My love and appreciation for dogs all changed when we decided as a family to get a puppy (up until now, all of our dogs were older and from the pound). We decided that we wanted a yellow lab, found an ad in the paper for lab puppies and went and looked at them. We fell in love with one in particular and put our money down and were told to come back in 8 weeks to pick her up. So for 8 long weeks we threw out names, puppy proofed the house and counted down the days. We finally settled on a name - Isabella Marguerite was her formal name, but she went by Izzy (unless she was in trouble:).
Izzy turned out to be such a winner of a dog. She was so sweet and loving and could always tell when you needed some love. She was also the protector of the house (although she wouldn't have hurt a fly, but her bark could scare peeps away). When you walked in a room, you could hear her huge tail thumping against the ground because she was so excited to see you. And up until the last year, she's kept most of her youthful energy...at 15 years of age, who can blame her for not chasing the geese off the lawn anymore.
My mom has been good about keeping me in the loop about Izzy's condition and we all knew that she wouldn't be around forever, especially after a cancer diagnosis. But nothing prepared me for going home to Utah this weekend and having my mom tell me that the vet was scheduled to come to the house on Wednesday to put Izzy to sleep because she wasn't doing well and she didn't want her to suffer at all. When I saw Izzy on Saturday night, she still wagged her tail as hard as ever when I came in, and she tried to get up, but the cancer was in her leg and made it tough to stand. I could see it in her eyes that she was tired and in a lot of pain. That night was pretty rough, my mom, sister and I cried a lot and just sat with Izzy all night. We all knew that she couldn't make it until Wednesday when the vet was scheduled to come because we didn't want her in pain for 4 more days. So first thing Sunday morning, we called my brother and told him he should come out and say goodbye and then we called the vet to come out that day. The vet called back right away and said she'd be there in an hour. It seemed that Izzy knew what was going on because she was so peaceful for that hour before the vet came.
Just about an hour later, Kyle and the vet showed up at the same time, so the vet waited outside while we said our final goodbyes and then she administered the shot. It took less than one minute and the process was so easy. (I really wish that in our final days as humans, it was this easy and painless.) We all cried really hard together for a while and then took Izzy out to the vet's truck and said goodbye. My mom requested to have Izzy cremated so that she can spread her ashes in the mountains near our cabin in Torrey, UT...one of Izzy's favorite places. The peace we all felt after she was gone was amazing, we were still really sad, but so relieved to not see her suffer anymore.
It's tough to explain to someone who isn't a dog lover, or to someone who's never owned a dog, but if you are, you know the bond you have with your pet and the self-less love they provide everyday. Miss Izzy, we miss you already and will miss your thumping tail and slobbery licks forever.
4/15/95 - 10/10/10