Wednesday, September 2, 2009

She Knew Me When

Sassy turns 11 this month. She's been with me through some of the hardest times of my adult life. I sat and was holding and cuddling her this weekend and realized... of all the people in my life right now, those I call best friends, those I love unendingly... she's been there all along and then some. Sassy became mine in Nov 1998. I had just come home from my honeymoon with my first husband. We had an apartment, we were married, we both had jobs- we thought we were big stuff, grown ups, too cool. Prior to the wedding, we had been frequenting a strip mall near our complex. Tradition was to have dinner at a certain spot and then visit the pet store. I do not support buying pets from pet stores. I abhor puppy mills and all that jazz. I swore over and over that I would NEVER buy a puppy from a pet store. We would adopt from the humane society. Period. Or so I thought... She was there at least a week before our wedding. We were gone a week on our honeymoon. She was still there when we got back. And I began to become concerned about what would happen to her if no one bought her... what do they do with the puppies and kittens that just don't sell? I'm sure they can find a buy somewhere... but not necessarily a loving home. So we bought her.
It was rough getting used to a puppy. Being a pet store purchase and from an unknown breeder where she lived in unknown conditions... she had immediate health problems. She had worms. She was "on the verge" of kennel cough. It took some treatment to get her back to healthy. But she was attentive and bouncy and fun and remarkably quiet. I started working on training her and she was a fast learner.
She's been with me through that first marriage, gaining a dog-sister, our move from Cincinnati to Indianapolis, my getting involved in community theatre and taking oodles of time away from her, the ending of that first marriage, the custody "battle" over our pooches, the new man in my life, my second marriage, new apartments, townhouses, our house with a great back yard, my pregnancy and miscarriage, another pregnancy, a new baby, another pregnancy, another baby, losing her dog-sister (Ginger), being the only pet.
She was there when I found my ex-husband's porn stash- over and over and over. She was there when I left him. She was there when I lost out on theatre roles I wanted. She was there when I celebrated roles I never dreamed I'd be offered. She was there when I fell in love with Jeff. She was there when we celebrated our first pregnancy. She was there when I mourned and grieved my miscarriage. She was there when we brought Teagan home from the hospital. She was there when I struggled with nursing and cracked, bleeding nipples and thrush. She was part of my calm after Zach's birth. She's been through everything with me in the last 11 years. Often by my side, at my hand, comforting me, soaking up and licking away my tears. She knows exactly how to make even the most anti-dog people in our circle come to love her, to adore her. She's attached to me, my husband, my kids, my friends. She's a little squeak of a dog.
That's a lot for her little 8 pounds to carry. I worry about how much more time she has. I'm hopeful that she still has a good 3+ years in her.
She carries the history of me.


Garret said...

Touching post.

Alison said...

Unconditional love and boundless patience...that's why I'm a dog lover. I hope my dogs have all thought as highly of me as I have of them.

I do wonder what happens to puppies that don't sell at those stores. I probably don't wanna know, huh?

yodaobi said...

NOW I want a dog


Anonymous said...

aren't dogs the BEST?! i couldn't imagine my life without tinkerbelle. she has my heart.

Anonymous said...

aren't dogs the BEST?! i couldn't imagine my life without tinkerbelle. she has my heart.

Eternal Lizdom said...

Thanks, all. She's a good dog. Even in her naughty moments- she has a destructive side and is a very sneaky food thief- she is a great dog. She's never growled or shown teeth to the kids, even in play. If she and I are rough housing and one of the kids tries to get involved or gets close to us, she will stop and go immediately meek, waggy, and lick them like crazy- almost like she's apologizing for being rough in front of them. She's a sweet little lover.

Claudya Martinez said...

Sassy is awesome!

I'm an actor too so I felt happy for you that Sassy was there to console you and celebrate when you needed it.