Today has been a tough day. My eldest dog, Suzie for the past month has been having breathing issues. I have no clue why I hadn’t heard it until last night, maybe some unconcious effort to sweep it under the rug. I can’t even comprehend the emotions I am having. I love her with all my heart. She has been a light when I’ve needed one most. I believe she still has some time left, so all is not a great loss. I’m glad too because emotionally I don’t believe I could handle it.

Let me tell you a bit about her story, it’s a bit like one of those Hallmark movies. We met in the Summer of 2017. There had just been a pound sweep, or an event where they bring all the dogs in the pound to a local area and let people adopt. She was the only dog not adopted. See, she had heart worms and her body language was meek. We saw a rambunctious puppy first, we decided he had too much energy for us. My girlfriend and I were renting a small room from our friend at the time. Then they told us about Suzie, without a lot of detail, we decided to see her. She came in and went and sniffed my girlfriend’s hand, then came over and gave me all the love in the world. She wouldn’t leave my side, and even forced my hand onto her head to give her love. My heart melted and I succumbed to her deep brown eyes and fell in love.

During our paper work is when they told us that she had heart worms. We decided that even though heart worms are dangerous and we probally wouldn’t have her for a long time that we would still adopt her and give her the best life we could. Soon after a couple of vet visits we started to discuss heart worm treatments. We had moved into our own home a half a year later and were at a more sophisticated vets office now and they talked to us about a treatment that would get the worms out of her system. After a lot of thought we went through with the procedure and it did get rid of them; however, it left her quite weak for six months after. We saw her fading then and we picked up another puppy from the pound to be a sister (Trixie), and motivator for Suzzie to keep fighting on. It did work, she adores Trixie, and her spark of life came back slowly.

Over the years since we’ve adopted two other dogs, Finzaj and Marvin. Our dogs breeds are: Suzie – Lab/Retriever mix, Trixie – Terrier mix, Finzaj (Fin -za – dge) – Great Pyrenees mix, & Marv in – Chi Wawa /Dotson mix.

Each of them has brought a new spark of life into the house and helped improve their lives as well. The deep bond that they each have is so beautiful. It is hard to describe other than watching your offspring build their relationship with each other.

We were informed by the Vet that the procedure would cut a couple years off her life; however, in exchange they would improve the years left so both her and we could enjoy her best years. Now as the curtain call draws closer, I am becoming an emotional wreck. To top it off I am dealing with a lot of hard emotions from life, family passing away due to the pandemic, financial hardships, girlfriend having health problems, worrying about a couple close friends going through their own hardships, on top of combating my mental and physical health problems. I feel rather worn down. Still pushing through it, the Navy would be proud of my capacity to follow through with their training. I keep pushing all these emotions down, combating them when they pop up unexpectedly. Definitely not a healthy coping skill, but one that I have counted on for survival since my teens.

I really hope that I can do my best by her. I love her and I am going to miss her. I selfishly pray that as long as she is not suffering I can spend a few more months, maybe a year with her.

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