ode to the pee-pie
(be sure to click “show images” for this piece.)
As I sat sniffling in my bathtub yet again last night, I berated myself for just how ludicrous this really is. I should NOT be this upset, especially after 3 weeks. I should NOT be so inconsolably, unreasonably, heartbrokenly sad over this. I am so ashamed and embarrassed about it, really. I mean, there are REAL problems in the world and REAL hurt that people are going through. God has cancer patients to heal, human trafficking/slavery to abolish, starving babies to save. And there I sat whining to Him (still/again) over the death of my beloved Macy Pie Prater, a.k.a. “The Pee-Pie.”
It’s just a dog, right? A 16yr. old little wiener dog, meeting her inevitable end, just like my last 2 dogs did, just like all dogs do. Sure, I’ve had her for 16 years. And sure, we’ve been through a lot together, but she WAS just a dog.
Except she wasn’t.
PLEASE know that I realize that she was not a real person and that real people lose real babies and that REALLY is the saddest thing. I am not comparing the loss of the Pee-Pie to the loss of a child; I cant even imagine what that might be like. But I AM saying that since I don’t have kids, our love story may have been a little sweeter and closer and needier than usual. Not having real human babies has afforded me extra time/energy/motherly-nurture hormones to spend on my friend’s kids, my nieces and nephews, and of course… sweet stinky puppy dogs.
I’ve always been a dog person. I’ve always been the crazy lady running down S. Lamar barefoot in July, chasing some runaway Chihuahua so it didn’t get hit by a car. Before I got too old/fat/slow to chase anything and everything I might come upon that needed to be rescued, I actually carried extra squeaky toys and snacky-snacks in my car, should I need them to lure some shivering little Border Collie in, or gain the trust of a 180lb Great Pyrenees so he could be returned to his rightful owner, along with a new toy for him and a sermon for his fenceless mother. If you live in my neighborhood and your dog has ever gotten out, I am the lady that called you triumphantly at 9:40 pm, having found him, or even said, “Sure your doggy can stay here with us until you get back in town” and then cried on my porch when you came to pick him up the following week because I was already in love.
I’ve probably owned over 20 dogs in my life (usually in multiples) and I’ve rescued and fostered dozens more. I’ve loved them all of course, and they were all great dogs and are all sorely missed. But you know how some dogs are just an extra layer of special to you? How some dogs seem to speak your language and understand every word, every emotion, every tear? Well, I’ve had 2 of those in my life – Junior (a.k.a “The Dooder Dog,” whom we had from kindergarten to almost when I graduated high school,) and Ty (the sexiest black man to ever walk the face of the earth, whom we lost 2 years ago.) Those boys were my “soul-puppies” and will forever be held in unmatched high regard.
And then there was The Pee-Pie.
High regard wouldn’t necessarily be the way I would describe my feelings towards Miss Macy. She wasn’t the smartest dog I’ve ever owned, or the sweetest. And she had virtually no talent, other than sitting up like a meerkat and batting her eyelashes when she wanted some attention (wherever did she learn that?). And she wouldn’t do any tricks, other than knowing when she had been naughty and crawling in your lap, sitting up like a meerkat and batting her eyelashes, then leaning over and putting her head on your chest when I would ask, “Are you sorry Macy?”
Yes, mommy. Terribly sorry and terribly adorable. Please don’t be mad and let’s snuggle and eat ice cream.
She was by far the neediest and most neurotic of all my furry babies, which is likely the reason why we bonded so tightly. And she was also most certainly a bonafide bad-@*%, which won her the respect of all who met her. But mostly, I think it was all those years, all that change, all that mess… we fought through it and grew up in it together.
And let’s face it, there were times when I was completely alone in life and she was all I had; My Patient Pee-Pie, waiting for me in the window when I would come home between classes in college (I would load her up and we would go to the drive-thru of the day, where nearly all the window servers knew her and had a free tater-tot or baby corndog for her.) Or my Highway Hotdog, draped across the back of my neck and shoulders like a 13lb. travel pillow while we drove an enormous U-Haul 1200 miles cross-country to start a new life after college.
Or My Radiator Rat, nuzzled next to me in bed at night, right up against my tummy or back behind my knees, shivering together during those cold lonely years in Chicago when that new life we started crashed down all around us and we made the best of it anyway, Pie and I.
Oh and the songs we wrote together!
Me & Macy McGee!!!
(Let’s Go) Bye-Bye (Miss) American Pie!!!!
You’re the Reason God Made Fluffy Blankets!!!
and finally… My Pee-Pie’s in the Sky with Diamonds!!!!
Before I had Jesus, before I had Kenny, SHOOT- before I had friends, I had Pee-Pie. When she was a
baby, her soft fat little tummy would stick out and she would snore and grunt like a little piglet (PRECIOUS!) And then the young, spry Pee-Pie, sitting up prairie-dog style watching me work or clean or take a bath (CREEPY!) so that she would never ever miss out on anything. And the always Pee-Pie, charming her way into our laps, slamming her ear against daddy’s mouth cuz she loved for him to whisper to her, asking the same question every little girl asks (dog or not) –
do you love me can you see me am I your pretty little princess?
Yes, little Pee-Pie: We do. We can. You are.
So, for all those days you kept me company, for all the nights you kept me warm, for all those times you destroyed my apartment/carpet/other valuables, and for all those years you made me laugh…
Your stubbornness and neuroticism are unmatched throughout the land and I will never forget your old lady teeth smell mixed with the light odor of tee-tee and corn chips. You deserve a cape and a medal, my little super-puppy.
You were my friend when I had no others, you were my blessing when I knew no God, and you were my love when I had never seen it. You were the tiny puppy in the pocket of my shirt, the one the breeder said was damaged and discounted. You were the 2 ears up, flapping in the wind, eager for adventure. You were the self-over-estimator, starting fights with St. Bernards that I had to finish for you, and jumping into the lake without your preserver (making Kenny jump in after you, fully-clothed on our 2nd date, sealing his position in our lives forevermore.) You were worth the $700 we spent on you when you ate that fertilizer, the thousands we spent on you thereafter, all the dead grass from your fenceline Indy 500 racetracks you made in every yard we ever had, and the nights towards the end when you would immediately shove your nose right into the nebulizer the vet gave us (and Daddy and I would cry/laugh/combo and say you looked like Willie Nelson with his vaporizer.)
You were worthless and wonderful, stinky and snuggly, bonkers and brilliant. And you have carved out a weenie-dog-shaped-hole in my heart from all the glorious years of delirium and deep belly laughs. You are irreplaceable and incomparable and we miss you like crazy.
Oh, Sweet Stinky Peepers- We sure had a good time.