My Nugget

I’m writing this in advance. I know Hazel is dying and I know that I will just be really sad when it happens. I want to write this early so that she will get the tribute she deserves.

I can assure you now that if you actually read this you’ll be shocked by how much this dog has survived and been through. Most dogs are just dogs, they don’t have a story. Hazel has a story and I’m going to tell it.

In my Freshman year of high school my dog Lucky passed away of old age. It was one of the saddest moments of my life. About two weeks had passed when I woke up hearing my parents talking about getting a new dog to bring me out of my depression.

I don’t say that in a lose term I was honestly so depressed about Lucky dying. Those of you who’ve had dogs can attest it’s horribly sad!

So I rushed out to confirm that against my moms wishes we were getting a new dog. I’m not quite sure what is emotionally wrong with me that I need dogs to mask the hurt, but that’s for a therapist to figure out.

There was one rule about dogs that come to live in our room. They have to some how be a German Shepard. I have no problem with this because they’re wonderfully loyal dogs. My dad had seen in the paper that this family was giving out Mix German Shepard puppies and so we went and got one.

Mind you this was the sketchiest house ever. Like if the inside of my home looked like that I would have not let people inside. The lady got her son out of bed for one of those awkward oh you both go to the high school you must know my child situations. I didn’t know him, pretty sure he was in the shop hallway for his classes.

Anyway looking at the dogs you could tell that there was something off. They had said shepard mix…but clearly should have mentioned that they were mixed with a Beagle! I couldn’t help but fall in love with the runt. She was just so tiny! We got in the car and I bundled her up in a small blanket and she just kept shaking the entire ride home. How could you not be obsessed?

When it came to naming her I was immediately vetoed when I tried to name her Buffy…Rude! I convinced everyone Hazel was a cute name and that was that! Foreshadowing of course that with an old bitch name she would of course become an old bitch.

The first couple nights were a struggle. Hazel never liked being in the kennel, she would howl and howl all night. We tried ignoring her, but I couldn’t handle it. So I brought the kennel into my room and set it on my bed. Hazel still didn’t like this. So I let her out knowing the chance of her peeing in my bed was a good one. Turns out she was a cuddler and just needed to be close to someone while she slept.

Believe it or not Hazel started the few years of her life as a skinny dog. That is until two things happened.

The first being that she went missing for a day once. I was of course worried but I had had dogs go missing before that would turn up or the opposite. My grandma brought my cousins over to swim, fyi it was summer, while we were swimming this girl from down the street came running up to my house screaming. She had stayed the night at one of our neighbors houses with their daughter and kept hearing whimpering all night. She knew it had to be Hazel! So me and my cousins when charging down the street like a bunch of bad ass kids to save my dog. It turns out Hazel had been caught in a rabbit cage in this ladies back yard.

**Important Backstory Information** This bitch named Terri was fucking nuts! She on multiple occasions threatened physical harm on children in the neighborhood for not hanging out with her equally crazy daughter.

So I knew then like I know now that Terri was trying to kill my dog. Fact 1: Jackie, the girl from down the street, said she heard the whimpering and was told to ignore it. Fact 2: The rabbit cage was in their backyard, which was always ALWAYS closed. Hazel was skinny but she wasn’t a contortionist! Fact 3 If you trap someones pet in a cage there is a certain amount of apologizing for the mistake. But she showed no remorse for her actions, I’m sure it wasn’t even legal to have the rabbit cage… After that incident and basically being starved for a day she made sure to eat and eat she did!

The second reasoning for Hazels weight gain was Chance moving inside the house. She was not about to lose food to that giant dog. Bitch was hungry!

Speaking of Hazels hunger, once upon a time whenever we would have BBQs at the house people would feed scraps to the dogs. That is until Hazel had to be rushed into emergency surgery!!! That dog had probably had at least 8 whole bratwursts when all was said and done and it nearly killed her! They had to do all kinds of shit in her body to keep her from dying. Basically an emergency appendectomy. It was so crazy, fast and stressful…and costly!

When I was living in the dorms I got a call saying Hazel had been attacked by another dog. Apparently a neighbor had let their not so sweet outside dog out of the yard. Looking at Hazel the dog decided she was a huge threat. Somehow she managed to walk back to the house and collapse. My parents rushed her to the vet to see what they could do. The vet patched her up and sent her home half shaved and full of stitches.

This poor dog had to wear a diaper on her back for months so she wouldn’t bleed on anything or remove her stitches! Can you even imagine?

I swear to you she was dying the other day like was so close Tangina was telling her to go into the light. I was balling my eyes out, of course. Then at some point in the night she decided she didn’t want to die. So she somehow, even though she literally couldn’t move earlier, climbed out of the basket she was lying in and ate all the dog food. It was flabbergasting!

A lot of people have criticized Hazel over the years and called her a cunt or a bitch because she wasn’t the warmest dog. You couldn’t approach her, she would approach you. I call her those things all the time but in a loving way because that’s who she was.

Whenever I was sick Hazel would lay by my bed and growl at anyone who came near me. Michael and I would often pretend to hit each other. Hazel was NOT a fan of this. She would bare her teeth and lunge, which was always hilarious to us. But she would do the same if a person she didn’t recognize got to close to us.

I will miss her shit attitude, because she didn’t give a fuck about anything but eating. I will miss her guarding the house. I will miss her loud wheezes of obesity. I will miss when she would get really excited and run. Trust me it was the funniest thing!

One last thing, Hazel was terrified of storms. She wasn’t feeling them at all! I will miss her every time it storms. I will miss how she would stand at my door and scratch to let her in, even if the said door was the bathroom. Then she would come stand by the bed where my head was and just pant as loudly as she could.

She passed away yesterday while I was at my speech tournament. I have this lingering guilt because I was out having fun and doing what I love while she passed away. You always think there was something you could have done. Even holding her while she went. I will forever feel guilty for that.

Good bye sweet girl, be good!




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