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Nothing But Love in Her Heart

Dec 28

It’s Fallon’s twelfth Gotcha Day December 30th–New Year’s Eve Eve is the day I picked her up from the Dunkin’ Donuts.  I always joked with her that I bought her there because she is the sweetest thing.  She always laughed at my jokes.  We picked her up there because it is a place close to where our adoption group president lives, it’s easy to meet there.  We’ve gotten a few of our dogs from Dunkin’ Donuts.

We met Fallon the weekend before, ran across her accidentally when we took our grrl Willow out for a ride and to visit other greyhounds.  We didn’t intend to fall in love that day, but after we spent at least an hour—probably more—loving on her in the Benson’s Pet Center where the adoption clinic was.  After we left,  I couldn’t get her out of my mind—or heart.  That would turn out to be true forever.  I called later that evening to see if she was still available, and was floored to find that God’s most perfect creature still was not scooped up by someone with more foresight—she was so mine.  I committed to adopt her then.

We brought her home despite my best judgment and instincts.  I always wanted to do the best by my dogs, and worried about the financial responsibility.  My heart won, though, and she was ours.  Turned out I was right about financial challenges, but even knowing what I know now, I would not change a thing—except maybe hopping into the time machine and buying pet insurance years ago.  This grrl was meant for us.  I can’t imagine what life would be like if I never had her.

It’s hard not to say she was the best dog ever, but I think that about all our dogs we’ve ever had.  They are all special in their distinct, unique ways.  Fallon was close to perfect, though, as far as what our ideal match for a dog would be—lovey-dovey, easy going, super friendly, full of nothing but love.  She would look you straight in the eyes, stare at you intently with her big, beautiful eyes, and you could feel her looking straight into your heart and soul, knowing we were the center of her universe, we meant everything to her.  She loved us so much.

Such a good girl, perfectly perfect in every way—except for nail cutting, which we always struggled with—she put up with everything we put her through.  We put her through it because I was sure she was up for it…and she was.  What an awesome Tripawd grrrl.  Happy, healthy outside of the cancer, looking forward to our daily time in the yard was her very favorite thing to do.  She’d hop around for a little, then we would lie down together, just cuddling and watching the clouds go by.  Nothing made her happier, and I am happy we prioritized this time with her.  It was perfect for both of us.  She taught us the true meaning of “Be More Dog”.

Fallon’s kingdom

Her osteosarcoma challenged us beyond anything anyone in love should ever be challenged with, but I wouldn’t change any decision we made together on her behalf.  She was up for the challenge until the very end, and met each test we ran across with grace and enthusiasm, as well as trust for us and the process.  We were an amazing team due to her positivity.

We’ve had a number of dogs, so have been through losing them before, and it is always very painful.  Losing Fallon has seemed worse.  I think we had an extra special bond, and going through the treatment process just made that stronger.  Cancer treatment became a lifestyle, and while that sounds negative, I am only referring to the structure of our days that revolved around what Fallon needed—various appointments—some hours from home, meds at various times through the day, strategic time in the yard, exercise and walks, cooking her special diet and meal prep in the morning—losing this structure and sense of purpose has been oddly difficult as well.  Adjusting to NOT having these responsibilities has been a challenge.

I miss her so much.  I miss our hugs. I miss her boundless, unconditional love.  I miss how excited she would get, even on 3 legs she would dance around like a madman absolutely elated over—anything: my coming home, a walk, food…anything….except nails.   I physically ache knowing I’ll never touch her again.

She taught us so much—how to keep fighting despite adversity, how to advocate, even when you don’t know the right answers (I am a social worker and thought I knew this and was good at it, doing it every day—no way, compared to the extent I could go out of my comfort zone advocating  for Fallon), how to find the right answers and options, and educate myself on topics I know nothing about—and didn’t used to care, where supports are, and where they are not.  She taught us love—what unconditional love is, and the wonderful feeling of being adored—and adoring her strongly right back.  Fallon taught me about  what hope really is, and how it can keep us going, against all odds, contrary to what makes sense—you always chase hope, if you see it—and if you don’t, keep trying to find it.  Maybe it’s there, maybe it’s not—but you’ll regret if it *was* there and you let it slip away.

There will be other dogs—no other Fallons, but other individuals, special and perfect in their own way.  Fallon was one who gave me more than I could ever give back to her.  I hope I can do her memory justice.

Tripawd Fan


5 comments so far

  1. paws120
    10:36 pm - 12-28-2018

    ((((((Hugs)))))) I want to say so much, but I just can’t find my words right now. You and your whole pack are in my heart and my thoughts.

  2. dobemom
    5:07 am - 12-29-2018

    It’s not easy to lose your soul mate, your heart dog…I know this, because I lost mine too. I love each and every picture of you girl…wishing you peace.

    Paula and Warrior Angel Nitro

  3. jerry
    5:55 am - 12-29-2018

    Dawn, what a truly beautiful, heartfelt tribute to Fallon on an unforgettable anniversary. She was destined to be yours from the beginning.

    Sweetest dog ever indeed. And always in our hearts.

  4. benny55
    4:48 am - 12-30-2018

    Be real clear on this: you HAVE done Fallon’s memory justice. YOU jave expressed what she means to you exquisitely and so lovingly💖

    Yes, the void, the lack of routine can feel suffocating at times. The only thing I can say is do something. When that void overtakes you, get up and do something. Even if it means walking to the front door,opening it and closing it, do something to get you through those rough moments. Or write down something funny that Fallon did that made you laugh. In fact, maybe in your next post you can list five or six things that Fallon did that made you laugh.

    I love what Fallon taught you about “hope”. Well said. Fallon has so much wisdom to share and I’m glad she chose you as her voice. And she will DEFINITELY continue to inspire and give hope.

    Oh, and just so you’ll know, dogs don’t have to get their nails clipped when they get to the Bridge!

    THANK you for sharing this beautiful tribute with us. It is such a privilege to be able to celebrate her life with you. Thank you.

    Love and light

    Sally and Alumni Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too!

  5. Jackie and Huck
    6:50 pm - 12-30-2018

    I still get totally torn up when I think about how far you all came and how quickly she had to go. Dawn, you are such an awesome mama. If I ever had to come back in another life, I would want to be your pup.
    Fallon was so special in many ways. I remember when you made your first posts about your girl. I remember the comradery that I felt sharing this adventure with you. Whatever Fallon needed, you gave to her wholeheartedly and with so much love. You were HER Angel here on earth.
    In turn, she brought out a strength in you that there are just no words for. You are a lot tougher than you ever realized, thank you Fallon 💖
    This is a really beautiful tribute to your baby, your heart dog.

    Sending you and your family big hugs and tons of love!

    Jackie and Huck 💖

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