Thursday, August 23, 2012


I will try to make this short. No promises.
My jammy girl sleeping away. Her muzzle went grey at about 2 years old...silly anxious dog.
I am starting this post the night before we have to say goodbye to Lola. How do you even get to the point where you have to schedule your best friend's end? It is pretty much horrific and I don't wish it on my worst enemy. It has been my finest moment in procrastination ever and there was never a more appropriate time.
Lola on our move out west.
My Lola (I can't help but say "my" even though I know and Scott has reminded me that she is our family...this is oh so true, but stick with me and you'll see why "my" comes naturally) came into my life in 2005. I was an intern at Crocs and about to start my full time adult life as a PR career-woman the following week. What better weekend to get a puppy, right?! Suffice it to say, I have grown up a lot since Lola came into my life and I would consider myself a better decision maker these days. However, I wouldn't change this decision for anything. To not know my Lola would have left me a different person.
Seriously, this dog had me wrapped around her paw from day one.
I told Scott tonight that Lola taught me how to be a mom. Lola was a demanding, whiny, pain-in-the-you-know-what. You see, from the moment Lola came home she had me on my toes. She had kennel cough so badly that I am pretty sure it was never 100% cured. That, combined with her inconsolable separation anxiety (and crazy demeanor in general) made for demanding early days. Lola destroyed the molding around doors and even a couple of actual doors with her scratching and need to get to her people. Because, let's face it, that is all Lola has ever wanted. Her people. She is the most well behaved, sensitive, licky, happy little girl as long as her people are around. But hop out of the car to pump some gas and you will have a lunatic on her hands.
Lola and her daddy. She is his girl, too.
This is where Arnold entered the picture. He was/is the antithesis of Lola. You could leave him with some food and water and he wouldn't miss you for a couple days (aside from his morning scratches). But, since this isn't about Arnold, I will save my rave reviews of him for another day. Suffice it to say, he helped Little Miss Lola A LOT. She calmed down once she had a friend, but I wouldn't say she was cured.
Snuggle monsters back in Colorado. I worry about AP without his sidekick.
Lola was a companion. She wanted to be with me always. Anywhere we went, she was right on my heels. I never had to put her on a leash, even as a puppy. Straying was not in her nature...she was mine and that's how we both wanted it. Lola quickly made it clear that crate training was not going to work out and snuggled in to life as a 5th appendage. And there she has stayed.
My little hiking buddy.
I truly believe that Lola is being taken away because she was sent to be with me when I truly needed her. Of course, I still need her and still want her, but I am in a different place now than I was in 2005 or even last year. Scott says to everyone, "Thank God she has Noah". Because he knows that not having my first fur baby would be unbearable without my Noah. Lola taught me patience, understanding, rule setting (yeah, I was awesome at that...hence I learned the lesson that I need to be better!), and true love.
At our house in SF.
I went through so much self exploration in my lifetime with Lola. To be honest, I grew up. She saw me through some rough moments in this growth...licking every salty tear she could find! Lola had a sixth sense for a sad mom. She knew the exact moment to snuggle in and care. She also joined in some of the happiest moments of my life. She was right there, tail wagging, ball chasing, tongue wagging, when Scott proposed. Lola had an energy in her life that could not be contained.
Snuggling me whenever I needed it most.
I often joked (yes, this makes me hate myself now) that Lola was taking off half her lifespan with the amount she ran and span. When we hiked, she would run ahead and then run back to make sure I was still there. When we came in the door, she would spin like a top until she was satisfied with our greeting. Lola was a 9lb. greyhound! This dog LOVED a good run. She came along as Scott and trained for the SF Half Marathon and was still raring to go.
Once, Lola ran away because she was afraid of the smoke detector. When we got her back we gave her a million snuggles and a bath as a punishment ;-).
Unfortunately, the girl snuggled up to me now is not this same pup. She is 7 years old and pretty much incapable of walking. She still spins, but can't really stop and it isn't so much voluntary. Lola has a cancerous tumor in/around her spine and the medicine has reached its limit. Finding the strength to actually let her go has been agonizing. I knew it was a matter of time, but the past few days have been rough. I know she isn't happy...she can't run to greet us, she can't jump on her couch and look out the window, she can barely make it out the doggy door. She is s shell of her former self and if I look at it objectively, I have been keeping her around for me. I tried to let her go on Tuesday but I choked. I wasn't I let her get worse.
Running since the beginning.
I told Scott today I wouldn't be able to do this until someone told me, "You are f***ing crazy and need to let her go, she is miserable". He took a few expletives out, but pretty much laid it out in plain truth tonight. And he is right. My girl is suffering. She needs to be able to run Crissy Field in doggy heaven and be free of this disease.
She can be so pretty when she's calm!

Cancer sucks. I know that Lola is a dog and it doesn't compare to human affliction. But she is mine, and saying goodbye is horrendous. I decided that being a grown up sucks. I want to tuck tail and let someone else hold her while she exits our world. But what kind of mom would I be to leave my girl when she needs me most? So, tomorrow today, I will hold her and kiss her and let her go. I will be there for her, just like she has always been there for me. If dogs had tears I would lick every salty one (seriously, give me points here for comedic effort!).
My first two furry, one not so much.
It hurts like hell to say goodbye to my girl, my friend, my companion. I will miss her more than I think I even know but I will talk about her constantly and tell Noah all about his first puppy. We'll give Snooch so much extra love that he might vacate the premises. I am not sure one dog can handle love for both of them!
In a few weeks we will be returning Lola to Crissy Field where she can play ball and run forever!
Lola, bucket, banana, jammie, jam jam, jam-i-kins; I will miss you and I love you. Thank you for the past 7 years...I couldn't have done it without you.


jec22vr said...

xoxo! we will miss you lola!

Jen said...

Oh my heart breaks for you. There's nothing worse than having to make that decision. When we had to say goodbye to my childhood dog, Classy, I remember saying to my mom, "Maybe just a few more days?" -- and she said something I'll never forget...that he had always done what was best for us and now it was time for us to do the same for him. That really rung true for me -- but man, I still miss him all the time. (Kirby even looks just like him!) Good luck :(

LC said...

I'm so sorry, Stephanie :( Thinking of you.

Kristina said...

I would just like to say that this post made me cry. Which as you know for me, is a hard feet to concur. But as a former lola babysitter I can attest that she adored no-one more then you guys, and I loved anytime she made me feel special enough to snuggle with. I will truly miss the welcoming spin/bark dance that made me feel like I was coming into the coolest house ever. I mean, what can be more exciting then someone so small being so happy that someone is coming in to say hello. I couldn't imagine losing a friend like that, I hope your little man gives you some extra hugs and smiles, so your heart can make its way back to whole again.

<3 you guys!