She was only ten and shouldn't have died so young. If we had recognized the symptoms a day or two earlier, we probably could have saved her, but it just happened so fast. We weren't prepared to lose her.
She was my full time lap dog, giving me a place to rest my elbow while I worked at my laptop. She burned out the cooling fan on my old computer because she liked to cuddle up to it.
She was my pillow dog. She went to sleep every night with her head on my pillow, or cuddled to my chest like a teddy-bear with her head on my arm, and I would wake up with my cheek pillowed on her. She was always last out of bed in the morning and wouldn't get up until she was absolutely sure that everybody else was out of bed for the day.
She was sober and solemn which made it all the funnier when she had a silly mood and rolled around waving her feet and biting at blankets and pillows. She had the best head for kissing right on the top where it was warm and the hair was silky. She was very patient, letting me hold her and kiss her as long as I wanted.
Some people said she was an ugly dog. I never understood that. She was dainty and had a sweet face and was very sleek and beautiful.
Every once in a while, I think I hear her trotting through the house or glimpse her out of the corner of my eye, and I turn around to give her a cuddle and realize it is one of her puppies. Mugsy walks like her with the same gait. Tallybear sometimes cocks her head the same way and has the same solid build that is perfect for cuddling. Foofy plays like her mother and has some of the same daintiness, and Lola bosses and mothers the other dogs in the same officious way. You'd think it would be a comfort, but mostly, it reminds me that she is gone. None of the others can bring her back to me.
There's a part of my brain--one little part for each of our dogs--that was reserved for knowing where Elvira was at all times, and it feels so strange to have that part of my brain searching for her and not finding her anywhere. I can't bear to go near her grave because I can't stand to be so close to her and not be able to pick her up and hold her.