Our Guardian ANGEL

Once Upon A Time...

...there was a beautiful bully mix named ANGEL. And she rocked my world furever!

Had it not been for the devastating circumstances surrounding the passing of my beautiful girl Angel, this venture would most likely not have existed. But her memory and spirit has inspired me to elevate others and embrace the journey.

She crossed the Rainbow Bridge with the help of In-Home Euthanasia in the comfort of our own safe haven. Her loss was the must painful experience I have ever had, including human crossovers. Both of my parents have passed and after leaving my home country Sweden at an early age, I have never really had a place to truly call home.

After her passing, I was confronted with ignorance, callousness and plain derogatory remarks from some friends and co-workers. It sent me into a downward spiral of deep depression and isolation. I never asked anyone to understand the incredible bond we had, simply respect it and my grief process.

When I emerged, I was stronger than ever and determined to never let another pet owner suffer like I did. Angel was my family, my rock, my reason for being. Below are excerpts from her online memorial. May she touch your heart, like she touched mine.

A match made in heaven.

To Baby Smurf-I love You!

It was February 22, 2004, my birthday. I woke up and said to myself; what better way to celebrate than to rescue a little friend in need?! So I headed down to Lied Shelter, now known as Animal Foundation, and walked around the kennels with all those cute little faces saying: "Pick Me, Pick Me, Pick Me"!

There she was, "SUNNY", that was her given shelter name. A Pitbull mix with high energy and a fawn body. Her eyes had beautiful black markings, which almost looked like she had applied an eye liner a la Cleopatra style. And boy was she a handful! After a very energetic encounter in the "meet and greet" room, we strolled out together. Or shall I rather say, I got pulled out through the doors trying to keep up. ANGEL was ready for her new home and was wasting no time letting me know.

The welcome committee stood ready with wagging tails at the gates by our house, excited to see the new member of our pack. There was MASTER 7, the German Boxer from a breeder in upstate NY, that was before I knew better to rescue only. And PRINCESS, the Shepard mix, who was also rescued from Lied Shelter the year before. And last but not least, MAUSER, the black cat rescued on a New Year's Eve from North Shore Animal League on Long Island, NY.

Angel and her "smize".
Angel "smized" a lot the first few weeks.

It was a party from the start! They all became so close and despite the fact that Angel chewed up ALL the baseboard in the kitchen, she was a snuggle bug and loved to hang out in the pool. Her naughty side slowly subsided and I rebuilt the structure of the house again, hahaha.

As time went by, we tragically lost the leader of the pack, MASTER 7. He was 9 years old when he got abducted and shot in connection with a house burglary. Shortly thereafter, we said good bye to MAUSER. He reached the ripe age of 15 after being killed in a dog attack while we were living in Los Angeles. Our darling PRINCESS and "sister" stayed with us until 2013, when she passed from failing internal organs at the age of 11. And then there was me and ANGEL. We became inseparable, leaning on each other for strength and support, not to mention unconditional love.

Angel loved her carrots, cucumbers and bananas. And when you opened the refrigerator door, Angel would awake from the deepest sleep and park her cute little butt, side saddle of course, waiting for something to "accidentally" fall on the floor. I would call her my permanent vacuum cleaner, no crumbs left unattended! And for the record, let's say she was VERY food driven and could INHALE a full burger with a bun in about 4-5 seconds and still look like she was starving. Angel was quite the funny character.

Winter hike with my pink snow bunny,
Winter hike with my pink snow bunny,

She absolutely LOVED to go for rides in the truck, the wind in her face with lips and ears flopping. Whether it was a day of hiking, dog park, swimming in the lake, dining out, you name it-she was ALL smiles!

I called her the gentle giant. Angel was a solid 90 lbs of muscle and in her mind, the size of a Chihuahua. She was a great role model for the bully breed. Angel converted people that were scared of Pitbulls and turned them into slobber kissing fans. It was impossible not to smile when you saw her silly grin and wagging tail. I often chuckled under my breath when people crossed the road, not knowing they could be licked to death.

Angel also was the ambassador for a donation program I created for NSPCA and the Animal Foundation. Las Vegas hotels like Wynn and Encore donated their unwanted linen and towels in truckloads. She came on ALL the drop-offs to make sure the furry friends got fresh supplies. It was like Christmas all year around.

But most of all, Angel was the MOST AMAZING best friend and trained supporter to her mommy, me! First she became an Emotional Support Animal, and then she graduated as a Service Dog for PTSD. She was very intuitive and observant. I felt so safe and secure with her by my side. Life would NOT have been possible without Angel.

Angel hard "at work".
Angel hard "at work".

We stayed in the best of places together; Delano Hotel in Las Vegas, Green Valley Resort and Spa in St George, UT, Casablanca in Mesquite, NV and at the SLS Hotel Las Vegas. For her 12th birthday celebration, we got a suite at SLS and threw a fabulous party! And boy what a birthday party that was! My friends came and showered her with gifts. Angel loved her SOFT stuffed animals, she never ripped them apart. Some of her more memorable favorites were: the Puppy, Mr Piggy and the pink Barbie bone. And they all traveled with her on her last journey.

Angel, Miss Beauty Queen, competed in "The Real House-Pets of Las Vegas 2014, organized by the radio station 95.5 The Bull. And she placed THIRD! Angel proudly stomped into the radio station's office and collected a Diamond necklace in the shape of a bone as her price. I was so proud of her!

And her "wardrobe" deserves a mention! Yes, she had her own closet filled with cute outfits and funny props. Angel loved the attention and I gave it to her ALL the time. NOTHING was ever too good for my baby.

And for me personally, I loved to kiss her right in that soft spot between her eyes, behind her ears and her soft belly. I would hold her paw and bow down to her, as I kissed her paw and said: Queen Angel, Your Royal Highness, I am your humble servant! And I would crack up laughing as she kissed me. We had such an amazing bond and love for each other.

Collecting her prize in the 95.5 The Bull contest.
Collecting her prize in the 95.5 The Bull contest.

And to wake up and see her laying next to me on the pillow, her one paw around my neck, peacefully snoozing, was a beautiful way of starting each day. And if Angel was not close enough to me during the night, she would inch closer until we touched, lay down and sleep with a comforting breath.

And let's not forget her "nuzzle" sessions. She would pick one of her favorite toys, let's say "Mr Piggy", and nuzzle on his muzzle for long periods of time. All while giving off the cutest little cries and whining, like she was a nursing puppy. Angel did that until her very last day.

Anyone who ever encountered us together and witnessed the bond we had, the care I gave her, the love we shared, would certainly say we were made for each other. And we were! Angel, my best friend, my everything. There are not enough trees on the planet to print the papers that would be needed to hold all our wonderful stories together. I know you are watching over me, I love you my little snuggle bunny, always.

Angel nuzzling her pink Barbie bone.
Angel nuzzling her pink Barbie bone.