I initially titled this post, “Sheba the Gentle” yet, I am quite sure that any rabbits that would encounter her would not call her that, but with us, she is gentle, pushy, funny and a string of adjectives.
I wrote in October about my husband’s accident when he fractured his femur and had surgery about how empty the house felt with her at the kennel. I felt guilty, but I decided to leave her there through the end of the reservation period, while Roger and I got adjusted to his injury and care.
I thought she would probably shy away from him when he was using his walker, but wasn’t 100% sure that would be the case. With a new fracture and recent surgery, I didn’t want to risk the possibility that she might knock into him or otherwise trip him. But in the few extra days she remained in the kennel, while we got adjusted at home, the house felt painfully empty.
I was also concerned about how she might react to the parade of home health workers coming in and out of the house, her house and the possibility that it would require her to be relegated to her crate. I needn’t have worried.
She was fortunate, as were we, that each of the members of the home health team, both nurses and physical therapists, were dog owners. They were polite about her curiously sniffing their shoes or boots and bags, her snuffly greetings. On occasion she would even sniff a proffered hand. Then she would find an out of the way spot, either on her pillow in the living room, or the doorway to the living room to watch them put my husband through his paces. They could have required us to crate her during their presence.
I wrote in October that I was surprised by the aching sense of absence I felt with Sheba at the kennel. Perhaps it is because she is seldom away more than one night while we are at home. We learned years ago that if we are making a trip out of town, we get on our way much faster in the morning if we take the dog to the kennel the night before. That, and occasional overnights at the vets. Other than that, we are a package deal.
This time she was at the kennel an additional six days until I picked her up. So the extra days she was away from us, certainly underscored her absence. But it is something more, than the fact that she was not in the house. She was not with me. In general, Sheba is my near constant companion. If I am going upstairs to bed, she runs up the stairs ahead of me. If I am going up during the day for something, she will usually race me upstairs. She still tries to walk where I am walking and will occasionally simply lean against my leg. Honestly, I feel like Mary, who had a little…dog.
Sheba has her own ideas about my behavior too. Admitedly, I stay in my office too late, almost every night. So she has gotten to the point of coming to get me and making a general nuisance of herself until I get up from my desk and go to the living room. She weighs 42 pounds, and when she wants to be pushy, it seems that she can put the full force of her weight into her face. She will come up to me and use her face to push my hand up forcefully for my desk, keyboard or writing surface.
Once I am seated on the couch, she might hang out to get petted, or she might simply lay on her cushion, her mission accomplished.
Confession: I wrote most of this post last fall, and deleted several paragraphs to make room for this update. Part of the reason I did not publish it sooner is that I have a limited supply of good pictures of Sheba. While there are some wonderful free stock photos of other people’s dogs available on Pexels and other formats, this is her story and I wanted to use pictures of her, which I have intentionally spread throughout this post.
Can you tell, that she does not like having her picture taken? I generally use my phone for pictures, so I do not know if it is the phone, or camera feature that bothers her. Just as a test, my husband got his phone out to try to take a picture and she turned away from him, whom she has grown to love. I wish I knew what that was about, because everyone who sees her on walks comments on how pretty sure is, I just don’t get any pictures unless she is unaware. There is photographic evidence here of just how quickly she can move!
But she is my girl, my near constant companion and I wanted to show her off. Well, there you have it. Sheba is, according to the records we have seven years old, she has been a member of the family for two and a half years, but it seems much longer. She has imprinted on my heart.
Not holding back the tide,
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