My beautiful dog, Little Girl, passed away last nite.
She would have been 16 next week. I had an eerie feeling she may not make that milestone. Unfortunately, I was right. I didn't want to be right. I'd even whisper to her almost daily, you can do it. Just x # of days. You're almost there. But it was too much. One week.
Little Girl lived a long, happy life, despite being mostly deaf and having impaired vision for the past couple of years. She was barely 6 lbs, but she had a lot of life in her. She was never a very energetic dog, even as a puppy, but she did her little "Genie Dance" (Genie was her most used nickname, though she had many) that always cheered us up. She was so small it was hard for her to get up and down the stairs, especially in her old age, but we made up songs for her ("free rides," we called them, when carrying her around) and made a game out of it. I already miss singing to her.
Even though she was by no means our most social pet, the others sure loved being with her.
We actually used to sortof breed dogs when I was younger. Not officially, but her mom and dad, our old shitzu's, were pure bred, and we weren't exactly responsible pet owners at the time. I was with her when she was born and (sortof) with her when she passed. She was the last of her family to go. I hope they're all together now. Bonsai (dad), Buttons (mom), Sammy (sister), and Little Girl. And, of course, their best friend, Blizzard, who you may remember left us last labor day. All such special, loving dogs. We've really been lucky that way.
Genie lived over a decade past her estimated life span. She was the runt of the litter. In fact, we first named her "Pinky," as she was born with no visible fur. Underdeveloped, maybe, but that didn't mean she wasn't strong. We took her to the vet and upon feeling the squishy part of her head where the brain is supposed to harden, and hers hadn't, we were told she'd be lucky to live past 5. Water on the brain, they said. No cure. I was 10 when she was born. I would have been 15 then. I'm 26 now. Genie had other plans. She was going to stick around awhile.
She had a bark to her, but otherwise was the sweetest, most gentle dog you'd ever know. You couldn't meet her and not love her.
She was always nervous and she was always cold, so she shook a lot. We often called her our little chihuahua, and like I said, despite being purebred shitzu, when she was groomed, she looked a lot like a chihuahua, too.
She's our only pet who truly needed clothes, but she hated them. The other dogs jump up and down and even lift their arms when they see a new outfit, but Little Girl ran like a bat out of hell! We made her wear them to keep her warm (and sorry, but because she looked SO cute in them), but she fought the process every step of the way.
Most recently, she had a little quirk where she would hang out on the bed with just the tip of her little tongue sticking out. We called it the Genie Salute. She could lay like that for hours.
My dogs are just like their mama, they love their fruits and vegetables above all else. Little Girl would eat those too, no doubt, but her true love was spaghetti. You could always tell when it was spaghetti nite, because she'd con at least one person into letting her lick their bowl....and it would end up all over her face. We called it her spaghetti head.
We love you, Little Girl. I'm so, so sorry. I wish I could have hugged you and kissed your little head just one last time. I hope you knew how much everyone loved you. Most of our pets we attribute to belonging to a specific family member, but not you. You were the family dog. The family pet. Because of that, maybe it was too hard for you to live anymore given the current circumstances. I don't know. But even at (almost) 16, we weren't ready to say goodbye. You'll always be with us.
She may have been named Little Girl, but she was the definition of a true lady.