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Mazy ( by one of our forum members )

Discussion in 'General Topics & Support Issues' started by Blueribbon, Dec 24, 2005.

  1. Blueribbon

    Blueribbon New Member

    I have permission from the Author to post this. Thank You Kathy for letting me post this.

    Kathy is a published author. She finds inspiration for her novels, short stories, and poems from her family, her job, her life's experiences -- from a diagnosis of cancer, to a diagnosis of life, and from the furry loved ones who share her world. And she thanks God for them all.



    MAZY

    It was early in the evening, the day before Christmas. Winter darkness had just settled in, and the canopy overhead was heavy with storm clouds.

    As Terrence entered the hallway, a brisk zephyr blew 'round him and in to the living room. He paused, as he had done for the last five years, expecting to hear the lively click of nails on polished wood. He'd then turn towards the hallway, smiling, arms outstretched, before bending down to welcome his furry girl, Mazy.

    He still smiled, thinking he was hearing the fast-approaching Black Lab. Her happy panted greeting was the sunlight at the end of his workday. But, as the months wore on he managed to stop himself from bending down to welcome her wriggling body in a loving embrace. She'd been gone a year now, but some habits of the heart are hard to break.

    A stiffer breeze gusted through the entryway. Terrence leaned back on the door to close it just as Tammy, Terrence's wife, entered the room. Noting the sudden look of sadness on her husband's face she hurried over to him and hugged him tightly.

    "I miss her, too. She loved Christmas!"

    Terrence swallowed hard over a knot in his throat, hugged his wife back, and nodded.

    ~*~
    He first saw Mazy while on a home call for his job. He had been looking for a client's address in an older, industrial part of town. He had driven past an auto body parts business and she was running the length and back of the small enclosure she was fenced in. There was no grass in the pen, only dirt and a metal feeding dish. Every time a vehicle drove by, she'd run with it, smiling, tail wagging, until she hit the back fence. She'd then bounce around and run to the other end.

    She seemed frantic to find a friend in the passing cars. Her behavior haunted Terrence, so after he finished his home call Terrence drove by the business, hoping to speak with the owners about the dog. The office was closed for the lunch hour.

    Before taking off, Terrence took down the number of the business. When he got back to the office, he dialed the number and spoke with the receptionist. He learned that the dog was kept there all the time and had been there for just under a year. He told the receptionist that should the owner decide to get rid of the dog, he would love to be notified.

    Two weeks before Christmas Terrence got a phone call. The owners of the auto parts yard had sold the business. They could no longer keep the Black Lab -- Did he still want her?

    She came home as an early Christmas gift. She had never been given a name. Tammy named her Mazy.

    They spoiled her that first Christmas and Mazy ate it up. Tammy had hung a stocking on the mantelpiece for Mazy and come Christmas morn, Mazy quietly walked over to the stocking filled with doggie goodies, and gently pulled it off the hook. She then padded over to Terrence and held the stocking out for him.

    Terrence thought Mazy wanted him to pull the little doo-dads out of the stocking so she could have them. So, Terrence took the stocking and laid it on the floor, tipping out some of the contents, then sat back so he could watch Mazy enjoy her gifts.

    To his surprise, Mazy nosed the items that had rolled out, back into the stocking, then she gripped the stocking in her teeth and handed it back to Terrence. Her gift to him. When Terrence glanced over at his wife they both chuckled while at the same time blinking back happy tears. The true gift that Christmas had been the welcoming of Mazy into their family.

    Blessed with a loving, giving spirit, Mazy became a therapy dog, at the urging of Mazy's obedience trainer. Doug was a close family friend and suggested that Tammy bring Mazy along on one of their visits. Doug volunteered with a group from the local SPCA and every Thursday they visited one of the convalescent hospitals. Each person brought their dog and Doug felt Mazy would be an ideal addition to their group.

    Mazy was a natural in the art of caring and brightening the spirits of the residents they visited. She became very popular and had attracted the interest of the press. During the Christmas holidays, a year ago, a local television station did a special on therapy dogs and the benefits they bestow on patients in care facilities. Mazy was the star of the show and had garnered an even greater following.

    Soon thereafter, while Terrence was at work and Tammy out on errands, someone had broken the lock on the backyard gate and when Tammy got home, Mazy was gone. All efforts to locate her were unsuccessful and the loss of their gentle fur girl was a wound that dug deep into their hearts.

    ~*~

    "Come on into the family room. I have two steaming mugs of chocolate and Irish Cream waiting for us in front of the fireplace. You can build a fire and we will relax before the guests arrive later."

    Terrence followed his wife into the room. From the stack of wood near the hearth he prepared the fireplace. As he bent over he heard, again, that familiar sound of nails and paws on wood. He shook his head, just as a weight dropped on his shoulders and back. Tammy gasped loudly and Terrence spun around.

    Mazy, covering his face with sloppy kisses and doggy-breathed pants. Terrence threw his arms around his furry girl. It was a dream. A dream, surely. He heard the rustling of paper at his ear and drew back. There in Mazy's collar was a handwritten note.

    Terrence sat back on his heels, gazed into Mazy's warm brown eyes. A cold draft filled the room. The front door was ajar, the porch light on. The sound of a car pulling out of their driveway faded as Terrence read the note.


    ~*~

    "I have a feeling your Christmas just got merrier, and mine a little sadder. Over six years ago my wife, Donna, found an ebony colored pup on our doorstep. She doted on her and the pup became a member of our family.

    "As the pup grew, she'd often disappear for days at a time. Frantic at first, we would chase after her, search for her everywhere. Each time we'd find her in the company of a human who, for various reasons, was in need of a friend. She did this so often we started calling her Chasy. One day she did not return.

    "Eighteen months ago Donna was diagnosed with cancer. On Christmas Day of last year your Black Lab scratched on our front door. She looked so much like our Chasy; I started calling her by that name. She and my wife were inseparable until her death three days ago.

    "After the funeral, Mazy took a small Christmas stocking off the mantel, came over and laid it in my lap. She whimpered, then trotted to the front door and scratched at it to be let out.

    "I opened the door. Mazy walked over to the hedges and began digging. In a few moments she returned--a dirty collar in her mouth. She then made soft talking sounds and dropped the collar at my feet.

    "As I picked it up I noticed two grimy tags; a license tag and an ID tag. Mazy... I couldn't believe it. Her name so like our Chasy's. I looked from the tag to the Black Lab before me. Mazy's expression went from hopeful to wistful.

    "Mazy leaned into me, her weight against my legs like the embrace of an old friend. She looked up at me and I knew her visit was over--she wanted to go home.

    "After everyone left I called Mazy over to me. I had cleaned her collar and the tags jingled brightly as I slipped it over her head. I then bent down and sobbed into her shiny fur.

    "It was a quiet ride for the two of us, as I drove to your place. When I reached over to open the door to let Mazy out, she nudged my wrist, licked my hand and sighed.

    "In my sadness and grief, I had forgotten this letter. I pulled the note out of my shirt pocket to write the final words. I finished and glanced at Mazy. She extended her head, urging me to place the note in her collar as we had practiced.

    "Thank you, from a stranger who's been warmed by sunlight, wrapped in the shiniest black fur I have ever seen. Welcome her well. When you hug her, please hug her for me. I couldn't do so to say good-bye for fear I'd not let her go."

    Tammy took the note and as she began to read, Terrence sank his hands into the warm ruff of Mazy's neck and hugged her long, and well.

    "Do you still have that stocking?" he asked his wife.

    "I sure do," her answer, said with a huge smile.

    Mazy wagged her tail and she smiled, too.

    Copyright © 2005 by Kathy Pippig Harris
     

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