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Pet Stories: In Your Own Words

Woman's Best Friend

By: Dana Mentink

Big Woman

I can't say Big Woman is perfect, or even close. She's not very coordinated and somewhat prone to dropping things, but I'm devoted to her anyway. It isn't on account of the fact that she's much more considerate than my previous Person who left me to starve, alone in a junkyard, nursing six babies. I've met many nice People after that. The lady who coaxed me into her car and brought me to Tri Valley Animal Rescue, for instance. The Person who fostered me along with a vast collection of furry critters, nursing me until my skin no longer hung loose with ribs poking out. I've met plenty of others, but there is only one Big Woman.

I chose her when she came to visit with the two Little Women and Husband. I could see the grief in her eyes from the last friend who was no longer there. So I sat. And when the Little Women offered me a Milkbone, I took it ever so gently, easing it out of the small fingers so as not to scare or scrape. Then I looked at Big Woman with my brown eyes.

"I am not fancy," I told her with my look. "I am not well bred or extremely intelligent. I will not fetch or roll over, but if you let me choose you, I will love you and your people with all that I have. I will be faithful, oh so very faithful, until my dying breath." She looked back at me, with her green eyes, and took me to our home.

It was not easy. The house was a cacophony of loud noises, girls in scary dress up clothes, and a frightening monster called The Vacuum. People moved about in unexpected ways and threw balls which they did not seem to be able to retrieve. And there was the problem of the floor. It used to be a lovely, spotted, raggedy carpet until they put in a wood floor instead which gave me no traction and caused me to fall down. But it is all okay now, because I am here to do a job, to take care of Big Woman.

So I keep her in my line of sight. When she works, when she eats, when she talks. It takes a great deal of work to follow her up and down the hallway and wait at the window when she goes away, always rushing back and forth. Big Woman is somewhat dense, I fear. She does not know about important things, like sitting in a beam of sunlight, smelling the clean morning air, or running through the grass with children.

Big Woman is not perfect in other ways too. She gets angry when I dig holes in the yard because she has never had a bone to bury, poor thing. When I am on alert, frightening away Man with Mail she does not appreciate it. And the hysteria I exhibit about going to the vet exasperates her because she does not understand the fear, the feeling of being left where there are cages and strange people, separated from Big Woman forever. But I forgive her when she scolds, because that's what a best friend does and she needs me.

She needs me to wake her in the morning for our walk in the quiet hours when it's cool and the fog still drapes the hills. She needs me to pick up the bits of food dropped by Little Women and keep an eye on them when they are outside. And when Big Woman cries, she needs to lay her hands on my soft head and tell me her grief. And I am there. To tell her again with my eyes, "I love you, Big Woman. I will always love you, until my dying breath."

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Big Woman

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