What I say: "I'm just going upstairs for a few moments. I'm coming right back down. You don't have to come with me."
What Lexi hears: "I'm going upstairs to search for new puppies to love and do all the fun stuff you think I do when I'm no where near you. Oh, you're coming up with me? Let me just start doing all the boring stuff I wasn't going to do anyway."
My Dad has a flip phone and he rarely texts me.
So, it’s says how much he loved the “dog” in the picture above that he (a) didn’t call and (b) didn’t do so this morning, when she passed. News like that is delivered always word of mouth and immediately, except in the case of our furry kids.
Kara was one of the three lucky Miniature Schnauzers my parents adopted as a rescue child. The term dog is never allowed in a conversation in our family. It’s an insult. These are our children.
A survivor of either Rita or Katrina, maybe even both? She was found on the streets in Louisiana and brought into Houston to the local shelter, weighing only six pounds. If you know the breed at all, you know how tiny and ridiculously underweight she was.
Kara quickly came to know and love my family, particularly my Dad. Before his retirement, he worked mostly from home. We jokingly referred to Kara as his secretary and his “mistress” because she would follow him everywhere, sit right beside him in a slimmed line leather recliner and would start to get upset with him if he was still at his “office” / desk at 6 p.m. As for the “mistress” part? She had a high pitched wail that she would use when he left and when she heard him return home, but was still beyond her reach behind the gate. This wail could be heard through closed doors and windows, and first was heard when my parents drove her from Houston to their country home in Riverside. How they survived the nearly 2 hour trek is still a mystery.
Her closeness to my Dad remained until today, as she would follow him all over their home and he even had a “pet” bed beside his chair in the bedroom that his computer is in, where he can often be found.
I chose the photo above because when Lexi didn’t want the tiara we found, we decided to give it to the true Princess in our family, and partially as an apology. You see, the visit to the Riverside house before, Lexi laid down in front of Kara, closest to my Mom, wagged her tail accidentally directly in Kara’s face. Kara took it as a personal afront and looked at both my Mom and me, as if to say, “who does this bitch think she is?”
From that point forward, Lexi was a little bit persona non grata. Anytime I took Lexi to the lake after that, Kara followed us around and side-eyed me the whole time. The “you know you’re not leaving that cute white thing here, right?” look unmistakable because there was no room for competition in her house. She barely put up with my Mom and Samatha, their other female furry kid knew her place. Me? Well I was related to her version of God. Not completely acceptable but not easily dismissed.
Kara will be greatly missed and my Dad, as he has been prone to do, was likely building her coffin this morning and early afternoon, to bury her in our family pet cemetery. That is how he deals with the immediate aftermath.
My heart breaks for him, but my parents gave her a wonderful life. You can’t ask much more of furry / hairy parents than that.
Lexi does not view the Christmas tree as “indoor plumbing”, but she does have her views on what the tree is and what it’s there for…
When I put it up two years ago, I was quite surprised to find that the lowest branches reach her back, but just barely, so she can stand just under it. Now, what Lexi discovered is that if she stands just under it, and waves her tail (her bum) that itchy spot that she can’t reach on her own and loves when her humans discover it? Yeah… that tree can reach just right there and it’s awesome. Lexi loves the “butt scratching tree” and hates when it goes away in January.
She’s absolutely adorable when she does this, and I’m trying to find a way to sneak a video of it onto Instagram, because she doesn’t like photos (just like her Mom) and she pauses when she’s doing it because she thinks she’s doing something wrong and when she sees me paying attention, she’s all, “OH HAI Mom, I love you! Pet me! Let me sit next to you, right next to you, up against your hip, so we can be joined there. I was just using the tree because you were busy, but you’re not now, so you can just do it, because I don’t want want to make you jealous.”
Apparently, we have bats, which isn’t uncommon in Texas. We’re near a heavily wooded area full of brush, so it’s not uncommon to see a bunny rabbit in the field or a skunk. My nephew even picked up a baby skunk on the way to my house one day, pulling it out of the middle of a busy street and placing it back on the sidewalk. I haven’t seen or heard a bat before, but apparently we have them, because there was one lying on the ground of my neighbor’s carport, smooshed and already being consumed by ants.
It was Lexi who directed my attention to it. She stood quietly, gently by it. Didn’t bark, didn’t get upset, didn’t whine. She began rubbing her head on it, and I kept trying to get her in the car, for an errand because she likes to join me when she can.
She wouldn’t leave the poor bat, kept trying to comfort it. It was incredibly sad to watch, but on some level, incredibly heart warming. I finally had to pick her up and explain that I couldn’t help the poor creature and she kind of glared at me in the car.
This is, by far, Lexi’s best trait. You can describe compassion, but you can’t teach it. She has an incredible heart, which gets upset when I don’t eat, when I don’t go to bed at a decent time, when I’m upset, and apparently, when faced with the mortality of another living creature.
She doesn’t even chase cats, just lets them do their thing.
On the back of my car is a magnet. It says, “Who rescued who?” It’s a great question on days like this.
RescuedPetsMovement is doing amazing work, and I’m a tad hormonal and very exhausted, so I blame the tears on that, okay?
But seriously, I think Lexi and I have found our charity to sponsor this March for her birthday month and if you want to give in her name for Christmas, that would be lovely, as well, although I’m going to create something to that affect this weekend if I have the time. For those that don’t know, BARC is where Lexi was surrendered and it’s a high kill shelter due to overpopulation.
Also, please, if you know anyone that is considering buying a puppy or a kitten for Christmas for a child or family member, ask them to consider helping with an adoption, instead. Animals have their own personalities and quirks and you have to find your match or let your match find you - and far too many Christmas presents end up in kennels by Valentine’s Day for a variety of reasons. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly.
PLEASE, if you can, help these animals. This is my hometown and I really wish I was still there. I’d buy all the cats. And dogs. Please as an animal lover who does a lot of charity work for the puppies and kitties, I’m begging you to at least boost the signal and help these animals who are at this shelter through no fault of their own. Cats and Dogs don’t pay bills. Go save a life (via theskyyends)
Signal Boost (Others are appreciated please and thank you.)