I use to tell my wife that little Digby just sort of grew on
me and that for a dog, he was ok. But the facts are not at all like I told
her. Digby grew on my okay, I loved that little guy from the moment I laid
eyes on him. And then when I touched him, I knew inside that he was one of
Missy's pups coming home to us. Missy would be Digby's birth Mother, one
of the best dogs my wife ever had until her son came back.
Like Anita (Morning Star), I have many memories of little
Digby and me. But there is this one that stands out against all the others
combined. We had just gotten Digby back and my wife was going through the
papers that the lady brought with her that were Digby's. And as she read
them, she found one receipt that said, "SOLD for $10 to ... and she stopped.
She sat there stirring at the receipt as though she had seen a ghost of some
type. She said nothing for a long while and then suddenly she started
screaming at the top of her lungs. This is Missy's pup....he's
home....just like you said would happen!!!!!! How on earth do you always
seem to know these things???!!!!!! Next thing I knew, she was picking
Digby up and dancing around the room with him.
Digby had been out of the last litter of puppies and the last
puppy to be sold, and here he was just as I had predicted the day we had to put
Missy down 4 yeas earlier. Give or take a little anyway. He had been
called Digby for most of his life, so we just carried on with the name.
And we soon discovered why they had named him as they did. When the lady
left him with us, she told us that everyone called him Diggy for short.
Well, that is actually what Digby was known for doing, even as a tiny puppy
before my wife had unwillingly sold him to the man who came for him originally.
She could tell even back then that Digby was gonna be one those one in a million
dogs, and she struggled to even let go of him.
Yep...Digby was back home, and this is where he stayed until
death. I had struggled myself with the idea of letting that puppy go, even
though I knew the man purchasing him. I had known him for years, and I
knew well how he was with animals and that our favorite little puppy would be
well cared for and loved. What I didn't count on was Bob ever letting him
go to people that would abuse pour little Digby down the road. You see, I
had decided to investigate the trail of papers that came with this scared little
guy that came back to us. And what I found was not even what I thought my
wife would want to know, yet I told her anyway.
I had located Bob and spoke to him on the telephone about
little Digby. He regretted having to give the dog up for a job out of
state, and had left him with his parents who had promise to keep him until he
and his wife had found a home where they could have little Digby. His kids
wanted to take the dog when they left, but the apartment they had to live in
didn't allow pets. So their only choice was to leave Digby behind until
they could purchase a home to have the dog with them. But before Bob had
the chance to do all this, his father had called complaining about Digby be a
total pain, and to tell him that they got rid of Digby.
Okay, I knew only part of the story that came with Digby and
hating billed hats. Bob's father was the one who had started punishing him
that way, but the rest of the story was yet to unfold. Bob's father had
given him a telephone number to reach the people that he had given Digby to, and
Bob, being the man that he is, gave it to me. So, out of needing to know
more about the abuse on Digby, I decided to call the people while my wife was
yet in college.
What they had told me was that they just plain could handle
little Digby, and that they gave him to the lady that had brought Digby to us.
When I asked them for examples, the list when on and on with the problems that
came with Digby and billed hats was the #1 thing on their list. So, I
thanked them and was off the telephone before my wife got home from college that
When Anita had gotten home, I sat her down and told all that
I had found out about our little darling and she couldn't believe anyone could
treat little Digby in such a way. And both of us knew what it would take
to help Digby get past all of these things. But the billed hat problem was
the first one that needed addressing.
Next thing I knew, she was leaving for college the next
morning, hugging Digby on her way out the door. Making a promise to him
that he would never again suffer abuse of any type. And off to school she
went. When she returned home that day, she handed me a billed hat and told
me to wear the stupid thing like it or not. We're gonna do this for Digby
as nobody else would. So we wore those stupid hats around Digby day in and
day out. He barked, he growled, and he had an absolute fit about us
wearing those hats. It seemed to last forever, and I had my doubts about
him ever getting past the hat problem at all.
But my wife, being the gal that she is, refused to give up on
him. She insisted that we keep wearing them and working with him.
And that is actually what we did, and low and behold...Digby was starting to
settle down some after 4 to 6 weeks had pasted. I figured at that point
that her persistence was just what that little guy needed. Her
unwillingness to give up and call it quits was the very thing that would get
Digby through it and past it. After another 4 to 6 weeks, Digby quit
raising a fuss and started getting to know that nobody here was going to punish
him with some stupid billed hat. It had worked, and we both knew it.
A few days later, she decided to leave the billed hats off
and put them away for a time. And later take them back out and put them on
one more time to see what would happen. And to everyone's amazement, Digby
sat there with his tale just a wagging at us. He didn't bark, he didn't
growl and he sat looking at us as though nothing or nobody had ever hit him with
a billed hat in his life. Satisfied, she put the hats away and never again
wore them, nor did she ask me to either. I was amazed, and so were the
neighbors who had known little Digby as the billed hat hating dog.
But that wasn't the end to Digby's problems, and she then
started working with a few others and succeeded at getting him past those as
well. It took 5 years or more to undo what had been done in just 4 years,
but Digby was now a happy and loving little dog. I've always been proud of
my wife and her patience with Digby, but when all was said and done, I was even
prouder of her. And it showed.
