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Last of a terrible, horrible year

This is the last post of 2020 – a horrible year. Good riddance.

Like most everyone, for us and our business, it’s been a terrible, horrible, very bad year. We’ve never been so happy to see the end of a year as this one. We know the calendar is an artificial construct, that there’s no actual “turning the page” between December 31 and January 1. And yet…

Worst saved for last

There has been untold sadness this year, with losses of loved ones, jobs, businesses, social networks, and of course, pets. 

In a bad year, December has been the worst month of all. Seven people we know have lost beloved dogs this month. Not social media, internet friends. Actual real-life people we know. Whose dogs we knew. And want to acknowledge.

The roster of loss:

We’re going to talk about these dear dogs alphabetically – because there is no other way. Each was vitally important and there can be no hierarchy of loss. Each one is agonizing.

Cooper was a Frenchie owned by Jennifer. We met her and her Frenchies and Rottweilers at an agility trial in Chicago Ridge years ago. We later found out she’s a veterinarian and a staunch supporter and member of a rescue group we’re also involved with.

Dobby was a Brussels Griffon. He was the beloved pet and snuggle buddy of our friend Beth, who is one of the top Obedience competitors in the area – if not the country. Beth had the highest-achieving Obedience Griff, ever. It wasn’t Dobby. Beth has Border Collies to compete with now. She has Griffs to love, and laugh, and cuddle.

Jinny was a Keeshond. She was a source of joy for our dear friends Emily and Harold and she died much too young, suddenly. We’re all still trying to absorb the loss of a six-year-old dog. 

Journey was a Brussels Griffon and lived a long, full, and happy life with our friend Ann in Massachusetts. Journey had an incredible one. When he was diagnosed with lymphoma more than two years ago, Ann made sure to fulfill every dream on her little guy’s bucket list. He was a lucky boy.

The list goes on

Technically, this dog left us last month, but for us, it was the first in the series of knock-out blows that’s pummelled the end of this year. Jubilee was a French Bulldog – legendary in the breed. She was our friend Sarah’s first dog as a “grown up” and set records in flyball. She was an amazing companion and friend, but, after 15 years, she was tired. And Sarah was brave enough to recognize it.

Olive was a French Bulldog/Boston Terrier mix and Carlene’s best friend. And we were responsible for bringing them together. Hope got a call from rescue to pick up a dog in Wisconsin one day. Or the dog would be surrendered to a high-kill shelter. She hit the road and picked up Olive. Without really thinking about what to do with her once she got her. Fortunately, our friend Carlene lived half a block away, recently dogless. We begged her to foster Olive until a forever family could be found. Carlene was her forever. 

This horrible year marked the loss of many adored dogs. This was Teddy, a French Bulldog.

Yoda was a French Bulldog related to Hope’s. At first, his mom Olga and we were just friends on social media. With a common love for the Florida Keys, we were able to meet and become real-life friends, too. Yoda is another gone too young, too suddenly, to process. His death was particularly poignant, since it was on the same date as our own Teddy’s two years ago. And our mother’s, 26 years ago. December 9 will never be allowed again.

Hug your dogs

In perspective – our dear friends, Amy and Garry lost their beloved Shiba Inu Sumo this year. Sumo was an agility, rally, and obedience competitor. And, like all the dogs here, a dearly-loved family member. Even worse, they lost Garry’s mother to COVID-19. It has truly been a horrible year.

We’re sorry if we seem maudlin. Each of these dogs was one of the lucky ones – loved completely and spoiled thoroughly. Hug your dogs. Their time with us is precious and none of us knows how long we have.