The girls are on Spring Break this week and having fun with their friends. The whole Gaggle Squad had gotten together at Harper's house so hubby and I had the evening to ourselves and decided to go and split a burger at Red Robin's.
We were sitting there enjoying the hub-bub of the atmosphere, good burgers and fries, along with our tower of onion rings when hubby looked at me and said with a big grin, "Well are you ever so happy with your new little baby boy?"
It was an honest and simple question, a question that deserved a fun and smiling answer. So you can imagine the shock on hubby's face when I welled up with tears and refused to speak for fear of blubbering all over the table. Poor hubby.
It surprised me too as my mind fought through the racing thoughts.....don't make a scene, it's is just a dog, get control of yourself, you are being way too emotional, come on now you pride yourself on being a steady and strong person, yeah and pride come before the fall.......
At the same time I worked through what words I would choose to try and explain myself as my memories passed through mental images stored in my heart of 1993 to 2001.
Bear with me please, because though many would say 'it's only a dog' my heart was forever tied......and then broken. I have to do this because it is part of healing.
His name was Samson. He was a Golden Retriever given to us in Okinawa by some friends of ours. We weren't shopping for a dog at the time. I had a toddler and a new baby at home and felt my plate was pretty full. But Jim and Barbie came to us with this little pup.
"He was the runt in a litter of 9", they said. "We felt so sad for him because there was just no room for him to grow properly in such a big litter and he is missing his front leg. We felt it only humane to put him down but our son Chris refused to let us. He is now three months old and has proven to be the strongest of all his brothers and sisters. Wouldn't you know he is now the biggest of all of them even though he is the last to hobble to his food bowl. We asked God what family could give him the attention he needs and you kept coming to our minds."
Hubby let it be my choice. Though he fell instantly in love, he knew I would be the one doing all the 'taking care of' since I was at home with the babies. One look at that little rolly polly guy and my heart melted. He was strong and sure of himself and had learned very well how to get around without a front leg. He even used his stub (He had a shoulder and part of a leg that extended a couple of inches down and ended with a tiny little paw pad.) for balance whenever he knelt down to smell the ground.
Samson was ever so smart and so quick to train. He became house broken after only 3 accidents. Leash or no leash was never a problem for him because he appointed himself the mighty protector to the girls and I. As a matter of fact, when he was only 8 months old he proved himself to be something of the movie famed Lassie. Our front yard was on a hillside slopping downward to the main street running through the base. As quick as quick can be, our toddler got up from our play area and started running down the hill....quickly losing her footing and control. Before I could even get completely on my feet, Samson ran passed her and stopped sideways. He had made himself to become something of a wall and caught her in his belly so that she bounced off him and fell to the ground. Then he nudged her with his nose to right herself up and waddle back to us.
Really, I promise it is a true store and no fabrication or truth stretching at all.
He went everywhere we went and did everything we did. It is hard to believe without seeing it but even with his missing front leg he loved to swim and did it with excellence. I could go on and on with so many stories but I fear of boring you.
When he was 8 years old, Samson started to slow down. He started to propel himself around the house by walking his hind feet and pushing his one good front leg in front of him, looking something like a wheel barrow I suppose. He was sore all the time but he never complained. He dutifully followed me everywhere around the house, always at my feet so that he could second guess whatever I needed. Eventually it became hard for him to even go outside to do his daily business, a fact that I could tell humiliated him. He would try so hard and then end up hurting himself with cuts and bruises from falling.
His front shoulder could no longer take the pressure of his 70 pound frame anymore. Surgery was not an option because there was no other leg to compensate during recovery. My husband and I did the only thing we could do for Samson. We held him and hugged him at the clinic as the vet helped him go to sleep one last time.
Oh Father God this still hurts so much. Please help me get through this and heal.
We did have a couple more dogs after that but it just wasn't the same for me. I tried to love them. I had compassion for them, I cared for them, but something was missing. I don't know if it was because my life was busy or if I was comparing or if I was just broken. I would often ask inside my heart....what is wrong with me? I didn't even want to be around friends pets and that confused me even more because I had always been something sort of an animal whisperer type of person. I began to think that maybe I just wasn't supposed to have animals anymore....
Until I started thinking about this little guy. When this thought started to grow in my head and heart almost a year ago to research Westies, things began to change in me. It took time to heal and change. God let it become a yearning for me because that is what I needed to clear away the emptiness that was in my heart.
Gosh I am so in love with this little fuzzball. It is only a week that he has been mine and he has completely changed my life. I am so grateful.
I had better stop writing for now and go clean the tears off my face. Thank you for listening and understanding. Thank you for letting me get it all out.