Oh yeah, Snuffy was perfect. So perfect, in fact, that one year God was like, “I thought I reserved that kind of perfection for Heaven, dang it! I’m afraid I must ask them to give him back.”
But us mere mortals had NO clue about God’s thought process (hm do we ever?) and at the time, we (dumba** veterinarian included) thought it was just allergies. What was bothering Snuffy, the reason why he started peeing blood at times, the reason why that vet prescribed him some (useless) meds that ended up making him eat more than he should, and the reason why his belly seemed really big was just allergies.
But alas, it wasn’t allergies. It was cancer.
However, if you looked at our sweet boy on any day, you would’t know it: He never stopped being his animated, happy self. He never complained or showed he was suffering; he was so dang brave and selfless. He was always ready for one more walk, more meals, more playtime, more fun, more hugs, more kisses, more road trips, more everything.
He was perfect. Too perfect, perhaps. Like a misplaced angel. Like an angel who had to return Home.
So on May 23, 2013 my dad took him to another vet while my mom was at work and I was at school. There, he finally got a straight answer: Not only was it cancer, but the tumor near his belly was almost the size of a TENNIS BALL.
A tennis ball. Inside of a poodle. Heartbreaking. Upon finding this out, he also learned there was only one solution of two: Either treat the cancer (with chemo and all that jazz) and have him suffer through his last days OR relieve him of the agony he must have been going through but never showed. He was so strong.
So my dad called my mom and asked her to come and be with Snuffy and together make a decision because he felt like someone had kicked him in the gut. Together, they decided to give him back to God on that same day.
When I found out, just after leaving school/work for the day, I bawled like I had never, ever, EVER cried in my life. (Fortunately, my mom was giving me a ride home that day.) And I didn’t even cry when I was born or throw tantrums as a kid, so I know this is true. On that same day, Sparky even started showing signs of missing his big bro, and Simba, our fur baby/sibling kinda didn’t because cats are a tad “me, me, me” if you know what I mean :).
So that was a miserable few days. In the end, my parents decided to cremate the little guy and I’m so happy they did. Today, his ashes rest in a little wooden box with a plaque that reads, “You made us so very happy. We’ll cherish you forever.” The box is itself by our family Bible, from which we pray every morning and evening. Perfect location, isn’t it?
You made us so very happy. We’ll cherish you forever.
We were so sad. But we also knew both Sparky (and our sanity) needed a new buddy. So we looked at other dogs to adopt. And boy, were they many! We looked on the websites of our local shelters but God pointed us to another unexpected venue: KSL Classifieds. KSL, for y’all non-Utahns, is the state’s NBC affiliate. Owned by the LDS Church, it’s also the biggest (and coolest, I’ll admit) local network, and its website is among the top in the country. KSL Classifieds is like a more trustworthy Craigslist.
There we came across a listing for a 1.5-year-old puppy named Toffee* just four days later after Snuffy “left.” We fell in love with the guy in the picture, called the family, found out they lived 45 minutes away, and got ready for a mini road trip to adopt our newest addition.
Turns out that Toffee wasn’t a fan of the dad in that family, which was also made up of three girls, a mom, and two-three huge dogs, because “he had never liked men.” (We concluded that that dad simply abused him or treated him very badly.) Toffee, who really belonged to the eldest girl, wasn’t what she needed either, since apparently they wanted to train him for agility and Toffee’s breed (terrier-schnauzer mix) wasn’t right for that. The little girl was SO sad, though, which also led us to believe that this wasn’t her decision.
In any case, we got (i.e., rescued, really) Toffee and changed his name to Skyler: Snuffy, Sparky, Simba, and Skyler. (And yes, future buddies will have names starting with Ss). And now, one year later, we’re so excited we did.
Today, Skyler thinks I’m his to protect (which, coming from an angel, is an honor): He doesn’t like it when anyone gets near me, always follows me around, and will get up from his comfy position (even if he’s on the couch by the AC) if he even senses that someone’s (incl. Simba and Sparky) coming in my direction or if I’ve been away from where he last saw me for a long time. He doesn’t bite, but he will “warn” you (with cute little fake-bites/grabs) that you can’t approach his sissy. Loud, sudden noises scare him (e.g., he can’t stand thunderstorms) but is otherwise so mellow and nice.
My parents are just glad they got themselves a trusty shield/guardian (ahem, against boyfriends LOL) for me :P! His behavior is so moving, and although we wish he didn’t feel threatened as often (many thanks to his former “dad”), we also know that, well, he’s just plain perfect, and that we’ll accept him no matter what.
This week we’re “commemorating” the one-year anniversary of when one of our angels returned Home and another came to join us.
Therefore, I only have a simple request for you: Hug your fur babies/siblings and love them unconditionally because…
What’s YOUR favorite thing about your dog/cat/non-human family member?