It took awhile for me to reach this point, to be able to talk about my lovable friends. I miss them dearly, every day. Words to explain how much I love them are difficult to express, just like everyone here. We all just take it one hour, one day at a time dealing with our grief as best as we can. I'm a different person now, better for having loved them and fulfilled by the love they showed me. I've learned many truths about life, but this lesson surpassed them all. Live in the moment, cherish each day, love without conditions.Nicky was very sick from neglect when we rescued him, so tiny, mixed terrier. He grew up to be a very strong healthy dog, the smartest dog I've ever had. He could do anything, follow multiple commands in one sentence, protector, and raised two orphan cats and one very small Chihuahua. He was the 'strong' one, no fear, and so gentle with the others. He rescued me from a medical condition, one that I saw no escape from, at the end of my rope, he refused to let me give up. He brought me into the light, restored my hope and I am eternally grateful to him. We had to let him go at 17 1/2 years, CHF finally wore him down. He fought so hard, as I knew he would, but in the end, he laid down in his favorite bed and was at peace as the home vet helped him cross over on April 27 of this year, 3 months after Chinadoll had passed. China was with us for 10 1/2 years, when we got her she was 9 oz and so weak she could not stand up for more than a few seconds. She would become my 'heart dog', a term I wasn't familiar with before. Her back legs both had a luxating patella, one worse than the other. She learned how to compensate, it never slowed her down, she was the most loving dog I have ever seen. She picked me to bond with and what a bond she created. She slept every night on my shoulder and chest, she showed affection and a sweetness beyond normal. She never barked, she loved every living creature she met, she would run to perfect strangers as if they were long lost friends. She was with me every moment I was home, a true lap dog, her eyes were so beautiful and deep, she touched my soul with each look. I retired seven years ago and was able to be with her each day, what a blessing. I had polio when I was 2 and have worn a leg brace since. I related to her problem, I guess, and my bond was deepened. I helped her in every way that I could, but in the end, she helped me far more. She passed away on January 12, this year. She was diagnosed with a 'slightly' enlarged heart last August and was on medication. On that morning, she awoke and had a rasping sound in her breathing. I took her to the vet as a 'walk-in', they put her in an oxygen tent. The next 3 hours she became worse, I would only see her once, for a few seconds, as she began to die. I do remember looking into her eyes, she was so peaceful, as if she knew, and tried to comfort me at that moment. My healing will be life long, I am forever grateful for the gift, for the love, I received so much more than I could ever give, I am changed, but so much more for the better, even with the grief. Life looks different to me now, my heart is so much softer, I am touched by every post on this forum, I share the pain so easily now, I simply 'understand'. So many people on this forum have helped me without even knowing they did. I thank you, from my heart. Don and Vera and Bella have been an inspiration to me, and I will be forever grateful to them. I have a few pictures to post, of Nicky and China. Nicky grew to be 15 lbs, China peaked at 3 lbs.The cat in the picture is Noel, he passed away last November, he loved China so much, a sweetheart.
Where do I start?.....
I read your post about China and Nicky more than a few times, I had to read it several times because I wanted to be able to read it without tears falling. Even though you have already shared with me about your adorable China and your rugged and handsome Nicky as well as Noel, reading this post still brought tears.
I delayed in responding because I wanted to write the perfect words to you, I'm not sure I can say anything better or more eloquently than you wrote above, so I will write from my heart....just as you did about your babies.
You and Deborah not only opened your home, but your hearts to your babies, you provided each of them the love,comfort and security that they needed to become healthy and loving family members, you took them in even though they had health issues and with yours and Deborah's love, they flourished, man oh man did they ever flourish, a true testament to the wonderful and loving home you and Deborah provided them.
The strength you and Deborah have shown is absolutely amazing, to lose Noel, China and then Nicky in a span of 6 months is more than anybody should have to bear, and all through that, Deborah is fighting her own battle with her health, and with you by her side, you both have been able to find a way to go through each day with such grace and dignity, you have found the strength to write and support others on here even while your own hearts were absolutely shattered, not an easy thing to do at all, you both amaze me, Peanut's Mom said it perfectly, I too am humbled, you and Deborah are truly such wonderful people.
The photos are so beautiful, so wonderful and so touching. The one with the three of them together, Nicky looks like he is keeping a lookout for both Noel and China, being the protector that you knew he was, China is busy with her stick, and Noel is laying there so calm, while listening alertly and keeping his eyes on China to make sure she is safe. I mean how great is this photo, let's not forget that Noel is a cat, and here he is hanging with two dogs, but they weren't cats or dogs....they are family and that is because of you and Deborah, they loved each other because of the way you loved each of them.
I can't get enough of the photo of the young Nicky running for his life from Noel, so funny the expression on Nicky's face, not sure what exactly happened here, but man, does this photo make me laugh as I am sure Nicky pushed Noel's buttons one too many times, only as a little brother can do....so funny, wonderful photo.
You can see that Noel truly loves China, the way she is pulling on his tail, how hilarious is that, it's almost like China is saying, "c'mon Noel let's play" and Noel is looking at her in such wonderment at the feisty little girl daring to pull on his tail, so funny this photo, yet it again tells the story of the loving bond that Noel and China have.
The words you wrote touched my heart deeply, like you, I am changed as well, my heart is also softer and I too now "understand". You especially touched my heart with mentioning us and Bella, thank you for doing so. I am realizing that this will be a long journey, as you said "the healing will be life long", but I am so lucky knowing that I have you and the others here to lean on when needed, for that I give my most sincerest gratitude, without the support from you and the other wonderful people here, I honestly have no idea how I would have survived this difficult time.I have built friendships here that I hope last for life. Thank you.
Please give my warmest and biggest wishes to Deborah, she is never far from our thoughts, such strength. Always to you both I wish such peace, healing, light and love to find your hearts, may the warmth and love of your China, Nicky and Noel as well as your other babies always, always be felt so deeply in your wonderful hearts.
Thank you so much for sharing these great photos, I really enjoy seeing your babies.
From my heart to yours, your friend always, Don