I have been dreading writing this post since last month
I didn’t want to because it made Shelby’s passing too real for me. That my friends, is why I haven’t been posting blogs on weird history or the Occult. Why I haven’t been writing about my favorite books or new things in my life. It all seems so empty right now. Last month, I went to get my very first shot of the Pfizer vaccine.
It was a short walk from there to my house. I went to the Navarro store near me to be vaccinated. I had learned that they were providing the vaccines for everyone. All you had to do was make an appointment. There was no waiting period or list like these other places.
CVS pharmacy had recently bought Navarro and now they were making the vaccines more accessible. When the woman had made the appointment for me in the waiting area, I thought it was my lucky day. When that day finally came, I left my home and walked there. Sheldon my other dog is younger. And he always gets nervous if I leave them alone for too long.
But I had this strange feeling of impending dread inside of my stomach. For some reason I felt that I should come back as quickly as possible. It took me a while because I hadn’t known I needed to be in a call in sheet. When I was vaccinated I had to wait to make sure I didn’t get any adverse reactions. But that same nasty feeling came back.
Something was wrong and I knew it. I don’t know how, the closest I can describe it is like this. When parents sense their kids in danger or vice versa. I don’t know any other way to say it. This was deeper and stronger than any feeling I ever had.
Like I wanted to go screaming from there back to my home. I didn’t know why, in fact I tried to ignore it and said oh that’s just paranoia, there’s nothing wrong. But I couldn’t shake this feeling. So I just said fuck it, and went back home. I wish I had listened to my inner voice sooner.
Maybe it would have made a difference. Maybe it wouldn’t have. I found Shelby in the middle of the apartment. He had crapped all over the place. But his stool was mixed with blood.
And he couldn’t move. He was paralyzed. I saw a trail of blood and feces near my bed. Shelby would often walk near my bed to make little crying noises. So I could pick him up and put him in bed with me.
He had been looking for me while he could still walk. And I wasn’t there. If I could go back and skip the vaccine. If I could have just waited until after that day. I blame myself again and again thinking that if I had been there, this could have been prevented.
I started shaking like a leaf. I called my mother to come help me. My friend George was calling up animal groups like crazy to help. But all the vets wanted serious money to help Shelby that I just didn’t have then. My first choice is an animal hospital that I will not mention.
Because I don’t want to be in legal trouble nor do I want to be unfair. Because they have helped lots of people. But I paid $33 dollars a month for a year. So he could have healthcare so that in theory, when he needed their help, they would help me. But they all said they couldn’t help him because I needed an appointment.
And any surgery or treatment would have cost thousands of dollars. So why the fuck was I paying these leaches $33 a month since last year for?
They told me I needed an animal emergency room. But they cost even more. So after begging these people and telling them I would even sign a legal document. That I pay them back. And they all still said they needed money upfront.
Dirty fucking leeches. Ghouls, feeding on the pain and suffering and death of animals. Then they get angry if someone calls them out on it. I know the reality that they do help and that funding is very scarce. I know it’s not their fault society as a whole abuses animals.
But they’re certainly contributing to that abuse by denying such a basic and necessary care to people who can’t afford it. My dog’s paralysis grew worse. He no longer had the ability to move or control his facial features. By the time a single good hearted Vet answered my call, they told me not to bother.
“Is he still releasing feces and blood by any chance? Does he have a really bad odor?”
I said yes.
“I’m sorry sir. But your dog is dying. From what you’ve told me, it could have been an aneurysm, a stroke, or even a heart attack. Dogs that old are more susceptible to health problems. If you brought him here, you’d be wasting your money because there’s nothing to be done except to put him down.
And we don’t have those services here. You need to ask a shelter or some other place that handles it. I wish I could have been better help to you. You can get a second opinion, but it’s doubtful,”
In that moment, my whole world was shattering before my eyes. For someone who doesn’t know the love of an animal, that sounds ridiculous. Childish even, the product of one who has a childish mentality. I refused to accept it. But when my mother, a nurse in the medical field came, she only confirmed what this vet had told me on the phone.
She even told me she believed for some time he would die soon. She had suspected for weeks now that he was going to pass away. Because he seemed to be more sentimental and wanting to spend more time with us. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. He was so well in the morning.
He had a hardy appetite. He was an old little dog, but very energetic. And I loved him as much as I love Sheldon. My little old man. My old baby.
