Disclaimer: if you have a furry friend, grab a tissue. Or two. Or a box.
I remember the day so vividly. It's interesting how lasting memories can replay like a movie in your mind, so full of detail that you can almost feel it. I remember what I wore, I remember the smells, I remember the music in my car, and most of all I remember how I felt.
It was September of 2007 and my sophomore year of college had just begun. I had gone with my cousin to go "look" at a puppy which we were considering adopting. I use quotation marks because anyone who is an animal lover knows that "looking" almost always equals "taking home." I naively thought I could accomplish this task, and arrived to meet the puppies with 0 supplies and 0 plans. When I walked into the room where the puppies were I immediately realized I was in way over my head. The pups were about 6 weeks old, very shy and cowering to their mom. I climbed into the caged area, sat down, and one brave soldier left the pack to waddle over to me. She climbed on my legs, plopped down, looked up at me with her big brown eyes, and my heart exploded. This moment is my life changing moment. In this exact second I knew I would not be leaving without her. Sure enough she came home with us that night, was bestowed the name 'Macy,' and proceeded to steal my heart.
I felt completely out of my element during her first year of puppyhood. I didn't know if I would be cut out to be a dog mom. I felt inadequate in every way, navigating full time college, a part time job, and of course, my slowly failing health. See, back then I didn't know what was ahead of me. All I knew was that my stomach was rebelling against me, my fatigue made me miss classes, and my desperation to hide it from the people around me felt isolating. But no matter how much I tried to hide my pain to the outside world, Macy always knew. She would nuzzle her tiny warm body on my chest and let me know that it would be OK. In those quiet lonely moments I had her companionship, and suddenly I felt so much less alone.
After I graduated college, I made the decision to continue my education and make the move across the country to Los Angeles. I had to leave Macy behind, and honestly, that was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. Walking away from her furry face that day is forever burned into my memory. My heart shattered, and for the first time I was truly alone. During this semester of school my health deteriorated quickly. Much more quickly than it ever had before. I was frantically seeing top doctors at world renowned clinics like the House Ear Institute, and seeing top Neurologists and Cardiologists all across Los Angeles. My weight plummeted to 89 pounds, I was deeply exhausted, and I was a shell of myself. During Thanksgiving my mom, grandmother and cousin surprised me by showing up for the holiday (my dad was already with me), and they brought Macy! Instantly my soul became filled with immeasurable joy. I knew how much I needed her, and during that time in my life I was especially struggling without her comfort by my side. After the holiday I had to move my life back to Kentucky, because my health just got that bad. I switched to online education, packed my bags, and my full time job became traveling to Doctors & having endless tests ran. Through this all, Macy was by my side.
Happy 10th Birthday to my little dumpling. I love you more than words can express.