Monday, May 5, 2014

AIMEE with a continuation and a ending

  Above is a picture of Sally and our little Bichon (Aimee) on South Padre Island a few years ago. I want you to see the expression on the dogs face as she was running up and down on the beach, which she loved. I always called it "PURE JOY".

THIS IS A CONTINUATION OF THE STORY FROM A FEW YEARS AGO scroll down to see the continuation or read it all.

 The following is my story of how AIMEE came about and our lives together. 

 I was driving truck across country and having a very hard time of staying awake. I'd drive for 2 or 3 hours and then have to take a nap and the naps got to be 4-6 hours long. I felt good and not taking any medicines. So I got to thinking that I needed a dog (cheaper than a woman) to ride along with me and make me get out of the truck etc.
 When I was telling Sally she looked at me incredulously as we had 1 Doberman at home now. I said I cannot take her. Even with her short hair she sheds way to much and she smells to much like a hound, to ride along in a truck for 10 to 15 hours at a time. AND you don't exercise her SHE RUNS. I'd been checking out different breeds and told her I thought I'd like a Bichon Frise.  I had to find a picture of one and she said WHY???.  They are non shedding, hypoallergenic and relatively smart. She said how much? I said a lot. 
 Soon we found a family over in Whitehall that had a litter and we took a quick look. They were all little snowballs and as puppies go very cute at 8 weeks old  

