Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sweet Sweet Macy Girl

"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” - Roger Caras

This is a post I just never thought I would have to write.  For some strange reason I thought that my sweet Macy girl was going to live forever.  I can still remember going to pick her out a few days after she was born.  She looked like a little grey mouse, her eyes were not even open yet.  She was smaller than the palm of my hand.  Several weeks later, the lady that sold her to us, called and said I could pick her up early.  I was so excited!  She was the cutest little dog.  My life was forever changed.  From the day I got Macy, she was my world, the first love of my life.  I LOVED her so very much.  She went everywhere she could with me...from the movies, to the mall.

About 6 years ago, Macy was diagnosed with degenerative valvular heart disease.  She had remained stable via echos, ekgs, and chest xrays up until a few months ago.  In October, we actually took her back to the vet cardiologist for an echo just to make sure, and he was so impressed with her little heart that he said to just follow-up in a year.  A few weeks later, Macy started coughing, a lot.  She started having a really hard time breathing.  I took her to the vet where a chest xray showed that Macy's heart was enlarged and compressing her main airway making it difficult for her to breathe.  We started heart medications and steroids at that time.  It seemed that Macy was getting better.  She wasn't up all night coughing and she was eating like a horse, thank you steroids.  At times she even seemed like she was back to her happy go lucky self.  About a week or two before she died, she started coughing again, it wasn't terrible like before, but I knew I needed to get her into the vet.  Then on NYE, Andrew found Macy outside by the back door bleeding from her neck.  She had two puncture wounds in her neck and she was not using her back left leg.  I immediately called my vet, who was so nice to meet me at her clinic at 9:30 at night on NYE to sew Macy up.  Macy seemed stable after that.  She was on pain meds and moving slow, but was doing ok.  I had a follow up appointment made for her 5 days later.  Then on Jan 3, around 4 am, Macy woke up and couldnt seem to get comfortable.  She was refusing to lay down and would only sit up with her head up in the air.  My poor baby was having a hard time breathing.  She looked so scared.  I just figured she was in pain and was planning on calling the vet to get more pain medications.  I debated all morning about calling in to work, but decided to go.  A couple hours later, our babysitter told us she wasn't doing very well.  I cancelled my afternoon patients and Andrew agreed to go get her and bring her to the vet.  I met them there.  I knew something bad was wrong as soon as I walked in the door.  The vet said, "Macy's in heart failure."  I was told she had a 50/50 chance of coming out of it, but that she was in pretty bad shape.  She said we would know more in a couple of hours.  Around 5:30 that evening the vet called to tell me there wasn't really any change and that we needed to come in and see if she would breathe better with us there.  My sweet Macy girl looked like she was resting when we went back to see her, as soon as she was picked up or touched, she immediately started really struggling to breathe. It was the saddest thing.  She was suffering.  I knew that I couldn't let her suffer.  It would have been so selfish of me.  She had been the very best dog to me for so long, always by my side no matter what, the last thing I could do was let her suffer.  The decision to let Macy rest, was so very hard.  I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed.  All I could do was tell her how very sorry I was and how much I loved her.  I told her how she was the best dog ever and that I would never forget her.  And I just held her and cried.  Andrew was right by my side, crying and praying with me and Macy.  Praying for rest, peace, and comfort for our sweet Macy girl. 

It was one of the hardest moments of my life.  One that I cannot quit replaying in my head.  One that I continually question whether or not I made the right decision.  Thankful for a few wonderful friends and family, and Andrew, for helping me to realize that I did everything I could.  Oh how I miss her.  My heart is so broken without her.  Such a void was left when Macy gained her angel wings.  I cling to the memories and the hundreds of pictures I have of her.  I cling to the support I have received from some of the most caring people that I am fortunate enough to call my friends and family.  I feel so blessed to know that even though I am crazy over the top with my love for my dog, those closest to me, even though they may not understand it, they accept that about me and have been so very caring and encouraging over the past few days.   

