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I Will Always Love You Gemma Junebug

Yesterday my darling Great Dane puppy, Miss Gemma Junebug, died during her spay surgery. She was exactly 10 months old to the day. There was an unknown complication just minutes before the surgery was finished. She had been doing great, her blood pressure was perfect, her pulse/ox was perfect, her heartbeat was perfect... right up to the second it just stopped. The vet gave her epinephrin and was able to get her back for about minute but then her heart stopped again and despite the whole team's best efforts, she was gone.

I can't explain the devastation, I feel shattered in a billion tiny, detached pieces that can barely pull themselves together to function as one body. It's hard to stand. It's harder to walk. The stairs feel like I'm climbing Machu Picchu and when I get to the top there are no shredded toys scattered all over the landing like there should be in a house with a Great Dane puppy. Downstairs in the family room all of the pillows are neatly stacked on the sofa instead of strewn around the room because they were in Gemma's way when she wanted to relax on her sofa. When I walk down the hallway to her food bowls, I don't get stone bruises from stepping on a trail of kibble. It's just not right. My floors aren't supposed to be clean for at least another 10 years. She was just a baby.

On June 8th we were struggling with whether or not we should adopt this little harlequin girl. We had settled on a blue boy. But she stole my heart with this photo on Facebook:

And then her breeder sent me this photo and I knew for sure we had made the right choice:

It's hard to imagine that only seven and half months have gone by. She is so much a part of our lives, it seems like she has always been here. And now she's gone.

Gemma, you were an amazing force in our lives. Your boundless energy and light, your ridiculous sense of humor, your refusal to sleep anywhere but right in the middle of our bed, your relentless pursuit of Fiona the Chihuahua, all made us so happy. Even when you were outsmarting us at every turn. Like all the times you stole Dad's glasses or my shoes and hid them under your chewy bones so when we glanced over to see what you were gnawing on we saw your toys and told you what a good girl you were. Then later as we were cleaning up, we discovered our mangled items still tucked out of sight under yours. It took us three times to catch on to that one. We aren't very smart. But you were. It only took you two times to figure out that when I got out of the shower and then turned the sink on to brush my teeth, the shower head would drip water. You would rush into the shower and stick your tongue out to catch the drips. We've lived in this house for four years and I never noticed that.

I don't know how you packed so much love and life into so little time but you did -- and I'm so very honored that you chose to share it with us.

Now go play with all your new friends on the other side my dearest. Don't look back, just go have fun little girl.

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