Monday, April 6, 2009

Things I Love and Miss

My favorite Christmas memory took place almost fourteen years ago. I was in high school working the closing shift in a local grocery store. We were about to close, and I noticed a man dump a small bundle by the trash can outside. I guess he thought we were already shut down for the night because when the bundle moved, he kicked it back against the wall. To my surprise the bundle yelped.

My manager and I ran to the door in time to see the man jump in his vehicle and speed off. The tiny bundle—a pudgy, newborn puppy—shivered in the cold night air. Knowing my mom had a heart for pets, I explained the situation and she agreed to let me keep the baby dog. We took her to the vet and discovered she was a German Shepherd mix and was only about a week old, which explained why the pads on her feet were not worn or calloused. I named her Gretchen.

Gretchy was an awesome guard dog and a loving “lap” baby. She also had her quirks like stretching out full length beside me on my old bed, until I got married and she had to sleep in a doggy bed. Also, I couldn’t give her squeaky toys because she tried to protect them like they were her puppies. Two years ago my husband and I moved six hours away from family and friends and had to leave Gretchy with my mom who took excellent care of her for us. Sadly Gretchy contracted a form of canine cancer, as my other dog Maggie did, and recently passed away.

I loved my girls, Gretchy and Maggie, and am glad I had so many wonderful years with them. Their fuzzy ears and cold wet noses brightened up many days. Both of them landed on my doorstep in a way and impacted my life for the better. I miss them greatly, but each day gets better. I encourage anyone looking into getting a pet to rescue one. The local shelters are filled with all kinds of animals that are looking for someone to love them. My girls were both dumped and probably would have gone to a shelter had I not taken them in, and I can’t imagine what my life would have been like without them.

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