I first saw Lee Lee on the humane society website about two months after Mystic died. I wasn't quite ready for another dog, but I was so drawn to her. Her description said she liked sleeping on the couch and long walks to her food bowl. I was smitten. I kept an eye on her listing—something in me said I needed to meet her, that she was the one. A month after I first saw her online, I finally went in to meet her in person. I brough her home that day.
Just a couple days after she came home, she climbed on top of a table and jumped off it, giving me a mild heart attack. Within her first couple months, she climbed on another table to eat a bowl of chocolates. She was fine, and chocolate remained her favorite food (I would sneak her tiny crumbs of it for her birthday and xmas).
Lee Lee loved being outside. She was all nose, and would happily spend hours sniffing around the garden at our old apartment. She was a huge cuddlebug, too, frequently burying herself in piles of pillows and stuffed animals. She loved having her ears scratched, especially her left one.
She hated baths. Once she jumped out of the sink while I was bathing her. Whenever I took a bath, she'd anxiously check on me, making sure I was okay. It was extremely concerning to her that I would willingly sit in the tub. I don't know how many baths I took while we were together, but it was a lot, and she never came around to the concept.
She tolerated her sweatshirts and pajamas, but her winter coat was beyond the pale. As soon as I put it on her she'd lie on her side with her legs straightened out stiffly. Unfortunately for her, I remained unmoved by her protests, especially when it got down to twenty and thirty below zero.
I often say that Mystic taught me how to love, but Lee Lee taught me that I could love again. I was constantly amazed at how deeply she embedded herself in my heart, and I feel so blessed that I was able to exist in the same spacetime as her for the past few years.
Last week her back legs started bothering her a lot. I thought it was her arthritis flaring up. On Thursday, she'd been pretty much stuck on the ground, unable to stand, and on Friday I took her to the emergency vet for some pain relief. The emergency vet said there was something wrong with her spine, that it could be something like a herniated disc or cancer pressing on her spinal cord. I declined imaging and surgery, taking home meds to keep her comfortable, hoping that whatever was pressing on her spine would resolve itself with rest and time.
She declined very quickly over the weekend, and the last time I saw any hint of her personality was on Saturday morning. On Monday morning I called our regular vet, and they got us in just a couple hours later to say goodbye. We both knew it was time.
I'm so glad I got to hold her as she died.
She was such a good dog.
I miss her.