October 21, 2010

Loving Leroy

When my little dog Leroy, went missing on Tuesday morning, I had a hard time keeping it together. 

I cleaned the kitchen and the bathroom, moved furniture, emptied cupboards, washed walls, mopped floors and reorganised my book collection in alphabetical order. 

When there was nothing left to clean or organise, I tried to stay calm and think positive thoughts, just like everyone kept telling me, but the thought of losing my friend forever, weighed heavily on my mind. 

When the kids were asleep, I ran a long, hot bath to disguise the sound of my tears. I intentionally waited until my 8-year-old daughter was asleep, before descending into a nervous breakdown, because she was looking to me to determine how she should feel. 

"Mummy".....she whispered, fighting back her tears...."do the bad men in the pound give the doggies water and food when they capture them?"  

I tried to explain to my sweet girl that Disney films starring Lindsay Lohan, were not a correct depiction of dog pounds in general, and that yes, if Leroy was in the pound, then we could rest assured that he was being looked after. 

But once I had managed to calm her fears and lull her off to sleep, my own fears pushed their way to the surface. 

Leroy was sent to me when my beloved partner Chance, died in December 2007, under sudden and tragic circumstances. 

I remember clearly, the day I walked out of the doctor's surgery (for another sleeping pill prescription), and stumbled into a litter of black and white puppies, being led down the street for their morning walk by a staff member of the local pet store. 

Leroy, who was walking ahead of the litter with a giant branch in his mouth, was oblivious to the fact that his tiny brothers and sisters were being repeatedly bowled over. 

Although I had no intention of taking on any more responsibility, I knew immediately that this free- spirited little puppy, would be coming home with me that morning. 

From that minute on, we have been inseparable, and Leroy has never left my side. 
From the very first night, he slept in my bed and placed his head on the pillow beside me and it was as if he knew that this was where he was meant to be. 

Whenever I was grieving (which was often), Leroy would put his head to my cheek and wipe away my tears, and in the strangest way I felt my own heart beginning to heal through the gift of his companionship. 

It did not matter what time of the morning (or afternoon) I got up, Leroy would never stir until I was up and out of bed, and if I went down for a nap, he would always lay down beside me. 

At night when I studied, he would sit beside me - often until all ours of the morning - and when at last he could hear me brushing my teeth, only then would he would jump up onto my bed. 

The last person to sight Leroy, just before he went missing, was the elderly woman who works at the General Store. She told me that at approximately 8am, she heard Leroy barking incessantly, from behind the General Store. 

When she finally went outside to see about the commotion, she noticed an injured bird near where Leroy was standing. 

She was adamant that Leroy had been barking to get her attention, because the minute she reached the injured bird, he stopped barking and casually walked away. (Those were her words, not mine). 

Of course, I was not surprised by Leroy's humanitarian efforts; I have seen him do the same thing with rats and mice that my cat has maimed and injured and I have watched him howl at the trash can whenever I have disposed of the dead rodent bodies.  

I have also witnessed Leroy bark to get my attention,whenever the cat (the same cat who hates him) is standing at the front door, wanting to be let in or outside. And I have also seen him keep a vigil by the cat's bedside (again, the same cat who hates him) when the cat was extremely ill and suffering from tick poisoning. 

Leroy is an extremely sensitive and compassionate little dog. He is also hyper alert, cheeky and mischievous, intelligent and loyal, and the bond between us is incredibly powerful and strong. Although I have had pets all my life, I have never experienced the same deep, profound connection that I share with Leroy. 

In fact, up until now, I could barely comprehend the notion of such a deep and loving bond between a human and an animal, and so I can understand if others reading this post, think I should be committed. 

But during the two years that Leroy and I have been companions, he has given me more love, joy and affection, than most people are given in a lifetime, and than most humans are capable of giving. 

He loves me unconditionally... and that makes living a little bit easier.   

Losing Leroy, even for 30 hours, shook me to my core. 

Receiving the phone call on Wednesday morning that he had been found, sent my heart hurtling beyond the realm of ecstasy.... seeing his little face again and holding him in my arms....well, there are no words to describe that kind of wonderful. 

I will never know what became of Leroy for the 30 hours that he was missing or why anyone would want to take him and then suddenly let him go. 
(I do believe that somebody took him because both of his collars were missing and he was found a long, long way from home). 

Maybe the prayers of my daughter's year 3 class were so powerful that they caused a cosmic chain reaction...... maybe he escaped from his dognapper, just like in a Disney movie and bit Lindsay Lohan on the face.....or maybe the dognapper eventually realised that he was desexed and no longer financially viable....or perhaps my own pleas for help, to my beloved in the spirit realm were answered. 

All I know is that for whatever reason, Leroy and I have been reunited and for that I am blissfully happy and forever, eternally grateful. 


Anonymous said...

Oh I know how you felt. I felt the same as you the entire time I read your story, which was very well written and full of emotion. So happy Leroy came back home. I know you and your daughter are thrilled. Leroy is such a cute dog. Congratulations and thanks for sharing.

Jewell said...

Hi there...this is my first visit to your blog via BlogFarm, and I have to say that if you need to be committed for the depth of feeling and connection that is between you and the adorable Leroy I would surely need to have a lobotomy! I completely can understand, and I am so happy that he is home!

I look forward to reading more now that I've found your little corner of the blog world. =)

A Sideways Girl said...

Yay! I am so happy you have Leroy back! I seriously do not know what I would do if anything ever happened to either one of my two dogs. They are my family. I totally understand your love for Leroy. Dogs really are special creatures.

Misha Sim said...

Cheryl - Thanks so much for your comment. You look identical to my daughter's teacher and funnily enough, her name is also Cheryl!

Jewell - thanks for reading my blog and for leaving me such a great comment. Blog Farm is awesome.

A Sideways Girl - having dogs yourself, I am sure you could sympathise with my story. I really cannot believe how much I love that funny little guy. Meanwhile, he seems oblivious to the nightmare meltdown that his mumma had while he was off on his adventure! Thanks everyone.