DRESSING THE DOG
Chapter 4 (Part Two)
Time was marching forward and we were all getting older. Our sweet Bebe, the matriarch of the family, had sadly made the journey across the rainbow bridge and Sophie was struggling to stay with us. She had suffered with varying health issues for most of her life and we coddled her like a baby chick. We had added another girl to our family, little Addie Mae, and Sophie went mad with jealousy. Addie Mae was only a baby, so they never fought, but she didn’t like her… not even a little bit. She had always been mostly attached to my older brother and when he moved into his own apartment, he thought she would be happier with the rest of the gang… but now that was NOT the case. Sophie was miserable. Her health was declining and she was missing my brother so the decision was made for her to go and live with him and she turned into a new little girl! She was never going to get better, but she was at least HAPPY. One morning while Mummy and I were away on a trip, Sophie went into a coma and the painful decision was made to let her go. Mummy and I raced back home where everyone was numb with grief. Mummy said that no matter how long we live, it just isn’t long enough and the parents are never prepared for the end when it comes. I had always loved Sophie and now she was gone.
Months passed since we had lost Sophie and Mummy was still sad. She had been checking out Facebook, just aimlessly scrolling through the news feed when a random picture of a little RESCUED Yorkie caught her eye. This little girl was in terrible shape. Both of her eyes were terribly infected. She had been severely neglected and starved to near death. The vets weren’t sure if she would lose her sight or not. Mummy’s heart broke in two and at that very moment… she had to have her! She said later that she would never be able to say, exactly, what it was about THIS SPECIFIC BABY that spoke to her. Because surely, she had seen HUNDREDS of RESCUE dogs posted on Facebook, but THIS was the one she had to have. We were on our way out of town and the next post she saw was a picture of this same little doggie following surgery where indeed, one of her eyes had been removed. The vets were hoping that she would have SOME vision in her remaining eye but only time would tell. Mummy contacted the Rescue Group right away and filled out the form. Within a few days, she was contacted, several questions were asked, and before we knew it… I was driving with Mummy to pick her up. That little girl’s name was Tulip. We would give her the middle name “Cherie” which is French for “darling.” Tulip Cherie would slip into our family like she had always been there. No one said a word. She and Addie Mae would hang out most of the time and chase each other around the house. Elvis was too old to bother anyone so he just watched as his domain was being invaded by GIRLS. Katie ran around stealing everyone’s toys and causing mayhem, and I monitored EVERYTHING, because basically… I was the boss. And this was our group now: Elvis, Katie, Addie Mae, Tulip and me… Mummy’s little “Yorkshire terrorists.”
As Christmas approached, the family was all excited because we had friends arriving from Belgium. Mr. Philippe, Ms. Laurence and their son Raphael would be staying with us over the holidays and the whole house was being decked out in festive decorations while Mummy meticulously planned the dinner menus. They arrived on Christmas Eve and the plan was for everyone to go out to dinner and then come back and let our guests get a good night’s sleep. It had only been a few hours since their arrival and they were tired from their long plane flight, so Mummy had made early dinner reservations. Daddy took all of us into the back yard for one last potty and everyone went to get their coats. Mummy was in the bedroom and heard a lot of commotion coming from the back yard. WHAT IN THE WORLD? She raced down the hall to find Daddy rushing through the back door, with everyone trailing behind him. Everyone except me. He was cradling me in his arms. All Mummy remembers, as the world went BLACK, was Daddy saying, “The dog next door attacked Millie. Get in the car!” Mummy grabbed me from his arms and blood was everywhere. My eyes were open but glazed over. Mummy ran to tell our guests what happened. She would have my human brothers pick up something for them to eat and call back later with a report. We had to go. My vet lives down the street and Mummy knew that his office would be closed, so Daddy drove to his house while Mummy cradled me in a blanket. She was not crying though… she was just talking to me. The vet and his family were JUST sitting down to their own Christmas dinner. Everyone huddled in front of the headlights of the car while the vet took a quick look at me and said, “Meet me at my office!” and off we went. We got to the office, an x-ray was done to see what had happened and an IV was started. A few ribs had been broken and there was internal bleeding from several puncture wounds. One wound had BARELY missed my lung which the vet said would have been fatal to a little dog my size. Once he knew the extent of everything, he took me into surgery with his wife assisting. Mummy went out on the big southern porch that stretched across the front of the office and sat down in a rocking chair… and that is when she cried for the first time.
When I came out of surgery, the vet said I really needed to be sent to the closest CRITICAL CARE facility which was about 1½ hours away. He said that I needed pain medication throughout the night and I could not stay at his office since there was no one there to watch me. Mummy reminded him that SHE was a nurse and could give me the shots and HE lived down the street so if anything happened, they could work together. So that is how we spent our Christmas. That first night Mummy kept me right beside her on the “big bed,” so afraid to even shut her eyes. She kept whispering how much she loved me, but what I really remember was her saying, “Millie, please don’t leave me… please don’t leave me.” And I didn’t.
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