Thursday, March 11, 2021

The Story of Taz

 She came to us on a frigid February night, a scratching on the door so faint, we thought it might  be the wind.  But the scratch became frantic and when I opened the front door, there she sat.  She was a little fur ball the size of a five pound bag of sugar, shivering in the cold darkness.  I brought her in, wrapped her in my warm fuzzy robe and fixed her some food.  She gulped the food, and inhaled a small bowl of water.

I made her a warm bed in front of the fireplace.  We went to bed and minutes later I felt something on my feet.  She had somehow jumped onto our bed and found the place she would be for the rest of her life.

We named her Taz and she created her place with Caliou  and in our hearts.   As most dogs who appear at our door, she had some serious health issues, but we have a good vet and as Rick always said with each dog that appeared and we wrote the vet a check,  we didn't really need to go on vacation anyway.

She bonded with me.  I think because we both had an intense love for fine leather shoes.  She never chewed my shoes, but she would go to my closet and pick out the finest leather, bring it to the sofa and sleep with it.  You could hear these soft little moans of love for the smell and the feel of the leather.  Her biggest delight and greatest joy was when she dragged a 30 year old pair of knee high Gucci boots onto the couch.  

Taz arrived during the midst of some treatments I was receiving and after each one, when I would be so ill, she would curl up beside me on the sofa, never leaving me, even when my head  seemed to stay in a waste basket for hours heaving.  Rick always said she was a gift and he was right.

After Rick died in July, she truly became my shadow, never letting me out of her sight.  If I left to pick up groceries or supplies she met me at the door. I would pick her up and tell her I would always be there for her, I would never leave her.  At night, just as she had since the night she arrived, she slept with me.

I knew she was was aging, that is the heartbreaker about loving dogs, their time is so short with us.

In February when the snow and ice came, she struggled with our daily walks to the barn.  Her breathing was starting to be more labored.  I knew there was heart and lung damage from all those years ago, and I made sure every day I told her how much she meant to me, how much I loved and needed her.

The first week of March, breathing became difficult and I took her to the vet.  I was fearing the worst, and it was not good but we had hopes with the right meds her little heart might beat awhile longer.

On March 4, at 1:15 am she woke me up, she wanted to go outside so we did and she walked around the back yard one last time.  We came back into the house and around 3:30 that little tiny heart that was so big, beat for the last time.

I have grieved deeply for her.  I look for her everywhere,  and now not only do I reach for Rick at night, but Taz as well.  The big dogs, Kodak and Hook miss her too.  But Rick and I talked often about the aging process of humans and dogs and we had decided months before he died that Kodak would be the last rescue.  It takes tremendous resources to take in rescues, it's expensive ( they always have health issues, usually serious ones) and the bond that forms is unconditional love on their part and gratitude and love on the human part. 

Love on any level comes with a price and sacrifice.  Whether it is for another human or a creature, to love with all your heart means if you live long enough, that heart will be broken.  But what can I tell you, lasting love is so worth it.

RIP  Taz.