Remembering Biggie

By December 22, 2017The Brothers May

Me & The Boo

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)



Pattern Failure

Memorial Day 2011

Join the discussion 19 Comments

  • Danielle says:

    I am so, so sorry for you loss. I loved seeing pics of Biggie. Our Chihuahua mix also died of CHF this past summer. Although he’d also had a murmur for many years, he showed no real signs of sickness until his heart suddenly ruptured four days before he died. I was just 3 weeks postpartum at the time and am still not over it. It does seem almost poetic, though, to think that these little guys died because their hearts were literally just too big. They just had too damn much love to give the world, I guess.

  • Kristin says:

    What a sweet tribute to Biggie. I’m so very sorry for your loss. It is never easy, but must be especially hard at this time of year. I’m glad you had each other, and especially for so much longer than that tactless vet thought you would.

  • oh emily, i am sobbing along with you. i know that kind of love for and from a dog, and having just lost my own “biggie” this year in losing jake, i totally get how you feel. i am so grateful you had so much time with him and i am sure he was grateful to have all that time with you. sending you lots of love and wishing you cherish the memories. i have to say that i am especially grateful for facebook memories because so many of my memories are of jake and they make me smile, laugh, cry when they show up. my life and heart will never be the same, but i consider them so much better off because of that dog, as i am sure you do with yours and biggie.

  • Katja says:

    That is so beautifully written Emily. I am not very sentimental but my eyes totallt fogged up. Biggie was loved. Hugs friend.

  • Catherine says:

    I’m so sorry Emily, this was a beautiful tribute and I definitely shed a few tears. I think you were everything to Biggie, you gave him the best possible life. Sending you good thoughts!

    Xo- Catherine

  • Kim says:

    Emily, I couldn’t be more sorry for your loss. Biggie sounded like his was brought into your life at the right moment – and I’m sure your love for him was just as life-changing to him as his love for you was life-changing for you. Much love!

  • Vanessa says:

    Oh, you made me cry Emily. Sorry about Biggie and the aftermath of his loss. Kids are funny people and they might just not notice or simply notice differently.

  • Staci says:

    Oh Emily, I am so sorry to hear about Biggie… I got choked up reading this and the photos in the end about did me in. Especially considering how much we have been going through with Mosey this month, the importance of a dog as a family member has never been more clear to me.

  • Maureen says:

    My heart breaks for your loss. I had a very similar experience – my Chihuahua/Rat Terriee Speck (an old man with bad teeth and allergies to everything) was my lifeline after my divorce. I remember driving home from KI one night wondering if anyone would notice if something happened to me since I lived alone for the first time ever. I rolled into my house all forelorn and sorry for myself, and there was Speck barking and excited to see me. He was everything. And then when stability came my way years later, he was still there but like Biggie it was almost like his purpose here was done. I think Tim was ready to commit me, I was soooo sad. But what a love to give and receive! How lucky he was to have you!

  • Oh Emily this made me tear up! I’m so sorry. Dogs are so special, I’m glad you got so many extra years with him!! Thinking of you!

  • Lisa says:

    Crying with you! I am so heartbroken about Biggie. Know that you and the family were everything to him. I loved the way he guarded all three of the boys as babies. We will all miss him and remember Biggie with much love!

  • Katie says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. 💜

  • I’m so sorry! this was my Oliver–I had him from the time I was a 20 year old college kid until I had three kids–it’s such a hard, weird transition to say goodbye to a dog who’s seen you through so much and stuck with you through so many changes.

  • Becky says:

    Aw, I am so very sorry to hear about Biggie’s passing. What a great tribute to a wonderful companion. It’s so tough to lose a furry friend and my heart goes out to you!

  • Marika says:

    That was a beautiful testament to Biggie. I have no doubt that he knew he was so loved.

  • Sally says:

    I’m so sorry to hear the news. I had a great Chihuahua when I was a kid. I think you were enough for him because he seemed pretty happy while he was here. Thinking of you and your family and Biggie right now.

  • beks says:

    So sorry for your loss, Biggie was clearly a well loved part of your family. You were both very lucky to have one another!

  • Leslie says:

    I’m literally sobbing in crowded coffee shop thinking about your little dog. What a touching eulogy.

    Raising a glass to all of the little dogs who make our lives just a little more bearable.

    • Emily May says:

      Thanks so much Leslie… this was such a sweet note. I wrote that just a few days after it happened. It’s hard for me to read it now. Much love xxx

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