Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The road ahead.......

To know the road ahead, ask someone coming back.
~Chinese Proverb

Memorial Day has come. China Doll and I are hosting a cookout
at our apartment. We are roasting hot dogs and burgers - as well as veggie burgers for the vegans. Tons of delicious desserts.
Our place is full of family and friends- reggae music is on- we have our deck decorated with mini patio lights and chinese lanterns.
My mother who was diagnosed with Lupus right after China Doll came home was in good spirits. We (siblings and our father) knew there is more to just the lupus tugging at our her health. My mother would have her ups and downs....but lately it seemed as if her health was on the down side. Tremors were increasing making her strength weak. My mother wouldn't discuss her health with us- she was always independent- not wanting anyone to worry about her- but we were not blind to her symptoms. If we so much whispered "are you going to call your doctor".....she would become upset. So we say nothing for now.
On this day at 79 Royal- she is having a lot of fun.
We all are. I even receive some positive comments about my move to NYC.
Finally my family and friends are getting it! Woo-Hoo!

Shortly after Memorial Day- our Aurelia was beginning to show signs of her old age. 11 is old for a dog. Aurelia was China Dolls "Nana" (from Peter Pan). She was a very good dog- protective and obedient. I always thought since I rescued Aurelia from an abusive home- she was giving back what we gave to her- love and loyalty. I made a hard decision after returning home from work and finding Aurelia not able to move from her comfy pillow. It was always her routine to greet us at the door.
My father picked up China Doll from school for me on this particular day- and they were minutes from our apartment. I carried Aurelia down 13 steps to the front door thinking if I would get her outside for some fresh September air - some miracle would happen.

I knew it- my father knew it. I called my vet.....and made arrangements for China Doll to stay with Aunt Debbie while my father and I took Aurelia into the veterinarians office. Pop Pop gently told China Doll that the angels were going to take Aurelia to heaven. Sadly, watching my little girl say her good byes- with tears in our eyes we drove away.
China Doll heard these words once before- when she was only 4 years old. Our beloved Bella died at the age of 14- one week before Thanksgiving (at our old home). Don't ask me why I told China Doll Bella went to heaven. China Doll trusted me on that too- her Bella was with the angels in heaven.

That night China Doll slept with me. My bed was shared with not only my crying second grader, but a few stuffed friends. One stuffed life-size Rottweiler who resembled Bella, our very fat cat Sir Clementine who continued to nibble my feet during the night- and a collection from Build A Bear Workshop.
We cried together. And then I would hear China Dolls little raspy voice during the night asking- "Where is Aurelia"......"Where is heaven"......"Is Bella and Aurelia with God"?
And my answers: Yes, Um....up in the pretty fluffy clouds, and yes, they are both together - in heaven.

Our cozy apartment felt empty without Aurelia. China Doll would at times ask me if we were going to get another dog. Honestly, I wasn't ready for that yet. But I knew one of these days we would add a new furbaby to our nest. Wanted to wait until after the move.
A friend in NYC who was the supervisor of the NYPD K-9 department informed me there was a breeder who had a litter of pups due to be tagged in a few weeks.
China Doll and I took a road trip to the breeders home to tag our new addition. (yeah, so much for waiting) I'm in awe with this stocky little male (bully of the group) while China Doll sat on the ground surrounded by all his litter mates- but one.
Most of these bundles of bouncing fur were spoken for except for two females. The female who I thought would be best suited for our lifestyle was tugging on China Dolls hair....her shoe laces....my sweatshirt string....you name it. But before I tagged her with a little red ribbon on the puppy collar- the smallest of the two females walked over to China Doll and curled up on her lap and fell asleep. China Doll had a smile on her face that could have lit up the entire town. This furbaby was the one!
The little female who stayed hidden in the corner while her litter mates jumped and nipped during our visit decided to choose China Doll as her new best friend. After the red ribbon was tied on her puppy collar- we scheduled a time to come back and pick up our newest addition.
I was told it would be about two more weeks.
China Doll was thrilled and so was mommy.
We drove home that evening trying to decide on a name for our puppy. After a tough decision- we both agreed on Heidi Mae.
Heidi Mae wasn't scheduled to be picked up until October 14, one day after my mothers birthday. I received a phone call from the breeders daughter telling me that two of the puppies will be transported to Washington DC. They offered to meet me in Maryland with Heidi to save a longer road trip. I agreed to that offer- even though traveling to NY for me wouldn't be a bad thing. {{wink}}
I surprised China Doll by having Pop Pop (my father) take her to karate class. I bribed my sister to drive along with me- of course so she could hold the bundle of fur.
Debbie agreed (reluctantly) and we headed for Maryland.
The timing was perfect. China Doll and Pop Pop arrive shortly after we do. China Doll was so excited to tell us about the stripe she earned in karate class, she didn't even notice Heidi in my arms. But when she did- forget about that stripe!
Never in my wildest dreams would I think that this new addition to our family would stir up her own recipe for our life here in PA.

Life Lesson: I'm up to 7 eggs.


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