Saturday, April 7, 2012

To Our Joey

Trey and I have been through a lot this past year. We have had many highs and unfortunate lows. This trip his been far from what we had in mind, but we have done our best to enjoy and make the best of the good times and trudge through the bad. Nothing has been done with flow or grace. Maybe, we stepped so far out of the box there was no flow to be had. But still, everyday we wake up we look out the window and we wonder what will unfold today. We have handled everything until last Friday morning when my world stopped.
Trey and I were invited to Santa Rosa, Ca. to visit with some friends we met while in Palm Springs, Ca. last year. We were parked in their driveway. They live in a rural part of Santa Rosa, a very lush green area with big trees. This was a green paradise for our sweet Joey who had been battling the cactus of Arizona for the last few months.
It was a fairly normal morning for the Monster (Joey) and I. We get up before trey. I put the coffee on and go potty. Joey waits patiently always looking at me as I close the bathroom door. When I reappear he knows it’s time to be fed. I feed him and open his window and give him some “morning scratches.”
I waited a few minutes before stepping outside the camper with my coffee. Typically Joey waits until I’m out the door to come down the stairs. This morning was different the stairs were halfway up and so I needed to put them down. I was in the middle of putting the stairs down when Joey jumped out of the camper. This was not really surprising as Joey can be a little impatient. I was still putting the stairs down when Joey saw something. Joey has always been a hunter, something we could never train out of him. He took off across the street. Just as he took off, I heard a truck, I screamed his name and he was hit. It all happen very fast, only seconds.
Now here comes the part that I play over and over in my head. My sweet Joey did not die. But he was broken and in pain. I was in shock with my hands on my head saying “Oh My God” over and over. Trey, levitated out of camper and was screaming “what happened?” The man who had hit Joey stopped and wanted to help Joey. The man reached out his hands towards Joey. Joey bit the shit out of him. Then he proceeded to bite Trey and I. We had to get him to the vet, so we placed a blanket over him and managed to tie his mouth shut. We slid a board under him and lifted him into the car. The man in the truck was very badly injured and I remember telling him “please” go get help for yourself.
We drove in the car for what felt like an hour. I held Joeys face, rubbed his ears, and told him that everything was going to be alright. I knew that it wasn’t alright but I didn’t cry. I just tried to talk sweet and stay clam. Trey had Joey’s lower broken half. Trey was not okay, he was crying. We got to the vet and they came to the car and put him on a stretcher. This is when I began to cry…Trey and I knew what the outcome was going to be. We could clearly see his broken back and probably shattered pelvis. But like any good mother I wanted x-rays…just incase we were wrong. We were not wrong and there was no hope that Joey would ever walk again. With our hearts broken wide open, whaling, fogged, confused, and thinking that perhaps I would at any moment wake up. We had to put Joey to sleep. We comforted him for the last time. We held him, pet him, and said sweet things into his velvety soft ears. The Doctor cried with us she assisted Joey’s perfect, beautiful, and lively spirit out of his broken body.
I can honestly say that I have never cried more deeply in my life. And I have never cried for  such a long period of time. We have cried everyday since and writing this makes me cry.
Trey and I have no children. But we had Joey and he was our son. Our lives revolved around him. We saw and did things with him. We saw and did things because of him. For the last year he took up a third of our camper floor space with an extra large bed. For those of you who never met him, he was 75lbs. We met and fell in love with him at the pound. He was a 47lb, five month old puppy. The vet told us he would get to be over 100lbs. He was very intelligent. His vocabulary list was: hungry, food, treat, outside, sit, stay, wait, twirl, come, no, leave it, good boy, squirrel, and cat. He also knew our energy. If we were sad he would pout, if we were happy he would jump up and down. If we were angry he would hide. He knew us and we knew him. Now our camper is empty. When I drop food on the floor I still move out of the way because I know 75lbs is about to knock me over. The first few days in the camper without him were the hardest. Trey and I would just stand there dazed and then look at each other and cry. We were at most times occupied by this big beautiful beast that demanded our attention and demanded that we touch him and loved on him. And we wanted too. We have so many wonderful memories and even those moments when he pissed us off we later laugh about it. Like the time when he was a puppy and ripped the carpet all the way across the living room floor. I hated that carpet anyways. Joey lived five full years. He would mountain bike with us. He would take gap jumps and drops with Trey. I would take him trail running with me. He had his freedom. During those five years he was a lucky dog. Ours lives were changed when he came into the picture. He made every moment better. We could never get too mad, angry or sad because he was there looking cute and that made everything better, always. If you have never loved a pet you are missing out on one of life’s greatest gifts. Thank you Joey for all you did for us, all the love you brought into our lives, and for all the memories. I will never look at cats or squirrels the same. You were a role model in positivity and unconditional love. I will finish with a memory which is an example of Joey’s zest for life. Trey, Joey, and I were headed out for the day. I thought Joey was behind me. I open the car door, but to my surprise, Trey had just let him in on the other side of the car. Joey, very enthusiastically jumped in the car for Trey and just as excited, he jumped out when I opened the door on the other side. I just remember Trey and I standing there looking and each other and laughing. Joey was always excited to do anything, even simply jumping in and out of the car.
Thank you everyone who has been there for us over the last week. Thank you for the calls and kind words. And a special thank you to our friends in Santa Rosa who were left picking up the pieces of Trey and I. They took us in and treated us like family. They have four dogs and fully understood the pain we were in.
Trey and I are now healing up our love bites from Joey. Trey can’t bike yet probably not for another week or so. Joey got his hand pretty good. He got my wrist. K9s right between the tendons. And, as for the driver of the truck he came back later that day to check on Joey. His arm and hand was in a soft splint and cast. Joey nicked his nerve and he had no feeling in his index finger. The doctor told him it could be a year before he regains feeling. He was apologizing to us and we were apologizing to him.
 We are now in Yosemite for the week. It is beautiful here. We find ourselves running up hills because that’s how Joey would do it. We are able to talk about Joey without completely falling apart. Once we get to where there is a signal, we will post up some new pictures. I know this is a long post but when it comes to Joey, my son, the stories are endless. I love you Joey.