Tuesday, September 2, 2008

An Ode to Gordy

We met in in late fall of 2002 when I came over for the first time to visit my new boyfriend over a holiday break. I had never really thought much of poodles before, but oh, were you different. They called James your Little Boy, and you really did raise him. I love hearing the story about how a nine year-old James picked you out as a puppy and what a little ball of fur you were, and how in the car taking you home James decided to name you Gordy after him mom's childhood dog.

I wish I had known you as a puppy. I wish I had been there to see them teach you to jump between the twin beds in James's room, or chase your Ball Ball around the house. Then there's the legendary story about how you broke into a bottle of Tylenol and ate the pills, and James's dad put you in timeout because you were throwing up everywhere. Once they realized what happened, they rushed you to the pet ER. James sat in the backseat with you, trying to keep you awake, but you pulled through. You were in your angst-filled teenage years then, but realized suicide wasn't the answer. I loved hearing about how they rescued and brought home Sheba the Great Dane, but you, Gordy the Toy Poodle, still ruled the house. James tells me that Sheba would wait patiently for the food bowl, drooling in that Great Dane way, while you took your sweet time eating. Sheba died just after James and I started dating, but there's this beautiful photo I've seen of the two of you lying together in the sun that makes me wish I had been there seeing you boss around a dog 20 times your size.

James has told me before that he probably wouldn't have continued to date me if I didn't like you, and the truth is, if you had been my dog to begin with and James didn't like you, I don't think I could dated him. Lucky for me, I fell in love with you. You were the coolest dog ever. We'd call you different names based on how you were acting. You were Hubert when we wanted to project a dorky personality on you ("Hey guys? How's it going? Huh? Can I hang out with you guys?"); you were the Holy Ghost when James & I were sitting or lying down next to each other and you needed to get in between us; and you were simply Gordy when you were being a bad ass, which was most of the time.

I don't know at what point it happened, but they started referring to me as your Little Girl, and I loved that. You'd lick my feet and take naps on me, just like you'd do with James. I forget this, but James tells me one time you were in bed with me and he came in the room, and not realizing it was him, you barked at him to protect me. But I could always tell that your first loyalties were with James, since you'd always have to follow him when he left the room.

And you totally had me wrapped around your finger. When I came over and didn't immediately go to your cookie jar to get you a treat, you'd let me have it. On your 15th birthday in May 2007 we got you a special doggy birthday cake. We never thought of ourselves as one of those crazy dog owners, because you were Gordy. You were a bad-ass poodle dog.

James & I would take turns holding your leash on our walks. You used to run ahead, or stop to look at something and get me tangled in your leash, but as time went on the walks became less frequent, as you'd get tired, and we'd end up carrying you back home. Unfortunately, you were getting too old for it anymore. You were slowing down.

On the morning of my 26th birthday this past January, I had a talk with you as you lay in bed before I left for work. I prayed that you'd get to have that 16th birthday and that you'd make it to July, when your Little Girl was going to marry your Little Boy. I play this game sometimes where I'd ask you a question and depending on how you licked me would be the answer (if you licked my left hand, the answer was yes, the right, no). I remember asking you that morning if 26 was going to be a better year for me than the one before. Although I got engaged that year, some devastating things happened to me at 25, and I was tired of being so sad at a time in my life that should have been filled with such joy. You looked at me with those brown eyes of yours and gave me a kiss that told me yes, everything's going to get better. I'll always remember that.

Well, you made it to your 16th birthday and our wedding, for which I'm grateful. I hope you weren't upset when you were taken to the kennel this past Friday since we were all going out of town for Labor Day weekend. I wish I had known leaving for work that morning that it was the last time I'd see you so that I could have given you a proper goodbye. You passed away peacefully in your sleep this morning before anyone could pick you up, which makes me so sad, but maybe it's better that way. You brought me so many happy memories - your incessant feet/hands/head licking, the way you'd let the little nieces carry you around like a baby without complaint, hanging out on the beach in South Padre, your redneck Dallas Cowboys doggie sweatshirt with the arms cut out, how you let James & I make you "dance" to the "I'm Alright" scene at the end of Caddyshack (among other songs). I loved how you'd nap by the window during the day, getting up to move with the sun. That's how I'm going to remember you.

I'm going to miss you, Gordy.

Your Little Girl

1 comment:

Megan said...

maybe the sweetest blog entry ever!!