Monday, September 16, 2019

Stoli Girl

Our Stoli Girl. She was a damn good dog and she loved us fiercely for 14 years and a 11 months. Her only job in life was to love whomever gave her a furever home and I am thankful every day that we got to be that family. She took her job serious and never once gave anything less than EVERYTHING she had to us.

From the very beginning Justin and I knew we were in trouble and it's safe to say, she was our first REAL impulse buy as a couple. We had gone back to PittState for a football game with friends but while we were tailgating a little puppy was placed into my arms. We knew her mom, Asia, she was our friend, Wade's dog, and was just the sweetest. & as sweet at she was, I had always told myself I wouldn't get an aggressive breed dog as I grew up with rottweilers and I knew the stigma and judgement that came with it. And then she was placed in my arms. I never stood a chance and neither did Justin. Instead of going into the stadium, we went to the ATM and drove straight to PetSmart. 

She was our first baby.

She didn't realized just how much she was going to be needed those first few months, we didn't either. After Justin's dad passed a few short weeks after we brought Stoli home, she became a much needed source of love and comfort for Justin. 

She was also the reason Justin bought the house he did, Merriam allowed Pitbulls. & so after, I moved in too. And as she started to approach her first birthday Justin sent me a picture of a golden retriever needing a home. Enter Brodi, another impulsive decision on our part. We were two for two.

Brodi and Stoli were as opposite as two dogs could be---Stoli LOVED the heat and would find the sunniest places to lay. Brodi LOVED the cold and would bounce around for hours in the snow. Brodi would shed like no other, Stoli not so much. However opposite they were, they were best of friends and both lived to love on us each and every day. 

They saw us get married. They were there when we brought both boys home from the hospital. In fact, Stoli was my first indication I was pregnant with Logan. She's always been the nurturing and protective type but when I was pregnant, she wouldn't leave my side. 

As the boys grew--so did her heart. She had enough love to go around and would let our boys crawl all over her and love on her like no other. I think that's when she was happiest. 

When they would seek her out and put her in hats. 

Or Chiefs shirts. 

Or sunglasses.
She didn't mind one bit because the more they loved on her, the more she loved on them. 

Besides us---she loved going to the lake. She loved sitting out in the hot sunshine. She loved playing "dead" and doing lots of tricks (in her prime). She loved celebrating her and Brodi's birthdays because that often meant ice cream.

The sad thing, she sometimes got a bad rap for just being what she is and I didn't do enough for her I failed her. Because for anyone who got to know her, or anyone who came to our house and took two seconds to say hello to her, knew she had a heart of gold and fell just as madly in love with her as we did. Sure she's a pitbull and she's got a big bark but she was the sweetest, kindest dog. She never knew someone that she didn't like -- and she had a problem holding her licker but that's only because she wanted to smoother you with lots of love.

I wasn't sure how long we would have with our dear Stoli & she gave us a scare at around 11.5 when she ATE two finger puppets. She NEVER ate anything but her food so this caught us all off guard but sure enough, two. She ended up having two MAJOR surgeries and was in puppy ICU for about 2 weeks. But we LOVED on her and she fought hard, she just wasn't ready to leave us and I'm beyond grateful that she didn't. We still had so much love to give to her.

& then her best friend, Brodi, left us. He was in pain and she knew it. You could see her sadness almost immediately and I honestly believe she never completely got over losing him. Even after we rocked her world and adopted an energy filled 5 month old pup. But we only successfully adopted the pup because of HER, because she welcomed him into our home with open arms. 

Outside of Brodi and Schultz, Stoli wasn't really around other dogs. Her hair would raise when she would see one in the distance but I think that was more her in protective mode either way, we didn't know how she would react to a new pup in the house & if it wasn't a fit for her, it wasn't a fit for us. We submitted paperwork to adopt Gus from the Missouri Pitbull Rescue & we were a shoe-in. We got the call back & we set up a meet and greet for the next day but that quickly turned into a home visit too. His foster momma had done her research and she was ready to give Gus the best chance at a FURever home--we were too. Stoli was the wild card. But I should have known, she sensed it in us. She knew this was important to us. She sat at the backdoor as we met Gus and then she met Gus. By the end of the night...well, you get the picture.

It took no time at all for the two of them to become best of buds. Gus annoyed the heck out of her but she loved him still.

From day one she was a cuddlier. As much as she loved being under the covers, she loved being close to her humans even more. She could have laid there all day long if it meant having 30-50 pounds of South boys on her. Most of the time it was Logan but every once in awhile Kaden would crawl up to her and snuggle too. 

In her final days we made sure she knew just how much she was loved. The boys didn't know when, Justin and I had decided to keep that to ourselves but they knew she wasn't feeling well and that she didn't have many more days. Each and every time before leaving the house we would all give her our best hug, kiss her sweet nose and love on her just in case it would be the last. We didn't want the boys to miss out on saying goodbye to her. She's been a constant in their life for 8 and 10 years & saying goodbye was important for all of us. Especially, Stoli. 

Fourteen, well, almost 15 years ago, I never thought that little brown dog that was placed into my arms that fall day would change my life like she did. She taught us so much about unconditional love and how we should never judge a book by its cover.

Thank you, Stoli. For every thing you given to us over the last 15 years. You loved us with every ounce of your soul. You will be forever ours. Say hello to Brodi for us & run like you've never run before--you're free. 

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