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Who knew?

November 14, 2010

I’ve mentioned before that my childhood was not your average American childhood. My father came to the United States in the 70’s from Iran, and met my mother, while taking English classes at the high school to enter college. He literally knew zero english and to this day has a thick accent. My mother, grew up in a small town, lived in the country, and her mother was French and her father was Native American and Chief of his tribe. Not exactly the pair that you would think would end up together. Both lifestyles and backgrounds couldn’t be more different and they married and had 3 children. I am the oldest. Growing up, our home was a Middle Eastern home. We would visit my mother’s family frequently, but we were never around the actual culture of the tribe to know practices and languages and all of that history. I just knew my grandfather was Chief of the tribe and that mom had a huge family. She was the 8th out of 10 kids and when the whole family was together, there was over a hundred of us there, sisters, brothers, children, grandchildren…Funerals were when I usually got to see all of us. But for the most part, we just would drive up and visit for the day or sometimes stay the night and come back home. Its funny growing up how I wanted to have such a normal life. I wanted the television equivalent of normal. Not the rice and kabob eating, Farsi speaking, angry dad, and so I immersed myself with books. I found my normal and daydreamed and imagined what I wanted in life from reading. We were never allowed to have pets. Though,  I do remember a bird, as a child.  I was Maddox’s age, maybe 5, not 6. I hadn’t started kindergarten yet. My mother was finishing her semester at OSU and my father worked, and 35 years later, is still at Vance Air Force Base. I remember my parakeet’s name was Twinkletoes, and I loved that bird. I remember her wooden cage, and that smell I always associate with birds.  I can’t quite describe it, but every time I walk into a pet store, I smell it…I remember my mom and I letting her out and she would fly around the house and perch herself on the curtain rod and just sit until we told her to get back in her cage and then we would cover it and she would sleep. One day though, it was cold out and the house was cold. I can’t recall if we had left a window open or didn’t turn the heater on, but we came home and Twinkeltoes had gone to bird heaven. I was so sad and I don’t recall having another pet til I was in 6th grade. First, were a pair of turtles named Henry and Harry. I don’t remember what happened with them either, but they too, went to turtle heaven and I remember them being tiny enough to fit into a Jello gelatin box and we buried them in the flower beds where I used to play and make mud pies.  Shortly afterward, we did get another parakeet, named Haji, don’t ask who named it because it wasn’t me.  I think my mom thought if we gave it a Middle Eastern name my dad would accept it, but he didn’t. He wanted Haji gone. So my neighbor Joey took him for me. From then on there were no more pets, maybe a goldfish once or twice, but they were flushed away within a week. I just was not meant to have pets.

Fast forward 20 years…I am now married and have two children. Still have not had pets until this last year. We did buy the fish, but they didn’t last either…But Maddox wanted a dog. I wanted a little bitty dog, like a Maltese, that didn’t bark or bite or chew or stink. But I could not find one. I basically thought if we were ever to get a dog, and believe me this was not a thought that was frequently thought, it would have to be a dog that needed the least amount of attention and still not bark or bite or chew or stink.  My neighbors had that perfect dog, Gracie. Gracie always just laid on the floor and slept and would eat your leftovers or crumbs, but never barked or stunk or bit. If anything, she would get up and walk out of the room if my laugh was too loud for her sleeping ears, which my laugh is too loud for most non-sleeping ears so I could sympathize. I wanted Gracie, but the neighbors wouldn’t sell her.        

Sweet Gracie!


 So my mom calls one day, and says she bought Maddy a dog. I wont tell you the cuss words I thought, while I asked what kind and did it bite and stink..She said it was a chocolate lab and that it was a puppy and that labs are the best dogs for kids. So I tell Maddox that Grandma E. (that’s what they call her) bought him a dog and he was so excited and happy and thrilled that I couldn’t be my father and be mean and say,” no pets ever!”  Maddy named her Coco since we said she was a chocolate lab, but I decided to spell it like Coco Chanel, rather than the chocolate…   But I did say we would keep her on a probationary period and if she chewed our leather chairs or marble tables she was outta there. The day my mom brought her, Maddox waited at the window for her to show up.

