I work at Chuckanut Valley Vet Clinic, and I lost one of my beloved dogs
in March. I could not find her name on the page anywhere, but I know that
our clinic makes donations on behalf of all of the animals that we have lost
each month. I wanted to put a memorial on the page so I was hoping her name
could get on there somehow.
Isis came to me on a whim. I went to look at a litter of 8 week-old, blue
nosed pitt bull puppies and left with a scared, six month old girl who had
never seen the inside of a house, let alone a car, a leash, or other dogs
with the exception of the numerous dogs on the property. While I was playing
with all of the adorable little wriggling bodies, this tall, thin excuse for
the breed standard (not exactly what I had pictured in my mind) attached
herself to me at the knees and begged me to get her out of there. When I
found out the owners planned to use her for breeding, too, I quickly struck
a deal in which I didn't take her seven-generation papers (making her much
less valuable to breed) and gave the guy a hundred dollars.
As I pulled into the driveway at my house, I looked over again at the
scrawny girl shaking next to me and wondered if I had made the right
decision. My parents were furious, not wanting a pitt in the house due to
all the breed hype. My sister was terrified, having been bitten in the face
by a dog when we were younger who was part pitt bull. It took a long time
before they were willing to accept her being around, much less let her near
When I got Isis, I was going through a seriously difficult time in my life.
I was starting college, trying to hold down a job to pay for it all, and
still trying to have some sort of life. Throughout it all my girl waited
faithlfully for me each day and helped me unwind with a long run or some fun
play down at the beach. There were times in my life where she was truly my
only reason for living. She could always tell when I was close to breaking
down and somehow, she always found a way to distract me.
When my high-school sweetheart turned strung-out stalker tried to attack me
one night while I was driving alone (0r so I thought), Isis jumped over the
back seat and ripped his hands from around my throat. He then turned his
attack on her, punching her in the head and nose, dragging her from the car
and throwing her into oncoming traffic. My angel rolled under an SUV, jumped
right back up, and tore back into the highway to finish coming to my
defense. Thankfully, he decided that he had more on his hands than he
anticipated and had taken off. Despite my athletic state at the time, even
with my kickboxing skills, I could not get away from him. To this day, I
honestly do not know if I would be here had Isis not been in the back of my
car as always, being the co-pilot.
Several years and thousands of dollars in bilateral TPLO surgeries later (
one of the first major sugeries that I was allowed to scub into!) she made
the nerve-wracking trip up here to Washington with me and the new love of
our lives, my husband Tim. Isis had bonded to him like no other, especially
given her newfound suspicion of all men after her beating.
Without her, I don't know how I would have survived my first year here,
having spent my entire life from birth until my 22nd birthday surfing,
sunning, and living life with family and friends on the beautiful island of
Oahu (Hawaii). She was the one piece of my entire life to which I could
still cling. Isis and I played in our first snow together and ate snowballs.
I laughed myself to tears watching her reaction to seeing a squirrel for the
first time. We explored our new county and learned to love the Washington
Rain Festival (January 1-Dec 31, yearly! : ). And I learned what it was like
to truly lose a piece of your heart when we had to make the choice to let
her leave us on March 10, 2008.
Her ashes sit on a mantle in our family room, with a shadowbox containing
her pawprint and just a few of the thousands of pictures she and I took
together during our journey.
My cat Marley, who raised her and taught her feline ettiqute, still looks
for her. He sleeps in her closet, on her old bed, whenever he can. Our other
canine companions, who have helped tremendously but come far from filling
her void, still lay in her spot under our desk.
My Family and Friends, who criticized my choice of dog and breed from the
start, have long since changed their song.
My mom says that after owning Isis and being a part of her life, she could
never own another dog unless it was a pittbull. She owns a childcare
company, and some of her little girls spent their days dressing Isis in toy
jewlery and painting her nails. Years later, they still ask for her when
they come to visit.
My sister is still scared of every single large dog she encounters, even the
docile four other pitt bulls who share my bed and heart. However, she called
Isis Boo-boo girl and would snuggle with her whenever I was not around, even
though Isis did decide to eat her Manolo Blancs one day...
My Father, who believes pets should live outside, watched Blockbuster movies
with Isis on his king-sized bed and shared his popcorn with her. She is the
only dog that I have ever seen my dad allow to kiss or even come near to his
I cannot ever thank Isis enough for the joy, laughter, and truly the
personal growth that she helped my to bring to my life. I think it is safe
to say that there were times in life were I just couldn't have done it
without her to come home to. She was my reason to get out of bed in the
Although her physical being may be gone, Isis will live on forever in me. I
would not be the person I am today without her passing through and leaving
her footprints on my heart.
The Doan Family