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Heroes come in all sizes

Posted Friday, July 27, 2012, at 3:25 PM

It was 1995, we were living in Birmingham, Ala., and it was nearing my forty-ninth birthday. My good friend had a little Shi Tzu named Prissy, and trust me, she lived up to her name. Since we lived away from our grandchildren and no little ones around, I decided I wanted a puppy.

My friend and I began a search to decide which breed would be best for me. I decided on a Maltese.

We found a lady in Selma, Ala., who raised Maltese and had a new litter at the time. As I was talking with her, I told her I wanted one with a good personality and not one who would just lie around all the time. I know that was a pretty tall order, as you never know what animals or humans will turn out to be. She told me about one little girl who was the rowdiest of all. She was the one I chose.

She was still too young for us to pick up, so I waited. Very impatiently I might add. Other than pictures, I had never seen a Maltese, so I began learning all I could about them. The more I read, the more impatient I became. I was so excited about bringing her home.

At last the day came. She was ready for her new home and we were ready for her. We left Birmingham one morning and drove to Selma to pick up our new 'baby'. It was love at first sight, both for her and for us.

Such a tiny ball of snow white fur, little pink paws, and such a cute little pink tongue. Her beautiful tail curled over her back in such a majestic position. Oh, those eyes! Big, round, and, brown. When she looked at us, our hearts melted. That baby never one time ever whimpered from the day we took her from her family. She immediately accepted us as we did her.

She was my forty-ninth birthday gift from Collin and what a special one.

Shortly after she came to us, we learned my daughter was pregnant and would have our last grandchild. I often tease Logan, that if we knew we were going to have him, we would never have had "Tiki". That was the name I chose for her. I must say, we were very happy to have both.

Tiki became everything to all of us. She was a playmate, she was company. She possibly may have saved our lives one night as two guys were climbing up our outside balcony to get in our home. She woke us all up and we were able to scare them away. Of course that is a story within itself.

When Collin became very sick she probably helped keep me from going insane. Seems as though he never went to the hospital for just overnight or a day. He would be in for days and surgery after surgery. He would be so bad that he couldn't get out of bed for weeks. Night after night and time after time I would sit and feel so alone while he was recuperating.

Who was sitting right beside me? My little Tiki. She would love on me and snuggle close.

Her eyes would seemingly say, "All is going to be okay." She would go to the bedroom and sit by Collin for hours. When he went to the bathroom, she would lie outside the door until he came out.

She became such a part of our family in a way that only other pet owners can understand.

The time came when she became sick. Her hair was no longer beautiful, her eyes were dim and sad. Old age had set in along with all its nemesis. We knew the time would soon come when we would have to make a decision and come it did. Much quicker than we wanted.

The decision was made with the understanding I would not be a part of it. Collin and my girls took on the responsibility that I was not able to do.

Tiki went to Doggie Heaven in Nov., 2009, and we still miss her like crazy every day.

Sometimes if I see a puff of white I think it is her; or if I drop a piece of food I think she will come running to pick it up. I sometimes, momentarily, think she will be waiting for me at the door.

Yes, we do miss her and should we decide to choose another pet, she will never take Tiki's place. She will give her own joy to us in her own way. I already have her name picked out, just don't know where she is yet.

Our little Tiki is my heroine this week for helping me through so many tough times and all the joy she brought to our lives.

See ya next time somewhere in a korner.

kdover28@gmail.com - 573-820-2404 - www.dailystatesman.com

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I really enjoyed your blog for this week. I know how you feel about your baby girl. we had a white ball of fur also and her name was abbigail. she went to be with your tiki. and now we have a little angel. we got her just a few days after we lost our Abbigail. and it was the best thing we have ever done. she healed our broken heart. we got our angel right away as a gift from my daughter. such a wonderful gift she was to us.Her name is Bella. she is the light of our life.

keep up the great work. waiting for your next column.

-- Posted by bobbysue on Fri, Aug 10, 2012, at 7:25 PM

Your message usually triggers a memory moment for me so I was not surprised when your latest blog created a surge of memory moments for me. Thanks for another well-written message.

-- Posted by TNMom2 on Fri, Jul 27, 2012, at 10:42 PM

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Kathleen's Korner
Kathleen Dover
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Kathleen is a resident of Dexter. She was born in Indiana, but her parents moved their family back to the Dexter area when she was three. Other than three years she and her husband, Collin, lived in St. Charles, Mo. and ten years in Birmingham, Alabama, she has spent her life in Dexter. As you can tell, Kathleen is a people person and believes in giving credit to whom credit is due. Thus, the reason for her hero/heroine column every other week in Kathleen's Korner. As you can tell, she also like to have fun, most of the time at her own expense. Kathleen (Grubbs) is a 1964 graduate of Dexter High School and invites her friends to her "Korner."
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