I started this week talking about Abbie so it only seems appropriate to end it on her, too. This first week without her has been a little surreal. At some point I had convinced myself that she was just away at day care, despite the fact that I watched her take her last breath. That came in handy for me on Wednesday. It was a long day. I left the house just after 5 AM to go the beehive to help reset the store after the big sale. Then I left there for my therapy session, only to go back to the beehive to work my regular shift. Afterwards I had a meeting and in the end I did not get home until almost 10PM. Telling myself that Abbie was just away at daycare was a convenient way to push the grief down so I could get through everything I had on my plate. But Thursday morning the truth hit me hard again. Grief washed over me as I sat in the reality that she was in fact not at day care.
She was crazy!
So before I get to what I think was the highlight of my day, there are things about Abbie you should know. Yes she was sweet and kind and loving, but she was also freaking C-R-A-Z-Y! And she was smart…too smart! That crazy/smart combination got her into all kinds of trouble! Weimaraners are known for their separation anxiety. At one point, at our vet’s suggesting, we got another one to keep her company. We named him Cooper. We lost him unexpectedly four years ago to bloat. Cooper did help keep her anxiety down. Once we lost him, it came back with a vengeance though.
Her way of expressing her anxiety was through destructive behaviors. She particularly liked to shut herself up into rooms, and then scratch the hell out of the door frames and doors trying to get out. We bought our house almost two years ago. It’s an ‘80’s model that had been bought up cheap by a company that gutted it and modernized it. To us, it is like living in a brand new home. The very first time we left Abbie and Ande alone in the house, she locked herself up in our bathroom and then tried clawing her way out (check out the photo). I wanted to kill her that day. We had not even sent our first mortgage check off! I was so mad at her. So before leaving her alone in the house we had a routine: make sure all the doors are shut, put a chair in front of the bedroom door so she can’t close it (that way she had access to her bed, but couldn’t lock herself in), open the blinds (so she doesn’t claw them down), open the kitchen cabinet doors, pull out the drawers, open the doors to the laundry room, put the trash can on top of the washing machine. Some of those sound odd, right? Once we took away her ability to lock herself up, she started pulling open the drawers in the kitchen, then she opened the bottom cabinets, then she knocked over the trash can, then she scratched open the doors to the laundry room (damaging those as well). She could even (and often did) open the dryer door and the oven door. That is what I mean by that smart and crazy combination getting her into trouble! C-R-A-Z-Y!
Aside from those things, she also had an issue with certain sounds. Some of the dings and pings from my phone would set her off into a fit of anxiety. I had to silence or change the sounds to appease her. But nothing would make her lose her mind more than the chirp from the smoke alarm. I came home one day to find her in a full blown panic, salivating, the house in disarray because there was some kind of a short in the smoke alarm that was causing it to chirp once every few minutes. Initially I thought it was a bad battery, but that didn’t fix it. I didn’t want to risk installing a new one until she was gone. So instead, I pulled the one out of my camper and just sat it in the house. Installing a new smoke alarm is at the top of my honey do list of chores that Abbie has left for me.
That smoke alarm has been sitting on a desk for almost a year now. Yesterday I was feeling really sad and thinking about Abbie. I walked by the smoke alarm, and I kid you not, the second I stepped right next to it, it let out a chirp! It scared the shit out of me; I jumped three feet in the air and cussed up a storm. Courtney and I looked it over, did a battery test, and all seems well with it. Then she said, “that was her sending you a message.” I was like “are you tryin’ to kill me, girl?! ‘bout gave me a damn heart attack!”
I do believe that was her letting me know she’s still with me. She couldn’t do it gently in a sweet dream, she had to make me pee my pants. But that’s fitting because that was our relationship, in all honesty. I love you, too, you crazy ole girl!
‘Til next time,
PS- Over the years we associated many songs with Abbie and proudly sung them to her. “Bad girls” by Donna Summer was one of them. She was a good girl unless she wasn’t. Mostly she was a good (albeit C-R-A-Z-Y) girl and she is missed.