Wednesday, April 25, 2012

From the family

I hope through reading this blog that you know how lucky I am to have the most supportive family... 

...not just my husband, but my parents too.  They were always very encouraging and enjoyed reading Payton's posts, even if they had been on the adventure or knew about the story.  Since things are wrapping up on Pugnacious P, I wanted to give them the opportunity to share something with you. 

It was crazy how much Payton loved her Gampy.  If he was near, no one else was given the time of day.  Tim and I were always thankful when she would still want to go home with us after a visit.  In case you didn't already know, my dad, Payton's Gampy, has his own blog, Life IS a bowl of cherries!, so I'm sure he will continue to write about Payton now and again.  That being said, this post just wouldn't be complete without him, so he's up first.
Today, I want to honor two people who devoted 9 years to the health, well-being, and love of one seriously sick pug.  Christy and Tim rearranged their lives without qualm when Payton was diagnosed with PDE.  I could go on for pages about their sacrifices but most of you who have unwaveringly followed this blog know all about the 24/7 round the clock care, the emergency and routine trips to the vets (near home and in Chicago), the extraordinary financial burden...well, you get the picture. Payton was a very fortunate little miracle.  Most families could not have done all those things and that's very understandable.   

The journey Payton and Christy took us on via Pugnacious P is a story of love, humor, sadness, joy, and hope, educating all of us about the horrific illness that is PDE.  I pray every day that Tim and Christy understand Payton's gift to them, that of ultimate love.  And that is what their sorrow should turn into with time, love for the many blessings they gave each other! 

Thank you, Christy.  Thank you, Tim.  Thank you, my little Noodle-Nose!


There is no way to possibly count the number of times that my mom, Gammy, stepped up to help out and watch Payton so that I could still work during the first few years of Payton's illness, run errands, or go on a date with my husband.  Payton loved her Gammy, but she also liked to boss her around, demanding treats and toys.  They were great buddies and playmates.
Payton touched the deepest part of my heart that will always remain with me. I can remember her first visit to our house. Steve [Gampy] and I were waiting in the back yard with anticipation. She was the cutest thing I have ever set my eyes on. She immediately came over to us and showered her love all over our faces. And she never failed displaying her unconditional love towards us.
Payton was so precious how she would talk to me at the dinner table wanting more than a nibble. Her face always melted my heart, so I would give her treat after treat after treat! Her eyes were like no other. They were so expressive and human like. And the way she would use her paws to hold a toy was amazing. She always surprised me with her intelligence.
Not only was Payton adorable, but she was also very playful. And I took advantage of all the opportunities to play with her. Whenever Payton came to visit, the first thing she would do is go to the back room and stand by the dresser waiting for a new toy. Before we entered into the living room sometimes the squeaker or the toy was destroyed. I keep her favorite, Sea Horsey, by her picture.
Every time I saw Payton I just wanted to squeeze her and give her all of my kisses, even though I never received any most of her life. Instead, each time Payton and I would meet, she would sniff and lick my ears while pulling off my earrings. When I did not wear earrings, she would nibble on my ear lobe. How cute is that?!?  I could feel the softness of her fur and whiskers as she breathed on my face and in my ear. There are many endearing moments but her tender ear "kisses" are my favorite and have a special place in my heart. The last couple of days the Lord gave me to be with her were the best ever. I was on my knees, and she did nothing but gently gnaw on my ear, kissing them, and my face, and like never before, my lips.
I truly miss her! She gave me so many treasures I will never forget.  I thank God for His wonderful creation, teaching us how to love and be loved.   
What Gammy says is so true.  Payton would very rarely give her kisses on the face and never on the mouth...even when my mom would smear food on her lips trying to bribe Payton.  So it must be that Payton knew she needed to say goodbye.  And Gammy always gave in to Payton's treat requests.  I have no doubt she scored more than one tasty bite after this video was recorded.

