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The Most Loyal Friend, Tinkerbell

"Dog spelled backward is GOD."

I don't think it's a coincidence that "man's best friend" is God's name spelled backward.

I had to lay down my first baby to her eternal sleep today. I knew this day was coming from a dream I had a couple of days ago. I just didn't want to admit it. I always knew after I had a daughter, that would be God's way of telling me it was time for Tinkerbell to go. I remember pleading it wasn't "just yet" when Dylan was born. So I am so grateful He gave me three more years with Tinkerbell, but last night I knew it was time. So drew, and I knew today was the day, August 17, 2021, when I would lay down my very best friend, Tinkerbell.

Tinkerbell isn't like most other dogs. She always has been so special. I swear she picked me the day I went to pick out a dog when my parents finally agreed to buy me a little dog for my birthday. I contemplated another one, but Tinkerbell knew. She knew I was "her human," and she knew I wasn't going to pick her sister. It's so funny when I look back on all that because she really did choose me, how she came right up to the front of the cage and looked right at me: happy as can be! Like, "Yup, there she is, sisters, I told ya she was coming!"

She was the tiniest one of the bunch, never hitting over 5 lbs fully grown. She went with me everywhere. I even had some incredible roommates help hide her for me in college when she was forbidden to be there with me. Then she melted our next landlord's heart when he had said a firm 'NO DOGS' policy. I knew that if he would just meet her, he would cave. And sure enough, when I took her in to meet him (without him knowing I was doing just that, lol, yes I ambushed him), it's like she knew she had to work him because, in true Tinkerbell form, she hopped right up on his big ole belly and licked him to death till he caved! She literally did not stop licking and loving on him till he said, "Oh alright!" lol, and sure enough, as I told him, he and his wife ended up bringing their daughter over a lot to play with Tinkerbell.

I remember the first time she got to experience a lot of snow. We were in Carbondale, and she slipped down the driveway and went sliding down her belly. Apparently, she thought it was fun because with her tongue out and smiling, she went hopping (snow was really deep, so she had to jump - tiny dog style lol) back up the hill and took a run slide down the driveway again. Repeating this 4 or 5 times!

Gosh, she was so tiny when I brought her home! She was so little we couldn't even find a cat collar with a bell on it to fit her for months. Finally, she got big enough to buy the tiniest cat collar with a bell on it, and we still had to poke extra holes in it. She had to get one with a bell on it because I couldn't ever find her if not. She would curl up so snugly into all my stuffed animals where I couldn't find her. Or walk up behind you so quietly you would accidentally kick her almost across the room just by barely lifting your foot.

One of my favorite memories is how she use to ride on my shoulders all the time when I would drive. She would climb up my shirt and sit on my left shoulder so the wind would hit her face while I drove my 97 black Dodge Avenger. When we drove home today, I swear I felt her sitting there on my left shoulder like she used to love to do.

After college at Carbondale, she traveled to Charlotte, NC, with me. Knowing no one, I still had Tinkerbell. She was always so good. Gosh, I even had an apartment on the 3rd floor there. I would walk her out to the top of the stairs, and she would LITERALLY go all the way down all three flights of stairs, go behind the bush and poop and pee and climb all the way back up. She was such a fantastic dog!

And then I met Drew. I swore when she met him; she knew this was the guy we had been waiting for for the past four years. It was like God told her the mission was to get to "this guy," and then she would know her mission was complete. She took to Drew as I have never seen her do before. And Drew, who claimed to "hate little dogs," took to her instantly too. Minus him accidentally locking her in the basement a few times (lol), she adored and loved him as much as I did. Tinkerbell always seemed instantly to know the people I love the most. Because if she went crazy over you walking in the door - she loved you and wanted you so much. Lol, One of my oldest best friends didn't even like dogs at all, but Tinkerbell would freak out every single time she would see her still till this day. Her heart was my heart; she was as loyal as could be.

How do you say goodbye to the most loyal friend you've ever known? The one that has been there with you since you were 20 years old: every heartache, every award, every moment for 14 years. So many memories, and she was always right there by my side. So how do you say goodbye?

I never wanted to know what life would be like without her. I knew this day was coming. And I knew God told me a few days ago it was time, but today sucks more than ever. It's not fair they don't live forever. But, this one is different for me. This one is the one I will never fully "recover" from because she will always have a chunk of my heart. And to hold her as she took her last breath.. I have no words about how sorry I am...

I miss her so much it physically hurts. I couldn't sleep for years unless she were snuggled up right next to me, but I know God started prepping me for that too once Dylan was born.

I miss her tiny little heartbeat already, and I cannot stop crying.

I'll see you soon, Tinkerbell. I pray you love on Jesus the way you always loved on family! If Jesus sweats - I KNOW you will lick Him to death because of those sweaty - salty kisses you love the most. But, I know you are no longer in pain and loving Heaven. I love you so much, Tinkerbell. I pray you are right there the second I come home to rest too.

Rest in Peace, my sweet baby girl, Tinkerbell

May 19, 2007 - August 17, 2021

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