Sunday, January 21, 2007

Atticus


I always wondered what I should write for my 100th post. I never imagined the subject would be a tragic one. In Atticus's honor, I'm looking at it as a special tribute to his life, not something to be sad about. I'm trying anyway.
It's been a day since we last saw Atticus, and my heart is heavy with grief. I miss him so much. As I look back over the last two months I have many emotions. I remember the first time I saw him. He was so skinny--every rib and bump of his spine pronounced--and his scars... Oh, the scars! They covered his legs, chest, even his neck and a couple on his face and ears. Who could have done such a thing? I still feel the anger bubbling up inside my chest and nearly choking me. You would think a dog who'd seen that kind of abuse would be timid or aggressive, but Atticus was neither. He came right up to us wagging his stubby little docked tail and leaned his whole body against mine. He had me right there. Lulu'd already decided she liked him before I did--in fact, she picked him out herself. Dogs are much smarter than humans.
Over the last couple of months he'd been in and out of the vet's office and he charmed the staff there too. "Atticus is here!" they'd exclaim when we walked in the door and he'd do his little Boxer dance at the site of the receptionist, vet tech and even the vet herself. The neighbors across the street who don't even like dogs always had to come over and pet him. He took a special liking to my mother--who usually keeps away from animals because of her allergies--and it pleased her very much. It was just impossible to be sad when Atticus was around.
I keep going over and over the last two months in my mind. Why did all of this happen? Why did we adopt him, fall in love with him, and then have to lose him? Did we make a difference to him? It certainly wasn't enough time to erase his awful memories, but was two months enough to matter? I think so. I truly hope so. I'm a firm believer in fate, destiny and karma and I know in my heart that everything happens for a reason.
Last night I was watching the fabulous movie (adapted from Laura Hillenbrand's wonderful novel) Seabiscuit. Red Pollard (Seabiscuit's jockey played by Tobey Maguire) says, "Everybody thinks we found this broken down old horse and we fixed him. But he fixed us." That's exactly how I feel about Atticus. He was old(er) and sick and he gave us more than we could have ever given him. I've always been a cynical, pessimistic sort, but it was impossible to be like that when Atticus was around. His sunny smile and limpid brown eyes made him friends everywhere he went. He was like the poster boy for looking on the bright side. I liked the warm happy feeling I had when he was with us. He gave us that. Oh, yes, he gave us so much more than that.
I always want to remember the gifts he gave us, so I've started a second blog in his honor. (Thank you to Katy for the idea.) I don't have time for a second blog, but that's the whole point. This blog will be one fast post a day, one or two sentences at most. It's called Today's Beautiful Thing and I hope you'll stop by when you're feeling down. I know Atticus would be pleased to know that he continues to make people smile, even though he no longer walks on this earth.
We were blessed to share our lives with Atticus from November 18, 2006- January 20, 2007 and someday we'll all be reunited over the rainbow bridge in heaven.
Rest in peace baby boy.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Heidi said...

Oh, Kim. This was so beautiful. And so are you.

5:15 AM  
Blogger Cherry Red said...

Thanks Heidi. It means a lot to have friends in my corner.

11:04 PM  

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