Holly Joy

Mark, I rescued a female chihuahua and named her Holly Joy.  First thing I did was take her to the vet to be checked out.  She was eight years old born Nov. 2, 1999, the day before my birthday of Nov. 3.  The vet found out she had an enlarged heart which was pressing on her esophagus and also had congestive heart failure.  She had to take a diurretic and heart medication to keep her heart from enlarging any further.  She was very shy at first having lived in a concrete kennel for 8 years.  She and I soon became very close and she growled at anyone who came near me, however, having been bred so much she had lost all of her teeth and could not bite anyone.  Once my niece got close to me and Holly Joy grabbed her by the pants legs and tried to pull her away.  It was so funny.  She slept in a tiny bed placed between our pillows on the bed and always wanted to be covered by a blanket.  I always put dresses and sweaters on her and she walked around like she was a queen and in my heart and eyes she was a beautiful queen.  She always laid next to me on the loveseat and loved to held and kissed.  I never loved a dog as much as I grew to love her.  She created a space in my heart that can never be replaced.  Holly Joy went down quickly a couple of months ago.  She lost her sight and hearing, her legs were so weak she could not stand very long.  We had to feed her on a towel as she could no longer get her food out of her bowl. I was determined not to euthanize her as I had convinced myself it was like lethal injection for criminals.  However, last Saturday Feb. 4, 2012, I could not stand seeing her so weak and sick.  She walked in circles and then would stop and just put the top of her head on the floor as if she just didn’t know what to do.  I started crying and told my husband it was time to let her go.  He called the Burleson Animal ER here in Texas and they told us to come in 30 minutes.  I wrapped her in a blanket and held her and kissed her, telling her how  much I loved her and always would.  When we got to the ER they took us into a private room to spend some last time with her.  The doctor came in and told us what they would do and let them know when we were ready.  We didn’t take a long time as I was almost crying hysterically.  They came and got her so they could sedate her and put an IV in her little tiny legs and then brought her back to us.  I wrapped her in her blanket and put my head on hers talking to her even though she was deaf, while the vet began giving her the medicines to stop her heart.  It only took a minute or so and she was gone.  The vet then said we could hold her and when we were ready to leave they woud come get her.  She was so peaceful looking but I was torn up inside.  We let them take her to have her cremated and have her ashes give back to us.  We are now waiting for the vet to call and tell us her ashes are there to be picked up.  My heart is still broken and I hesitated to read your book, but I needed to know other people go through this heartbreak too.  I just finished reading your book Rescuing Sprite.  I know exactly how broken your heart was and I am so glad you adopted another pet to be loved and cared for like no one else could do. However, unlike you, I had to get another dog right away to ease my pain.  We now have a 1-1/2 year old female chihuahua named Foxie and she has already accepted us, but mostly she only wants me, just like Holly Joy did.  I already love her so much and she is slowly getting over her shyness.  I read some of the negative feedback some people wrote and I feel sorry for them that will never know the love we have known.   That unconditional love is the way we should all love, but some of choose not to.  God’s love is unconditional and I like to say God spelled backwards is dog and when Adam in the Garden of Eden named animals, he also saw that unconditional love and called them a dog, spelling God’s name backwards. I still cry and my heart still aches, but I am beginning to accept that euthanasia was the only decision I could have made to bring her suffering to an end.

— Helen of Crowley, TX