It is with great sadness that we said goodbye to Pippa Smith, my baby and our office dog. Her title at Marketing Eye was Chief Barking Officer.

I cannot express how sad I am that she has gone to heaven earlier than any of us would have expected.

For a few months now she has been having some breathing issues and has been on medication. She was diagnosed with heart and lung disease. On Wednesday morning, her breathing was harboured and we went to Village Vet in Toorak only to find that our vet was on holidays.

We then went to a Emergency Vet Clinic in Dandenong Road. They put her on oxygen.

What I didn't know is that she has not taken her medication the night before or that morning. She simply maneovered it out of her mouth and onto my bed. So if she had had that, and the vet realised immediately that the fluid in her lungs needed to be the first priority, I believe she would still be alive today.

On top of that, she was put in an oxygen chamber and was drinking water. Her belly filled up fast. I asked if I could take her outside quickly to go to toilet. They said no. They said that me being there was stimulating her and she shouldn't be stimulated. They asked me to go away for a few hours.

Less than an hour later the vet rang to say that they wanted to put her down. He said that it was inhumane to keep her alive. I said that I was 10 minutes away. He said that it was inhumane and he needed to put her down there and then. He then put me onto another lady as they have to have two people hear you agree. I was by this stage 2 minutes away. I said no. I said I wanted them to wait and hung up.

I raced in only to find that they had put her down. She lay lifeless without me holding her while they put her down.

As a mother I think that sometimes you have to trust your gut instinct. She is 13 years old and not a piece of cattle. Every time they asked for her to have an operation I thought long and hard and denied it. On all occasions the issues they said were wrong, didn't evenuate. I call it a mother's gut instinct or intuition.

My gut instinct on the day she died was to take her home and hold her in my arms, give her medication and keep her in the surrounds that she is most comfortable with. The vet said no I couldn't do that.

I have since learned that yes you can do that but in this circumstance I was too distraught to fight them, to stand up other than to say that that was what I wanted to do.

As she lay in a rug, they suggested cremation. I decided to take her with me and decide later. For the privilege of leaving with her, they added another $200 to the bill. How strange. The bill for the few hours that she was there was already $1200. It clicked that this is just a money making exercise, with no concern for the animal or the person who loves their pet. I am fortunate that I can afford to pay large vet bills, but there are millions who can't. I feel disgusted in this service and when I get past this initial grieving stage will do my darnest to create change. 

Pipp is not like any other dog. I am sure everyone says the same about their pet. I love her like I gave birth to her. She embodies everything I would have ever wanted in a child: loving, kind, smart, adventurous, friendly, intuitive, respectful, hesitant and she always knew what she wanted, when she wanted it.

She was the top dog in our house. I know many would say that this is not ideal, but in our house it worked well. I loved how selfless it made me. As a single woman, everything could very well be about me. Instead, everything was always about Pipp. From the restaurants we chose, to our travels and the people we spent time with. We truly lived our lives to give each other the best possible 'jetsetting lifestyle' as my friends would say.

She even earned her way from time to time with the odd modelling job. 

What I love about Pippa is that she made me love her more than anything in the world. Every single thing about her was perfect. From the way she looked, to how she would try and have a conversation or be playful when she knew that I was a little stressed. A breakup with a boyfriend would mean that she would snuggle me and make sure I knew that to her I was the most important person in the world.

I will never replace Pippa. I could never get another dog and I don't think right now that children could ever be in my future. My love for her and my inability to stop a decision made by a vet who was overworked and had too many surgeries in one day to put the care needed into Pippa, made me think twice about everything.

Everyone will remember her. I find it hard to wake up knowing she isn't there or to look around the office and not see her under my desk. I can't imagine sleeping in a hotel room without her asleep on the pillow next to me. 

I look forward to the day that we join each other, no matter where that may be. I know that we were meant to spend our lives together and were chosen to navigate the past 13 years hand in hand.

She is without a doubt my biggest achievement and nothing in the world means more to me than Pippa. I now will put that same love and compassion into my family, work colleagues (family), and friends. I now know how to love in a way that is so unconditional and beautiful and it is all thanks to Pippa Smith.

RIP Pippa Smith. 9.1.19 - 2.30pm You will be missed and I will never stop loving you.

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comments ( 3 )
  • yuri
    14 Jan 2019

    I am greatly sorry to hear pip has passed. RIP Pippa.

  • Alicia Pearce
    Alicia Pearce
    14 Jan 2019

    So sorry to read that your beloved Pippa has passed and i feel so saddened that you were not granted the opportunity to say goodbye to your dear friend. RIP Pippa and sending love to you during this time of grief x

  • Nicole
    11 Jan 2019

    That is so beautiful Mel. I really love you and am so sad you are hurting. The fact you didnt get to say good bye is so sad. It's not about humans or animals it's about connecting to another soul. Pippa and you were a family. You lent on each other and loved each other. I'd do anything to make you feel better Mel xxxx