Sunday, March 24, 2013

In Memory of my Best Friend: Lisa-Marie

This post is LONG overdue!  At around 3:30 am on December 26, 2012, I said good-bye to my very best friend.  Lisa-Marie was my furry baby, but she was also my faithful, loyal best friend.  Words cannot tell you how much I miss her.  My heart aches everyday.  I want to tell you about her, for those who never had the opportunity to meet her.  She was pretty fantastic!

My Beautiful Girl, Lisa-Marie

Lisa-Marie came into my life in September of 2003. She truly rescued me. Rich and I decided that Elvis, our amazing rat terrier, need a brother or sister.  He had been an only child (besides his rabbit sister, McKenzie) since we got him. So, we had been keeping our eyes...and hearts open to see who would choose us.

On a Saturday morning, we decided to go to the SPCA of Wake County. I walked into the room with kennels on each side and began going down the left side.  I got about 2 cages in and dissolved into tears. All of these wonderful babies needing homes absolutely crushed me. Just to know that by not choosing a specific one, I was giving him/her a death sentence.  How is that fair?  Okay...I can't go into all of those feelings right now.  Let me just say before moving on, PLEASE SPAY OR NEUTER YOUR PET AND DO NOT CONTRIBUTE TO THE SENSELESS KILLING OF THOUSANDS OF ANIMALS EVERY MONTH!!!! 

Anyway!  I played with a few through the cages and got lots of sloppy kisses.  The only thing we really had in mind was a dog who would remain under about 30lbs...just because Elvis was around 22, full grown. We made it to the end of the left side and started walking up the right.  We came to this kennel with a TON of brown fur snuggled up in the middle....with a tiny speck of black right, smack dab in the middle of the group.  Rich had just asked me what that was when that little black speck lifted her head and let out a huge yawn.  Folks, I fell HARD!  Her ears were full sized lab ears and her head was about the size of my fist.  I loved her. I wanted her. I had to have her. I didn't even know it was a her at the time!  We saw a sign on the cage that let us know they had all recently had surgery (spay/neuter). Rich asked me if I would at least like to hold her first before making a definite decision.  I told him no because i just knew that she would be my forever baby. I was meant to be her mommy...Rich was meant to be her daddy...she had, indeed, chosen us.

I'm going breeze through the adoption process because honestly, it was hell. Let's just put it this way, before it was over, a volunteer offered to hold "Satin", Lisa-Marie's name at the time, while I climbed the fence and put her in my car!  It took us 5 hours to adopt her and once I had her in my arms, I never set her down again. I could tell you SO many Lisa-Marie stories...I have tons of favorites so I am going to share a few.
Daddy making her cool!

Elvis hated his sister!  lol  He was a spoiled brat when she got home....I love that boy with all my heart, though.  Lisa-Marie WORSHIPED her brother.  She followed him around and wanted to just be with him. He finally came around, but her adoration for him was always apparent from the very beginning. Lisa-Marie grew like crazy, got into everything, and stole the hearts of her mom and dad in an instant! I wanted her to be a girly-girl, but she would never me one!  She was tough as nails, while being the biggest baby all at the same time.
Talking to Mama
Lisa-Marie slept with us from day 1.  The bed became hers and she would eat any furry critter that tried to think otherwise.  To be such a loving girl, she could also have a mood swing from hell.  Her and Elvis got into a few battles that caused both of them, along with daddy, to be put on antibiotics to prevent infection from teeth wounds.  Never anything serious, thank God! When Elvis had to go through Chemo treatments and had to be at the Vet all day, it was quite a homecoming when he returned. She would sniff him and kiss him all over as we tried to walk in the door. They were a great team, especially at the holidays. Elvis would open the gifts and Lisa-Marie would grab the toy and run!  She LOVED toys.  :)  Balls were her favorite thing in the world! I will never forget the first time she was given a squeaky ball! The way her eyes lit up when we held it in our hand and squeezed it was priceless. 
Snuggling with her brother - Lisa is on the left

Lisa-Marie was SO in tuned to my emotions. If I cried, she was right there making sure I was okay...all it took was a sniffle to upset her to no end. When my mom, dad, and sister each passed away, Lisa-Marie never left my side. That girl stayed in bed with me for hours, allowing me to cry until my heart couldn't cry anymore...she would press one cheek to one side of my face and place her paw on the other. Wow...I felt a huge tug at my heart as I typed those words. She had a profound impact on my life.
A VERY Happy Mama

When you would ask Lisa-Marie for a kiss, she would thrust her cheek to you for a kiss.  She LOVED to have her mom and dad lay their mouths against her cheek and making kissing noises while smooching her. She would give you a "high-five" with just a simple request. She could also turn the lights off on command. Her FAVE pastime was taking things back in forth to mom and dad. Daddy made a goof one day and gave her his phone and asked her to take it to mom...her brothers (Hendrix & Presley) were wrestling and tripped her. She almost dropped it so in order to get a better grip, she bit down a little too hard and it cracked the screen. She didn't drop the phone though!
Lisa snuggled in bed

Lisa-Marie had SO many nicknames and answered to ALL of them. Our pet sitter gave her the name, "Lee-Lee", Daddy gave her the name, "LeeBear" and "Ebony Princess", Mama called her "Baby Girl". She also answered to, "Bear", "Lee", "Boo-Boo", "Bear-Bear", and just "Lisa". The name Lee-Bear came from the grumbling noise she made when she was loving you.
Loving her Daddy

