Thursday, March 18, 2010

Our Dear Little Addie Mae

I should start this story by saying that once, there was a little Min Pin named Oscar, dog of my heart.... and he lived with us in Leavenworth, where he escaped from the yard with the ease of a ghost, and pulled us around the block and along the river bluff with his harness, pulling us off our feet he pulled so hard! He had feet of springs, and could jump two feet off the floor, and if bacon was in the air, three. He hated the woodchuck who lived under the porch next door, and stood upright at the window to watch for him, going nuts if he ventured out to eat the grass. At night, he growled under the covers if we tried to move our feet... and we laughed, because he was a Heat Seeking Missile. When we came to Calamity Acres, we found he could get through the 4 inch x 4 inch livestock fence, and he ran around the neighbor's yard. A sheepskin harness stopped that for a while, until he learned to turn sideways and get through. We feared he would get hit by a car or truck on our country road, as he began to chase them up and down the fenceline, inside the yard. And one night, he got out the gate when it was left open accidentally, ran down to the highway, and was hit by someone. Keith found him there the next morning, after we had searched for him in the dark. We buried him under the tree in the yard forever after known as "Oscar's Tree".

Ranger was alone then, and we decided to get him a companion, since he and Oscar had been such good friends. Two males, they never fought over anything, including bones. We went to the shelter, and there we found ... a puppy, the last thing we wanted. Lilly Ann chose Keith though, that day, and was the boss from the time she was two months old.

After a few more months, when it became aware that Lilly was truly Keith's dog, we argued over the fact that I had lost "my" dog. After the argument one day, Keith called me at work to tell me to get him through our guard shack, so he could show me something in the car. I went down to the front door, and there, in the seat next to him in a crate, was a tiny little pug, happy to see me through the gate of the crate, wagging her little curly tail. I said "Who's this?" and Keith said "This is Adeline Mabel, and she's coming home with us!". So Addie Mae came home. She was my first pug, though not Keith's, and she was sweet and winsome. She also became our protector, and did not take anything off the big dogs, who did not bother her. When a stranger came in, she got between the person and us, always guarding. If there was a noise in the night, her bark was right behind Lilly's and Ranger's. At night she would snuggle in bed against Keith, burrowing under him almost, and in the morning, switch to my side, resting against my shoulder and pushing her little behind against my pillow. In the evening, we would sit on the loveseat, and she would rest her forehand on my lap, and i would stroke her back and sides until she fell asleep on her red blanket. On the nights I didn't sit right down after supper, she and Hannah would worry until I sat and they could arrange themselves, coming up the dog steps to the loveseat. She loved to share my popsicles.

She loved the farm, she liked to wander around the yard, a little fawn-colored spot moving around on the fence-line. Oscar had been attacked by a young eagle one day, so we always tried to keep an eye on her... but she loved to go down in the pasture or into the hen-yard. One day a goose nipped her on the behind, and after that, she was not so interested in the birds, but she loved to be outdoors. Winter was hard on her, pug's bellies drag close the the ground, and the effort to get through the snow was great.

We got Hannah finally, to keep her company during the day while we worked, and she and Hannah bonded closely, Addie was Hannah's eyes. Hannah was content to follow her lead, and often rested her head on Addie's back. We marveled at the fact that two dogs that did not know each other until they were 8 could be so close.

Tuesday night, Addie coughed, some hard barking coughs. Since I was off work yesterday, I took her to Dr. Tom to get checked. The vet listened to her abdomen.... and then asked to take an exray. He came in to show me that her abdomen was filled with fluid, causing the hard breathing. He gave her an injection and then sent me home with medicine and a request to bring her back Monday, but he mentioned that she would have been gone in another 48 hours if I had not brought her in. She rode quietly back, looking at me through the carrier door as I talked to her. She got home and breathed very hard, panting and gasping. Keith looked at her when he came home and shook his head, then got his blankets and pillows and slept on the living room floor with her. She got on my lap for a minute, but could not breathe, and got next to me, where she was a little more supported by the couch cusion. During the night, Keith put her in bed, and this morning, she put herself next to me. I stroked her, she had gasped all night, and I was going to take her to Dr. Tom again. Keith put her on the floor so she could get a drink, and we heard her lap.... and then she was gone.

We have cried all day, and we buried her in the pasture, under the mulberry tree, next to Nickie. We will miss her little happy barks as we come in the door... and we know she's waiting with Oscar and Nick at the Rainbow Bridge when we get there. Goodnight, Little Addie Mae, Little Monkey Face, Daddy's Little Girl.

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