dogs, English Cocker Spaniel, Pets, Photography, Picture of the Day, Tall & Handsome

A Heartbeat at My Feet, by Beverly Hicks Burch

“ My little dog – a heartbeat at my feet.” ~ Edith Wharton”

coy girl

What makes you get a lump in your throat and your eyes puddle with tears? For me one glimpse of the sweet little face above is a one way ticket to Cry Town.

She was my Lady…or Ladybug as I fondly called her sometimes. She was a roan English Cocker Spaniel and if you looked up the words “canine perfection”, sweetness”, “love on four legs”, “super smart”, “loyal to the death” and “I will take care of you”…well, then, you would see my Ladybug’s beautiful picture looking back at you.

Lady came to me quite by accident…through a co-worker of my ex. I had never had an indoor dog. I’d always had big “I –will-protect-you-to-the-death” dogs like German Shepherds or Collies, Boxers and English Setters. All definitely outdoor types.

Being the OCD type that I am, when Lady first came to live with us I avowed there would be NO dogs allowed on the furniture…no never…

Well, the joke was on me as you can see from today’s picture. She was allowed on the foot of the bed at night, but never on the bed after it was made. This was her weakness…we went through great efforts to enforce that one. Anytime we left the house, we had to close the bedroom doors. Otherwise, we would come home to a blissfully happy, sleeping little red dog buried amongst the pillows.

But, she knew her boundaries…she never got up on the living room furniture…even if we were in there. She just knew that was something she shouldn’t push…she was that smart.

I use to say that I had been abandoned loved ones, but Lady never left me. She was my shadow.

In 1995 I became very sick, sicker than I even realized. I think intuitively Lady knew what was wrong, because she stuck closer to me than normal. Eventually I discovered my non-smoking lung cancer had returned, this time in my left lung. Ladybug was the heartbeat at my feet…

The day I came home from the hospital after my cancer surgery I will never forget. When she saw me walking up the sidewalk, she went crazy. It took two grown men and my 15 year old son to hold her back. She was that anxious to smother me with love.

During recuperation she would not let me out of her sight. One night I had a particularly day night and as if she had doggie ESP, she hopped up and was in my lap and sleeping. This was gigantic for her, because she was not a lap dog.

I went through many things after that. I was stalked, my health continued to fail, I moved, I went through a divorce, went through a tornado and I met Tall & Handsome and remarried. Each time Lady was there…a heartbeat at my feet…

Her health began to fail. It was something I couldn’t bear…to loose my Ladybug…my constant companion and loyal friend. If I hadn’t had T & H during that time, I don’t know what I would have done. He was very good to her and helped take care of her. He is my resident Dr. Doolittle..

Finally, one day in 2004 it happened…doggie heaven became a little richer and sweeter, and I lost the heartbeat at my feet…

Well, done thy good and faithful servant…

© 2013 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved


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