College of Veterinary Medicine Home Pet Loss Hotline

On Christmas Eve 2002, my (now) husband and his daughter drove 5 hours from home to surprise me with an English Bulldog puppy. I grew up with bulldogs and kept saying that I would get one when I could afford it. We had been dating for 6 months, and had 5 children between us. My 18 year old stepdaughter suggested the name "Holly" to signify Christmas. She became our baby. Holly was the sweetest dog I've ever known. Her whole body wiggled with happiness--and her favorite place to sit was on a foot--anyone's foot. We used to play tricks on her by putting empty shoes near her and she would back up until she was in line with the shoe and sit on it. You learned never to go barefoot around Holly!

She traveled regularly with us on car rides that lasted from 3 to 14 hours. She drank water from a bottle. Everyone has a pet that is the "one". The pet that takes over your heart--Holly was it. She represented the most thoughtful and generous gift anyone ever gave me; we got married on Christmas Day 2004 on our front porch; Holly had been with us 2 years. Holly had 3 eye surgeries and was finally comfortable. I thought it would be smooth sailing from then on. Then on June 28, 2005 she skipped breakfast and dinner. I knew something was up and took her to the vet where we realized she was jaundiced. Then next night the vet confirmed the unthinkable-that Holly had liver cancer and it may have spread to her kidneys and lymph nodes by now. Just 6 months earlier, she had a clear ultrasound.

We were devastated. I couldn't put her through surgery or chemo, it would not have prolonged her life much, and it would have made her last weeks dreadful. She was my baby. We never stopped calling her "puppy". I had her on 3 medications and a dozen or so natural remedies a day,and a special diet. I wanted her to be happy and pain free until the end. 3 days ago, on August 4, 2005 I had to put my baby to sleep. I held her while she passed and felt my heart break. I've never felt such pain in my life. She can never be replaced. I just want to hug her again, and rub her soft ears. I want to hear her snore; I know her spirit lives on. I know she is in a better place, but to only have her for 2 1/2 years is unbearable. I look at her picture and she seems to be looking back at me. I can't find words to describe my feelings.

We love you Holly pup, and if nothing else, we know that you felt that love. So many friends and children have cried for you; were so special and will always be in our hearts-even after I stop crying myself to sleep every night,

Posted April 4, 2005  |     Printer Friendly Version