My friend died today. The friend I'd had the longest.
My friend was my dog, Star.
She was a Golden Retriever. I still remember my dad telling me he was getting me a dog in the parking lot of Kroger. I picked her over another puppy, now idea why.
I mean, I know it may sound lame, but she really was my only friend at times. When life got hectic & I'd be crying, she'd be there laying in the floor with me. Sounds pathetic maybe, but living in my house you'd sit in the floor & cry, too. The dog didn't have a mean bone in her body. She was loved by many. Because of her huge size, she kinda became a bit of a legend in my school & was featured in several speech class videos. Not even mine sometimes. People shot videos at my house to have "Big Dog" in the movie or commercial.
She'd gotten old. But she was still my friend. She had problems getting around, but let me see if you don't when you're old. Hell, I have problems getting around & I'm not even 30 yet.
I can accept death. Obviously. But I can't accept what happened over the past few days. Star didn't die because it was her time, she didn't die because she was sick, she died, I believe, just because. Let me explain.
Once my parents moved closer to me about 18 months ago, Star was, well, a pain in their asses. It broke my heart to hear them talk about her, making fun of the fact that she just laid around or slept, complaining that she was slow & my mom commenting that she just felt like hitting her sometimes. My mom often complained that they couldn't go anywhere because of Star. Adam & I had discussed taking her in, but because of her size & age, our house with the hills & steps weren't very friendly for her. I knew the day would come where she'd be put down. I'm not stupid. But I didn't know it would all go down like this.
You see, my dad went out of state a few days ago to visit my grandma. My mom was getting sick before he left, the 2nd day he was gone I called & she told me she was really sick. I told her I'd let her rest, but to call if she needed anything. Just after 9 on Wednesday, the same day, she called & said she thought she needed to go to the hospital. I asked what was going on, her symptoms sounded like H1N1....Swine Flu...Piggy flu...whatever you want to call it. She again said she wanted to go to the hospital, but when I offered to pick her up she told me she couldn't ride in a car, she would have to take an ambulance but she didn't want to. I tell her to let me get off the phone & talk this out with people.
I tell Adam then I call my dad. My dad starts off telling me how basically she's making it sound worse than it is, she's not taking care of herself, she makes herself sick every time he's out of town, blah blah blah. Basically, he thinks it's no big deal & she's being dramatic. He talks me out of worrying too much. At this point I also explain that Adam & I realized that in case she does have the flu, I shouldn't get around her since I'm pregnant. He agrees, we hang up, I call her back. I tell her that we think if she's going to go to the hospital, an ambulance may be best just so they can start her on fluids & get her seen quicker. She wants me to come over & "look" at her to see what I think. I then explain that I shouldn't really get around her, just in case. She tells me she doesn't want to go to the hospital even though I try to talk her into it.
The next day I call her around 11. At this point, she wants to call an ambulance but only a certain ambulance that I can't find the number for. Ugh. I then tell her to just call 911. She gets mad & tells me I just "don't understand!" & that she wants to wait until my dad comes home before she goes. She's off & on yelling at me over it, but I ignore it & go on, talking to her calmly. I stress to her again & again that she needs to go now if she's that sick, not wait until my dad comes home late that night. I tell her not to worry about the dogs or anything, to just go & if she does we'll make sure the dogs are alright, I'll have Adam bring her what she needs or wants, I have a house key, it'll all be fine. She hangs up with me & tells me she'll call if she goes. I give her a couple hours & call back...no answer.
For the next almost 24 hours I call & call. No answer. Same when I try to call my dads cell phone. I leave messages & get nothing. I finally stopped calling around 11pm, start up again Friday morning. After several calls, my dad finally calls me back around 2. He's angry. Tells me that I "left her laying over there sick" & went into how I should have made her go to the hospital, I should have called an ambulance & just have them show up. He claims he thought this the entire time & tried to call & tell me, but I never answered.
...not true according to my caller ID, mind you, but whatever.
