Forever friends.

A million and a half years ago, when I was in 8th grade, my parents finally gave in on a request my sister had been making for as long as we could remember – getting a dog.

My sister was in 4th grade – that age where kids promise to do everything for their desired furry four-legged friends – walk them, feed them, clean up…the whole nine yards.  I am not sure how she convinced them, but my parents went for it, and after a little while – we had the cutest, fluffiest little pup you had ever seen in our house.

In a baby carriage...

I wanted nothing to do with this yappy little furball.  

I was a ‘too cool for school’ middle schooler at the time, and thought that this little shih-tzu  that joined our family was nothing but trouble  – constantly barking, making accidents – all those little puppy idiosyncracies.  Since I was old enough to go home after school on my own, I was the one that had to ‘deal’ with the constant barking and just did NOT see the attraction of having a dog.

Oh how things change.

Quickly, that little dog made her transition from baby to puppy.  She learned lots – how to tell us she needed something, the joy of going for a little walk and how to really make our hearts melt.  Her personality shined.  She loved to smile, her own doggy way – and made friends and strangers alike laugh.  Me, the self-proclaimed ‘so not a dog person’ changed.

Our first Christmas...

I warmed up to her, and I knew she could tell.

As I got older, graduated High School and moved on to college, I realized that when I was away from home, I missed her.  I couldn’t wait to come back for summer or winter break, because that would mean a chance to pet and play with her.  My heart would skip a beat when I saw how happy she was when she realized it was me coming through the door, after not seeing her for several months.

Just posin'

Years would pass, again, as I transitioned from college to my first job out in Florida.  I only made it home once – May 2007, for a week those whole four years and then last Christmas.  It was wonderful to be back, seeing family, friends and the place I grew up.

Now, 14 years later – so much has changed.  14 years ago, I was but a naive teenager, thinking I knew it all – pretentious, annoying…now, hopefully smarter, wiser, married and living thousands of miles from home – and having to do something I could have never imagined would be so difficult….

Saying goodbye.

Our best friend, Mistee.

I wish I could be home, but then again, maybe it would be too hard.  I know she’s very old and it’s been a hard decision for my parents to make, but it doesn’t make things easier.  I could see how hard it was for my mom, when she received a call on the phone last month when we were in Hawaii, from their friend that was acting as their emergency contact while they were away – when the boarding facility said that Mistee wasn’t eating, she had a hard time walking and she was sleeping all through the day.

Our little pup, who I always will remember her as – a pup – lived a good life.  She lived very long, and as many older dogs do – developed cancer.  

This is a double edged sword for dog owners everywhere, as dogs never used to live this long – but now that they do, they begin to develop very serious illnesses.  Our little Mistee, well, she might be small, but at 14 – senior citizen status – is ready for doggy heaven. 


  1. Oh, this breaks my heart. I’ve never owned a dog, though I have a soft spot in my heart for Shih Tzu’s, as my BFF owns 4. I’m the owner of the most badass cat ever, and he’ll be turning 14 next year. I don’t like to think of having to make a decision should he fall ill. Losing our pets just might be one of the hardest life events ever. ((((HUGS))))

    • I had this post in draft since Tuesday and after reading your post today it made me brave enough to post it.

      Thanks for the hugs ❤

  2. Aw I can only imagine what a hard time this is for you and your family. I’ll always remember Mistee as the fun, playful puppy that she was when I first met her. I was so jealous of you guys for getting that adorable fluff ball!

    Now having my own dog I realize how much of a role they play in our lives and how sad it is to finally say goodbye. Im dreading the day that comes but I know the time spent together is worth it.

  3. I am so sorry!! This can be so hard! My husband’s family dog died a few years ago and it is tough. They are a member of your family. 😦 😦 I wish I had better things to add except to say thoughts are with you.

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