Just typing the title of this post is enough to bring tears to my eyes. Sadly, we had to put our sweet, beloved boxer, Lola to sleep this past Tuesday. She was 9 years old. Returning home from our vacation to St. Maarten, we knew something serious was going on with Lola’s health. She had lost considerable weight during the week we were away. My parents were dog-sitting for us and were alarmed that Lola hardly ate. She turned her nose to food even when given her favorite table food. That was very uncharacteristic of our “eat like a horse” Lola.

I’m not going to get too deep into our month-long ordeal being devastated over her lung cancer diagnosis (boxers are prone to developing cancer). I will leave that for a future post. Yes, I do plan to discuss the whole experience in hopes of helping others faced with a similar situation. I certainly have benefited from reading other blog posts and message boards related to this subject.

Although we had a month post-diagnosis to prepare ourselves for the inevitable, when the actual day came to say goodbye, our hearts were still unprepared. Truth is, when it comes to losing someone who means a world to us (be it human or pet), no matter how long the goodbye period, our hearts can never prepare for…the heartbreak of loss.

In memory of our sweet Lola, I thought I’d share some of my favorite photos of her in today’s post.

1. Lola snuggling with her sister Sammie.

Chris and I accompanied my brother-in-law when he decided to take in a new pet. When he found Sammie (an adorable, sweet-natured boxer), we were also smitten by an equally adorable, fun-loving boxer in Sammie’s same litter. That’s how Lola came into our lives. This photo was taken of the two sisters (Sammie & Lola) when they were only 14 weeks old!

Lola snuggling with Sammie

2. Lola loved lounging on our sofas.

I never had the heart to keep her off our sofas. Pillows came and went but Lola seemed to be the constant fixture on our sofas.Lola as puppy

3. Roxie learns to share with new little sister Lola.

I love this photo because it was the start of how our dogs came to be “Cheech and Chong” in our household. They were complete opposites in both personality and looks. Lola ultimately became 3 times Roxie’s size. Like a gentle giant, Lola was always more afraid of Roxie than Roxie ever was of Lola.

Lola and Roxie chewing

4. Lola in her iconic bathrobe.

I bought this doggie bathrobe during my vacation to Maui over 12 years ago. It was originally a souvenir for Roxie. I’m not even kidding. This was prior to kids, of course! Back in the days, I actually bought clothes for my dogs.

These photos of Lola were taken right before we took her for her first walk around our neighborhood. It was a frigid night. Since I didn’t have a jacket for Lola yet, this bathrobe was the next best thing. My husband, Chris was SO embarrassed during our walk.

There he was, finally with a man-ly dog and I had to have Lola in a bathrobe for our walk. 🙂

Lola in bathrobe

 5. Lola was the best sport when it came to dressing up.

Because Lola had the best temperament and was so darn cute, I couldn’t help myself but dress her up in the silliest of things. She rocked owned that “Hill Billy” mullet wig!

Lola playing dress up

6. Lola and Roxie made a great duo.

While Roxie will never admit it, I’m pretty sure she loved having Lola around. They were always near each other. Well, that’s because they were always NEAR us!

Lola and Roxie big pimpin

7. Slacker dogs unite.

They always did bond over a good nap! They don’t seem to have a problem letting things all hang out. 😉

SlackerDogs

8. Lola took great holiday photos.

It will be hard not having Lola around during the holidays. She was in every holiday photo card we have sent. By the way, she hated wearing that holiday sweater. She preferred to go “au naturel.”

Holiday Photos

9. The kids loved taking photos with Lola.

Ellie, my 7 year old, insisted on taking this photo with Lola to document her 1st day of first grade last September. She’s now a 2nd grader. Since Lola’s passing, both Ellie and Lauren have said numerous times that they missed Lola.

I don’t blame them. Lola was a big part of our family. Big..Paws..To..Fill.

Ellie with Lola School Photo

10. Lola always slept so peacefully.

One of the greatest attributes of Lola is her patience with people. I am so guilty of disturbing her when she’s in deep slumber. I can’t help myself but give her a million kisses and hugs whether she’s awake or asleep.

Hugging her, kissing her, wrapping her in my arms, playing with her ears…anything I would do and yet…she never growled once or showed any aggression towards me or anyone in our family.

Lola Sleeping

We are so grateful to have had Lola for the length of time that we did. Of course, we would have loved to have even more time but being able to spend that extra month of “borrowed time” with her was a true gift.

Sure, our hearts are bruised right now.

That’s the risk we take whenever we allow ourselves to love wholeheartedly and deeply.

Lola was worth it. I find comfort in knowing that she knew she was loved and wanted every day of her existence in our family.

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Until next week’s post, please always continue to show your loved ones that they matter and are loved. That’s a main theme around Beauteeful Living. With love, Tee.