It's five days and three hours since you passed away in my arms. I miss you so much it hurts physically. You were my sweet, pretty girl - we found you and your puppies when you were roaming the streets more than 11 years ago. We found homes for your pups and you quickly settled in with us - but it took years for you to really relax. We got there, though, and we moved into a wonderful life together - you, your doggie "siblings" Cooper and Foster, myself and Baasje (Dutch for dog-daddy). When you were diagnosed with bone cancer almost six months ago and given two weeks to live we were devastated, but determined to make your last weeks the best possible. You kept surprising us, and we kept taking you new places - Starbucks, Three Dog Bakery, lakes and parks, Washington DC.... we learned you adored traveling as long as it was with us.
You started to decline faster a few weeks ago when you lost your ability to hobble (you could not walk well but hopped on three legs for months) and you could not hold your business anymore. We thought it would compromise your quality of life but you just looked at it as a way to give and receive more love. When we would change your diaper you would lie on your back, smile your beautiful doggie smile, and relish the extra attention and love you were getting. You taught me so much: how to be happy with what life gives you, how to live life in the present, how to be gracious and tender and courageous. You loved to be with us more than anything else. When you stopped eating and drinking last Thursday we realize your poor broken body was shutting down and you were going to suffer unless we helped you across the Rainbow Bridge. We took you to your favorite lake and I spent all afternoon hugging you, singing to you, cuddling you and you - you smiled your amazing smile and were happier than I have ever seen you. The picture with us shows your complete trust and your love with abandon - I cry every time I see it. Baasje and your doctor joined us there and you fell asleep in my arms, secure in our love, reveling till the end in the presence of your Vrouwtje and Baasje. I wanted to run away with you. I wanted to do anything except the horrible decision we had to make. I love you so much, and I miss you every second of every day.
You are and always will be my pretty girl. Please wait for me, I will come find you. Sweet Snowball, your love for us knew no bounds, and our love for you had no limits, either. We will carry on in your memory. We will go on "adventures" with Cooper and Foster, and we will cherish and celebrate your life. And one day we will be reunited. I just don't know how to make it until then.... the world is a darker place now.