Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Judy Bluesky

When I first saw her picture, she was called Skye. Her Piercing eyes were so often what drew people to her. I adopted her after losing my Betty, who was remarkable in her own ways as well. I felt that Betty was called out to me 'This little doggie needs you” and within a short amount of time, I would understand why this was true.

I changed Skye's name and she became Judy Bluesky. She actually picked the name herself. How? It was the one she chose to respond to. The 3rd time she acknowledged this name, it was a done deal.

Judy had had an awful start, the people before me kept her crated her entire first year and a half. They called her 'the dog' and she was viewed as 'too pretty to go outside'. And Judy was nearly completely damaged beyond repair. At three months in my care, she still cowered on walks, she still hid and ran at every little sound. Judy would cower and howl, often losing her bowels if anyone approached her too quickly. I accepted that I had taken on a responsibly beyond my control. I accepted that this little girl would spend her life in fear of it all, and that I would do my best to provide her with safety and comfort. I would protect her and care for her regardless of the fear.

And then the Miracle! Boo (a 75lbLabPitX) moved in next door. On our common deck, Judy saw Boo and she ran to him at full bolt. She got behind him and you could sense her complete surrender to him, 'You're a Dog, PLEASE, Protect me! The change in Judy was nearly overnight, in the next two weeks, she would learn what being pet was, she would learn not to fear the noises that Boo just didn't react to. She would learn from him to walk tall and to accept people. Her fears VANISHED, her Sweet Heart blossomed like a cactus flower that explodes as if it were a firecracker - only this flower NEVER wilted.Boo would eventually move away. But when his owner had two children close to each other, when the needs his family had dictated his need to work more than full time - Boo's 'all-days' with Tony turned into two 5 min walks a day. You cannot know Judy's Joy when he returned to live with us. He lives here still and was here for Judy's entire last year. Boo was Judy's Great Protector, her forever partner, her true love.

Judy had seizures and for the most part, we did very well controlling them with medication (Pheno). But once in a while she would still have one. This last Thanksgiving, Judy had a seizure that stopped her breathing - having watched net-vids about Canine resuscitation, I was prepared and was able to resuscitate her in under a minute. On Christmas Day 2009, Judy's last seizure had stopped her heart. Boo was as present as present can be, as he always was when Judy had a seizure. This time was a bit different. While I held her, he jumped up on the bed, he pushed his nose deep against her chest and he kept it there. He breathed deeply into her three times and without retracting. Then to my surprise, he threw back his head and howled in a tone I will never forget, the sound of it reverberated to my very core. This exclamation of Boo's unleashed the true depth of my grief.Dear Reader, you've been so patient. You’ve come along with me on this story that has so much Great Sadness in it. And now I tell you that I can not express to you in words how every moment of pain is countered by a Hundred Times the Absolute Joy I know from my experiences with Judy.Those first days with Boo around, when I saw her Heart Unfold are days I can never forget. They are Memories that flood my heart every time the thought of losing her returns. the way she Pranced, her little 'Girlie' steps. The way she cocked her head to the side, puzzled by the point I was trying to convey. The way she would sit on the sideline while Boo chased ball and that expression she would display, as if to say 'Sports are Stupid!' The way she would lay there on her side, offering me the gentle stroke of her paw and a tender little lick on the hand. The way I woke everyday with her laying there, looking into my face, waiting for just one eye to open and then, bursting into excitement, so happy that I was awake again. I miss these things, sometimes, every single moment. But I am Grateful that they ever happened at all. I am grateful for having known her, in ways I can never explain by language alone. The Great Challenge that Judy's circumstances had presented me with have become the Greatest Privilege I may ever know. This little Rescue, this little nearly discarded life opened a Chamber in my Heart that I didn't know was there.