On October 18, 2015 my wife Katharine and I lost our little dog of thirteen years, Dizzy. Dizzy was so much more than a dog to us; she was our little baby, affectionately called our “dog-ter.” You may remember Dizzy from the article I wrote about her last year where I distilled a few business true-isms from her everyday actions. In Dizzy’s short time on this earth, she had a profound impact on our lives and touched many people in unforeseen and wonderful ways. When we announced Dizzy had passed away last week on Facebook and Instagram, we were overwhelmed by her friends writing such nice things about her. It was wonderful to read all the sweet comments and amazing to see the lives she touched, near and far.
Dizzy’s passing, though inevitable, was a real shock to Kat and me. We thought we had a few more good years left with her and looked forward to weekend brunches, Sunday snuggles and a couple more Thanksgiving turkey comas. Everything happened so quickly that neither of us got a chance to emotionally prepare for her departure and we barely had a chance to say goodbye and tell her how much she meant to us.
So, I decided to write Dizzy a letter and tell her just how wonderful she was. I figure if humans get eulogies, Dizzy is entitled to one last tribute on my blog.
My Dear Little Dizzy,
I thought we’d have more time. More time for naps, more time for playing, and more time keeping mommy and me company on the couch while we catch up on emails… The time we had together was filled with laughs, kisses, smiles and hugs. You brought out the best in everyone with your teddy bear face and smiley under bite, but most of all, the impact you had on me and your Mom was profound. Five pounds may not amount to much in the grand scheme of things but your five pounds of fluff and love occupied a big part of our hearts.
You may not remember it but you came from a breeder in Marshfield, Missouri. A few of my friends made a cross-country road trip in college to pick out a new puppy and bring her back to Bloomington. When I arrived at the breeder, I saw a beautiful litter of fuzzy cotton balls. I disregarded the yappers and ignored the shy sleepers and was quickly drawn to you. In fact, you stepped forward from your brothers and sisters and crawled into my lap as if to say “take me home!” I’m not a big believer in love at first sight but it happened that day in the tiny town of Marshfield. You slept in my lap the whole way to your new college home.
Of course I forgot the “no pets” policy in University Commons Apartments. I managed to keep you for a semester before I was forced to board you at Granny’s house in the Chicago suburbs with our other dogs, Fluffy and Rolfie, for the remaining three months of the semester. I wish I could say Fluffy and Rolfie were happy to have another roommate but your puppy ways just didn’t mix with their 10 year-old routines. You ran circles around them, stole their toys and treats, and made them…well…Dizzy!
You rejoined me at school to finish your “dogree” the following year where you gained three more roommates who adopted you as our mascot for our run-down college townhouse. You earned names like Dizzers, Whizzy, Snoopy and Poo Factory. You raced around the house at top speed, played in the yard, barked at birds and squirrels, went fishing, ate Superbowl ribs and loved every minute of it. You loved being around people and made friends wherever you went; although, no ankle was safe when people entered or exited the apartment. Those were good years.
After college, Mommy and I took you to the big city; quite a change for a small-town pup from rural Missouri. But you adapted well and claimed every comfy spot and plush blanket in the condo. You were there on our first day of work, when we got married, for birthdays, cocktail parties and comforted us in times of loss. When we were in pain, you were always there and seemed to know just the right thing to do without even saying a word. Laying in our laps and licking our hand let us know that everything would be OK.
Seeing our little baby get older and lose her ability to play, jump and run was hard but we were all too happy to take care of you as you took care of us. When you could no longer walk on hard floors, we carried you. When you could no longer eat dry kibble, you dined on only the best gourmet cuts of meat. When you could no longer tell us you needed to go to the bathroom, we were all too happy to clean up after you. We loved you so much and caring for you was our joy, all so we could have you in our lives.
The day we said goodbye was one of the hardest days for Mommy and me. We knew the pain you were feeling was too much for you to bear, and no matter how much we wanted you in our lives, your life had become far too painful. I know it must have been confusing and scary as we took you to the vet but the exhaustion and anguish we saw in your eyes told us you knew it was time. We hugged you tight, said we loved you over and over and gently stroked your soft fur as you took your last nap.
We will forever cherish the memories we made together. All you ever asked in return was to be held, to be pet, and a standing reservation for a warm, comfy spot at the foot of our bed; conditions we were all too happy to meet.
We love you very much and miss you every day, Dizzy. Our daily routines have changed so much and we find ourselves looking for you in all the familiar places but you are somewhere else now. Mommy and I both know you are in a better place now; eating chicken, running on sunny lush lawns and napping any time you want on beds of soft Kashwere.
Thank you, Dizzy, for thirteen years of unconditional love and companionship. You taught us so much about life and filled our hearts with love.