Tuesday, May 23, 2006

chico

The Chihuahua was particularly cute when I came home from work today. Ears pinned back, body curling with glee, tail vibrating, he slipped out the door, unable to wait for me to enter. Instead of hightailing it into the park the way he normally does, he stayed to shower me with greetings. Although I poke fun at this dog, I appreciate his cuddly, affectionate, always-available-for-comforting nature, and the way he gazes at me with adoration in his eyes. Whenever I pick him up, he relaxes like a rag doll, totally compliant, grateful for the attention.

After dinner, it was my idea to go for a walk in the park. For some odd reason, I wanted to leave the Chihuahua at home this time, but the child insisted on taking the dog as we usually did.

Maybe it was the angle of the sun, but something made the scene in the park magical, with the first rosebuds opening and the slightly crisp air still warmed by the setting sun. The Chihuahua was, as always, thrilled to be alive and with his people.

We walked and ran through the roses to the casting pond and back. Close to home, the frisky Chihuahua bucked and charged, freeing the end of his leash from the child's hand. Off he flew, toward the nearest dog.

Our Chihuahua is not like other Chihuahuas. Ours is loving, trusting, and fearless, totally. He never seemed to realize that his size was diminutive, or that some dogs lacking in sophistication might mistake him for a squirrel.

The ensuing events are a bit hazy to me, as if shock set in from the outset. I was aware of a dog brawl, and afterwards I heard my dog crying mightily. My child was bawling. I clutched the sides of my face in horror, unable to move or comprehend. The owner of the attacking dog tried to pick up my Chihuahua, but my dog snapped at him and staggered over to me, bleeding from the belly.

My neighbor drove me and my family (boy and Chihuahua) to the emergency animal hospital. A heroic effort was made to save his life, but our little chico died tonight.

So far, the aftermath has been unbearable. The house is filled with the toys he loved so much, which he was constantly presenting us with, hoping we'd play fetch. His Pooch Perch is stationed proudly at the window, where he kept vigilance until his people returned home. His little teacup of water awaits him. I can't bring myself to remove his things, which have become suddenly sacred.

In my mind's eye I see him proudly prancing about, doing his utmost to teach me all about the joie de vivre which was his specialty. We were lucky to have him, if only for 10 months. Thank you, chico.

28 comments:

Kelley Bell said...

As you must be well aware, my heart goes out to you Betty.

Im sorry.

Betty said...

Thank you, Kelley. I need it.

Priyamvada_K said...

:(. So sorry to read about this.

Started reading happily thinking this post is about yet another adventure of the little chihuahua, and was shocked to read what happened.

Must've felt terrible. Take care, and a hug to you and your son.

Priya.

Kelly said...

I'm so very sorry Betty. It's so hard to lose a loved pet but to lose one in that manner is unimaginable. I hope for your sake and your sons that you consider filling your house quickly with another dog~ not to replace~ but to drink from the bowl, play with the toys, sit on the perch. Some say it's not the way to heal~but I think it is. A new puppy makes your heart smile again~ even when you don't want to.

Betty said...

diuPriya,
Especially knowing about your grieving, I'm so disappointed that this post had to take a tragic turn. I hope you're doing well.

Hugs,
Betty

Rain said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. I have pets too, and I can't imagine how much it must hurt to lose your precious dog in this way.

Betty said...

Rain,
I never could have imagined it either. I've lost pets before, but to have it happen this way is so much harder.

Shankari said...

Hugs! Cherish the love and memories- Chico lives on- in all of us, thanks for sharing him with us all along.

Betty said...

Shankari,
You're welcome, and you're right. He won't be forgotten anytime soon.

garnet david said...

Things happen so fast. One minute all is well, then Bam!

It must be heartbreaking to see all his little accoutrements lying around.

So sad...

R said...

I'm clicking through randomly...but I am so sorry for your loss.

Betty said...

Garnet,
The event happened so quickly that I was unable to take it in. And yes, my life has radically changed. I am now trying to pretend that I've simply returned to my life one year ago, before the dog was even born. But it's not working- he came into my life and spoiled me.

Betty said...

r,
Thank you. My little chico is worthy of even random attention.

Sideways Chica said...

My dear Betty...I am deeply saddened by your loss. Your words...

"For some odd reason, I wanted to leave the Chihuahua at home this time..."

These words haunt me as I had the very same feeling one afternoon three years ago. I felt I needed to go home from work early, and didn't, and then ultimately found our beloved bird badly hurt, too badly for the doctors to save him.

Thank goodness for our wonderful memories of these little guys who give us so much unconditional love.

I kept the toys about for a long time and still have some tucked away in a drawer.

My love to you and the child.

Teri

Betty said...

Thank you, Teri. One of my regrets is that I never posted photos on my blog. I was sure that the extra time required would finish my blogging career once and for all. That Chihuahua was unbelievably cute (not all Chihuahuas are!). His toys still clutter the living room, and I think I'll keep them there for the time being, until I think of a more appropriate way to memorialize my little sweetie. He was so dainty and fragile, like a bird...

Hugs,
Betty

Betty said...

Kelly,
I replied to your comment earlier, but just noticed that it never appeared. I wanted you to know that I am thinking about your suggestion. thank you.

Hugs,
Betty

Kelly said...

Hi Betty~ I was just stopping in to see how you and your son are doing and to let you know I'm thinking of you both. Is the boy doing okay?
I hope the healing has started, but I know it takes time. Hugs to you both.

Betty said...

Dear Kelly,
Thanks for stopping back! My recovery from this tragedy has progressed better than the child's. He appears to be denying that anything happened. I'm trying different techniques to get him to talk about it, but all he wants is distraction. I may have to enlist the aid of a child psychologist. Thank you for your concern- I truly appreciate it.

Hugs,
Betty

Kelly said...

Betty~ I have no children of my own~ but I deal a lot with children on a daily basis who lose their friends to cancer or disease and I've found that children 'grieve' in a much different way than we adults do. Might I suggest that your sons 'lack of grieving' and wanting distraction is quite normal. Unless you see signs of unusual behavior (acting out from a normally well behaved child) I'd say he's dealing with it the way he knows how.

Betty said...

Dear Kelly,
Thank you for your words of wisdom. I found your comment especially intriguing because to any observer, my child is handling the death better than I am! Perhaps it's actually true that he's OK..... Maybe children are more capable of practicing non-attachment than most aduts are. I'm relieved, because his behavior has not been at all out-of-the-ordinary. You have no idea how much you've helped me.

More hugs,
Betty

Tara said...

I'm here via BlogExplosion, but felt a terrible sense of loss for you as I read through this post. I'm so so sorry to hear this. :(

Les Becker said...

I came to you through BlogExplosion. I'm so sorry for your loss. Pets are so much "family" to us, aren't they? And to think you and your child had to witness such an horrific thing is just terrible.

Betty said...

Thank you, Dawn, for visiting and commenting.

Betty said...

Les,
You're right- the way it happened definitely made the loss more unbearable. When I was a kid, my beloved German shepherd was killed instantly by a car, but I did not witness the event. If I had, it would have been even worse, I think.

Rain said...

Just came to read up on how you are doing, can't expect that it is going to be easy to move on. (sigh) well you are in my thoughts.

Kelly said...

Hope it's getting better for you and your boy. I'm still thinking of you. I have some new pics on this week of 'Misty'~~ Your son may think the one of her with Elmo is funny~ it looks as though she's laughing. ;)

Sideways Chica said...

Dear Betty...I just wanted to pop in and say "Hi" to you and the child. :)

Oh, and also I wanted to give you great big hug!

Teri

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