It is times like these that I will remember the rest of my
life with Digby. But yet, there was so much more to a little dog and his
life as we knew him. He had become extremely special to even me, which is
something that I don't let happen as a rule. I had been taught that
animals are just that, animals. And that just didn't apply when it came to
little Digby. He had been a part of us for 13 years on his life, and with
that in mind, I just can't help but think of him as a part of our little family
of misfits. Most of the animals here with us went through some type of
abuse, with the exception of Mid Night. And this includes my wife and
The day, 9/25/05, when Digby was put down, even I broke down
and cried. Something my wife didn't think I could or would do over a
little dog. I missed him before he was even gone, and couldn't let Anita
know until it was all said and done. She went in one room and I went into
another. But due to my health, she got worried and came to where I was to
check to see if I was all right. And there I sat, crying as a child.
Digby had touched my life in such a way that he would be missed by even me, but
until then, I hadn't realized just how much. From then on, we held each
other with our hearts hanging out in the open. Missing a little Digby that
had made our lives complete in more ways than that little guy could ever know.
Just like his Mother before him, he was one in a million.
And that was agreed upon between us without having to say a word. And if I
didn't know better, I'd swear that his spirit is still in this house. I
know that it is mostly us wishing that things didn't have to end the way they
did with Digby, but even my wife has to wonder at times if Digby is still here
in spirit looking at us with love in those little puppy dog eyes.
If I were to give tribute to an animal, it would have to be
Digby. He was something, and I believe that little guy knew it.
Because he always seemed so willing to do for us, and be with us. If we
went for a ride, Digby was the first one out the door and in the car. If
we had a picnic in the back yard, Digby was the first one to be there also, and
more than willing to help eat the food that he wasn't allowed. I remember
sneaking some to him whenever Anita wasn't looking, or at least I thought she
wasn't. As I seemed to always get caught at giving him a little of the
goodies. He showed me how to love him and gave that love back 10 fold.
Without question or reason, without wanting something in return and always
willing to be our buddy in good or tough times.
Digby was, for all intense purposes, our baby, our child and
our buddy. He was special and no other dog could ever take his place in
our hearts and minds. Yet, we have Joey, and he needs us still and will
until the day he's gone. Which brings more memories to mind with Digby.
Always something to remind us of a little dog that loved life to its fullest and
lived happy with us. But they are all good memories that will be with us a
When I had my wife write all this up, it was a surprise for
her to find out that I held Digby in such high regards. She had thought
for years that he was just a dog to me, and was finding out that Digby had
opened my heart in a way no other dog could do. Digby was extremely
exceptional, and I knew it. I just could express it until after he was no
long with us, but I guess it didn't matter as much while he alive. With
just a wag or two of his tale, he could melt my heart into nothing in no time.
With the bounces he did, he could make me feel alive and well again. And
there was no denying this any longer to anyone, especially my wife.
Oh, the bounces? Those were like little springs in
Digby's paws and only he could bounce that happy, cheerful bounce. Yep,
Digby was my kind of dog, and just loving to no end. He knew how to get to
me. He knew how and when to get to me. And I never let Anita know
until after he was gone.
Digby would place his little head on my chest, as though he
were hugging me. Then look up into my eyes as if saying, "Daddy, I love
you!", and place his head back on my chest. And those little puppy dog
kisses, who could resist those with little Digby. Not even Anita could
resist them and would him leak her face. The love that little Digby showed
us was amazing all in itself, as we both can remember this scared little guy who
wouldn't show love if you paid him to do so when he first came back to us.
I don't know about my wife, but this whole thing with Digby
was extra special and will never be there for me again. Though I'm sure
she feels that way herself, she's keeping it pretty well bottled up inside for
the time being. We're getting on with life now somewhat, but it hasn't
been easy. For losing Digby has opened old wounds from losing Missy many
years ago. For Anita though, I know it is much harder on her. Even
if she won't admit it to me. Well, by writing this up for me, I think she
knows well that she isn't hiding a thing from me by now.
We'll miss our little stinker bum for a long time to come, as
she once put it. But life goes on, and little Digby wouldn't expect us to
keep crying over him. It was our honor and joy to have Digby for as long
as we did, but I think he felt just as honored to have us for adopted human
parents. He knew we loved him, as we showed him daily. He knew he
was our special little stinker bum and that we always did our very best by him.
And with all that to hold him up, how could Digby go wrong? He couldn't,
plain and simple.
I had my problems letting go of this little dog just as my
wife did, but what is best for the beloved pet is not always the easiest thing
to do. Anita knows this, yet she felt as though she had killed the very
little dog she had sworn to love and protect. It took a few weeks to get
through to her that she had done what any loving and kind human being could have
for Digby. And that was send him on his way to a better place where there
is no pain or suffering. She's finely able to accept what had to be done
for little Digby's sake, thanks to a new found friend on the internet. But
even then, she doubted her own strength and ability to let go. That is
until she came to me with what the man had told her through email. Now she
looks back and says, "Yep, I did what was best for my baby, no matter how bad it
hurts right at this moment." Time will heal the hurt, the heart break and
the pain of losing the dog we love. We know that with our friends to
support us, and the animals we still have with us, that we will get past the
loss of our beloved Digby.
In appreciation to Anita's new internet friend, I want to
thank him, whoever he is, for letting my wife know from someone else that it's
ok...that loving little Digby from where she's at now is ok and for telling her
so in the way that he did. The words you used got through, and she smiles
now when Digby is talked about. The tears have stopped, and the happy
woman I know exists has returned. And she now gives 110% to our Joey, Snow
Ball and Mid Night with an open heart and mind just as she did before. You
know who you are, you know what I speak of and that my unknown friend, is as
special to us as Digby himself. You help me help my wife know some peace
of mind and heart over a little dog named Digby. And I thank you from the bottom
of my heart.
May all dogs be as my Digby, special in every way possible!!!
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