Lisa-Marie was called the "Miracle Dog" by Clayton Animal Hospital Staff. She developed a pinched nerve in her neck and was completely paralyzed for 3 months. She made a full recovery, thanks to her "Uncle Mike" who stayed with her while mommy and daddy were at work. She also had knee surgery that she amazed everyone after. She started "toeing" that same day and was walking the very next day. Mommy slept on the floor beside her on her twin-sized mattress for 3 months. We did this for the 3 years after she was healed because she wanted to sleep there and have it during the day.  Daddy soon got lonely shortly after she was better, so he went and got another twin mattress to go on the floor...this way we could all sleep together.  Whatever she wanted!
Receiving Treatment at Home During Paralysis
Loving on her Uncle Mike
Lisa's Pedicure courtesy of Uncle Mike

Lisa-Marie loved going for rides BUT she hated the Vet. She had to be carried in by her daddy and he held her the whole time.  Did I mention she was right at 70lbs?  :)  She was a big baby in that she sounded vicious when first meeting her, but if you ignore her for a few, within 5 minutes she was going to be bringing you a ball!  Lisa-Marie loved passionately...and fought passionately.

Pure Heaven
Lisa-Marie did things on HER terms...she could be a stubborn girl!  This included the way she died. It was on her terms. She had been getting a little "clumsy"...mommy noticed and was getting scared...this is how the paralysis started before.  Within a few days, she couldn't walk. She could move her legs, but it was as if she couldn't feel her front feet. We took her to the Vet and Dr. Beam came out to the car. She gave her steroids and we had pain meds so she would be comfy. We knew she couldn't go through 3 months of this again. It hurt her pride so badly last time...and aged her.  We decided that we would give her time to see if the steroids would help before making a decision. This was right before Christmas. Daddy took her to work with him...Uncle Mike went a couple days, Uncle Shea helped half a day, then Mommy went when I got off school for Christmas Break.  It took 2 of us to carry her outside to potty.

One of the last pics of my girl - at work with Daddy

Christmas Day, we decided that we weren't going to anyone's house even if that meant having Christmas with just out little family...Rich, the dogs, and me. That was the best decision we ever made. I was extremely emotional that day. I guess my gut knew what was coming. The days leading up to this, Lisa wasn't in pain. She was eating fine...get PLENTY of chews, and eating all the treats we would give her...even barking for us to give her one!  On Christmas Day, she wouldn't eat.  Each time she would drink, she would spit it up. Mommy and daddy started giving her ice chips a few at a time because steroids make you thirsty. She rested comfortably but wanted someone lying with her at all times.  I alternated between laying with her, kissing her head and her pushing back against my mouth to make the kissing noises and crying in the other room. She was so in tune to my emotions that I couldn't cry around her because she got upset. We would flip her over every hour so she wouldn't get sore (we had been doing this all along as well as the last time she went through this) and placing pillows between her front and back legs so she would be comfy. The last time we flipped her, it was around 3am. She had her head on the pillow and a pillow between each of her legs. She was nose to nose with her daddy and her brothers were at her head and feet. At around 4am, Rich told me something was wrong with Lisa. I asked what he meant. He informed me that he thought she had passed. I immediately got down on the floor beside her side of the bed and placed my head on her chest.  Our baby was gone. Her head still on the pillow, pillows still between her legs, and her brothers still lying in their respective spots beside her. She didn't make a sound...I could literally hear a little squeak from her and be jolted out of a deep sleep...that's just how I was with her.  My baby girl knew her Mama and Daddy had a hard decision to make and that was her last gift to us...she died in her sleep, with the people she loved...and loved her nearby. That is the only comfort I have in losing my baby. 

Mommy with her Labs

Lisa-Marie was so much more than "just a dog." It pisses me off to NO end to hear people say that.  I feel sorry for them because that means they have never known unconditional love...they have never been rescued by a furry critter...they have never known a love that could surpass any love felt by any man or woman...they have never experienced the sheer adoration that a loyal canine gives to his/her "Forever Person."  I can only pray that every single person in the world can experience this at least once in hi/her life.

Sitting up eating - Healing from paralysis
I have a huge hole in my that I don't ever think will be filled again. A part of me is with my baby and I will get that back one day when we meet again. Until then, Lisa-Marie, I will never, ever forget you...I will never ever forget the gratitude I feel in my heart right this very second for you having come into my life. I can only hope and pray that you got as much from me as I did from you.  If you did, your life was complete. I Love You, Lee.

My Very Best Friend

1 comment:

  1. Joy, you just made me cry like a baby! I know exactly what you are talking about. We got our forever boy Christmas of 2011 and I never new just how much of an impact that little dog would have on my life. He is like one of kids and I would kill for him just like I would for my kids. He is so loyal and has nothing but unconditional love. He has many names as did Lisa Marie and answers to everyone. Dogs are funny like that and just so loving. I would not trade him for anything in this world. I love my little foo-foo! That is what I call him because he prances around like a prissy dog with a stuffed animal. He loves his stuffed doggie. I am glad that you shared your stories about Lisa Marie and remember you will be together again one day. She is up there with your dad, mom and Bobby protecting them now. God Bless you!