(I had created a 'draft' and never posted this as initially intended. Since this draft, old faithful and funny Blue has gone to 'doggie heaven'!)
The ‘Blue’ Dog (Intro).
It all began five years ago, when my son and daughter-in-law were living in my home while I was away on a 6 month ‘sabbatical’ in the Caribbean. They purchased a male English Bulldog. He was six weeks old, white and tan, with a large tan patch on the left side of his face. I knew about this new addition ‘after the fact’ when they sent me a photo of this tiny bundle sitting in my bathtub. Now you must understand that I love dogs. Growing up in the Caribbean, dad always had beagle hunting dogs, but they were always in their runs outside. I have never liked having them inside the house, especially my house. This photo arrived with no letter or note of explanation, but I immediately recognized my bath tub.
The first thought that popped into my mind, was to jump on a plane and ‘save’ my home from the onslaught of what having a pet in the house would inevitably bring. My second thought won out, as I called my son to ask for a confirmation that I was wrong! Johan answered the phone with a “Mum, I can explain”. He went on to say that he and Tina visited a breeder that they heard about who just had a new litter, and of course, they could not resist his big brown eyes and wrinkly nose. They named him ‘Blue’. Blue looked very cute but I admonished him for bringing a ‘dog’ into my home, and went on to explain that they had to keep the house clean and ‘poop’ free, with absolutely no doggie smells.
Over the next few months, I began to prepare myself for going back to Phoenix and having a dog in my home, but my heart began to melt when I received updated reports and various photos of Blue as he grew. One of the episodes that tugged at my heart strings was when Blue got sick, shortly after they brought him home, and Johan slept with him in the family room on the carpet for several nights when Blue could not walk properly and was vomiting a lot. He had a ‘weakness’ in his hind legs, which developed suddenly. We were all very happy when he got over it and started growing nicely.
When I got back to Phoenix, Blue was approximately 7 months old, and I did not immediately see the damage. It was while we were all sitting around in the living room, there it was, steering me in the face. Several small chunks of the edges of my coffee table were missing. I think Johan froze as he saw me looking at it and blurted his famous words ‘Mum, I can explain’!
Those early days of love, patience, luxurious time and understanding have faded somewhat, as dogs grow older, another dog is brought home, business gets busier, humans have babies and other responsibilities, and homes seem to get smaller. As it turned out, several years later since Blue was first brought to my home, then moving and living with J & T, and in 2011, he has again come to live with my new husband (‘Sweetie’) and I in our home. We have become his foster doggie-grand-parents!
(RIP Blue - January 2014)