Dash: a symbol of continuum that connects words together, a quick move or sprint, in our case, a short stocky brown and black mutt that I drove across the state of Florida to bring into our lives, and into the picture he did, Dash, hence, his name was bestowed. He was an adorably cute roly poly mix of Dachshund/Weimaraner/ Black Mouth Cur and I thought for sure some German Shepard, and they thought possibly some Bassett Hound, though to me, I did not see it, his short legs were from his Dachshund genes most likely. I based my addition of German Shepard on his coloring his protective nature and his devotion.
Dash quickly pushed open the door to the room in our hearts that he would occupy, and barged in with exuberance and the pure joy of being alive. He was funny, stubborn, brave, smart, every trait that finds its home in the positive column. We have and have had, many other pets, I love/loved them immensely, each has their own room in my heart, something about Dash, made me hang an extra picture, paint his room a special color, he just touched me that way.
When he was a puppy, my son and I would laugh, as Dash rolled like a ball, as I gently pushed him with my foot to lay down. Instead of just laying down, cozy on the rug, his long, chubby puppy body would just roll until he stopped, such a comical chap he was, from the very beginning.
He got along best with our larger female dog and smaller female. Our older male, Alabama, was gentle with him when he was a pup, but as Dash grew, I thought his own pushy fearless nature in the presence of other dogs, might start a tussle, so he was usually out in our yard in the company of the females. He would pounce on Jetta, our Border Collie/Chow mix, even though she was four times his size, or more, when he was a pup, she always was almost double his size, even when he reached adulthood. She would endure his mock attacks, even though they were quite rough, as, she loved him too.
When Dash was about two, I rescued a small terrier mix, Stella. In some way, I thought I did it for him, as Jetta got impatient with him, and Gem, our Papillon mix rescue, much smaller than him, didn’t care for his rough play. She was an absolute pistol, she would tear around the yard with him, he was in heaven. I became ill for a couple months and had less contact with the dogs, when I recovered, it seemed Stella had lost interest in Dash, and preferred to dig up our yard and bark, sadly which led to me finding her a new home as I realized she just didn’t “fit”. I think I also decided to re-home her, as Dash would look so forlorn and unhappy that she no longer played with him, it almost angered me, and I had to remove the source of his sadness. As I sat thinking of him after he had left us, trying to make myself feel better, and convince myself that I had been a good pet parent to him, I remembered this event. I had less time for him over the last year due to family events you see, and have felt great guilt over that. But I realized that I had removed Stella partly for him, I had taken her out of our families picture, I had tried to chase out and protect him from any sadness or hurt that came his way. My heart felt a bit more at peace, but not much, as I could not save him from the final hurt nor pry him from its grasp.
Before the tug of war with Death to save Dash that I lost, an earlier struggle perhaps was a message of how short our time together was destined to be. Our home backed up to woods, where in Florida harbor many snakes, some of them dangerous. One day I heard our collie mix barking what I knew to be a warning. We quickly went out to find a diamondback rattlesnake against the fence, it appeared neither of our dogs had gotten close. We got rid if and thought things were fine until I spotted Dash under a light in the evening with his head swollen badly. We rushed him to the vet, they saved him with three anti-venom shots and hours of care, a very high financial cost but I could not bear the thought of losing Dash, not yet. I suppose God at that time, had blessed us a reprieve. It was about two years later that He decided that loan had come due, it was time for Him to call Dash home. That second tug of war Death and I had for Dash, the fight was very brief, Death won before I even knew there was a contest, before I even had time to get a grasp on the rope, there would be no reprieve this time, Dash was taken from me.
Over the short 4 1/2 years that Dash was with us, our walks to the park, our visits to the beach, our ” toss a toy” game in the yard, I found joy and comic relief watching his actions. We always wish we had more time to spend with those we love, including our pets, in the day to day struggle which is life. We have many pets, and Dash was the one I gave most of my limited time to. I have lost many pets over the years, companions that I wept buckets over, four legged friends that I still mourn, many, many years after their passing. In Dash’s memory, I will never bring another pet into our home. I will always wish I had spent more time with Dash, he loved us so, he would jump clear off the ground when we were together out of joy, which with his short legs was not an easy task. He deserved more of my time, he deserved more time on the couch with me, in his ” tv” spot. I also have felt a very deep grief that I have felt only with a couple other pets, and it simply hurts too much to bring it yet again into my life. I love all my other pets dearly, I am sure as much as I loved Dash, and I will feel grief when we part, but losing him for whatever why or wherefore, has caused an overwhelming sadness that I will always carry. His legacy is, he will be that last addition. Quite a feat to halt the unending stream of pets brought in by my hand, but Dash has done it. His spot in my heart has left room for no other pet, save for the others already there.
Thank you Dash for protecting our home, being our companion, our walking partner, but most of all, for making us laugh. We will indeed forgive you for making us cry.
Copyright 2018 © Thoughts From Outside the Box Shelley Ann Klukiewicz All Rights Reserved.