Thursday, February 27, 2014

Goodbye Wanda

Do you remember my sweet, when it was just you, me, Poppet, and Butch all the time. I was still new on Langkawi island then. I didn't have any friends. I had just moved in with you pooches, the only human in the dog shelter. All the other dogs had their own rooms but you three were my roommates. You immediately accepted me and welcomed me to the pack. You, me, and Poppet slept on the big bed together. Butch was usually on his sheet-covered sofa or on the floor between the little cupboard and the bed. He would sleep peacefully and deeply all night. He hardly made a sound. You and Poppet though... You girls were nocturnal rascals. I don't know what it was about bedtime that always made you girls decide it was time for wrestling and bitey-face. I'd try to sleep while your playfights shook and jostled the bed. After a while you'd lose interest and sleep while Poppet stayed awake and chewed on my arm contentedly. You were older and you tired quickly. Butch usually just cast a wary eye at all this playing, sighed, and slept dreaming of food, food, glorious food. The other dogs in the shelter often howled but you and Poppet never joined in the noise-making. You never even seemed to notice. Surprisingly, Silent Butch would join in but his howling was tiny and plaintive (so cute!), not what you'd expect from such a big chunky boy like him.

Those days the four of us spent a lot of time together didn't we. Then Nugget joined us and our little pack of 4 became 5. Remember in the evenings you, me, Nugget, and Poppet would play in the yard. The grass was always long then; Tul and Dipin hadn't joined LASSie yet, and the grass wasn't getting cut regularly. You all liked playing in the long grass and sometimes I imagined that we were all in a beautiful meadow somewhere. Butch always spent these playtimes lying in a doorway avoiding baby Nugget. He didn't want to be friends with an annoying silly pupper but you and Poppet were great with Nugget! I remember how grateful I was that you both loved him. We were like a family. You tolerated Nugget even when he was annoying. Sometimes his exuberance even improved your mood on days you were cranky. You'd try to ignore him or tell him off when he wouldn't leave you alone. But somehow his joyful nature was contagious and often you'd forget you were cranky and your attempts at scolding him usually became playing. He made you young again. I loved that.

Remember the stars? At night we'd all sit on the porch steps together. I really loved the stars then. I was a big city girl not used to seeing more than a few stars in the sky. The Langkawi night sky blew me away with its beauty. We'd sit there in the dark silence with all the lights off, my hand on your back, my arm around Poppet, Butch behind me silently willing me to give him more food. I would look at the stars and listen to us breathe and then we'd go all go inside and get ready for bed. Things were simple then and you were one of the best friends I had ever had. I miss our companionable silences. No one had to say or do anything. We were just together and that was good for us. I haven't looked at the stars for a long time. I got so used to them. I stopped looking up all the time and sitting outside in the dark with you. I forgot that was one of the things I loved most about this island life. I got distracted by other things my sweet. I'm sorry about that. I wish we could have one more night on the porch together under the stars.

Sometimes you were upset or moody and you wouldn't come out from under the bed. I understand. I have mood swings too and sometimes I just want to be left alone. We gave each other space when it was needed. You liked alone time and so did I. We were alike that way my sweet.

You often had a skin infection between your paw pads. It would get sore and ooze and you would get cranky but you let me wash it every day. We had problems with your antibiotics in the beginning didn't we. I couldn't get you to take them, not even when they were hidden in wet food or chicken. You'd sniff them out, eat what you liked, and spit out the meds on the floor. I'm so glad we discovered the power of cheese. You loved cheese so much you'd gobble it without realizing I had hidden something in there. I started making sure I always had some in the fridge, in case I needed to give you medication. I called it "Emergency Cheese". You had problems with your ears too but you didn't mind the ear drops. Remember when you and Poppet had that ridiculous fight. What was that all about? I can't help thinking you started it. Dipin had to carry you to the clinic and after that your daily wound cleaning became an ordeal my stubborn one. I'm not very strong and carrying you to the clinic (because you planted your feet and refused to walk) every afternoon almost killed me.

I miss you. I should have visited more often. I'm sorry I wasn't there when you let go of this life. I love you very much.


meowmeowmans said...

What a beautiful tribute to your beloved friend Wanda. Thank you for loving her so very much.

~CovertOperations78~ said...

I am so, so sorry, Lyn :( Wanda will be there waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge. I am glad I managed to give her a treat and a nice petting session on the monday before I left Bon Ton.

ra husky said...

Soft husky wooooos,


LP said...

We are sorry you had to say good-bye to your sweet Wanda. The other side of love is always loss and that sucks. We miss you and hope you are well and happy in your new life.

the critters in the cottage xo