Mike recalled that Tara was a puppy, just a little ball of fur, when he moved to Seattle in September 1998. He and Heather first met her during a party at Tara’s owners’ ranch, the place that would later become my personal vacation getaway whenever we go out there to take care of her and the horses. For me, Tara was the first dog beyond my own family (Frank and Stanley, et. al.) that I ever knew. Just a couple of weeks after Mike and Heather brought me home, all three of us stayed at Tara’s house for several days. I was young and tiny (see photo in slide show below), but I learned a lot that week, especially to stay out of Tara’s way when she gave me the Stink Eye. In the overall scheme of things, that was a good thing to learn.
My friend was old and pretty gimpy when she died, but spunky and grumpy to the end. No matter how many times I tried to be nice to her and follow her butt around, she never stopped giving me that menacing growl whenever I got too close to her or to a toy she wanted (she didn’t really want it, only that I shouldn’t have it). After all, this was her house, she was the boss, and don’t anyone forget it. Regardless, I learned from, loved and respected Tara, and now I’m going to miss her a lot.
On the other hand, all sentimentality aside, I hope they don’t pack away her Rattling Santa toy.
Chloë and Rattling Santa
I could try to dress this up to make this seem more heroic on my part, but there’s no need. In this case, there’s no need to embellish, because the truth is good enough: Mike tripped over a speed bump.
Scene of the Accident
I was a few feet ahead of Mike, and I had managed to navigate the treacherous terrain in fine style. But Mike cried out as he stumbled, which got my attention, and I didn’t hesitate (well, I may have instinctively bolted a few feet in the wrong direction, recoiling from Mike’s yell). I whirled in close to Mike’s prone body and bit his nose, just to verify he was still breathing. Then I stood at attention at his side, protecting him while he was lying there in the middle of the road, momentarily stunned and permanently embarrassed for tripping over a speed bump.
Chloë stands guard.
Luckily, no cars came along while he was down, and Mike did not act like he was hurt or bleeding. This was a good thing, actually, because my next move was not going to be dragging Mike home to safety. I don’t know what I would have done. Heather was still at work, and the buttons on Mike’s cellphone are too tiny for my paws, even if I could get it out of his pocket. So what would I have done if Mike had stayed down on the ground? Whimper until somebody stopped to examine his body? Bring him a brandy?
Anyway, we can all laugh about it now. Mike tripped over a speed bump and lived. No harm, no foul.