Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Sad Tale

Warning: Extreme Tearjerker.

A funny thing happens when you share your life on a Blog and it develops a following; people start to feel like they know you and are a part of your extended family. (Reference: anytime Kenny makes an appearance at the shop he's invariably met with a stranger saying "Hi Kenny!" accompanied by a look that says "you poor hen-pecked schmuck" while he innocently wonders, do I KNOW you? Poor Kenny.

And it's not uncommon for folks to ask me "How are your dogs?" A question which has had me for the past few weeks choking back the right response. So it's with a sad heart that I let you Dear Readers know that we lost our Izzy last week. Dog Cancer sucks.

Now that you've got your Kleenex out let's take a moment to remember some of the highlights of Izzy's life. She was only six but she packed a LOT of living into those years.

We adopted Izzy while on our honeymoon in Maine in 2005. Whenever I feel the need to point out that Maine was a lame-ass honeymoon destination, I remind myself that's where we got Izzy.

We were dead set on getting a dog on our honeymoon because we had lost our late great dog Shane a few months before the wedding. Kenny narrowed it down to three dogs at the shelter: one labeled "FEAR BITER", the second "Food Agression" and the third... a goofy-looking brindle Plott Hound named Chanel. This 'busy bee' with a 'melodious bay' had already been returned once to the shelter; we couldn't imagine why.

She didn't know the name Chanel and in keeping with naming all of our animals after members of the band Guns & Roses (Kenny!), we christened her Izzy and took her home to meet her new cat siblings Axl & Slash. On first introduction there was a bit of a scuffle and we ran into the house only to find 70-pound Izzy... standing on our dining room table.

Izzy was skinny and all legs and her exuberant style of running around the yard came to be known as 'spizzing'. She was a dog of many nicknames, and she responded to them all. You may know her by her gangsta rap name "Notorious S.P.I.Z." She won a Dog Grammy for the hit single "As Brindle as I Wanna Be".

Before opening Salvage Chic I spent many years in corporate hell as a project manager and contract negotiator. One day in the home office I was on a particularly hellish call when Izzy slunk by with one of my wedding shoes in her mouth. I wish I could remember which company's CTO got an earful of "IZZY!" because I sure as hell didn't have my headset muted.

The first time she howled I thought there was an ambulance in my backyard.

Once while loading groceries into my Jeep at Stop & Shop about a half mile away, I distinctly heard her howling all the way from my house. No wonder our neighbors never invite us over for dinner.

Weird things Izzy ate: 2 Netflix DVDs. Had to email them and they didn't take it well.

I know these stories about Izzy are starting to make that Marley & Me dog look like a martyr; but really Izzy turned out to be such a nice dog. The day we installed our fence was the day we realized "A TIRED dog is a GOOD dog."

In fact, we should call her Saint Izzy because she spent the last three years of her life with her menacing brother Duff's mouth around her neck, and never lashed out.

She loved her kiddie pool.

She liked to sleep in one of our spare bedrooms under the mattress pad. She would dig at it until the elastic pulled up and then cocoon herself snug as a bug in a rug. It totally stressed me out thinking of a dog on top of an undressed mattress but still I let her do it, it was too funny to hear her 'unmaking' the bed with snarfing sounds of joy.

More from the nickname files: We called her Bronwyn, because she was the Brown One; which morphed into Bronwinnie and then just Winnie. Every morning when I went to check on her under her mattress pad, I serenaded her with "Winnie in her Nest" (to the tune of Benny & the Jets... yeah, I know I'm queer. but it got a lot of tail wags.)

If you've read this far, you're surely a dog lover, and I thank you. Rest in peace my sweet Bronwinnie, I hope the mattress pad in heaven is snug.


Claire said...

Hello, stumbled upon your blog. Gutted for you. I lost my lab 2 years ago to Dog cancer, he was 8yrs young and it still feels like yesterday that the vet rang me while i was in the milk isle of morrisons. Cry? People thought i'd been attacked! He was part of the family and we still havent got up the courage to get another waggy tail :(

misselaineous said...

Just finished reading your tribute to Izzy, and while I share your sadness , I am not crying...your stories about this "obviously totally loved to the end dog" gave me the best smile of my Saturday morning. You gave that dog the best years of her life, and she loved you for it! I lost my sweet yellow lab Buck to cancer 4 years ago, and I still sing songs to my head...not queer at all!! *e*

Anonymous said...

So sorry for your loss. Your mutual companionship was obvious and heartfelt. Have to go hug my own little buddy now.

Vintage Chics Resale said...

Wow Christine, so sorry to hear about Izzy. You must miss her so much! She was obviously loved very much and I am sure she will forever be.

cfb said...

Oh sweetie - so sorry! I loved reading your post about Izzy and the neighbors nudging each other in the shop realizing you were the one "with the dogs." It is so hard and nothing anyone can say can make you feel better but just know that you and Kenny adopting her that day was THE BEST thing that could have happened to her. I only know Kenny through your blog (yet mysteriously, I feel like I "know" him...) but I know that the two of you gave Izzy the best possible home ever! And I let my cat Carmen climb under the covers in the guest bedroom each day and let her shed all she wants under there because it makes her so darn happy! (and it is so funny to watch her wiggle out) What better gift to give Izzy than that? RIP Izzy and my thoughts are with you guys...

Anonymous said...

It's my own fault. I read the warning and read on anyway.

I'm so sorry for your loss. We love pets the way we love a family member, so I know this is a sad time for you and Kenny.

Take care,

P.S. I'm glad to see we're not the only ones who morph names into one nickname after another. :)

Anonymous said...

Christine, I'm so sorry to hear about Izzy. You definitely love your dogs, and that showed every time we would talk about them or the shelter.

You gave a shelter dog a second chance. You gave her a good and loving home, and that's awesome.

My thoughts are with you guys.