Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Holes - A Tribute to my Livestock Guardian Dog

Holes

She came to us with holes.
Holes in her nose, in her face
from fighting with other dogs...
and holes in her training.
"You know what you're getting, right?"
The breeder had asked us.
"She's vicious. She'll leave
holes in your arms. She'll leave
holes in your other dogs.
Be careful with this one!
She's dangerous - she could hurt you."
But the breeder was wrong -
or so I thought.

So we took her
and filled her holes
with love.
Lots of love.
From the first day.
On the second night she slept with our other dog,
and on the third day she adopted our autistic daughter.
They were both 2, you see.
They were meant for each other.
meant to be.
Where ever our daughter went, Brandy
was by
her
side.

And then another child was born,
early. Too early.
She had tubes and wires and
Down syndrome and I found
I needed help.
There were holes
in my support
Holes in my life
and at age six
yes, six,
Brandy became a certified
service
dog
and filled the holes seamlessly.
She could quell one of my
older daughter's
anxiety-ridden
kicking
screaming 
meltdowns
with love.
Filling the holes in my daughter
seamlessly.

And the years passed and then came
chickens.
But as life would dictate
there were holes...
holes in the fence where predators
might creep through
but there was Brandy
and Brandy filled the holes
seamlessly.
And all I had to say was
"No chickens!"
And the chickens were safe
for no predator
from the ground or from the sky
would risk that dog, those teeth
that could make holes...
in predators... but not -
no - never...
in chickens.

But over the last month a hole grew.
A hole in the function of the left ventrical
of my sweet Brandy's heart.
And I watched my dog,
my 10-year-old dog,
slowly
start
to
die.

Today the chickens said, "Goodbye."
There was one last car ride
and the prick of a needle
and even though I held her tight in my arms
I watched her fly
away
anyway.
And looking back I see
just how right the breeder was
for tonight I hurt...
I ache
from holes
big, giant, aching
holes...
but they are not in my arms
nor in other dogs.
These holes
These holes made by my Brandy
are in
my
heart.


*
Comments

19 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry for your ache. What a lovely tribute. This made me cry. I'm so happy you got to love her, and she you and your beautiful family.

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  2. May your good friend rest in peace. It's always very hard to say goodbye.

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  3. Beautiful piece! You made me cry with you. What a wonderful blessing she was to you and your family and by the photos from early to the last one, it seems like the blessing was in kind to her. She looks so healthy on the outside.

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  4. Sorry for your loss.

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  5. I'm so sorry. What a great tribute.

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  6. A very lovely tribute. I wish I had words to adequately tell you how this made me feel. Your are an artist with words. Safe travels Brandy!

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  7. You were lucky to have found each other.

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  8. So sorry for your loss, such a beautiful tribute.........jockeyeba

    I would love to comment other then "anonymous" but I don't know how :(

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  9. Oh no :'( I am so sorry for your loss.

    Dear Brandy, sleep well xxxxx

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  10. Brandy was a very special dog who was a blessing to your family. Its so hard to lose a member of your your furry family. Your tribute was beautiful & brought tears to my eyes. Just know she is pain free now watching you from above ((hugs))

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  11. This beautiful tribute made me cry. I am so so sorry for your loss. Brandy sounds like a very special dog!

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  12. Sorry for your lose, but so glad she had such a great and rewarding life with you and yours.

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  13. Oh Leigh, I'm so sorry for the loss of your beloved friend! Tears are running down my face after reading your beautiful tribute. If you've ever read "The Rainbow Bridge", you know that Brandy is waiting in heaven for you and yours, and you will be united with her once again. She was truly one of a kind!

    Sheila

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  14. Crying. Sending hugs. Brandy was so lucky to have you and your family, and you were so blessed to have her.

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  15. Thank you, everyone, for your kind condolences! It means a lot to me and to my family.
    Leigh

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  16. My heart goes out to you and your whole family. Try to remember that she is there in Spirit. A companion like that won't leave her family unattended.... Not even the death of her body can stop her love for you all. (And bless you for seeing past the exterior and knowing somewhere deep inside that she was the one!)

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  17. Sorry for your loss. Lovely tribute you sure do have a way with words.

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  18. I'm sad that you and your family have suffered such a tremendous loss but that only comes after being so blessed with the care, companionship, love and respect you've given and received by such a fine creature. Few people have touched me as closely as my dogs have, their simple, unwavering devotion, sweet heart and patience give so much while asking for so little. They leave us too soon but are never forgotten as they'll carry a piece of our heart for all eternity.

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  19. Your tribute to her was so moving. You and your family are in my prayers.
    -Mel

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