Solna's Just Right
March 11, 2000 - November 13, 2015
My littlest love, the last pug to come into my life and to leave it. How small you were when we met, just eight months old and your show career over before it even started. You were perfection to look at, but it hid some physical problems and you were taken out of the breeding program. I wasn't sure I was ready for you, but you made it quite clear you were ready for me and would be coming home with us that day.
Compared with the boys, you were a tiny thing, so cute that sometimes you didn't even look real. When Roger carried you, especially, you looked like a stuffed toy. It was your size combined with your incredible brightness that earned you the name Pixie. But your heart was the biggest thing about you; we often joked that even your little tongue was heart-shaped. I know as you got older, some people couldn't see what I did. They saw only the lumps, the bumps, the scars. But I never did.
You were always an original: the only dog I knew who didn't like peanut butter and never played with toys, even though you were surrounded by them. You were the pickiest eater, sometimes going days without eating if you didn't like the food, refusing even treats. Unheard of in a pug. You weren't even fond of walks. For you, life was about being with your people and the boys.
And about licking. Everything in the house felt your kisses: the walls, the floors, the doors, the bed, our clothes, and us, of course, even when those kisses became more tumour than tongue. I never thought I'd miss those funny licks on my legs every morning as I was trying to get dressed and not stand on you, but I do.
In some ways, you were my most vulnerable pug and in some ways, the strongest. The good things were met with such pure joy, and the bad with such resilience, stoicism, and determination. You endured a great deal in life, including several serious surgeries, and we were told not to expect many years with you. You surprised us by making it nearly 16 years, longer than any of my pugs. And through it all, your delight with life continued to shine through. None of the problems stopped you; they barely slowed you down. Every morning in the last few years, you'd pull yourself up on your strong front legs and wait for your back ones to catch up or for me to flip your feet over for you.
Roger always said that the only thing that kept you here for so long was your love for me. He may have been right. I remember after my own surgery having to leave the hospital early because you had planted yourself by the front door when I left and hadn't moved in more than 24 hours, not to eat, not to eliminate, not for any reason. Only my homecoming would move you. I didn't always feel worthy of that devotion.
But watching you now fighting through an oral melanoma, through tracheal collapse, through neurological problems that had already taken the use of your hind legs, through epilepsy, through all that and more, I knew love was no longer enough to keep you here; instead, that love had to be strong enough to let you go. And so I said goodbye to my Pickle Pug, my Baby Bit, my Pop 'n' Fresh, my Lixie, my Pretty, my Little'un.
I will miss the dog who every night pushed her head against my chest and then slid down my body so we be touching as much as possible. I'll miss the dog who seemed almost to spark with happiness. And I will miss the dog who reminded me that even on the hardest days, we have to keep trying to get up.
Rest peacefully, my little Pixie.