This picture is of Aimee at about 10 or 11 weeks of age

  Needless to say I fell in love with a little female that was friendly but she would go off and explore while we were looking at the litter. She could fit in the palm of my hand. She and I did a lot of miles together in the truck. She was a joy and ever only had one accident and that was my fault for not stopping.
 Our first trip was from Hart, MI. to Denver, CO. then to Louisville, KY , Indianapolis, IN to Hart, MI. I laughed as I told people that I didn't know there were that many rest areas as we were traveling. Also I'm sure she saved me a ticket in Colo at the scales. They told me to pull over bring in my paperwork an etc. So I did and the scalemaster was going through the items he wanted to look at my log book. I said well its in the truck I'll go get it and asked if it was ok to let my pup out and he said yeah he guessed so. So I went out knowing when I went back in I was going to get a ticket for a log book violation. While walking the dog he came out to me because he couldn't see the dog from inside. He picked her up and ooo'd and awd and gave her back to me and said music to my ears, "Catch up on your log book before you leave here and stop by again.
  She was a joy to ride with and of course like any baby she slept while the truck was moving. BUT when I parked it and set the air parking brakes she was ready to go outside and do something. But she didn't stop my sleeping problem and now all of a sudden I was not able to understand anybody on the phone. I called home and asked for a dr's appointment as I was starting to get very dizzy with also. Meniere's Syndome was the diagnosis in my left ear and there is no cure. They give you Valium and say "good luck" then the worse happened I got it also in the other ear and the doc say congratulations you now have it bi-lateral.  I was sick puppy  myself for about 6 weeks. I sat at home in a straight back chair and holding on to the seat as I felt I was going to fall off. The only way I could walk was if I had the wall to touch or else crawl on my hands and knees. The attacks can be anywhere from minutes to years apart and I bet they can last just as long also. Vertigo that brings on nausea, dry heaves, headaches, cold sweats. I would fall into fitful sleep for 8 or 10 hours at a time and wake up ravenously hungry.  Along with all of that I lost about 80% of my hearing. I did try to do some more driving but I could not use the Valium as I thought I was dumb enough already and it is one of the no-no drugs anyway. I did have the Valium with me but I never used it while in the truck but Aimee did. Some how she got in and ate about a half dozen of the pills and I was horrified. I called Sally and she called the vet and called me back and said the Valium would not hurt the dog but she could sleep quite awhile, boy, I was relieved and she did sleep for quite awhile but I don't remember how long.
 My last trip driving I was coming north on US 31 when the Meniere's caught me as I was going around Indianapolis. If I could look through one eye only I could drive but at a reduced rate of speed. I made a lot of enemies that afternoon as I drove about 45 mph. It was speed I felt safe at and I thought to hell with the  the world. I made it back into Michigan after a couple of naps and called dispatch just before they closed for the night. I told them where I was, I thought I was OK but that when I unloaded I would be done driving. I know I was in tears as I talked to the boss. I didn't want the rest of my life to be like it had been for the last couple of months.
 I made it back to Hesperia about midnight. I should've been in about7:30 or 9 so. I emptied everything out of my assigned truck and left for home. 
 "Minere's" syndrome is not a very common problem and I'd never heard of it until that fateful day at the Dr's office. My world had changed completely, no more radio or TV as I could not undersatnd them. No more social life in a group because I could not understand them, which in turn made me more grouchy. When I had one of my attacks I would lie down wherever I was, if I wasn't vomiting. The attacks can be minutes, hours days or even months or years apart. Many times I'd just lie down on the floor and wake up anywhere from 1 to 3 or 4 hours and Aimee would be right beside me. In fact I noticed just before an attack (I'd have a slight dizzy spell) she would go stand off about 10 feet from me,or if she was on my lap she jump off and get out of the way. So as you can understand we had bonded.
 In about 3 or 4 months after being home and the attacks became less and less frequent and I found out I had lost 80% of my hearing. Gone were the days of singing in a group or choir because I found out if you can't hear the tone you cannot sing. Depressed was really at the forefront and about the only thing I did enjoy was church, as long as they didn't have a HEAVY organ. That would drive me "bonkers" . Sally was laid off..
 All the time,when I was able I was reading, anything,to do with the outdoors. But I could not trust myself to go hunting or fishing because of a balance problem SO I READ.
 Somehow I found out about "WORKAMPERS MAGAZINE" and I talked Sally into trying it. Needless to say she liked it. She was with people, I was doing maintenance work in the parks and as often as I could Aimee would be with me. She was also a people oriented dog. Kids and women adored her and she got so that she would sit on a golf cart as I worked and it was pretty darn good. UNLESS a squirrel happened to be about and then she could not resist it and off she would go. I could not get mad at her after all she was a dog and she needed excitement in her life also. (she also loved to chase cats, rabbits)
 When we were in Idaho she would ride on the tank of the ATV
 I was driving by the hour. If we should see a deer, moose or cow and they did not have horns she would bark. If they had horns she would softly growl. How did she know the difference I do not know. I would laugh at her as she did her hunting from the atv.
 One time in Idaho we were trying to round up some errant cows on the side of a mountain. Cows you have to deliberately slowly "push" them. But every once in awhile one would take off an away we would go. As we were chasing a critter that left the group, I went to make a turn to the left and there was a pretty good size depression. I could see the right front tire was going to go down into the depression. The depression was big enough that the rear tire went into it also. As we tipped over to the right it was a "everyone for themselves" moment. The ATV landed upside down on me. The motor was still running, I shut it off. Aimee was screaming in terror and I was thinking, how am I going to be able to tell Sally about Aimee. Thankfully she was lightly pinned underneath a part of the ATV scared but not hurt. BUT it was still on top of me. I got her out and tried pushing up the ATV to get it off of me. I tried several times and it would just roll back onto me. Finally after resting for a moment and asking for help from GOD I gave one last shove with all of my strength and the machine stayed upright long enough for me to scramble out.
 After I got out I found out that I could not upright it. I later found out I had a broken collarbone and several cracked ribs. The cows just stood around and watched. So Aimee and I had escaped with our lives but we were about 5 miles away from any help. It worked out as I went towards a neighbors and found him working on a fence. 
 Aimee could/would be friends with any dog that would let her and she made many friends through the years.
 In AZ we were in a park that had a drug problem and she and I would walk around in the evenings on a leash. She would growl at anybody standing in the shadows or hiding in the bushes. So she was my protector as I could not hear the culprits. Soon we had a drug free park.
 While traveling she was great and never a problem to speak of. When going to my mothers in FL we would not mention any names
as my mother had a dog named TOBY. They were both great friends and if the name was mentioned there was not a moment of rest until we got there. When we would get within a mile or two of mother's house Aimee would get nervous and whine and when only a block or two from her house she was ecstatic! We would never have to knock or ring the bell because Aimee would bark to let Toby know we were there. We'd never seen anything like it, it was as if they were human, long lost relatives.
 By the time we went to work in NC, Aimee had slowed down in a lot of her actions as old age, was approaching she was 15 yrs old and you are expected to realize everything, but you don't! My wife was getting weaker and weaker and I could see our adventure of RVing was coming to a end. When it got so that Aimee could not navigate we made the decision to put her down. We were in a campground/goldmine and there were numerous squirrels a few deer. I tossed and turned knowing what had to be done but also knowing I could not do it.
 In NC I had one friend, Ronnie, I asked him if he would do the job for me. He said yes and we made an appointment for the time and place.
 That day I will never forget as Aimee and I left, Sally crying and I took Aimee on her last golf cart ride. She is buried on a little hill where the squirrels and deer are.
 3 1/2 months later Sally passed away also, from Cancer. Tears are flowing as I write this, remembering and golly it has been almost 4 years ago.
  As Will Rogers said "If there is a dog heaven I would like to go there". It is a great thought and puts the personal feelings of humans into another perspective.
 That is the end of my story on Aimee though she will never be forgotten by me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful story, Dad!