I am interrupting your Friday Internet musing to post up pics of my beloved Tinkerbell who passed away on Monday, July 20, 2015. And to tell her story. My good friend, Kimberly Koz (who is a true animal friend and fan) said that as a writer we should be telling stories. I haven’t done much of that this week, I’ll readily admit. But Tink has a story that deserves to be told and in doing so, maybe I will find some peace.
Tinkerbell, a dog’s life
It was a lazy gray Saturday and I had to take my daughter to the playhouse in Memphis to rehearse for a play that was going to Scotland on international stages. I knew it would be hours before we could come back home, and I would be stuck in the car waiting, or sitting with other parents in the tiny waiting area. They didn’t allow parents to be anywhere near the kids. Too much drama.
So, I decided to take off and go to the flea market in Midtown. It wasn’t far from the theater and I could do some much needed walking while I waited.
When I got there and started down the first aisle. Some people had a few crates set up on the end with puppies in them. They were ohmigod loud, barking, and yipping, and generally making the shoppers crazy. The flea market was held in one of those big warehouse buildings that had a terrible echo anyway, and yapping dogs just seemed extra loud.
My first mistake was in stopping to watch them. My second mistake was finding one who wanted me to take her home.
There she was. A tiny little fawn-colored pup with big sweet eyes who barked at me as if to say, here I am! Come and get me! I put my fingers into the cage (the people didn’t say a word!) and she licked them, and then she ran off and grabbed a toy. That was the end of that. She wanted me to play with her and so I did. And finally, I decided she had to come home with me. I didn’t know anything about the dogs, the people selling them, or any of that, and I didn’t care. I loved that little dog with a vengence.
It turned out that she was what they called a Chia-Pom. Part Chiahuahua and part Pomeranian. Some call them Pom-Chias I have found out. Nevertheless, I snuggled her into my purse, she was SO tiny. She fit into the palm of my hand. It had begun raining and I hurried to the car. I didn’t know what to do with her while I drove back to the theater. She was so little, I was afraid I would lose her in that big car and as everyone knows, you cannot hold a puppy on your lap and drive. I put her behind my head up on my shoulders. She snuggled up in my hair and never moved.
By the time I got back to the theater, my kid was coming out. She got in the car and was chattering on about her day. I leaned forward just enough for her to catch sight of the dog. She squealed and pulled her out and they bonded all the way home. My daughter has always been a HUGE Peter Pan fan so it was inconceivable that her name would be anything besides Tinkerbell.
When we got home my husband had to ask at first what she was. She had big ears, a long tail, and a tiny little body. Our cat thought she was a mouse, or a toy, and actually pounced on her! We had to give the cat away to protect the littlest dog in the world.
The following Thursday, I was home from work sick. She and I lounged in the bed. Then she began having seizures. Totally terrified, I plucked her up and rushed her to the vet. He said she had some anomaly that seemed to run rampant in puppy mills. He told me that I had saved her life by buying her. Most puppies in mills like the one I had saved her from died in the first six months.
That was the beginning of our life together. She was my little companion. If I went outside to sit and read, she went too. She slept near me every night, she napped at my feet every day.
The only thing she DIDN’T do was travel in the car. She took one car ride out of town with us and we had so many problems with her on that trip we didn’t take her anywhere in a car (except the vet) ever again.
And she lived with us for 14 years, the last few as a total invalid, relying on us to move her from room to room and take care of her every need. We did it, too. She owned us body and soul. Maybe why a dog is god spelled backwards. They really do own us.
If anyone has ever really loved a pet before you will understand when I say we are lost without her. Rest in peace, little dog.