The inevitable happened yesterday. My beautiful fur baby crossed over the rainbow bridge. Through sheer love and determination plus the aid of Chinese herb medicine and a few rounds of chemotherapy she gave us joy for two and a half bonus months. Maile Izzy Baby Lulu Enebrad Geller was like a child to me…my child. I had always had rescue dogs and she was so different. We shared a bond I believe was a result of her imprinting on me since we picked her up from the breeder when she was seven weeks old. I know, I know, but don’t give me any crap about puppy mills, breeders vs. rescues, etc. Goldendoodles were fairly new where I lived and that was the puppy I wanted.
Maile was a love right from the start. Smart beyond imagination. Within the first day of having her live with us I taught her ten tricks. She remembered them until she died. She was loyal and loving and had the sweetest soul. She followed me from room too room. Her personality was funny and thoughtful and most of all Maile thought she was a human. We have countless stories of her Lassie-like rescues of Tosh Steve’s sister’s dog who fell down the hill and got caught in the brambles, or was stymied by a weed, and then she alerted and directed Malia and Brie to the little one who was in wading pool in the backyard. She knew how to tell time, although it may have been her stomach but either way she told us when it was 5:00pm and time for dinner. She rang the bell on the door to say she wanted outside and since Koa never got the hang of it, she rang it for him too.
When Maile got sick her big eyes said it all. “I don’t know what is happening to me, but I trust you.” And at the end, “I have to go but I love you with my whole heart.”
People always want to know how old she was and then dismiss her death as if she had passed her expiration date. She was a young ten year-old. Even when she was sick she swam in the ocean and bounded around the house with Koa. In fact, she ran out to the front deck to bark at a dog in the middle of dinner. Then, she came right back to my side and begged for people food. A few minutes later she laid down on the rug by me. I thought she was acting strangely because her norm was to beg until we cleared the table. I offered her some pie crust and she didn’t even move her head. I told my husband, “Oh no. Something’s wrong.” We sat with her on the floor and petted her and talked to her. Her eyes were open but she was not very responsive. A few times she tried to lift her head. Then, she put it on my leg.
After a short stint on the floor, I called the vet hospital and we agreed to just watch her. We could take her in at any time but it was clear on the other side of the island and Maile wasn’t in any obvious pain or distress. We watched a tv show with her on her bed near us. She slept. Then we went to bed. Two times we heard her trying to get up and crumble to the floor. It was heartbreaking. We realized afterwards those were her valiant attempts to get herself to the door to go outside to relieve herself. That tells me her brain was still functioning and she was determined not to mess in the house. She had never done so.
We got up with her and I kissed her and told her it was okay to go. Steve got dressed and I went to the car to ready it for the drive to the vet hospital. We were going to have them give her ‘the shot.’ In my heart I didn’t think she would make the trip. Our little Maile girl died before Steve got her to the car. We drove her to the hospital crying the whole way. The young woman who received us was so kind and caring. We opted for cremation. All the way home we cried. She was missed as soon as she took her last breath.
I have never loved a pet as much as I did her. I will never again. It’s the irony of grief. The greater the love the deeper the loss and the more painful my life is without her. Dogs or humans grief is grief. It is what it is. So, love while you can and as much as you can. Treat each other with kindness. Appreciate your loved ones. And above all do not mistreat humans or animals.