This is a hard one to write. It’s so fresh, it feels like last night, but was months ago when it happened… My heart hurts.
Anno Domini, 2019, March 12. It was a good day, like most on the homestead. Evening had waned; dark had set in; the stars so bright they cast cool shadows everywhere. Homie and I were resting; tired but good. Homie was watching some guy on YouTube going through the contents of a storage unit he had purchased. I was napping on the sofa. I awoke with a start and thought, “Opie’s not laying on the sofa with me as he always does.” But then I looked over to the love-seat where Homie sat. And there he was. I relaxed. He was okay.
It was a strange ominous warning that I didn’t know was one.
Opie is our little blonde, deer-head Chihuahua we have loved for 12 years, and still do…always will.
You see before all this, Homie and I had never had a house dog; plenty of outside ones over the years. After my momma died, I was so grief stricken for such a long time, I knew I had to do something; I wanted a house dog, for the first time ever. We bought a Blue Sable Chihuahua; Sage. We loved him but he had an accident and passed away. We cried for days.
So about a year later, along comes Opie, whom we sort of rescued. His owner/momma was sick and she couldn’t take care of him; he was still mostly puppy then. He was so much fun, our little ice cream eater. He helped me overcome my grief for my momma and for Sage.
Opie was fun, but fierce. He never backed down from any fight, no matter how big the opposition was: human, dog, cat, or whatever. And he loved the homestead; it was his home and territory.
Last night was one night I wish he had backed down. Opie was showing his age; he had arthritis in his back hips and sometimes had muscle spasms too. We treated him for these things. But he would still follow me everywhere. If you ever got a hug from Opie, it would melt your heart.
Last night, about time for bed, Opie slipped out the dogie door for one more “anointed” walk around the house, as he did most nights, since he considered himself the pack leader. He barked, as he always did. Homie took the spotlight and checked. There was a deer in the field next to the edge of the yard, who sprinted away. That was normal too.
Later, Homie went to put the dogs to bed, but could not find Opie. We both began searching. Opie had a knack for hiding in the house to keep from going to bed, but never in the yard at night. We searched inside and then with spotlights searched every where outside. We drove up and down the road, even though we knew Opie never strayed that far. Hours and hours later, still no Opie.
It was then that Homie heard a coyote barking near…
Our heart sinking in fear and dread, we realized what may have occurred. In a sequence of strange, heartbreaking, simultaneous events in the star-lit night at the edge of our field: 1. Opie went outside for one more walk. 2. The deer came to the edge of our yard, unknowingly stalked by a coyote. 3. Opie, Chihuahua barker and fearless protector that never backed down, stood his ground, but lost to the coyote.
In tears, I write of his bravery, staunch protector of his territory, and a little heart that was always full of joy and love. I will never hear his little toenails clicking across the floor to come to me; never see him sneak a lollipop from the candy dish again, with the stick sticking out of his mouth; or find candy wrappers where he had stolen chocolate candy from the bag; or beg for a treat with the cutest of faces. He was the little paws (heels) behind my heels.
This is a tribute to our special, little friend. We are forever thankful he was a part of our family and our homestead. He was a one-of-a-kind.
Now he is over that rainbow bridge with Pretty Girl Pearl, who also was attacked and crossed over; and I cry. To read Pearl’s story: Heartbreak on the Homestead.
With sorry in my heart, I miss my little, furry friends.
Please leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you. Hit the follow button, go to my contact page and send me an email, and share your thoughts, or tell me about your great pets you love. I still miss Sage, Pearl, and Opie today, and I know I will never forget them, and the special place they had in my life, and now the memories of them imprinted on my heart.
If you like romance, hop over to my Shop-for-Love page and check out my romance series of family saga, faith, and twists and turns in a plot that will keep you going to the very end of each love story. You can read a preview of my latest, In Loving Katie Marie, here: https://dellastrickland.org/shop-for-love/ .
From happenings on the homestead,