It’s been a tough month

At the beginning of the month, I made a post about our sweet dog Lizzie having cancer, and that I’d be going quiet for a bit to spend any remaining days with her. Unfortunately, the time with her was much shorter than we ever could have anticipated. In reality, we just got one last weekend with her, and then it was time to let her go. Her cancer was extremely aggressive and quick moving.

I ended up not even having the wherewithal to continue my advent lipstick posts. I just couldn’t. I was desperately trying to get through a busy month and hold it together and the blog was an easy thing to let go of during that time.

So now I am going to attempt to post about our last days with Lizzie, maybe talk about a few other things that happened this month, and then get back to blogging in the more normal manner.

First of all, right before we got the news about Lizzie, I’d taken both dogs in to get professional holiday portraits done as a fundraiser for our rescue. Lizzie looks a little distressed in hers (and she was!) But I am really glad to have the photos.

In all honesty, I’d begun to suspect there was something very wrong and that’s what pushed me out of the house to get these photos done that day, 2 days before we got the bad news.

Once we got the news, we were able to get Lizzie on steroids to improve her quality of life for the time she had left. This really did help, as she was much more comfortable and wanted to be out doing the things she loved. We got the news on Tuesday. On Thursday I came home from work and she was feeling clearly more spunky.

She was suddenly playing with toys and ready to rock and roll. We went to the dog park that evening, it was after dark. There was no one else there, so we let Rose run and let Lizzie sniff all the things.

I took Friday off. It was the only day I’d be able to do so in the near future, and I figured I wouldn’t regret it.

This turned out to be a good decision. She was finally ready to eat all the interesting foods (she was allowed to have anything she wanted.) She had visitors who wanted to give her scritches, and they even allowed her to obsessively lick them the way she prefers to do.

We went to dog parks, we went on hikes, we went for car rides, she played tug of war with me, we had one perfect final weekend.

And on Monday, her body gave up on us. We had to let her go that evening, less than a week from diagnosis.

We got two years and four months with a fun, confident little rescue dog who had previously been forced to be a neglected outdoor dog. You never would have known it. She walked into our lives, anticipated everything we ever wanted her to do and did it, never caused an ounce of trouble for us, and made absolutely sure we’d never forget to take care of her needs. In return, she made our lives so much fuller. She made us laugh regularly, she had us outdoors every day even in the coldest of winter, and she showed us and every other human ridiculous amounts of love. And in her final year, she made sure that Rose had all the skills she needed for a more confident life, she taught Rose how to be a dog in a home, skills Rose has not forgotten.

We miss her desperately. We wish we had more time. We are confident we gave her the best years of her life. She was my first dog, and what a first dog she was!