July 30, 2022 eblast:
upon a time, Tammy Faye Barker had been the centre of the universe to someone else.
Someone we never met.
older gentleman. Her fierce protector. Her over-indulger.
Word has it, he fed her too much. So much so, the man's vet pleaded
with him time and again to cut down on her calorie intake.
"But she's HUNGRY!" he'd insist.
Apparently, he was a "difficult" client. It's written in the medical history.
But he loved her. His Tammy.
And one day, because of that love, he decided to listen to reason.
It took all his will, no doubt, not to give in to those big precious dark eyes but he did.
Anything for LOVE.
And Tammy gradually lost all that dangerous extra weight on her tiny frame which most certainly helped to extend
But one sad day, the man left the centre of his universe behind when he passed away.
All that big beautiful love was suddenly gone.
And the man's niece promptly surrendered
the little senior beagle to their local shelter complaining that Tammy "pees everywhere".
I guess she was
right, at first anyway. Tammy peed a lot. It wasn't a medical issue. Tammy was simply grieving.
didn't like us much at first. She kept to herself. She was sad. I was worried.
But then one magical
morning, I woke to her heartmelting face and those deep dreamy dark chocolate eyes staring straight into my soul.
was perched on the ottomon (the beagle gateway to the big bed).
There was something different in those eyes
The sadness had been replaced with something so much better.
I smiled. No, I beamed!
Softly, gently encouraging her up next to me. My heart racing.
Ever since then,
Tammy has been my sleep-in buddy with a special spot reserved for her at the foot of the bed and to the right. Always to the
right. She was set in her ways. She was so many wondrous things, once she opened her heart to us.
adventure seeker…to a fault. I learned (the hard way) to never underestimate her curious nature and to hold onto her
leash with all my might, especially at the farm. One nail-biting escape included some serious site-seeing…the enchanting
woods beyond one neighbour's house, a farmer's field chasing butterflies, and finally landing on another neighbour's front
yard in a head-strong determined effort to finally meet the scary-looking chained-up dog who lived there.
was fearless. She could also spot a gentle soul when nobody else could.
The two dogs exchanged introductions with
wags of their tails and nose rubs while I tried to slow my heart down.
Tammy also knew
exactly who to team up with for maximum thrill-seeking.
Clara Bow and Tammy once orchestrated what we now fondly refer
to as The Great Escape. Yeah, we can laugh about it now. The girls were "waiting" in the truck with daddy while
I rushed into the grocery store. Clara pawed at the window lock while distracting daddy with a cuddle moment (he's a sucker
for Clara cuddle moments), while Tammy opened the back window so the daring duo could jump out onto the adjacent snow bank
and head for the hills of Northhumberland howling with glee! Thank heavens for small town community! Everyone in the parking
lot that early evening rallied and helped my husband round up "the twins", getting them safely stowed back into
the truck while I was still in the grocery store trying to remember whether we needed more potatoes. It takes a village.
while the world around us was all a buzz in anticipation of the long weekend ahead, we lost our Tammy to the cancer diagnosed
back in early June.
But she's not lost. No. She's been reunited with her first love.
I know it in my heart. Her fierce protector. Her over-indulger.
Just don't forget me, Tammy. Because once upon a time, you became
the centre of my universe too.