He really didn't seem to even want to give me her hospital room number, when I tell him I'll just call & get it myself he tells me how my mom doesn't want to talk to me. Um, alright. He then tells me that he got home late, had to take care of the dogs & clean up Star's mess since she peed (in the garage, mind you), & then he had to take Edna things to the hospital. I tell him what I'd told her the day before, he basically acts as through I'm lying about telling Edna I'd take care of everything. Again, she was just "left laying over there sick as hell." Turns out, she called an ambulance soon after our discussion the day before. He knew the whole time because she called him, but no one could bother to call me. And I love how he claims it was very serious all along, though he was basically saying she was putting on an act because he left her home for a few days alone just a couple days before.
I give it till that evening & call again to see if any of the test are back. Eventually my dad calls me back & tells me everything is negative. I, again, tell him I wish someone had let me know but he ignores me & starts on "Star is old & decisions are going to have to be made." He goes on to tell me how she's my dog so it's really my choice, but it's something to think about. He mentioned that she peed the night before, but again, that wouldn't have happened if someone had let me know I needed to take care of the dogs. We get off the phone & I move on about my night. A couple hours later, my mom calls me from her cell phone. She flat out starts the convo with "I want you to call a doctor & have Star put to sleep. I'm tired of it all. I told your dad to tell you that, but I don't know if he did, he says he doesn't remember."
I stop her & tell her dad & I had a small convo that we'd need to think about options. I guess she knew that already, but when she found out my dad didn't flat out tell me she was demanding my dog get put to sleep, she wanted to call & tell me herself. She didn't want to talk to me about anything involving her. She told me the hospital phone didn't let her dial cell phones...? Same hospital I had Jules, I called cell phones so I know that's not true. When I told her I tried calling the house & dad's cell phone all Thursday & all morning that day & that Adam & I were talking about going to check on her & all of this, that I wish I'd known she went to the hospital so I could help her & take care of the dogs, etc., I realized the phone was quiet. She'd hung up on me. According to my phone, the line had been dead for a decent amount of time, so as soon as I moved past "I want to put Star to sleep because I'm tired of dealing with her" she just hung up on me. Great.
At that point I let Adam know everything going on, he even ask again if we should just go get Star. We see her every time we're at their house, she was nothing like they claimed she was anytime we saw her. Yes, she had a hard time getting up, but I blame that on the fact that my parents insist on tile floors & she slips. But I don't worry anymore last night, I figure I'll call my dad this afternoon & see what's going on.
Well, my phone rings early this morning. When I finally find my phone it stops ringing. I go to unlock my touchscreen & right then my mom's cell number comes up & I accidentally hit "reject" because I was trying to bring up my missed calls list. Oops. A minute later I have a voicemail, I listen of course. It's my mom, in her crazy angry person voice, telling me "We already got rid of Star, so don't worry about it."
And that's how I found out my dog was put to sleep. Mind you, I live 10 minutes from them. If they were going to do it, they could have called me. There was no reason my dad couldn't call & tell me. I think my mom called just because she wanted to get to be the one to break the news to me. And there was nothing new going on with her. The dog was the same as she was a week before, but they had to put her to sleep anyway.
Real reason? Paranoid & weird of me, but it was spite in our opinion. My mom was annoyed I wouldn't come sit with her & expose myself & Piccadilly to whatever she could have had. My dad only heard her side of the story, which was that I just left her over there. Mind you, I offered Adam's assistance, told her not to worry about everything she was worried about that we'd do everything for her, but I guess since I didn't rush to her bedside I was wrong. And I guess since I was so uncaring, my dad decided to avoid my phone calls as well on Thursday. I suppose in my mom's fucked mind, she would have been able to go with my dad if it weren't for Star & wouldn't have gotten sick. And they decided that this was finally the time that they felt like she was too much of a problem for them. Plus, bonus, I get punished because my dog is dead & I didn't even get to say bye to her or be with her. Chances are she was alone, scared at the vets office. Great. Just great.
Again, I know this all sounds weird & paranoid, why would people put a dog to sleep for spite? Well, if you ask yourself that you obviously don't know how my family works. They are very good at spite & anger. I have that, too, but even I have my limits. While my parents love me, at the end of the day they are pretty, well, self centered. It's a problem they've always had & I"m sure they always will have.
