Yesterday I lost a friend, our dear family dog, Jozee. Mike and I got Jozee when were young and just dating. Jozee was with us through our dating years, our engagement and the early years of our marriage. She was with us that devasting night that we learned Stella had only a 50% chance of coming home, I remember her instinctively knowing that my heart was sad and even jumped up on me to pray with us. Jozee was there every night after I left Stella in the NICU to excitedly greet me, reminding me that there was a whole world outside of our dark NICU room. All those nights that I got up in the middle of night to pump for a baby that was miles away from me, Jozee joined me on the couch, snuggling in and giving me kisses through my tears.
Jozee loved our girls and guarded them closely when they were babies. She would wait outside Stella’s room in the morning, waiting for her to wake up. She was by my side again when we learned that Nora would have a cleft and many surgeries ahead of her. I cried many tears into her fur and she was a great listener.
Over the last year we started to watch her age a little less gracefully. She had terrible breath, often passed gas that could clear a room and was never a very good eater. We have many funny stories about the girls commenting about “stinky Jozee”. 😊 But still she loved us and we loved her. Over the summer we watched her carefully knowing her time with us was coming to an end; she had lost a lot of weight, could no longer hear and was struggling to walk up the stairs. Then yesterday morning she let us know that it was her time. We all said our tearful goodbyes, the girls included (which was heart breaking) and then Mike to took her to the vet.
The rest of the day was clouded by the thought that she wasn’t coming home. That we would no longer find her sleeping in her chair, take her to the cabin, or watch her get excited when someone caught a fish in the boat. There are empty places in our house that had held her bowls or her bed, her toys or her favorite blanket. I do and will continue to miss her terribly.
Jozee, thank you so much for the wonderful 12 and half years you gave to our family. You were selfless and loving, the friend we always needed. I hope you are chasing balls, eating popcorn and sleeping in the sun. I will carry you in my heart always.