Monday, April 5, 2010


It was a very rough weekend.

This past weekend we had to say goodbye to the best dog ever - my dog - my Leia dog.

We had gone out on Friday night to "movies in the park" at the local park. It was a ton of fun and Brannan had a good time watching Coraline the movie. We sang along to songs on the radio on the way home. We got home a little late, about 9ish, and Byron was tending to dragging everything into the house and I went straight for the door to let the dogs in.

The dogs came crashing in, as they always do, so so so happy to see us, ran past me and straight to Byron. He was standing in the living room right where the tile meets the hardwood. The dogs all crashed into him and Leia's back legs gave out as she slipped on the tile and she cried like never before. I started to scream and Byron kinda looked all around underneath him and just grabbed Leia and held her chest so she was hovering over the ground. She was still screaming and yelping her little doggie yelp like it hurt so much. I knew it hurt so much. I knew something bad had happened to her. I didn't want to face it, but I knew.

He laid her on her side on her bed that is right here in the kitchen. She started to shake in pain. I petted her and she wouldn't look me in the eye. We looked at her leg and it was all kindof tucked up next to her. She wouldn't stand up. We laid her there and just looked at her, not knowing what to do. I knew we had to do something, but it was already so late at night. I knew we were going to have to wait until morning. We gave her an asprin and started to get the baby ready for bed.

I felt so terrible and I knew she was in terrible pain. I kneeled down next to her on her round bed and petted her and cried. I knew it wasn't going to be good.

I busted into the baby's room and said we need to get her to the animal hospital and I can't lift her into the car myself. He curtly said to me "can I just get him into bed first?" At that point I knew he wasn't going to let me take her to the hospital.

We left her there for another half hour, her shaking stopped but her panting started. I know that is one way for dogs to deal with pain, they start panting. I tried to give her water, but she didn't want it. We decided we couldn't do anything that night so we would have to wait until morning. I went to the bathroom and cried some more and tried to get ready for bed.

I got really sick that night, woke up almost every hour to check on her and to throw up. At one point there wasn't anything left in my stomach to throw up. I checked on her again to make sure she was still breathing.

8 A.M. couldn't come soon enough.

We got out of bed about 6:30 and tried to take her out so she could go to the bathroom. She couldn't stand on her back legs at all. Byron tried to get her to squat a little to go, but she wouldn't. We put her bed outside so she could enjoy the cool morning air. The last cool morning air she would ever breathe in. That was her most favorite time of day. The cool mornings. She loved to sleep out on the patio and enjoy that quiet morning. She just plain liked the cold air - anywhere. She is like me, likes the cool and not the heat. I am so sad she is gone. I am so sad that she never licked me again. I would put my hand in front of her nose and every time I have ever done that in her life, she would give me slow, long licks on my hand. She wouldn't lick me after she got hurt.

So, I had some cereal at 7, watching the clock and knowing I needed to tend to the baby in my bellly - I was nauseous from not eating and throwing up all night and not sleeping. 7:45 finally came and I gently hinted that "daddy better get ready to go take Leia to the doggie doctor," talking to Brannan but really trying to get him to get her to the hospital.

We put her in the car - we left her on the bed and we both just carried the bed and the dog all together and set her in the back. Byron quickly went inside - I knew he was getting choked up. I sat there and petted her while Brannan asked question after question. "Why is Leia Leia Leia (what he calls her) in the car? Why is she going to the doggie doctor? Can I go to the doggie doctor? I want to go with Daddy." I just stood there and cried and petted her and said I was sorry. I knew I wouldn't see her again.

The next 3 hours passed with phone calls and decisions. X-rays and tears.

They found that she had dislocated her leg to the point where her joint was up by her spine. Her other leg had a fracture. There was a lot of arthritis. There wasn't anything that could've been done.

Byron had to stay with her those last moments. I haven't had the guts to ask him about it yet. I'm not ready to know.

I want to remember her in her glory. Running in the snow in Alaska, playing with the other dogs in Montana, riding in the back of Byron's Toyota through a hail storm in Oklahoma. Taking road trips to New Hampshire. Driving the Al-Can with me. Going on a road trip to Cabo San Lucas. Living in the car with me. Crying and laughing and dealing with all those grown-up things that I had to deal with over the past 14 years.

I got her in Flagstaff, moved with her to Utah and then to Alaska. She flew from Alaska back to Arizona, impressing all of the cargo workers at the airport as they let her out of her cage to run around before Byron picked her up. I didn't have any other contacts in Arizona besides my parents and didn't want to bother them to have to pick her up so I asked if Byron could be a contact - they called him first. Leia always loved him the best. She would always be at the front of the hiking trail with him. She wanted to ride with him, she wanted to be around him.

There are so many stories with Leia in them. She went everywhere with me. The only reason she wouldn't be without me is if I was going on a plane or a cruise - places that forbid dogs. Otherwise, she was with me. With us.

I remember when I first got Leia. I was living in Flagstaff. I called my parents to tell them the good news. My Dad said "what are you going to do with a dog?"

It turns out - absolutely EVERYTHING!

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