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Saturday, January 31, 2009

I Lost My Best Friend...a tribute to Alexis

Alexis...1994-2009

I remember when Alexis was born. The breeder was a friend and I was showing my boy 'Conrad' at the time. Alexis was the boss of the litter...keeping all her siblings in their places. She had this beautiful little square body, feisty attitude, we could tell she was going to have a wonderful hard coat...the signature for a Standard Schnauzer. Alexis was was the 'pick show female' of the liter.

Alexis was purchased by a man as a 'show' puppy at 8 weeks. She was returned to the breeder at 6 months on the premise that she was 'untrainable'....THE MAN HAD BEATEN HER.

My friend and I were heartbroken...this man had not trained her, he had attempted to force her into submission. She came back a broken abused puppy. She became mine that very weekend.

When I first brought her home she wouldn't even respond to her name and if you picked up a magazine or a yard stick to measure something, she was gone...as far away as she could get. If you moved to quickly, she coward and shook. With love and patience Alexis came out of most of her 'fright' but never returned completely to that trusting little puppy she was when I first saw her.

Conrad, gentleman as he was, allowed Alexis to rule the roost and she certainly did. Her problem was with people not with other dogs and Conrad seemed to understand. He was a stable, soft, gentle spirit...and I think this helped Alexis adjust.

Alexis was the 'first born' and trust me was going to be first in everything in life, and would almost knock Conrad and I down to get there. She was first to get outside, first into the van (to get the best seat), and when we went on walks...she always had to be 'just a little' ahead of Conrad.

When it came to sharing...Alexis didn't. She 'hid' all their toys under the glass top coffee table (as if they were out of sight!). If Conrad had a toy, she would 'steal' it the minuet he wasn't watching and put it in her stash...stand back, take a look, and then readjust it until she was happy that it was appropriately hidden.

Alexis didn't want to share me either. If Conrad and I were 'lovin', Alexis would pester him until he just moved over and let her in. Alexis became my shadow...always wanting to be where I was at and as close as possible. I believe Conrad understood her needs.

When Conrad became sick their rolls reversed...Alexis became devoted to Conrad and mothered and looked after him. She would come get me when he was having one of his spells and mourned him for weeks after he passed away. For a long time after, if I corrected her she would go into the other room and lay in his bed for comfort.

In Conrad's absence she became even more attached to me...bringing joy, laughter, and companionship to my everyday life. Her presence filled the house and today there is such an emptiness.

Alexis had sever liver issues...the tumors grew at a rapid rate causing problems with her other organs. She would have been 16 next month, an age where surgery and treatment were not an option. In the end she and I both knew it was time. She was barely eating and could no longer support herself to go potty. Her organs were shutting down and the ornery little twinkle in her eyes was just not there anymore.

Her last night, she wanted in bed with me. I put a piece of plastic down and a blanket on top...we just cuddled. In the morning I took her to the vet and stayed with her while the sedative was administered. "My last act of love for my Best Friend."

I've been through this too often. Even though you know it's the right thing, it's so hard. The quiet in my home is deafening. The void is palpable. I just hate it.

23 comments:

THEARTBRUSH said...

Hi,
The story of your Friend is well said, It is one of the hardiest but the kindest things to do for a suffering animal. this will occupie
your mind constantly,and slowly reduce over time.one must remember there is another animal that is counting on you, that you must seek out.
I tell you from experience of 65 years of horsesdogs & cats.This was always their heaven on earth.
Keep painting,Happy painting.
Pete,Theartbrush.

Marian Fortunati said...

I'm so sorry, Marsha...
I know you will cherish all of the good memories.

Sheona Hamilton Grant said...

Marcia, words are not enough thoughts are. Sending you a tone of my very best ones. Sheona

Janelle Goodwin said...

Marcia, So sorry for the loss of Alexis. It's so very hard to lose a dog because they're so innocent at heart. I believe all good dogs go to heaven.

Mary Bullock said...

so sorry to hear about your loss - we become so attached to our pets. I do hope you will paint a portrait of her in her best "spunkiest" state.
Mary

Jeanette said...

