Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Another "Show and Tail" Post

Time for another "Tuesdays' Show & Tail" hosted by Angela over at West Virginia Treasures! It is a meme to share about past or present pets or furry friends we’ve known. If you’d like to join, HERE is the link to the Guidelines.

Today, I thought I’d tell you about the first doggy love of my life. My Mom told me that I was only a few months old when my dad came home with a little, almost dead Chihuahua/Doxie puppy. It was covered with lice and fleas and several of its littermates had already died. They got the little thing cleaned up and de-bugged, cleared up it’s mange and gave her the name Bootsie because she was a dark honey color with four white boots and a white tip on her tail. (She's the pup between us)

They said she took to me right from the first and would lay with me gently for hours. Many is the night that I would fall asleep rubbing her soft, silky ear between my fingers. Bootsie, and Lena and Gonie (my two invisible friends) were my constant companions for the first 4 or 5 years of my life until my sister got old enough to play with, and then Bootsie was still always there.

This was over 50 years ago and it wasn’t horrible to have puppies, so Bootsie had a lot of them. That’s where I learned how to help birth them- though she seldom needed any kind of help, and mostly we just watched.

Bootsie was a born “MOTHER!” She raised puppies, and kittens and even a little duck! It was so funny because ducks tend to follow their mother’s while puppies don’t. That first day, she’d pick up the little thing and take it to her nest under the house (she always hid her puppies after a few days… probably to give them peace from us kids) and it would follow her back out, so she’d pick it up again and take it back… That went on for several hours until she finally gave up and brought all the pups out into a box Mama put in the washroom.

It was so funny to watch when the puppies would nurse, because the duckling would pick up a teat and sort of gently pull on it and open and shut it’s little beak on it like ducks do when they are grooming each other. At least THAT was a “puppy” she didn’t have to give up, and for many years, whenever they saw each other (when Bootsie would go outside into the back yard or chicken yard (later) they would go up to each other and Bootsie would lick the duck’s face and “Peep-Peep” would do little ducky kisses up and down Bootsie’s back. We have 8mm movie pics of that. This is a picture of my grandma, parents, sisters and me. I'm holding Bootsie and my sister is holding our new puppy, Petunia.

I had that precious little friend for the first eleven years of my life, and she was a very special part of it because I was kind of a shy, quiet little girl… always heavy… and, especially during those last years of her life (my pre-adolescent years) she was always there for me, loving me throughout everything… the kid’s teasing, my Dad’s heart attacks, etc.

I was heart broken, of course, when she took the "Rainbow Bridge," and what is so interesting is that I had never heard of the Rainbow Bridge until only a couple of years ago, but the night she died, when I thought I would too, and I wanted to follow her so badly, I dreamed of walking with her in a wooded area.
We came to an old bridge that crossed a river that was far below and there were mists raising off of it. It was night and the moon was shining so full. When we got there, Bootsie started to cross it and I tried to go with her, but she turned around and looked me in the eyes and I knew that she was telling me that I had to stay, and she had to go... I watched her finish crossing, and when she got to the angel on the other side, she turned again, to say good-bye, and then they went off into the woods on that side. That dream is still so very clear in my mind...


Chatty Crone said...

That was a beautiful love story. What a great dog - she was probably very grateful that you took her in. And sleeping so close to her - I bet that was wonderful.

ClassyChassy said...

What a sweet story - thanks for sharing it! I bet you have a lot of animal tales to tell! I certainly enjoyed reading it! OC and the gang should let you write on their blog more often - you're a good writer with many a great thought!!! Glad you joined in this week!

Angela said...

Precious! Just precious! Isn't it amazing how much love a little dog can give? What a great memory for you to treasure. I have heard from others too that when a beloved pet dies the one who is closest to them will have a dream about how they go to their new life in heaven. I have had those dreams myself. Different from yours but it helped to ease my pain of loosing my beloved pets.

Thanks for joining in! I hope that you will join in next week with another great story.

Tuesdays' Show & Tail!

That corgi :) said...

Bootsie sounded like a wonderful dog! I loved how she would mother anything even the duck!!! thanks for sharing her with us, Linda.


Karly said...

What a great story! I love that animals love us unconditionally. Warts and all lol.

I would of loved to seen Bootsie with the duck...I bet that was adorable. :)