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Celebrating our life together: Diva and me, by Anthony Villalobos

My princess Diva came into my life in 2009 unexpectedly. I arrived home from a long international trip and my partner at the time surprised me in the car with my little girl. It was love at first sight.

My little Diva could fit in the palm of my hand. She never weighed more than four pounds, but she had the personality of a Great Dane. She gave me the love and affection that no one else could.

As little as my girl was, she had the loudest bark ever and was always heard on the road trips we took together. Diva loved to travel, and she hated being home. She loved driving through the fast-food drive thru, barking at the staff at the window and smelling whatever treat was up for grabs next.

As sick as Diva was (she passed from a collapsed trachea aged 14) she remained a sweetheart until her final days. I will never forget how she would struggle out of her bed and make it to me on the sofa. I would grab her and hold her so tight knowing her days were slowly coming to an end – an end I wish never came.

During her final days I spent two days with her in our bed just cuddling and holding her. The next day she passed in her bed on her own terms and in peace.

I choose to celebrate Diva’s life any way that I can. I will always remember the love and little kisses she gave me – I will always miss her and cherish our time together.

It has been hard dealing with her loss. I celebrate her life every day, and still give her little kisses on the pictures I have hanging up. I look for signs of her trying to communicate to me – and I sleep with her little blanket where she passed with me every night.

My advice to those grieving a loss of a beloved pet is to remember the happy times, look back at pictures and videos, talk to them (they can hear you), hang up pictures of them – and as hard as it is, accept they are now at peace, wagging their precious little tail and thanking us for being the best mommy/daddy ever.

I love you my little princess Diva. As hard as life is without you, I know you would want nothing but the best for me and I hope I get to hold you again.

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We understand that the holidays can be a difficult time for pet parents missing their fur babies. APLB will be extending our hours this year to help you – we’ll get through this together.

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