March 29th 2012 1:57 pm
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A wise man once said "When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight". We choose to remember the day you came into our lives, not the terrible day when you left us...
My mind drifts back to when we got you. Dad and I had driven across the state of Illinois to Moline to pick up your roommate, Gipper, and bring him back to Chicago. He was going into an As Good as Gold--Golden Retriever Rescue of Northern Illinois foster home. While we were filling out the paperwork and Dad was walking Gipper around the driveway, the lady said "do you know anyone who would want a Bulldog"?
To say we were stunned would be an understatement. Your Dad had wanted a Bulldog for years--since 1973--but we could never find one up for adoption when we had a "vacancy". We followed the lady to her friend's house, where you had been kept in a crate in the basement for three months. I remember sitting on the steps leading down to the drive-way of the split-level house. The garage door opened, and there you were.
You waddled your special waddle with all your swagger and attitude over to a large landscaping rock--and watered it! Then, as if an afterthought, you glanced over and saw us. You casually shuffled over on those massive paws. You leaned in, sniffed us both, snorted, and then walked away as if to tell us we were of no consequence to you.
Fast forward. The strangest thing has happened. You have become my baby. My puppy. My Winstie. Your Dad, who wanted the bulldog, has had to settle for whatever attention you bestow on him when I'm not around. When I am here, you are my shadow. You don't have to be right next to me--but you have to be able to see me. Then you are content. And so am I.
When we adopted you, you were seven years old, already a senior citizen by Bulldog standards. I think the lady thought she was sending you off with us to die. But we were blessed. We had four and a half years together, though the last year and a half was rough, courtesy of Nutro and Menu Foods. But you beat them. You survived.
Oh, how I would give anything to cuddle with you again on "your" couch. Feel your big tongue wash my face--you never did anything as simple as a "lick". To stroke your so very soft and unbulldog-like fur. To plant a kiss on the brown spot on the top of your head--the spot where the angel kissed you before you were born. To scritch your ears and scratch your fuzzy butt. To hear you lay down in the doorway and start to snore.
I hope somewhere, somehow, you know how much you were loved, and are loved. I miss you so, sweet bully boy. And I thank you for all the wonderful memories that I'll cherish forever.