Dear My Guardian Angel Piper,

To my bestest friend, PIPER

You were only 3 pounds when I saw you spring up in that cage at the pet store. I almost missed you, just saw newspapers ripped up and no puppy, but as I turned, you sprang right up and saw me as excited as could be. It was love at first sight, I love I had never had with any other animal. You filled my days with such joy. It was such fun to watch you play, you were part rabbit, deer, cat…ah, Italian Greyhounds…a one of a kind breed.

Then when you were just 1 1/2, you had some days you wouldn’t eat, didn’t have the energy to even get up for a cookie. Something was wrong. I noticed that night when brushing your teeth that your gums were extremely pale…I was scared. The vet gave my the horrible news the next day, Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia…your body was killing off its own red blood cells. Diagnosis, fatal. There was no way I was going to let this horrible disease take you and you did not want to go either. We fought for 4 long months in the beginning with 4 transfusions. Then we got you to a specialist, and were gaining some ground. We seemed to have beat it, this time. For 2 1/2 years, you were on the mend. You brought out the best in everyone and never ever got mad at anyone for all the needles that jabbed you. You never barked or got into trouble; you were my creature of peace. Always took things in stride, never complained once. We had such fun going to the mall, beach, stables, stores and even flying to see family. You were my 5th child…and I was ALWAYS going to be with you, standing right by your side. No one could keep us apart.

Then we lowered one of your immune suppressants in June. I don’t know what happened, and probably never will, but you started to relapse. Every week, every two days, then ever day your red blood cell count would just keep getting lower. Your body was once again, killing them off. I didn’t understand it, and either did you. Why was the medicine not helping you? You never once, even knew you were sick…you would just get tired. You always looked so concerned for me, never yourself. In the beginning of August, you had your first transfusion of 11. We tried so hard to save you, never giving up, never surrendering to this horrible disease. The doctors said we went to the end of the universe for you. When October came around and you were getting transfused every two days, our hope was starting to fade. I still didn’t want to give up…you were my Piper. That day came quicker than we wanted; your body was killing off the new red blood cells as you were receiving them in that last transfusion. We were only home 6 hours after picking you up from the 11th and final transfusion, when you peed hemoglobin…I was so scared. I knew this was it…I had to say good bye. That was the second hardest day of my life, the first one was saying good bye to my baby daughter 23 years earlier. I told you that you would be with her now, she would take care of you and love you. I gave you one last, final kiss then handed you to dad. He was going to take you back to the vet; mommy couldn’t come this one and only time, I couldn’t do it. You still looked more concerned for me than yourself; why are you crying mommy? Daddy took you and held you while you went night night for the last time. He misses you so. You were only 4 years old.

You were with me in the loneliest time of my life. Daddy was traveling all of the time, only saw him on weekends. The girls were older and gone or busy, so it was just you and me…a team of two, side by side, heart to heart. I miss holding you while I do all my chores; you never liked to be put down. I will miss you watching me bake and cook from your counter stool; you were always interested in what I was doing. I will miss your long legs wrapped around my neck when I am sad; you always watched me and knew how to take care of mommy with your hugs and kisses. You were my guardian angel, we all know this, that was sent down to take care of me in my loneliness. I do believe it to be true because just as dad was finally coming home, had a new job where he could stay with us always, you left, your job was finished, mommy would be okay now.

I will never forget what she taught me: to be selfless, grateful for each day, always do the right thing, love til it hurts, cry til you heal, accept things you don’t want to, fight for what is right no matter how tough the battle, and never give up…hoping you won’t have to.

Thank you, my little creature of peace, for all you did for mommy. I will miss you every day, miss holding you and having you always make me feel everything will be alright. I love you to eternity and back…my bestest little bud, Piper.


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