Tuesday, December 27, 2011
There's been a lot of death in my life this year. That is death in a spiritual sense. Death to old ways of doing things, to phases of life, to friendships, etc. There have been a few births too, but mostly death.
The biggest non-tangible thing I lost this year was my self-confidence. After deciding to leave my job of twenty-two years (all for very good self-care reasons) I was confident and secure that I could find something else with all my varying abilities to survive. This has not been the case. This has been a very sharp blow to my self-esteem and confidence. I've known work done with hands and heart is less valued than work done with degrees, but to have strangers look at my list of skills and not realize the experience and ability that I have is frustrating.
The second biggest loss came Monday, my sweet Eowyn died. I found her nine years and eleven months ago one morning at work. She was in someone's garbage at house down the street with a broken chain (an actual short lead, not a tie out chain) around her neck. She was so skinny when my friend Mel and I put her on the porch to hold her until Animal Control could come she slipped between the rails. When they finally arrived the guy took one look at her and said, "Well, we'll take her in but she's got two strikes against her already. She's part chow (black spots on her tongue and fluffy chow-like fur with pricked ears) and she's pregnant. If she passes the personality test, which I think she will (she was lying on her back and he was rubbing her belly), no one wants a pregnant dog." I asked him if I could think about taking her and he said he'd leave her and if I called back he'd come and get her.
After wrestling with the pros and cons I decided to bring her home. The peeps and I were all very into Lord of the Rings at that point and as she was blonde Eowyn seemed the perfect name. She was very submissive and sweet with the peeps. And ravenously hungry.
The next day I brought her back to Durham to take her to the vet. Mel and I were walking her on the street in front of where we worked and a car zoomed up to the curb and called, "Nala!" A woman got out of the car and said, "That's my dog, we've been looking all over for her! That's my daughter's dog."
"How long has she been missing?" I asked. I noticed Eowyn didn't look excited to see her. No happy tail wag or straining on the leash to get to her.
"I found her yesterday right there." I pointed to the house next door.
"We live in the next house over."
Suddenly I remember seeing Eowyn. Tied on a three foot chain to a Dogloo all day, every day. "She's starving and she's pregnant."
"Oh. You can keep her then. She ate her last litters. We usually keep her in the basement when she's in heat."
I was absolutely horrified. I knew dogs would eat their litters if they didn't think it was safe for them, or if they were starving and I decided there was no way she was going back to them. Even if this woman changed her mind. I told the woman I was taking her to the vet in a few minutes and needed to walk her. She continued talking to Mel while I took Eowyn further up the street.
After a trip to the vet, where I was reassured that since Eowyn was now getting food and attention, I should keep an eye on her during her labor, but things would probably be ok. She was right! Eowyn was a loving, diligent, doggie-mama. She birthed eight puppies (their were at least three different dads) and she went on to have a long, happy life.
There's an Eowyn sized hole in my house now. I miss the sound of her breathing (snoring much of the time), walking around the house, sleeping on the bed with me, and going for walks. She gave my life a rhythm and was very comforting when I was getting used to being "single" on the days I didn't have the peeps. She came along at a perfect time in my life. I'll miss her.