I knew this day would come. The day we had pizza for supper. We do have pizza a lot. It is easy....especially since we purchase the frozen kind from the grocery store.
Pizza night is "lets all sit by mom's chair and pretend we are starving" night. George the parrot squawks till he gets some crust and Whippie, Lema and Pip all line up next to my chair waiting, as they know I don't like the crust. But tonight one of the family was not there. Tonight was our first pizza night without Lema 'beggin' for pizza.'
We said 'good bye' to Lema on Saturday (2-25-17). Cancer finally won.
Lema and her brother, two year old Cockapoos, came to us from a homeless shelter in a nearby community in 2010. Their owner had nowhere to go and had to give up her pets. I remember Lema's brother. He was bubbly and happy and everyone was his friend. Lema, not so much. She sat in a corner and let you know that there was a very good chance she would bite.
The plan was to find great homes for both dogs. We didn't need another dog. Keeping one or both of them just wasn't practical. Back then, seven years ago, we had seven or eight dogs, mostly rescues. Lema and her brother needed families of their own. Lema's brother quickly found a great home but we didn't dare start the search for Lema's family. We just didn't trust her and if there is one thing we do not do, it's place a potentially dangerous dog in a home.
So Lema stayed for a while. And 'a while' turned into a year and Lema was becoming a great dog. She barked when strangers came to the door but once inside she wanted to get into their lap. Her temperament had improved dramatically and it was finally time to start the search for that perfect home. It didn't take long to find a home that I was thrilled with. A co worker and very good friend knew Lema from work and from visits to the farm. Rochelle asked if she could adopt Lema, as they had just lost their dog, and I knew Lema would be a great companion for her and her hubby Bill. They would get her on the weekend.
As the days went by and the time to say good bye to Lema got closer, I realized that I really didn't want her to leave. She had gone from a dog that I didn't dare adopt out to a dog I didn't want to see leave. But Rochelle and Bill were perfect. Lema would be the only dog instead of one of many. I wasn't going to change my mind and ruin Lema's chances of being the queen of the house.
The night before the dreaded day, Rochelle called. She was so sorry but she had talked it over with Bill and they just weren't ready for another dog. They were also contemplating a big move and didn't feel it was fair to bring a dog into the home and then quickly make more major changes. After all, Lema had already lost one loving home, had gotten attached to us, and was about to have to say goodbye again. It is a good thing Rochelle couldn't see me on the other end of the phone line. Woohoo!!! Lema was going to stay. This was a sign as far as I was concerned. She was supposed to stay here....and she did.
Lema became the dog everyone wanted to hug. She just had this really cute pushy way about her that demanded your undivided attention and she did become the queen....'the queen of belly rubs.'
Seven years after she joined our family, cancer came into her life and ours. Her wonderful sweet temperament never changed. She never grumbled about pills or weekly trips to the veterinarian to drain fluid from her abdomen. But finally, on Friday, I knew it was time to say goodbye. Wednesday she was right there begging for pizza and Friday she wouldn't eat anything...even the most delicious of treats. Her doctor told me two months ago that when she stopped eating it would be time. It was time. I could see it in her eyes.
Tonight the house is still full of life and fur kids, but there is an empty spot too. The fluffy little white dog no longer barks ferociously at the door when someone knocks....only to wag her tail and jump for attention once the person gets in the door. She no longer goes to the barn with us or plays escape artist when she doesn't want to be fenced in. There are no more car rides.
And pizza night at Gemini Farm isn't quite the same any more.