My parents got us Holly for Christmas one year. She was the best little gift anyone could ask for!
How cute is that little face? We were thrilled. My sister and I had the job of naming her, since our brother was only little at the time. We thought about it all day and couldn't come up with anything that seemed to fit. Auntie (our great aunt), who has since passed away, asked me to lift the puppy up to her lap.When I did, I saw the holly berries on Auntie's sweater...and that was that. We welcomed Holly into our family.
Many years later, we discovered that Holly had bone cancer and her kidneys were failing. For months now, Holly has been in more pain than we could probably even realize. Getting ready for bed two nights ago, my dad didn't think she would make it through the night. He could hear her poor little heart pounding from across the room. Being the loyal pet owner he is, Daddy curled up next to Holly's bed and tried to comfort her enough that she could sleep. Mom said that at this point, Holly could not even sit down or lay down, she would only stand because of the pain. They tried everything to get her to take her medicine, but she wouldn't even eat the meat my mom made for her. When they all woke up the next morning, they were expecting the worst, but there she was standing on her bed with a glazed look on her face. Throughout the morning she just stood there, my dad had to carry her outside because she couldn't walk down the two stairs on her own. He knew at that point we were going to have to put her to sleep. Though it was not a choice anyone wanted to make, she hadn't been able to take her medicine in days, so we knew she was in excruciating pain by now.
On my way to work, my mom texted me and told me what they had decided so I stopped by to say goodbye to my loyal friend. My brother answered the door with tears in his eyes. At 13, he cannot even remember life without Holly. We sat down together in the hallway and pet her as we cried. We were worried that our hands were hurting her, so I tried to pet her as lightly as possible. Whenever I pulled my hand away, she would nudge me, so I guess it was comforting. I pray it was comforting. Poor girl. I wish I could have done more.
My sister was still sleeping but when she heard me come in, she opened her door to say hi and saw us both on the floor. The decision had only been made a few hours before, so she didn't know yet. I had to break the news to her and she melted to the floor and cried with us. Though it was a terribly painful moment, I am so blessed to have been able to share it with my siblings. It will be a memory that I treasure for all time.
Holly, you were with us a long time, though it could never be long enough. I will always feel that twinge of pain when I walk through those doors and you are not there to greet me or to warm my feel at the base of a chair. I will forever remember Mom and Daddy telling me that you spent the first few nights in my bedroom when I went away to college for the first time. What a precious pup. We love you, Holly girl. We'll miss you always.