I can officially bring good news now...I just got a much needed pedicure. How beautiful are the feet of them that bring good news.
The essays of E.B. White were my companions this morning in the pedi chair. E.B., remember him? He wrote Charlotte's Web, a sad barnyard tale. While relaxing in the chair I languidly turned to an essay, any essay. Just so happens I came across an essay that includes many topics, but he wrote quite a few paragraphs about his dog, who had been dead for over seven years. He recalled fondly how the dog came to be their dog, his quirks, habits and the happiness he brought. Couple this essay with an article I read this morning on the Real Simple site about coming across letters and memories from this person's twenties and how affected the writer was by the plain and simple fact he was not who he was in his younger years. Oh, it was a good thing, but my reading pump was primed and then the dog remembrances made me think of our dog Tiff. Her official name was Leap Years Tough Tiff. She was a silver miniature schnauzer that we bought from Peggy. Tiff had ecalsya and for the first few moths we had her, she had to eat on an incline for gravity to take its course and after she ate, we had to burp her...just like a little baby. She finally grew out of it and the dog I picked out and loved, loved someone else, she loved someone more than me. That someone, Roy. She followed him and sat at his feet while he worked or watched TV. When he would go into the bathroom, she would wait outside the door for him. Once he left for the office, Tiff turned her attention to me and I became, her 'you'll do.' When riding in the elevator at the condos we lived in, if there was anyone else, especially a woman riding along, Tiff would go nuts protecting Roy. Tiff kept the famous casserole lady at a distance and for that I am grateful. Tiff loved bananas and she could hear the breaking of a banana off the bunch from far away. She'd be there at your side waiting for her piece of your banana. A friend , Lou, kept her once while we were on a trip and Lou taught Tiff to have tea. Tiff never had her biscuit until you had your treat and she was given the ok sign for her to go ahead and eat. Tiff knew tons of tricks. Tiff was not a very social animal with anyone other than us. We got set in her ways and when we stayed up later than she liked, she would go to her kennel as a hint it was time for us all to go to sleep. *** Old Yeller moment ahead*** Tiff was nearly 14 when we had to put her to sleep. She was fine and then one morning she woke up and couldn't move her back legs. I called Roy and he made an appointment to see the vet that afternoon. The vet warned him that the kindest thing we could do for Tiff was to put her to sleep because she was in a lot of pain. I called my friends who I was supposed to play tennis with and they got a sub. I carried Tiff outdoors so she could go to the bathroom and then we spent the rest of the morning sitting in the big chair in the living room. I held her and cried. I think she knew things were not good for her. She took in all the petting and loving. We were waiting for Roy and she heard him getting off the elevator down the hall. She was excited, yet frustrated by not being able to meet him at the front door like normal. He came in, petted her, spent some time with her. It was nearing appointment time, so he went into the bathroom before taking her to the vet. She whined and wiggled and struggled to leave my arms. She wanted to go sit outside the door, one last time. She knew...because she made me put her down and let me know she was going to do this on her own one last time. She dragged herself that small distance and waited for Roy. I am crying, unable to even catch a breath. I told Roy, I can't go with you. This is so hard, too hard for me. Although Roy never said it, I think he was happy that I was staying behind so he could have that last ride with his little buddy and long time companion. I was tearing up in the nail salon thinking about Tiff which naturally made the progression to thinking about Buddy. But!I!Am!Not! bringing worries in the future into the present of today. I was trying to keep composed in public.
Now, I cannot leave the post with the Old Yeller moment or any animal movie or book where the long loved pet passes onto puppy or kitty heaven. So, I will tell you another animal tale that just happened to take place last night. Oh, this is going to be more of a reptilian tale. Last night after dinner, Roy was helping me with some things and he stops in mid help and says to me, I need to tell you something. Well, that didn't sound good, it was foreboding. I braced myself, trying not to let the million thoughts of what could be wrong go through my head. He told me, on Tuesday night where the sidewalks split on the green space, he had seen a little snake. He wanted me to be careful and mindful of their presence. Uh, I have thought and moved and had my being when outdoors to have a snake sighting in mind since March 24. He said it looked like the one he killed at our front door, water moccasin and he thought the snake to be about two years old. What???? Hey, when did he become a snake expert? Two years and he added he thought maybe it could be the child of the snake he killed. I'm thinking all this from just seeing that "little" snake on Tuesday? So I asked him how he knew it was two years old. His response, I'm from Louisiana! I grew up in the bayous. What? You were raised in Shreveport which is like saying, you are from Dallas...not the Cajun bayous and waterways of south Louisiana! He told me he grew up playing in the bayous around his house. Well, Roy, I grew up playing in the bayous of Houston, slid down the banks of Braes Bayou on waxed cardboard and rode my bike on all the trails and little hills located where the Nob Hill apartments are now and I could not tell you how old any snake is. Alligators yes, snakes no. By the way alligators grow about one foot per year. He let the snake go on his merry way but if Roy really loved me, he would have killed that snake. Haha!
One more animal story of note, these wild birds that we are feeding are picky eaters. I bought this fancy smancy bird food for them when I got the new feeder. They throw the berries and almonds to the ground. Hey, that is like expensive granola in the human world. So, I went back to the old seed and they are much happier. Well that is when they are merely eating and not fighting each other for a place at the dinner feeder.