This one is about my Pup.
I thought about just making a Facebook post, but I have too much to say.
My quest for the fountain of youth for Shylo…. has failed. I would never let anyone talk to me about saying goodbye to her some day because that was never going to happen. I couldn’t talk about it, I couldn’t think about it. It wasn’t going to happen. I was going to find the fountain of youth, and just let her drink from it… and then will her to some lucky person when I was old.
On Wednesday evening we said a long and painful goodbye to my best companion. I have felt some pretty major heartbreak in my life, but nothing compares to this. Shylo was a part of me. People who aren’t dog people don’t really get it… but she quickly wiggled her way into my heart and I wanted to keep her there and here on this earth forever. She was my first baby…. and as much as I didn’t want to ever acknowledge it, I knew deep down that she probably didn’t have a lot of years left…. but I thought we had a few.
Just a few weeks ago I was looking at her and thinking, “Man, I am so lucky. Shylo is definitely going to be one of those dogs that lives to be like 15.” She was so healthy. She was 11 and a half years old and kicking ass at life. She was as strong as ever, as protective as ever, and as beautiful as ever even with the ever increasing white hair on her beautiful face.
One night she yelped out in pain out of nowhere. Randy and I were alarmed and checked her out. She was shaking, as she does when she panics or hurts, but calmed down and then just went to sleep. The next day she yelped out a couple more times. So I took her to the vet… if you know Shylo, you know that is always an absolute LAST resort for me with her. I took her only when I felt absolutely necessary. She was riddled with anxiety and she would just tremble in fear, panic, try to escape the room we were in… and in these covid times, I couldn’t go inside with her, so I had to let them drag her away from me. They thought she tore her ACL on her back left knee and told me the surgery would be expensive, and the recovery would be long. But I just said ok – where do we go next? So they sent me to a specialist.
To make a very long and painful story short… it wasn’t her ACL. Shylo had a neurological disease that was paralyzing her essentially one leg at a time. We tried a lot of medication to stabilize her but she continued to plummet every day. Her body failed her. She went from completely normal, to losing all use of her back legs in a matter of two weeks. I went from hanging onto hope to saying goodbye in less than 24 hours.
I called Dr. LePere at Pacific at Home to come to our home and evaluate Shylo. She spent a lot of time getting Shylo’s charts from her vets, and fully assessing her condition. She explained every possible outcome to us, and each was very grim. We (Randy & I) decided together with Dr. LePere, my Mom, my Sister, that it was time to let her rest.
I knew I could not take her back to a place that terrified her for her final moments, so we had Dr. LePere assist her in letting go in the comfort of her own bed, and my arms in our home. It was the most painful goodbye for my heart… but I couldn’t have asked for a more loving, beautiful, gentle way for Shylo. She felt safe. She was with me.
I had the unique experience and absolute joy of witnessing Shylo come into this world and take her first breath; and I held her, kissed her, thanked her and cried over her as I listened to her take her last.
Shylo was my best friend. I know that’s cliche… but it’s true. As my Mom put it, she was my independence. When I moved out of my Mom’s house and was out on my own for the first time, I wasn’t alone. Shylo came with me. Everywhere I have lived, she was the reason I chose the homes I chose. I wouldn’t live anywhere that she couldn’t come. She protected me. She protected my home, my roomates, my family….and for the last 19 months, my sweet daughter. One time my Mom asked me when I was living with roommates, if I ever felt like I wanted a gun for protection. I replied, “I have one. Her name is Shylo.” She literally prevented a break in at my house once… maybe multiple times.
Shylo licked my tears when I cried over heartbreak, she slept at my feet when I was sick; she scared the shit out of everyone who came to my door; she made people earn her love. She didn’t just love everyone. She chose Randy for me. If Shylo wasn’t cool with you, then you were not cool with me… she knew. She always knew. She sat at my feet when I read stories to Brynlee; she let Brynlee climb all over her, kiss her, and pinch her ears (smh). She was so gentle. She was happy as long as she was in the same room as me at any given moment. That’s all she wanted. She was by my side during the biggest moments of my life, good bad and ugly. She was my constant. I named by business, Shy Heart Studios, after her. There will never be another one like her. I will miss this girl forever and ever. I am glad she is no longer suffering, but it all just happened too fast. I was not ready. My soul hurts.
Rest in Peace my sweet Bug.
If you have gotten this far, thank you. Thank you for reading through my Shylo tribute/memorial. This was therapeutic for me… and though I knew some would read through it, this was more for me and my healing than anything else.
To my Mom, my Sister Melissa, my brother Dustin and my Husband… thank you for your support through this. Thank you for being there with me on that excruciating day. Thank you for loving Shylo like you did for all of these years and understanding what she meant to me… and for what she meant to you. Thank you for mourning with me.
To my brother Adam – thank you for giving me the gift of Shylo. You are the reason I got to have this beautiful soul in my life and I will never be able to repay you for that gift.
To my friends who already know and have reached out – THANK YOU for your kind and thoughtful words. They have meant more than you know. I apologize if I can’t answer your calls right now. I just need some time.
With a deeply broken heart,