Tboz was 17 and for 17 wonderful years she was by my side as my constant. The one and only thing that I could count on 100%. When things were tough, she is why I chose to fight to live. I miss her so very much and I have a huge gaping spiky prickly hole in my heart that will take much effort to try and heal.
18 years ago, I was very ill and had to withdraw from college. While ill, I asked Paige, my roommate, if her Dad (who is a vet) could be on the look out for a small, black girl dog. Thinking this was so specific, I didn't think I would find such a dog anytime soon.
After I recovered and returned to school, Paige told me her Dad had found me a dog. Dr. Overton said someone had dropped Tboz off at his clinic with a sibling, I believe. I went to Dallas with Paige to pick up my very own small, black, girl dog.
|Young precious Tboz. |
She liked to burrow
from the very beginning.
|TLC - Tboz (left), Left-eye and Chile|
We decided Tboz was a good name for her. Really, I wanted it to be Roxy, because I loved Lenny Kravitz at the time and Roxy was Lenny's mom. But 17 years later - Tboz could not be anything other than Tboz. Tboz was the perfect name for her.
Tboz saw me through college and my first job in Dallas. When it came time to move to Wilmington for my next job, Tboz drove with me cross country. I was so scared to be on my own like this, but there was great comfort with having her with me. Later, I had to make the difficult decision to return Tboz to Texas with friends because I would be traveling so much and I didn't know anyone yet to take care of her. This was terrible and brought much guilt, but it was the right thing to do for her.
|Tboz hated when I traveled. |
I found her like this
when packing one night.
Tboz was a great air traveler. I took her with me to lots of places. She would lay in her little carryon under my seat and not make a peep. I usually kept the top open so she could see me. One time, I was sitting in first class with her and had to run to the bathroom during a long flight. While I was in the bathroom, she had come to look for me. Ooops. Luckily the nice passenger next to me caught her before she went too far.
|Tboz hung with me |
through my drinking and smoking days.
In time, I got a roommate that would help watch her while I traveled and I returned to Dallas to pick up my girl and she was so happy to see me. I remember how fierce her little tail wagged. That was the beginning of a much deeper meaningful bond between she and I. I was growing up and realizing the responsibility of loving something so deeply.
|Tboz loving me |
Tboz was my comfort for some of my life's greatest tragedies and struggles. She comforted me through new jobs, moves to new states, the sudden loss of my only sibling, a burglary and just recently a cancer diagnosis and treatment. I think that much of my independence came from knowing she was by my side.
Over the last week it was time for me to comfort her and be by her side. A year or so ago, she had passed out a few times. We put her on blood pressure medicine and no more passing out. However, last week she passed out again, this time urinating during the episode. I thought she might be having seizures. She was still happy and playful.
I took her for her scheduled annual check up a few days later and we did lots of tests: blood, blood pressure, etc. When I loaded her in the car she passed out again. Things got worse and she developed labored breathing. I really don't know what happened between that morning and the tests at the vets - but she got worse. Much guilt lies here - did I cause this to happen? Did I not protect her? Did too much stress cause her rapid decline? I will never know the answer.
ER visits, Cardiologists, Echocardiograms, ultrasounds, sleepless nights and many pills later Tboz was not improving. Her little body struggled to breathe - heaving her little chest. Afraid to shut her eyes to sleep. Passing out upon standing. Peeing and Pooping in my arms after passing out. She was still eating and drinking by my hand, but she could not stand to eat or drink. There was a brief period where she walked around a bit and I had hope. But the next day, back to heaving breaths and passing out. Heartbreaking heartwrenching terrible times.
I asked others how to know when it was time to let her go. I was told I would just know. That Tboz would give me a look. And that when she was no longer able to do the things she loved, it would be time. And if she was suffering, it would be time.
It was time yesterday.
I had decided to take her to the ER so that I would not associate her regular vet, Dr. J, with this terrible terrible thing. Dr. J, my friend, agreed to meet me at the ER and do this with me. But as I was driving to the ER, my heart tugged me to Dr. J's office; where there were people who knew her and loved her for the past 5 years. Dr. J was there waiting and showed me a kindness that I will never ever forget.
Tboz was given a sedative and barely holding her head up, gave me a few kisses which I hope with all my heart meant, "mom, its time and its OK".
Dr. J and I sat on a couch with Tboz laying on my chest and we let her go. And it was terrible. The most gut wrenching thing I have ever experienced.
There is a hole in my heart that I know not how to heal. Every space in my home reminds me of my precious Tboz. It is an empty home. A sad home. No longer a home. Because I no longer have a family in this home.
Tboz loved playing ball.
I love you so much Tboz. You are such a brave, sweet, precious, smart girl and are loved by so many. But no one loves you as much as I do.