Monday, July 29, 2013


I would love to create a digital scrapbook of memories either in blog format or one of the new digital book/albums that one can made these days because of digital technology in a fairy tale style and format.  But for several reason I won't:  #1 reason is because I just don't have the time or energy nor know where to locate all the images that I am picturing in my mind.  However, I wonder if my mind actually fails me from time to time as well.  Because as I think of all the many photographs that Precious made her appearances, I realize Christmas cards one of her biggest cameos.  So as I am thinking, I think of a certain image two children dressed in denim: one wearing a long sleeve denim shirt with jeans, a cute little boy,  and then the blonde-haired little girl wearing a denim dress and then my thoughts sort of come to a screeching halt.  NOPE!  That wasn't Precious!  That was two children and our two Shelties (aka Shetland Sheepdogs--sort of like miniature collies).  See our memories will trick us in a heartbeat if we let it.

So I come back to my title:  Precious and Me
Who saw the movie, Marley and Me?  Or who was even braver and read the book?  Well, I didn't read the book, but listened to the audio CD when coming back from San Antonio on a trip with my husband.  Much like Marley, our almost-15-year-old poodle, was far from a perfect dog and I admit especially toward the last few years of her life, I wasn't the greatest owner neither.  But like Marley, Precious was so forgiving and always loved us no matter what! 

I don't have a blog post full of memories of Precious all though if I scan my memory long enough or talk to my children who many of their own, I can come up with some.  Of course, John Grogron, the owner and writer of Marley and Me was also a writer for a local paper...which of course, wasn't like our local paper.  It was after all Miami.  So I don't remember what kind of column it was or the name of the paper, I do recall that John shared many misadventures and heart touching stories over the years, thus he pretty much had been documenting his life all  along.  So he had a head start and putting his story together.

I shed many tears and laughs to listening to John narrate his experience with "loopy" dog as he described, but also shed many because I knew that the life of our family pet, who have often been pushed aside honestly because at time she was quite annoying like:
  • When she was right under my feet while cooking hoping I would drop a morsel or two for her.
  • When she insisted on being in the studio with me while I photographed a session (but she was paid back for that!--she often used as the subject to get babies to smile!)  So many of them loved her.)
  • Or when she woke me up in the middle of the night throwing up on my bed because someone left some Reese's on the end table.  She made a pig of herself.  Yes, we learned not to leave chocolate or any food out for that matter after that.
  • The list could go on...espeically toward the end when she was just getting old she could help herself.
But you know I have come to a conclusion that our beloved dogs love us unconditionally like God does.  We can be angry with them.  Yell at them for no reason and they'll bow their head and in few minutes be ready to love on you again.  They certainly didn't hold grudges and nor get angry at us.

Every dog has their idiosyncrasies just as their owners do.  So I won't go and on about her issues and I don't want to spend, tons of time or energy on this, but I do want to remember and document that her favorite thing to do was to just beside you...not in your lap but beside you.  So you see, she wasn't a lap dog, but a beside-you dog.

And I called this Precious and Me because she bonded with me.  She was Christmas gift for 6-year-old Cari in 1998.  Cari had asked for the Golden Retriever like in the Homeward Bound movies.  We already had two outside dogs, the Shelties, Christy and Pepper.  So we (or was it I) decided that she would possibly be pleased with a golden poodles instead.  She was born that November and she called an Apricot-colored Pooodle.  Her breed wasn't an official breed if I remember correctly from discussing with the owner over the phone.  She wasn't Toy Poodle and she wasn't a Tea Cup Poodle.  The owner called her a Miniature-Toy.  She was about 8 pounds when reached maturity and by the time she was one her peachy colored had begun getting more than apricot in color.  She was a year and a half when we moved here.  Still just a puppy!  She loved running around in the big yard and chasing a toy down the hallway, the hardwood slick floors not so much.

We knew her time was getting near.  She was struggle getting down the steps, her movements were much slower and she often had this distant look. Her hearing wasn't good at all, but at time it seemed okay.  Her vision was very poor especially in right eye, but she still had remarkable since of smell because she and the other dogs (Ellie and Pixie) never missed a chance to be under our feet when cooking in the kitchen.


She passed away on my birthday at the end of the day.  Of course, I was sad and I cried.  But it had been answer to a pray because I had prayed she would die in her sleep so that I would know it was really her time.

We were out of town and Cameron had to bury her for me.  So I decided to do a family memorial service for her the following Sunday because I knew Cari would be home to celebrate Natalie's Birthday, a birthday supper was planned for that evening.

I asked everyone to write down something to share, but even I didn't actually do it, only Natalie did:

"Precious I Love you with all heart.
I loved taking pictures with you
When I was two because were so fluffy
And looked so cute in a pink scarf.
You were a great dog.
I remember when you sat beside me and Mimi.
So I know you loved me,
So I loved you back 
Just like everyone else did."

(Natalie Ainsworth, 8 years old)

Randy shared how this was our first time to bury something as family.  Cameron shared how he remembered the first time he saw her.  Cameron and Randy went and picked her out.  Then Cari remembered her little broken or sprained paw that she had when she was puppy.  The vet made a splint out of a syringe by splitting it in half and then wrapped it with medical tape.  It didn't stop her little sweet self from running around and it was quite funny because she sounded like she had a little "peg-leg".  Brittany shared how she shared food with her when she first met her and started spending time here.  I thanked everyone for being here and Cameron and Brittany for arrangements they made while we were gone.

She was already buried while we were still out of town.  So we buried her favorite toy right beside her.  She only had one favorite toy!  She wasn't as "into" toys as Ellie and Pixie have been except for this one toy!  I should have photographed it before burying it and if I run across a photo of it, I will share it, but it was an off white lab with fluffy fur that reminded us of her.  We often thought she thought it was her "baby".  She would play fetch with it, but she also enjoyed sleeping beside it.  She had not played or slept with it lately because I had kept it put up because Ellie and Pixie would have destroyed it. Their mission is to demolish toys with stuffy whereas Precious was content to fetch it or sleep with it like a pillow.  I hate that she didn't get to use it in her last days, but I am grateful that we had something significant to bury as a family.

Yes, we all choked back tears, but those of who us really whaled were Natalie and I (the others may have too--but I didn't witness them) were trying to not get to that point again...maybe we all were.  On the way home last night from Natalie's birthday supper, Randy (who I thought probably thought this was all silly) told me that he thought it went well.  

We ended with a prayer thanking God for allowing such a loving pet into our family.  She truly loved us all and everyone who walked into our home/studio for whatever reason.

I end this post with a quote the writer of Marley and Me:

“. . . owning a dog always ended with this sadness because dogs just don't live as long as people do.” 

To view more quotes from Marlie and Me.

1 comment:

Shahana Shafiuddin said...

You really loved her... so cute