Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Today is a super-special day.

My doglet turns 15 today.

When she got out of the house that day in early June of '98, I thought she was gone forever. Pitifully, I just couldn't let it go - I went to the SPCA and looked at the inmates every day for 9 weeks. I left crying most days. I made it through the worst of my grief, but I still hoped I'd see her again, and more than anything I hoped she was with someone who was doting on her and being kind to her, and not dead in a ditch somewhere.

The ninth week, the 9th of August I went into the SPCA and saw her poster had been covered up on the bulletin board by the picture of someone else's lost pet. I said "Um, my dog's picture is covered up," at which point they scrambled to uncover it - got to keep the daily-visiting crazy lady happy, I suppose.

4 days later, on Friday 13 August, I came home from work and had a voice mail that started off:
"I hope I'm wrong but I think I have your dog. When we found her she just had a red rolled leather collar on that had a tag that said 'devil.'" Hallelujah, it WAS my dog. [In my defense, the tag was a pewter tag that said "angel" on one side and "devil" on the other, but the angel side hammered against her collar buckle and wore down completely. This may have been a sign.]

They'd found her after she'd been on her own for 5 weeks. She was dehydrated, sunburned, malnourished with skin allergies and partially bald, and probably happy as a clam to be free-ballin' around the world. She was about 20 miles from home.

They thought she had been abused and tied up and neglected, but they soon figured out she was someone's baby when at bedtime she jumped on the bed and demanded to be let under the covers, at which point she shot to the foot of the bed and curled up at the woman's feet.

They went to Florida on vacation 3 days later and they said that all the way there, she looked out the back window in the direction of Texas.

Fortunately for me, Doglet terrorized the cats and chickens on this little farm, and the other dogs and the horses weren't fond of her either. She proved useful for that family in fact-finding the wisdom of having a Jack Russell Terrier, which their kids had been asking for. After a month of having her, she demonstrated how ill-fitting she was for that environment.

Anyway, they had a stray pup come up to their farm on Friday 13, and they simply couldn't keep one more animal. They took the pup to the SPCA in McKinney Texas and walked through the door and saw my sign on the bulletin board.

She said "I think I have that dog."

The employee said, "oh, that lady really needs her dog back."

So, I got her back and we've been on bonus round ever since.

This was a profound moment in my life, because I realized then I would trade all my possessions to have my little dog back. Anyway, it's been a great run, and I'm grateful for her every single day. From Friday 13 onward, it's been bonus-round gravy days for me and my dog.

Then last year on November 1, the day after her 14th, she made yet another deft escape and got run over by a car right before my eyes. I saw her running into the street and saw the car coming and knew that I was witnessing the last instants of my beloved pet's life. It was overwhelming.

The hit was the best it could have been - the car was perfectly centered over her and a tire didn't get her, so she rolled like a weenie under it. She was in shock, and they gave her an i.v. at the vet to keep her hydrated, but nothing was broken. What a relief.

Anyway, here we are a year later, and I'm so happy I still have her, so we're in double-bonus gravy days on overtime. Long may she wag.


Anonymous said...

As a dog owner myself I am happy and relieved your dog is back safe and sound.

I had an escape artist myself once and like you I was fortunate that strangers were always kind enough to brink him back.

Anonymous said...

My dog died at 15. Thanks for reminding me.

Just Another Old Geezer said...

From one pet lover to another, congratulations. And give Doglet a birthday hug for Felix and Ginger, OK?

Christina RN LMT said...

Happy Birthday, Doglet!!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Happy birthday to your pup! Are you sure she's a dog, though? With all those lives, she does seem rather more like a cat.

HollyB said...

Happy Birthday to your Sweet Baby, from Me and My Sweet Boo Girl! My Boo Baby is 6 today!
How wonderful that she's had you this long. May you have enjoy more wonderful years together.

lilfeathers2000 said...

Enjoy a Safe and Happy Halloween!

Meg said...

What Barbara said; doglet must have had 4 or 5 cat lives before morphing into a dog to come to you. Happy Dog Day. Is she 15 in human- or dog-years?

fuzzbert_1999@yahoo.com said...

Not going to ask why your doglet keeps trying to escape, but I do understand your feelings.

As a pup, one of my dogs, suffering from distemper, crawled into a large field near our house and couldn't get up and walk out. I search for 3 days, and finally she stumbled out of the high grass. I rushed her to the vet and somehow, after all that time, she lived to a ripe old age of 13.

Heather B said...

What a life your pup has had!

Birthday hugs to her from Lola, Sammy and I :)

FHB said...

Man, there's nothing like the love you have for the pooch. We invest so much emotion in them. Can't relate at all to the folks who see them as just working animals. Penn them up in the back yard and never goo and gush over them. Inexplicable.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birtday, Doglet.

I took my two frequent flyers to Operation Kindness Sunday for the microchip clinic. As it is, I figure every little bit helps, although Daisy has been a guest at the Richardson pound so much this year they know her by name and appearance. Next step is going to be GPS/cellphone collars for both.


phlegmfatale said...

hammer - thanks! Yeah, I suppose most people have an escape artist at one time or another. It's something instinctual and directly related to their need to hunt and corner fur-bearing critters, but it sure could give the pet owner an inferiority complex, if they let it.

lightning bug's butt - *LOL* THanks!

myron - thanks, and doglet was mighty loved-up on her birthday.

christina - Thanks!

barbara - good point - yeah, she is catlike in a lot of ways. 2 lives down, 7 to go. This is going to make an old lady out of me yet - she's a stressful pet sometimes!

hollyb - thanks so much, and many more years of happiness together to you and your pet, too!

lilfeathers - Thanks, sweetie!

meg - Yeah, the cat thing fits her. She naps as much as a cat, too. She's 15 which I think translates to about 5 human years for a small breed dog, so she is about 75-ish. She gets around very well, though, as long as I remember her glucosamine chews.

mushy - she keeps trying to escape because she is a wild animal. WILD! Husband always says how much alike we are. Actually, a lot of people say that. Lucky you found your pet in time to save him - and nice to hear he lived a long time after that bout with distemper!

leazwell - she's a goer!

heather b - Thanks, hon, and best wishes for your adorable dogs, too!

fathairybastard - yeah, that's a marvel to me - my grandpa loved breeding dogs, but they were for work, and I suppose there was some type of affection there, but it wasn't the companionship type affection. I'm happy to be obsessed with my dog

rabbit - thanks! Let me know how those cell collars work out - miss buns may need one too.

Twisted Lady said...

Whoa! That was awesome.

Crazy dog.

phlegmfatale said...

blog whore - she IS a crazy bitch, but I do love her, and I'm so happy I still have her.

Flo said...

Thank you so much for your comment. That and your blog have brought tears to my eyes again, and I do feel so much better about turning her over. I know I would be just like you if I lost one of mine.

The owners also offered to pay me, but I didn't want anything.

I'm going to have the daughter read these. I think they'll help her heartache a little, too.

Doglet looks adorable, happy belated b-day to her!