My husband Mike and I had been looking to get a dog and one day a friend of ours called me to tell me that she knew of someone who was giving away free puppies. I jumped at the opportunity and set up a time to go and pick out the new member of our family. I thought that I was going to have a hard time choosing which puppy to take home, but I didn’t because when I walked in the door one little puppy ran right up to me and I knew that she was the one. I didn’t tell Mike what I was up to so he was so surprised when I walked through the door with a little butterball in my arms. She came to live with us the day after we got home from our honeymoon.We named her Isabelle Pancake, Izzy for short, because she was the color of perfectly cooked, golden pancakes. She was Mike’s first dog and he was so nervous when we first got her. That first night that she was home he was so careful to make sure that she had everything she needed and wanted. When she didn’t want to walk on the stairs, he carried her and when she cried he was right there holding her. From that night on she became a Daddy’s girl.She was so adorable as a puppy and she just kept getting better with age. She would always greet us at the door with a toy in her mouth and at night, when she thought we were asleep she would try to sneak into our bed with us. She rarely barked and unlike most golden retrievers, she hated the water. She loved the snow though and would jump around in it for hours. She thought peanut butter was the second greatest thing on earth, after Mike. She loved to be where we were and would stand outside the bathroom door while you showered just waiting for you to be done. She loved other dogs, she loved our niece, Dakota, and she loved us. She was smart, beautiful, funny, friendly, and just about the sweetest dog you could ever hope to meet.Izzy started having seizures six months after her first birthday. We thought it was just a bizarre incident, but the seizures kept coming and eventually were happening multiple times a week. We tried to get them under control, but never quite could. Six months after her second birthday she got sick and couldn’t keep any of her food down. We thought it was something trivial, but took her to the vet to get her checked out. Our vet told us that it was a disease that didn’t really have a cure. We talked about it and decided that the best thing to do was to end Izzy’s suffering. We took her in on a Wednesday, brought her home on Thursday and Izzy’s brief life ended on Friday. She was two and a half. Throughout everything Izzy was always so sweet, so calm, and so loving. She helped Mike and I through some very tough times and was always there to make us laugh or to give us doggie kisses. We think that her sickness made her personality even more sweet and gentle. We miss her more than we can say, but feel so blessed that we were the ones who got to love her and care for her during her short life.
Thank you Izzy, for being our first “puppy love”, for being our saving grace in the hard times, and for always loving us. You are still our baby.
Jessie and Mike Santala