This is Sheldon. He died the day after Christmas. He was hit by a car. I am sad.
I know that is a very first grade account of the dramatic story, but that is strictly the facts ma'am.
Sheldon was rescued over 13 years ago during my freshman year of college. I had just graduated high school and was working as a tour guide at a cave. (Yes, I worked in a cave. It is so not like me, but the bats appreciated my cherry-lime lip gloss and Kelly Green head band. They are much more fashion savvy than we give them credit for. They understand that black is thinning and looks marvelous on anyone. They hang upside down to prevent the dreadful and awful effects of gravity. They, my friends, are the lost Katharine Hepburn of today's society. They are a lone reed. Standing tall, waving boldly in the corrupt sands of fashion.)
Anyways, I worked at a cave. And the dirty, matted, puppy with the mange was dropped off at the gift shop entrance. He was flea infested and smelled like my high school lunch trash. Like when you drop a fork in the trash and they make you dig for hours. Getting ketchup on your armpits and peach syrup on your forearms. All for an aluminum fork worth 10 cents. I would gladly choose to buy an entire set of aluminum forks as opposed to the trash digging. But alas, they never offered this solution to me. Scandalous I tell you!
Anyways, he stunk and was not the welcoming sight you wanted your customers to see as they entered the beautiful beginnings of the underground palace. He was, well, ... appalling. He was nasty. But to me, he was precious. His eyes caught me. His whimper won me over. His wet nose nudging me stole my heart. We shared my tuna on rye and it gave him smelly gas. This only added to the disgust the owners felt.
There utter disdain was at its peak when they asked Chris, the local Maintenance Man, to take him out and shoot him after work. I saw Chris load him up after work with a tear in his eye.
"Where you taking that dog?" I asked. "For a bath?"
"No, not quite." He turned around and I knew.
"Are you going to take him to the pound?"
"No, to shoot him."
My breathe caught in my chest. NO! He was just a puppy and I could see past all that smell and baggage. He was sweet. Maybe I saw myself in Sheldon. A little rough on the outside, a little smelly and out of place, but worth saving.
I knew my dad had a heart the size of Texas. His compassion ran deeper than an Oklahoma oil well. And although the LAST thing we needed on our farm was another dog, I knew he would not be killed.
"Take him to my house and drop him off." I said desperately. "Just don't let my dad see you."
It was my only option. My last whim to save all the injustices of America. He nudged me with his wet nose and off they went.
The rest is really history. My dad knew. Sheldon lived. Life was good. Sheldon was the best dog. Cute, stinky breath, and marked his territory all the time. Ah, just like Indiana Jones.
Sheldon was hit by a car Wednesday morning after Christmas on his morning ritual to pee on our neighbor's rock. If I told him once I told him a million times not to pee on our neighbor's rock. He said all his friends were doing it. Well, what if they were all jumping off a bridge, then what would be do?
Someone stopped and told our neighbor because my mom and dad were out of the state at my house for Christmas. They covered him up, stayed by his side, called the vet, and he came and put him down.
Yes, Sheldon was a good dog. He was a part of the family. Maybe be became good to fit, maybe he fit because he was so good. Either was, he fit in perfectly. I am so glad he stole my heart over 13 years ago.