Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Paxton Magellan Smith

Yesterday was Paxton's ninth birthday.  I have been working on this blog post ever since he left, and I think now is a good time to put up some cute pictures and memories of our sweet dog :)
This was our first baby.  He really always will be in my heart.  We never had a dog growing up, but when Josh suggested us getting a dog after we bought our first house, about a year and a half after we were married, I loved the idea!  We checked out one shelter at the end of January, met a few dogs, spent the next week poring over their puppy profiles online, went back the next weekend with a list of prospective pups, and came home with Platinum!  We promptly changed his name to Paxton :)  The Animal House Shelter was amazing!  We had such a good experience, and they really love on their dogs.  My third graders did a community service project sponsoring a dog waiting for her forever home.  We have also given donations in honor of family members as holiday gifts.  We will continue to support them in Paxton's name.
This was a frequent stance between Josh and Pax, as it is with the boys, since he's the rough houser.  
Pax loved the snow!  He also loved sticking his head through railings to see what was going on all around him.
He was a lucky, lucky dog in our Crystal Lake house--HUGE fenced yard and a raised deck so he could feel like the king of the neighborhood!
Our second holiday card picture :)
Josh and Pax loved to dance :)
Josh travelled A LOT when we lived in Illinois.  Pax was always there to keep me company.  We walked every afternoon when I got home from school, and he had friends on every street.  We spent lots of time watching TV and grading papers.  He got a silver star for being a good helper :)
My very first Snuggle Buggle.
Larry and Michelle and their neph-pup!
In front of our Crystal Lake house with our beautiful burning bushes.  We have a lot of memories from those first few years.  The day after we got Pax was the Super Bowl, so he got to meet some friends and my mom and dad right off the bat.  He handled the crowd like a champ!  We did Doggie Days at the beach.  He helped me train for the Komen 3-Day Walk I did with my mom.  He rode with me quite often to pick up Josh at the Metra station.  He ate parts of the cushions of the car seats in the Xterra along with part of a book and tons of kibbles the first time we left him unattended in the car for a short time.  He was a good sport and let us try various pieces of clothing on him.  
Pax made the move to Virginia seamlessly.  Maybe it's because he was allowed on the furniture once we moved?  Right when we moved Pax and I went to the dog park almost every afternoon.  Poor guy, after Jackson was born that just didn't happen.  We did still take long walks through the woods everyday!
I will always remember this one beautiful day that we got an early heat wave, and we took Pax for a tour of some of our favorite DC spots!  
We had just found out we were pregnant!
We wanted Pax to feel important still, so he helped us announce that Jackson was going to be a boy!
LOVE this picture :)
Baby Jackson and his puppy!
Then, we moved back to a house with a big yard!  We trained Pax with an Invisible Fence, and he loved wandering the yard and lazing on both the front porch and the back deck.  He quickly won over everyone in the neighborhood, so much so, that we threw him a birthday party!
Pax and his second little brother, Baby Graham!
This is the last picture I have of all three of my boys.  I was Paxton's mom for 4,119,840 minutes.  Almost the whole time I've been married.  I cannot believe that Pax is just gone, and now we have millions and millions of minutes ahead of us without him.  We do have tons and tons of memories and pictures.  I loved having a dog more than I ever would have thought, and I loved watched the boys with him!  It is a special bond for sure.

We will never know for sure what happened to Pax, but we are pretty sure that something was wrong, and he took off into the woods to lie down and pass away.  He would have been nine this year, and it is not uncommon for older dogs to do this.  I miss all of the little things: his greeting us at the door, his tail thumping in excitement, a crumb-less kitchen floor, him curled up in the recliner in our bedroom, and giving him the empty peanut butter jars to clean out.  As much as I loved Pax, I knew he would not be a part of our family forever, and there were some things that I would not miss like fur balls all over the floor, finding someone to watch him when we are out of town, him taking up so much room in the car, remembering to feed and water him each day, picking up poop, cleaning up random puke, and stepping over him on the stairs.  Not having to do those things isn't quite a relief since he left the way he did :(   We have so many friends and family members that have supported us as we searched for Pax, and now that we are dealing with the grief of losing such an amazing furry friend.  

One day in the far future I can see the Smith family including another furry friend, but for now, we will remember all of our good memories with Paxton and hope he knew how much he was loved!

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