Tuesday, October 20, 2009
My Very Great Love
She came to me on my honeymoon riding on a 2 lb bag of puppy kibble. She looked like a little bear cub, with a big round head and a belly so round and legs so short her belly touched the ground when she stood. She was 5 weeks old. I cried when I saw her. And it took approximately one second of looking in those warm brown trusting eyes to fall madly, deeply and passionately in love. Much to my new husbands discontent, I slept the night on the floor with her cuddled next to me. I wouldn't let her for a second miss her litter mates or her birth mom. We developed a bond so intense, that I knew what she was thinking and how she was feeling and she intuitively read me just as well. I watched her grow from that little round ball of fur into a beautiful muscular adult. She protected me and loved me and was my friend and confidant and companion for the next 11 years. Interestingly enough, although she was a gift from my now ex-husband, she took a dislike to him. The damn dog was smarter then I was. If she didn't like how he was acting she would sit in front of me on my feet and bare her teeth and issue a low throaty growl so intense that the devil himself would have hesitated at that moment. I would laugh myself silly because my husband in pure dismay would cry out to her "I bought you"! You may have bought her I thought, but she is mine, heart and soul. She was my comfort through my divorce and constant companion. She was pure of heart and had a beauty that emanated from her soul and cast a glow around her. I would not take a vacation without her and never in her life did she spend but one night apart from me. My baby was born with genetic joint problems. At 5 years old we did a total right knee replacement. She spent one night in the hospital and I ached for her the whole night. When I picked her up the next morning and she heard my voice she started howling. They had to bring her to me immediately. I never heard her howl before or since. And deep down inside, I knew that nothing, no one, would ever howl for want of me but her. I spent 3 months sleeping on a futon mattress on the floor of the living room while she healed, until she was able to walk upstairs to the bedroom and sleep in our bed. She healed well, but eventually all of her joints began to deteriorate. We treated her pain, and the inflammation and as long as she had quality of life we would stick it out together. She traveled with me and I would lift her 105 lbs into and out of the car not to stress her joints. We continued our rides in the car she loved so much until it became more painful for her then enjoyable. She took her post everyday on the end of the couch hunting golfers from her window. That was her self assigned job and she did it well. There was more then one time when I would see a golfer jump and turn to try and see where the furious barking was coming from and I had to laugh. She was my first kiss in the morning and my last kiss at night. She had her own pillows on the bed and at times would snore like a freight train. But she was my freight train and that sound was music to my ears. Finally, there came a point when we couldn't control her pain. After 11 years together on March 18th, 2009 I made the god awful decision to take her out of her pain. I have never done anything so devastating in my life. I held her while it was done, kissing her the whole time. I laid with her on the floor of the vets office and held her until the the gentleman came to take her for cremation. I don't know if I've ever cried that hard in my life. I cried for weeks and still do when my missing her intensifies and I grieve her loss all over again. Her name was Athena. I miss her every day, and long for her with all my being. When it is my time to go and I am cremated our ashes will be put together as they belong. She can never be replaced, not in my heart and not in my home. She was, my very great love and I offer this up to honor her memory.