Princess Tashi Olivia 1990-2007

This morning I woke up from a dream where I was on an airplane about to crash.  It never did, luckily, because I woke up from fright.  I got up and went and poured myself a coffee.  I’m listening to the news and I’m thinking, “It seems to me they should be saying something about eight years ago today the Twin Towers burned to the ground.”  Or something about that day anyway!

Tim walks out, pours his coffee, sits down and I said, “Today is 9/11, you’d think they’d say something about it on TV.”  He looks at me, pretends to smack me upside the head as if to clear it, and says, “It’s October.  October 8th.”  

I was really befuddled.  I KNEW something had happened on this date!  What, I wondered?  Then I said, “I know!  Mom died on this day!  Uh…no…wait, she died on the 8th, was buried on the 11th”  Then I remembered that happened in September also, the year AFTER 9/11.  So that wasn’t it.

 We sit there and slowly wake up, we don’t say a whole lot, just drink our coffee and drive our coughing nails.  I’m being quiet because I don’t want to say something else stupid.  Then it hits me!  It was Libbey! Libbey died on this date!  I shouted that out causing Tim to slosh his coffee and give me a close look.   I know he is thinking I’m obsessed with death or something. 

 Yet it was.  This morning, two years ago, we sat up with that dog for hours watching her die.  It was so sad.  She woke me up thrashing in the bed about 3:00 am and I at first thought she was just trying to get up to move elsewhere in the bed.  I quickly realized that wasn’t the case.  She would convulse for a few minutes, and thrash, and I held her down on the bed while she did, and when she would stop, we’d lie face to face on the pillow looking at each other.  I cried and I cried. 

 At 7:00 am we took her to the vets and they put her to sleep.  Just like that.  17 years of dog gone with one push of the needle.  Tim and I fell into each others arms and cried like babies.  Even the attendant cried. We took her home and buried her right where I can see her grave every time I sit down under the patio.  Tim engraved her name on one of the bricks lining the gravesite.

 Everyone agrees that was one mean dog.  Man, was she mean.  She bit every kid that came into the house that tried to touch her.  She was notorious for her meanness.  It was a family joke!  However, we loved that silly dog and she was a good dog in her own way.  God knows she was fearless.

 The next day I picked up her bed to wash it, and I held it to my face and smelled it.  I could smell that stinking old dog and it made my eyes well up.  I breathed in the last of her scent and thrust it into the washer.  Wished later I hadn’t done that.  It took me to Christmas to have one more final, good cry.  I was unwrapping the Christmas lights to put on the tree and every year for almost 17 years I’d have to keep picking her up and moving her because she’d insist on walking all over them.  Even when she got old and frail, she walked on the lights.  She always got one squeaky toy for Christmas and she’d unwrap it herself and she was such a joy to watch because she’d be so excited.

 I remembered all that, and much more, and I leaned against the wall right there and I cried.  I mean it.  I wept.  Then I felt better.  Then I went on about my business.

 I hope when we all get to Heaven that those dogs that meant so much to us will be right there at the Gate, chewing on their celestial bones,  waiting for us.

 Dog is, after all, God spelled backwards.


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