Monday, January 24, 2011

Angel: Remembering Izzie

Izzie in her pink butterfly costume, Halloween 2008
Today marks one year since our beloved Izzie passed away. In the weeks after she left us, in an attempt to heal, I started writing down some of my favorite memories of her. She was so sick the last nine months of her life, but she was always our sweet Izzie. She loved her family - Chapin, George and me - more than anything else in the world. Hopefully she knew and understood how much we loved her in return, and I know in my heart I will see her again one day.

Izzie's Bark

Izzie's bark was high-pitched but had such a sweetness to it. She used to run to the door whenever she thought she heard a knock, even if was just me knocking on the wall or something to tease her. She would run to the door every morning when I returned from working out -- "Momma's back! Momma's back!" -- and even now, one year, I still imagine her coming to the door to greet me.

The Flutter-Flutter Tail Wag

You could just look at Izzie and her tail would wag. She had such love for everyone. We used to say her tail would wag so much she might fly away. Sometimes it would just be a flutter, flutter of her tail if you happened to glance over at her, and other times it would wag so hard because she was so happy.

Our Little Butterball

Like all pugs, Izzie loved to eat, and she was very impatient. Whenever we would get their breakfast or dinner ready, or she knew a treat was coming, she would leap into the air to try to get to the food sooner. Before she got sick, our vet had actually told us to put her on a diet. It was just hard to say no to that sweet little face.

Izzie Joins Our Family

I remember the first day we picked her up. I was so excited to meet her. She was standing very still in the owner’s yard. She didn’t know me yet. I was still debating about what to call her. I liked the name Izzie a lot but I wasn’t sure. Then we stopped at Starbucks and I looked over at the case of drinks and saw one called Izze. I thought that was the universe telling me to trust my decision to name her Izzie.

She did not pee for about three days after we brought her home. She did not know us yet! She was very stubborn when she wanted to be. I remember Chapin and I taking turns taking her outside... she just had to get to know us.

Sibling Rivalry

Izzie was a bully and George got the brunt of it. She always wanted to play with him. She would grab his neck scruff and pull. He always would come trotting over to us with HELP in his eyes.

But for everything, George loved Izzie a lot. In the days after she died, he refused to sit in her doughnut, the dog bed I kept for her at work. It was like he knew this time was different, that she was not coming back from the hospital like she did those other times. He would put his chin on the edge of the bed and just look sad (sadder than usual). It broke my heart.

Daddy's Girl

I loved Izzie with all my heart and soul, but she was truly a Daddy's Girl. She fell asleep every night in her Daddy's "nook," and she and Chapin shared a very special relationship. I love this photo of the two of them.

I still think about Izzie each and every day. Chapin wants me to move on, but it's so hard. I don't think many people understand what I went through when we first lost her, and what I go through everyday even now. It was just a dog, they say. That makes me so angry. Izzie was my daughter, and I deserve the same respect that any grieving parent would receive. Next weekend we plan to attend a memorial for all the pets that were lost in 2010. I am hoping that will help give me some closure. But no matter what, I will always remember Izzie and the light she brought to our lives.

Izzie A.: December 3, 2005 - January 24, 2010