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Posts: 3
Paris the Chihuahua – 05/11/05 – 15/12/17
To my dearest Paris,
I did not expect you to arrive in my life. As much as I adored dogs I had decided that this was something I would get when I was older and had a house rather than a little flat. But your first daddy Keith couldn’t take you to London when he moved there and so you were entrusted into the care of his and my friend Raul, who quickly came to adore you.
You see, you probably didn’t realise but Raul was dying of cancer and you brought so much comfort to him. I first got to know you when Raul was still working, and as my office was ten minutes away from his house, I took on the responsibilities of checking on you and walking you and feeding you on the long days that Raul was at work. You were suspicious at first and growled at me when I would go around at lunchtime, but then you grew to accept me and after a while, I would receive a slightly less suspicious greeting from you, but once I started sharing my lunchtime sandwiches with you, the acceptance grew.
Sadly Raul’s condition declined and he was spending more and more time sick and in hospital. You then started staying at my house frequently and although it was strange for you and me at first, you soon became settled when I piled cushions and blankets on the sofa for you and probably gave you too many treats. You must’ve felt confused as you were going back and forth between my flat and Raul’s flat and you will have witnessed lots of tears. Your face could brighten the darkest of days and you did that for Raul so many times, as you did later for me.
As 2015 came to an end Raul was transferred to the Marie Curie Hospice for palliative care. You therefore became a permanent fixture in my house and we would visit Raul together, with the hospice allowing you to visit him. The hospice staff all loved you and would give you so much attention. On the night of 17th and 18th January 2016 Raul’s condition deteriorated rapidly. And you were there with us. You sat on the little spare bed and watched all the confusion as the staff tried to make Raul comfortable in his final hours. When he passed away and I left the hospice, I looked at you and thought “I’ve got a dog now”. You must’ve seen so much confusion and sadness in me, for weeks I struggled to cope but the one thing that kept me going is knowing that you needed to be looked after. You gave my life a sense of purpose after Raul’s passing and I can never thank you enough for that. You would know when I was sad and come and lick my nose and do your funny begging paw thing, as if you were begging for me not to be sad.
The months passed and although life was hard, you kept me going. I introduced you to my family – you growled at them at first but over time you came to accept them and they came to love you. You were introduced to Andy, my parents’ dog, and although he was 4 times as big as you, you were the boss. Naturally.
When I adopted you, you were nine. A good age for a dog. I disliked your name, not feeling it was worthy, but there was no changing it now, so Paris you would remain. When I took you for a check up to the vets and they told me you had a heart murmur and congestion, I did everything I could to get you better. I had your bad teeth fixed, and you began a course of many different tablets to keep you going. When it came to me moving house, I knew you weren’t officially allowed in the building, but you were going nowhere without me. You were my little soulmate who had supported me through the darkest period of my life. I was certainly not going to give up on you now.
I would smuggle you in and out of the building - remember I tried to fit you in a sports bag but you were having none of it. Over time, even the manager of the building accepted you as you were such a good girl and caused no problems and the security guys would ask about you. We had many lovely summer days in my parent’s garden, you loved the freedom and I loved seeing you gently sniffing every blade of grass and seemingly every leaf. I hated leaving you to go to work. I would come back at lunchtime and do the age-old thing of sharing my lunchtime sandwich with you. I got you addicted to chicken chews and nothing would give you so much joy as when I opened the treat tin, heard the noise and ran over wagging your tail with an inquisitive happy face.
As you grew older, you were slower, slept more, had bad days where you didn’t want to be bothered, but you’d always cuddle in at night and eventually my bed was yours. The silver lining to the cloud that was being fired from work in 2017 was that I got to spend all day every day with you, for six whole months. You were again my purpose for being, for getting up and out of bed. Otherwise I don’t know what would have happened to me. You saved me twice, Paris.
As your health declined, I hoped that you would keep going on, unrealistically, forever. You would still enthusiastically get overexcited when I was taking you out for a walk even though you often end up coughing and breathless.
More and more people came to love you. You left a shine on practically everyone you met. You became part of my family. One of my most precious memories is spending Christmas with you and my family and you were part of the gang.
As this year drew to a close you struggled more and more but I was determined you would see this through. You did a couple of times but I think the last time was too much for your little body.
I could not process the fact that you have gone and I still can’t. You died at home, surrounded by familiar things and I was close by. You had what some people might describe as the perfect passing but I can’t see it that way. I am so pleased that I did not have to make a decision to have you put to sleep as I am not sure that I could have ever got over that but it is still cold comfort as I have lost you however it happened.
I think, and hope that I did the best for you. There is always a nagging doubt, but I’m sure that I did everything I could for you. I hated forcing pills down your throat but it was necessary. I hated taking you to the vets where you would get so anxious, but it was necessary. I hated leaving you for any period of time.
You were a small dog that came into my life unexpectedly, uninvited, unplanned, but I will forever be grateful that you were part of my life for 3 years. 3 short years where you saved me from goodness knows what.
I will miss you forever, the pain and grief are raw but I know I will feel better over time. It was pure unconditional love from you – a cuddle from you after a bad day was the best medicine anyone could prescribe. This is what I will miss so much. Even if I left the flat for five minutes to put the bins out, I would get a greeting and a demand for a treat from you when I returned.
You will always be in my heart, Paris – Paws McGraw, Paws, Princess, pupper, pupperino, Paristy, Pasty, Fur-Face, Stinky, Pointy, White Fang, Wolfy and many other daft names.
Miss you forever and with love eternal.
Your third daddy, Michael.

Posts: 3
To my dearest princess, it’s a little over two months since you left me. It’s still raw and I still cry over you almost every day. I opened your memory box and the sight of your fluffy white fur on your brush reminded me of how soft and beautiful you were. You are. You always will be. I dream about you every night, I like to think that you’re visiting me to check on me. I will never forget you as long as I may live. Sleep well my little sausage.

Posts: 3
Well my princess, your daddy started his new job today and it was the first time he’d been at work since you passed. Of all days I would have loved to have seen your little face light up when I got home today. I hope you’d be proud of how I’m doing these days. Miss you every hour of every day.

Posts: 994

Congrats on your new job!

Just read your letter and I was deeply touched.  It's been 4 years since Tuffy passed, and 3 since Toby left.  I was raw for many months, the first year was so hard with so many firsts.

I didn't think I would make it when Tuffy left.  He, like your Paris had helped me through so much.  Losses of both my parents, a cousin, a dear friend.  

It sounds like you are somewhat better,  would guess there are better days and worse days. 

I know for me, in those first months, in that first year, heck, even now -- I remind myself how worth it it was, and how I would do it again in an instant.

Lots of grief later .. but how much love and joy they bring.

Tuffy, Toby, Ellie and Missy's Dad

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