Please!!! Don't Abuse The Animals - Pet Memorial

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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 afternoon.

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 myself.

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 lifetime.

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.

Bullet May all dogs be as my Digby, special in every way  possible!!! Bullet


[ About Author | Missy's Story | Digby's Story | Joey's Story ]

[ Morkey's Story | Snow Ball's Story | Mid Night's Story | Frosty's Story ]
[ Fluffy's Story | Cuddles Story | Lucky's Story | Pet Memorial ]
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All Material is Written by Anita Eberline
No part may be reproduced without prior permission by Anita Eberline.