Friday, March 23, 2012

Oh My Heart

This is our youngest whippet, Tindra, when she was ten weeks old. (Photo by her co-breeder, Laurie Erickson) Tindra is now six months old.

This is one of our oldest whippets, Mama Pajama, when she was around ten weeks old. She will be fifteen years old in June. Her brother, Fat Charlie, is our oldest whippet. He was born about an hour before Mama Pajama.

Mama Pajama and Tindra have a special relationship. Oh my heart.

A bit of background. Mama Pajama smiled and wagged her way through her youth. She jumped up into my arms and landed as light as a giggle. And if you were a Very Special Person in her world, she would jump into your arms, too.

Mama Pajama was fast. She was the number one Lure Coursing whippet in the country. She was one of the smallest whippets competing, but only in actual size. She had the biggest heart ever. And she told stories. She rarely barked or woowooed or rawred, but after she landed in your arms she would put a paw on each side of your neck and look you in the eye and tell you all sorts of stories. My husband Bill and my dear friend Linda heard the most. They were Exceptionally Special Persons.

On May 12, 2003 we had an appointment to put Mama Pajama to sleep. She had a horrid disease. A vasculitis, stemming from a wasp sting, which made her immune system go crazy and she attacked her own microscopic blood vessels. Her ears rotted off. She lost a lung. Her kidneys stopped working. She was dying. And on the morning of that awful appointment, while her hind legs were swollen to the point of splitting, and her heart rate was over 200, and she could barely raise her head, she looked at me and said, "Not yet."

I cancelled the appointment.

She got better. And better. Four years ago she went into a complete remission. We were able to stop the prednisone. Her life was different than it had been before the disease, but it was an okay life. She stayed to herself. She was afraid to be bumped by any of the other dogs. My fearless Mama Pajama who dusted Rhodesian Ridgebacks and Irish Wolfhounds in Best In Field runs now cowered and trembled and slunk away if her brother's tail brushed her when it wagged. Oh my heart.

Along comes Tindra. Puppy Tindra. Another soul who smiles and wags her way through life. "Hey, Great, Great Auntie Mama Pajama, Your Worship, Your Awesomeness," says Tindra. "Whatcha doing? Want to know what I'm doing? I'm going to dig a hole chase a bug capture a dandelion squeak the ever living daylights out of this squeaky toy, do you want to play?"

If any other dog or human or any living being asked Mama Pajama that question now, she would hunker down and wince a bit and say, "Careful there, I'm fragile."

When Tindra asks, Mama Pajama wags and says, "Oh maybe I would, if only for a minute. Yes, yes, I will play with you, my dear."


hug your hounds