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  1. #1
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    A note from the bottom of my heart

    I think of you all as my family here on this site. My family has had a rough couple of days. The way I get things off of my chest is by putting words on paper. As most of you know, I often times write about my dog "Paisley" on this website and that's why I feel this is appropriate to share with you all at this time. To my wife and me, our dog has been our world for the last two years. That is no longer the case. Here's a note from the bottom of my heart.



    Hearing the word “cancer” is every man’s worst nightmare. A dog truly is a man’s best friend.

    However, the heartbreaking disease and God’s beautiful creature surprisingly have quite a bit in common.

    Neither discriminates.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    About three weeks ago, my wife and I were walking our 2-year old Golden Retriever Paisley through the streets of Bondurant. It was a gorgeous spring day, around 75 degrees and late in the afternoon on a rare weekday that Ashley had away from the clinic.

    The walk was our usual long route but this one had a goal, to stop by the city library where Ashley, a local veterinarian, was hoping to speak with somebody about getting Paisley involved in a summer reading program.

    Paisley is a Certified Therapy Dog. That means that her purpose on this planet is to help others. What exactly a therapy dog can do is endless. They put a smile on the face of elderly folks in nursing homes. Therapy dogs bring joy to sick kids in hospitals every day. Our goal with Paisley was to use her sweet demeanor help relax children that struggle reading. In return, studies have shown that this helps them learn in the process.

    After the recent Newton, Conn. tragedies in which a crazed gunman mercilessly slaughtered dozens of kids at an elementary school, therapy dogs were brought in to comfort the families of the victims. That is just one example.

    While Ashley was inside the library that day, a young man sitting on a nearby bench caught Paisley’s eye as we stood outside waiting. I wouldn’t even say that he was sitting on the bench. It was more of a slouch, while he playd some sort of hand held gaming system at the same time. He didn’t seem to be very motivated about life. He was an overweight boy who appeared to be in the fourth or fifth grade and was wearing ratty clothes. To me, he looked like the type of child that gets picked on at school.

    Paisley thought he was perfect.

    Regardless of what he was wearing, what he looked like and how “different” he appeared to be, Paisley approached the boy as gleefully as ever and gave him kiss after kiss after kiss. That is what Paisley does. When she was a puppy, I taught her to kiss on cue when I said the word “kisses” in a goofy voice.

    Paisley put her paw up to shake his hand. He thought this was awesome and giggled as she put on a show. His eyes lit up as the two bonded for a good five minutes. Soon enough though, the boy’s ride showed up and it was time for the new friends to part ways. But as that young man walked way, the smile on his face reached from Bondurant to Altoona.

    I found myself wondering how many times this boy had been picked up from school without a smile. My guess was that it happened quite often.

    In one small setting, Paisley made this child’s day.

    That is what dogs do. They don’t care what color a person is, how popular you are how much money you make for a living.

    Dogs do not discriminate.


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On Tuesday, May 21, Ashley and I departed for a long awaited vacation in Mexico. The day before, we took Paisley to her Grandma and Grandpa’s house in Ames where she would spend the week with her best friend Abby and loving family members. To Paisley, this place was as good as home and maybe even better.

    Paisley was in rare form. The three of us went on a marathon walk the night before. In fact, I remember having to put my little girl in her kennel for a few hours that Monday morning, as I was up to my ears in work with not a lot of time to be tending to my pup. All was well and normal in the Williams house.

    On Sunday, May 26, we returned home from Mexico to learn that Paisley had not been eating since early Saturday morning.

    “Maybe she’s just homesick?” That’s what we kept hopefully asking ourselves.

    It was only wishful thinking. Other than be with people, Paisley’s favorite thing to do in the world was eat. She was a scheduled eater too. At 7 a.m., she wanted breakfast. At 5 p.m., it was dinnertime. Ashley, a soul that doesn’t like to live by the mercy of a clock, blamed me for the strict schedule that Paisley got on. The dog had an inner-clock in her head. Day after day (keep in mind that I work from home), she’d always try to get me to feed her at 4:30 or 4:45.

    “Dinner” was my baby’s favorite word.

    However on that Sunday night, Paisley wouldn’t eat. Things didn’t add up.

    We did not sleep. None of us did. Ashley and I were worried. Our little girl was noticeably uncomfortable with a visible increased respiratory rate.

    We waited for a respectable hour to reach on Monday morning and got Paisley into the clinic that Ashley works at in Ankeny as soon as possible. To make a long story short, the puppy that we rewarded ourselves with on our first anniversary was diagnosed with acute blastic leukemia at the unfair age of two. With every breath, her chest was filling up with more and more toxic fluid, which in return, made it harder and harder for her to breathe.

    On Tuesday evening, May 28, without any choice at all, we had to end our little blessing’s suffering and send her to heaven.

    Young or old. Two legs or four. Black or white. Rich or poor. It doesn’t matter.

    Cancer does not discriminate.


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For some perspective, the day that Paisley was diagnosed with her disease, our dear friends from across the street were heading north to take their beautiful daughter to get her annual cancer scans. Ava was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of two and has been a fighter and defeater of the vicious disease ever sense.

