Fourteen days ago, my life shut down. I blocked out as much as I could and put myself on auto pilot. Even so, I caught myself with tears randomly streaming down my face. Out of the blue, a sob would escape my throat. I managed one short Facebook post announcing the horrible truth, and then dedicated my will to keeping my grief from bubbling over. This effectively meant shutting myself off as much as possible.
i should just be able to handle it, I told my self. No one cares but me. I need to get over it. It’s not like a person died.
My shih tzu died. She was almost ten. She had progressive health issues after a bad pregnancy a few years ago and her body said enough is enough. I knew she was in a lot of pain the last twenty-four hours. Her normal medication had no effect. I told her that if she didn’t improve, we would have to make a decision that weekend. The next day she made the decision for me.
I am well aware that I am one of a very few people that were ever affected by my dog’s life. But these are some of the reasons I will never forget her.
Her name was Deanna. She was named as the female version of Dean Martin. We already had Sammy the cat and Frank the dachshund, so Dean’s name was next up.
She spent the first weeks of her life on a sailboat. The whole reason we found out about her is that the sail pater was desperate to get this litter of puppies birthed by his girlfriend’s prized dog off of his boat.
She did not bark for the first six months we had her. Then, on a weekend trip to the Outer Banks, as we boarded the car on the ferry, she barked the entire way over, stopping the second we drove off of the boat. That was a three hour ferry people. From then on, we took the land route over.
She loved tomatoes. She loved watermelon. She could sniff out a watermelon from across the house.
She gave birth to six male puppies, half shih tzu, half dachsie. But even after an emergency c-section and being heavily drugged, she gave Frank hell for trying to get near them.
We kept one puppy and found good homes for the rest. We named the puppy Joey (the last of our Rat Pack animal names) and he never forgot who is Momma was.
Deanna was the Queen Bee. If any of the boys messed with her too much, despite being half their size, she would turn into a vicious she devil and lay down a can of whoop ass. It wouldn’t be long before the boys would be slinking away with their tail between their legs and I was laughing that I had warned them.
Deanna was my dog. She slept with her body wrapped around my head. She curled up beside me on the couch watching TV. She licked my face awake in the morning and was the loudest bark every night when I came home from work. I will always miss her and nothing will ever be the same. But I’m trying to creep back out of my shell.
In response to Begetters.