a hero like cheyenne…

today I can’t help but think of how strong cheyenne is and has been, how heroic she is.

I remember when we first started taking her into our life, she was basically abandoned, more than once, by my ex-younger brother, boy, that story is a heartbreaker that I’ll save for another day, today I will recount one of the first times I took her out when we started to take her in…

we lived on the south side of chicago and in a ruff and tuff neighborhood called canary-ville… we lived right across from the stockyards uptown sinclair once wrote of, it was an area that was comfortable with brutality… and with these kinds of urban hoods comes roving packs of dogs, wild alley dogs on the hunt for food and in total survival mode… so, I’m taking cheyenne out, a lot later than I should be and I notice a pac of dogs rounding the corner… 4-5 dogs, three of which are huge rottwiler-ish dogs… and they growl and start to aggress… cheyenne immediately goes low, snake low, and as these dog show their teeth, she moves fast and low as a snake towards each of them individually… the aggressive dogs start to retreat, though still growling… but cheyenne keeps moving at them, like I’ve said, quick as a snake, never letting any of them get behind her and, all at once, the pack took off down the alley, the pooch then bolted back to my side and we quickly went inside.

I couldn’t believe my eyes, but it was real… she had pushed off a pack of wild, south side of chicago, alley dogs. I was so amazed I remember telling someone the next day, that someone asked me if cheyenne had ever shown her teeth or growled, I said no and they told me, usually, the dog who shows it’s teeth is the dog that loses the fight… not sure how true that is, but it seemed somewhat logical.

today, as my pal lays on the kitchen floor and I can’t get her to wag, even after singing to her, which always works, I know our time together is coming to an end… I know I must be strong and brave and do what’s best for her, rather than myself…
I refuse to be weak in the face of strength. I refuse to let a hero like cheyenne go out  surrounded by selfish, spineless, lack of action.

I’ve seen too long to take their dog in for the final vet visit due to their own need to keep a friend in their life who is in obvious pain… I remember on our road trip, we visited a home that had a dog in the middle of the floor, balled up, skin and bones, stinky as it pissed itself, not eating much, trick fed and being medicated… the dog was in obvious pain, deep pain, not able to move and the dogs friend just couldn’t bring himself to take him to the vet, told us as much and I couldn’t help but think, how crule, how weak and how unrealistic… in the wild how would this turn out? would the animal be eaten or just starve itself to death?

I don’t know, but I do know I have to ready myself for that moment, it’s coming, and I feel it’s coming soon and I can not be weak, not until after, then I’ll wilt.

you know, I still have some hope she’ll have another summer of fun with us, we’ve seen cheyenne creep towards death more than once, we’ve seen her sick and saved her and she’s pulled away from death more than once, she surprises me all the time, I guess her always surprising me is one of the things I so love and will miss… hell, I’m not sure a day has gone by until recent that she hasn’t surprised me.

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