Cinders... A true Cinderella story....|
I lost one of my best friends. She was a little black pekingese named "Cinders". She was found as a young dog eating out of a garbage can to survive in Florida. I was a part of rescue, so I was called, to see if I wanted to foster her. On the car ride home I knew I would keep her.
Cinders was tiny, and her tongue was too long to retract all the way into her mouth, so she always looked as if she was sticking her tongue at me. She had a little white on her feet and a white bib. It was as if God knew the passion she would have for food when he decorated her that way.
Cinders would sit up on her back legs, like a person on a chair, to get treats or tosses from the dinner plate. She loved food, which I guess, was so pronounced due to her trash can experience. She slept on the bed with me or would nap in the kitchen in a doggie bed we put near the refrigerator because of her dedication to food.
Cinders had a sassy little prance as she knew she was cute. She loved to look at herself in the mirror and was enamored by her own reflection. 'Till one day, I brought home another rescue dog that looked like her. Cinders flipped out, and never looked in the mirror again, even after the rescue was no longer in the house. Near as I can tell, Cinders thought the mirror dog had come to life and it scared her, so that was the end of Cinders romancing her reflection.
She was so black in her youth that I could not see her a night; tripping over her, then apologizing, became ritual. As she aged, time left its mark in white hair. Cinders did not know she was a dog and acted as if she and I had other pet "dogs". And as much as she enjoyed flaunting her cuteness, she hated to have her hair shaved. She would act as if I had shaved the biblical Samson, stealing a part of her essence, and would walk 3 inches lower to the ground for days afterward, like her confidence had been shattered.
She ate fruits; loved apples and preferred salmon over beef or chicken. She loved all healthy vegetables that were good for dogs, and all delicious treats except scrambled eggs. Her protruding tongue would aid her in spitting them out on the carpet. She never held her potty training and would be outside for an hour than run in and "go" on the rug. After awhile, I stopped trying to teach her and bought a rug shampooer I used daily to catch her "deposits."
Cinders loved to retrieve toys. As she was small, some of the larger toys would be awkward to carry around but she did it anyway. Then, put the toy down and smile as if it were a great accomplishment. And it was.
When I remarried, she fell in love with Tom and acted as if he were a gift just for her. She'd jump in his lap, and steal the attention from the other dogs, as if to claim him as her own. She would slightly jump forward to gauge were he chin was, touch it gently, than jump again and lick him with her extra long tongue. Her affection for him was very special... and even with her bad doggie breath he would let her love on him for extended periods of time, before washing his neck and face. Then, she'd grin because she had a special friend.
Cinders snored and could rival any man, train or motorcycle in loudness. You could hear her three rooms over!
I was up at my parents' home and heard in my soul "go home" and left that day; Saturday. I was scheduled to come back in 4 days; she would not have made it 'till Tuesday.
The day I took her to the vets, Cinders sat on my lap close to the air-conditioning vent, she seemed to be quiet and peaceful but very different. As if she were communicating with God. This behavior continued in the car as she was absorbing all the sites and smells for the last time. I, on the other hand, was preparing for total healing. She was being prepared for something else. It was serene in her; there was a quiet certainty. When we got to the vet, they said she needed air but theirs was all being used and they told me to go elsewhere. There was no time to go elsewhere. As they handed Cinders back to me her head fell limp and her tongue white. She lost control of her kidneys and bowels. I begged the staff to help me as she was dying. Her struggle was awful and in the end I told them to take her as she vacillated between life and death with her heart stopping and starting.... It was the hard but the loving decision.
I did not know she was ill when I left to see my parents and I am glad I came home. I got to spend time with her and say my good-byes at the end. I am eternally grateful to God for that... And am thankful for having such a dear, nonjudgmental, loving friend as my little Cinders. Oh Cinders, my heart is broken. Cinders: Sometime 1999 to July 22, 2013