Sixteen years ago this summer, I went on an adventure that changed my life. I took my Mom to the animal shelter. What possessed me to go, I have no idea. But, at the end of the two rows of cages was a little tiny black and brown mutt. She had her nose sticking through the chain links and was the quietest one there. I fell in love!!! I drove straight to Safeway and began begging Jeff to let me bring her home. His words to me went something like this, "we don't need a dog".
I continued to turn on the charm, mentioned that she is just what our little one year old needed. We had just bought our first home a few months before and it is the perfect time to bring home a pet. I had trouble on this memory, but, Jeff said he drove out to see her with me and there was no turning back. She came home to us. We asked Bugg to name her. Well, what 18month old child would have much to say, but our little girl named her Tisha! That may have been just what we heard, but that became her name. She tore up our back yard, she was a digger. She dug hole after hole after hole. She went camping with us and boating with us, but she never got in the water. She HATED the water. Jeff used to fill those holes she dug, with water and put her nose in them to try and get her to stop digging. Which I believe led to her extreme distaste for the water. Jeff and his buddy had gone out driving around near Berry Creek, or Ben Irving Reservoir one year and had taken Tisha. He had to work the next day and I had been working the Evening shift at the hospital. So the next morning when I got up, I didn't see Tisha in the back. I called Jeff at work and asked if she was there when he had left for work. Jeff has never been real good at telling stories and he stumbled over some words. Finally, he told me that he and Ken had left her at Ben Irving!!! I said, "what!?" He went on to tell me that when they were done doing whatever it was they had been doing up there, that Tisha didn't come when they called her. So they left! Bugg and I hopped in the car and headed out to Ben Irving and we drove around there yelling for Tisha. We drove and had our windows down calling out her name. Bugg was just little, in the car seat trying to yell her name. We went home sad. When Jeff got home from work, he went searching. I think he would have been in the doghouse himself had he not have. He returned with my dog!! We went camping one summer and we all had swam to the other side of the little "creek" and she was so upset because she couldn't get to us. She yelped and hollered and paced back and forth across the bank and then she finally jumped in the water and swam over to us. This is the one and only time I can remember her getting in the water. A couple of years ago the girls and I were walking through Gaddis park, there was this little family handing out puppies. They were white and speckled, they told us they were Blue Healer/Chihuahua mix! What a combo, I know. The girls fell head over heels and thought for sure that Tisha needed a companion. We snuck one of the puppies in our rig and brought him home. Buddy did become a great companion to Tisha. One summer we found Tisha's leg to be bleeding. We couldn't figure out what was happening to her. Upon further inspection it was evident to Jeff that Tisha had been shot! We found out that one of the neighbors had done it. It was one of the kids of the neighbors, but none the less. Last year was when I ran over her leg. I think I wrote about that. That was horrible. That was the beginning of her slow decline. The last few months Tisha's tail began to sag and her legs were getting a little stiff. I began to worry, knowing how old she is. We always had someone look after her when we were away. Jeff and I would have talks about what to do, he continued to reassure me she was fine. She was getting around good and we were giving her Aleve and Ibuprofen pretty much every day. He promised me that if she were in pain we would know. A little before 3 this morning we heard a cry we had never heard before. Our bedroom is by the garage where the dogs sleep. I reached for Jeff and we both bolted upright. We ran to the garage to see Tisha stuck. She couldn't move her hind legs. She had to go to the bathroom and she couldn't move her feet to get there. When she would try to move she cried. We took her an aleve, we tried to lay back down. That was pointless. We cried and knew this must be the time. Jeff went ahead and got ready for work. I didn't til about 5. I would lay and listen for her to move. She cried a few more times before I needed to leave. I went out and tried to help her up, but it wasn't going to happen. I cried so hard. I went and tried to tell Peanut what was going on, that I needed to leave for work and that Tisha wasn't doing well. I told her through tear stained cheeks, that Daddy would be home soon to take her to the doctor. I headed to work. Later, I found out that Peanut didn't quite comprehend what I was telling her at first. When she did, she took her sleeping bag and pillow and headed out to lay with Tisha. She laid with her til her sister came home. Then their daddy came home and did what he had to do. Thank you Lord, for giving us such a wonderful companion all these years. She was such a part of our family and she will be missed. Jeff painted a stone for her and she is in the back yard. She will never be far from us.