Monday, May 13, 2019

Truman Puppy

Let me tell you a story of a little Yorkie named Truman. I don’t know if he ever made it on my blog previously, and I do realize it’s been over two years since I blogged, but this little pup was there through many of the events on my blog and plays a big part in my yet to be published second book.

Truman started out as my brother’s dog and then eventually ended up with my mom. They were a perfect match as Truman was about the most loving dog you could meet. I remember in my college comp 101 class we were told, “Never put human traits to an animal” but Truman was an exception; you could see him think. He would hide something and my mom could say, “go find it” and he’d tilt his little wookie face, look behind him, and then in a flash go fulfill the task at hand.

Truman played a big part in the episode I called “Aaron vs. the Horse”. Hitting a horse is never fun, it’s even worse when already going through a crisis about life and death. When I returned to my mom’s house I was cut up badly and after getting the glass out of my wounds I went back to sleep and just before I dozed off I felt the little ball of fluff plop down beside me. This was the start of something and my mom may debate this, but I may have said Truman ended up as my mom’s dog but anytime I was around Truman was my dog.

He was boundless in his love. That’s all he was, except that one time he bit the owner’s daughter of 61 Kartways back in 2008, but besides that Truman didn’t know how to be mean. Sure, he barked at any bunny that dare cross the path of his window, and squirrels? Oh, they got a stern barking at, but other than that the only thing that dog wanted was to make those around him feel loved and accepted.

Pets are funny creatures; do they need us or do we need them? In my life I’ve struggled with this question because, yes, we feed them but in this world how many people experience true acceptance from another? Truman had a habit of going after my ears (another thing started the day I hit the horse) and one time I got a little harsh with my tone with him and his response? He did a 360 and came back for more. Maybe he couldn’t take a hint, but that dog… that dog was love.

Love is a word I don’t use lightly in regards to others. I don’t know really what it is. Read Finding Kansas and with Emily I struggled with the word and meaning, but the chapter about having to have my cat Amsterdam put down? Love was mentioned strongly. I say this because coming back to my sister’s house on Monday from working a SKUSA race with my nephew in Salt Lake City a week ago my sister sat us down and said, “I’ve got something to tell you and it’s not fun. Truman got very sick on Saturday and mom had no choice. He’s gone.”

He’s gone… It was now 48 hours after the fact and it was probably best to wait and tell us as working a race on track is intense and distractions could prove to be catastrophic, but the little pup that lived well beyond the average expectancy was now gone… Gone.

Each Christmas I see my mom and every year as I leave I meant to hug Truman real tightly because I’ve feared this day for the past five Christmases and that fear was finally realized. Unlike my pets that I’ve had to make the choice to have put down I didn’t get that final goodbye. My mom did and that had to be crushing because Truman was a special dog. Nothing can prepare a person for a loss of a pet whether you have it in your house or only steal the dog on family visits. He somehow knew how to communicate with us though; through my hard times he was there exactly how I needed him and in the past month before his final illness he showed signs to my mom of the way he was a decade ago. He got out toys long since retired. Sure, he didn’t spend all day with Mr. Duck but he fought the good fight with that stuffed animal and won. Whether or not you believe animals communicate with us doesn’t matter to me because I know they do. Each of my three animals did and Truman showed glimpses of his former self. He gave that one last dance, that last bark, and I’m sure that last ear lick and wherever he maybe I know he’s barking at the bunnies, squirrels, and if any person walks by, oh my, I feel sorry for them because he’s now his spry self and no ear is safe.

Truman puppy, you were amazing and maybe pets exist to remind us time is limited and that we need to try and love the best we can because Truman puppy was the essence of love.