goodbye angel

About 2 years into our marriage, Casey and I bought our first home.  We decided to add to our family soon after, and chose to make our first addition a furry one.  I remember going to the breeder's home to choose a puppy, and soon after we arrived we knew which one we'd take.  Milo was a black and white shih-tzu ball of fur, rolling around, but we noticed he was getting picked on by some of the other pups.  He was the one.

Milo was the naughtiest puppy I'd ever met.  Chewing, scratching, biting everything...including us!  He was so dangerous with those teeth that we were afraid to leave any flesh exposed.  For the first year of his life, that dog was a tiny bundle of pure energy.  In fact, during that first year we never once witnessed him sleeping.  Only when we'd put him in his kennel at night would he finally quiet down and rest.  At about one year old, Milo's energy wore off slightly, and he began to look lonesome.  He'd sit on the rug in the kitchen and stare up at us.

Have I ever mentioned I can successfully convince my husband to do ANYTHING?  It's true.  And I can convince him quickly.  I'm pretty skilled.  For example, I made up my mind one Sunday morning that we simply could not go another day without a new stove.  There was one burner that was slightly faulty on the stove that came with our home, and quite obviously that was a glaring reason to replace the entire appliance.  I think I started the request around 9 am, which was met with strong resistance.  By 3 pm we were out shopping, and by 5 we were hoisting the new stove into the house.

So anyway, when Casey and his brother won some money in a fishing tournament in the summer of 2003, the money was already spoken for.  Milo was soon on his way to having a companion.

My sister and I set out to take a look at a shih-tzu puppy, a female...and I knew full well that I would not be leaving without that puppy.  The sweet little bundle of gold and white with tiny black tips on her ears was simply adorable.  As I was holding her, the owner's daughter approached me.  She was maybe about 7 years old, with her two front teeth missing.  She looked up at me, squinted into the sun, and said quietly, "Her name is Angel."  And that was it.  I was sold on the dog, and sold on the name.

Angel and Milo were so happy to have each other.  While Angel was not nearly as mischievous as Milo had been, it soon became obvious that her energy would outlast his.  She loved to jump, run, and play, and has always been one of the happiest dogs I've ever known.

And here we are, six years into her sweet life, having to say goodbye.  Angel is suffering from what we think are multiple herniated disks in her spinal column, which has caused paralysis and pain, and has taken away her playful, happy spirit.  It's time for her to feel happy again, which sadly can't happen here with us.

Goodbye Angel.  We love you, and will always remember you, our little grizzly bear, our little chewbacca, our loyal, happy little friend.  Home won't be the same without you.

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