Me: Every once in a while, a day comes along that you thought you might not see, a day of remembrance, a day of reminders…
Stella: Is this a speech? I just want to know so I can get comfortable. Oh, and I need some popcorn.
Me: It’s sort of a speech, but it’s not going to be that long.
Stella: Sounds pretty long already.
Me: All right. I’ll make it short and sweet. Happy Birthday, Tiger! You’re four years old today!
Miss Sweetie: Sweet? Like me?
Doodlebug: Sweet? Is there cake?
Wiggles: I don’t smell any cake.
Me: Sorry. There is no cake.
Me: Tiger, hon, there has never been any cake for bulldogs in this house. There’s barely ever any cake for humans here. We just don’t do cake much anymore. But there is something else! Hard-boiled eggs!
Tiger: Yay! Just for me!
Me: Well, everybody gets some, because…you know…party.
Tiger: I guess that’s only fair.
Me: But you get to wear…tada! The weird fuzzy celebration headband!
Stella: Hey, that’s mine!
Me: Yeah, but you never have liked it. When I put it on you, you just collapse to the floor and refuse to move until I take it off. At least, Tiger sits up for it.
Stella: Hmmmpphh! It’s still mine.
Me: Anyway, it will soon be the 3rd anniversary of you coming to us, Tiger, right after your 1st birthday, at a very difficult time.
Tiger: I remember. Some of it. Some of it is foggy. I remember the fight with the other dog at the old place. The place where I don’t live anymore.
Stella: And when you came here and Tall Man sat up all night with you. And he doctored and bandaged your leg again and again.
Tiger: And he and Lady Human fed me puppy milk and water with the plastic squirt tube. I remember.
Me: And when the vet said you had a 50/50 chance to live that first weekend. And she gave us all that medicine for you.
Tiger: And Tall Man and the white coat lady carried me out on a big towel because I couldn’t walk. But I lived.
Me: And then you got better…And then you got worse.
Tiger: And the vet lady said not much chance anymore. And she said to come back in a couple of days if I lived…
Me: And then my friend and I prayed.
Tiger: And the Great Creator heard.
Me: And Tall Man kept cleaning and bandaging your bad leg. And we didn’t give up. And you didn’t give up. And God Most High heard.
Tiger: And I walked into the vet lady’s place the next day. Because I had lived.
Me: And the vet was amazed, but she said that you would probably always walk with a limp.
Tiger: And I don’t.
Me: Nope. No limp.
Tiger: And it’s my 4th birthday!
Stella: Even if there is no cake.
Stella: Pssst! Lady Human! What happened to your picture of Tiger wearing the silly fuzzy celebration headband?
Me: Oh, she kept taking it off and she wouldn’t stay still for a photo. So…next year?
Stella: Not if I can get rid of that ridiculous thing first. And I’m not talking about Tiger.
Copyright 2018 H.J. Hill All Rights Reserved.