Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Dog's Life

I lost one of my favorite loves this week--my family's little dog Rags was bitten by a rattlesnake and had to be put down by the vet. I haven't cried that hard in such a long time. When Mom called to tell me I cried. My sister informed me about all the details later of the vet visit and her fast deterioration. I fell apart. Kyle sat on the couch and held me while I cried. Bless my husband, even that night when he held me close he asked me a question about her and I teared up again. He has been so tender about my feelings toward my pet.

I felt like I lost a friend. She used to sleep with me in my bed, push me to the edge of the mattress, lick my feet, lick Mom's legs after she got out of the shower, lay down on dirty clothes, bark incessantly at the door until she was let in the house, poop in the closet and hide it under toys or poop directly in shoes. She was brilliant. She loved people. ALL people were her friends. She would wake people up in the mornings when they visited us and would get into the vehicle with anyone--including the UPS man.

We got Rags from the Amarillo pound in 2001. I was the first person to hold her and she laid her head on my shoulder and cuddled. When we walked away from the pen where she was held she began to cry out for us. She was my friend....and as we all left home she became Mom's "little companion." When I would go home to visit she would get excited to see me, but she mourned when Mom wasn't home with her. As she aged she faced sickness and little seizures she would lay on the couch or move sloswly with her tail tucked between her legs.

She had cataracts in her eyes that impaired her sight and I'm sure she didn't even see the rattler before it struck her above her eye.

I still want to cry when I think about it.

Mom brought her body home and my parents buried her on the ranch. As Mom said, "She went from the pound to the big house, and she's not going back."

Today Kyle and I made a trip to the pound here in Abilene just to look at dogs and allow me to reminisce. We walked through the line several times looking at various barking canines and picked our favorites. I found a little puppy that had no personality, but loved to cuddle. I carried him around for a while as we looked at all the dogs and narrowed the possibilities. Want to know the strange thing? Our favorite was an overgrown version of Rags.

Not even kidding. He was a black terrier mix named Dexter. He was much bigger than Rags, but he looked like her and had a lot of the same personality.

No, we didn't come home with a new pet.......but it was so sweet to see a larger version of my deceased friend.

A dog's life can be short or long. But if the dog becomes your friend and is a permanent link in your memory to your childhood and home her lifetime can be an amazing mark on your life.

I will always cherish my Rags. Home won't be the same without her.

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