Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Elena and Gabrielle

This photo of my daughter Elena was taken when she first got her new puppy. It was love at first sight for both of them. Elena's favorite teacher at school, actually the day care center at what was then Dade County Junior College, was named Gabrielle. Elena insisted on naming the puppy after her. I think that we got the puppy from the pound, but in those days they didn't automaticaly "fix" every dog that left their establishment. For a couple of years they were inseperable. Gabrielle couldn't wait for Elena to come home every evening. She seemed so happy to greet her and then they'd go out in the yard to play together. Some days Elena would walk her around the block on a leash. They slept together at night. Elena fed her and changed her water every day, and once a week or so gave Gabrielle a bath. She held and comforted her when the vet examined her and gave her her shots. Our yard is surrounded by a four foot high chain link fence and Gabrielle couldn't climb over it. She looks small here together with a three year old girl, but really, she never got all that much bigger. Another dog must have jumped the fence, though, because Gabrielle got pregnant the second or third time she came into heat. She got quite heavy, with a full sagging belly and ate double what she'd normally eaten. She started to give birth when she was home alone during the day. She must have been impregnated by a much larger dog. When we got home poor little Gabrielle was dead. Her single large puppy was only half out of her, and he was dead also. Elena was heartbroken. We buried Gabrielle and the puppy in the garden. Elena will soon turn 35 and is a tax attorney in Atlanta.

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