You gave Alexis the best life possible. You did everything you could for her and she loves you for it.

Its so difficult. I do understand the adjustment it will take to life without her. Stay strong.

Jimmy Springett said...

Hi Marsha,
Dogs our man's best friend no unkind bones in their bodies, so I know as you and many others do that God has many plans for our pets, to help soothe our human soul when things get out of perspective. All of my dogs never held grudes, and would smile night or day, with good feeeling for me.
Your story is heart felt because in the past 3 weeks I have been up 2-3 times a night, to help our 14 year old English setter. Of late she is getting stronger but at this age one never knows. I hope to be as brave and able to take those steps when she can no longer go, she has been so dear and near to me over all these years.
Thanks for sharing your story--Jimmy Springett

Marsha Robinett said...

My Special thank you to everyone for your thoughtful words of encouragement. This was a difficult write...it helped to put my feelings into words, bringing a semblance of peace and closure. I appreciate your understanding.

I appreciate you.

Jennie Norris said...

marsha, I'm very sorry for your loss. My animals are like my children also, so I feel your pain. I have been through it many times and it never gets any easier.

I always say I will never get another dog, it's to hard to take. But , I always do. ( I have 3 now) Then I realize the joy they bring and the happiness & good life you bring to them far out ways the pain in the end.

Take care. Sincerely, Jennie

JoAnn said...

Its a beautiful tribute to a sweet, faithful friend. Thank you for writing it.

Jala Pfaff said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I know about the emptiness. I recently lost my best friend, a black-and-white very special cat named Halfie. It is so hard. We love them so very very much.

Karen Hargett said...

Oh Marsha - I'm so sorry about Alexis. I know how how much our animals fill our lives with love, laughs and tears - I wouldn't trade any of it! I wished I could say something to comfort you - just know you have my love and prayers. Take care.

Teresa Mallen said...

Oh dear Marsha, I have been looking forward to your return to blog posting but oh such terrible news. You have my deepest sympathy. I know the loss you are dealing with and my thoughts are with you during this very difficult time. Alexis had a wonderful life with you and I hope the knowledge of this gives you comfort. God bless, and take care of yourself.

clintavo said...

Marsha,

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. Losing a loved pet has to be one of the hardest things any of us have to go through. My prayers are with you.

Angela Finney said...

I have a lump in my throat after reading your post. I am so sorry. It is a blessing to have had the closeness the night before. You both gave each other alot of love -- and when the pain passes, that is what you will remember most. My thoughts and prayers are with you, as has been said, take care of yourself.

Anonymous said...

It is a blessing to have dogs around! I can imagine how hard these days are for you.
Big hug! Priscila.

Susan Carlin said...

Thank you for telling Alexis' story. I can feel your sadness..., and your gladness at having had her company all these years. I've had to go through that "last act of Love," too, and I commend you for your strength on her behalf. I'm so sorry, Marsha.

Deborah O said...

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of Alexis..

Deborah

Jan Pope said...

I'm so sorry to hear that you lost your best friend. I've lost several furry friends of my own in the last few years. It just about rips your heart out. I like to think that all of these special friends now run together in no pain.

PencilsandPixelsArt said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Our beloved pets are members of the family, and that void is so hard to cope with. Thank you for sharing the story of Alexis. Despite her difficult start, what a wonderful life she had with you! Take care!

Quilt Knit said...

I am sorry, for your loss. In time, I hope the love of Conrad and Alexis bring you to a new and loving Friend. ((( Circle of His Healing Angels come and comfort you at this Great Time of need)))
You were blessed!
Sherrie Roberts

Paula Pertile said...

Oh Marsha, I'm so sorry.

Anonymous said...

sorry to hear about Alexis. Unfortunately, I have been thru the same one time too many. Hopefully it won't happen again for a while, as currently all my animals are younger...but have peace in knowing Alexis had a long and happy life with you, thank God the jerk who got her first brought her back to the breeder. I have a chihuahua who had a similar start in life, maybe worse, but he is coming around.

Look forward to seeing her again -- to me heaven can only be the place where we will be reunited with all our animals.

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