Tag Archive | death

Goodbye to my girl

I have written and re-written this post many times in my head. It is so difficult that it has taken me 7 months to finally gather my thoughts and take the words from my head and type them in this blog.

Dottie on a hike by robert rodriguez

Dottie on a hike by robert rodriguez

I have many posts about Dottie in my Anne K. in L.A. blog (most of which have been archived here as well). Dottie was a major part of my life in L.A. and my life with Rob.

I have the misfortune of losing her not once, but twice.

Losing Dottie was one of the most painful parts of my divorce. As I stated previously, who would have custody of Dottie was a major point of contention in my divorce with Rob.

photos by rob rodriguez

As a small concession, Rob agreed that I could see Dottie as much as I wanted when I was in the Los Angeles area. The last time I saw her was in September 2010. It was emotionally draining. I felt so much guilt for leaving her behind and for not fighting harder to keep her. I cried for days after I returned to Virginia. As a result, I could not bring myself to visit L.A. again.

As the time passed, Rob and I both moved on with our lives and into relationships with other people. I went on my adventures with D and Myles. I contemplated visiting L.A. to see Dottie, but wasn’t sure I was emotionally ready. Rob kept me informed of Dottie’s adventures. In semi-regular intervals, he’d send me photos of her.

I missed Dottie desperately, but was repeatedly reminded by my best friend that Dottie was loved, cared for and by all accounts happy. If she wasn’t with me, I couldn’t ask for more than that.

Dottie joins me for a run

Dottie joins me for a run – August 2010

In late March of this year, I received a call that no one ever wants to receive. Rob called to tell me that Dottie was suddenly seriously ill and they suspected she had cancer. She required emergency surgery on her liver and spleen. The vet diagnosed her with hemangiosarcoma, a very aggressive form of cancer. Even with surgery, Dottie was given only a few months to live.

I was devastated.

When I walked out the door on that last visit in September 2010 and Dottie woefully watched me walk down the driveway, I suspected I might never see her again. I had hoped that I was wrong. I hurriedly made plans to visit, to see my girl. I was told on many occasions that I should postpone my visit because Dottie was improving. I got the distinct impression that I was being given the runaround. Despite the five years I spent with Dottie, I was not given the opportunity to visit her. I will deeply regret not fighting to see her.

I wanted the opportunity to tell Dottie I loved her and even though momma had been away, momma hadn’t forgotten her. I wanted to run my hands through her fur and rub her belly. I wanted to care for her as I had countless other times she gotten sick or injured.  I wanted to plant kisses all over her and snuggle with her one last time.

I never got that chance.

On Saturday May 5, 2012, my beloved pitbull Dottie Dots succumbed to canine cancer.

I did not know of Dottie’s passing until I saw a friend’s post on instagram the following Tuesday. It was the worse way to find out that a dog I loved and had been such an important part of my life had died.

It was a cruel blow especially since I had made arrangements with a tech-savvy friend to meet with Rob to allow me to Skype or Facetime with Dottie should she take another turn for the worse. I never received a call. To add insult to injury, I had to call Rob repeatedly to get confirmation of Dottie’s death.

Rob made a weak apology. To make up for his mistake, he sent me some of Dottie’s ashes.

Even though I didn’t get to say “goodbye”, I would like to believe that Dottie knew that I loved her deeply and that I didn’t abandon her, that she was always “Momma’s Girl” and that she knew that I left a piece of my heart with her in California.

As much Dottie’s passing hurt on many levels, I will focus on the good.

Dottie - January 2005

I will never forget that she was the best part of my life in L.A…

that I was very lucky to have her in my life for 5 years…

how she used to do her happy dance whenever I came home from work, no matter the hour…

how I always felt safe with her by my side….

how she was always so happy to see our family and friends like my brother Nate, our friends Lu and Ben and countless others…

how she was the perfect “heater” on a cold winter’s night…

how she was the perfect companion at the office on weekends when I had to work…

how she could never have enough balls in the house…

how she used to scare the living daylights out of our UPS delivery man…

how she loved the water and the snow…

how she slept on my chest those first few weeks that we had her…

how she taught me that pitbulls were just as lovable as any other dog.

Dottie & Me - Spring 2005

So until we meet again, sweet Dottie Dots, I will see you in my dreams….