“Good thing she’s not a collie. They don’t make it long. Get depressed. Not very strong willed.”
This is what the neurologist at the specialty vet told us when we were consulting with him after Pigeon’s stroke in the Fall of 2016.
Yes. You read that right. Pigeon has a neurologist. He’s a dog neurologist. It’s a real thing. And apparently, collies get depressed easily and don’t make it out. But not Pigeon. She’s like Lazarus. But there was no Jesus-healing moment for her. No. She willed herself up, with only one good leg, to crawl into the kitchen, to find the chips Tara had just opened. After that, it was doggie PT where they bribed her with peanut butter to walk on the water treadmill because apparently, she wasn’t having that.
She never does anything unless she wants to. I love that about her.
No one has ever accused Pigeon of being anything other than strong-willed, determined, excited, and most of all, hopeful.
If you’ve ever met me in person you know that a good portion of my life revolves around Pigeon. It always has. When we had DiDi too, it revolved around both of them. Pigeon and DiDi. They were quite a pair. Pigeon came into my life in 2004 during rugby practice in downtown Atlanta one night while I was in college. The apartment I was living in didn’t allow any pets, so I had to sneak her in, and taught her to sleep under my bed at night so she wouldn’t wander and be seen. She never really had to be taught, she just did it. It’s like she just knew what I needed her to do.
Then, in February of 2005 came DiDi. DiDi was always the good dog. Pigeon was the dog that ate my groceries if I turned my back for a second. She was the dog that ripped solid wooden doors off the hinges to get to food. She was the dog who jumped fences when I tried to leave her with friends while I went to work because she was not about to hang around with just anyone. She was and still is “my dog.” When DiDi was trying to snuggle with you, Pigeon was trying to figure out where the food was. It’s just who she was and still is.
And here we are. 14 years later. DiDi passed of cancer a year ago. We have a cat that is a little obsessed with Pigeon. Pigeon’s much older. She went blind at about age 5. She’s either broken off her teeth over the years or they’ve pulled them so she’s left with a mouth of black gums (it’s her breed), one eye that is sort of sinking into her head while the other is a pearly white, and 3 bad legs from a massive stroke she suffered while Tara was home and I was away for work. She gets confused and she sometimes gets stuck behind a door. But she knows where the kitchen is and where the kitty litter box is. She knows the sound of her leash and what it sounds like when we open the refrigerator. And she knows the sound of a bag of chips opening from 600 yards away. She knows how to get you to pet her. And she knows that when my mom is around so are the ‘Nilla Wafers (I stopped fighting that a long time ago).
All this is to be said because Pigeon has what I like to call eternal hope. There isn’t anything that she can’t do; or atleast anything she won’t try. She keeps going no matter what and she can always brighten your day. She really reminds me of the Holy Spirit.
She’s always there. She never gives up. She makes you laugh and find joy in the little things. She keeps going. No. Matter. What. Even when the world seems like it’s trying to get her down, she’s no collie. She keeps pushing through, just like the Holy Spirit.
I know Pigeon won’t be here forever, but as long as she is, I’ll love her and clean up her gross messes from her old butt. I’ll give her all the medications she needs and make her rice each week to be mixed into her food each night for her fickle stomach. I’ll take her to the neurologist whenever she needs to go back. I’ll continue to love her and let her remind me that the Holy Spirit never gives up. No matter the fight or illness or life trappings.
The Holy Spirit is like Pigeon. Relentless until she accomplishes her goals on this earth.