Last up, but certainly not least is my silent [until now] partner and husband, Tim.  He was the one that really pushed me into starting the blog.
Hi everyone.  This is Payton's dad.  I want to say a few words to my girls.

Christy, I'm so proud of you.  You started the blog to raise awareness about PDE, and you've clearly begun to do just that.  As a by-product, you've created a wonderful catalog of Payton's life and adventures.  Your writing authentically captures Payton's spirit.  Many people across the world got a glimpse of how incredible our little girl was thanks to you.  You were an amazing mama.  Staying home with her full time was as challenging as it was rewarding.  But I know that she loved having you by her side through it all.  And I love and appreciate all you did for her.

Payton, you won me over the first time I saw your little expression.  I couldn't go home without you.  And even through all the tremendous difficulties that your situation caused, I would do it again in a heartbeat.  Your strength and determination cannot be put into words.  6 years with PDE!  Even the doctors could only smile and shake their heads in amazement.  And the whole time, you loved life.  You never let anything get you down.  That is what I hold on to.  You lived every day like it was the only moment that mattered.  In your memory, I'm trying to do the same.  I miss wrestling with you.   I miss giving you a "scratch session" when I come home from work.  I miss you "attacking" me with kisses.  I miss you. 
I love you.  And I was so proud to be your dad.  I hope I get to see you again, my sweet P.
Payton had a routine when Tim got home from work every day.  Many of you saw the rubs and scratches post/video.  Well, just in case Tim would ever forgot, Payton would bark and follow him around until he picked her up.   This video is a prime example, and it was taken the Friday before she passed.

It's hard to say if Payton was a daddy's girl or a mommy's girl.  I was home with her for the last 5 1/2 years of her life (working from home 3 1/2 years and then becoming a full time pug mom for 2 years), so we did everything together.  But she knew that Tim was her provider and protector somehow.  She just loved to be with us.  Sometimes she would refuse to play until we were both home.  I feel privileged having had the opportunity to spend so much quality time with her, and so thankful that since being diagnosed with PDE, Payton was never alone.  She was always with me, Tim, Gammy, and/or Gampy.  Here are some of our favorite memories shared with our girl.

So the You Tube video was supposed to be imbedded here.  I have no idea why Blogger found the two videos above, but can't seem to display the third one in the pick list of my videos.  Ugh.  Sorry.  Here's the URL,  Please check it out.

More memories tomorrow as I pay tribute to the pug behind the blog, the one and only, Pugnacious P. 



Minnie and Mack said...

Christy, Tim, Grammy and Grampy,

Those were beautiful words from all of you. Payton was so lucky to have such a wonderful family! And she was an inspiration to everyone she met either in the fur on via the blog.

Thanks for the wonderful slide show! There are so many of our favorites, like Christy and Payton in sweatshirts or Tim and Payton at Home Depot!

We'll miss you all and the blog.

Kisses and hugs,
Kathy, Minnie and Mack

Sammy and Neko said...

Leaking again. What a beautiful family you have, christy.

Sending big hugs to you, your family and all of your blog friends who are leaking today too.
Sad, but makes me feel warm inside.

Rae - Say It Ain't So said...

payton was so lucky to have such a supportive and loving family! you guys really gave your all to her, and i know she gave it right back.

tubby3pug said...

Payton was perhaps the luckiest pug in the world.

urban hounds

Hound Girl said...

You do have an amazing family and support system. Its wonderful that is what keeps us going in life.
Im sad that you may not continue the blog but I do understand as I am battling with decision on our blog.RIP sweet girl.

Michelle + Myko said...

Absolutely beautiful tribute to Payton and you! I love her muffled pug barks. It has been a privilege to read your blog and be a part of the journey. Thank you. You and Tim are an inspiration.

Pug Love!

Noodles said...

