We unexpectedly lost Emma last night and my heart is broken. I can’t do anything without crying and our tiny family is missing its most lovable member. We’re out here a group of four now, not five, more alone than ever.
In the few weeks before our move, Emma started having weird little episodes. She’d lay down, refuse to move, breathe a bit more deeply than usual, then get up and return to normal. Ever the pessimist, I insisted we take her to the vet, but they found nothing unusual. On the second day of our road trip out here, Emma essentially shut down. She kept laying down while I had the pups out on a walk. She laid on her side in the hotel room, threw up, then flopped to the other side and I was sure she was dead. The next morning, she was largely back to normal. Once we arrived and the stress subsided, she returned to her normal lovable self, so we started to think they were just panic attacks, perhaps exhaustion, her responding to our own stress maybe.
Last night we took the pups out for their normal bathroom break and Emma laid down once again. After far too long of not getting up, I carried her into the house. She continually refused cookies but moved around a bit, so we were sure it was just another episode. Eventually she just laid on her side and stopped moving. I grew up in a family with tons of pets so we’ve lost countless animals over the years, but I’ve never watched a young, seemingly healthy animal die in my own home and I absolutely fucking lost it.
I adopted Emma from a pet fair, the summer of 2006, I think, as a companion for Cooper. She and Cooper never got along as I’d planned, but they became a bit of an old married couple, ever dependent on the others presence. He’s wandering around a bit lost and it crushes me that he’s feeling this pain along with us.
Emma was never the brightest pup, but she was the most lovable, sweetest dog I’ve ever met. When I first adopted her, she bit me a few times and I discussed with my parents the very real possibility of putting her to sleep so she wouldn’t hurt me or someone else. Instead, I brought in a behaviorist, worked with her, and she eventually grew into the most affectionate love bomb of a dog I ever could have wanted. Know her turn around makes this just that much harder. We worked so hard together. She just needed a safe home and companionship and I needed her to be part of my little family long before Mister arrived.
Emma was my shadow around the house. She loved to play by herself, throwing her own toys into the air. She collected socks and treated them like her puppies. She was a headstrong escape artist. She never stopped wiggling when we cuddled on the couch. She was terrified of cameras and thunderstorms and regularly took up residence in the bathtub for naps. She was known around here as Emma, Em, Emma Pants, Graybeard, and Hobbit Feet.