Sheba the Homebody

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.

Picture of a black and tan dog, blurry because she moved her head.
Oops! She saw the camera and moved!

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.

Mystery Solved?

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.

Picture of a black and tan dog, leaning against a woman's leg. Blue jeans and tan chair.
Par for the course. There are two of these, not the same photo, but they might as well be.

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.

Camera Shy??!!!

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.

Once again, she saw the camera and moved fast, so you don’t get to see the whole “Aren’t I cute? Love me, adore me” pose.

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,

Michele

Copyright 2020-2024 Michele Somerville, The Beach Girl Chronicles and https://msomervillesite.WordPress.com

Published by msomerville2014

About: Michele Somerville is a wife, mother, stepmother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin and friend. She lives with her husband and their dog Sheba. Sheba is their fourth rescue dog in 30 years. She is a retired ordained United Methodist Elder and serves two churches part-time in North Central Pennsylvania. She obtained her Bachelors’ Degree in 1999 from Mansfield University and her Master of Divinity in 2004 and Doctor of Ministry in 2016, both from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, New York. My Doctor of Ministry Thesis was:” Prophetic Words of Grace: Biblical Storytelling in the Local Church.” Michele began writing and performing character monologues for worship in 2008. She began by asking the question about nameless characters in the Bible, “What would they say if they could speak for themselves?” and then using her theological education and experience of the human condition to attempt an answer that is both academic and creative. Much of what you will read here are memories from growing up in a tourist town, in a bar, in the 1960’s, shaggy dog stories about our rescue dogs, life in a small town, and stories of faith and hope. Throughout her life she has lived in many states, including small towns, large towns and cities. She lived in Rota, Spain, for nine challenging months. Despite all the places she have lived since moving away from home in 1970,Michele is at the heart of all things Jack and Maggie’s daughter, and a beach girl from Onset, Massachusetts.

9 thoughts on “Sheba the Homebody

    1. Sheba is our 4th rescue dog in 30 years. At different times we talked about having more than one, but it never happened. When we adopted Sheba, the shelter said she needed to be the only dog in the house, because of her background (1 of 16 dogs surrendered in an animal hoarding situation. There have been times I thought another dog would be good, but then I think twice the expense, twice the clean up, although as you say, twice the love. I cannot imagine my life without Sheba. Darlene, thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Blessings, Michele

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Sheba is beautiful (as far as I can tell! :)) and a good companion, I am sure. We lost our dog, Benji, at about this time last year and the house still feels empty without him. I still catch myself expecting him to greet us when we walk in the door or look for him when I want to go for a walk. Dogs do become a beloved part of the family, don’t they?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Laurie, I am so sorry about Benji, I rmember when that happened or shortly after it happened. They are definitely beloved, and missed. In 30+ years, we have not gone longer than a few months without a four legged member of the family. I think Sheba really needs to be the last one, as we have gotten older and with the last year of my husband’s health issues. But, I said that two dogs ago. Loved and missed them all but I may feel Sheba’s loss more keenly when the time comes because of the four, she has been the most devoted to me. I wanted a dog that needed us, maybe Sheba knew I needed something too. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Grace and peace, Michele

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Sheba is lovely, what I could see of her. Our grand dog Sadie is a lovely companion for me. We’ve not had a dog living with us before. Son John $pencer took Sadie for a camping trip this morning, and I miss her. She escaped $’s room and slept with me last night. I’m thankful she just ignores my camera and doesn’t avoid it like Sheba.

    “Here’s my hand for a sniff and a pet, Sheba.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Anne. It is disappointing, but kind of funny and sad at the same time. She is so consistent in this, which I tried showing with her pictures. None of the pictures are good, or blog worthy, in a sense, but they are her! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Blessings, Michele

      Liked by 1 person

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