Saturday, February 18, 2006

Shu Shu

Back in 1990 when I was 18 and fresh out of high school (some of you stop groaning and thinking how young I am, the rest of you I am not that old, piss off) I got very ill with pneumonia and ended up in the hospital for 5 weeks. When I got out of the hospital, I got to go through therapy due to the trauma (been there, done that, got the white streak in the hair) and a demerol addiction. Part of my therapy suggestions was a pet. At about the same time I was thinking it over, a friend I worked with informed me that her boyfriend's dog was in labor. Off we went. I got there right after the first puppy was born, but I got to help with the second one and hold her as soon as she was born. I claimed her for mine.

I went every day to spend time with this new puppy and get her used to me and so I could get to know her before bringing her home. She was an absolute priss of a pup. I told my mom this and her name became Shu Shu. Because she was very very shu shu and all that implied. Hated getting dirty. Walked with one paw in front of the other which gave her a jaunty little bounce to her walk. She was always happy. If she had been human, she would have been the perfect blond cheerleader. She liked everybody. There were no strangers, only new people to love her. She is the only dog I have ever seen that didn't squat to pee. She launched her back end into the air and held herself on her 2 front feet and when she was done would walk a little ways forward before she ever set her back feet down. She took prissy to an extreme.

As a puppy, she loved marshmallows. She would eat them if you didn't watch her, until her little belly was big and round. Then she would lay on the floor and give little burps. She never begged for food unless you offered her a bite first. If you gave her a bite first, she would then sit at your feet and if you ignored her, she would reach her paw up to touch your knee then sit back down. She was never rude.

When T and I first got married, money was tight and we lived with his folks for about a year. My father-in-law does not really care for animals. He adored Shu Shu. He would carry her everywhere, feed her cheese and treats and get upset if she sat in anyone else's lap. She won him over completely. When she sleeps, she sticks her tongue out of her mouth and when you wake her up, it takes her a good 10 minutes to get that tongue back in. I have proof. Here she is getting woke up by the camera.

Such a princess. At the age of 9 years old she had her first littler of puppies and she was a champ at birthing. Once she got them out it was our turn entirely. Puppies are messy. She didn't do messy. The next year she had her last litter. Five years ago we had her fixed and at the same time had a golf ball sized tumor removed from her stomach. We didn't do a biopsy. She was 10 years old. If it was malignant, we wouldn't have put her through the hell of treatment, and if it was benign, why spend the money for a biopsy?

Last night at around 10:45 I held my baby in my arms, told her I loved her and watched her take her last breath. I cried. I am still crying. I don't know why pets get to us the way they do. I just know it hurts when they leave. My father cried when I told him. My father-in-law cried and dug her grave for her. Today she was buried and all of the family attended. This isn't normal and we have never gathered for any other pet. She was just that special to us. I'm not angry about her death because she had a very long full life for a dog. It wasn't unexpected because she has been spiraling down for 2 weeks now. I'm just going to miss her and her happiness.

Goodbye, Baby Girl.

P.S Dear God, I'm down. Please stop kicking me now, k? Thx.


strangelittlemama said...

I'm so sorry about your sweet pup. I totally understand the feeling.
I hope time heals.

Helen said...

I'm sorry Shu Shu had to leave now.
I'm sorry dear pets ever have to leave. (And I know what you mean about how some pets get to you more than others. We've had many cats -- but only one Shadow; we love the two "new" ones, but they're not the same).
In time, when the hole in your heart is smaller and more possible to fill, and the universe will tell you when that time is right, some fur friend will step in... In the mean time, grieve gently, remember with joyous tears, and try to be at peace.

Norma said...

Oh, I'm so sorry, Angie. So very sorry.

Christina said...

Now I'm crying too. I'm so sorry to hear about this. How are the other dogs taking it?

*long-distance hug*

Hope things start getting better.

Ryan said...

I lost both of my (elderly) cats over the course of a year quite a while ago, and I have never recovered emotionally enough to get another cat--so I know how you feel.

Big hugs to you, Angie, and I sure hope life takes a turn for the better for you really, really soon.


Jae said...

I'm so sorry. She'll remain in your heart.

Alden said...

Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for posting about Shu Shu, though; she sounds like a wonderful dog.

Cathy said...

I'm sorry Shu Shu passed on but, oh the joy she gave. I will think of "don't do messy" and smile in her memory.

Imbrium said...

My heart goes out to you and your family. I'm so sorry.

Melinda said...

Oh, Angie, I'm so sorry. Anyone who ever loved a pet understands that they're the best kind of family.

I hope your life turns the corner any second now.

Big hugs.

Jeanie said...

I can totally relate to your pain and my heart goes out to you. It's so great that your family gathered together for a memorial in Shu Shu's honor. Allow yourself to grieve and don't apologize to anybody for it. Some pets make more of an impact on our lives than humans. When we lost our Shih Tzu (Farrah) we gathered together and said a prayer over her grave (in our back yard). I cried like a baby when we lost her and still miss her when I think about her. Be good to yourself during this time, and know that the pain will ease in time.

chris said...

Ohhhh, honey I am so sorry . . . I'm sitting here at my desk at work with tears streaming down my face . . . wish I could give you a big hug right now.