Niamhe - A Tribute to my Princess

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We met in a parking lot in Fergus, ON on a Friday night.  You were so incredibly happy to get out of your crate in that van full of shelties.  You were excited and full of so many kisses that you just had to start distributing them the second you saw me.

I was told your name was Devastation, or Diva for short.  I saw immediately why you had such an ostentatious name.  You were stunning.  Gorgeous.  Perfection.  I was regaled with tales of you winning ribbons and becoming a Champion Italian Greyhound.  Even so, I didn't see how I could ever go with you to a park and call "Come, Diva" so we started trying out names on the way home.  When I said "Niamhe" (pron. Neev) you looked at me right away.  Really, you picked your own name.

Our first night together you were very affectionate, but I worried because you wouldn't eat.  I later learned one of your two weaknesses: ground beef.  The next day I happened to make a meatloaf and we were off to the races!

You loved being with me, but couldn't stand it when I'd leave you alone so I got you a friend to keep you company during the day.  Lacey was your constant companion from that day forward and you two adored each other.

One of your favourite things in the world was to run.  And you were the fastest dog in the world.  Nobody could catch you and you loved it!  You would tease them and make a sport out of it, but I could always tell when you were doggin' it.

You hated the winter.  As soon as it dropped below freezing you would do anything to avoid the cold.  Burrowing into blankets, piling yourself on top of Lacey, whatever it took to keep warm.  

The kisses never stopped.  You were the most affectionate creature I've ever met.  We spent hours grooming each other ...you even cleaned out my ears when I let you.

You've been there with me through everything these last 8 years.  We lived in 4 different homes together, you've seen me married, divorced, single and married again, you've seen me as sick as I've been and you've seen me happy and strong.  Through it all, you were always supportive and happy just to be with me.

I always treated you like the princess that you knew you were.  You got the best spot in the bed every night.  You wouldn't get up in the morning until I would rub your belly for just long enough.  I carried you to bed every night because you fell asleep on the couch and were too tired to make the trek up the stairs.

You got sick the last week of May.  I thought maybe you had too much sun at the park, or maybe ate something that you shouldn't have.  You got sicker over the next week and the vet thought that you had the flu so we got you some antibiotics and vitamins.  Then you got dehydrated and had to be hospitalized.  The tests were going to take a long time so we brought you home where we knew you would be happier.  That's when we found out about your cancer.  Whether it was lymphoma or bowel cancer we will never know.    

We had so many ups and downs.  So many moments of celebration when you seemed yourself and so many moments of despair when you didn't.  You lost more than 20% of your body weight in the last two weeks.  Nothing was getting digested and you just stopped eating.

The nights were the worst, for all of us.  I always told you it wasn't your fault, but you still felt bad every time.  You never gave up and I think you were fighting for me.   You saw me sad and still wanted to be there for me ... To comfort me.

You gave me your last kiss at noon on July 2, 2010.  I love you Niamhe.  I never thought our time could be cut short.  I will always think of you and I will miss you every day for the rest of my life.  

You died on a Friday.  It was the hardest day of my life.