[alli girl.]

I fell in love eleven years ago. She was white with "buff" spots and had the sweetest smelling frito feet you've ever seen. Alli Girl stole my heart and I took her home with me while Mike was on tour. As soon as he saw her, he saw what I saw in her. She was meant to be ours all along. She's stayed by my side, rarely letting me out of her sight, ever since.

Every pet has quirks. We get to know them and we love our furry kids even more because of them. Alli had plenty of quirks. She was afraid of stairs, for instance. She was happy to sit at the top and look down on the world, just as long as she didn't have to walk down those scary death traps. Mike carried that sweet girl down more stairs than we could ever count.

She was afraid of water bowls... wouldn't dare stick her face in one and taught us to serve her water to her in a red Solo cup. In our house, you'll see a food dish, a regular water dish for Hank and Josie, and a red Solo cup. It's just the way our girl wanted it.

She was afraid of welcome mats and car rides, and a thousand other things, but she was brave, too.

A little over a year ago I was sunbathing on a float out on the water, and I think she thought I was in trouble. She was scared of the water, but she was even more afraid of me being out there alone so she started to wade in after me. She wasn't happy until I was out of the water and back on solid ground with her.

More recently, on a day when she wasn't feeling up to going for a walk, I took Hank out alone. After we left, Alli somehow escaped out the front door of the house. As I walked along with Hank, I heard something behind me and turned to see her running as hard as she could up the road toward us, her ears flapping in the breeze. She didn't feel like walking, but she didn't want us to go too far without her either.

She was a bone-aholic. She slept on our heads at night and stole our pillows. She loved opening presents and, at Christmas, she tore the wrapping paper off of the boxes for us. She didn't have a dog bed because she preferred lying on the hardwood floor or cement in her signature frog stance. She had the cutest little nub of a tail that started a frenzy of wagging anytime you even cast a glance in her direction. She sounded like a moose when she jumped down off the bed because her legs were so short and her belly so big. And speaking of bellies... she sure did like belly rubs. I could go on and on... she was everything.

Alli won't go on any more walks with us. She won't be watching from the top of the stairs or from the beach in case we get too far away. She won't be waiting at the door when we come home. She was the most loyal and loving member of our family for almost eleven years, and now she's gone. We weren't ready... we never would have been ready, and now we're left with this gaping hole where our "pooks" should be. Life is cruel in that way. But what Alli gave us and what we'll always have are memories of so much love, so much comfort, so much time... walking together, napping together, cuddling, sitting in silence. She was a friend, a kid, a sister, a mom, to all of us and gave us more than we could have ever given her.

She can't be replaced. She'll never be forgotten... and she'll always be missed.

Our girl.


Sara Louise said...

This was a beautiful tribute to your loving friend. I'm so very sorry for your loss Holli. xx.

Jen said...

i admittedly don't know a lot about dogs, but is 11 the lifespan of a cocker or did she get sick? How are Hank and Josie? I know losing a pet is just as hard on the other pets in the house as it is on us humans.

ohhellocupcake. said...

Thank you, Sara!

Jen, Alli had cancer. It progressed really quickly, and I'm thankful that she didn't have to suffer. Their average life span is 10-13 years, so we got to spend a lot of years with her. Of course, that doesn't change how much emptier our life is without her and how much she's missed. She'll always be our little girl.

Rich said...

Love you guys!
Alli was a sweet dog.

Andi said...

i had a cocker/springer spaniel mix from age 7 til i was 22. the only time i've ever seen my dad cry is when we had to put pepper down. he didn't even cry at his grandma's funeral. i completely feel your pain and just wanna reassure you that it does get better in time. :)

Priscilla Rose said...

She may not be at the top of the stairs anymore, but she is still watching you. Take care.

Georgierus said...

Hi Holli
I follow you on instagram and love all the posts of your poochies, so i was so sorry to hear of your loss, iv just rediscovered your blog and came across this post.
I have a little westie and can't imagine life without him. This is a beautiful post, and a lovely tribute to your girl.

Anonymous said...

Holli- you I need some of your insight. I want to move to the pnw and my husband wants to move to tx... Can you email me so I can ask you some questions!?! I would much appreciate it! Heathersonfire@hotmail.com