A Dog Shaped Hole In My Heart

I got Daisy when I was 31. I was living with one of, if not the best abusers on the face of the earth. He happened to be a police officer which made him that much better at it. He knew how not to leave marks. Every day was an interrogation, a trial, which I inevitably failed at. I lost 20 pounds in less than 6 months. I didn’t eat. I barely slept. Panic attacks became my reality and I started to shake when I knew he’d be coming home. He decided to move us out to the country. I believe it was just to have more control over me and less prying eyes.  At that time, I decided I needed a dog, as an alarm, as protection from cougars and bears.To let me know when he was coming home. And of course because I needed company.

My parents had come to visit and while they didn’t know precisely what was going on, I think on some level my dad knew how bad it all was. Without any forethought and with the abusive ratbastard beside him, my Dad bought me a puppy.

He handed it to me as if it  were a gold-plated sapphire. “It’s a female! There was some guy selling them outside of a tire shop! She was only 50 bucks! She peed on me on the way here but that’s okay. She seemed like the quietest one.” And lo, I had a dog.

I found out within a few days why she was the “quietest one”. She was sick. So, so sick. Didn’t eat, wouldn’t drink. I made 3 trips to the vet, Daisy staying overnight with an I.V., just to bring that poor sick little puppy around. Abusive ratbastard kept raging about how a bullet would be cheaper than that fucking dog. I didn’t care. In less than 2 months, she went from a $50 dog to a $900 dog. But she was mine. The more he tried to crush me, the more I loved the dog. When I thought about ending me, I stayed here for the dog.

I think I’d had Daisy 3 months when I left. She gave me the strength and love to move on. After that, it became “love me, love my dog”. Two years later, she went on the second date I had with my hubby. He passed the test.

Daisy was with me through our courtship, baby and marriage. She was treated as a member of our family. My hubby bonded with her when Daisy went fishing with him and had to lick every fish he caught. When she greeted him at the door at the end of the day. And when we brought our new baby son home, she sniffed him head to toe and wagged her tail, as she finally had her own child to play with.

I kept her here for maybe 2 years longer than I should have. Her hips were gone, to the point that she had to be helped up a couple of steps to get into the house. She was losing her bladder control. Her breath. I made the decision last Saturday. I knew. She knew. We were both very brave as we took our final walk and car ride. She had chicken for breakfast and a hot fudge sundae as a treat. Chocolate is bad for dogs but on their last day here exceptions can be made. I held her and thanked her for all she’d meant. She butted foreheads with me, which was her “I love you and I get it” sign. It was peaceful. And my heart broke.

We went away for a few days this week as a distraction from our grief. When we got home I checked messages. The vet had phoned and Daisy’s ashes had arrived at the office. I dropped everything and told my boys,”I’m going to pick up our girl and bring her home.” They both got teary and nodded.

Tonight is a blue moon and we sprinkled her ashes around the yard she loved so much. How perfect. How fitting for my rare dog.

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened. ~Anatole France 

Bye, Daisy. Good girl!

I Need A Do Over

Hey folks! What did you get for Mothers Day?

My son gave me the requisite handmade card with a poem, which was beautiful. (I’m a sap. I keep everything he makes me. I’ve kept all of his clothes and I have a tough time washing off kisses. Okay, awwwww.) But the not so good part was that he woke me at 6:30 to give it to me. Apparently his teacher forgot to mention how it’s a law that mom gets to sleep in on that one day. But the even better part was that as he was coming out of his room, he stepped in a huge lake of dog urine and had to freak out and shriek “GROSS!!! Mom, it’s still hot!!! Hurry!” for me to come and clean it up. That was just the start. Our old, suddenly incontinent dog pissed herself again not once, but three more times that day. I wasn’t angry with her. It’s just, come on, Mothers Day? She doesn’t seem to be in pain, but I know I’ll have to make some decisions.

Surprisingly large bladdered dog. She is alive in this pic, but she sort of has a “Please, kill me now” look on her face.

So the hubby, who is just abysmal at gift giving, got up that day and hurried into town. And came back three hours later with dirt.

“Happy Mothers Day! I got you dirt for your flower beds!”

My Mothers Day dirt.

Um, Thanks? Is there a card?

“Shit. No. But here’s a shovel.”

I thought perhaps he was willingly going to let me bury him, but sadly not. It seems he won’t go down without a fight. He’s sort of an asshole that way.

