Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Izzy Pooch

Standing in the veterinary hospital operating room...the various monitors beeped intermittently as my beloved Izzy pooch lay motionless on the warm operating table.

"Sometimes the right dog comes to the right person at the right time" said the vet..."and that's what Izzy was for you."

I raised Izzy from an eight week old pup...intent on having the most well-behaved dog imaginable. She was all that and more! From her first night home until her last...we were nearly inseparable. During the dark dark days following Jocie's death, Izzy was my close companion anchoring me to the world...

keeping me grounded!

I noticed early on, that Izzy would let you do anything to her. Dress her up, pose her...literally anything you wanted. 

I don't imagine she loved it...but merely tolerated it because she loved me.

She became a model for Jiggystick; where among other duties, we had Izzy pose for the label of our Hot Jiggity Dog Shampoo.

Izzy was softness and sweetness 

and BBQ ribs.

She was springtime chicks, long eyelashes,

and banana cream pie.

There is NOTHING quite like the love of a dog. To my knowledge, no other species prefers the companionship of humans to their own.

It isn't that dogs are confused about their identity or what species they belong to...

or that they think we are marvelous.

Dogs just prefer humans over other dogs simply because they love us...

unconditionally love us!

Every single time I walked in the door to home I was greeted excitedly by Izzy...whether I had been gone for five minutes or five days.

Izzy loved to be with our family no matter where we went, including the weekly Saturday ski trips.

 Izzy knew when the ski pants went was one of those days. Arriving at the mountain, she would run and play and sniff while we put on ski boots and got ready for a day of skiing. Upon command, that pup would pile in the car, curl up in a ball, and wait for us to come spend our lunch hour with her. She loved it!

I give all the credit to Dean for finding Izzy. His hectic travel schedules meant nights and mornings spent alone, so I decided I would like a dog to keep me company while he was away on business trips. I guess it was only appropriate that she would sleep on Dean's pillow while he was gone.

Dean discovered her at a local area breeder...goldendoodles (cross between a Standard Poodle and a Golden Retriever) were something new and uncommon 7 1/2 years ago. The pick of the litter...the breeder sat rocking Izzy with giant streaming tears when we arrived to take her home. I distinctly remember how she smelled lightly of fresh baby powder.

I've often wondered if that breeder and his wife had any idea the joy and love this dog would be for me...

or how many hours we would spend together.



starring in movies...

playing with family dogs...

or how much I would adore that black nose nuzzled softly into my waiting hand every single day of her life.

It was the 4th of July weekend when I noticed something not quite right with Izzy...she seemed just a little off. Her BFF Stella was spending the week with us while her family was away. It was nothing really...Izzy just seemed to jump a little more gingerly into the car for the first time in her life...even hesitating slightly.

We hiked to the top of Naomi Peak that day...and now I know just how brave she was and how much she wanted to be with us, despite the pain she must have been experiencing unbeknownst to me.

Concerned, with her lingering fatigue,  days later we visited the vet where Izzy was initially diagnosed with a kidney infection. 

Stubbornly it wouldn't go away, and then day after day she worsened...

and my heart began to tremble.

And on this day...we discovered she not only had an infection, but a rare cancerous tumor on that kidney. My heart sank into my chest and my eyes felt that awful familiar sting as I held Izzy's head during the ultrasound and the vet delivered the horrific news.

The plan was to remove the cancerous kidney in a high-risk surgery as all the other organs looked healthy in the x-rays. Dr P (as she is called) knew how much this dog meant to me and wanted to save her, and believed she could easily live with just one healthy kidney. The next two days Izzy never left my side. I cried and whispered positive thoughts in her fluffy white ears...telling her how much I loved her.

Dean and I took these photos the night before her surgery...fearing and preparing for anything the next morning. You would never guess from these images just how awful this pooch felt. No appetite and unable to hardly move...our hearts were breaking for her pain. And just before going inside, Izzy turned and wagged her tail for the first time in days. An image I'll never forget.

