April 7, 2015
i didn't like king for the first few days we had him. king was adorable (probably the cutest thing ever), don't get me wrong. i don't know what i was expecting, really. i just know in those first moments with him he didn't quite live up to those imaginary expectations. he was the latest addition to the family, arriving july of last year. he stole all of our hearts the second he was born. he was gray as a cloudy sky (the proper name for his coat is blue) and his eyes were as beautiful and as deep as the sea. his eyes got droopy and pink late at night. he was cute, beautiful, loving, patient, and kind. he was the epitome of a gentle giant. he was also called an internet celebrity. you know, no big deal.
i moved "out" of my house and onto my college campus late september. i placed out in quotes because anyone that knows me knows that i come home pretty much every weekend. i mean come on. a, it is hard to stay away. b, my family is a million kinds of awesome. c, with a dog this cute, wouldn't you want to come home and see him too?
every time i would come home, king would know. he came to realize that when he heard the beep my car makes when i lock it, i would walk through the front door a few seconds later. he was very, very intelligent. like, he taught himself to open our kitchen door intelligent. my mom was obviously very impressed. i mean, who wouldn't be? i don't really want to say it, but here goes. chances are king was a hell of a lot smarter than i am.
king and i had a rather rough start, as mentioned before. he was adorable as a puppy. don't get me wrong. but he was very "mouthy", the teeth were the first thing that came out. i would have scratches all along my arms and hands. he never really was into the whole eating shoes thing, but but he did love to eat me!
king grew and he grew. in his last days, as sick as he was, if i got a little too close to him he would snap at me. he always regarded me as the annoying litter mate, the annoying little sister. (my mother's words, not mine.) i think we were both just cranky. i gave as good as i received. too bad i did not give a damn and continued to smother the poor dog in affection anyways. oh well.
in february, king was diagnosed with kennel cough. when he wasn't getting any better despite the numerous antibiotics prescribed, my mom took him into the vet to get x-rays. well. that went south pretty quick. the x-rays showed fluid in his lungs as well as an intestinal blockage. vets took him back to do the surgery to take out the blockage. ten minutes they came out.
in addition to the the blockage, king had congestive heart failure. he had an enlarged heart because of this. because of these two things, his heart would not be able to take the anesthesia that the doctors would have to give him to put him to sleep and take out the blockage. they thought said blockage was a sock. well fun fact, a few days later nothing came out but big poops.
anyways. the "sentence" king was given by a dog cardiologist (okay who even knew those existed?!?!?) was that he had roughly six to nine months to live and continue biting and growling at me. it is all about me after all. the doctor said he was the healthiest dog he had ever seen this condition in but he was dying, yes. but he was still in decent health.
my parents brought king home and brought home the news. i then spent weeks and weeks smothering the dog with my attention and love every second of every weekend. i came home to watch him when my mom would go somewhere. we would nap together. although, he probably slept with one eye open, thinking i would pull a fast one and force him to spoon me. i vowed to enjoy every day i had with him.
and that we did. little did we really know at the time, king loooooooooooved fetching the ball and he loved playing with frisbees. he could only do it for a few minutes here and there because of his heart, but we still managed to have a good time. fast forward to about a month ago, my loving mother FINALLY let me feed him popsicles. well, that was a hit. i think he maybe grew a tad fond of me after that? maybe just a tad?
king's heath nosedived about three weeks ago. it was harder for him to breathe. he had zero interest in any food. even the "yum balls" as my mom called them. my mom went out and bought various ingredients for these balls. they had pork, cream cheese, ground beef, butter, and a bunch of other yummy things in them. MY MOM MADE THEM FROM SCRATCH. from scratch! and he would just turn his adorable nose up as if he was saying "nope mom i'm too good for those too". he would spend all day outside, wanting nothing to do with the family as well. this was the hardest part for me. after doing some reading about dogs, i came across an article about what dogs do when they know they are sick and/or dying. dogs separate themselves from the pack. and that is exactly what king was doing.
my loving boyfriend had planned a trip for us to go to an angels spring training game in arizona for my spring break. we were going to be gone sunday through wednesday. i sent a shy, shy message saying something like this: "please please please don't be mad and please love me still but can we please only go for sunday and monday and come back tuesday?". well, come on. he said yes. i explained about king, much of which he had seen that same night. (oh, king LOVED LOVED LOVED the boyfriend. i mean LOVE. TRUE LOVE. king would always greet him with a toy in his mouth.)
we went on our merry way to arizona. we had an amazing time at the baseball game. i received a nice sunburn and now there is a tan line from my watch. (thanks arizona. thanks.) i was worried sick about king, of course. but my mom and i had spoken before i left and she told me that i have to live my life. i have to keep moving on. that i will never be this young and that this particular opportunity might not present itself again.
the boyfriend and i decided to stop at the grand canyon before driving back to california. on our way there, i received a call from my house. my mom told me that they had put king to sleep the night before, which would make it monday night. once i talked to her for a little bit, i hung up the phone. i cried for a little bit. but you know what? king is in such a better place now. he is healthy, running around in dog heaven. i am sure of it.
it's no secret that God and i have had our issues. i used to be mormon, then catholic, and now i really do not know. i know that God exists and i believe in fate. i believe God has a plan for all of us. i believe in my heart that God sent king to my family and me because He knew that king would be loved and cared for. He knew that we would love king to pieces despite our too short time with him. and we did. i also believe that God sent king to us (me in particular) to try and teach me some damn patience. it worked, at least a little bit. i learned to lay off of king (literally) and to be patient. king would come to me when he wanted love. (and EVENTUALLY he did. greatest feeling ever ever ever.)
i believe that king is in a better place, running around with all of our other dogs. king is finally eating again. he is eating all the popsicles heaven can provide. he is finally healthy again. and that is enough to keep me going.
i miss him terribly. i still turn corners in my house and expect him to be there. i still wander into my parents' room and expect him to be sprawled out on their bed. i still beep my car remote to let him know i'm home. i miss him so much. every damn day.