It’s been over a year since I “blogged”. Feels weird to use the word “blog” since I haven’t done much writing in years and I used to do it regularly. No one really blogs anymore, they vlog on YouTube or Instagram live but I prefer to kick it old school and stick to a keyboard. Plus, I look like I got ran over by a dump truck right now, and no one needs to see that on a live stream, but I wanted to get some things off my chest. And for me, writing is the best way I know how to do that, so….
I keep thinking of what I want to say and how to make it funny and entertaining because that’s why I love blogging, but I am out of practice. It’s been a weird couple years and so much has changed…I lost my job in Houston, had my heart destroyed, traveled to some amazing new places – London, Paris, Grand Cayman, and the most glorious new place of all – Minnesota. I made a bunch of new friends, learned how to play COD with my nephews (I even have my own headset), I moved back to Vegas, spent 9 months living with my mom, experienced her struggle with the early stages of Alzheimer’s and watched my dogs get fat from her constantly giving them treats she forgot she’d already given them. Lucky dogs. I had my dreams crushed when an amazing job slipped through my fingers, found myself in depression, went on medication for the first time in my life, felt ashamed of that and then emerged from it feeling proud that I was able to acknowledge that I needed help. I moved back to California, gained 10lbs, lost 8lbs, started working out, tried to lose 8 more pounds, failed, stopped working out, became a General Sales Manager for two radio stations, learned how to coach a team and also learned I’m way too immature to be a manager. Then I had my dream job offered to me and went back to doing morning radio for a legendary station in San Francisco and I’m still pinching myself every single day. I am genuinely happy and I feel like I’m exactly where I belong in life at this moment. And then my dog died.
Tayler just turned 14 on Thanksgiving. I had a party for her and gave her Pupcakes with candles. We sang to her, gave her a crown and a sash and all the other dumb shit that is completely unnecessary for a dogs birthday. Her balloons are still flying in the kitchen. I became that dog mom that I find obnoxious. But I also knew that she may never have another birthday to celebrate so I wanted to remember the day. She got a mast cell tumor on her ear 6 months ago and the vet said it may turn into cancer but cutting off her ear was an extreme solution, so we left it alone to see what happens. It got bigger for months, didn’t seem to bother her but it worried me. Then about 6 weeks ago it started shrinking. WTF. Every week it got smaller and on Sunday night she jumped on the couch and curled into my lap and I said “OMG your tumor is GONE!! You’re a miracle dog!”. I gave her a booty scratch and kissed her face so hard that she was super annoyed with me. Later that night she jumped up in bed with me and we went to sleep. I fed her breakfast Monday at 4am and she joyfully shook her booty while she ate. She stopped eating and turned her head to look at me as I was leaving. I only remember this because she normally never takes her face out of her bowl until she is totally done eating, so I said “bye Tay” as she looked at me and I ran out the door.
I got home at 2pm and Beanie greeted me at the door like the obnoxious a-hole she is. I gave her some love, a treat and said “hey bad dog, where’s your sister”…because I talk out loud to my dogs like a crazy person. Totally normal. And yes, Beanie answers to “Bad dog”. I snuggled her for a couple minutes and decided to go wake up Tayler, as I figured she was asleep on my bed. I walked in my room to see her sleeping on the ground next to where I sleep. The place she sleeps when she’s too tired to jump all the way up on the bed. The place where I almost always step on her when I get up in the middle of the night. I said “Hey Tay” and she didn’t wake. “Tayler, you want a treat?”. Nothing. I stared at her for 10 seconds as my heart began to race. I watched her belly to see if it was moving. I couldn’t see any breaths. She was still and peaceful. I stood there for a moment before I moved because I knew that once I walked over to her and knelt down, everything would change. And it did.
It is strange to have such a feeling of loss over an animal. I miss her and it’s weird that she’s not here. I picked her out of a litter in the back of a pick-up truck 14 years ago and she’s been by my side for every minute of every journey I’ve been on since then. For 5 years before we got Beanie, it was just Tayler and I. And let me tell you….she was a CRAZY dog before we got Beanie. She was a bad puppy, destroyed things, cried all the time, was insanely hyper. Beanie calmed her down and they were best friends. But she loved me more than she loved Beanie. I was the sun, the moon and the stars to Tayler. No living being has ever loved me as much as Tayler did. I’m serious. She always needed to be by my side from the day I brought her home. That’s why I named her Tayler…because she tailed me everywhere I went. She would watch me for approval, cuddle me if I was sad, listen when I gave her commands, and sit by my side so I was never lonely. Beanie loves me, too, but mostly because I am the supplier of food and walks and treats and booty scratches. All things I’m proud to provide. Tayler loved me regardless of those things. The truest form of unconditional love I’ve ever experienced.
I’m not the best at verbalizing my feelings or my pain. I also hate sounding dramatic. I turn into a turtle when I’m hurting and retract into my shell where I feel safe and I don’t like to talk about it. Which is why I decided to write instead. We all go through pain, joy, loss and heartache and we all deal in different ways. I lost my dog but I’ll be ok. I am ok. I am sad but I am strong. Life goes on and we all lose things. I have so many things to be happy about and I am truly fortunate to have had 14 years with her. I’m so happy that our last day was perfect…she got a walk, cuddles, extra treats and she wasn’t in any pain. She really was a miracle dog and I am so lucky that she was always by my side. Best dog I’ve ever known. I’ll miss you Tay-Tay.