It has been three long weeks since we lost our angel Joey, a smart, perfect, funny, loving Yorkie who came into our lives twelve and a half years ago. Our youngest daughter Michelle was begging for a dog for years and finally when her 11th birthday approached, she was not taking no for an answer! Thank God she was adamant when she layed her eyes on Joey in a local pet store. He was in a cage and every time Michelle looked at another dog, he would bark and bark until she looked back at him and then he would sit up like a good boy. She asked to hold him and it was love at first sight! When my husband had mentioned that we would sleep on our decision and get back to them in the morning, little Michelle (in her soft spoken way) said "I am not leaving the store without him, Daddy" and that was that. (It was a lucky thing that Michelle did that because I had heard that someone else was coming in the next morning to buy him!)|
At 41, Joey was my first and only dog that I ever lived with. It was an easy adjustment though. So many memories stand out. One of my favorites...Joey was sleeping in his crate at night (for the first two nights that he came into our family). Our daughter insisted on sleeping on the floor next to the crate just in case he needed her during the night. On the third night, I went to kiss Michelle goodnight and whose little head is peeking out of her blanket? Joey never slept in his crate after that night! Eventually, he ended up with Mommy and Daddy!
The years flew by happily. Joey would go the girls' softball games, soccer games, etc. (He also has a sister/aunt Melissa who loved him very much too!) He would love to go on walks with his best buddy Allie (whose mom is my dear friend and neighbor Kris) and would know exactly where her house was and pull for me to ring her doorbell. They would great each other with kisses and sniffs and then proceedto walk their owners. I miss the morning phone calls where we would say, do you want to walk the babies today?
Our boy got sprayed by a skunk a few years back while outside in our fenced in back yard. I hear him barking and barking (Mr. Tough Guy!) and then we smell the distinct skunk odor! Our boy was bathed so many times and got extra groomings to get him back to his normal, sweet smell and he was so patient every time with us. It was funny though...whenever he would get really wet from swimming and you went to dry him off, you could still get the tiniest whiff of skunk... So, after that happened, Joey did his "business" in the front of the house with a leash if it wasn't time for a walk (diabetic dogs go pee alot!!). But our smart boy was no fool..he wouldn't come back in without a treat! You would call him and he would just look at you with his head tilted (I used to call it his quizzicle look!) but then a piece of a turkey cold cut would come out and he would trot up the steps like a puppy to come get it!!
Groomings were fun for Joey. "Aunt" Sharon, from Klean Paws would come once a month to groom Joey and he would get to play with her dog Crouton. Afterwards, he would be sporting a nifty bandana to go with the correct season or holiday. Aunt Sharon was a wonderful friend who loved Joey so much and was able to visit with him the day before he passed.
We also lived through allergies, a torn ACL (I slept on a blow up mattress so he wouldn't jump off the bed), teeth pulling and various little ailments but then three years ago I noticed that Joey was drinking way too much water. I brought him immediately to the vet and we found out that he had diabetes. For two years we went on as usual, except that he had to get a tiny insulin shot twice a day (I couldn't sleep in but that was a small price to pay for my dog's health!) His regular blood tests would come in okay and life went out happily, but then one day I got the dreaded phone call from his vet.
His numbers came back horrible and he didn't think Joey would make it through the weekend. Michelle came home from college and we kept a close eye on him. When I called the vet, our friend Tricia (the tech) suggested a treatment that helps flush out the kidneys and that could possibly prolong Joey's life. It was a band-aid, not a cure but that "band-aid" (and special prayers..thanks Kris!) kept Joey with us through Michelle's college graduation and for ten more quality months.
Then the dreaded day came when our boy wouldn't eat and was throwing up and just would want to stay in our arms with his sad eyes pleading with us to help him. We knew that we couldn't be selfish and let him be in pain. Also with his diabetes, it was very dangerous for him not to get his insulin, which you couldn't give him on an empty stomach.
Michelle and I were the last images that he saw before he took his last breath. I know, in time, I will realize that we all gave him a beautiful life and loved him enough to give him a beautiful death too..free from pain and anguish. But for now, I just miss my buddy. I look for him in all his familiar hangouts and sometimes hear the jingling of his dog tags. I miss the way he would cuddle up against me wherever I was. I miss him greeting me by the door whenever I came back home from an errand. I miss him barking at the UPS guy (I could never get away with a purchase!) or for that matter, any delivery person. I hope and pray that wherever he is, he knows he is loved, cherished and missed terribly. Our family was so lucky to have him and now all the wonderful memories of him forever!
April 4, 2014: Well my sweet Joey, its been a year since you left us for Rainbow Bridge. Just wanted to let you know that not a day has gone by without us missing you and our home is so quiet and lonely without you! You were always by my side wherever I went and sometimes I think I hear your little jingle coming down the hall to greet me, but you are not there and my heart breaks all over again. You were the best little yorkie in the world and I will miss you forever! Happy birthday in heaven sweet boy!
April 4, 2015: Sweet little Joey..I hope you are so happy and healthy at Rainbow Bridge, playing with new friends and watching over us. A week after your last anniversary in heaven, I had made up my mind that I would never, ever get another dog because my heart was still broken and I never wanted to go through the pain of losing a pet. Well, never say never! My friend Cathy had a friend who couldn't care for her little yorkie Mickey and this one year old yorkie needed a forever home. My first reaction was no (I had just made my promise never to do it again!) but then I felt bad for the puppy who my friend assured me was trained, well behaved, loving and smart (but he wasn't you!) and I also thought our your other "mommy" Michelle. Michelle was missing you so much too and I couldn't not tell her about Mickey needing a home. The next day Mickey came for a "trial" run..and it was like looking at you all over again my sweet baby Joey! He was the spitting image of you only smaller and way more energic! I still was hesitant in keeping him and spoke to Michelle about my concerns and we made an agreeement. She told me she would be his mom and when and if she moved out, she would take him with her. Now I am the proud grandmother of Mickey, Michelle has moved out and Mickey has a new dad Kyle who loves him so much. Mickey is never alone..when Michelle goes to work, I babysit him (or his other loving grandmother does). He has many doggy friends and plays nice with children too. He isn't you Joey but he definitely helped heal our hearts. But at night, I still think of you and how you would cuddle next to me and wake me with kisses and I miss you terribly. Continue to look down on us and remember that we love you so much and will never, ever forget you! We always say somehow you helped us help Mickey and for that we thank you!!