My dad never wanted us to get a puppy. He said he didn’t really like puppies. He wouldn’t even hold Izzy when we brought her home 15 years ago. She was just a tiny black and white fluff ball and the rest of the family couldn’t keep our hands off of her, but my dad thought we were crazy for getting a puppy and had no interest in her cuteness.
But soon enough Izzy worked her magic on him and he had an instant best friend. It’s easy to love my dad. He is silly, and kind and makes you feel okay about the world when it disappoints you. He has a magic about him that makes people feel at ease, and a trustworthiness that makes it feel okay to share your story. He is a natural born therapist.
And Izzy was easy to love, too. She had a such a calm spirit about her, and seemed content just sharing space with you. She fiercely loved being outside, and when she was young she served as an excellent hiking, camping, and canoeing buddy. She licked faces, cleaned up under-the-table crumbs, was gentle with babies, and loved looking out windows and lying in the sun.
We all loved Izzy, but my dad loved her the most. He talked to her, walked at night with her, and while at my parent’s house I would often turn a corner and find him lying on the floor next to her asleep.
Whenever it was my duty to watch her, I would get strict notes about how many times to walk her, how many cookies to give her, and how much time I should spend petting her. This last weekend while my parents went to Chicago, Izzy had to stay at our house. She could no longer walk down steps, so my dad built her a ramp. A very well-constructed ramp complete with side railings and carpet so she wouldn’t slip. That’s that kind of guy my dad is. And that is how much he loved Izzy.
So when I had to tell him that I thought it was time to put her to sleep, it wasn’t easy.
But it was time.
We said goodbye to Izzy today. And saying goodbye is hard. And I am sad because I loved that dog. And I am sad because our whole family loved that dog, and now there is an Izzy-sized hole. And I am sad for my dad. Because he had a special bond with that dog. A special connection that I know will be sorely missed.
She was a really good doggie.