Mi Chiquitin (my little one)
Years ago, I had a nasty depression
And I prayed to the Gods to send me a companion. One day, my uncles were moving something from my old house. They brought us some washing machines. I was still living with my sister and mother at the time. And I noticed this tiny nose in the doorway.
I opened it thinking it was one of the cat’s outside. Instead it was my first dog, Sheldon. He was a puppy, abandoned and scrawny. And scared and hungry. And alone.
My sister and I convinced our mother to let him stay. The original plan was to find him a new home. And at first he really didn’t like me. But as soon as he saw me get the leash. And we had our first walk, he became my baby.
He never left me. And I knew the Gods had heard my prayers. Sheldon had been with me for years. My faithful companion. One day we took our usual afternoon walk.
I’d either finish working. Or if I got home early from college, I’d be studying my spell books. And Sheldon would start crying and motioning to the door. Which meant it was time for our walk. We went on our walk and we saw this tiny little chihuahua.
He was elderly. And I learned from my neighbors that he been out in the sun without food and water for a day. I had a suspicion that a family who lived there had abandoned him on purpose. I wanted to save him but I couldn’t get close enough to him to grab him. I kept telling myself that I tried and it was time to go home.
I knew I couldn’t have another dog. But Sheldon was glued to the spot. He walked on his hind legs and looked at me with his soulful eyes. He cried out with such a mournful and compassionate cry that I knew I couldn’t leave. Sheldon had reminded me that apathy is what makes the world a bad place.
Evil only exists because people don’t care enough to fight it. We live in a society where it’s everyone for themselves. And compassionate people are seen as weak, naive, or losers. I knew what Sheldon wanted. We walked towards that elderly little chihuahua.
I still couldn’t grab hold of him. He was afraid of other people. But as I had suspected, he kept gravitating towards the apartment of the family I had suspected abandoned him. Especially the backyard. I remember hearing a chihuahua growl at people from the backyard all the time. I suspected he was that dog.
Because the backyard was empty. He would run from me. But not Sheldon. Sheldon would lay on the ground and Shelby would come to him. I knew this family had a lot of chihuahuas.
They had recently gotten a new dog. And I guess this baby was sacrificed for being old. It took me five minutes to get him. I finally grabbed him when he laid down next to Sheldon. At first he tried to fight me.
But I kissed him on the top of his little head and said,
“Tranquilo Papi,” (calm down papi)
He finally did calm down. I took him home and my Mom had the classic we don’t need another damn dog reaction. Uhuh, that didn’t last very long. I put him down, and he started exploring the whole house. My Mother just said,
“Look at this little thing, walking around the house like it was his already. Where do you think you’re going?”
(Her Room lol)
My Mom had given him a bath. And she said he had a panic attack.
“This poor animal has never had a bath in his life. I’ve seen dogs who hate water. But this was different. It was like he didn’t know what a bath was,”
He was extremely malnourished. If his insane hunger to eat anything he could find wasn’t an indicator, the ribs out of his stomach told us all we needed to know. I did try to contact the family, and to inform them that they needed to take better care of him. But they wouldn’t even come to the door. I left a note with my address and number and they ignored me on purpose.
Whenever I would call Sheldon, he would come too. I think he thought I was calling him. So I named him Shelby. Everyone kept giving me shit saying it was a girl’s name. But I’ll have you know that Shelby was a man’s name as late as the 1920’s.
Not that it mattered to anyone else. I think some people figured I was trying to make a political statement (facepalm). Shelby ate dog food for what I think was the first time. That family had him living on whatever scraps came from their table we suspect. At first he didn’t recognize it as food.
I had to hand feed him at first for months. Although I admit I spoiled him feeding him things I probably shouldn’t have. We used to laugh and call him La Piraña, the piranha. He ate with such a gusto, that it was like watching a little person. Even Sheldon had moments of looking at him like You know you’re a dog right?
He slept the first night, that Friday on my arm chair. I don’t think he was used to air conditioner or having a soft place to sleep. As I was getting ready to shower, he hopped off the chair and went looking for me. As soon as he saw me next door in the shower, he went back. As if he just needed assurances that he wasn’t alone.
I remember how he lived in that yard alone for years. The only dog out there. And despite them having other dogs, I think they kept him alone. He had a weird stink and his teeth were rotten. My Mom thought he had mange or some other skin disease due to his odor.
He didn’t, it was just his anal glands that needed to be secreted. That was a Friday. He had wondered into my Mom’s room and she had made him a little bed in the corner. And she was pointing and saying “Miralo que lindo!” (Look at him how cute). Ha, didn’t want another dog eh?
