It was Christmas Eve 2005, Eric and I were only married for two months; we didn't have much money and we were still wrapping our minds around being married, owning a house and having to shovel our own walkways.
I woke up to an empty spot beside me and smiled. A couple of years before we were married, Eric started bringing me fake cappuccino from WaWa on Christmas Eve because he knew I liked it. (We joke that it's 'fake' because, um, it is, and that was before I discovered the holy power of actual coffee.) So, when I woke to that empty spot I assumed that's where he went. Smiling to myself I skipped downstairs thinking how lucky I was to marry such a wonderful man.
Two hours later I was pissed. Where the hell was he? Our first Christmas Eve in married freaking bliss and he's no where to be found. And where the hell was my fake cappuccino? I heard the front door open and I stalked to the front hallway, a lecture brewing in my mind destined to bring him to his knees while making his ears bleed.
He stood in the front hallway with a goofy grin on his face. Before I could even take a breath to support my rant a little furry foot fell out from under his jacket. All conscious thought left me and I was left squealing like a little girl rambling off high-pitched nonsense. “Oh my God! A puuuuuuuuuupppyyyyyyyy!”
Eric revealed a small, shaking Shetland Sheepdog. One look into her tiny little face, with her ears bent forward and I was gone.
I mean, look at that picture, how could you not fall in love? I named her Chrissie since she was a Christmas Eve gift, creative, right?
Eric did his research into the breed, but being the type of person I am I needed to find out everything I could about Shelties. I found out that although Shelties are mostly known as sweet natured, most are timid around strangers and can sometimes be high-strung. Keeping this in mind I kept the house quiet and nurtured my little furry friend as well as I could.
But Chrissie had her own opinions what her breed should be like. She broke every rule in the Sheltie handbook. Instead of being afraid of strangers she'd run up to them and beg to be petted. We would joke that she would invite a robber in and show them where we hid everything for just one pat on the head.
Chrissie kept us on our toes that first year. We got her Christmas Eve, but Christmas Day we had to take her to the hospital. She was very lethargic and not eating, turned out she had pneumonia. Luckily, her recovery was swift and in about a week we were busy chasing a very active, pooping and eating machine. When she was about six months old I came home during my lunch break to find out that she had taken a liking to DVDs, and I don't mean watching them.
One day I came home to find a movie out from the cabinet, with the DVD laying next to the open case. Chuckling, and a bit amazed that this little puppy was capable of doing such a thing, I put the DVD back in its case and away in the cabinet. The next day I came home for lunch and the same DVD is laying out of its case. Next to it is a second DVD case, open, no DVD. Thinking she carried it off somewhere I started to look for it, until I noticed that the first DVD… was half eaten. To this day, that second DVD has not been found, we think she ate it.
That same week, I came home from lunch to find my cute little cuddly puppy with an orange face. The damn dog got into a 2pd container of cheeseballs and ate ALL of it except for a handfull. She sat there with orange fur and had the nerve to look at me, then the container and back to me with a face that obviously read “…but I saved you some!”
Ah, good times. 🙂
So, why this random post about a dog? Well, friends, Chrissie hasn't been her usual, bouncy, energetic self lately. This past Monday we noticed that her throat was severely swollen making it difficult her her to eat, breath and bark. (Honestly, we were ok with that last one.)
Thinking it was an allergic reaction of some sort we gave her Benadryl. The swelling decreased to a point, but not all the way. On Wednesday I went to pick her up and found lump after lump on her body. The next stop was the vet. We ruled out infection which leaves us leaning towards cancer. There is still a chance that it's not and I'm trying not to give up hope, but I admit, it's difficult.
I was never one to be gushy over dogs. They're dogs. I had one growing up, I was devastated when he died, but he was a dog. Chrissie tore down that wall for me. She became a part of the family and rightfully so. I don't know what the next few days will hold; truthfully, I don't know what the next few hours will hold. But she's here now and that's all that matters.
Note: This post was published Friday, June 3rd. Saturday, June 4th we put our dear Chrissie girl to sleep. She was in too much pain and the prognosis was not good. If we had money to spare the treatment would have been extensive and expensive. As it turns out we do not have money and we didn't want to see our once vibrant dog waste away to nothing. Rest in Peace Chrissie 🙂