without her. It was crushing to watch how sad my kids were, we all were torn apart. But after our grief became less raw, it became easier for us to turn our tears turned to smiles as we remembered all the love she gave us. The little Lady who stole our hearts.
We are so glad we were her fourth and final family. She gave us so many gifts but mostly just to enjoy life, feel the sun on your face and relish each moment.
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Sue!
If you'd like to share your own story to be published on the blog, fill out the Share Your Story form here.