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The Greatest Dog Ever, Pica

Our little Pica puppy would have been 14 on October 19th, 2019.

She seemed fine. I still can't believe it.

She was a sickly puppy when she came to us, full of worms and ear mites. The veterinarian placed drops in Pica's ears, covered both sides, and shook her little head back and forth.

When we got her, I was 21 and SN was 23. We were just kids back then.

We were living in a rental house. Pica was there for all our biggest milestones, like graduating college, buying our first home, and getting married.

We even built our new house with her in mind. She was having trouble navigating the stairs, so it's a single story. Pica and Biscuit have their own bedroom.

Everything in our life is Pica. Even on our recent 3-week vacation, a day didn't go by that we didn't talk about her.

Her little paws and her stubby tail and her spots. Her rolls of flab and her hairy mole and her floppy ears.

Guess what? Pica butt.

Pica has been the center of our universe. Out of the 15.5 years SN and I have known each other, she has been there for 13.5.

She's my Amerisleep mattress spokesdog.

And SN's shop dog.

She was the weirdest little dog with the biggest personality, always making us laugh. Be sure to check out the video of her barking at SN's toy train and the gross one where she frantically eats her nail clippings. Back in her puppy days, SN was surprised one day to look down and discover Pica had walked into the shower with him. She was just sitting there, getting splashed in the face.

And she got into mischief! She was so stubborn.

"Woo, woo, woo!"

But she had a face you couldn't stay mad at.

Biscuit has been wandering the house, searching everywhere for her sister. She just doesn't understand. She seems so sad and mopey.

It has been almost a week and I can't walk past our cowhide rug without crying.

In all the years I've known him, I'd never seen SN cry, except when we buried our little Pica last night.


We found a spot for her right off the back patio, near her dog run, so she can still be with the three of us. We're weatherproofing a bench to put there.

She was old and gray and had cataracts and could no longer hear very well. I should take comfort in the fact that she lived so comfortably for so long, but other Jack Russells live to be 14, 15, and even 16. It's not fair. She was still having fun and enjoying life. She needed more time.

She wasn't our dog. Biscuit is our dog. Pica is our baby.

Toward the end, she was sleeping most of the time. We just thought it was because she was old. She was never short of energy when we offered to take her for a walk to the mailbox. Even after a 2-mile round trip, she always wanted to keep going! She was still eating, but without the frantic gluttony she'd always had. If she became confused, we attributed it to a "senior moment," which I'm fairly certain now was actually a brain tumor.

Still, she never seemed to be in any pain. She was a happy dog. I don't think the vet could have done anything for her and I'm glad we didn't put her through a bunch of invasive tests and procedures.

How could such a sweet, perfect dog get a brain tumor? It's just not fair.


SN wasn't home. He was in California the entire week for work. I wish he could have spent more time with Pica.

It was so sudden. Last Tuesday was just an ordinary day. If you could have told me that 30 seconds from now, Pica would be dead, I'd have said you were crazy. She had just had her breakfast. We were sitting on the couch together. I was reading a magazine and Pica got up. She meandered around outside the room for a little while, first down the hallway and then to the living room. It's what she always did.

Then she made a weird noise I'd never heard before. It wasn't a sound like she was in pain, but more like a loud yawn. I called her and she didn't respond, so I got up. She was right outside the room, on her side, not breathing. I ran to her, screaming, and she took an enormous gasp of air. Then she stopped breathing again.

One more enormous gasp a few moments later. Then she was gone.

I just can't believe it. 


  We love you, Pica. Always.