Solna's Going My Way
May 13, 1999-April 19, 2011
Eleven years ago. I can hardly believe it was 11 years ago when the breeder asked me if I had room for another pug. I knew you were meant for me when I she told me your birth date: May 13, the same day as my mother's.
You entered our house like you entered our hearts: a whirling dervish of energy and enthusiasm for everything. You flew in and hiked your leg on the coffee table, blowing the breeder's promise that you weren't a marker. I wondered what I had let myself in for. But you learned fast and were so eager to please. You never made that mistake again, even at your sickest.
We eventually named you Wagner because you never stopped wagging your tail. You were always a handful, but you were a heartful of joy, too.
You had an uncanny way of reading how people were feeling, knowing when to lie quietly beside them and when to overwhelm them with love to push the sadness aside. And when I spent those years in such terrible pain, you always knew exactly where it hurt the most and would lie there, tight against me, my living, breathing hot water bottle. You were amazing.
And now, 11 years later, I say goodbye to my Big Sweet Boy, my Wagger-Dog, my Doodlebug, my Dude, my Big Love. We lost you to cutaneous lymphoma, even though you fought so hard to stay with us. We wondered how you lasted this long. For you, there was no cure. After the diagnosis, we brought you home, to the place and people that you loved, to take what time we could. Six weeks. For that I am grateful.
I never knew just how big your presence was until it was gone. The house feels so quiet and empty now. Pixie is lost without you. From the first second she set eyes on you, you were it for her. She loved you instantly and always looked to you. We would laugh when she'd bark at something and then move back so you could charge out in front. She will dearly miss her protector.
I will miss the dog who every night snuggled onto the pillow between Roger and me, resting his big head behind mine. I'll miss the frantic screams of joy you made when you saw the harness come out and knew it was time for a walk. We always thought you'd outgrow that; you never did. I'll miss the dog who danced for his food twice a day, spinning in circles every time. And I will miss the dog who always greeted us with a toy in his mouth so that all the love didn't spill out too fast.
Rest peacefully, my sweet Wagner.