At the core they are very appearance obsessed. Not just actual physical looks, but whatever can make people think badly of them. Even little things bother them, mainly my dad. I remember being little he wouldn't let me wear my new shoes out of the store because he thought it made people think we "looked poor" & I didn't have shoes until then. He use to get mad over a doctor sending us bills, claiming that their bills looked like a collections notice & he didn't want people to think he couldn't pay his bills. My mom was just worried about being fat & spend years not taking care of herself like she should to ensure she stayed in a size 3. Imagine me, not a size 3, growing up in that house. ....yeah, loads of fun.
And on top of that, there is the spite I've talked about. They will do just about anything for it. Hopefully it's not the case, but my mother once said that if certain people, members of our family, were invited to the kids birthday party she's not sure they'd come. I'll be the first to admit that my family has sucked in the past. They weren't very good to us for years. But that was also years ago. My parents want to continue to play the spiteful "we don't have any family interaction" game & I guess they expect me to play it, too, because they seem to think it's odd of my to get together with my cousins wife & their kids every so often, to talk & email family members, & to want to invite them to things. Sure, I could be mad over things from 10 or 20 years ago, I really could. But why bother? As long as things are different now, which they are, what is the harm? And if they don't want to, fine, but why expect us to follow suit?
Silly me though, I suck, so that's why. My parents were paranoia also involves me. From a young age through my adult years, my parents were suspicious of anyone around me. From friends to boyfriends, they didn't really like me. They wanted something from me. So chances are my extended family isn't spending time with us or letting our kids play, they are trying to find out something about my parents. Yes, this is something they would think. My mom actually lectured me not too long ago when I mentioned she came up in convo, in a very good way, that she was angry I talk about her with anyone & to not talk about her to any of my family again.
I'm sure they think Adam wants something from me, too. And it's true, he does. Blowjobs, he wants blowjobs.
So what does this have to do with my dog? Spite. And revenge when I go against the grain they think I should go towards. And this was not only revenge, but it also got rid of a problem in their heads.
I offered what help I could. I wasn't going to go personally expose myself to who knows what just to make a grown woman go to the hospital. And you'd think a woman who is so paranoid to think that I should remind everyone around me that I'm a dead baby mom would want me to stay away from sick people & hospitals. I wasn't going to risk getting sick, dying of some flu, or the health of Piccadilly to make my mom feel like I cared enough to be involved in what was going on. And, of course, I still love that my dad claims now to think the entire situation was serious from the start, but a few days ago she was a cry baby. Part of me wonders if he jumped on the angry bandwagon in order to prevent me from telling my mom about the fact that he didn't think it was a big deal. He's good at that, too, making a situation where things don't come back to haunt him. I've been a great scapegoat for years. I remember when I was growing up he'd get mad at my mom & rip up papers she wanted to keep or break all of her makeup...when he got over it, he'd tell her how I must have done it. For years she was convinced I was basically fucking with her. And I'll spare you about how there was a time I found an email from a woman directed to him & he swore up & down that I'd been online pretending to be him. Because, you know, 12 year old girls always pretend to be 40 year old men online...makes perfect sense.
I know, this has gone far away from my dog, but when this happened I can't help but to reflect on all the craziness I've dealt with when it comes to my parents & maybe I think if I explain a little about how they've worked you won't think I'm nuts for thinking that this was done purposefully.
So now they can go where they want, don't have to worry about Star moving too slow, & they got to hurt me by knowing that they purposefully didn't call me so I could say goodbye to the dog I've loved for years. The dog who played with me when no one else would. The dog who made me not mind going to my parents even when they sucked.
The only thing that doesn't make me sad? Realizing that she was too awesome for them anyway.
Last picture of Star taken, just about a month ago.
Adam & I have already discussed...as soon as my mom starts moving a little slow, we're loading her up & taking her to the vet.
Oh, & if you're wondering, there is nothing wrong with my mom. Well, medically. Everything came back fine. Hope she's walking fast next time we see her.