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She was a chubby puppy, with flabby skin rolls, and the biggest brown eyes I had ever seen. As I sat on the floor to play with her she rolled on her back, and wanted her belly rubbed. This was the first time I laid eyes on Taylor, a doxie puppy who was so much more than a dog to me.

Taylor was 10 weeks old when I got her. She was my first dog, and the excitement of raising a puppy all on my own was exciting, and scary. Taylor was spoiled from the moment we brought her home.

Taylor and I bonded almost instantly she followed me everywhere, and I carried her like a baby. She was a red doxie, and her eyes lit up a room. When ever she looked at me I just melted.

I know everyone says that their dogs were perfect or that their dogs were special and I will certainly say the same about Taylor. She had such a beautiful spirit about her, she was loving, compassionate, and caring. She knew that if I came home upset or grumpy all she had to do was give me a sweet kiss and I would be ok.

Taylor was my dog but she was everyone’s girl, she quickly became the group mascot. She was such a ham, and she loved to do her tricks and show everyone just how smart she was. Smart she was, sure doxie’s are a stubborn breed but Taylor was so eager to please that she learned everything at such a fast pace. The best trick we every taught her was “George Bush”. This trick was simple but so much fun. The deal was simple you say to Taylor this treat is from mommy, then you say this treat is from Santa, and on and on. You could say as many or as few names as you would like. Then you would say this is from “ George Bush” and she wouldn’t take it. Being a democrat and being friends with mostly democrats this trick was a huge party favorite.

I thing the reason that Taylor was so amazing was that she loved me so much and she proved that for two years before she passed away. In March of 06 a truck hit me, and my right leg was severely injured. The pain was excruciating and my life as I knew It was over. What was a simple accident turned into a life altering event. From this accident I suffered severe damage and got a nerve disorder called RSD. Some days the pain was so bad I would just lay in bed and sob. Taylor never complained she never even batted an eye. I couldn’t play with her anymore, we couldn’t go on walks, I couldn’t drive her to the pet store. She never seemed angry or mad she just laid there and cuddled. She licked my tears away, and made me smile. She kept by my side everyday for two years, and as the pain got worse and my condition deteriorated her loyalty got stronger. I knew I could never repay her for all her love and support she gave me but little did I know I would have a chance.

It was July 4th 07 and we were having a party at a friend’s house. Taylor was running around like normal and then all the sudden she started acting funny. She was holding her head up straight in the air and she would hardly move. I wasn’t sure what was going on. She wobbled when she walked, and she wouldn’t give me kisses. I knew something was wrong. We decided to wait until morning to take her to the vet but I laid there on the floor next to her all night. When I awoke the next morning Taylor wouldn’t move or should I say she couldn’t. We took her to an emergency vet who took these long metal tweezer things and squeezed her back feet as hard as he could. Taylor didn’t flinch, wince, cry or anything else when he did this. That was the moment the crushed me because the next words out of his mouth was “ I’m sorry she’s paralyzed”. I remember just losing it, I grabbed onto my girlfriend and began sobbing. This was Taylor she was the light of my life and now she couldn’t move. The worst and oddly ironic part about this was that same day I had surgery for my leg so that I could hopefully walk better, and without a cane. I left Taylor at that hospital that day so that I could go get my leg fixed, and it worked. The same day I gained use of my leg back, Taylor lost the use of hers.

The only hope they said was a 5,000-dollar surgery and even that was only giving her a 25% chance of ever walking again. We took her to a special hospital for a second opinion and they to said surgery was her best option. It was also the worst option, where would I a college student come up with 6,000? As it turns out I had an amazing friend who was willing co-sign care Credit with me, and I got the money to pay for the surgery. The surgery was the easy part; taking care of Taylor after the fact was the hard part. Taylor now required 24 hours around the clock care, and luckily I had the summer off from work, and school. Taylor could no longer go to the bathroom on her own, she had to have her bladder expressed by me 6-8 times a day. She had control of her bowels but couldn’t tell me when she had to go because she couldn’t feel it. The first few weeks were the worst. She was always in a diaper or on a potty pad, she wouldn’t eat and she didn’t understand that she didn’t have her back legs. She wanted to be Taylor, and she wanted to play and run just as she always had. Watching her suffer through all this was gut wrenching, there was nothing I could do to make her better. Here was my little girl my beautiful little girl and I couldn’t save her. After about the first 4 weeks of recovery they say they regain about 80% of whatever they will gain back. For Taylor that was nothing, she never felt her legs again even with the surgery, she would never walk again.

After the first four weeks I had to go back to work and Taylor needed a babysitter. God must have blessed me because I meant the most wonderful women named Karen. I know now that we both had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. She took on the job of Taylor without really knowing how bad it was. You see Taylor had no control of her bladder so she would pee everywhere, but she also wouldn’t stay in her diapers or on her potty pads. She could make quite the mess. Karen didn’t give up on Taylor, and as Taylor got stronger her bladder control got better. Taylor loved Karen, she spent almost 8 hours a day with her, and her dogs. She quickly became part of their family, and her family became part of ours. Karen really and truly was a godsend, she helped me cope, and she helped Taylor adjust. Her husband Frank even built Taylor’s “wheelchair” for her, which was no easy task. It took many, many trial runs and many different types of material, but Frank built her an awesome wheelchair. I remember the first time I saw her in it, I walked up to pick her up and she rolled right up to me. I was so happy I couldn’t help but cry it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. She was moving again and not in the army crawl way.

Through it all Taylor was happy, people always ask me why I kept her alive, and my response was simple she never gave up on me and I will never give up on her. She stayed by my bedside for two years and I would now stay by hers. We did this for almost 6 months and by all accounts Taylor was loved, happy, and healthy.

Then one day I came home to find that she had chewed through her own foot. She had a huge chunk of missing meat, and she was bleeding everywhere. She was rushed back to the emergency vet who said that sometimes they feel like they have bugs in their feet and because they can’t feel it they chew them. They stitched her up, and sent her home. Her leg never healed it became a big gapping hole, they talked about amputation and other forms of help, but I said no. Taylor had been through too much already and would not allow her to go through anymore. I had always told myself if it came down to be being selfish and keeping her alive or her being gone and happy. I would have to let her go, and that is just what I did. She was happy the day she passed away, she wasn’t in any pain and by all accounts she was normal. That was what I wanted, I wanted her to go in peace, I didn’t want her to suffer. I am sure she could’ve live another 3 months but that would’ve been for my good not hers. So on November 20th 07 we put Taylor to sleep.
It was the hardest thing I had ever done, I never forget it she gave me one last kiss and passed away. She was 6 years old.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t miss her kisses, her spirit, her cuddling, and just the essence of her presence. She was so much more than a dog to me, she was a best friend, a confident, and my little girl. I miss her so much, I still cry for her, I still think I hear her down the hall, and I still wish she were here. It’s been 7months now, and it’s not any better. I still miss her like crazy and I still dream she comes home.

About 4 weeks ago I took the plunge and got a new dog. He’s a two-year-old pug named Mr. Moosey Man. I have to say the first week with him was hard, I felt guilty, sad, and like I had betrayed Taylor. After that week Moosey has grown on me, he’s very different from Taylor. He chews underwear and q-tips she never chewed a day in her life. He likes to play fetch, Taylor would just look at me like “are you going to get that”. He loves the water, and loves to be in it, Taylor would run away from anything wet. He is my baby boy, but I will always miss my little girl.

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