Monday, January 17, 2000

Bye Bye Ms. Otislipps

Hi Everyone,

Just sittin here thinking I should be adding to the journal.  As some of you already know, we've had reduction in numbers on the farm and I thought that I should get out the pen and dust off the paper and do a little writing.  Only trouble that I'm having is where to begin, as there are so many things to say and some of ya'll have to go to work this week.

I guess I should just write what comes out, so "make it click", lock the doors, and let's go....

This past Thursday was a sad day here at home.  I woke up at the usual 4:45 to get ready for work, ok ok, 3 snoozes later, I got up at 5:12 in a mad rush to shower & shave and be on the way by 5:45 for the 1/2 hour journey to work.  I worked out a system where I can go from a deep sleep, to a showered and shaved half asleep computer consultant on the road in 22 minutes - with coffee in hand.  The book will be out this summer.  That's not the sad part...

I did the usual, wind sprinted to the shower with toothbrush in one hand and razor in the other.  I figure I'll slow it down a bit when I start shaving off my eye brows and using Mary's conditioner for toothpaste.  So far though, only a few rolls of tissue have left the house as bandages on my razor cut grape. I jumped out of the shower into my slacks (part of the secret of the 22 minute stop-to-start preparation) with the hair dryer blowing at an approximate 317 mph's. If I point it just right, I can cause my lips to open far enough to swallow the front on my face.  It's a really cool party trick, but at times, can be quite painful trying to remove my head from my mouth.  I hurriedly finished getting ready and left the bathroom enroute to the kitchen to grab the java and hit the road.  Here's where our sad day began....

Otis has her own bed, one in which none of the others dogs will even look at.  They are terrified of her as I have mentioned in the past.  Otis doesn't sleep but one other place, and thats on top of the laundry that she bowls over to make a throne. This morning was different.  As I left the bathroom and turned towards the door, there she lay in the archway leading into the hallway.  I honestly stopped right there, 10 feet away, and knew what I would soon verify. I called to Mary and said something is wrong.  I was actually afraid to go up to Otis because I knew already what I would find.  Mary got up and knew as well without me saying a word. We walked up to her and sat down beside her.  Neither of us could speak, nor do I think there was much we could say anyway.  Really there are good things about this, like the fact that she is no longer in pain, she no longer itches, she no longer hurts from her tummy disagreeing with anything that is put into it.  Right now, still, though I want her back, as does Mary.  We only asked that when it did happen, that she was not scared.

I picked her up and lay her back into her bed as I thought this would make her feel better.  Irrational yes, but I didn't really know what to do.  Mary put a blanket on her to keep her warm.  It was even sadder when we saw that Mo had realized what had taken place.  Mo, who is one that never comes to Otis, walked up with a toy as if to offer it, "Otis, come play with me".  It's the innocence that only a situation like this can present.  Boomer on the other had was calculating the increased portion size of his meal as now a large can would be shared between only himself and Mo.  I guess the numerous bites that Otis had delivered to him had hardened him.

The sun doesn't rise for an hour and Mary and I have decided that she will rest in the garden at the edge of our property.   I want to stay home, but Mary insists that she'll be alright.  I have a weeks worth of work to do, as one of the folks in my office is out on vacation and the increased workload has steadily built into the In Basket.  I shall come home early and together Mary and I will say bye to Otis together.  Mary is dressed now and in the kitchen, Boomer is waiting for dinner time to see if his calculations are correct and Mo still sits in the hallway at the bedroom door that we have closed where Otis lay.  Helga has spent the night outside stirring up trouble somewhere.

I go to work and Mary and I spend much of the morning on the phone or Instant Messenger.  Neither of us have actually accepted that our Otis has gone.  It just doesn't seem real.  I still remember like it was yesterday when I came in to work (Mary was working air traffic control) and interrupted Mary's traffic flow to show her the Pot Bellied Pig look-a-like that we would call Otis-Lipps Watts.  From day one we knew this would be a little different.  She lay behind the couch and growled for hours.  Soon, she learned that she could lie on 7th stair leading to upstairs and successfully block Major (our German Shepherd we had) from either going up or down, depending on where he was when she made the climb.  I can't prove it, but I'd be willing to bet that, that was a grin I saw on her face as Major looked at us wondering how in hootin' holler he was gonna "do this".  He (Major) didn't like stairs to begin with so jumping over her was completely out of the question.  Besides, if she raised her head to bite him while airborne, she may actually bite parts that would end his singing career as a Bass. No, this was definitely out of the question.   Thinking about it, Major was quite smart; anyone who has been around Otis for more than a week  is very lucky if they didn't get bit too.  Otis's hearing went first, but the worst part is when she started having trouble with her seeing.  Because of her many health problems that she'd had since birth, we were constantly feeding her treats that contained medicine's, steroids, or antibiotics.  Yes (in case you're wondering) we paid for the East Wing and the Yacht that our Vets now have.  Anyway, in feeding these meds to Otis, she has successfully bitten each one of us approximately 1635 times each.  Her little toothlets were extremely sharp.  I do think they could have had Otis straddle a jack hammer and she could have gnawed her way into and through anything.  Those that have been bitten will agree.

I got home just after lunch and Mary had found a place in the garden where the sun seems to rise; this is where Otis would rest.  We wrap her in a blanket, placed her in a little box and Mary placed a Teddy Bear between her arms and we wrote a card to her saying good-bye.  We'll be planting something there as well and I have a feeling that whatever it is, will grow to be a beautiful addition to this place we call home.

Boomer is still inside trying to stare through the cabinet doors as he knows that soon he will get to test his mathematical skills.   Mo is with us, he sits just 10 feet away watching.  Helga has slept most of the day and is cleaning her face as she has a hot date tonight with some Tomcat up the road.

It's Sunday now,  and here I sit typing away.  Looking around here still seems different. Please don't misunderstand, we still have the zoo. Lemme' explain... When Samantha, Janie, and Alyssa were here, I built two tree swings in the back yard.  They are long ropes with round seats on them. Simple enough...but I thought I had to use them to prove my carpentry skills.  I spent a thousand dollars to build a $40.00 workbench and two $5.00 swings so I must be pacing myself.  Honest Mary, I'm gonna build that wrap-around porch real soon; I'll start tomorrow.  Anyway, Mo loves to try and bite the swings so I've had to slide the seat up higher on the rope and just leave the knot hanging below by itself.  Right now Mo is suspended in air holding on the the rope with his teeth. There he is just swingin', I think he's lost it.  Boomer is telling Mary some sob story about not getting any treats cause he donated his share to the dogs next door.   First of all, Bob & Sue (our good neighbors) only have one small dog and Boomer wouldn't donate any food for any reason.  Secondly, Boomer didn't give it to Mo cause Mo is still outside, uh, swingin'.  Helga don't do dog treats, and Mary and I have cut back. 

She'll (Mary) give in though, remember this is the one that cooks them breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner.  Remember family hour, oh yeah, that continues.  I'm off tomorrow for the holiday so I'll get to take part in the sit-n-chat session that I've heard so much about. That's about it really.  I do have another journal entry that is written about our New Years celebration.  I know this is kinda out of sync, but I wanted to send this one tonight as it is important to us.   I will tell you that that if you ever take your loved one to a party and at that party you meet an airline pilot. Don't let your wife or husband try to make you look good by telling this airline pilot that you, too, fly for the airlines....only later to say that it is on the computer!!!!!  

Ok Ok, I'm outa here.
Take care and we hope to hear from you too, I have to go get Mo out of the tree.

Ciao for now...

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.


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