Delta Dawn: A Memoir
If I wait to write this until I can think about her without crying...I might never get it written. But I need to write it, to share with others what a special girl she was. So here goes....
My Beloved Delta, I remember the day you came into this world...Backwards...And I helped you come out of your mother. I remember how you needed extra milk, and so I fed you puppy formula from an eye dropper. Then one day, against my better judgement, I decided to use a syringe, so you could get more between refills. It stuck half way, and even though I pushed the plunger as gently as i could, the formula still squirted out suddenly, causing you to choke. We made it past that episode though, and I discovered that we had bonded. I had previously chosen one of your bigger brothers, but now you were the only one I wanted. I took to letting you sleep with me at nights. We would lay there together, playing, then I would turn you over while telling you to turn over, and I would tell you to "Go seep". The I would sing the song "Delta Dawn" to you until you were asleep. You were born February the 26th, 2002. It was so very cold outside that at night i took to putting you in a litter box and you learned to go in that. As it warmed up, and I started taking you outside, as soon as we would get to mom and dad's room you would always let out a loud yawn. It always made me chuckle. Once outside you did your business as soon as I put you down.
When you were around five months old, we started taking you with us when we went places. At Pactola Lake you won the hearts of all who saw you. At Lake Angustora, you showed me you did not like being separated from me by pulling the boulder I had tied you to all the way to me...no small feat for a five month old puppy. I was so proud of you that I quit fishing and took you for a walk instead.
When you were between a year and two years old, you found a feral mother cat feeding her litter of kittens on a dead ground squirrel. Convict, one of those kittens, is still with us. When you were two, I took you to get spayed. I had no idea that you had become so protective towards me until one of the techs came to hand me some paper work and you went ballistic. We had to put a muzzle on you. Yet I was so pleased to know how you felt about me. After that you and I worked on teaching you that some people are ok. You were such a smart girl. There is so much that you taught yourself.
You were a very brave girl. When four of the neighbors dogs attacked you when you chased them away from the chicken pen, you fought them all off until one by one they ran away...And you didn't have a scratch on you, just a little of their blood. You were never the kind of dog that would attack another dog unprovoked, yet you would never back down if attacked. You also never allowed other dogs to fight when you were present and you protected puppies from older dogs, even if you didn't especially like the pups.
You loved to chase horses, and that came in handy. You learned some painful lessons about being quicker, dodging those flying hooves. The day you had your nose broken, I thought that was it, but I sent you after them again right away both to see if you would and I felt you needed to so you would not be afraid of them. I was so proud of you when you went right back in, and you never bit the horses or became dangerous around them. In fact, you loved me so much that I could lay you down in the chicken coop and let baby chick hop all over you and you would just lay there and watch them or go to sleep. You loved me so much that you tolerated the cats for my sake, even though you didn't really like them.
You never did like being separated from me. If I was inside, even on a nice day, that is where you wanted to be. If I was outside in frigid temperatures, that is where you wanted to be. When I went to California for six weeks, you missed me terribly, and the day I came home you greeted me with such a beautiful song that lasted forever. It made me cry. It makes me cry all the more now knowing I will never hear you sing again. Why did I not take the time to get you singing on video? Or playing with my feet as I walked. You were never the type of dog to play with toys...Your favorite toy was me, my hands and feet. It always made me laugh to see you bouncing all over the place growling ferociously at my feet, then taking off speeding in a huge circle and returning to "attack" my feet again. I miss watching you "Hunt for mice"...pouncing here and there with your tail going a hundred as you snuffled through the weeds.
I remember how you loved bagels. You would take your time eating the piece I would give you, chewing slowly with your eyes closed in bliss, then take another tiny bite and repeat. When we would go to town, your favorite treat was a McDonalds double cheeseburger. Again, you would eat it so daintily. No one would dare come near the truck when you were in it. I remember how I laughed, because you enjoyed laying in the back seat until someone would walk passed the truck and you would leap up barking with a fearful bark and they would always jump a mile.
I remember how much you loved to snuggle close to me. You would even crawl into my lap for snuggles. After all, the cats got in my lap, why shouldn't you?
Mt Delta...We were so close many is the time we communicated with looks alone. It is so hard, knowing you aren't here and you will never come back to me. I still hear you scratch at the door when you wanted in. I still hear your claws as they "tip tipped" across the floor on your way to whatever room I was in. When I go places, I miss you being in the truck with me. I miss you suddenly burst out in a howling song when something excited you. Your Coyote parentage really came out in your songs.
You always impressed people with your intelligence and courage. Out here where people treat dogs so bad...everyone you met treated you with respect and gave you the same treatment they would another human.
I miss you my love. You were the best dog I ever had the honour and pleasure of knowing. I will never be able to find another dog like you.
Rest In Peace my greatly loved and deeply missed baby girl. I will never forget you.