Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tanya Writes About Being Good to Your Dogs

Ditsy Tanya's Almanac #7

Get a lot of sleep, a lot of exercise. Eat real good. Say your prayers. And be good to your dogs. --Mickey Rourke on how to survive hard times.

Well, I'm getting back to the blog. I hope to get a digital copy of my x-ray so you can see the screws, and until then, I'll save pontificating on convalescence for another day.

But actually, my podiatry problem is the reason for this almanac. I found Mickey Rourke's comment in a magazine the nurse gave me to read while I waited.

Right now, this is an homage to dogs. Since I'm a chick-lit, romantic comedy kind of girl --throw in the occasional Western-- I admit I'm not really a Mickey Rourke fan. But after reading that comment, this guy holds my heart in his hands.


I never had one until my hero got me a Border collie at the pound. We were newlyweds in our early twenties who had managed to buy a house. A brand new one, in a pretty little tract surrounded by lettuce fields. And a house needs a dog.

Well, the fields are gone now, and so is that precious little black and white pup. Romping with her at the Rainbow Bridge is the brown poodle Teddi my dad gave me shortly before his death in a car accident when our son was four months old.

After that, we had the Oreo Cookie. A yellow Lab and two black ones. With Tawny (yellow) the head dog, in the middle with a black on each side while we walked, it was both Cookie and Chariot Race with three hundred pounds of Labrador gaining inertia.

When Tawn died at 12 1/2 from sudden cancer, five years ago, I fell to the floor in grief. Anytime I saw Vincent on Lost, I broke down. But with two still at home, the grief ebbed. Then last summer, my Marl left us. Too quick. Again, cancer. Inexorable, inoperable. When I called the vet to arrange her last visit, I broke down in sobs, and my Marley ran to comfort me.

My hero had gotten her for me when our daughter, the youngest, left for college so I wouldn't be all alone during those stretches he spent all over the state fighting wildfires.

The third, our boy Seau, we adopted when he was about five. I wanted to change that ridiculous name, but our kids are Trojans and they refused. Big Seau fit into the fam like he was triplet to the other two.

And along the way we got two grandpup little girl English bulldogs, and a host of niece-pup mini-dachsies. There's a Corgi in there somewhere now, too.

But our big boy is failing. He's pushing 13 and the hip displasia has taken a dreadful toll. We know he deserves dignity and compassion, so we know it's coming upon us, that easing him over the Rainbow Bridge.

So I say my prayers...and am better to him than ever.

In fact, I'm going to hobble downstairs right now to give him a hug. And send off another little prayer.

Make that a big prayer. Nice and loud.


Helen Hardt said...

What a wonderful post, Tanya. I can't imagine a home without dogs. I've had to say good-bye to several over the years. It's tough -- they just don't live long enough. But I guess the upside is we get to love that many more dogs during our lifetime. Right now I have two precious Golden Retrievers -- Ricky and Lucy.


Lauri said...

Very sweet post, Tanya. My sheltie, Chance, is really showing his age right now, he's blind and deaf. Our younger lab, Gander, has trained himself to be Chance's eyes and ears, and it is very special to watch.