Paz Hsieh

Crying Induced Headaches

My first photo with Paz and my last photo with Paz

I don’t even know how to write this. Paz was my best friend. She was my everything. After 13+ years together, she is now surrounded by tennis balls, swimming pools, dog treats, butt scratches and all of her friends/siblings…Willy, Genius, Tre, Elvis, Fritz, Maxie, Bree and Biggie. The last few days without her have left me empty.

I had no idea that I could get a headache from crying. I love you Pazy Wazy.

You Had Me at Woof

I adopted/rescued Paz in January of 2006. After compulsively searching through craigslist for months, I saw an ad for rescued puppies about an hour away. On an uncharacteristically warm day, my sister Jen and her husband Jacob drove me out to the Virginia/West Virginia border to check out the puppies.

When we arrived, I immediately fell in love. The rescuers had named her “Blue” because she had a bluish tint to her coat. She was the runt of her litter and was only one of two puppies left. Since high school, I had two dog names picked out for my future dog, Buddy and Paz (meaning “peace” in Spanish). Blue was the perfect Paz. I was already completely enamored with her. Jen and Jacob actually paid the $100 adoption fee for Paz and I have no idea if I ever paid them back.

Paz curled up in my lap the entire time on the drive. When we arrived back at Jen and Jacob’s home, Paz met her best friend, Genius. Genius taught Paz how to play fetch, how to protectively bark and how to frolic in the snow.

A few photos from the week I brought Paz home!

Living Her Best Life

Paz was born in West Virginia. She lived in Falls Church, VA then Manhattan, KS then Brooklyn, NY then Houston, TX then Marana, AZ then Arlington, TX and back to Marana, AZ. One of Paz’s best characteristics was her adaptability. From going on walks 5 times a day in the city to having wide open spaces to run around, Paz took every environment in stride. She’s flown in an airplane once (VA to KS) and she’s handled 1000s of miles in car rides across the country. And she loved every single mile because she would stick her head out and her ears would flop around all over the place.

The only things Paz loved more than car rides were food and playing fetch in the water. She loved to eat. She was the definition of food-motivated. Whether she was in the Potomac River at Great Falls or in Lake Livingston, TX or in a our pool in AZ, Paz absolutely loved fetching in the water. We often had to force her to stop playing so that she could still walk the next day.

Paz throughout the years!

Paz & Brisa

Paz “rescuing” Brisa at the lake!

One of Paz’s most annoying yet endearing qualities was her incessant barking at noises/people/trucks/buses and everything else. She possessed this snarling guttural bark that sounded as if she would rip open your throat just for fun (she never bit anyone or anything). With all of my travels over the last 13 years, I felt so much better about leaving Brisa knowing that Paz was home to protect her. Paz literally scared everyone away from our door. She was the best security system ever.

Thanks to Brisa, Paz lived her best life. Paz had 4 knee surgeries and countless other medical procedures done thanks to Brisa. If Brisa wasn’t in our lives, I definitely would have lost Paz a long time ago. Brisa extended Paz’s happy life many times over. I’m incredibly indebted to her for taking such amazing care of my Princess.

Paz & Figgins

First family photo with Figgins | Playing at the beach | Last walk together

Figgins and Paz were inseparable. They fought and played like sisters. They hated being away from each other. They taught each other the best of their bad habits. Their favorite activity was napping with us. Whenever we’d say “bed”, they run and jump on our bed (in their youth) or lay down on their dog beds and nap for as long as we would. About once a year, they’d get into a serious fight (typically over food) and Paz would always win. The most difficult thing about losing Paz is seeing how sad Figgins has been without her.

Paz and Figgins throughout the 12 years they spend together!

Paz & Paxton

First photo of Paz and Paxton | Last photo of Paz and Paxton

From Paxton and Paz’s first photo together to their last photo together, they had a special relationship. Initially, Pazy wasn’t quite so sure about Paxton, but when Paxton started dropping his food for Paz, then they became best friends. Paxton loved feeding Pazy. She would follow him around the house waiting for P to give her whatever he was eating. It was adorable.

One of the reasons we ultimately named our son Paxton is because of Paz. Paxton means peaceful town. Paz means peace in Spanish. My Taiwanese name roughly translated means “Doctor Peace”. Brisa loved the connection between Paz and my names and so we decided to name our son Paxton!

Paz and Paxton over the 2 years of Paxton’s life

I Can’t Believe She’s Gone…

From our first family photo to our last…

Over the last 6 months, she lost about 15 pounds due to an aggressively growing cancer on her liver. She always loved to eat and it broke my heart to see her total disinterest in food. Yet, til the very end, she still played fetch in the backyard, wagged her tail to go for walks and tilted her head/perked her ears when I asked her if she wanted a treat.

On Paz’s last day, I took her to the dog park, Dairy Queen, a car ride and three walks with Paxton and Figgins. I just so badly wanted her to remember what she loved about life and to forget about being miserable. Though she didn’t eat much, I think she enjoyed herself!

Paz’s last day…

Admittedly, I spent far too much time putting this post together. I kept writing and re-writing and revising my words. Then I did the same thing to all of the photos and their placement. Honestly, I don’t think I wanted to finish this tribute because it would mean I’d truly have to say goodbye. Give your four legged children an extra hug for me.

Adios Pazy Wazy.

Goodbye Big Kid aka Princess aka Big Girl aka Butt aka Wazy aka Pazy aka Pazy Wazy aka Paz. I miss your aggressively sloppy kisses and your violent tail wags. I love you so much.

~ Chris

Check out my latest TOP TEN! post…TOP TEN Reasons Why I am Thankful for Photography!
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