As everyone knows, my husband, poodle, and I took a hiatus from Italy to come to the US for business stuff. I still haven’t figured out the best way handle this blog and the move. Document our temporary life here? Use my dozens of saved Italy posts until we get back? Mix it up? No idea. Until I figure that out I’ve made it a point to not write about non-Italy related things here but I’m going to go ahead and break that rule for today because I’m super. fucking. bummed.
This morning I grabbed my cell phone to do my usual social media stalking before rolling out of bed and I ended up sobbing into my pillow instead of reading people’s inspirational posts. My newsfeed was full of pictures of my mom’s Boxer, Flower, with messages like, “We love you,” “Goodbye!” “I am so sorry! We’ll miss you!” Everyone who knows Flower is saying their goodbyes. Tomorrow is Flower’s last day.
My mom knew Flower, a female boxer, for a while through her neighbor whom she was close with. The young man would often bring his dog with him to my mom’s house to chat or have an occasional beer. My mom has always been afraid of dogs so it took her months to pet her or become friendly with her. Eventually she learned to trust the sweet dog who is gentle despite her size. When the neighbor’s father died a few months ago, the neighbor was evicted from the home and unable to take his large companion with him. Distraught that Flower might fall into the wrong hands, my mom offered to adopt her, a decision that shocked the shit out everyone who had ever met my mom. We never thought in a million years she would own a dog. “She’ll change your life,” we told her, “are you sure?”
For the first few days she regretted her decision to take Flower. It just seemed like too big of a responsibility but after a couple weeks she got used to the new schedule of letting her out, playing with her, feeding and watering her, giving vitamins and making vet trips. She’d lay on the ground with Flower and take naps in front of the T.V., she’d wrestle and roll around with her. She fell in love with Flower to the point that she became a little weird. “I can’t leave, she gets sad. I can’t walk her because a mean dog might bite her.” She found doggy love and wasn’t letting go EVER. Since we’d been staying with my mom, F, Oliver and I, all became attached to her, too. Oliver and Flower would play all day every day, they’d look for each other, fall asleep cuddled together, and steal toys from each other. Oliver would occasional pee on her butt for no reason at all but we like to think he was just marking his BFF so someone else couldn’t steal her but probably it’s just because he’s an asshole even to his friends. Then baby Jesus was all, “That dog is badass, DIBS!” and now we’re all puffy and red and heartbroken.
Two days ago my mom took Flower to the vet for the second time because she’s been lethargic and breathing weird. Originally they thought it was allergies but after a closer look they told my mom that her new partner in crime, her adopted furry “daughter” has lymphoma and chronic kidney failure. The vet said that with the kidney failure they can’t do chemo and by the end of the week, tomorrow, she’ll be so sick and in so much pain it would be cruel to keep her alive. Flower is dying and there is no time left.
Tomorrow morning my mom has to somehow bring Flower to her vet’s office to put her to rest. As painful as it is she just can’t watch her suffer through her body shutting down and giving out. It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that she’ll never play again, bound through the house like her ass is on fire, or roll on the floor with Oliver again. We’ll never get another chance to kiss her head or gaze into her big perfect eyes. It breaks my heart because this dog is such an amazingly sweet, loving, playful dog. It would be sad even if she were a pain in the ass dog because dogs are like little mentally “off” angels and I love them (and most non-sociopaths do) but her sweetness does add another level of WHATTHEFUCKBABYJESUS to the whole thing.
I’m not just sad for Flower. I’m sad for my mom who let her guard down just enough to get attached to something only to suffer through the pain of saying goodbye so soon. My mom has had to say goodbye to so many people in the past five years it just isn’t fair. She’s lost my little brother, my grandmother (who died punching and kicking everyone, smoking and drinking whiskey), a cat, and now her newly adopted dog who has become the light of her life and everyone else’s too. It’s with tears in my eyes and a knot in my throat I say goodbye to Flower, a good girl, a good friend, and a unique soul. Tomorrow, the world will lose one of the best furry people I’ve known. It’s all happening so fast, it always does.
It’s a soul-shattering reminder to not take anyone in my life for granted, my family, my friends, or my obnoxious four legged Oliver. In only a few days everything can change.
PS. The vet thinks that her kidney failure is possibly separate from the cancer (only a hunch, not a certainty). Apparently there are dog treats Made In China that have reportedly CAUSED KIDNEY FAILURE in many pets. Read the label and throw that China shit out! These were duck breast treats and they weren’t cheap. Google that shit. It’s a real thing.