Our dogs are like our children and they will always be our children. Before we became parents to Alayna we were parents to JJ and Mia. We treated both JJ and Mia just like our own kids. We would do anything for them. As you recall, JJ our male dog had back surgery about 3 years ago for a slipped disc. We found out during the surgery that he had degenerative disc disease. Basically, his discs in his vertebrate would always be bothering him to some degree. During the surgery, the surgeon tried to fix every disc he could but there were going to be a few discs near his head and lower tail that would not be fixed. They didn’t want to mess with discs in these areas because they could cause a lot of trauma and permanent damage.
I know we will never forget picking JJ up after that surgery 3 years ago. He was so happy to be walking out that door of the vet office. He was coming back home to his parents and his friend Mia. The orders that JJ received when we took him home was he basically had to be crated or put in a pen where he could have little movement to heal his back. We converted our family room into our bedroom. We basically lived in our family room for 2 months sleeping on the couch and a mattress on the floor.
After the surgery, we also found out he lost complete bladder control because his disc pushed so much on his spinal cord that it almost became severed. He basically was thankful to be walking. JJ was in a diaper from the day he had surgery as he would just leak urine out since there was no muscle control. So that meant we had to physically drain his bladder. I will not get into all the details but this was going to be done 4 times a day. Mainly Maria was doing all this work and it was like taking care of a baby. She eventually got into a routine with all this and it became a part of our daily life.
Since JJ was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease he would always have back flare ups where his back would go out and he would have to be crated to a room for 6 weeks. We had to keep him as calm as possible which meant basically no one could come to our house, no one could ring the door bell, no vacuum cleaning, anything that would excite him would be a no go. This was beyond challenging as JJ is a dog that got very excited by just about anything.
A few weeks before Alayna’s due date JJ’s back went out. We thought then that it was going to be the end for our little warrior. But Maria and I both wanted him to meet Alayna. We knew it was going to be so difficult to keep him confined and relaxed but we tried everything we could. Luckily, within a week or two his back finally calmed down. JJ got to meet our miracle Alayna and we were thrilled. We were given two little warriors in our life in the both of them.
Fast forward to this past Saturday at 1 am. Maria and I both knew JJ’s back was out again. He got out of his bed and started shaking and his back was fully arched and he could barely walk straight. Maria went to express his bladder and he couldn’t hold himself up on his back legs. We knew then it was time. That night he didn’t sleep at all due to all the pain he was in.
The next morning we knew it was time to say good bye to our warrior. I have to say it was the hardest thing to ever experience for both Maria and I. This was the first time we had ever had to say good bye to an animal. For us JJ was more than our dog he was our son. He will always be our son.
Through JJ I learned a lot about my own life and what I have been blessed with. That is something that no one could ever take away from me. I always knew I was blessed to have Maria in my life but through JJ I found out I was blessed beyond words. Through JJ it has made me realize how lucky and blessed that Alayna and I are to have you in our life, Maria. You would do anything for our family even going above and beyond what anyone would ever do. I’m beyond thankful to call you my best friend, my soulmate, my wife, and best of all the mother to our daughter. You will always be JJ’s mom and no one can ever take that away from you. Thank you JJ for creating memories that will last a lifetime and most of all for showing me how BLESSED we are to have Maria in our life.
We will always remember you buddy!
We miss you and LOVE you J.J.!!!
JJ next to his daddy. We will always be family. He made it to welcome Alayna into this world :)
Mommy and JJ. Mother and Son.
JJ in his diaper with his best friend forever Mia.
WE WILL MISS YOU JJ! We hope you are running around and having fun!!!