By Rosalie Tirella
Yesterday, as the incompetent Triple A – AAA – dispatchers sent a tow truck to ROUTE 6 on CAPE COD!!!! and NOT to Rt 9 Leicester – the spot where my car, my dogs and I were waiting – and after I had canceled the AAA tow call THREE TIMES to say “never mind!” but ENTWISTLE’S GARAGE in Leicester insisted on sending their tow truck anyways – hours AFTER I HAD LEFT AND CANCELLED the AAA TOW and even CALLED ENTWISTLE’S GARAGE TO SAY “DON’T COME!” … Entwistle’s Garage had persisted and come anyway. And harassed me with calls and sent one of their tow trucks to the Leicester site anyways. Because they wanted the AAA $$ money for “just” coming to the spot – a fee they get – against MY AAA CARD.
During this mess I was face to face with another: For the first two hours we waited for the AAA tow truck under a tree, sitting on the lawn of a small biz along the road. Me, Jett and Lilac, well fed and happy to be together. The small biz owner came outside to see what was up. She was a nice lady: commiserated with me and even brought out some water for Jett and Lilac (I had about a half gallon of H2O in my car). It was a beautiful day, sunny and cool, global warming and the climate crisis banished for the day at least. All the trees were in full green frenzy and the country setting left me feeling sanguine.
Until Lilac saw a rabbit. She’d been smelling the air and had pricked up her ears like a good hunter as soon as we had sat down under that tree. My little ol’ shepherd/hound mix saw that bunny and darted lickety split into the patch of woods after it. Lilac’s burst of energy at the smell or sight of prey comes with a powerful adrenaline rush that makes her mighty! Her leash whipped out of my hand, I fell over like a sack of flour … and Lilac was gone.
I was only slightly upset, as I hadn’t lost my 17-year-old Jett with his bumps, blood pimples and dementia, and I knew that Lilac, super smart, would return in about 10 minutes – after she had had her little adventure, maybe even making a kill. The woods were pretty much the backyard of the small biz.
And then it began: The Jett FREAK OUT. My little husky’s desperate cries, incessant barking and wild yelping. That panicked look on his old handsome face, the face that still gets compliments from strangers. The worry in his eyes. Those eyes – riveted to the exact spot that Lilac had galloped into. Jett was a canine basket case! And he would not be appeased! Straining against his lead, pulling and turning in little circles, oblivious to my patting his soft shoulders and whispering, “Shhhh, Jett. It’s ok. I love you!”
Jett didn’t give a crap about my love. I didn’t matter. It was all about Lilac, the center of his doggy universe. It had always been Lilac! I had just supplied the food and water and the transportation to the dog parks! Now his beloved had gone AWOL – and he was unmoored. Jett’s unmooring was heartbreaking: I couldn’t bear the straining, the confusion, his shaking his old head back and forth back and forth and those short pathetic yelps – so plaintive as if he were being beaten! The pawing at the ground, as if he could dig his way back to Lilac. And finally, his impatience with me, Rose, his faithful owner for 17 years. I was nothing! Goofy bratty Lilac was everything!
I had heard on a radio show that dogs are healthier when they live with another dog – longer life span, fewer ailments and HAPPIER. Much happier, I now realize. Lilac, as I’ve blogged here, feels as strongly about her Jett as her Jett feels about his Lilac. Which “begs” the question: After Jett passes, will Lilac need a new canine companion? Will I have to get another dog?
Lilac ran back to us in about 10 minutes, and the inconsolable Jett stopped crying. He was immediately back to his old self: curious, hanging around Lilac, not too close but never far away. My old husky mix sniffed the air around Lilac’s haunches – and felt great again!