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  • Writer's pictureDrew Dotson

At therapy this morning...

"At therapy this morning" seems like a quick, somewhat cheap way to capture someone's attention. But it just so happens to be an accurate line to start the post I’ve come here to write.

At therapy this morning, I said today's date, April 3rd, out loud. I can't recall the reason, but as the words left my mouth, I felt a surge of energy throughout my body. My therapist noticed the shift, and I announced, "Ramón was admitted to the hospital for his transplant on April 3rd."

Tears welled in my eyes. "It was the last day he saw Noodle and …" I tried to compose myself. "And Magpie,” I squeaked.

I sometimes wonder what the dogs would do if Ramón walked into the room. But the mere thought of it causes my chest to tighten. I hope the dogs know he didn't choose to leave them behind. They’d all been abandoned before, but Ramón committed to them for a lifetime.

We decided to adopt Noodle in 2012—and we hadn’t even met her. Days before the adoption, we learned she was heartworm positive. I called Ramón to break the news.

"She has heartworms," I told him hesitantly. "She'll need to go through treatment, and it can be expensive."

"Okay. We pick her up on Saturday?" he asked, completely unfazed by the update—ready to take on the challenge.

And a few days later, we brought our little girl home.

Yesterday Noodle got an echocardiogram and started on two heart medications. She’s had a heart murmur since we adopted her, and the vet decided it’s time for treatment to prolong her quality of life.


I wish Ramón could cuddle these pups one more time. But four years ago today, he assured them he loved them. Sometimes, when the dogs are dreaming, they make happy sounds and their tails wag ever so slightly. Maybe Ramón’s walking into the room after all.


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