As many of our close friends know, we ADORE our fur babies. Like many of you, we love them so much we consider them our family and occasionally let them eat baked chicken off of our plates. This past summer, we sadly had to say goodbye to “Bailey the Geriatric Maltese”. He was my faithful, four footed friend for 14 years.
This neurotic little guy was my roommate before the baby daddy and I got married, so they ended up having a love/hate relationship. He didn’t like having to share his mama and it took the hubby awhile to get used to a white, sissy fur ball growling at him every time he went in for a good night kiss. 🙂 The kids were a little sad when he passed but they got over it quickly. After all, he was MY dog and a GRUMPY old man in his older years. His claim to fame was living up to the “severe separation anxiety” diagnosis a vet gave him and dry humping my leg when company came over. We all have our battles, right?
Fast forward six months later to Christmas. Baby girl was DYING for her own puppy. So badly, in fact, that when her daddy told her he didn’t think it was a good time to get a dog, she had a full on diva darling meltdown…for WEEKS. Remember, girlfriend is an avid adorer of all things animal related and she had her heart set.
Let me fill you in on a little secret. BABY MAMA wanted the dog just as badly as her daughter. So what does a fine, upstanding wife do in this circumstance? Well, use it to her advantage to get her way of course. Mwahahaha.
NOW! Where to find our new family member? We needed a small house dog that was somewhat hypoallergenic. No luck finding a rescue pet and I didn’t want to pay $1000 for a dog. Also, no puppy mills, inner breeding, ringworm, etc. Consequently, I called our veterinarian’s office and they alerted me to one of their client’s that had puppies for sale. Long story short, they were a precious family and we fell in LOVE with “Bella the Shinese” (a Shih-tzu/Pekingese mix).
Then my son started begging for HIS own dog and Bella was having adjustment issues. She had a brother available. Baby mama caved. We brought “Bo the Shinese” home two days later.
Although more work with the potty training, Bella became ALIVE once her brother arrived and she never had another restless night’s sleep. That is, until a few weeks ago. 🙁
The Tasmanian devil angel child and I were inside the house and the baby daddy was playing Nerf guns with the oldest two in the back yard. The pups were on the back porch playing. I would even look out the window periodically to check on them because that’s what overprotective maternal beings do. They NEVER left each other’s side.
All of sudden, baby girl burst into the house with Bella in tow, sobbing the most gut wrenching sound you can imagine. “What’s wrong?!” I yelled. “Bo’s dead mama! He’s gone!” she cried. I then noticed she had blood on her leg and arm. I quickly realized it wasn’t hers. No one was in the backyard. “Stay in here and do NOT come out” I said as I rushed outside, heart rate increasing and hands shaking. What was I about to walk into?
Immediately, I knew. The baby daddy and the eldest were on all fours around a lifeless Bo on the grass in our front yard. My son was crying and beating the ground. My husband, a medical professional, was doing everything he knew to do to save our fur baby and was doing CPR on his little chest. He whispers to me “He’s gone babe. He’s gone.” I’m screaming inside but stoic on the outside. That’s how a parent rolls sometimes. It was so bad that our kind neighbor came out to check on us. He thought one of our biological kids had gotten run over by the car. We still don’t understand how he got out of our sight and away from his sister.
Like so many of us that lose a pet under unfortunate circumstances, it was a very hard week. None of us slept, the kids cried at school, Bella was very quite and subdued and our youngest kept asking “Where Bo mama?”
As terrible as it was (and is because we always miss those we love then lose…humans or animals), the kids learned a valuable lesson on how to grieve. I have the baby daddy to thank for this. I have to admit I was paralyzed in that moment but he just knew what to do. He gathered the kids around Bo and told them that he didn’t suffer, that they should pet him and tell him goodbye, that he was with God and even found this wooden post for them to decorate for his grave.
While he was placing the pup in his final resting place, my two oldest sat on the couch and, unprompted, placed their hands to their chest and prayed for their little pup. Between salty tears running down their cheeks and trying to console one another, they asked God to take care of him and thanked him for being such a good dog.
In that raw moment and thinking back to that surreal scene when my better half was doing chest compressions on a 7 pound fluff ball, it hit me. A manly dude, the baby daddy has a kind, selfless heart and that’s a ginormous reason why I married him. Isn’t it easy to forget the reasons why we fell in love with someone in the middle of the chaos of living? Furthermore, despite imperfect parenting, my kids were going to be ok.
We miss the little guy but I’m pleased to report that fur baby Bella is back to her old self and the kids have developed this overprotective, hovering nature towards her AND their baby brother (except when he is trying to bite, scratch or slash them with a sword. In addition, she gets baked chicken for dinner much more frequently. 🙂
To all you pet lovers out there that get it, thanks for listening to one of our many moments that teach us.