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9/4/2004 -10/12/2020



As I am writing this, it is 93 days, 13 hours, 29 minutes, 22 seconds since Peanut took her last breath, in my arms. Since I felt her little body struggle and push into mine, looking for comfort. 93 days since we raced across town, breathing life into her, and making promises to God that I don't even remember. Since I wrapped her in her favorite blanket, kissed her head, and handed her to her doctor for the last time. 

I've been going backwards through time, remembering the big things, the little things, the really hard things and the absolute best of things. So many memories are fighting with the most recent ones, and with my still-broken heart. I'm living in the past a little, you might say. 

On December 4th, 2004, Peanut came into our lives. On October 12, 2020, she left us. 5791 days. It really wasn't enough. I'd like to tell you a little about her life with us.


Oh man, I wanted a dog so badly. I begged and I pleaded, and I scattered cute dog pictures where I thought Jason would see them. Nothing worked; he didn't want the responsibility that a pet inevitably brings, especially at that time in our lives, and he wasn't wrong. But the heart wants what the heart wants, doesn't it.

We had to go out to get some office supplies one day, and wouldn't ya know it? There was a pet store next door. So convenient! We got our supplies, and somehow I talked Jason into going next door to see the animals. They were all so adorable of course, and we slowly walked down the aisle of puppies, talking about how cute they all were. I remember seeing a little blue (literally) Chihuahua  puppy and stopping for a minute to talk to him. And in the very next cage was Peanut. 

She was curled into the tiniest ball of fluff you'd ever seen. You couldn't tell which end was which. No amount of no's from Jason mattered, I HAD to hold this puppy, and then I had to figure out how I was going to take her home. It didn't happen that night, but the next day we brought her home. Jason would say it was because I literally wouldn't stop until he said yes. I would say it was because he knew she was ours from the moment he saw her. Or more truthfully, we were hers.

​Yes we got her from a pet store. Yes I know some will say we shouldn't have. But someone was going to take her home, weren't they? Someone was going to love her, and that someone was going to be me. 

Peanut traveled everywhere with us from the very beginning. She saw a ghost in the Belleview-Biltmore Hotel on her 1st New Year's Eve. <--- True story. She loved riding in the car, and she went just about any place we went. When she couldn't go, she stayed with her grandma and grandpa, and going to grandma's house was one of her very favorite things on earth. Jason liked to call it "camp grandma", and we often joked about getting her a backpack with that on it. She always came back a few ounces heavier from grandma's house...both in weight and in love. The bond Peanut had with Jason's parents was incredibly special, and I know they grieve for her as we do.

Everyone loved Peanut. I know that's a cliche` thing to say, but everyone really did love Peanut. No matter where she went, people wanted to know her - she just brought out the love in everybody. She had friends in almost every state; some she met in person, and some who only knew her from afar. Either way, her little light shined on so many. But you know who really loved Peanut? Her daddy. She wrapped herself alllll the way around his heart and they shared so many special things with each other. 

She knew from sound when he was getting ice cream or apples, and shared them both with him. If she didn't, she let him know what she thought about it. When she was able, she'd rather sleep on his shoulder than anyplace else in the world. A golf cart ride with dad literally could not be beat. And he was the only one who could always get a kiss from her, even if nobody else could...even in her final hours. Their love for each other was [is] every bit as powerful and deep as the love I shared with her, and his grief is every bit as powerful and deep as mine is. Seeing the pain of her loss reflected in his eyes is both humbling and heartbreaking. I'm not sure what I did to deserve someone as special as Jason in my life.



Peanut had the best 16 years of life she could possibly have. Many would say it was too good, we did too much for her, spent too much on her, catered too much to her. It's my opinion that our pets are gifts, and should be treated as such. It's our responsibility to give them the best that our circumstances allow, and that's what we did. We were blessed to be able to. 

​She was a frequent flyer at "happy hour" with our Fall's View friends in Dillard. So frequent, it was noticed if she missed one. So frequent that we had to stop letting her attend because her "friends" always wanted to share their drinks and snacks with her. She was very good at talking people into things! 

She was also a frequent flyer in our business. Always curled up in the corner during lives, ready to make an appearance if she thought I wasn't being entertaining enough. I know how much the XO Community loved her, and I appreciate how far and wide that went. Peanut was a bridge to new friends I never would have met otherwise. ​

What did Peanut love most? Her mommy & daddy. Bedtime, cheese, apples and  cold milk [ice cream]. She loved going to grandma's house, she loved going for rides, and she loved being outside. Peanut loved pretty much everything life had to offer her. The only things she disliked were baths, loud noises, and going to the doctor. She was a constant, sweet, reassuring presence, who gave the best advice without ever speaking, and the best hugs without having arms. 


When people who have never had a dog see others mourn the loss of a pet, they probably think it's all a bunch of nonsense. After all, it's "just a dog". But those who have loved a dog know the truth. Whatever it is about them that make us bond so closely with them, it is real. And the grief we feel is real; every bit as real as the loss of any loved one. They ARE a loved one. That's the point. We may not ever have any other relationships — especially not human ones — with such a high level of trust and unconditional love as the ones that we enjoy with our dogs. ​

​Losing my constant companion of 16 years devastated me. I spent the first weeks replaying her last hours and minutes in my head over and over, trying not to, but not being able to stop the tape. I still can't really shut it off, it's just there,


waiting for me to let down my guard and then BAM! It hits me in the face when I open the door and forget that I don't have to see if she wants to go out. Or when I come home and forget that she isn't there waiting for me. I take a shower and expect to see her standing guard, I go to my office and expect to see her in her bed when I look down. Every.single.thing I do reminds me of her. Everydangthing.


And then there's the guilt. It doesn't matter that I know I took care of her and did everything possible for her, the guilt is still there. Was there anything I missed? Did Peanut know I loved her and was there with her, and for her? Was she happy to have lived her life with us? Those thoughts turn into the highlight reel of that terrible morning, and it's as vivid as if it were just this morning. She spent her last night in my arms. The last air she breathed in came out of my lungs, and the last voice she heard was mine. I almost feel more connected to her now than I did when she was alive, because I spent the most precious and agonizing moments with her at the end of it. 

There's so much more I want to say about her. So many little stories and memories that I'd love for you to know. But I'm going to leave you with this. If you have a friend or family member grieving the loss of a pet, support them and let them know it's ok to feel the way they feel. Be gentle with them and acknowledge their legitimate pain. They need you; they need you to understand and to be there for them. 

Live your life leading with love. Be more like Peanut.