I am writing this post with tears streaming down my cheek and the biggest knot in my stomach… because Caroline’s sweetness is gone.
She crossed the Rainbow Bridge on Monday, and her devastation is an understatement. She hasn’t been in great shape for a couple of years – she’s had a tough week and she always seems to work out – but knowing it’s coming didn’t make it any easier. In some ways, it made it more difficult and sadder.
We got Caroline from saving Charles Cavalier Kings when Liv was a little girl. We drove to Phoenix, where they had several jockeys running from a puppy mill in Arkansas that had been closed, and Caroline was the one Liv should have had. She was the youngest, the most timid, hiding in the corner, trembling.
“Are you sure you want this?”
“Yes I want this.”
We took her home and gave her plenty to eat and eat. For the first year or so, she remained shy, but super cute (even while receiving some occasional teasing from Bella). When we adopted Caroline, she was used to doing everything in a crate outside: it’s where she eats, does her work, and also gives birth to multiple rounds of puppies, because she was a little mama dog for a puppy factory.
When we brought her home, she had never walked on the grass.
While she was still recovering from whatever she was carrying, we quickly learned about Karo and her favorite things: sleeping and tummy tucks. The girl can snore too. She had the loudest and most satisfying snoring and it made my heart happy that she was able to fully relax after the first horrific two years of her life.
I rode in the wagon with Liv on our day trips,
And year after year it came out of its shell, transforming from a frightened little thing into a real dog begging for food and wagging its tail.
She is the sweetest and cutest dog I have ever known.
Even when one of our kids accidentally grabbed a handful of her fur, I’d never think of biting her. She never bites or grumbles at anyone. She always had the prettiest little smile on her face, and she wagged her tail at everyone.
She lived the good life after all she had gone through, and spent most of her days in retirement, falling asleep on the sofa and getting up to eat. Every now and then I can convince her to join us for a walk. She walked behind us with the expandable handlebar rail almost all the way back. She was content to follow it at her own pace.
She was also there for us through the many moments of life. She has been an integral part of our family, which has known our children since they were babies, and has been with us through many movements, deployments, and major life changes.
Over time, her little heart started giving up on her, and while the medications helped, her body started filling up with fluid again. When her breathing became more difficult, we called the vet again, who saw her on Friday, and said that if it was her dog, she would let her go. We enjoyed one weekend with Caroline, we fed her all her favorite foods and gave her lots of pets. On Sunday, we knew we were making the right decision because she had slept all day and didn’t want to eat anything; Not even a chicken or a peanut butter lick.
While it was heartbreaking, it was an honor to hold her and cuddle her in the same way I said goodbye to Bella: in her favorite spot, here at home, in the comfort of a gentle vet who was able to do away with her pain.
I approached her for the last time, cried at her fur, and thanked her for all the joy and comfort she brought to our family.
I know Bella is waiting for her with a comfy bed, and maybe a nice treat for the good old times.
Thank you, friends, for loving our fur babies with us all this time. I know many of you remember when we first brought the Karoo home, and we’ve loved her from a distance all these years. I appreciate all your lovely and sincere comments and messages; You mean more to me than you know.