Maddy said, "She's here!"


Cameron jumped in my mom's arms as soon as he saw the dog, Maddy jumped for joy!

 He was so happy that I will remember that happiness and excitement  for as long as I shall live. Cameron was almost two and didn’t understand what the excitement was. When my mom pulled into the driveway, Maddox ran outside before she even had her car in park. Coco was in the back of the SUV in the carrier and I am thinking puppy, ok? Out comes this dog bigger than Cameron, almost as big as Maddy. Cameron had run out to see Grandma E, because he is a grandma’s baby and worships her. However, when Coco leapt out of the back of her SUV, Cameron was immediately pissed.  Maddox was shrieking and laughing and trying to wrestle Coco and Cameron was clinging to my mom’s leg for dear life.  “I thought you said puppy” was what I said to my mom once we got inside. Apparently a 2-year-old lab is not miniature, like I thought. It was a DOG, like a big ol’ dog. Maddox chased her around the house and got her all hyped up and excited and jumpy, and Cameron was ducking and hiding, trying to stay as much out-of-the-way as possible.  He was scared of Coco.        

Cameron hiding behind the if Coco couldn't see him.


And I won’t lie, I was not a fan either. I wanted a lazy dog. Not a hyper dog, who ran so fast throughout the house the persian carpet in the entryway would literally be displaced.  I didn’t understand the basics of having a dog. I couldn’t understand why mom was so sad to leave her. We never had dogs growing up but she did growing up in the country and loved  it. I did try to bond to Coco as much as I could. But it was more heartfelt than anything else. A year later I still call Coco a  “he” or “she” or “it” or”damn Coco” or “labretard”.  I wanted her to be girly. I bought her a pink rhinestoney collar, which she lost in the pond on her many escapes. Three pink collars later, you can’t tell she is a girl. I thought of painting her nails pink but Ryan did not approve.  That dog can piss me off quick though. She loves to escape to the pond across the street from our house and come back wet and smelly but happy and tramp dirty paw marks all over the tile and carpet on her way back to the backyard.  She chewed my favorite yellow Juicy Couture hat, that was new by the way. She ate a lot of crotches out my panties, which grossed me out but not as much as it grossed me out that she would dig and eat a dirty diaper of Cameron’s out of the trash can. She ate most of the plastic toys in the backyard, and even ate the foam butt of a Halloween costume that was leftover from a party we had. She tore that foam butt up all over the backyard and so there I was the next morning, picking up pieces of butt cheeks littered all over the place. But Maddy loved her, Ryan loved her, and Cameron eventually came around to petting her and throwing her a ball to catch.  She’s a good dog for the most part. We keep her in the backyard because I am gone all day and don’t want to come home to a house littered with Cameron’s poopy diapers all over, and if its rainy or cold, I usually stick her in the garage after a thorough sweep of cleaning.  But then I would always forget and open the garage door when I got home and ZOOOOM, she would race out to the pond…

