They had brought her to our local vet office so we could pick her up. They informed us she was a small boxer, a year-and-a-half old female. She was the very last dog at the boxer rescue in Las Vegas before the rescue would officially close down. They let us know if we wanted her, we would have to come pick her up asap, so we did. At the time, we only had Danny and we wanted a companion for him. When we arrived the boxer rescue worker brought her out & Darla was so ecstatic to be out of the cage they had her in, she jumped all over Mat & I. She was all smiles and had just met us for the first time. I remember thinking for a moment as we put her into the car, "I don't know if we should take her, she's too young & crazy" - but I'm SO glad I didn't listen to that voice, because the moments that were to come were some of the happiest I've ever had. That was 2006.
(one of the first pics I took of her)
This was strange, I immediately went over to where she was in the living room & she looked up at me, her tail wagging slowly. I got a treat and offered it to her, she just looked at it, but no other reaction. I lifted her head & feet with my hand & they felt weak, my heart started racing. Unsure what to do next, I prayed. Mat carried her, we grabbed her little orange coat & raced to the ER. Arrived at the hospital around 8:20pm & saw her head lift to look around as we waited for the doc. I felt hopeful. Little did we know, what would happen just a few hours later.
They immediately took her to the back & several x-rays later, the doc informed us the diagnosis was dark. It seemed that there was fluid around her lungs & it was starting to cause heart failure. We were heart broken, I felt so helpless. We went into the ICU area to see her for the 2nd time at 10:18pm, she lifted her head, but was still too weak to get up from the table. I remember her little eyes looking up at me, then over to Mat, and then she put her head down again. My heart was breaking & tears just rolled down my face.
We kissed her a few times & told her we loved her. We then walked out of ICU & about 10:50pm the doctor rushed to get us saying she may not make it & that maybe we needed to say goodbye. I couldn't believe it. We rushed back to see her and her body was shaking trying to get breath inside it......I have never seen anything die, and now I was about to see my sweet Darla pass away.
She took her last breath as I held her paws..... I wanted to fall to the floor and cry. My husband put his arms around me & comforted me.
Today, January 22nd, I sit home with a strange emptiness that doesn't leave me. I miss her face looking up at me. She was so gentle and smart. I loved seeing her face first thing in the morning & feeling her beside me as I moved throughout the apt. I used to call her "my little shadow".
She would wait for me with an extraordinary patience I've never seen before. Often she would nudge the back of my leg when I was brushing my teeth, so I could look down at her. And I always did. She knew me so well & studied everything about me. She would sit by my desk as I worked, every so often coming over to get a few kisses from me. Whenever Mat I would watch TV, she'd want to be on the sofa with us. Sometimes she would even want Mat off the sofa, so she could have me to herself. Those days she made us both laugh, as she would GROWL at him.
We were so overjoyed taking her to the park, she absolutely loved it there. We would let her off the leash and she would sniff around then always walk back and sit beside us. The days she went to the vet I would hold her to make her feel safe, I would tell her she was a good girl. She loved that. One of the things we miss the most is coming home & seeing her greet us with the same HAPPINESS & JOY as the first day we met her. I have never been so sad & heartbroken. I ask God to get me through these next few days, and I have to remind myself to thank Him for the time he let us have with her.
She loved us, we were her entire world & we loved & adored her. She was my shadow, our companion, as close to a child as we've ever had together......we will forever miss her unconditional love.
It's comforting to know that everyday that passes is a day closer to the day I'll see her again.
-post by jen ramos