Welcome to my World

Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Butch and Sadie--and a sad miracle

I thought I had introduced Butch who came to us after Alanna but it looks like the 'net ate that post. Okay here we go. After we lost Alanna we were dogless for the better part of three years. We were just hurting too much at first and then had to wait a bit. I got to where I was carrying treats in my pockets for dogs in theh neighborhood and even putting out scraps for a young female coyote who was in the area--which I know is very bad and foolish but she was cute and did remind me of Alanna when we first got her. But the dog diety always puts the right one in your path at the right time. (Fitting to introduce Butch when the puppy of the day is a Brittany!)

Butch was the total opposite of Mickey, not a rascal but a little old man. We had a friend in the VFW who lost his wife and got a dog for company. I think John must have had a dog as a kid that he called "Butch" for that was the moniker the poor little guy was stuck with and he was sooo not a "Butch" but that's okay. When John was getting ready to move and go into assisted living he begged us to take Butch, so of course we did. Another red and white Brit', he was Jim's dog at first but later bonded with me as male dogs often will choose a female. This was after we got Sadie who was Jim's from day one.

I don't have a picture of Butch scanned in but he was a handsome guy, very typical red and white Britany--the pup of the day today could be his baby picture. LOL. He did not know how to play as he had taken 80+ John for a role model and was always a gentlemanly little old Kentucky Colonel type! But he did love to run, and a Border Collie of a neighbor and he would have great fun playing tag games. The BC was named Dog so Butch and Dog had a good friendship. We got Butch in 1993 and then in 1996, Sadie came to us, another 'rescue' situation.

Sadie belonged to a young couple who were friends of my daughter Jennifer. Stephanie and Jenn had been roommates at Cochise College and became close. They were in each  other's weddings etc. Her parents had ties to Bisbee so Jim knew their family. They got Sadie (half Lab and probably half Setter or Spaniel) as a pup and put her in with two older dogs--and fed them all out of one bowl. Sadie got shortchanged! Then since she got little attention or training she tore up their newly landscaped back yard and was threatened with a death sentence by (another) John who was "mr stephanie". Stephanie begged Jennifer to take Sadie and she did, but Jenn and her kids had a female dog called Shadow as I recall and the two did not get along but one evening we babysat the kids and took Butch along. He and Sadie bonded at once. So for the rest of Butch's life, he had a loving companion. Sadie became Jim's dog and Butch mine.

We laughed about Sadie's 'bad hair days' as she had a long silky coat that really blew in the wind. Trim her and she looked 100% Lab but she was blessed with a lovely wavy coat.  She was black but gradually got white rings around her eyes and white along her muzzle which made a striking contrast. Jim joked that was her lipstick and eye shadow.

Butch and Sadie both loved to go and to be outdoors so they went on lots of hikes and expeditions with us. Butch had a fear of heights and would not look out the SUV window if we were on a mountain road which we always thought was cute. Time flew by as time will and as we eased into the new century, age began to catch up with Butch. He was about three when we got him so was now over ten. He no longer ran and he began to get a bit grumpy. He'd slip on the vinyl floor and I had to coax him to eat. It is so hard to watch when they begin to go downhill but it is inevitable. Sadly their life spans are way too short

And now comes the sad part but also a near-miraculous unfolding of events. Early November 2003, we watched a lunar eclipse with the big 'scope and that night Jim began to get sick. After hours of intense back and stomach pain I took him to the ER. They did not find out anything and we came home very late only to find poor little Butch on the floor, exhausted and confused. He had gotten down and been unable to get up,  struggled almost to death and probably also had a stroke. I was devastated but also had a clearly very ill husband to deal with who had to come first. I made Butch as comfortable as I could with a pad under him and water in reach for the rest of the night. Next morning Jim collapsed in the bathroom and I barely got him up and back to bed. I called our eldest son Malcolm to come over from Bisbee, at my wits' end.

Later that morning I took Jim to his doctor but despite the fact he collapsed again in the parking lot and the nurses came out with a wheel chair to take him in, he was again sent home. "It's probably the flu," the doctor said, even though he knew Jim's history of diabetes and angina etc. If I had seen that adoctor again for the next several months I would have torn him apart with my bare hands; I felt that angry and betrayed.

Then Malcolm carried Butch to the car for me for his final ride, and stayed with his dad while I was gone. I held my little buddy while he drifted away, telling him I would see him again. Then we came home where he'd be laid to rest with Alanna in the yard. Malcolm and his stepson Cory had dug the hole that day.

When I got home, the EMTs were at the house. Malcolm came out and tried to break it to me gently but broke down weeping. He had called 911 and done CPR until they arrived, but his dad was gone--massive heart attack per the autopsy. So as it happened, he and Butch passed over within a few minutes of each other and I pictured them walking across the Rainbow Bridge together, hale and whole again. While it was brutal to lose them both at once, it always seemed right to me. They were okay now and I will see them again in time.

Sadie spent a week or more searching the house and yard. She could not understand how and why her beloved master and her adored canine companion had both vanished from her life. She was with me for another three years and three days but her heart was broken the whole time. I got Rico --you'll meet him shortly--to keep her company but it was not the same for her.

I wanted to include a couple of pictures but they are not working so I'll maybe do them another time. I've got to get this one up today!

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