Things we treasure is the topic of the Writing 101 assignment from The Daily Post here on WordPress.
I’ve wracked my brain for what single item it is that is my most prized possession. I’ve looked around my house, and thought about what if I were to have a major fire and would lose everything but what I could carry, what would it be that I would juggle out the door on that single trip?
One answer is quite simple. My beloved dog Nola. For obvious reasons; like she’s my daily companion, and she loves me as unconditionally as I love her. Her support to me in times of struggle over the last 6 years that we’ve been together has been enormous. This Butch has definitely got a very soft heart when it comes to animals!
I have said before I thought that you could only get one “once in a lifetime” dog in your life, but I was very wrong, as I have had TWO! Before Nola I had a dog for 17 years named Jock. He was a Welch Corgi cross with Beagle I believe, and he was the most intelligent, loyal and affectionate dog. His bravery and loyalty were bar-none the best in a dog I have ever seen. There were times with him that I had that were just incredible. At Lake Altus in Oklahoma he would swim into the middle of the lake in search of me as I was out there tubing with my friends in the 30 foot deep water. He was left at bars, and found his way home, and he was always there for me, right to the bitter end. I sent Jock over the Rainbow Bridge in 1999, before even my first summer on the farm. Seventeen years after finding him in a shelter in Lawton Oklahoma when I was stationed there with the US Army. He was the only dog who did not bark when I entered the enclosures. That was the dog for me. He was well groomed, nails trimmed and healthy, so someone in the military probably had to leave him at the shelter for some reason he probably did not even understand. That first day he jumped right into my Chevy pick up truck and took up his residence next to me for the next seventeen years. I loved that dog so very much.
At the end of his life he could not see or hear very well, and he tried desperately to stay very close to me for security. It was very hard making that final, kind decision to let him go and it gives me chills now to think about it. But there was a peace in me after it was done, I knew I had done right by that dog. I adopted him, cared for him, loved him, and fished with him endlessly. In the end I stayed with him until he was ready to go and let me know it, then I made that hardest of all decisions that a pet owner has promised to make one day. When you adopt a pet you vow that you will do what is always best for them, and the end decision is done with that in mind. Yes, he’s probably still waiting on Rainbow Bridge for me along with Susie, the Westie that I had in high school who was also a very devoted dog.
Yes, Nola is my most prized possession, although I don’t really consider her a “possession” as much as a companion, a cheerleader and a dog that just lives to make me happy.She asks nothing more from me than to be with me constantly, watching over every move that I make. If I move from one room to another in the house, that dog follows and settles in to a new spot from which she can watch over me. I am just so lucky to have her and to get another “once in a lifetime” companion dog.
So, besides the dog what would I save? I have a teddy bear that I have had since I was a baby, and he’s my most prized material object. He’s traveled with me around the world and back (much like both my dogs!) and he’s done duty in some harsh climates in the USA and Europe. When I was stationed in the European theater I played softball for the Army. It was lucky and very easy duty and I loved it. Playing ball at that time was my life. (My shoulders are paying for it today!) And that bear would accompany our team to every away game, and would sit the bench in the home games. My grandmother, who I lost when I was 10 years old, had sewn silver metal button eyes on him when his assigned plastic eyes fell off from over-loving. I drew a paint mouth on him at around the same time. He has notches cut out of his ears from being “tagged” in recreations of episodes of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, a game and a show that I loved as a child. All of my stuffed animals had shaved spots for tags on their ears. Teddy still has his. He has a voice box at one time, but his tummy is sewn up thanks again to my Nana, and his legs are of different lengths, as are his arms from where the padding wore out. Teddy is worn and patched; loved and cherished still today.
Other than Nola and Teddy, I would grab the envelope of important papers out of my dresser draw, my address book and my laptop which is full of vital information and is my lifeline to my writing. Everything else can be replaced or has no significant value. Sure there are things like photo books and little significant items, but remember it’s a fire and I have one trip in to gather everything I can carry. I am counting on Nola running herself out of the door as I follow with the above items. I would make sure she was out before I would even hold on to the other things. Sometimes in life it’s not a significant item that is your most treasured, but a significant soul. I feel that I am responsible for Nola’s soul and because she has given me that privilege I will always protect her first.