Wednesday, December 31, 2008

This one time, back in 2004...

It was four years ago this week that we acquired a little pup we called Jazz.

Instead of tucking our little girl into bed at night and expanding her solid food horizons, we gave you "1/4 dry puppy food and the rest of the bowl with chicken", which I would painstakingly poach and then strip into bite-size chunks. Instead of tending to our baby girl if she woke in the night, we had to teach you the tough puppy-love Whine It Out method of soothing your yelping self to sleep. It nearly gutted me. I would lie awake desperate to rush and comfort you and give you (who am I fooling, and me) something warm and loving to snuggle into so you slept knowing you were safe and loved. But we couldn't do that, for we knew you would fast become a big dog and not remain a tiny, poky little puppy forever.

You were the arrow that pierced my heart that first summer and festive season without Ella. I was completely bereft, unable to bear facing the Christmas and New Year period that year. I had had my ninth baby taken from me barely a week prior and I guess my hormones were still coming down from their late first trimester high. But when Steve coaxed me into admitting I wanted you, after the second sighting of you through the pet shop window, I didn't desist. I stood in that shop while he filled out the paperwork I was too emotional to complete, holding you so close to my chest.

The warmth of a little body, a body of a pup who weighed more than the maximum weight my firstborn had ever reached, made me swoon. I could feel your strong heart beating as if it would pop out through your puppy fat-covered chest. I gazed at you daily, how beautiful you were, as I pondered time and again how it could be that you were separated from your mother and your litter so early in life. I cried bitter, sweet tears for you. For your mummy. For me, I knew ultimately. And you let me, you dear little thing.

At night, while we relaxed in front of the tv, I would let you lie down my chest. You felt safe there. I felt safe with you there. Your weight was an anchor to keep me grounded, especially during the passing of the first anniversary of our daughter's death and then, a month later, passing. You were blissfully unaware of what you represented to me, personally. But without your life, in mine, I would have been completely and absolutely bereft that year.

All this is not to say that you didn't grow into a little turd over time. Not only that, you were still being weaned from the chest-lying liberty we had both taken with each other when I was over four months' pregnant with the LGBB. The last time, when you used my gut as leverage as you ricocheted off me onto the floor when it was "nigh-nigh's time", I think we all knew... it simply had to be your last time. You asserted your place in the family and staked your claim as Top Dog long before my trusty doggy soulmate was willing to give over. Although you've convinced yourself you're at the top of the heap, mon frer, my Pep has that claim and rightfully so until she's ready to go.

Granted, Pepper's not as agile as you. She's not nearly as good at causing grievous bodily harm to anyone either. But she is my Top Dog. You have to give her that, Miss Mena. No bones about it *see what I did there?* you will just have to continue to do your time. It's a sentence you know you signed up for.

You and me, Jazz, I know the future always had you in it. And not my dear old girl for very long after we brought our first baby home. I'm surprised she hasn't abdicated the throne before now, to be honest, but I am not one bit surprised on the other hand. Until she is comfortable to go, Pep will stay. And so until then, my little 28kg insolent bag o' beans, we shall have to continue to sneak you out for days of pleasure and joy with us so that you know there will be an end to this imprisonment. Keep your sense of humour. Your brand of fun and joy is infectious - much like the LGBB's, which is not lost on me one bit - so please don't let it be ruined, Universe, by the stranglehold my increasingly old and doddery doggy has on life (and in turn, her arch nemisis, the successor we call Libby).

But you understand, I cannot wish it away for you. My lovely, lovely doggy babies. How I have recently taken you for granted. This trip down memory lane (doing a search of both your names on the old blog) has been sobering tonight.

I MUST put up the Dog animal totem soon. Have been meaning to. Remind me if I forget (again), Internet xx

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