The day was spent with me, alternately, shovelling dirt and wiping up urine. It got so confusing and frenetic that at one point, I strapped the spade to my belt and tucked the roll of paper towel in my bra strap, just so I was prepared. Hubby looked at the vision of his dirty, smelly wife and said “Nice outfit”. To which I bellowed “I AM A MACHINE!!!” and flexed a non-existent muscle.

I think he felt a bit sorry for me so we dropped everything and drove to town to get a cheesecake. On the way back we stopped at our local overpriced beer, gas and condom store, where they have six baby bunnies living under the deck. (Yes, I asked about that. I guess it’s almost impossible to get a condom on a rabbit.)

So the son and I watched these cute little hand sized bunnies hop around for a while. Oh, such a bad idea.

“Mummy, I really, really, really want a bunny!” in his best whiny, nobody loves me voice.

My brain kicked into exhausted overdrive.

“No, you never, ever want a baby bunny. You have to rip its head off and drink its blood at age ten as a right of passage into manhood. It’s just awful.”

“Um, what?” with his best ‘you’re shitting me’ voice. Then his dad chimed in.

“It’s true. And I had to take a bite out of the still-beating heart of the first deer I ever shot.”

To which I replied, “Are you kidding me? You expect him to believe that?”

“And the bunny story makes more sense?”

We argued about which tale would scar him less all the way home. The son sat in the backseat quietly. Rolled his eyes a few times and sighed his ‘you guys are so fucked up’ sigh. Minimal damage done.

The day ended with showers, cheesecake for supper and a movie. But next year? Right after my morning kisses, I’m getting the hell out of here. I think it’ll be safer for all.

December-Part One

I’m home!!!!!!!

Oh home! How I missed you! If I could hug a house I would, that’s how goddamn happy I am to be home!

We went to the ‘Chewan for our lovely holiday visit. Nothing like driving 5 hours across bald, scrubby prairie to help one to understand the concept of horizon. It should be a very Zen experience. However, try doing it in a fully loaded Outback, with an almost seven-year old, who is perpetually in motion, a twelve week old kitten, a hundred and ten pound Shepard cross, and a thirteen pound lap dog.

I think we were an hour into the trip when the son started his plaintive calls of, get ready, “Are we there yet?” No shit. Every twenty minutes. Followed closely by “I’m borrrrrrred!” Look at the scenery, son. “What scenery???” Exactly.

Now, add in the big dog. She has always been a back seat driver. She cannot lay down and enjoy the trip. Oh no. She must get her head and upper body right between the buckets so she can see out the windshield and assess how well you are driving. This is very exciting to the old girl and the more excited she gets, the more she pants, therefore, the more she drools. As you are motoring along, your arm is getting wetter and stickier with each passing moment. Whats funny is that she is so big and sits so erect and close to your right shoulder, I’m certain it looks like some strange two-headed conjoined beast twin driving our auto. Either that or everyone thinks we have an extraordinarily ugly daughter. Who has a drooling problem.  

The small dog (we think he is a Pug/Jack Russell cross. A Jug, if you will) has a rather high-strung personality. This manifests itself in a non-stop vibratory shiver while in the car. The poor thing is a nervous wreck. He acts as if he is about to be raped and castrated at any given moment. It goes like this: Shake, open eyes, quickly smell penis, nutsack and anus to make sure they are all still there, give a dirty look to the closest human so they know you are watching them, close eyes, shake for ten minutes, repeat.

The kitten was an awesome traveller. She just hid until we arrived at our destination. We took her as a surprise present for my folks (read that as getting rid of her) but they were having none of it. We had a rousing game of ‘nonchalantly throw the cat in the car, nonchalantly throw the cat back in the house’ as we were saying our goodbyes. My parents won. Pricks.

The top cat didn’t come. I tried to get him in the cat carrier, but he is huge and wouldn’t fit. It was like trying to stuff a horse into a Corvette. But with claws. I decided to just throw him into the car and let him ride free. He escaped as soon as hubby opened the hatch, and it was a sight to behold, watching my poor man fighting with a huge ball of flab and fangs. Honestly, I don’t know who was more petrified, the man or the cat. So I got out and caught the miserable sonofabitch (the cat, not hubby) and brought him struggling and fighting back to the car, which I then quickly threw him into and tried to slam the door. Not surprisingly, he had his tail half out. Did you here the shriek over at your place? I opened the door as fast as I shut it and that cat flew out so fast, I didn’t have time to see where he went. Our neighbour let him in and fed him but he is still not speaking to me.

But we made it home today. I have had a hell of a couple of weeks. This is going to be a long one, so I’m breaking it up for you. Part two of it all tomorrow. 

Did I mention I’m glad to be home? *Hugging house*

 And does anyone need a cat?