friends & gifts

April 15: I had the most wonderful dream. Josie was snuggled beside me, tucked into my chest with her head on my shoulder, sound asleep. I didn’t want to wake up. Maybe she really was asleep with me. It’s Steeplechase weekend, and time for fun with friends. We went to Joe & Tracy’s for dinner. I knew this was going to be difficult for me – seeing Josie’s family. All of the dogs greeted us at the door, a typical Watters’ greeting 😉  Chester was most attentive. He kept jumping up on me until I bent down to acknowledge him – and he licked my face. I think he knew. Chili and Pickles were extra sweet, and I got some family love.  It made my heart hurt though. Friend Johnny is the quenitssential giver of stupid gifts. We always joke, “where does he find these things?!” I don’t know where he does his shopping, but there IS a website called, and I think he has a frequent buyer discount card.  The gift/toy du jour tonight was a little battery operated raccoon (like a zhu zhu pet). Josie loved, loved, loved the toys Johnny bought. I’m not sure if he bought them for fun, adult humor, but Josie thought he bought them for her. He is the one who introduced Josie to “flying screaming monkeys.”

screaming monkey

screaming monkey

She loved those monkeys, and would drive me crazy playing with them. One summer, he brought a collection of “space monkeys” in all different colors. When we got home from the lake that weekend, there were two buried in her sleeping bag. Last summer, he brought along a motorized skunk. It took her all of two seconds to chase it, grab it up and run away with it.  Josie would have loved the raccoon. That tugged on my heartstrings big time.

April 16: Steeplechase. Steeplechase is the highlight of spring fun. Friends from all over the south converge on Kingston Downs for one big all day party. Oh, and there are horse races too. I knew Tracy’s sister-in-law, Lisa would be there. Lisa was Belle’s (Josie’s big sister) human mother, and Belle had tragically died back in the fall. Unbeknownst to Lisa, Belle got into the baking chocolate.  Belle’s vet was perplexed by her symptoms, and couldn’t diagnose her; and like Josie, Belle died in her owner’s arms. Lisa and I had a BIG cry together. Ironically, I think it was at Steeplechase where Joe and Tracy saw Josie’s father-to-be for the first time. I think his owner was parading them (there were two males) around the tent parties , and Tracy fell in love immediately. I mentioned to Tracy that when the time is right for me to have another mini long-haired dachshund, I would have to have the total opposite of Josie – I couldn’t bear another little black and tan.

April 17: Tyler said something last night that made me smile – especially this morning when rethinking it – Chaco can’t wag just his tail, he wags his whole behind. That is just how Josie was – her happy dance. Yes, her tail was wagging, but so was her whole behind.

April 18: God love Skeeter’s heart. He just plopped down in the floor in front of Chaco, like he always did for Josie when he wanted to play. He pawed at Chaco a little, but Chaco didn’t know what to do, and walked away. Josie loved playing with Skeeter. And Skeeter loved playing with Josie.

I have a confession to make here. . . I have been searching the internet for puppies. Just looking. I’m beginning to think it’s time. It has almost been a month, and the void in my life is tremendous.  Would a puppy really heal my heart? It would never replace Josie, but it would be a new start on the path to heal my heart. My heart will never be totally healed. Chaco is sweet, and he tries, but he is Katherine’s puppy (although David and I are the one’s raising him!) It’s not the same. It would have to be a little girl. Am I ready? Is it time?

April 19: I saw something unusual this morning. Of course, I’m taking it as a sign since I had asked for that. A lone lightening bug in the canopy over our backyard. I begin my mornings on the deck for a few minutes – listening to the morning birds, some quiet time before the hectic day begins. Isn’t it too early for lightening bugs?

April 20: I found one of Josie’s lacrosse balls. We would play a little game with her ball. She would have it in her mouth – grrr at me, and take off running and of course, I chased her. We would run around the dining room table, thru the kitchen and living room and back again. She could do this for hours. It was me that got tired of running in circles. She was always so full of energy. Years ago, we went to St. George Island for Spring Break. It’s a dog friendly island. Josie loved digging in the sand. Always so full of energy…

St. George Island, FL 2004

Fun at the beach!


April 21: It’s been one month. I felt the absence of Josie today especially. I miss her so much. I never knew how much I relied on her to fulfill my life. I miss her bark, as annoying as it may have been to others, but music to my ears. She was my precious gift. I actually felt her presence this morning on the deck. It had been a stormy night (and she would’ve been snuggled under the covers behind my back) and for a moment, there was just a slight breeze. In my mind, it was Josie, telling me it was ok to move on. She knows how much I loved her, and love her still. And she will never be replaced. I emailed the breeder with the puppies. Karen. She lives in Guyton, Georgia – which is conveniently on the way to Savannah, where we are headed tomorrow for the Easter weekend. There are two little girls – one english cream, and one little red sable – the runt. We’ll see. . .

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