Ivy, my beautiful black lab, passed away today. Her throat tumor got the best of her but I hope, wherever she is, she’s relieved from pain.
Amidst my painful tears and feelings of loneliness, I can’t help but relive all those special moments we shared together.
I remember when I got her. Little Ives and her puppy siblings were running around the yard where they were born. I loved them all and it was impossible to choose one. I sat down, legs crossed and little did I know, Ivy would end up choosing me. A tiny puppy came to me and rested her head on my crossed legs and fell asleep. I knew then, we had chosen each other.
I remember when I took her home, took care of her as she struggled with the feeling of separation from her family, until we were lucky enough to eventually be called her family.
I remember her sleeping in my bed. She used to take most of the space for herself, sleep belly up and tongue out. What wouldn’t I give to fight for my space in bed with her one last time.
I remember my first heartbreak. And all the subsequent ones where I would close myself off to the world in my bathroom and cry my heart out. I would eventually hear her sniffing outside asking me to please open up the door to let her in. She was the only one I’d let in. I hugged her and she licked my tears away. I always wondered how dogs, or her, seem to have a sixth sense.
I remember her mischievousness. Like any good lab, she ate everything and anything. Sometimes it was the leftovers, other times the food I managed to sneak out for her. One time it was a plastic bag. I remember her pooping that out! How she made me laugh. She had no limits, apparently.
I remember her first and only litter of puppies. We had built a special bed for her to deliver her pups. The night before they were born she hesitated but made sure to let me know they were coming. In the middle of the night she gave birth to 11 gorgeous puppies. I remember one being born without breathing. I had prepared myself for the birth and was lucky to save her. I still remember Ivy’s concerned yet relieved expression as if it was yesterday.
Over the years, I regret to admit we began to drift apart. My walks of life took me abroad for the better part of the last 9 years. However, I still remember her reaction and welcome every time I came home. It’s as if I had just left for a few hours to run errands. I could tell she missed me terribly.
I remember everything about her. Her loyalty, her wagging tail, her soft tummy, her kind eyes and her sense of humor. What I regret is I will not be able to remember her last minutes on earth. Being away from home, Ivy died alone without me next to her, holding her paw and caressing her soft cheek as I’m sure it would have been, had I been there.
Despite my suffering, despite my disbelief of the situation, I know heaven has gained another angel today.
RIP Ivy Suriano
25 October 2002 – 31 May 2014