Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pets Get Buried Too!

I was talking to my dad today about my visit to my Grandpa in the summer of 2003. It was really the only time that I met my Grandpa (well...at least that I can remember. I met him a bunch of times when I was a baby and a toddler).

While I was out there visiting my grandpa in Elizabethton, Tennessee, I learned a lot about my family. One of the things I didn't expect to learn about was my Grandpa's love for his old dog, Jennifer (My little cousin was named Jennifer also...yet he never had a dog named Elyse! Well...that's a story for another time).

So as I am walking around his gigantic backyard (literally...HUGE) and looking at the gardens and trees, I noticed a big gravestone underneath a willow tree. So I approached it and began reading it: Jennifer - Beloved Dog and Loyal Friend. Now mind you - this was a beautiful gravestone with a small dog bone etched on the top corners and it looked like it was made of a beautiful granite.

In the middle of my admiring the stone, I was stung in the thumb area of my hand by a big gigantic bee (Did I mention I am terrified of bees?). I instantly started screaming and shaking my hand - but the bee remained stuck. So as I am running at top speed back to the house, screaming at the top of my lungs, no one even notices me until I get inside. I get inside, still screaming as loud as I can. My Aunt Deb (who took me to Tennessee) is the first to see me and as I put my hand up for her to see - she starts screaming also. My cousin Jen (who also came to Tennessee with me) walks in the room and starts screaming also. My Grandpa finally comes limping into the kitchen, grabs a paper towel, and pulls the bee right off of my hand.

I still remember it clear as day as he patted me on the shoulder and gave me a smile before turning to put the paper towel in the trash. My Aunt Deb began freaking out because there wasn't any neosporin in the house...so my Grandpa took me into his room and poured a small shot of whiskey over my sting. (Oh...and did that one hurt!)

As we began talking about how I got the bee sting in the first place, he began telling me stories about this wonderful dog Jennifer. As he told them, his face truly lit up in a way that very few ever saw. I really felt like I connected with him over the stories he told....

Which brings me to my point - pet cemeteries are important too. The fact that my Grandpa was willing to bury his beloved dog who had spent so much time with him after my his wife died - it really showed how much of an impact that Jennifer was to my Grandpa.

1 comment:

Terry Thornton said...

ELYSE,

What a loving story about your grandfather and about your memories of him, his dog Jennifer, and about your experience. Thanks for writing this wonderful family recollection.

Terry Thornton
Fulton, Mississippi USA