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❤IZZY❤ World's Most Beautiful Bulldog

Aug 08

Izzy is Home

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As you all know, Izzy shed her earthly clothes at about this time last Monday. I do have so much to tell about her last adventure, but I’ve not had the heart – nor the time – to put it all down in words just yet. You see, after last Monday’s emotionally draining events, I did the only reasonable thing to do when suffering from a broken heart.

That’s right … I went to Disney.

After all, at what better place to hide from your tattered heart than “the happiest place on earth” … amirite? Of course, for Izzy, the Happiest Place Ever was any place where people would love on her and feed her, so pretty much any time she got to go in public, it was sheer JOY!  … I can only imagine just how totally and completely beside herself she would be were she ever to visit Disney. I’m here to tell you, she’d likely have had a stroke from all the fawning, feeding and, well, being practical … the heat.

Unable to stay in what feels like an empty house, I packed a bag with about 12 pounds of sunblock and headed south, yearning for distraction from the reality that my girl is gone. As I sat on the plane, staring out the window, I thought my plan would fail … it was clear to me that Izzy was following me. There was a circular rainbow just out the window. Once I spotted it, I couldn’t stop watching … I started taking photos, convinced it would soon disappear. I was wrong. On the short flight, I managed to capture photos of Izzy’s rainbow for about an hour, stopping only as we began our descent to Orlando. At first, I felt sad seeing that rainbow there but then I realized that Izzy was free to follow me wherever I go … which naturally made me quite happy.

Izzy’s rainbow and the shadow of our plane

At Disney, they asked if we were just on vacation or celebrating something special. Since we were celebrating my birthday, albeit a bit late (and I didn’t want to explain anything more about it), I was given a special button to wear around the park. Every employee – even those just walking past – wished me a happy birthday. We stopped into an on-site Starbucks so I could grab an iced coffee and, without missing a beat, a “cast member” swooped in as my beverage was handed to me so he have the ENTIRE store sing Happy Birthday (guests and all) and he presented me with a Mickey Mouse shaped cinnamon roll … totally to die for … can you imagine how much Izzy loved that?!

As it turns out, my plan worked quite well and I had a very fun, happy, long weekend. I definitely had some wistful moments, as is to be expected, but all in all, it was the perfect distraction. Like all good things, it had to end so this morning, I awoke at 4:30 a.m. to catch the early flight home … must report for duty (work)!  While I tried to crane my head to see out the window to find Izzy’s rainbow, I just couldn’t get a glimpse as I was stuck in the middle. Once we landed, I scurried off to work, delivering treats such as Jelly Slugs, Peppermint Toads, and Fudge Flies from Sugarplum’s (Wizarding World of Harry Potter) to my co-workers and went about my day. Then, this afternoon, my phone rang … I glanced at it but let it go to voicemail.

“Miss Kennedy, it’s Meghan from TRVH. I wanted to let you know that Izzy has returned to us and you can come get her at any time.”

Just in time. I arrived home just in time to get my girl and bring her home with me.

Izzy’s famous gingham blanket, labeled with love by her friends at the oncology office

The wind chimes sent to me by my “family” at Triangle Veterinary

Izzy and her prints

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Jul 29

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I suppose it’s somewhat predictable that, as I near the end of my time with Izzy, I want to preserve as much as I can about her and her life. I regret that I didn’t start a blog straight away when I learned of her first cancer diagnosis, which was back in August 2015. Almost two years have passed which, for a dog of nearly 14 now, is a long time but is feeling ruefully short right now.

I recognize fully that I have been blessed to have so much time with my girl, cancer or not. There aren’t tons of dogs who live to 14, with the notable exception of tiny toy breeds which are absolutely not my style. I used to joke, “I like my dogs like I like my men – big and dumb” … Izzy isn’t *that* big (weighing in around 55 pounds for most of her life) and really isn’t dumb at all, but that surely didn’t stop me from bestowing the nicknames “Fatty” and “DodoBird” upon her, along with a great many others. She’s been my constant companion for all but the first couple of months of her life, give or take a week or two, seeing me through most of my thirties – which unfortunately included my father’s passing – right on into to “middle age” (I turned 46 just two days ago).

I was hoping that Izzy would make it to her 14th birthday and now that I think of it, that’s an odd wish given that I don’t really know when she was born. I’ve always pretended it was around Halloween/Day of the Dead, but likely it’s more along the lines of October 1st. When you choose to adopt your future heartbreak from a rescue or shelter, you have the luxury of selecting when you will celebrate the passing of years. I always loved Halloween and, when I learned about the Day of the Dead and its beautiful beliefs and traditions, it became an instant favorite. Since Izzy is my favorite dog in the world, a birthday was born. This year, however, I suspect we’ll be celebrating early; it’s important to squeeze this one in under the wire – although I’ve never really thrown her a birthday party before.

I’d come to believe that I adopted Izzy in January of 2004, but my ex-boyfriend from long ago stumbled across some baby pictures of her and in one, there’s a Christmas tree in the background. I know she’s just weeks or months old in it, so it was definitely taken right after she became my girl. That also means that her birthday could actually be in September. And in the end, it doesn’t really matter. I’m just happy to have these photos, once thought to be gone forever. Izzy looks so big, even though she’s just a baby, furthering the evidence that she was older than I thought when I drove to Orlando to adopt her (I did live in FL at the time) and stuffed her into a cat carrier, borrowed from my best friend, Kim, who also accompanied me on the journey. Weeks after I brought her home, I can remember looking at that carrier and thinking how impossible it was that she’d fit … she was growing so fast … and when I gave it away just about a year ago, I marveled again at the idea that Fatty McFatterson ever fit in the darn thing.

But enough of all this. Here are the pictures of my gorgeous girl as an infant and toddler, back when her markings were distinct and she had a heart on her nose.