Payton WAS THE ONE AND ONLY Pugnacious P and you and Tim are THE ULTIMATE Pug 'Rents.
It is said that children grow better and faster the more they are loved. I saw this happen first hand with children adopted from China (my daughter and 2 of my nieces were adopted from China). Payton was proof of this adage. She a sick pug THRIVING from all the love she received.
I don't know how much more rewarding life can be than that.
Love Katherine, Noodles' Mommy #2

Meredith LeBlanc said...

Sending Love to the best Pug family I know...

Meredith & Scarlet

Idaho PugRanch said...

So many blessings here. A special family, an extraordinary little pug, and all of us that got to witness through your blog the unconditional love you all shared.
I don't know what else to say but
Thank you,
Bailey, Hazel and mom Linda

Archie and Melissa said...

thank you christy, tim, gammy & gampy for always sharing your payton and your true love for her with all of us!

you are a very special family and we are so lucky to know all of you.

our pugs bring us the most wonderful gifts in our life.

everything that brings me true joy in my life, i can always draw a straight line back to emmitt & archie.

melissa & archie

Mindy said...

The tears are falling! Bless all of you for taking such good care of Payton during her ordeal.

I'm so happy I stumbled upon your blog while searching the internet after Emma passed away from PDE.

Thank you for sharing Payton's story. I hope Emma and Payton have met at the Rainbow Bridge.

((( Sending HUGS from afar)))

Tweedles -- that's me said...

All of these words are beautiful- and all I can say is thank you all for inviting us into your lives to walk along side you through all the happiness,, and the sadness.
Thank you for bringing joy to us.

A Day in the Life of Pugs said...

That was so beautiful ... Payton was lucky to have such great parents and grandparents!

I have to stop reading these at work ... the tears were flowing! Co-workers were asking if I was okay so I shared this with them! We were all crying and everyone agrees - It is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all!

Pug Hugs, Ellen
Zoe, Peyton, Webster & Liberty

dw said...

It feels like Payton is touching our hearts when I read these memories. She sure had the best family who cherished her each and every day! Thank you for these memories from you, Tim, Gammy and Gampy - from the most important people in Payton's life!

dbarrus said...

Dear Cristy,

You will never know how happy I was when a friend attached in an e-mail your blog on Pugnacious P and her story of living with PDE.

My bought my very first "show" pug 5 years ago and at 9 months old she developed PDE. She also did not show the classic systems of PDE. So for almost 4 weeks we and our local vets didn't know what was taking place. I ended up at UCD small animal emergency and it only took the students 15 minutes to figure out it was a neurological issue. So the nigh-merer began. Abby-Rose was diagnosed with PDE, MRI, spinal fluid. I didn't have a choice, she didn't respond to any treatment and at that time there really wasn't any treatment. I had to euthanize her and I'm not going to describe what going through that was like. But I entered her in Dr. Greers PDE study and also UCD's PDE study. Both necropsy came back positive for PDE.

The doctor at UCD's small animal neurology department told me that Abby was the first pug with PDE who had developed the lesions in the back of her brain, which effected her spinal column (thus it effected her legs) all of the other pugs entered in the research at the time had lesions in the front of the brain which produced seizures. This enabled them to redefine symptoms of PDE in pugs.

Abby will always have my heart, there are pets though your life that touch the heart...Abby has my heart. I promised her that I would see the PDE research to the end, last April (as you said) a PDE/DNA test became available.

I have a video of my time with Abby that I post on my FB page on the anniversary of her euthization to remind pug breeders to please have their breeding stock PDE/DNA tested.

I'm so glad you are talking about PDE, when Abby died I couldn't talk about her to many people. Pug breeders do not talk about PDE and they resent anyone else publicly talking about PDE. I felt alone, isolated. PDE is genetic.

Thanks for posting your story.


Punchbugpug said...

Thank you for sharing the one and only Miss Payton with us. Until I found your blog I had never known a Pug who LIVED with PDE and live, she sure did. Never underestimate the power of love and hope. Your family is an inspiration and I can't wait to hug you in person!