The next day, we all doted on him. Even Sheldon, he had a new brother. We had a Vet come to our home to vaccinate them both and squeeze their anal glands. After just three days, Shelby had vomited all of these parasites out of his body. And that’s when he started to put on some weight.
In just a few days his little bony belly, became a chubby belly. All this had happened in just two days. That Saturday night, Sheldon decided he wanted to sleep in my mother’s room. And Shelby slept on my chair again. I was up watching a Paranormal tv show called “The Dead Man’s Gun” about a cursed gun in the old west.
And how it effects everyone it comes into contact with. When suddenly, Shelby hops down again, and walks toward the side of my bed and cries. He looked up at me with his soulful eyes. As if to say “Can I sleep with you?” and I laughed at how cute he was. How could I say no? I scooped him up into my arms and he slept in the bed with me.
He was so relaxed that he just laid down and stretched his little body. That was the first of many nights in a warm bed. And like Sheldon, he had any bed to choose from. My sister and mother would let him stay with them. He’s wake my Mom up in the middle of the night to take a piss, or drink water.
She called him the little old man. But there was a problem : he was scared of the dark. So she had to personally escort him with the lights on to pee on his pad. Then follow him to the kitchen so he could drink his water. At the time, we still thought he was just with us until we could get him adopted.
But months had passed, and he and Sheldon had become brothers. And my sister and I, and even my Mom though she wouldn’t admit it, thought of him as ours. I tried to get him adopted, but he looked at me and cried to go home. I couldn’t do it.
I saw those assholes that abandoned him once. I was walking Shelby, but as soon as he saw them, he turned around. He was like “Nope! fuck you,”It sounds funny, but his reaction was like that. He stopped and turned around so abruptly that it made my head spin. Yep, the puppet was a part of the family now.
He lived far longer than anyone expected him to. He went from being shy and fatigued, to having the energy of a puppy. My sister showered him with gifts (that Sheldon kept trying to steal). The first time he saw his first toy, a little blue duck, he had no idea what it was. He acted as if it was a smaller animal.
And he cuddled with it and protected it. He was the only non violent chihuahua I had ever met. So sweet and calm. He was loved for so many years. And he made us laugh.
I remember that somehow he opened the zipper on my sister’s purse and pulled out a cracker she left in there. That little dog could eat. My Mom nicknamed him Hambre Vieja (Old Hunger). I remember he used to be afraid of going up the stairs at first. But after a while, he would run up the stairs with such joy in his heart.
And we would play and watch tv together. We never cured him of his insatiable hunger though. But when we did feed him from the table, it was never anything that compromised his health. I used to laugh when people dressed their dogs up. But Shelby he every kind of outfit you could imagine.
My sister bought him a stripped prison outfit and even a shirt that said, “Don’t act like you’re not impressed,”
My Poor Baby
Shelby was breathing erratically. He had crapped and bled again, this time on my jeans because I refused to let him go. I kept him in my arms. I stroked his little head. Sheldon would walk up to us and start crying and kissing his brother.
Sheldon was the reason Shelby was in our life. It was only fitting that he was here at the end as well. I cried and cried for hours, trying to keep the deep sobs inside. I didn’t want to worry either of them. And my mother also didn’t want me to cry.
Years ago, when things got really bad financially. When I could not longer support my family because I lost my job. And my small business failed, I had a break down. I didn’t go crazy or anything of that nature. Though no doubt the skeptics on this blog who have read my accounts or my beliefs think my brain was fried long ago.
I had a seizure and had an emotional breakdown. It happened because there was no food in the house. And I saw my mother cry. And I felt so guilty. So useless.
Since then, I suppose she treats me with silk gloves. You have no idea how hard that is for me. To go from being the responsible son who cared for his family‘s needs. To being treated as if I will break easily at the slightest sign of pressure. And that’s the hardest part.
If I could cry, scream, or be alone with myself, I know I will be okay. I could simply release the lent up emotions. But I don’t have that luxury. My family would flip a shit if they heard me wail like I did that day. I have this…..storm building up inside me some days where I want to cry for hours.
And I can’t because this damn place has no privacy. That’s what I miss the most about living alone. I could be alone with just my dogs, my spirits, and my Gods. And I could be okay. My friends don’t understand it.
I’m sort of like an urban hermit. But I go sometimes months without speaking to friends. When I’m busy with magic, or when I need to meditate. Hell or when I am reading, writing, or anything else I wish to do. I miss having that space to myself again.
