“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” Josh Billings
This is not the blog I intended to write today. I was hoping to write something related to Thanksgiving but sometimes God changes your plans. I am painfully dealing with that fact now. This is very hard for me to compose, yet at the same time, cathartic. Somehow I couldn’t come up with a clever title for it though. They all seemed so trite. I went with my heart.
I’ve always believed in the saying above and sadly, our house right now is not a home. As many of you know, Smitty and I had to put our precious Biskit to sleep yesterday. I usually don’t like using the phrase “to sleep” and normally say “put down” instead, but for Biskit “to sleep” is where she is now. Somewhat thankfully.
Biskit had a tumor in her nose that was discovered over the summer. She had seemed somewhat normal for a 13-year-old dog, but the past few days the tumor spread and she wasn’t able to breathe normally. She couldn’t breath so she couldn’t relax so she couldn’t sleep. She was in great distress so I’m thankful she is now peacefully sleeping. I have never had to put a dog down…they’ve always died of natural causes. It was excruciatingly hard. I am thankful for Dr. Simmons and the staff at Austin’s Burnet Road Animal Hospital. This little and simple veterinarian office has been there for us for 26 years and were there for us again yesterday. They are, hands down, the best vets in Austin. We were there as they put her to sleep. I knew it would be difficult but knew I had to be there for her. It happened so very fast and at one point she looked at me with eyes that said “thank you mom; I’ll be much better now.” I will never forget the nurse hugging me as I sobbed. We walked out without our precious four-legged friend but with a pewter ornament with a paw print that says “Forever In Our Hearts” and a clay impression of her little paw print they made for us. So thoughtful. So kind.
Now Biskit is in heaven and St. Francis is taking good care of her. I’m confident he was waiting for her with open arms and a bevy of other animals to greet her and show her the joys of breathing again and letting her chase all the shadows heaven has to offer. She’s also with all the other dogs that have gone before her and my sister Patti is certain her daughter Maria needed a dog in heaven and is taking good care of my Biskit. I love that thought.
In trying to keep with the spirit of Thanksgiving I am thankful for nearly 14 years of joy Biskit brought to my life. From a little Jack Russell puppy that was no bigger than a mouse to a mature loving dog, she was the best dog I’ve ever owned. Kristen named her after a series of books she liked in the first grade. Being that she was in first grade, life was all about phonics; hence “Biscuit” became “Biskit.” The name fit from day one. Now I don’t know what I’ll do without her and her silly little tendencies. Her chasing shadows, reflections, and sprinklers. Her determination to get every squirrel that dared enter her backyard. Her stinky little bed. Her regal “King’s Thumb Print” on the top of her soft little head. Her sweet little ears. Her snuggling right up against me on the “big bed” and even her growls if you made even the slightest move as she slept. As my friend Judy said, “Biskit had so much personality.” Yes she did. She was my “Libbles” and loved going for a libble ride and a libble walk. She loved her treats too. What do I do with the canister labeled “Biskit’s Biscuits” in my kitchen? Her bowls? Her bed? She also loved belly rubs and got one last rub down as she lay sleeping at the vet. I already miss her.
I’ve had dogs my entire life and I don’t remember crying as hard as I have the past 24 hours. Literally non-stop. Biskit was more than a dog to me. She was a member of our family. We got her when Kristen was in first grade and she was there for me when Kristen went away to college. My friend Tracey told me it’s harder to lose pets as we get older and I couldn’t agree more. Maybe it’s our own mortality that starts to hit us. Maybe we just are now old enough to understand what really matters in life.
“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” Roger Caras
To those of you who aren’t dog people and are thinking “WTH, she was just a dog;” the best way I can describe our obsession with Man’s Best Friend is by paraphrasing the famous Texas A&M Aggie saying that goes something like this: “From the outside you don’t understand it. From the inside you can’t explain it.” I can’t explain the hole in my heart and the emptiness in our house. I, of course, think of people who have lost family members but it still hurts. My sister Coral has lost both and says the only thing that will heal my hurt is time. I hadn’t talked to Coral in months. We used to be the best of friends but things happened that even the two of us don’t understand and now we rarely communicate at all…not even on Facebook. Biskit’s passing got her to pick up the phone and call me. We cried and promised to do things differently now. When God closes a window, he opens a door.
So now Biskit is free of tumors and one blissful dog. I loved the poem my friend Tammy sent me called “The Rainbow Bridge.” It made me cry and it made me smile. My friend Leslie loves the quote, “I don’t know where people go when they die, but I want to go where the dogs go.” I’m pretty sure they go to the same place and I can’t wait to see them all. Run, Biskit Tiny Smith, run. The gate is open and you are free.
Now please forgive and allow me to indulge in some of my favorite photos of Biskit.