Thursday, August 31, 2006

A girls best friend

The old saying goes "Diamonds are a girls best friend", I wish I could say the same was true for me, but I really do not care too much for diamonds. I know, I'm weird...LOL!

But I've realized something these past few days. Just a little background here for anyone that hasn't read my blog in the past year. Shortly after we moved out here to the country last summer we got a puppy and named him Harley. Harley is a boxer mix and was SOOOOOO small when we got him. He's now a little more than a year old and is just a great dog!

When I was growing up on the farm, we had dogs, but we really weren't allowed to befriend them because if they became too friendly they wouldn't do their job of watching over the farm and keeping strangers away. It wasn't that I didn't love our dogs when I was growing up, I just didn't really know them that well.

Since hubby and I have been married was have almost always had a dog in the family, unless we were living somewhere that dogs weren't allowed. The dog that he brought into our relationship was a sweetie, the biggest lap dog I have ever known (he weighed about 125 pounds...LOL). But that dog was a pit bull and shortly after our son turned 1 he got snippy one day and nipped at our son. His teeth never made contact, but we knew then that we wouldn't be able to keep the dog around the kids. We tried our hardest to find a home for Boz, but it simply wasn't meant to be, no one wanted a pit bull around, so we had no other choice but to put Boz down. I felt so bad for my hubby the day he took Boz to the vet to have this done, it was a very sad day for all of us.

It took us about 2 years before we got another dog. We called on an ad that was left in a local paper about a terrier mix dog looking for a new home. Now, my inexperience with dog breeds led me to believe that this would be, at the most, a medium sized dog, never in a million years did I think this dog would be as large as it was. To my total objections, Dudley came home with us. He was indeed a terrier mix, but was mixed with a German Shepard and weighed very near 100 pounds. At the time we were living in a double wide mobile home and I really didn't want a dog this large in the house, but Dudley settled right in and became a true member of our family. He was a sweet heart who was loved dearly by all of us. He would let the kids do anything without nipping at them (we stepped in when they were doing things they shouldn't be like pulling his tail, etc). Not too long after my hubby was locked up I woke up one morning to pile after pile of dog poo all through out the trailer. When I found Dudley he was laying in the front office almost lethargic. I closed the door, cleaned up the poo and went about getting the kids ready for school, trying not to let them know what I knew in my heart, that Dudley was very ill. When they asked where he was I told them he was in the front office sleeping and I thought it would be best to let him sleep. Fortunately they didn't try to challenge me. After I got them to school I somehow managed to pick Dudley up and carry him to the car to take him to the vet. He was still alive, but it was obvious that he wouldn't be making the trip back home with me. I loved Dudley, but he was hubbys dog more than anyone elses. He'd bolt out the back door and jump into hubbys truck in a heart beat and slept on the floor on hubbys side of the bed from almost day one, so making the decision to have him put to sleep was probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, it was almost as if I was having Ric put to sleep. But even the vet agreed that there really was no other choice. It was very traumatic, not only for me, but for the kids too, because we all knew this was daddys dog, it was as if we were losing the only part of daddy that was in the house with us.

It took us a while to recover from losing Dudley, but we did end up getting another dog. This dog was a Lab mix, but was a smaller dog (he weighed around 50 pounds), and his name was Cocoa because his coat was the color of hot cocoa. For the first time in my life I bonded with a dog. When we got Cocoa it was when we were living in the inner city. I was in a very deep depression and was scared to be home alone during the day while hubby was at work and the kids were at school. I think that Cocoa sensed this fear because he never left my side when it was just he and I at home. If I took a nap (which I did alot because of the depression and fear) Cocoa would curl up next to me and take a nap also. If I went down to the basement to do laundry, he went down there with me. Cocoa was truly my dog. Sadly, when the shooting happened and we had to move for our safety, where we were moving to did not allow dogs and we had to find a new home for Cocoa. I was heart broken and swore then and there that I would NEVER have another dog. I do realize that moving was not only necessary, but the best thing we could do. Even though I was missing my Cocoa, the new apartment was just what I needed. It was in a very safe neighborhood, it had oodles of windows that I didn't have to shut the blinds on, so I had tons of sunshine. I eventually came out of my depression and although I do miss Cocoa still, I know that we did what we had to do for the safety of our family.

Getting Harley was hard for me. It made me feel like I had let Cocoa down, but he has been a living doll and once again, he is truly my dog. Harley seems to sense when I need him better than I do. For a while last winter I was having headaches/migraines and a very hard time sleeping. Those nights Harley would climb in bed and literally lay across me allowing me to rub his head or back until I fell asleep. Just touching him like that was a comfort to me. Doing that has lead to Harley sleeping on my side of the bed cuddled up to me every night now. I never realized this as much as I did 2 nights ago.

I had been telling my daughter that I would sleep in her room for a few nights now and it was finally to the point that no matter how much I wanted her to just drop it, I really had to just do this to get it over with. That night, as we were falling alseep, I felt Harley climb in bed with us, but I didn't think anything about it until 5 the next morning when I woke up to being a sandwich in between Harley and my daughter....LOL. It was at that exact moment that I fully realized Harley was my best friend.

This touches my heart like nothing else ever has before. I haven't been the most pleasant person since Harley came into our lives a little over a year ago, but this little guy somehow sees past all of that and realizes how important it is for me to have him in my life. So, even though the saying goes that diamonds are a girls best friend, I'll take my faithful Harley over all of the diamonds in the world!

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