I remember wanting a pug my whole life… I’m pretty sure it was after watching Milo and Otis and then learning pugs were part Chinese, like me. I was 19 years old and Jaeden was 2 months old when we became besties …so we were the perfect pair…
Jaeden HELPED ME GROW UP.
We all think “we know it all” when we’re in our 20s…from the people we hang out with to the things we to do the silly decisions, it all seems to make sense to us and no one can tell us any different. Jaeden got to experience this entire phase of my life – right there by my side. I remember potty training [Jaeden, not me] taking a year and a half. I lived in a 3rd-floor apartment … I guess I liked living away from the bottom floor but didn’t put two and two together to be sure I had a dog-friendly situation. Nonetheless, Jaeden was a trooper and made sure to [at least] do his business in the breezeway because, well, that WAS outside [of the house] right? I think back to the many nights I could’ve stayed out way later than I should have …. hours would fly by when I was having ‘the time of my life’ … but I knew I had to come home to take out my pug. He grounded me.
He was the one source of unconditional love who depended on me to be a grown up and take care of HIM.
I had a pretty “Lesson-learning” time in my 20s. I made many financial decisions that were not smart… I had bad relationship after bad relationship…I fluctuated weight because I thought pills and fads would be the fix. I remember being in my darkest days.. Fighting depression… Dealing with financial troubles… And him sticking with me and being the driving force to help me not give up on him or us… He would lick my face whenever I cried. He would be there when no one else was.
In 2008 I came home to him in such bad pain from his kneecap giving way… I remember him sitting at the bottom of my couch shaking and me freaking out wondering what could have happened. At any rate, he had knee surgery on the left knee to help his condition – luxating patellas – as best we could. I remember pushing him around in a stroller around my condo complex and people asking me all about my baby … until they noticed it was a furry pug inside.
Many friends and family have even grown close to him. Anyone who’s friends with me now knows Jaeden is a huge part of my life. Gary has been his Dad for 5 years and loved him more than anything. He was a part of the family.
After 14 years at my office job, leaving him at home during the day and seeing him when I could – I was able to have the chance to work from home as a fitness coach just this year and spend more quality time with him during my “work” hours… As he grew older I also did #Jaedenslist where friends and family helped me to brighten up his golden days
…with a fire truck ride… A pug play date or two… Time on the beach with the sunset… Fireworks…dog foodie dates…and Jaeden got to go on his longest road trip ever with us over our 3-day trek out west. He got to see mountains and beautiful scenery with us and lay with me for three days snuggling on our car ride of memories…
Right before the move, Jaeden showed some signs having problems moving around and being in pain when he had to go outside or get up…With the help of some medication for arthritis and discomfort, he made it through our trip and into the new house without ny stress, but started to have some bad days again this past week…
I’ve struggled with what to do for months. I’ve taken quizzes to determine how to treat older dogs… Researched medications to better his life… Have asked friend and family and God for guidance… Have tried to justify the bad versus good days he was having…Having him at such a young age I never knew there would come a day I would have to do the most selfless act ever and decide to let his pain stop… Let him pass on to the Rainbow Bridge to be with God waiting for me… So that he was running again… Moving around again… Living a better quality of life…I spent all day Thursday holding him and loving on him and sharing lunch with him…I kept apologizing to him for all of my shortcomings and asking him to tell me I was doing the right thing. His gentle eyes just looked up at me calm as ever as he normally freaked out when I cry… As if to tell me “it’s okay mama…”
Lap of Love’s vet Tobey was the angel we asked for. He came into our home and helped us say Goodbye to Jaeden on this physical earth and he passed away peacefully Friday October 16 [also National Pug day I later found out] with me holding his paw the entire time and is at ease now without hurt or anxiety….
I know this is a process. The guilt.. The unstoppable crying…the pain… The missing him. When anyone tries to console me I always can respond “I know…” Because I know time heals all things… I just miss my baby so much… It’s inexplainable the hole that’s left without him here with us… I’ll look to pour positivity into others and lean on my friends and family to go through this… I’m welcoming distraction but I’m also working to be sure I can share his legacy – he was one amazing pug who can never be replaced….
I wrote most of this post the day after his passing. Now, do I cry a lot? Sometimes. I just let it happen. I know it’s a process to grieve for a loss especially a little angel this close to my heart.
I find solace in bonding with others, paying forward kindness, and finding time to reflect alone sometimes and pray for peace and calm .. and to ask God to keep an eye on Jaeden for me until I see him again. I’ve bonded with others who’ve lost their pets and have even made some lasting connections with his others friends who are with him in Puppy Heaven.
You can see Jaeden’s memorial with Lap of Love HERE and also light candles for other sweet angels who’s passed on.
I would love to do some sort of Random Acts of Kindness for him – to honor him – somehow. To pay forward the LOVE he put out into the world each and every day… and there’s no doubt I’ll be sure to share that here.