Yesterday, was one of those days when responsibility comes to roost, wagging its nasty head and mocking.
There she hid in her nest under a pile of criss-crossed Douglas fir, Hemlock and Cedar trees that recently we had taken down. Skinny and afraid, she would not come near us. The food we put out was gobbled down as soon as we walked a good 50 paces away. My son wanted to keep her. I remember thinking, we are feeding her and she is living in her little den under the logs, hasn’t she already moved in? Within a week she would let my son, then 9 or 10, pet her. But, I was not allowed that privilege and it was a month or two before she came up to me. One day she allowed a short scratch behind the ears but then I raise my hand to scratch me nose and she bolted away. Someone had beaten this dog, and beaten her bad. Gentleness and slow moves were required.
She became great friends with my son and where he was she would also be either watching or entering into his imaginary adventures. She traipsed along the local creek while he fished his favorite holes and often scampered into the shallows chasing a water skipper or some other moving target. On his paper route she followed him running along as he rode his bike from house to house. Customers would not only tip my son but several had doggie treats for Goldie when it came time to collect. When he went on his 5-15 mile runs she plodded along with him finding a gait that ate up the miles.
The afraid side of her kept her constantly on high alert and filled with anxiety. For fourteen years she never completely relaxed around a grown male. A common reaction of me calling her to come was she would turn and go hide in the Salal. Once I had her on leash and went to walk her into the garage. She would have none of that and put up a fight which I let her win. For her to eat her food it was placed in the open where she could see if anyone or anything approached while she ate. She would not come into the house unless a storm was blowing and limbs were falling or thunder and lightning were terrorizing her world.
Many moons have passed since that spring day when she came to find her new home. Her shyness has haunted her and she has always preferred being outside sleeping in the Salal ignoring her dog house.
The past year has been hard on Goldie, her eye sight mostly gone, her hearing greatly diminished. Days would go by and her food would go untouched. Other issues that need not be mentioned – in short old age caught up to the old girl and yesterday a trip to the vet resulted in her now being planted under a tree on a hill where she preferred resting her weary bones in hopes of picking up a few filtered sun rays from the morning sun.
She was a good dog and we will miss her.
My heart goes out to you! I also had that responsibility after 17 years with my Sparky, I had him longer than my yougest child. He brought much joy and love to our family, the same way Goldie did yours. She was lucky to have found you, you and your family gave her a wonderful life.
~Michele from By Your Side
Choco and Michele - Thankyou for your kind words - I thought my crying was over but you brought the water works back again.
I have never had a pet... but if I read more of you and Choco, I think I might soon come around... Dunno mate... doesn't happen often but... but the water works started here as well... After this post... I am sure there is gonna be one happy doggy up there somewhere...
Mr. Mind Meanders, never a pet? - That is something I have a hard time wrapping my mind around. There is a time for everything – the big negative about pets – well actually it’s hard to decide what the biggest negative is but here are a few. I think your spirits should be dampered unless impulsiveness might carry the day.
Inside pets particularly dogs – stink up the house. I hate that! Cats leave their nasty hair everywhere. Now a fish is the least problem but they give back nothing – they pretty much just take and take. Any inside animal will eventually get sick. There is nothing worse than steeping bare foot on urine, poop, throw up, saying nothing about the cleanup process (just so you know somehow it has been determined somewhere women are just too fragile to do animal clean up when a man is around - what's that about?). When I was first married my wife had a poodle (demon possessed breed) we had a hate hate relationship. Seriously if it had not been my wife’s I am pretty sure it would not have survived because one time it took a dump on my pillow. And, when one is 1st married you kind of want to jump your ladies bones regularly and often if not constantly. The dang dog had to be locked in the bathroom during those amorous moments or she would bite me – the dog spent a lot of time in the bathroom. And, what do you do with animals when on vacation? UGH!
But, there is a good side even though after recalling the above, I am really having a hard time conjuring up the good. Larger dogs I have found are not kept in the house and therefore we like each other. They are always happy to see me well actually they are excited to see me. I mean heck, even my wife stopped being excited to see me way to quickly after we were married. A dog will never criticize you in fact he will pretty much sit and listen to you all day long and never talk back or disagree or tell you you are stupid. Well that pretty much covers the good points. How we get so attached to them is a mystery. Just between you and me, when my wife’s poodle went to the great poodle land in the sky – I faked sadness. Inside my emotions were doing back flips with joy.
U r so funny at times.. "I faked sadness" = smirk
Aww.. though I am sure you miss the dog.. but good u fake sadness..
LOL Now there must be two doggies growling up there...
riddhi...it is so nice to have someone say I am funny at times. My kid never laugh at my jokes anymore I tell them I am really funny and they say, "No Dad you are NOT (usually with an explination mark), you are just quirky.
Mr. Mind Meanders - I hope so - because my worst enemy I would not wish to the other place.
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