My little Biggie passed away unexpectedly and very suddenly on Tuesday night. It’s hard to believe I would ever have to write such a thing, but here we are. I’ve been wanting to eulogize him in some way. To make a little shout to the world that he was here and he mattered. Biggie – you mattered. Especially to Aaron and I.
When Biggie and I met, we were both a mess. He was a product of a puppy farm, not even a pound, with a bad heart, rickety knees and crooked ankles. I was in my early 20’s, probably a little too hungover a lot of the time, in debt, a bad relationship and just generally was lost in who I was and where I was going. And I wasn’t sure anyone cared.
But Biggie cared.
If you’ve met Biggie, you know that he had the best temperament. Chihuahuas have a reputation of being yappy and aggressive but Biggie was none of those things. He loved strangers, kids and other dogs. He loved big dogs—the bigger, the better. He brought joy to anyone he met, and quickly made himself comfortable on the nearest warm lap. He loved peanut butter spoons, running through the yard and laying in the sun. He had a weird affinity for hair on stuffed animals. He once jumped with wild abandon off the back of a boat. On his birthday, I always let him ride with his head hanging out the window.
But most of all, he brought me joy and peace and love. (Biggie – I hope I helped you as much as you helped me.) Later, as I got older and life became better (Aaron! Kids! Stability!), Biggie played a new role. He was our comfort and routine. He slept between Aaron and I, his favorite spot in the crook of Aaron’s back. He stayed next to me as I struggled with newborn twins and later, those middle of the night nursing sessions with Otto. He was always by my side, sometimes with his paw on my leg or buried beneath my blanket.
When Biggie was younger at around 3, a vet who lacked some tact, after listening to a murmur in Biggie’s heart, deadpanned to me, “This dog will die of congestive heart failure.” And we tiptoed around the fact for many months, waiting for the worst to happen. But then months turned into years, and after several uneventful routine checks, we sort of released our grip on that fear. We went on road trips, played on the beach and more. He was about to turn 11 this year, so one of the tiniest comforting things out of all of this how much “extra” time we got with him.
All of that bonus time meant he got to be the best dog brother to our kids. And he was the best with them. Patient, kind and gentle. He worked hard to keep out from under their feet, but was quick to jump up beside them to poke around. He loved stealing hot dogs out of their hands. They don’t really seem to notice he’s gone yet and this kind of bothers me. It’s unsettling to think he could just disappear from their memory so easily. I don’t know.
I was with him when he passed, and while it was an absolutely horrifying experience for Aaron and I, I am glad I was with him and could hopefully comfort him in some little way. A very good guess is congestive heart failure, but I’m too afraid to Google any further.
For the first time in nearly 11 years, there is no Biggie in the house. No greeting at the door. No companion while I use the bathroom. No jingle of the collar. It’s the strangest, saddest thing. I’ve kept his food bowls out because I’m not sure I believe this all yet and just maybe he’ll come back and want something to eat. I know that sounds strange but that’s where I’m at.
Biggie – I hope I was enough for you. You were everything to me.
We love you.
Emily (and Aaron)