Goodnight, sweet prince.

The joke is that I had to marry my husband because I fell in love with his dog.

Who wouldn’t love this face?

It’s funny because it’s true. Or partly true. I love my husband. But that gigantic man-dog labradoodle of his? Well, we fell hard and fast.

On our very first date, My Guy and I met to walk his two labradoodles. I walked Big Doodle and I was astounded by this Hyundai-sized furball. He was a perfect gentleman.

A few months later and our relationship had progressed to such a point that one night when I stopped by My Guy’s house, Big Doodle did what can only be described as “losing his shit.” He was so excited to see me that he jumped up and down, squealed, brushed up against me, and cried. I ended up sitting on the floor of the kitchen while my 80-pound loverboy sat in my lap and licked my hair, still squealing.

“Hello, laaaaadies.”

Whenever I’m feeling sad, I think about that. Sure, I might be (fill in the blank with horrible thing du jour), but a dog loves me that much. And I love him right back.

It’s hard to see someone you love decline. But My Guy and I have been doing just that for a while now. Big Doodle was diagnosed with bladder cancer in the summer of 2015. And he hasn’t had any hip sockets to speak of for, well, a long time. But always, we had a boy made of fur and love.

A few weeks ago, he stopped being able to go up and down stairs. My Guy and I took turns sleeping in the guest room with our boy so he could more easily go outside a few times a night.

It was the kind of “new normal” that could last a few days or a few months. Except that Big Doodle decided it was done. He failed quickly and died a few days ago.

He was bright-eyed and full of joy until the end. Our hearts hurt, but we know it was time.

Lil’ Frankfurter gets it and is understandably needy. No one is going to the bathroom without his supervision right now – he refuses to be alone.

They were often mistaken for twins. Obviously.

I get it.

It’s a bittersweet time. I feel privileged and blessed to have had such an amazing dog in my life. He was the special friend of many neighborhood kids and was known to lick a random baby in a stroller while we were out for a walk. I have uttered the words, “Can my dog see your baby?” because he was so drawn to small folks.

Enjoying the adoration of his fan club.

Our vet said Big Doodle was quite literally the nicest dog she’d ever met.

He knew how to enjoy every moment.

Me, too.

I’m glad he’s at rest. But my heart is a little bit broken. I’m so thankful I got to be his mom.

You are a very, very good boy.
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  • Reply Patti March 2, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    *crying* So sorry for your loss. *more crying*

  • Reply nell galles March 2, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    Oh Becky, I'm so sorry!! We will miss his sweet face on the block. Hugs to you all.xox

  • Reply Jenny Hart Boren March 2, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    Damn dogs! Why do they make us love them so much! (I know–because they love US so much.) I really ached for Big Doodle for a long time, knowing how difficult it was for you to let him go. Peace be in your tender heart, Becky!

  • Reply Kari Wagner March 2, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    I am sending you so much love. I wish I had met him. He and I would have been friends, I just know it.
    Love you.

  • Reply Kathryn Zahl March 2, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    Oh Becky, I've only "known" Big Doodle for a week, and I am ugly crying right now. I just can't bear the loss of any dog, let alone the reason you met your husband! Holly and I are thinking of you!

  • Reply sherilee March 3, 2017 at 3:27 am

    Oh gosh. My heart is broken for you. Dogs are simply amazing companions. You we're lucky to have such a dear one.

  • Reply Karen (formerly kcinnova) March 3, 2017 at 8:29 am

    My heart aches for you. Big Doodle brought you and your husband together — and that is a gift as big as his doggy heart. No, bigger than that.
    Despite that love, or maybe because of it, I'm crying now. Please give Lil Frank some extra love from me, and he'll give some back for you, too.

  • Reply marty March 3, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Oh, my. This brought me to tears and brought memories of saying goodbye to my own beloved pups over the years. I am so sorry for your loss, but how lucky you were to be his mom. Hugs to all of you (Lil Frank, too).

  • Reply Becky March 3, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Hugs. Those furballs take up lots of space in our hearts, don't they? xo

  • Reply Nance March 3, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Oh, I'm so very, very sorry. I know you find Comfort in knowing how very Joyful his life with you was.

  • Reply Andrea March 3, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    Such precious memories, so many tears…

  • Reply BentNotBroken March 4, 2017 at 3:02 am

    Sofuckinghard. Thinking about your whole family and sending virtual hugs!

  • Reply Anonymous March 4, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    Awww. what a nice tribute for him – he has very kind brown eyes. Glad you had each other for as long as you did. xoxo

  • Reply Laura March 8, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    He was such a beautiful boy. I like dogs more than I like most people and I am so sad for you and your family.

  • Reply Green Girl in Wisconsin March 12, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    I bet a lot of people will miss that sweet boy. He made friends, that's the best sort of dog.

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