We decided to say good-bye to our Roxie Taco yesterday. I guess it never feels like the right time. Is it too early? Did I wait too long? After going through all the old photos and videos I could find, I feel confident that it was the right decision and she went peacefully at home with Cameron and I on either side of her.

I got this sassy little thing for my 16th birthday which is when I also got my sweet 1991 silver bullet stick-shift Saturn and from that moment on she became my shot-gun rider, we hit the road together. You know, a lot of people hate on little dogs but the cool thing about them is that they are resilient, wildly loyal, packed with personality and easy to travel with. If you know me, you’ve probably met Taco along the way because for the last almost 17 years I have taken her anywhere I could sneak her into. College classes, movie theaters, bars, high end restaurants, music festivals…you could usually find her in my backpack, the passenger seat or in the arms of the tallest/biggest man at the party.

I picked Roxie up from a kiddy pool in Nutbush, Memphis. She was the runt of two brothers who she clearly despised from the beginning. She was with me when I got my drivers license, when I graduated high school and went off to college, she was with my Mamaw and Pap when they both passed away, when I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, she finished out college and graduated with me after living in our own Animal House of sorts with 10 girls and 6 dogs, she was there with me through two serious relationships and heart breaks, in Memphis for a year as I started my career as a nurse and then headed to Colorado. We soon met her 2nd favorite person in the world, Cameron Stone. I fell in love with Cameron quickly and largely because he immediately loved Roxie just as I did, and she in turn loved him back. She was present for my struggle with stability, through medication changes and lots of therapy. She helped me recover from a spine surgery. She saw me through from darkness to light. I was engaged to Cameron four years later and Taco participated in our wedding as the flower girl. I never dreamed that she would live to see the birth our son and his first birthday (I honestly thought bringing a baby home would have done her in).

All that said, we lived a lot of life together. She was the one constant in my life throughout all of the hard stuff and hung around just long enough to see me through to the happiest phase so far. Over the last two years her presence has been subtle (unless she was demanding something) but it is definitely going to take time to get used to her absence. She had a huge personality and it was so hard to see that fade over time. I am so thankful for the tremendous memories and time I was able to spend with her. She should have died at least 6 times that I can think of so it’s incredible that she lived as long as she did. I am thankful for the life I was able to give her and thankful that she was able to pass onto the next adventure in my arms on one of her fuzzy blankets.

Roxie Taco I hope you are sitting on a mountain of pillows in your bougie penthouse apartment with a jar full of treats within arms reach. I hope that all of your demands are being met. I hope you have a window that opens to the street so you can terrorize any dog that dares to pass by while on your neighborhood watch. And if someone drags you along for a hike, to camp or to see the universe, I hope it’s from a backpack or the arms of someone who loves you as much as I did. Until we meet again little girl, rest easy.

A huge thank you to Caring Pathways and Dr. Knoll for making the end of this story a peaceful one. Roxie Taco absolutely hated the veterinarian office. She would get so anxious. Having Dr. Knoll come to our home was worth it and more to see her so relaxed and in her happy place.