“Death cannot stop true love…all it can do is delay it for a little while.”
We love Princess Bride for lines like this – especially today. Sweet Evie is out in the backyard tonight digging a deep hole and filling it almost as fast with her tears. Ruthie made a headstone and we are all so sad to say goodbye so soon. This week has been another I am prompted to record as much as I’d rather not.
When we returned from Reno, Evie asked if she could get a puppy. Of course I wanted one and didn’t reject her idea at first, but we just recently had to rehome our sweet family dogs when we left for Reno. I was hesitant as I knew performances with Evie would pick up again and it would be difficult to manage a puppy with so much travel. Besides that, Porter will be leaving for his two year church mission in 5 months and I will have one less driver and helper to manage the household.
All the kids got distracted searching for puppies. We visited puppy stores and pet adoption and rescue organizations but didn’t fall in love with any of the puppies although they would have taken any of them if I had given the ok. I felt I needed to help them understand some principles over the next week and that this might be good motivation for them. I told them they couldn’t have a puppy until they read “Where the Red Fern Grows.” I told them they would learn how to get a puppy from the experiences they read about in the book. They downloaded it in the car as we pulled away from the pet rescue establishment. Kirra read aloud several chapters on the way home and they were immediately enthralled. They stayed up most of the night reading even after I sent them to bed. This happened for the next few nights as well until I found them all on the floor of Kirra’s room sobbing as they learned the fate of Old Dan and Little Ann. They learned in the book that I wasn’t going to give them the money for the dog. The boy in the book saved every penny he made for two solid years before he earned enough for his coonhounds. Then he walked 20 miles barefoot to pick them up. My girls knew they had a difficult battle ahead but they had no thought of what would take place over the next few days.
Evie is so much like the character in the book. She is focused and stubborn and won’t let go of an idea once it is firmly placed in her mind. She would do anything to get the puppy of her dreams. She had money saved from her shows but I wouldn’t let her spend it on a puppy. She found several online private dog sellers and asked if we could go meet some puppies last Saturday. When I inquired how she would pay for the dog she said her fans were going to help her. She has 162,000 amazing Instagram fans and knew that many of them would be more than willing to Venmo her a buck if she offered to tag them on her story. She was right and was able to raise the money in 2 hours rather than 2 years.
I couldn’t refuse at this point so we went to visit the dogs. After realizing that the one she wanted was 4 and a half hours away, she made other appointments with people she found on Craigslist. The first one met us at Starbucks about an hour from our home. She fell in love at first sight. He was so sweet and precious and perfect. He was an Australian/ German Shepherd that was the cutest thing she’d ever seen. She knew he’d grow up to be the smartest most beautiful and sweet dog in the whole world, but she told the owner we needed to meet the other dogs. After meeting a whole litter of Spaniels, she asked if we could go back to Starbucks and get the Shepherd. I agreed. We exchanged cash for the puppy and his shot records and headed home.
The owner explained that he didn’t want the dog having an accident in our car so he hadn’t feed him that day. We were worried about him since it was almost 2 in the afternoon so we rushed to the store to get him puppy food. The only food for little puppies was a brand he wasn’t used to. He ate it really fast then started throwing it up as soon as we got home. We assumed it was just the wrong brand so we went to a pet store to get him all kinds of stuff including a bow tie, a potty training kit and the right brand of food. We named him Wesley and the kids decided he would dress up as the Dread Pirate Roberts for Halloween.
We spent a glorious two days with him and even took him in Evie’s sweatshirt to choir practice at our friends home. We returned that night to the same friend’s home for some fun family time and a crepe making contest. Wesley seemed perfect. Then that night he began throwing up again. It continued all night and I wasn’t too concerned until he had nothing left to throw up and was just dry heaving and releasing bloody diarrhea after every bought of vomiting. It broke my heart.
As I was on hold with the animal hospital the next morning, I noticed that the shot record had our male dog marked as a female. It also said the date of his last shot was 1-19-19 but didn’t say what the shot was for. Then I noticed that tricolor was spelled try color and I knew these were not real shot records. I asked Evie to text the man who sold us the puppy. She sent a really kind text but he didn’t respond.
We brought Wesley to the animal hospital and they determined that he did have Parvovirus and that he would quickly die of dehydration if they didn’t get him on an IV. Evie decided that she would give any amount of her savings from her concerts to save his life so we agreed to admit him and try to give him a chance to live. She tried again to contact the man who sold him to us with this message:
I don’t know your situation or really anything about you but we found out that the puppy has a disease called Parvo. Very contagious and deadly for dogs but I’m not telling you this because I’m upset with you for selling us a sick dog. I want to say thank you. We left him at the vet and they’re going to pump him full of antibiotics and medicine to help him survive. We’ll know in a few days if he’ll be ok but if it wasn’t for you selling him to us, we wouldn’t have been able to help him. I believe that at the end of this week he’ll come out stronger than ever and be even more of an amazing dog. Although he was breed in captivity, he is my rescue and we all love him just the same. Thank you. We won’t bother you anymore. God bless.
Each day this week Evie would arrive at the animal hospital to spend time with Wesley and give him some love. Life drained him and his condition worsened reminding all of us of the last moments we had with daddy. Today I feel Wesley held on just long enough to enjoy that time with her before heading out of that sick body just as my sweetheart did over a year ago. #teamamos #teamwesley
Evie’s Instagram Post:
“Oh my sweet Wesley❤️ How I love you. One week ago my heart was exploding out of my chest, I was so happy to finally have the puppy of my dreams! This week has gone so much different than I had ever imagined. And so very unfortunately, today was our last with this angel puppy. 2 days after he blessed our lives, he was starting to get fatally sick and we rushed him to the hospital to find that his shot records were forged and when we bought him, he was infected with the Parvovirus. They sustained him for a couple days and our hopes were high until this morning when we found out that he not only had Parvovirus but he also had Canine Distemper. For having two fatal illnesses, this 9 week old trooper held on for so long while suffering through so much. Today, I was given a choice. Since my poor baby was suffering so much, the vet suggested that we put him down, or we could just wait it out and see if anything changes. I didn’t know what to do and I prayed that I wouldn’t have to make the choice. After just about 45 minutes of praying for God to help him, I heard a voice tell me that it was time to let him go and everything would be alright. I know it was my daddy. Just moments later, I saw Little Wesley’s eyes glow dim. I am heartbroken to have to say goodbye to my best friend but I know he has a pretty great friend, already in heaven, who will take great care of him. I’ll always love you Wesley! Thank you for bringing so much joy into our home❤️”
We brought him home wrapped in a towel and were given a box to hold his body. We talked about lessons we learned. Ruthie said she prayed last night to know if he would survive and then opened randomly to to a scripture that said: Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.
She texted me after Wesley died to ask me why she would get that answer if he was going to die. I asked her if she felt that she was afflicted. We agreed that a broken heart counted as being afflicted. I told her that we were all left with broken hearts and that maybe instead of being angry or overwhelmed, we should bring them hither for Him to heal. We talked about how even the hardest experiences in life aren’t caused by our loving Heavenly Father but that he allows us to be acted upon and sometimes have very difficult experiences that will eventually work together for our good. This was something we already learned once but needed a reminder today. My family is filled with peace tonight – and for that I’m grateful.