Right now, a big lump of black fur is busy snoring at my feet. She sounds like a diesel semi-truck warming up on a cold morning.
This dog does almost everything alongside me. She eats what I eat. She goes everywhere I go. Even on long road trips. We’ve been doing this for years now.
In fact, each day around ten o’clock—which is when I run errands—she sits at the front door, whimpering. Every few seconds, she’ll trot up to me. Then to the door. To me. To the door. Me. Door. Me. Door. Back and forth, until she’s a blurry streak of fur and dander.
I won’t lie to you, she’s ruined my vehicle. You’ll find dog saliva on my truck windows, seats, and dashboard. And, there’s enough black hair in there to build a special kind of black-and-tan snowman. But it doesn’t bother me. I carry a lint brush.
The other day, I took Ellie to Geneva, Alabama. I drove backroads. We rode past a scenic, open field just off Highway Two. I pulled over. If you’ve ever wondered where Heaven is, it’s on the way to Geneva.
I kicked the door open and tossed Ellie’s toy duck so hard I nearly dislocated my cotton-picking shoulder. She tore after it, flying across twenty acres of shallow hills. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an animal quite that happy. We did this for an hour, until she wore slap out. Then we ate cold pork on my tailgate.
She slept the rest of the trip.
I don’t know why God didn’t see fit to let me have children. There’s a piece of me that wishes he’d change his mind. Sometimes, I wonder whether he thought I had the smarts to help a child through this world without harming their future. Maybe he didn’t.
This might be why I like dogs more than my friends with children do. I suppose the daddy in me has to show up somewhere. Or, maybe I just want what everyone wants—to feel valuable to someone smaller than me.
Anyway, a lot of folks might think dogs are bothersome creatures that drool, snore, shed, eat, bark, drink from the toilet, and smell like elephants. And these folks would be right.
Ellie Mae has ruined my backyard, my sofa, my carpet, two cellphones, one coffee table, and a fifty-dollar pair of boots. But if the truth be told, I don’t care if every blessed thing I have goes to the dogs.
It sure beats riding in the truck by myself.
You ought to hear this dog snore.
Catherine Weed - April 2, 2017 3:12 pm
I keep reading that wish you had children. I have 2 things to say about that. First, it took my parents many MANY years. They have my brother and me through IVF. We are twins. Second of all, it sounds like you sure know how to borrow some that need you. Just like you needed some when you were young.
Also, my parents have had dogs all of our lives. When I was born, they had Khaki. She was their first baby. On the day that we were born (at 29 weeks only weighing a little over 2 pounds) , Khaki was hit by a car when my granddaddy let him out to run around. The vet called my daddy to tell him the she (Khaki) was going to have to be put down- because my granddaddy was scared to. Daddy wouldn’t leave us that day. It was a day of turmoil and grandness. Daddy left the next day to check on Khaki. (We were at the NICU in Mobile, Al) He didn’t put her down. He told us that he wanted us to get to know her and just couldn’t let her go yet.
She was a three legged weimaraner and the best pet I’ve ever had. (And we had many – we are a dog family) She lived 17 years. The day she died-Daddy had to have the vet come to our house to put her down because she was hurting- I watched out of the window as my daddy cried harder than I’d ever seen before. The vet gave him a full on hug. And they cried together. She was his first born.
All of this to tell you that their is always hope. Hope for you and kids. Whether they are yours or ones you’ve borrowed- or your pets. There is always hope. I LOVE reading your stuff!
Catherine Weed - April 2, 2017 3:16 pm
*there is always hope (not their)
*And Khaki was a she not a he
My mama is a teacher and I am always proofreading. Many times too late. 🙁
Janet Mary Lee - August 17, 2017 7:43 pm
Ellie Mae is a lucky dog! You all are lucky to have her! Dogs are just one of God’s greatest inventions! P.S. You would make a fine Daddy. You already do…
Cynthia Pruitt - April 22, 2018 11:09 am
When I was 18 yrs. old I was told I would not be able to have children. You are not a girl but you can’t imagine (well, I bet you can sorta imagine) what that does to a girl who practices being a momma since getting her 1st baby doll at 4 yrs. old on throughout every day of every year. I’m now 61 years old & commercials & other things will still make me cry. At that time I couldn’t imagine WHY God was keeping that from me. Then, at age 22 I met the man of my dreams & guess what ? He had 3 kids whose birth mother just had other things she wanted to do instead of being a mother. We were married & at age 23 I had a ready made family of a 5 yr. old little boy & 8 & 9 yr. old girls. My oldest girl will be 50 yrs. old this year. Yes, I still get sad that I wasn’t able to experience pregnancy but I now also understand that God had other plans for me & am very grateful He allowed me to experience motherhood. God also has plans for you & your wife – maybe He hasn’t revealed those plans to y’all yet. Maybe y’all are meant to be parents to fur-babies or maybe there is a child out there that He has not yet revealed to y’all that needs you & your wife. Maybe it isn’t time for Him to reveal His plan for y’all yet ! Just know He does have a plan for y’all & He will make it known on His terms. Good luck to you both & perhaps He wants y’all to check into adoption!! You make my heart happy with your Ellie Mae stories & all your other stories too! Very sincerely, a friend.
Cynthia Pruitt - April 22, 2018 11:13 am
With respect to above comment I would appreciate it if you could keep my reply confidential. Thank you.