In Memorium: TinyA Story by eversosweetly
The story of a friendship that taught me the meaning of unconditional Love.
This is Tiny. My mother got her for me when I was only six. Both of us were just scruffy little things. We were made for one another--the best of friends.
Throughout my childhood and teenage years, my Tiny was always there
for me, greeting me every single day with a warm, brown-eyed smile, and
her counter-clockwise tail-wag. I spent hours upon hours of my
childhood with Tiny. I talked to her. I sang to her. I had a special
song that I sang just for her, and I never told anyone about it. It
belonged to her. She learned to shake hands. She preferred to be
rewarded with a hug or head pat than with a treat. I liked that about
her. I played dress-up with her, and made necklaces of wildflowers and
draped them around her neck. She held so still for me in good humor as I
dressed her with flowers, and wagged her tail with a grin when I stood
back to survey my work. And when I was older and when I was sad, I held
her close and cried into her fur. So many times. She was so patient, so
trustworthy, so strong. She was more than just a part of my childhood.
She was my childhood. We were Together. She and I.
Years passed. Other dogs came and went, but Tiny remained, growing more gray and quiet with the years. Always, every day, she was there for me with her brown-eyed doggy grin and counter-clockwise tail wag.
When she was sixteen years old, she took shelter beneath my car in a sudden summer sun shower. I didn’t know she was there. And I backed over her. I can never forget that moment. The whole world shattered into pieces and zeroed in on the slow-motion of the moment of uncertainty of the extent of what I had done to her. I threw myself out into the rain to find her still intact…except for her leg.
I arrived at the veterinarian’s office, soaked and tears streaming, with Tiny in my arms. Her back right leg was fractured and dislocated. Even after I found that she would be okay except for having a bum leg the rest of her life, I felt completely, utterly guilty for what I had done. My one little friend who had never hurt me in her life, and never would--yet look what I had done to her! I beat myself up in my mind in my guilt. I knew it was an accident. But it just wasn’t fair---no, no, no, not Tiny. She loved me with a beautiful love without condition, and I had taken her precious little love for granted over the years, and then ran over with a car on top of that. Unforgivable.
And yet she loved me still. As if nothing at all had happened at all. And she was so happy just to be with me. Having grown up in a performance-based way of thinking when it came to the subject of love, I could not wrap my mind around this.
There it is, a photo of that very moment. She’s smiling. At me. The person who just put her in all that pain. Smiling at me with her warm brown eyes and counter-clockwise tail wag. “Thank you, Amber, for this comfy bed! Thank you, Amber for this tasty food! I’m so happy that you’re giving me all this! Will you stay out here with me and pet me?”
It was just too much.
“This,” I thought, “is Love.” And I cried. At the very idea of it. The very idea of this beautiful, foreign, relentless Love that knows no bounds. How amazing. She accepted me. She loved me. In spite of me. No matter how incurably human I am.
And God, in his reckless love, took that moment and whispered this:
“You are amazed at this little dog’s drop of love,” He said. “How much more do you think that I love you? You are amazed at this little drop, yet I offer you an entire ocean.“
And there it was.
It all began right there, sparked by that little dog’s love. The seed took root. I began to believe and seek God and seek the truth and know Him for myself, despite years of church. God used a little dog to show me what love is, and who He is. Nobody can ever replace what this little dog has done for me.
As time went on, Tiny became more and more feeble. She battled all the health problems that comes with such old age. She was almost deaf. She suffered from severe arthritis and sinus problems. She had a large cyst on her other back leg. She developed some sort of health problem that caused her to be eternally parched and thirsty. She could not maintain a healthy body weight, even if she did eat normally. By the time she neared the end of her life, she was emaciated. It was very difficult to watch my little friend. I fretted over every slight change in her diet or behavior. I did everything I could to make her comfortable, with warmth and protection and a fresh, hot meal every night.
She still had her little joys. She got to the point where she just liked to sit and rest. She loved the morning sun, and she would lie on the eastern side of the yard every morning, eyes half closed in the sunlight. During the last cold days of winter, she stayed in our shed, warm and cozy with her heaters and comfortable bed…but she eventually became so weak that she slept almost all the time.
On February 23…she stopped from her usual routine of drinking ravenously and going out to pee and then eating her supper. She didn’t do any of that--she just turned and faced me and soberly gazed into my eyes.
And it was on that little dog’s face. My old friend, gazing up at me, saying “This is it…this is it, Amber. I’m going--I don’t know if I’m ready. I’m a little scared. But you know I love you, right?”
I picked her up and I held her close. So, so close. I kissed her. Even though my dad beat it into my head to never ever ever kiss a dog because dogs are dirty. I kissed her over and over and over all over that familiar, precious little head that always smelled like the earth and straw and grass and sunshine. And I sang her song one last time, the song that I have always sang to her since I was a little girl.
If I had words
to make a day for you
I’d sing you a morning
golden and new
I would make this day
last for all time
And fill the night
deep in moon shine.
I gave her her supper, told her the same thing I’ve told her every night, “I love you, and I’ll see you soon.” The next morning as I tossed her uneaten supper to the cat and filled her tin with fresh breakfast food, I told her the same thing. She looked so, so tired.I wished I could have stayed home and held her all day, but reality called, and I drove away to work.
When I arrived home that evening, she had passed on, quietly, in her bed. I sobbed and cried for her. My precious, precious Tiny. My beautiful little gift from God. But a big part of me was somehow relieved. She had lived a long, long time. It was hard watching her struggle with her many health problems. She was so feeble, so tired, that her passing was one big exhalation of relief at the ease of her pain and the satisfaction of one precious little life well-lived and well-loved. And through her love for me, my life was changed, and I ran after God. Words cannot express how thankful I am, how beautiful Tiny was, and how beautiful my life became because of her love. Tiny’s love awakened me to very love of God.
Tiny, my girl, my sweet pea. Thank you. Thank you from the depths of
my heart for your love and devotion, even when I took you for granted,
even when my heart was miles away from you, even when I hurt you. Because of your love, my soul awakened and drove me
into the arms of God. You have been a precious, dear friend whose love
will never cease to amaze me. You taught me so much. I will never, ever
My sweet Tiny. I love you, and I’ll see you soon.
© 2010 eversosweetly
AboutHello there. I'm a bit new here. I've posted a few pieces I have made in the past to get started. I hope they inspire you. I have written poetry and essays before, but I have never seriously pursue.. more..