Woman’s Best Friend…♥

I am in a very emotional state today – over tired, lack of sleep – I have not stopped crying  since early this morning at 5am when I had to leave my poor Chili dog home alone feeling poorly since I had to come into work.  Makes me sick to see him so listless, staring up at me.  And this brings up so many feelings…makes me realize that he won’t live forever and how I felt when I had to put his older brother down two years ago.  Still so raw.   I can’t even write this without tears streaming down my face.

I know that there are some people that won’t understand this post. People that have never loved a dog like a family member and people that look at dogs as nothing more than pets. But for those who have loved a dog like I have, I know you will understand this.   Please bear with me here as I feel a need to write this down as a form of therapy for myself and it’s my small attempt at a tribute for the most incredible dog that I have ever known. My emotions and thoughts are over the place so this might not even come out as coherent but I’m going to do my best.

I had not started this blog when I had to put my Cairn Terrier, Scruffy, down in 2009. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done and I still miss him like crazy on most days.  If I didn’t already have Chili, my Boston Terrier,  I don’t think I would want another dog again because I hate the thought of losing him too already and he’s only 7.   So hard to go through the pain and loss.   But these couple of years, I am SO glad that I’ve had Chili with me.  He’s been great at giving me comfort and helping me remember why animals bring so much joy into our lives. I’m a dog person through and through. And even though it’s hard and painful to think about them getting older and passing away, the time spent with them is so worth it in the end.  It’s hard loving these little animals that sneak their way into your hearts but at the same time, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I truly believe they were put on earth to bring us joy and companionship and I’m happy that I am still able to see that the benefits far outweigh the heartache.

I’m not writing this for a pity party, but I have this story inside of me and today it’s coming out for whatever reasons.  It’s a story that defines me and how we all grieve and seek comfort in different ways.

The year I decided to get Scruffy, was a very lonely, bleak time for me. I was trying to finish college, but I learned I was back out of remission, and trying to concentrate in class, be a normal young lady, thinking of guys, makeup and dates wasn’t working.   Dealing with the realization that I could die was too much for me.  And while this story is one of the most monumental times in my life, it’s not about my illness solely nor about my struggles graduating college.  It’s about the one who got me through that time.  Everything and mostly everyone seemed so trivial compared to what I was going through and what really mattered.  Looking back on that moment all these years later, I know that it was him who picked me.  Scruffy was everything I needed during that time and more.

I wish I could really describe what he meant to me but I don’t think I will ever be able to adequately talk about my best friend during the hardest part of my life. He became my companion and a true friend more than just a dog; he was there with me through everything.   When I went to Seattle for 6 months for a clinical study, he was allowed to be with me.  When I discovered my love for hiking, he was with me.  When I went out to alfresco dining, he was always at my feet…at dog-friendly restaurants.  He slept next to me at night, he kept me laughing and happy for the first time in a long time, and he gave me a reason to be excited when I came home from school and the hospital instead of to an empty apt. He brought life back into me and I don’t know how I would have gotten through that time without him.  I never felt lonely with Scruffy anymore, because wherever I was, he was always by my side.   And now with just Chili, I don’t feel alone neither.   I brought Chili home one day when he was only 3 months old and about to get destroyed and Scruffy was already 12 years old.  Scruffy never became jealous – on the contrary – he welcomed his new little sick brother with open paws – sharing his bed and toys…just not his food.  Scruffy loved to eat!

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end…that day came when I made the hardest decision I have ever had to make to put my best friend down.  Scruffy had been showing signs of aging for the last few years and I knew it was just a matter of time for him.  I couldn’t bear seeing him suffer anymore. After living in denial about his health those last few months, I was forced to confront it.  After a lot of talking, crying and prayer I knew I couldn’t deny any longer that my full-of-life puppy had turned into an old dog and it was only for my own selfish reasons to keep him alive any longer.

As I stood next to him in the vet’s room, I put my arms around him one last time and began whispering in his ear. His tail slowly wagged back and forth as I petted him and I spoke softly so only he could hear. I thanked him for being the best dog I could ask for, I thanked him for crawling into my lap 16 years ago, and for tugging at my hert strings; I thanked him for every way he had ever loved me and most important – I thanked him for bringing me back to life.

There was one night not so long ago, that I remember so well and probably the memory that I will always think of how both of my dogs have impacted my life…it was the first holidays without Scruffy, and I put up the Christmas tree and then went to bed in tears, recalling how much Scruffy would love laying under the tree.  And that night Chili jumped on the bed when he heard me crying in the dark. I pulled back the covers to let him in; he laid down by my side, put his head on the pillow next to mine and just stayed there while I cried my eyes out. I put both of my arms around him for a tight hug and he would lick my face from time to time and stayed awake with me until I finally fell asleep a few hours later. It was one of the most touching nights with him and a night that I had never appreciated him more.  He just seemed to know when I needed him most and never failed to be there for me…Scruffy taught him well.

Sometimes I feel guilty but no matter how much I love Chili {and I really do love him}, he will never be my Scruffy.   Chili is my baby but Scruffy was my best friend…♥

There is a favorite quote of mine from the movie, “Marley and Me” that will always make me think of Scruffy:

“A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley  Scruffy taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things – a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness, and above all else, unwavering loyalty.”

Oh my Scruffy, you were the best of the best and there will never be another like you.   Thank you for teaching Chili and I how to love and live again.  ♥

My Chili Dog

My serious Chili Dog

The Ortiz Brothers
My Boys

My Best Friend

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About Teresita

I am a writer, a thinker, an introvert, work behind the scenes kind of person - I am of Puerto Rican blood, have an Italian soul, and a Berliner mind....just learning...♥ View all posts by Teresita

One response to “Woman’s Best Friend…♥

  • Victor Muniz

    I can relate to everything that you posted today. As a dog owner myself, my dogs mean everything to mean. Weather I have a bad day at work, problems or arguments with my family, someone to keep me company when I need it, Charlie, Pancho and Randy are always there for me. No matter what. Giving me their unconditional love and support, And that’s the best gift that I can ever ask for. And I know that it’s gonna hurt so much the day that each of them reach their time to go be with God. And I’m dreading it. Until those 3 days come, I’m gonna enjoy every second of their company. <3.

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