Genie, our perfect little Maltese baby girl, left us on April 1st of this year. I got a call from my husband on that sunny Thursday afternoon. He was at the vet’s for what we thought would be a routine appointment. She hadn’t been well for the past 3 months but we didn’t know her health would deteriorate so quickly. She had turned ten about 5 months ago and I remember thinking to myself on her birthday that we have plenty more years with her.
I’ll never forget that call. He was sobbing and couldn’t get a single word out. My heart sank. In that moment, I thought she was already gone. I thought that was my worst fear until I heard him say, “The vet says that we have to say goodbye to Genie today. It would be the kind thing to do”. He somehow got those words out and they hit me like a tonne of bricks. I kept saying, “No, we can’t. I can’t.”
After we found out, we got about 3 hours with her before we had to say goodbye forever. She came back home one last time, we made sure our families got to see her one last time through video calls. We got to take her on a walk along River Thames one last time (she was in a bag the whole time because she could hardly walk). We took her to the park where she took a few steps on the grass before looking up at me, as if pleading to be picked up again. She had zero strength left. I could see it in her eyes that she was done. That she didn’t want to be in pain anymore. We sat on a bench near the clinic, on this beautiful spring day, telling her over and over again how much we love her and how much we’re going to miss her.
Her passing has left me feeling the most betrayed I’ve ever felt. It’s left me confused, dejected, and heartbroken. But beneath this layer of heartbreak, I feel like I have a deep sense of gratitude and purpose. I’m grateful that Genie was in our lives for 10.5 years. She taught us how to love unconditionally, to live in the moment, and to spread joy. While processing everything over the past 2 months, I’ve frequently found myself asking “what now?”. Genie may no longer be a part of our daily lives but is there anything that I can do to keep her memory alive and celebrate the beautiful bond we had? My first thought was that I’d like to be able to share my experiences as a pet parent in hopes that current and future pet parents can gain something from it. I want to talk about all the ways we cared for Genie (and my other dogs Jackie & Fluffy), some of the mistakes we made along the way, and what losing her has felt like. In the beginning, I had no idea what the format should be or how to start forming a community so I slowly started to map out what this could look like. After a few iterations, I’ve now officially started building a community — ‘Dear Genie’.
My mission with ‘Dear Genie’ is to help dog owners be the best pet parents they can be so their pups can thrive and live their best lives. The format is simple — I’ll be sending out a weekly newsletter with useful and practical information that you can start applying to yours and your pooch’s life. If you’re a dog lover, have a dog in your life, or are hoping to welcome one to your family someday, this newsletter is for you. It’s my weekly commitment to you. To bring you something that’s thought-provoking, informational, sweet, and funny. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I’ve loved creating it.
P.S. — Dear Genie, I love you. ❤️