Cameron was sad to say his final “nite, nite” to coco…

Fast forward to yesterday. My mom comes into town, and forgets Coco’s love  for escape. As soon as she opens the backdoor, Coco zooms out into the garage and out the garage into the dark. I arrive a few minutes later and my mom is unpacking her car. and says, “Coco just ran off…” I tell her she will return, she always does and 20 minutes, after returning from Casey’s with pizza, Ryan and I see her waiting by the garage door. But once we got her into the garage door, we could tell something was wrong. She walked slow, she wasn’t hyper and happy to see us and then we saw the blood. She had a bloody nose and her eye was swollen. My mom runs and grabs a cloth and cleans her up and Coco seems off. She is not crying or whimpering but she isn’t Coco either….This morning, she is a little better. She walks slowly, her eyes are bloodshot, and she is lazy. Just like what I always wanted in a dog. She just simply laid on the carpet and didn’t move. This is not our Coco, as much as I wanted Coco to be that type of dog, I wasn’t comfortable with this new lazy Coco because I knew she was hurt. Now mind you, I am not a dog person. I never sit down and ask Coco to come over so I can pet her. She usually just attacks me and jumps all over me while I scream, “No Coco! No!”.  This phrase is used so much that Cameron even says it when Coco jumps at the backdoor or barks. But this morning, I sat in the kitchen chair and said, “Coco, what happened?” and she slowly walked over to me and placed her paw in my hand and held my hand. This is the first time she has ever done that and my heart ached. I reached forward with my other hand and massaged her head and rubbed her neck and asked her if she was ok and she placed her face in my lap. I felt so bad for her, because she was so sweet and somber and I was already late for work, but I stayed a little longer and held her hand. My mom then mentioned that my brother wanted Coco if we didn’t want her. I told her it was not a matter of not wanting, it was a matter of us not being there and playing with her. But I knew that my mom loved Coco and if my brother took Coco, my mom would see Coco a lot and be there for her. After coming to work, I found my thoughts kept returning to Coco. I couldn’t believe I was sad that she would be leaving. I’m not a huge fan of Coco, I’ll be the first to say. But I don’t want her to be harmed or hurt, and I don’t want just anyone taking her. I called Ryan to see if he was ok with Coco going back with my mom and he said it was ok. When I asked if he would be sad, he said, “not really” and I got upset. “Why not?” I asked, “He’s your dog! You love dogs.” Ryan still cries when he tells the story of his Butterscotch dog and how she died. So who knew I would be sad and attached to a dog?  The girl who never had a dog growing up, who hated going to friends’ houses that had dogs, because I had to act like I liked dogs, but they all knew I hated it. I will miss Coco, but will be happy that she will be getting the attention she deserves and the affection and the love…Will we get another dog? Probably not. At least not until the boys are older and can play and walk and feed the dog themselves. But there will never another Coco…

Maddy will miss her most!


6 Comments leave one →
  1. Annie permalink
    November 14, 2010 11:23 PM

    Why don’t you just rip my heart out and piss on it. Too sad, Har. Too sad for Monday night. Oh Coco. She will enjoy herself wherever she is. She is a wild heart and full of love and I understand your need for her to be safe. And while Gracie will forever be my homegirl, I’ve got an overfluffed poodle here, who would be perfect for your house. You can call him anything you want. He answers mostly to, “you crazy little bastard”. Of course, if you take Beau, you have to take Bradley, too. This could be a sweet deal for me, Har. SWEEEET! hahahahaha

    Very sweetly told, bittersweetly, I guess …

    bye bye Coco girl ~ I know you’ll be missed 🙂

    love you


  2. November 15, 2010 4:04 AM

    I didn’t mean for it to sound so sad, but who knew I would miss that dog? 😦


  3. Annie permalink
    November 15, 2010 6:12 AM

    Surely, I did not. Seriously.

    But you didn’t answer about the poodle …


    • November 15, 2010 7:38 AM

      My lack of an answer was my answer! I want Gracie! But I will tell you, I am sad that she is leaving today. I almost want to say, nope, she’s staying …but my mom said last night how happy she was to be able to see her again. I think my mom will be the one to keep her to be honest…and I think Coco knows she’s leaving because she seems sad too…It was sad to see Cameron hug and kiss her because cameron didn’t like her for a long time! I wish I could hold her hand a little more though. that was so sweet.


      • Annie permalink
        November 15, 2010 1:42 PM

        I think that (the hand holding) was the thing that ripped off a little piece of my heart. ❤ xoxo


  4. steph permalink
    November 15, 2010 8:13 PM

    aarrgghh how can u do it? I know you didn’t like her but man!!(this coming from a major dog lover) She won’t get to swim in enid!!! huh well i guess she will be well cared for by your mom so that makes it better. I told you you ended up with the wrong breed for laying around. We will miss coco!! Hope your kids are ok with it. I just shed a tear or 10


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