First of all, let me start by sincerely apologizing for the lack of activity on this blog, which I started in the beginning of 2012 as a New Year’s Resolution, which clearly did not last. I think it’s made me realize that writing probably really isn’t what I want to do in life, if I can’t do something as simple (for writers, anyway) to keep a blog going. Anyhow, I had an urge to write last night, and not even a travel-related one.. well, perhaps it falls under a journey in life. Now, onto today’s blog…
Why does my dog, Lulu, hold an extra special place in my heart? She is only one of several dogs our family held as pets for at least the 26 years I have been in the states.
Prior to Lulu, I had a chihuahua named Cricket- an adorable little guy who was tough- not the rail thin shivering kind. I loved him because he was the first dog I had since my father died in 2003. During his illness, the two dogs we had ran away and he was too sick to search for them. Cricket died after a fall in my new apartment down a flight of stairs.. It’s all kind of strange, but anyhow, he was only 3 when I lost him. I was completely devastated and felt I wasn’t ready for another dog for a while.
I adopted Lulu after a rough breakup in 2009. I visited the local shelter and she was a great fit. A runaway found on the 4th of July, she had no collar but was warm and friendly at first meeting. With all adoptees, there were ups and downs and glitches here and there, but overall she is a wonderful and smart dog, especially great around children.
I obviously had no plans to leave to Dubai when I had adopted Lulu. The opportunity hadn’t risen until open days for my airline were taking place in early 2010. Nonetheless, my mom was happy to keep Lulu at home with her until I decided to move back home permanently. It was a great feeling to be excitedly greeted by her whenever I came back to visit.
When my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer, I immediately thought to quit my job and go home. The first thing my mother told me, right after the news and before I could say anything else, was, in fact, that she didn’t want me to quit my job. If you’ve read my previously entry about my mother then you’d already know my thought process and why I decided to stay.
It’s now been just over 1 year since my mother’s death, and I know by experience that healing takes time. I still think of my father 10 years after his death. But there are times when I feel like I’m ok, and still times where I feel completely devastated. Again, I’d mentioned in my previous entry that I felt guilty that I didn’t quit and go home to stay with her. And even though I still know it was a good decision for my future, that guilt still riddles deep within me.
What is so special about Lulu was how sensitive she was to our feelings, as I believe dogs are. She sensed when we were sick, sad, and stressed. And she was my mom’s only constant companion through the struggles of her illness.
A cousin of mine lived with my mom as he settled into a new place but worked evening shifts and so was on a completely different schedule. Friends and family always came by- my sister, probably the most frequently as she lived just down the street. But no one was there as my mom rose and slept like Lulu was. I imagine Lulu would be sleeping in her kennel patiently waiting to be released as my mom woke, and sat by the couch at her feet all hours of the day. My mom did tell me she was getting too painful to constantly let Lulu in and out of the house, and thus I started casually looking for a new home for her. But I half-heartedly didn’t, because I somehow felt that Lulu was there in my absence.
After my mom’s passing, my godmother volunteered to take Lulu as we were going to let go of her house. I couldn’t bear the thought of putting her back in the shelter. At that point things were temporary because I’d eventually come back to the US… But this time I wasn’t sure when. When things between Lulu and my godmother’s own dogs weren’t working out, my aunt graciously arranged transport for Lulu for her new permanent home with them in Texas.
While I haven’t actually lost Lulu and she is still part of our expanded family, she was kind of the last bit of importance that we removed from my mother’s house. I knew she was watching over my mother for me, and she was very aware of her condition. Knowing that Lulu is being lovingly cared for by another one of our relatives is reassuring, as I know she must have had a lot of her own heartache over the loss of my mom. I’m not trying to sound like an idiot. Dogs know.
I’m definitely a dog lover, and not having a dog lately has been tough. But with my current situation of living in apartments and flying days at a time, it’s just not the right time. Plus, my heart still belongs to Lulu.