Macy seriously changed my life.  She was so much more than just a dog.  She made me a better person, more loving for sure.  When I was younger, I was very introverted to those that I wasn't close to.  It was always, and still can be, very hard for me to show affection towards others.  In some crazy way, Macy brought this out of me.  She taught me how to really really love and show affection.  I can remember taking my bridal portraits and wanting a few with my sweet Macy.  After we were done taking pictures of just me, the photographer allowed Macy to be in the rest.  She told me that it was crazy how much Macy made my eyes light up by just holding her next to me.  It was true.  She was the light of my life for so long.

Macy was the laziest dog you ever did meet. She loved to sleep. You could always find her on the couch or bed sprawled out on her back with her 4 legs in the air. She was the most cuddliest dog and nothing made her happier than sleeping...well other than eating. She loved to eat. She definately preferred table food over her dog food, but when she was diagnosed with a heart problem, I switched her diet to strictly dog food. She preferred Royal Canine for Chihuahuas. Ever heard of it? It is an expensive bag of dog food. Andrew always thought I was so crazy for spending so much money on food for my dog. Several times he tried changing her to other brands. Macy wouldn't have it. She would refuse to eat. Once we would change back to the Royal Canine, she would pig out and guard the bowl of food so Jaxon or any one that walked in her line of sight would stay away. Silly girl. So particular.

Macy also loved sunbathing and being outside. She could lay outside for hours just chilling, or ghost barking. She also loved to roll around in anything that she could find outside that smelled the worst and would come back inside with grass all over her and stinking. When we would let her outside to go to the bathroom, she always took her sweet time. Even if it was midnight and freezing outside. I think she just liked to take it all in. She sure loved life!

Leaving her to go to college was hard.  I hated being away from her during the week.  When I would come home on the weekends, the excitement that she would exhibit when she saw me was just the best thing in the world.  She would wag her tail, snort like every chihuahua does, and lick me all over my face.  She never cared how long I left her, the moment I would walk in the door, it was like I had never left.  Such a loyal little girl.

My dog Macy was a princess. She was treated like royalty, not only by me, but by my family too. Those closest to me, didn't question my craziness, they accepted it. Andrew was no different. When we first started dating, he didn't quite understand my love for my dog. But over time he realized the importance of this little blue haired chihuahua in my life. He saw how my eyes lit up when she was around. He slowly got the love I had for her...and he slowly fell in love with this sweet little dog. He was patient with her, so caring towards her, attentive and loved playing with her.  They had their own "play time" and Andrew was the only one that Macy ever played with like that.  It always made me smile.  He treated her like the princess I thought she was and over the years grew to love her almost as much as I did. 

Macy taught me that you can tell a lot about a man by the way he treats your dog.  My husband recently asked me if he thought he was going to be the patient, loving, caring, attentive, playing dad that he is to our sweet Lolo. He said he never imagined he would be this kind of dad. The answer was so obvious to me. "Yes, I always knew, I knew because of how you treated my dog Macy."

They say they are just "dogs." But I am here to argue that they are so so much more than that. Macy was an angel dog. She truly lit up my life. She taught me about love, how to accept it and how to show it. She taught me about loyalty and how to be a good friend, simply by being there for others. But the most important thing I think she taught me was how great a dad Andrew was going to be.

"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself. " ~Josh Billings

There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about her, that I don't see her out of the corner of my eye waiting for me when I get home, that I don't replay the events of January 3rd over and over.  A huge hole in my heart has been left by this little 6 pound dog that changed my life.  I miss her terribly, but I am so very thankful that God placed her in my life when he did.  She was the best dog in the world for me and my heart still aches so much for her.  Macy girl, I miss you.  I miss you so very much.  I sure hope you are enjoying Heaven and still gurading your dog bowl!

For those of you that say "it is just a dog,"  I am here to tell you it's is so much more than that.