Between the nosy ass neighbors here and the thin walls, it’s hard to do anything without someone else listening in. I feel trapped inside of my own sorrow. My one consultation is Sheldon. He keeps me stable. I had to control my grief because he seemed to be depressed as well.
For a few weeks now Sheldon has barely been able to eat. He lays around most of the time staring at the place where Shelby’s bed used to be. But when I feed him he does eat. I hold him in my arms and talk to him gently. I let him know that it’s all alright.
People say animals don’t know anything. But they do. They’re smarter than you would think. There was even a case of a parrot with the intelligence of a 10 year old boy. And as sure as the sun rises, he knows his brother is dead.
He mourns with me. I know this will sound like an exaggeration. But I feel Shelby’s loss as if he were truly my son. And in many ways he was. Animals are like children that never grow up.
No matter how big they get. So psychologically at least some of the same feelings are there. And I spend everyday of my life caring for Sheldon and at that time Shelby. My mother told me to lay him down in his bed. She cleaned him so that no matter what, he could be at rest.
She kept saying,
“Papi, stop holding on. Let go,”
He heard me sob again. And I don’t know how this little dog did it. Because he was paralyzed already. But some how, he took the last of his strength to move his head and turn to me. I kissed him on his head and told him I was okay.
A friend of mine from my Greek Temple put it best when he told me “He was carving your face into memory,” before leaving. I threw away my soiled clothing. And showered. I had prayed to every God there was. Those of faith have feelings about which Gods to pray to sometimes.
A little girl who was sick needed healing. And I prayed to Yemaya and she was healed. A friend had once prayed to Freya to find her lost cat. She just knew that Goddess was the one to help her. Well, I believe in and worship every God of every pantheon.
I’m initiated into different religions. But I’m also eclectic and work in my own way. I do a sort of inclusive ritual of every culture. And one of the Gods came to me. It was Jesus.
Yes a lot of my friends are flipping their shit at that sentence. But remember, some of our ancestors used to throw Christians into Lion pits. Just as those “polytheists” do not represent our faith or our Gods, many of the “christians” don’t represent their God either. And the Jesus I know and believe in, has never made me feel bad about worshipping other Gods. In sharp contrast to his fan club.
There was a period when I felt he wanted some more worship. I was so engrossed in my worship of other Gods. I think he wanted to be close again. So I became a Christo-Pagan. Anyways, I felt his presence near me.
I couldn’t see or talk to him. I just felt his energy. As I bathed, I said,
“Rabbi Yeshua, please free my son. Let him die peacefully. Release him from his pains and all his sufferings. Please sever the chord that binds the soul to the body. Give him peace, Amen”
I continued my shower. When I got out, my mother told me he finally fell asleep. When I found a vet who could euthanize him, I got a surprise. My mother knocked on my door to tell me he’d already passed. I gave her the phone and ran to his lifeless body.
That rancid smell, like acid and rot was all over him. I cried my eyes out. And I petted his small head one last time. Sheldon let out a cry too. But we didn’t let him lick Shelby’s head due to germs.
We collected his body. She washed the floor with bleach. Someone came to collect his body. He was still wearing his little shirt. And I struggled to release his body.
I knew it wasn’t him anymore. Just his shell. But knowing he was still wearing his little shirt. Just to be cremated and disposed of was killing me inside. And then I had to suck it up.
Because my mother was family began to worry. And that’s it. I haven’t entirely allowed myself to deal with it. It’s been weeks and I carry this on my soul all the time. I entered the traditional 13 day mourning period of the Ancient Greeks.
During this time, I was ritually impure. I covered up my altars. And I spent my time in prayer and contemplation with the dead. I prayed to Oya to take my dog to the other side. And each mystic I knew was also doing rituals to different Gods to cross him over.
I have dreamed of him since. And felt his presence among my guides. His energy is strong. And the knowledge that he is no longer in pain helps me. He has gained entry into the ethereal realms.
Those places where death and pain cannot truly enter. That and that Sheldon is with me are my only consolations. I’m trying to let it go. And to release the pain inside. Shelby, this is my attempt at immortality for you baby.
When my guardian altars are up again, I’ll put your picture in my guardian spirit section of my altar.
I will try not to remember you as you laid dying in your bed and in my arms. I will remember you instead as the happy, sweet little dog I called my baby. The dog who finally found a family who loved him as he deserved. Who always had every comfort we could give him. Good night Pupper,