Thursday, April 5, 2012

Lessons I learned from Payton and Christy

Southern Fried Pug mom here.

It's taken me a long time to write this. Partly because I really wanted to get all of my thoughts in order, partly because my tears blurred my vision too much.

Losing Payton has been so much harder on me than I even thought possible. And I bet many of you feel the same way. I only met her in person once, in December and just for a few hours. I know some of you were lucky enough to spend more time with her and got to know Payton and her family so much more than I did.

I went back to the beginning of her blog and realized it had been just less than a year that Christy and Payton started blogging. One year, and this little spunky pug and her amazing mom has made an enormous impact on the pug community.

Christy said in one post that Payton's spirit in battling her disease had made them more loving and faithful people. You can read her post here. She and her family spent more time together and loved one another more. Life is fragile, you never know how long you have with the ones you love so spend that time wisely.
Seeing the potential for positive in a horrible disease is incredible, and it takes incredible people like Christy and Tim to practice that positive instead of dwelling on the bad.

She wrote of how caring for Payton could be isolating and lonely sometimes. I am so glad she started blogging, not only to share Payton's story with others, but her decision to share Payton with us allowed all of us to reach out to her, too. Although we don't have pugs with PDE, we have pugs with cancer, with arthritis, with seizure disorders, with breathing problems. We all have experienced the terror of a pug in distress. That middle of the night run to the ER vet. The medicine cabinet full of drugs. The pain of watching our seniors decline. And we did reach out to her. Miles might separate us but not in our hearts.

Many of us have lost our pugs, too. Some of us suddenly, some of us have had to make that heart breaking decision to set them free of their suffering. The ultimate expression of love. We all know the agony of loss.

So many of us have posted in memory of Payton. So many beautiful posts from so many heartbroken friends. If it were me, I'm not sure I could read all of the posts yet, but I'm sure if she hasn't, Christy will. She must know that she isn't alone, that we all share a small part of her pain. I'm positive that she has felt all of our love surrounding her, Tim, Gampy and Gammy these past days.

Two lessons I have learned from Payton and Christy.

1. Life isn't fair, and sometimes it really sucks. But how you react to the suckiness is up to you. You can meet the suck head on with a smile and an appetite for life and fight with everything you've got. It sure beats being angry and depressed.

2. Life is fragile. Spend the time you have with the ones you love. Chores can wait when the sun is shining or a squeaky toy needs to be destroyed. Do we really focus on the ones we love, the furry and the non? Do we sincerely tell and show them that we love them?

There is incredible power in community. Pug people, especially in the blog world, have created a strong network that stretches across the country and the world. I know that wherever I am, there's a pug person close who I can count on if I needed them. Meeting all the pug people I did over Christmas held no fear for me. I had no qualms in going to complete strangers' homes (except that my pugs would poop on their floors!) because they were pug people. And I hope that they all felt that way, too. We may never meet in person, but I count you all as friends. And if you are ever in southeastern Virginia, I fully expect a visit.

Dr. Kim Greer is the leading researcher on PDE. She has a fund set up specifically for PDE research in hopes of better understanding this terrible disease. If you are able to, please consider donating in Payton's memory. You can send your contributions to the following address. Make sure to include PDE research in the subject line.

Dr. K. A. Greer
100 Dyess Corner
Cibolo, TX 78108

Thank you to Suki's mom and Christy for sharing this information.


  1. What an amazing and wonderful post and a great reminder to all of us that life is special and something to treasure because you never know what can happen.

  2. I have never cried so much over the death of a pet that wasn't my own ... especially one that I have never even met! Even now, almost a week later ...

    I have also started reading Payton's blog from the beginning. I'm only up to August and the tears keep flowing until I just can't read any more. She was definitely blessed with a wonderful family that gave her the best life possible. I really admire Christy & Tim for everything they did and the sacrifies they made they for Payton.

    Allyzabethe ... your pugs can poop on my floor anytime! My house isn't fancy but we call it home! And you are welcome to stop by every time you come out this way! Maybe we will make it to the East Coast some day ...

    Pug Hugs ~ Ellen, Zoe, Peyton, Webster & Liberty

  3. Beautiful. You were able to say what I couldn't find the words to say about Payton, Christy, Tim, Grampy and Grammy.

    We are also tearful when ever we think, or read about Payton and her family.

    Sometimes God calls those very special ones back to be with him sooner. Payton was so very special. Thank you for your words.

    Minnie, Mack and hu-mom, Kathy

  4. Oh, so beautifully written. really lovely. And Lola Pug and I sure will stop by for a visit if we're ever in your neck of the woods.
    Thank you.

  5. What a lovely post, I cant believe that Payton was blogging less then a year. I thought it was much longer then that. I never met her in the flesh, or fur, but Payton will be in my heart always

    urban hounds

  6. This is such a great post, and I can see why it would have taken a while to compile. I never met Payton and only started reading her blog a few months ago, yet, since her passing my thoughts often drift to Payton and what her dedicated family must be going through. And, I really miss reading her blogs.

    I lost four beloved pets last year (one horse, two pugs, one cat), and when saying "good-bye" there was always the wish for more time and the "I should haves." It is so easy to get wrapped up in other, non-important things instead of playing tug of war or going for a walk. Thank you for reminding me of this very important lesson.


  7. We keep reading all the posts honoring Payton not wanting to let her go. A truly remarkable little pug loved by a truly remarkable family.
    Bailey, Hazel and Mom Linda

  8. Beautiful and said wonderfully.

    We all should have bought stock in a tissue company. There has definitely been a rush on tissues this last week.

    I miss my sweet friend.


  9. What a beautiful post. I, too, feel that this pug community is a special one. It's wonderful to share the good about having a puggie and it's strengthening to share the bad.

    Pug love from,
    Sue (Pearl & Daisy)

  10. such a sweet post for payton. i too have been surprised how much the death of someone else's pet affected me! pug people are special, just like our pugs. i love that whenever i meet someone with a pug, even if i just pass them on the street with my girls and they stop to tell me they have a pug, there is an instant connection.

  11. A beautifully written post.

    We miss her so much.