I struggled with whether I should write this post. Call it thinly veiled therapy or whatever you will, it somehow seems important. While I know that on the blog I share all of the awesome things that I create and love, there are things that bring me even more joy than crafting and decorating. This week, I had to say goodbye to one of them. Diesel is greatly missed and there is most certainly a feeling of loneliness and yearning left in my heart.
Diesel was more than a dog to me, as so often pets are just as much a part of the family as any human counterpart.
Growing up around horses and large breed dogs, I have always preferred the giant cuddly breeds such as Newfoundlands, Rotties, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Great Danes, etc. But in all the dogs I have had in my life (about 20!), Diesel was my favorite. Originally given to me by my now-husband as a birthday present, the bond between us was evident from the start. Diesel slept next to me in the bed every night with his huge head propped up on my ankle. When he grew to over 90lbs, I still wouldn’t make him sleep on the floor. In return, he showered me with loyalty and affection.
We were so inseparable, I actually wrote a pre-nup when my husband proposed. It consisted of one line: “In the event of divorce or other separation, Diesel belongs to Rachel.”
Diesel was the perpetual puppy, more so than any dog I knew. He always was ready to play and he loved to wrestle with Hubby the way puppies do. But he never got aggressive no matter how many times Daddy put him on his back. It was always in good fun. That’s what made him such a great dog for our family. He could get all rambunctious and energetic with Hubby and the next moment be cuddling on the couch with me. It’s funny how our furry friends know that everyone has a role.
What I thought so interesting about Diesel in particular is that he was a pitbull but don’t tell him that. Little dogs made Diesel nervous but he was very dog friendly. When I would walk him on a leash and see another misbehaving or aggressive dog, Diesel would calmly avoid them with a look that said, “Awww, why don’t they like me?” He was also the most people friendly dog I have ever known. Meeting new people was the absolute best thing in the world to him. Although his face-licking and pushy bully behavior was a bit much, he made quite the impact on making everyone feel welcome.
Diesel was also a fierce protector of females. If a girl screamed in the house, Diesel was right there in a hurry to break it up. A warning bark to knock it off was always enough. It was hilarious since he never had the same reaction to guys. My husband would always tickle me (I hate that!) and Diesel would bolt into the room and thrust himself between us to break it up. Daddy in trouble? Deezy wouldn’t budge from his comfy spot. But it wasn’t just me that could call him to their defense, he would do the same for any female in his presence.
Diesel was diagnosed with some sort of cancer in June. Originally thought to be prostate cancer, which is terminal and highly aggressive, we were told he would only have maybe a month or, at most, two months to live. After a few more tests were done, it was determined that the originating tissue could not be determined. We could only wait and see. Five months passed and it was confirmed that the tumor was growing so slowly we may have a year or two left with him. I walked away that day with the best feeling I have had in a long time.
But, at the same time, he had started to become obviously weaker and less interested in play. Then over the course of the last month, it became evident that he was in pain and declining rapidly despite being on 4 different medications. Although we will never know the root of his pain at that time, I can only hope that I made the best decision I could.
Diesel, you are missed so greatly and I hope you had everything you wanted in life. Rest in peace.