BestsellerBound is a incredible community of indie authors. I created the message board in the late summer of 2010 with the help of resident authors Maria Savva and Stacy Juba. We wanted to celebrate one thing that has kept us all going over the past two years: friendship. Many friendships have been formed on the board. In fact, one of the most common things our members say is that BestsellerBound is the friendliest group of writers they have found. We pride ourselves on that.
To celebrate not only a successful 2 years as a popular indie writer forum, but also the friendships we have made on the board, a few of us organized this blog hop. The theme is, of course, Friendship. You can read blog posts based on the theme of friendship by each of the participating authors. We are sure it will be an interesting and varied blog hop. We are also offering a big prize package to one lucky winner! This is a tour-wide giveaway. Details are at the bottom of this post. First, my thoughts on friendship…
For my part in this friendship blog hop, I’d planned to write about the impact my BestsellerBound friends have made in my life. At some point in the future, I will return to that topic. Today, though, in the spirit of friendship, I have to talk about my best friend. I lost him recently and my heart still aches from the loss.
This was Sidney, my best friend, in happier days:
If you’re not an animal person, no words I say could express the impact this little guy had on my life. I’ve always had dogs, and I’ve loved them all. But this one, he tugged at my heartstrings in a way no other could; in a way no other ever will again.
We adopted Sid in July 2000. He was about 8 months old at the time. I could tell you about his early days, before he came to live with us. They were difficult months for him, including abuse for the crime of not being 100% Chihuahua. But Sid would tell you those days didn’t matter once he came to live with us. He showed me that each and every day. What mattered was his family. What mattered was that he woke up with us each morning and went to sleep with us each night. What mattered was that we loved him unconditionally, and he returned that love a million times over.
In July of 2000, my health was in serious decline. Less than a year after Sid came to live with us, I had to stop working. A year after that, I had to stop driving. My life became one of relative isolation. My best friend, the one that never left my side, was Sidney. He had the most expressive eyes. They truly sparkled with delight. He’d just look at me and I’d have to smile. He was a little dog with a huge personality. My world was so much better with him in it.
Sid could be difficult for others, but never for me. He feared men, and quick movements could cause him to lunge at someone out of instinct. We worked on those issues. As he learned to trust me, he also learned to trust that I’d never let anyone hurt him.
He loved to walk. My mother often compared him to a Clydesdale. He pranced. His eyes would sparkle with absolute euphoria. I didn’t get to walk him as often as I would have liked. My health goes through long periods of total crap. During those spells, it’s difficult for me to get past the pain and the fatigue. My one regret with Sid is that I didn’t force myself to take him walking more often. But I know without question that he forgives me.
We lost Sid on October 27. He had an extremely rare liver disease called Hepatocutaneous Syndrome. It destroys the liver, causes skin lesions that can be incredibly painful, and, eventually, causes the organs to shut down. There is no cure; there isn’t even a treatment. Life expectancy after diagnosis is typically five to six months.
We were fortunate, in that Sid didn’t suffer for a long time. I had him on a high protein diet, fed him at least twice the normal amount, and also gave him one egg per day. (The disease causes them to burn an extreme amount of calories.) That seemed to work well. Until one day, it just didn’t.
The end was quick. Very early on Friday morning, October 26, he woke up vomiting. I couldn’t get him to eat anything. He was lethargic. The decline was so fast. He couldn’t even hold down water, but was so very thirsty. By late Friday night, I knew he wouldn’t rebound. I stayed up with him all night. I talked. He listened. I told him I had to let him go. He moaned, because he knew it too. I promised him, as I had all along, that I would be with him right to the end. I would not let him die alone. Saturday morning, we took him to the vet. I held him and said my final good bye. It was quick. And, suddenly, my best friend was gone.
What struck me when we returned home was how incredibly empty the house felt. You see, we have two other dogs and a cat. Yet, the house felt so wrong. Sid was never a dominant dog. He loved his little sisters and brother. They could eat out of his plate, step on top of him, and even steal his treats. He never snapped at them, never snarled. Still, despite his complete lack of dominance, he was their leader. He was like the glue that held us all together. And we were all a little lost without him.
My other dogs and my cat are finally starting to come out of their funk. They’re finding their way in this new world without their big brother. We’re reconnecting in a different way.
I miss Sid every moment of every day. But I remind myself that he had an infectious joy. He loved his life, and he loved me. He wouldn’t want me to spend my days crying over his loss. He’d want me to remember that sparkle in his eyes and smile.
Enough of my melancholy mood. Now on to the giveaway! One lucky winner will win the following prizes:
Secrets by Darcia Helle (Print)
Haunted by Maria (Print)
Harmony’s Passing by Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick (Print)
Belkin Mod Standing Cover for Kindle Fire
Sink or Swim by Stacy Juba (ebook)
Alaskan Healing by Lana Voynich (ebook)
Nexus Point by Jaleta Clegg (ebook)
This is a tour-wide giveaway, so you can enter from any one of the blogs. Use the Rafflecopter form and follow the instructions for multiple entries. Each author has included a simple question as a way for you to earn bonus entries. The answers can be found within that author’s friendship blog post. You can answer all the questions on one form, or answer from the form on each author’s blog.
This giveaway is open to everyone 16 and older, everywhere in the world. Enter between Monday, November 12 and midnight, EST on Monday, November 26.
Visit the following blogs, for some great stories about friendship!
BestsellerBound Blog: BestsellerBound Recommends
Jaleta Clegg’s The Far Edge of Normal
Maria Savva’s Goodreads Blog
Stacy Juba’s One Stop Reading
Lana Voynich: Scribblings From My Mind
Joel Blaine Kirkpatrick: The Tale’s The Thing
Thanks for reading.
Tags: Best Friends, BestsellerBound, Blog Giveaways, Blog Hop, book giveaways, Chihuahua, Chipin, ebook giveaways, free books, free ebooks, Friendship, Friendship Blog Hop, Hepatocutaneous Syndrome, Jaleta Clegg, Lana Voynich, Maria Savva, Miniature Pinschers, Rafflecopter Giveaways, Stacy Juba, Stories about Best Friends, Stories About Dogs, Terminal Illness in Dogs