I love my Dottie Dots

August 26-Sept 2, 2010 {Los Angeles, CA}

Self-portrait taken with iPhone

The one part of my L.A. trip that I was really looking forward to was time with Dottie. As “amicable” as the divorce has been, custody of Dottie was a major point of contention. We argued about it for while. Initially, we agreed that I would take Dottie. I even made arrangements to fly Dottie to Virginia.  In the end, Rob threatened not to sign our divorce papers if I didn’t let him keep Dottie. It became a question of my freedom or the dog. It was a tough decision to make.  It broke my heart and reaffirmed that leaving Rob was the best idea.

Like Rob, I hadn’t seen Dottie in 6 months. I rushed through the door and was so overjoyed to see her. She wouldn’t come near me. Dottie was mad at me. If people think that dogs don’t have feelings, they aren’t paying attention. No matter how I tried to bribe her with treats and gifts, Dottie would barely let me pet her. I cried. My lovable pitbull didn’t want to have anything to do with me.

It took a full 24 hours for Dottie to warm up to me. After that, she followed me like a caramel-and-white shadow. I could scarcely go to another room for more than 2 minutes without her searching for me. While Rob was at work, I spent every moment I could with her. We napped. I ran errands and brought her along. We went for runs. I dined al fresco with her happily seated underneath my table.

I was reminded of how much I loved having a big dog. Despite her intimidating appearance, Dottie is a 77 lbs. of cuddly love… unless you’re a cat or a small, fluffy dog. {Sorry, Myles} Having Dottie around always gave me a sense of safety. Whether we were out hiking or home alone, I knew that Dottie would always protect me. Her ferocious bark would frighten anybody, especially the poor UPS man. In the midst of the emotional turmoil that preceded my departure from L.A., Dottie’s presence comforted me. In my deepest depression, she was all smiles and always happy to be with me. They say that pets prolong our lives. I’m convinced that Dottie saved mine.

I relished my time with her. For a week, I had my girl back. I loved every minute of it. I had half a mind to buy her a plane ticket and smuggle her back to Virginia. However, I knew I’d be violating our divorce agreement. As much as I loved her, I didn’t want to get in trouble with the law. I know that she will be fine with Rob, but it still hurts to leave her behind. Like I’ve said before, staying with Rob means that Dottie will never be too far from her favorite hiking trails and playmates. It would be selfish of me to turn her world upside down any more than I already have.

On the night before I headed back to Virginia, I slept with my big girl curled next to me. I scarcely slept. I spent most of the night crying. Whenever I cried, Dottie would lick the tears off of my face. I vacillated between laughing and crying harder. It was a long night.

On the morning of my departure, I loaded my bags into my rental car. Dottie’s demeanor changed. She’s a smart dog. She knew what the bags meant. It meant that momma would be gone for a long time again. What Dottie doesn’t realize is that it really will be a very long time before momma comes back. I love my girl so very much, but every trip to L.A. is emotionally devastating. If I thought I cried the night before, I set a record for tear-shedding when I said my goodbyes to Dottie. I told her that I loved her and that even if I was if I was far away I would always love her. In my heart, I know she understood what I was saying. Thankfully, Rob took her to a friend’s house after that. I couldn’t bear to leave with her sitting anxiously at the door watching me go. It’s an image that I didn’t want emblazoned in my mind. Instead, I can still picture her happily trotting alongside Rob on her way for a ride in the car.

Impromptu Photo Shoot in Old Town Pasadena

photo by Robert Rodriguez

photo by Robert Rodriguez

photo by Robert Rodriguez

photo by Robert Rodriguez

I’m grateful for the five years that I had with Dottie. Having her in my life was the best part of my L.A. experience. I pray that Dottie will continue to have a happy life with Rob. Because I love her so much, I can’t ask for any more than that.

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8 thoughts on “I love my Dottie Dots

  1. Pingback: Goodbye to my girl | The Adventures of Anne K.

  2. I loved seeing the pictures of you and your pitty, and it saddens me greatly that you two cannot be together. Great job on the running, and you have totally inspired me to go for it. I workout as it is, but this just gave me more to look forward to.

    P.S. I found you via your BFF little Ms PinkSugaCupcake!

    • Thanks for your kind comment. I do miss Dottie terribly. Thankfully, my ex-husband is good about updating me and sending me pictures of her.

      I don’t know how comfortable I feel being someone’s inspiration, but I hope you enjoy the running.

      P.S. what is your Twitter screenname?

  3. Pingback: 1st Half Marathon « The Adventures of Anne K.

  4. Oh Anne, my heart aches. I’m so happy you got to spend so much quality time with her. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been to leave her.

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