Saturday, January 22, 2011
Goodbye and Goodluck
I had a lot of fun doing the dinner party up and I looked forward to seeing everyone. I spent the morning cleaning and the afternoon cooking. The beef wellington came out perfect, which was great cause the slab of meat cost about 36$. Very nice and tasty cut though. Made some chicken soup to start, where the carrot was a no go, too ... yucky (tried it the week before). Then had a salad and then the main course. People were stuffed, which was a good sign, ushered them into the living room, had the fire place (fake) going and some candles on. Settled them in and got them some coffee and desserts. Banana bread and pumpkin roll was a hit, didn't have time to make the dumplings. It was very good but like how I found most things in life are ... it doesn't last. I thought I had escaped it this time, I had hugged my dad goodbye, both my brothers and then it was just me and my mom and her boyfriend (he's sweet). We chatted for a little bit but I knew something was up. She had bought me a little wolverine lunch box for my kid bin. I've got this huge tupperwear bin thing that I house little things I want to give to my kids, whenever I have them. Like jean lookin kinda diapers, how cool is that? They might not have them when I have my kids. Anyways, I thought it was cool, cause wolverine is my thing, I collect a lot of the stuff, but that wasn't it. She hadn't let me touch it most of the night and I figured that was her playing keep away, like she likes to do.
When she held onto it this time, there was something in her eyes. She touched Bill, (her boyfriend)she touched his leg and then looked at me. She was crying and still holding the lunchbox. Now I'm worried. If the strongest woman I know is crying ... that's enough to make me cry right there. I simply said to her. "Tell me."
She said that I had asked her to tell me when I was home. And then I knew. My dog was gone. I had a shepherd mix growing up, called Sheba. She was my dog. She was the most awesome dog ever. Never really liked anyone out the family that much but she was so sweet to us.
Growing up we were told we would never get another dog. We had one before but I don't remember that well, I was too little. My BroBro and me always went into the pet store in the mall because we liked to look at the animals. This day they had the shepherd/Keeshond/lab puppies. They looked like straight up sheherds with curly tails, we loved them. We loved them sooo much. Mom went looking to find us but always knew where we were. She looked to me, to my BroBro and then the dogs and said No Way. She herded us out of the store and we eventually went home. All the way home we talked about the dog, how we wanted one, how cute they were and the millions promises to take care of it. My father was away for a few months during this time, he came home a bit but worked most of it. There had been a serious multi agency disaster that he had to be on site for. She called him because we kept at her long enough. His words. "No. Don't you ..." Which lead to "....fine." We drove all the way back to the mall which is in another city and went right back to the pet shop. Our hands on the glass windows we looked over each of the little bundles, knowing one would be ours. I had been 11 at the time and my brother was 13, but we acted like 5 year olds giggling and laughing, the dogs had their paws up on the glass looking right back at us. They all were running around, like they knew it too. All except for one. One was curled up in the corner and had her back to everyone. She didn't want to play with them and didn't want to see us.
The store clerk told us that the puppies had been abandoned and all of them had been rescued during a storm. We determined that one was bitter about it, probably didn't trust people and wouldn't come to see us. It was the first time I heard this quote, it was something along the lines of "Those who are the hardest to love are the ones who need it most". That dog needed us. It needed to be loved. We wanted her. The clerk asked us if we were sure and said she'd bring it out just in case. She brought it out and the dog didn't look at us. She looked away and was shaking. I held her, this little fur ball that shook like she was crumbling. We spoke softly to her, and patted her. This was the dog for us. She wouldn't walk on the leash, well ...she wouldn't walk at all. We were advised to give her a choke chain for her as she'd be a big dog. We did and it has ALWAYS been very loose on her. It was her bling, her necklace. She hated any collar we put on her so she'd always just have the chain. She squatted her butt down and wouldn't move. So we picked her up again and carried her to our van. Of course between two kids she had to sit in between us. She was very scared in the van, she didn't like it and whined. We took her home and let her see it as hers too.
Over time she softened up and began to run around foolishly and to bark and play. She would run to greet us and lick our faces. She never trusted people who came to the door and would bark at them to protect her turf. I remember when I was home alone, which didn't happen a lot at that age. I had an overactive imagination and before long I envisioned terrible things happening. I was afraid of the house burning down or that someone might break in. Sheba and I sat in the middle of the living room, I had a bag packed just in case I had to run out the door. She never let me though I'm sure she was confused as to what I was afraid of. She spent almost every night on my bed and managed to push me into the crack between the bed and the wall a few times.
I have a memory of waking up to the sound of her growling. I was afraid cause I could see her head, her teeth, she was snarling and the hackles were raised. I looked up at the door and my mother had just closed it behind her. Sheba stopped growling but watched the door for as long as I could remember before I fell asleep. I asked my mom what she was doing the next day and she told me she was just putting one of my shirts back into the room. She had decided against it when Sheba growled. I felt very safe from then on, knowing that if anyone ever did break into our house and tried to come in my room, she would protect me.
These were the memories that came back to me in a flash. I almost couldn't hear my mother talking tonight. I knew Sheba had bad hips, that things were getting harder for her. She was peeing in her sleep and a hard time getting up. Today, this morning she couldn't get up at all. She was in pain. When my dad tried to help her up she tried to bite him. All of her hurt. Sheba was 12 almost 13 years old. Today was the last day she was going to suffer. Mom and dad got her in the car, and they took her to the vet. They said it was very peaceful, and I have to believe that.
As I opened up the lunchbox, her chain was coiled at the bottom. I cried. They soon left and I was alone with it. My cat, Lee, sat on my lap and I patted him for awhile. Then I drank a lot of wine while cleaning the dishes going over the memories.
She was a good dog. She was my best friend growing up. I told her all my secrets, my dreams and my confessions. Good luck girl. Goodbye and good luck.