The following morning I kissed her lightly on that black nose top as the vet ushered her down the hallway assuring me she would keep Izzy comfortable and update me on the surgery as soon as she had news.

It wasn't much more than an hour later when the shrill noise from my phone delivered the results we had feared...the tumor had indeed spread up and down her spine...inoperable.

Tears...just so many tears!
And so...Dean and I rushed to her side...whispered I love you's...embraced her in our arms...and let her go...the absolutely only thing left we could do for her...

Never in a million years could I imagine the love I would have for this pup...nor could I ever adequately explain that bond we shared.

When you open your heart and give it to a pooch...she becomes your faithful friend, your untiring defender, your constant companion...your pooch. And to the are her love, her life, her world. Until the last beat of her heart she will be your lovable pooch...faithful and true. I will love you forever my Izzy Pooch!


  1. Princess Izzy, you brought so much joy to this family, and you were lucky to have them as your family. Such a special tribute, and now I need to go find a kleenex to wipe off the tears streaming down my cheeks!

  2. I knew before I started reading your post what the end would be as I went through the same thing with my beloved pooch in 2012. Here is a link that was shared with me when I had to say goodbye to Mr. - I have no doubt I will see him again and I have no doubt you will see Izzy again. I am sure her and Jocie are just having a ball together. I am so sorry for your loss. May the Lord be with you and your family at this time.

  3. Oh, Lisa. I'm sitting here with tears streaming down my face. I had no idea when I asked why Izzy hadn't come on the Parker Memorial Hike this year. I'm so sorry. My heart aches for you.

  4. This breaks my heart. Our goldendoodle Willey passed away 2 months ago from a back problem that couldn't be fixed. Like Izzy it happened all the sudden and unexpectedly. He was 7 & 1/2 years old too! So sorry for this. Izzy looked like an amazing dog!!

  5. Oh Lisa,
    I'm been thinking about you nonstop since I heard the news. I'm so sorry. xoxo

  6. Lisa my heart and hugs go out to you. Izzy was well loved and I am so happy she brought you so much joy. Our Emma brought so much joy into our lives and earlier this year when we had to let her go it tore my heart up. I am hoping Izzy and Emma are together now and I am sure they will be the best of friends too.
    Your post was beautiful and the tears are freely falling here. Love you!

  7. What a great tribute to a great dog.

  8. Izzy Pooch you are free from your pain! Go play with all of those other pups we all loved and knew so well who were given their freedom to run free before you. I am so honored to have met you and that I was able to snuggle with you. Keep my Sami company <3

    Big hugs to you Lisa and your family! Love you guys!

  9. Lisa, I am truly sorry for loss of your beloved dog - what a beautiful companion to have had. I have not been commenting as much as I should but wanted you know how much I've been enjoying looking at your day to day photos , you'll have such a wonderful collection to look through by the end of the year. And I have also been neglectful in congratulating you on your new grandchild. I apologise for including this all in the one comment but could not let it go by without saying how sorry I am about your Izzy. Renee

  10. The worst part of life is the good byes. XO

  11. Oh Lisa, I am so very sorry. After reading your beautifully written post, while I was sad and crying, I also had a bittersweet smile thinking of all the pictures you have shared of Izzy. The love you two felt for each other showed in every single photo you shared with us. Very wise words from your Vet. Thinking of you, sending you love and hugs.

  12. the emotions you share through word and picture are such a gift! thank you for your perspective of joy even amidst the frailty of life. xoxo so happy that i get a little glimpse of the garlick press and the happiness and love that you surround yourself in!
    that izzy pooch is one to make a non-dog lover want one of her own.... but you said it right. it's the love you put in that you got right back. lucky you and lucky dog!

  13. I'm so so sorry for your loss. x

  14. I am so sad that I never got to pet you and love on you, in person, Izzy....but, you must know what a blessing you were to your family and how blessed you were to have them, yourself. You are still greatly loved and will always be greatly missed. Good-byes are too hard, sometimes....let's just say that we will meet you again someday! Love ya, Lisa! Big hugs and love to you.

  15. Gorgeous. Ever word and every photo.