I’ve always believed that everything happens for a reason, the universe provides, and karma prevails…but I have to admit, all of those theories have been tested to the nth degree when Jackson died. There was no reason for it, the universe took away instead of giving and as far as karma is concerned it would seem the owners of the dogs that killed Jackson have been escaping that karmic smack down we all have been hoping for…
A friend of mine recently lost her dog to an attack and I reached out, know exactly what she was going through
Like her, I hadn’t been able to find anything to sooth my broken heart…..that is until Steve entered the picture. So it goes, I encouraged her to open her broken heart asap.
It all started for me when we were walking through the doors of Pet Smart to find something for Jackson’s grave when we realized they were having an adoption fair. Fools rush in they say…and we hadn’t made it 10 feet through the door before we saw Steve, aka Peppie, aka Chi Chi Rodriguez a Chihuahua from Yadkin County. Dogs were barking all around him, getting rambunctious and dancing the adopt me, adopt me dance but Steve was just… there.
We looked at each other and for the first time since Easter, I saw the reflection of sadness in my eyes…in the mirror that was Steve’s face. His foster Mom , knew who we were and asked if I wanted to hold him and I said yes. I had missed the warmth and cuddle that Jackson had always given so freely and as I held Steve in my arms…I wondered what was this little guy’s story? He had two scars on the top of his head.
Tears welled up in my eyes, seemed like Steve had survived what Jackson had not….so we asked about his background as I continued to hold him. He seemed like me, depressed, lethargic and ready to give up. Apparently, he had belonged to an elderly woman and had somehow made his way to a Food Lion where he was found, neglected, hungry and far away from home. His living conditions were terrible and he was being bullied by several bigger dogs. His owner surrendered him and the animal shelter was looking for his “fur”ever home (on a sidebar whomever came up with that catch phrase is a marketing genius) .
I kept looking down at Steve’s scars, and wondering….we decided to talk it over which is code for Jon was sold and I was hesitant and we wandered around to the other dogs. Many were bigger, some were prettier but none had me looking back over my shoulder as I could see Steve from across the store. He just looked over and watched me silently.
We walked back over and the foster parents offered to let me take him for a walk. As Peppie (his former name) and I walked out into the sunshine, we had a chat. I told him I had lost my best friend on Easter and was having a very hard time. He just held his head up high and listened. I looked at his body and realized he was the longest Chihuahua I had ever seen and wondered if perhaps he was a mix. A few people stopped and said they liked my dog and as the words “oh he’s not mine” started bubbling up, I just said Thanks instead. I ran into a Mother and her daughter who were FB supporters of Jackson’s Law and they shared with me how much it hurt them to learn about Jackson. Steve sat beside me and waited.
Finally I took him back inside and told Jon I needed to think about it.
I was scared we were rushing, and the pain of losing Jackson was just so palpable that I felt guilty for considering giving another dog a home.
But when you love someone and you lose them, where does the love go? It is still there swirling around you like a whirling dervish…and it wants a place to land.
So we ran our errands and I found every excuse I could not to bring Steve home. It’s too soon, Bijoux may not like him, we don’t know his history, what if he is a barker, I don’t speak Spanish…but still we pulled back into the Pet Smart parking lot. I sat in the car like Holly Hunter in Raising Arizona and waited.
Then Steve and Jon appeared and we took him home, on the condition we would foster him until we made up our mind. He sat on my lap and looked up at me and it seemed like he was saying, hey maybe we can get through this together.
That was over 2 years ago.
So far Steve has slept beside me through every depressive nap, evening snooze and when I am working on “Jackson’s Law” he curls up beside me. He can’t spell check so I am thinking he is there encouraging me in my efforts. He’s made friends with every other dog in the neighborhood except the neighbors’…for those he growled and barked through the door, having never seen them or met them, I guess he knew who they were and was standing up for Jackson.
So, Peppie, Chi Chi Rodriguez aka Steve, the dog with the sad face has morphed into a fairly happy camper.
And maybe it’s just me, or perhaps its wishful thinking, but he’s started doing Jackson things. He follows me from room to room, dances when I walk through the door and stands at the car window looking for me when Jon picks me up from the office. He has a bit more puppy in him every day…
I like to think Jackson sent him. He knew he was small too and being attacked by bigger dogs and needed him to be with a family that would do everything they could to give him a better life.
He knew I needed a companion and a guardian, someone with a few years and some extra pounds on him, so I’d have a reason to put a leash in my hand again.
And as if to prove my theory, Jackson even left a treat for him..when he first came home Steve kept going to the couch and sniffing and I finally crawled on my knees to see what had his attention..just out of his reach was one of Jacksie’s chew bones, I gave it to Steve and he began chomping with a smile.
I think Steve is also showing me that while there will never be another Jackson, there can be another that needs love too.
I have a lot of it to give and Steve seems more than willing to accept it. The dog with the sad eyes, now has two rhinestone collars, and wears them with pride and a little Jackson-esque prance.
Grief is a funny thing…I still cry every time I see Jackson’s pictures and every day I still miss him, but Steve is there right beside me, giving me hope..I figured that if he ran away to a Food Lion in hopes of finding a better home, I can at least give him that much.
And I admit it, he’s found a place in my heart…a place that was waiting to be filled.
And just in case Jackson is watching, I kiss the top of Steve’s head every day where he was bitten and I say to myself, “don’t worry Jacks, I won’t forget you”