Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Best Friend.....

My best friend died today. She wasn't much of a talker, but she let me know every day that she loved me. Each morning when I woke up, every day when I got home, and each night before I went to bed, I would get licks and nuzzles that told me I was special.

Journey was my Valentine's Day present from Danny in 2008. When we got her, she was 8 weeks old and only 4 lbs. She let us know immediately that she was going to have quite the personality. Our first night home with her, I had her outside every hour on the hour because I didn't want her to wake up the neighbors with her crying in the kennel. It tooks months, but we settled into a routine of Danny keeping her up late to play, and me getting up with her early to play some more.

She was so smart and always did so amazing in her training classes. Her favorite was "come when called." We would have to stand at the end of the aisle in PetSmart while the trainer held her on her leash. Then we would call her name, and she would have to leave all the treats and come to us. All of the other dogs would always stop at the treats, but not Journey. She just cared about being with me.

We took her with us everywhere. She went to Hailey's softball and soccer games, at times to work, and frequent trips back home. Journey was an amazing car rider. I know it wasn't safe, but she loved to curl up in my lap while I drove.

As a puppy, she was a wild woman. She ran everywhere and played constantly. I can't tell you the number of times that she woke us up with a squeaking ball. Within the last few months, she was starting to grow up and calm down more. She cuddled with me all of the time and was just the perfect size to curl up with on the couch. I loved waking up in the night to feel her curled up on the back of my legs.

She was a terror at times too.At last count, she destroyed: two pairs of glasses, three lamp cords, numerous toys, the cord for the cell phone and home phone, my Ipod headphones, all of my Old Navy flip flops for the 2008 season, tennis shoes, and an attempt on my cell phone. After eating those things, she would look up at you with that adorable face as if she was saying, "Oops. I didn't mean to." Luckily she had outgrown the chewing.

On an afternoon in March, I got out of the shower, and Journey's head was shaking in a weird manner. Then, about 10 minutes later, she lost control of her back legs and couldn't walk. We rushed her to the vet and found out that she had had a seizure. Dr. G explained that it was probable that it would happen again. He also explained that it could be from a seizure condition, or from a mass on her brain. We left there a little worried about what might come, but were not willing to spend the money on the doggy CT Scan.

In the last 6 months, Journey's seizure count was up to 4. We have also noticed that her personality was changing. She has been getting cranky and would bark at odd times. We also noticed her getting more and more aggressive at times as well. The vet said that this could be caused by either a mass on her brain, or seizure disorders also can cause aggressiveness. Today, she bit my niece who had done nothing to provoke her. Adi is fine and it didn't break the skin. However, Danny and I knew that next time it could be worse. I talked to Dr. G as well, and he also agreed that this wouldn't be an isolated incident and Journey's condition would only worsen.

Danny and I took her in. Because I knew she would freak out if I tried to leave her alone at the vet, we stayed and she died comfortably and happy on my lap. That's where she always wanted to be anyway. I think this was the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

I just buried my best friend.

No one knows the real reason we got Journey. I had been living in Kansas City for 8 months and I was terribly homesick. It was hard on me knowing that Danny had Hailey who always chose him, and no one picked me. I loved my little family, but I need someone here that was here for me since all of my family was 200 miles away. We picked Journey out online and she stole my heart immediately. We puppy shopped for quite awhile before we found her. The minute I saw her, I knew she was the one.

She has been the best dog and friend anyone could ever ask for. My heart is breaking into a million pieces tonight as I know I will never see her little smile again, or see her little butt shake because she is so excited to see me. I just saw Charlie pick up one of her toys and was angry that he dared touch it. My baby is gone. I know we did the right thing, but it doesn't help me know that she will never run through the backyard she was so happy in again. I dread going to bed tonight because she always jumped in bed and layed on my pillow first.

I miss my friend.

We love you Journey America Shaver and we can't wait to see you again.


  1. I'm sorry to hear about Journey. I can't imagine what you are going through right now. My thoughts are with you right now.

  2. I'm so sorry Jess. Losing a beloved pet is so hard, for all the reasons you talked of. I'm glad I got the chance to meet Journey on one of your trips home and I know you loved her very much, and she was so well behaved. Soon the pain will ease and your cherished memories of her will bring you smiles. It was right not to put Adi at risk of injury, and I am proud of you for being there while Journey passed. I wish I could be there to give you a BIG hug tonight.

  3. I am so sorry for your loss. I know how much you loved your little friend. It was a very difficult decision to make but you did the right thing. Your in our thoughts.
    Aunt Jan

  4. I posted earlier and it disappeared. Very wierd.

    Anyway, I'm so sorry Jess. Losing a pet is so hard and they truly are a part of the family. I know how it must have killed you when he bit your niece. (I'm so glad it didn't hurt her) Hang in there.

    Lots of love coming your way.....

  5. Jess..thinking of you and knowing how much you are hurting. Losing a family member-even if it is a hairy one-is so hard. You gave Journey so much love in his short life...and you have great memories too. It does get easier-but that first day is the lowest possible day! wishing you comfort and strenth...and love in finding another friend when the time is right

  6. Oh Jess! I am so sorry for what you've been through! I know how dogs are truly members of our families. You made the right decision. I will be thinking of you the next few days!

  7. Losing a beloved pet is just the worst possible thing to go through...we STILL miss our Tucker-boy so much. BUT; it does get easier with every day that passes. So sorry for your loss Jess. We love you and will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. Give Hailey-Bailey and Danny hugs for us. :) Deb

  8. I'm so sorry Jess! I'm proud of you for being with her at the end. Take extra good care of yourself.
    Aunt Andrea

  9. Journey will be greatly missed by the Francis Family, especially Jazz.


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