The Leaning Cow

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BookBub blindsides me again

September 8th, 2017 ·1 Comment

Drat, I made an inappropriate pun in the title above, and, really, it was totally unintentional; it had to be subconscious. I caught it almost immediately and could easily have changed it, but maybe it is appropriate because it testifies to the intensity of the emotion that wells within me when a certain topic comes up.

The title of the book was enough to sent up a red flag: Thunder Dog. The short synopsis was confirmation of the assault on my heart:

This #1 New York Times bestseller tells the inspirational true story of Roselle, a loyal guide dog who led her blind owner from the World Trade Center to safety during the harrowing moments of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. With nearly 2,000 five-star ratings on Goodreads.

Shane. It will always be Shane; Shane, whom I did not name, remarking that I would always be reminded of Alan Ladd; Shane, who came to live with me when Quentin had to find him a new home. “Will you take Shane,” he asked. There wasn’t time for a breath between his question and my answer, “Yes, of course.”

There was the trip to Memphis with Cameron to meet up with Quentin who brought Shane from Houston, a trip that had us stopping at Historic Sites and staying at a motel and detouring to show where his grandfather and I had lived at the former AF base at Blytheville, Arkansas. It was a trip that was a marathon drive back from Memphis, with no motel and frequent calls from home for the last four hours as anticipating people queried, “Where are you now?”

And there were the years with Shane. Shane who was an Australian Shepherd clown, who loved Wubbas and hugs and trips to the fairgrounds. Shane who was ordered around by Sydney, our elderly Australian Shepherd who had been the last one to whom my father addressed his last coherent words and the one who was by my mother almost a decade later when she died.

And Shane was Quentin’s dog. Shane had followed in the line of the dogs we have had and said goodbye to, and in quite a few years I knew I would have to say goodbye to him. But it didn’t work out that way. Shane had an asymptomatic genetic condition that led to cancer in the heart that struck its lethal blow in a 48 hour period. He was lying on the floor and I was trying not to stimulate him because I knew he would try so hard to please me. And, so, he died alone and untouched. It was shocking, leaving even the vet to wonder and it was the necropsy that gave us the answer. Answers don’t bring dogs back. In fact, someone said to me, “Shane’s gone and he’s not coming back.” Maybe that was the push that got me thinking that everything Shane represented, everything to which he was linked was gone . . . and not coming back. And it was so much to lose forever.

Shane’s memory was the master key to so many boxes of sadness that were stacked in my mind like safety deposit boxes in a bank’s vault. And so when I watched Marley and Me with Owen Wilson, I sobbed and was near tears for days. Homeward Bound? Oh, heaven’s no.

There are so many deserving stories of loyal and wonderful dogs, but I can’t bring myself to read them. I have lived that story

Tags: Just Me - AmeliaJake · The Peanut Butter Cafe & Roadhouse

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 pottermom // Sep 8, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    My son refuses to watch any movie involving a dog. He says they always die and it makes him mad and he bawls for days. He just flat out refuses if the story involves a dog period.

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