Monday, December 2, 2013

Thankful For Stolen Time

How long do pit bulls live?


As some of you may know, my best friend and truest love, Lola, passed away last Friday. It was a frigid but painfully bright wintry morning with the bluest of blue skies painting the heavens. 

It's been really hard, these last few days, because I had just always imagined her in my life. It's not that I was naive about how long pets live, it's just that I cared for her so much that I knew she would leave the deepest of holes in my heart if I were ever to be without her. 

When I saw her be born on Ocober 24th 2001, I knew she was going to be mine. I named her after my favorite baby doll as a child. I was 21 years old. 

As I was teaching her how to be a good dog, she was teaching me how to be a responsible adult. 

Lola and me, early 2002
One time, when she was just a pup, I came home from work to find that she had torn up ALL of the rolls of toilet paper, scattered the remnants like confetti across the living room, then proceeded to pee and poop on the  various piles of TP. So I guess she also taught me about patience, unconditional love, and how to securely close the cage door. She was a handful at the time, but who could get mad at a face like this for long?

As the years passed, she grew into the kindest, most gentile, well behaved dog I could have hoped for. A true best friend. She brought so much joy and laughter to my life. 

1 year old 
She even gave me the best gift I could have asked for, my little Beasley. 

Lola was diagnosed with having an inoperable large malignant tumor in her chest at age 11, and was only given days to live...that was a year ago. (read that blog post here: She somehow bounced back and I was given a whole year, almost to the day, of extra time with her. 

In that year, there was not a moment that I didn't treasure, not a walk that I was not thankful for, not a snuggle that wasn't fully appreciated because I knew that borrowed time would not last an eternity. 

Last Wednesday, Lola started to act funny. She stopped eating and drinking, she started vomiting and had lost use of her legs in a matter of hours.  I stayed home with her on Thanksgiving, made her comfortable, and slept with her on the floor of the living room that night. By morning she had started vomiting blood, so we took her to the vet and that's when he told us the bad news. It seems like Lola's tumor had finally gotten the best of her. She was in a lot of pain and I had a very hard decision to make. We wanted her passing to be on our terms and free of pain, so at about a quarter past noon last Friday, Lola died in my arms. 

I saw her take her first breath and felt her take her last. Her life and mine had come full circle. 

She was my soul dog, the impact she left on  my life was invaluable.  

This is the last picture that was taken of us, the day before Thanksgiving. 

better days...

Please feel free to share any words of encouragement. All thoughts help me through this tough time. I would love to know about your beloved pets that have passed as well, and how you have dealt with the loss. 
Thank you. 


  1. All I can say, Erin, is it will hurt less as time goes on. Most importantly, you gave Lola the best life she could have had. She thought all dogs lived as happily as she did, with her best friend. You loved her and she loved you - that's as good as it gets, my friend. XO.

  2. Let yourself cry and don't think there is any set time to be over the grief. She took a very large part of your heart with her and that hurts. But she also took that very large part of your heart and still has it with her forever. You may not feel it yet, but she left you ALL of her heart. And you have it with you forever.

  3. I can relate to your pain Erin.Two years ago we had to put down our 4 yr old staffie, Ginger. She had lymphoma and was clearly suffering. We thought making that choice and watching her go was the worse pain we could go through as a family. 7 days later, my dad's 12 yr old service dog, Ben was lying on our floor unable to move and clearly dying. We called our vet and by the time he arrived it was too late. We were struck with an unreconciable grief. How could this happen? The same day Ben was dying we were bringing home a pup we adopted several days before. Even though our pain was so deep, we knew we had so much more live to give and adopted a second. Take your time and grieve. I know how sad this is for you...Naomi

  4. Tears are just pooring down my cheecks. You are the model of what a dog owner should be like. I am glad I got to meet her for a short moment. You gave Lola the best life a dog could wish for.

  5. You have her the best gift possible Erin...a life well loved. You and she were lucky to have each other. Reading this reminded me of my dear Jaquline who died this May. After 17 years together she took her last breath in my arms as's such a hard thing. So sorry for your loss.