Saturday, August 11, 2012

"Happy & Love"

The Shedding Sultan of SoCal

Happy and love. Love and happy.
These are the words I would use to describe my dog Carmela - - a dog with only two emotions.

She truly was happy to love and loved to be happy. She never growled at a soul.  Never bit.  Never misbehaved. (In fact, she tattled on those who did.)  She never complained.  Even when you stepped on her paw, even when her face was swollen from a tooth abscess, even when she drank tainted rain water and got deathly ill, even when her kidneys were failing and her health was fading --- she still wagged, instead of whined.  Despite her blindness, she still forced light to shine from her clouded eyes.  She still lifted her dry nose in love when I approached.  She was still "love and happy."  Right to the end.

The end was yesterday.

The end came for my Carmela, the chihuahua terrier mix that I rescued off death row from the West Valley Animal Shelter.  The last few weeks, my "Grr" (short for "girl") that I once joked was "as wide as she was tall" - was refusing to eat, refusing to drink, weak, disoriented, ill and fading fast.  Yet still she refused to complain.  But I knew it was time.  I would not let her languish any longer.  Her "happy and love" could not sustain her anymore. She was ready. 
I'm not sure I was.
She went downhill fast.  A week ago, I told "happy and love" that if she needed to go, wanted to go, she could.  I told her I would be fine without my "sentry."  I said, "Go ahead and go, Grr, it's OK."  For the first time in her life, she did not obey me.  A dog who always did what she was told, in this case, she defied.  She pressed on.  In the last two weeks, she got thinner and weaker, but she seemed to save up her energy during the day to be able to extend just a little bit of "happy and love" to me when I came home at night.
Then, when "happy and love" was more than she could do, I knew.
It was time to let her go.
She would not complain.
She would not whimper.
She would not whine.
She would just go quietly, peacefully and I would let her.
I will remember her, not as she was at the end, withered and weak, a shadow of herself, but as the Carmela I remember from the first day I saw her in the kennel - the golden, glowing, chubby Chihuahua mix with that "happy and love" face, radar ears, "pack-a-day" bark, and a tail that never seemed to rest.  From that first day in the pound, when she was surrounded by stressed out, barking pooches and cold floors, she was peace and warmth.  She was then, and until the very end, the dog who brought "happy and love" into my life.

(a.k.a."The Piglet" Wigglesworth DeVille" "Grr" "Carmela-Hoo")
Happy & Love

"Loving Sisters"


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