How my Dog Freckles Helped me Thrive

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I decided to switch gears today. I’m in need of a blog post that makes me smile remembering the memories required to write it. I can think of no better subject to do that than Freckles. My first rat terrier. I begged for a dog for years. I got Freckles the summer I was ten. I should have known something was up when mama and dad gave in. I was too excited, and she was too adorable. We were best friends from the very first meeting. We had to leave her an extra week because we were going camping. She tried to follow me off when I left that day. She was meant to be my dog. When we picked her up the next week: she immediately went camping with us and my dad’s parents. She fit right in and loved it as much as we did.

A week after my 11th birthday: I was surprised with the worst major surgery ever: hamstring releases and adductor transfers. I screamed and cried all the way down the Interstate on the way to get my pre-op done. The next week, post surgery, I woke up in a purple cast all the way from my chest to my feet with a 34 wooden rod between my legs. I also woke up to gnarly muscle spasms that lasted all night. That’s what happens when you grown 3 inches in the span of mere hours.

Once home: I needed to be home bound schooled: an assigned teacher came to me. I was terribly bored. I always finished all the work and exams early. My teacher was older, crabby, and seemed to thoroughly dislike her job. Tiny Freckles was always nearby when she visited. Freckles bed was my bed those crazy, difficult, weeks. I truly believe God created Freckles just for me. She could always sense my emotions…even at that young age. She knew I wasn’t fond of my teacher, and bored with the work, so she decided to give me comic relief. Freckles peed directly on my teacher’s fancy three-hundred dollar shoes. We were very aware how much they cost as she screamed, horrified, in my childhood living room. I had to work very hard not to laugh, and have the good manners mama raised me with. The shoes were fine. Mama cleaned them. The teacher quickly dropped off my work for the week and left. Afterwards: mama and I laughed very hard and neither of us had the heart to scold Freckles. Dad did the same when he got home from work that day.

After my surgery and rehab were over Freckles and I were closer than ever. She was one of my constants. She helped me every process every bully, teenage broken heart, every muscle spasm, every test I didn’t do well on, every transition to Heaven for somebody important to me. She knew all my secrets and was my homework buddy. When she succumbed to cancer a few months before my undergrad graduation: I was devastated, but determined to graduate with the highest grad point average possible for: her, Kirk, Granny, my parents, and everybody else who loves me. I did just that. After getting home from the ceremony, before we had a party: I went outside for pictures in my cap and gown. After the pictures were done: I went to her grave, with tears streaming, and said simply: we did what many said I never would, girl. Thank you for everything. I love you so much. I still love her just as much. She changed my life, irrevocably.

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