Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Big White Dog Fills a Hole in My Heart

When my dad died back on Dec. 2 almost a year ago, I had a hole in my heart so big, I didn't think it could ever be filled. I was a Daddy's girl. He was my hero, my maker of the greatest mayonnaise sandwiches, and then, he was gone. Now, I'm no spring chicken. I am a "boomer" of the earliest years, so my dad lived a long and mostly wonderful life. But even as he reached the age of 88 and so very ill with kidney cancer, I wasn't ready to let him go.

But he left me. And he left my mom, my sister, my brother, his siblings, cousins, and so many friends, they are uncountable.

My heart simply ached. I needed something, but I didn't know what. I had a loving family, but they didn't really know how much I hurt. I didn't talk much about it. In truth, I'm really not one to voice my innermost feelings. I just felt lost and empty. My daughter was concerned because I seemed to be in a bad mood all the time which was totally against my nature...hence my blog title "Little Mary Sunshine."

Then a stranger came to our home in the form of a white dog, a young white female Lab. Now, we live in the country. People are always dumping their unwanted pets along our road, thinking that all folks in the country will want one more dog or cat. This is simply not true, and most of the bewildered animals that have outgrown their cuteness become road kill or food for the coyotes or other wild animals. It's the sad truth.

No matter. I tried to chase her away. I tried...Really.

But on about the third day of me trying to run her off by yelling, throwing sticks, whatever, she simply refused to budge. She just put her head down and took my abuse. I stopped immediately. She looked at me as if to say, "Please don't send me away. I don't know what to do. I don't know where I am. Please don't hurt me anymore." It was at that moment that I knew this dog belonged to me. I knew that I must keep her, that she was what I needed to fill that hole in my heart. I would never hurt her again...ever.

I don't know how I knew this. I just did. So this was when I started to try and win her trust. It wasn't easy. She had been mistreated by her previous owners, I could tell. She cowed when anyone came near. She just simply cowered at my feet. She wouldn't go near my husband who wasn't feeling the same feelings I had for her. He didn't want her, but for once, I ignored him and any arguments he had to say about not keeping the dog. He knew it was a useless disagreement anyway. He knew he had lost this one.

During a horrible storm, she refused to come in the house. She scrunched as close to the house as she could get, but she would not come in the door. Soon, I bought her a collar, red, because it looked so pretty next to her white fur. Then I bought her a leash, red, to match the collar. Finally, she was in the house. She'd walk up to me and lay her head in my lap, her tongue barely licking my hand. She has the most expressive golden eyes.

Well, to make a long story shorter, she was checked out by our vet. She was "fixed". She is healthy. She is even finally beginning to accept my husband. He's trying to like her. He even bought her some special doggie treats to coax her to him. He's trying because he knows I love this dog. Her name is Carley. I wanted to name her Maggie May, but I let one of our sons name her instead. Carley suits her better anyway.

She really adopted more than we her. Even our cat Moxy loves her, and Moxy doesn't much like anyone or anything unless she really wants to. She and Carley actually play together and groom each other. It beats anything I've ever seen.

So my big white dog, Carley is beginning to fill that hole in my heart. She brings joy to me that I haven't felt in a while. I surely am glad that she found her way off the road, through our yard, and to our front door. It was just meant to be. It really was.


Anonymous said...

We are always sent what we need.

Lisa said...

Beautiful beautiful beautiful! May she bring you joy every single day as she fills the space...

Judie said...

I'm glad you found each other.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

She's a smart dog. She knew she belonged with you even before you realized it. There's something special about the way an animal can take some of the emotional pain away from us. I'm glad you found each other.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

Oh, I am crying my eyes out. I am so glad you have found each other.

"There is no better psychiatrist in the world than a lab licking your face>"