    Today, we pray that our Paisley will be Ava’s guardian angel.

    “But Paisley is just a dog…”

    No. She is not.

    You either understand that fact or you don’t and I’m not here to change your mind either way. But to a young couple with an obsession of animals that has no kids, Paisley, was, is and always will be our first baby.

    In only five days, our “Pretty Paisley Jean” went from being completely healthy to a sick, sick little girl. The cancer was in her blood and bones. There was nothing that anybody, even with a mom as a veterinarian could do.

    The day before we left for Mexico, we mailed Paisley’s papers to the proper authorities to make her an officially licensed therapy dog. Our plan was to get the ball rolling upon our return. Like she did with the little boy out in front of the library, Paisley had a lot of kids to left to help regardless of who they were or where they came from.

    Dogs do not discriminate. Dogs love everybody.

    Go hug your husband or wife. Go tell your children you love them. Give your dog, cat, ferret or horse all of the love that you have to offer because just like that, God decided that he needed our precious therapy dog up in heaven.

    If everything really does happen for a reason, then here is what my baby did for me in only two years.

    Through her “love no matter what mentality,” Paisley taught me how to be a better husband.

    I know that she prepared me to be an amazing father. Over two years, I’ve passed up on a lot of golf games and a quite a few beers to get home early so I could play fetch with my little Paisley girl. I still have a ways to go, but she taught me to not be a selfish human being.

    Paisley taught me to treat every person like they are the most important person in the world. She did this all of the time and I never once saw another person not do the same in return.

    If it was at work with her mom, on walks around the block or at the dog park with other canines, Paisley seemed to touch every living creature that she came into contact with. If you’ve met her, you get it. Everybody loved Paisley. We always joke that Paisley isn’t our dog; she is everybody’s dog.

    And now she is gone. Paisley is an angel in heaven and more importantly, Paisley cancer-free.

    At the age of two, with four legs and enough fur on her back to create a beautiful white winter coat, cancer did not discriminate against our baby.

    Today, tomorrow and forever, love your family, friends and pets as if tomorrow might never come because you never know – it might not.

    In closing, I want to share a Bible verse that was sent to me from my awesome brother-in-law Nick today that I found to be very comforting.

    Job 12:10 says: “In His hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.”






    Last edited by ChrisMWilliams; 05-29-2013 at 08:27 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: A note from the bottom of my heart

    Sorry to here about that CW. My thoughts are with you and Ashley. I never had a pet growing up, but I've adopted my girlfriend's over the last 3 years (he's 4), and I will be a wreck when that guy passes.



  3. #3
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    Re: A note from the bottom of my heart

    Chris,

    I am firmly of the belief that loss is loss is loss. I don't think people should measure grief. I am sorry that you lost your puppy. I hope you and your wife are able to remember the happy times and that you can start the healing process.





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  4. #4
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    Re: A note from the bottom of my heart

    Tough read and tough loss. Sorry to hear!



  5. #5
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    Re: A note from the bottom of my heart

    My deepest sympathies to you and your wife, Chris.



  6. #6
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    Re: A note from the bottom of my heart

    Thanks for sharing CW. Prayers to you and family. Losing a pet is extremely hard. They can be great examples of how we should live life.


    Quote Originally Posted by KFitzy87 View Post
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    Re: A note from the bottom of my heart

    That was powerful and sad. So sorry to hear this.


    Since we are an elite team now, let's go get that One Cyclone Moment.
    Make this one for the ages!




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  8. #8
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    Re: A note from the bottom of my heart

    So sorry to hear CW. Hopefully she's having fun playing on the other side.



  9. #9
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    Re: A note from the bottom of my heart

    From the bottom of my heart Chris, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your dog Paisley. I am a dog owner as well and I will say this over and over again, losing a pet that you are close to is the same as losing a family member. I hope you guys heal as quick as you can.


    "Its time to roll up our sleeves, put on our hard hats and go to work together"


  10. #10
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    Re: A note from the bottom of my heart

    Aw, man, Chris...so sorry. She sounds like a great dog. Heartbreaking for sure.

    I am glad she got to be yours for awhile.


    Forever trying to find a cure for the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

  11. #11
    KFitzy87
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    Re: A note from the bottom of my heart

    Squeezed the tears right outta me. Sounds like you and your wife knew exactly how to respect and care for the third member of your family. Sending good vibes your way.



  12. #12
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    Re: A note from the bottom of my heart

    Sorry to hear! I know the feeling. Went through this twice in two years. Thinking of you and your family. Remember the great times with Paisley.



  13. #13
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    Re: A note from the bottom of my heart

    So sorry to hear Chris. Remember the wonderful 2+ years you had with her.



  14. #14
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    Re: A note from the bottom of my heart

    Sorry CW. My dog died from cancer at the age of 5. I know what you're going through, worst day of my life. Keep the faith.



  15. #15
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    Re: A note from the bottom of my heart

    Well written tribute Chris! I am sorry for your loss! Best wishes to you and Ashley.



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