A true story by Marcia Kardatzke
Well, tis the season so to speak so I thought I would share a Christmas story. It's a true story. I know it's a true story because it happened to me. The year was 1991.
Bitsy the Boston, besides doing conformation and obedience, did pet therapy work at the local nursing home.
I would bring my then young golden retriever Robbie and my Boston Terrier Bitsy.
I had decided to breed Bitsy to a local Ch. My husband my husband of 20 years left me with two kids and no money two years before, but I was determined to go on with life.
It was a pretty scary time but I continued to do therapy work with the dogs. No matter how bad it was for me..those people were certainly much worse off.
When the litter was born, I kept a lovely young male and named him Windex.
I love interesting names and I said, hey.Windex is going to clean up in the ring when he grows up.
Really... for a lark ....when he was about 8 weeks old, I decided to drag him down to the nursing home. It was a very cold wintery night. Snowing like crazy and I was tired and almost decided not to go.. But I went anyway.
Mr. Social, that was Windex. He loved everyone but he was a very wiggly busy boy and difficult to hang on to.
Half way through our visit, one of the nurses brought this old woman in. Can't even remember her name for sure. Ellen maybe??
She sat there, like a lump in her wheelchair. Didn't talk, didn't move, nothing. Like a zombie.
I asked the nurse and she said she had had a stroke and some other "issues" and had not moved or spoken for the THREE MONTHS she had been there.
They had not brought this woman out previously on our therapy visits. I guess they figured she was basically a vegetable and why bother (?)
Something... I don't know what... but something made me go over to her. No response, no blinking of the eye. Hello??? No one was at home apparently.
I put Windex, the wild man on her lap. Windex the Wildman who was jumping all over everyone else, EXCEPT when he was placed on her lap. He just sat there.
Weird I thought. He's probably frightened of her or can sense something's not right.
But..he didn't look frightened. He looked like he belonged there.
So....I took the old woman's hand and made her pet him. Gently gently I had her pet Windex. I kept talking to the woman as I made her stroke Windex.
Hi, My name is Marcia, I said and this is Windex. He is going to grown up to be a famous show dog. Did you ever have a dog? What was his name?
Of course she didn't answer but I kept on chattering on.
We kept this up, my chatter, her zombie look for oh..I don't know..ten minutes or so.
I thought this puppy , who is being soooooo good probably has to go potty.
So I reached over to remove him from the "zombie woman"
She REACHED OUT AND HELD ONTO HIM!!!!
Oh my Goodness I thought!!
Then the nurse, who's mouth was hanging open, said, "Ellen, Do you know who you're holding?"
"Windex", she said softly...." I'm holding Windex......"
And for the first time in 3 months, she moved and spoke..... All because of a little 8 week old wild man named Windex.
I have to say that we all had to dab out eyes more than a little bit over that amazing miracle.
I wish I could tell you that Windex went on to become a famous show dog... but... he didn't... I had no money for food, much less showing a dog...
So at Christmas time Windex went to live in a little Alaskan village with an elderly Eskimo woman who had just lost her Boston after 17 years and her husband after many more years.. She renamed him Bruce.
Things did not turn out like I thought they would. For Windex or me...
But I went on to marry a wonderful man that adores me and Windex went on to sleep in the bed of a lonely old Eskimo woman and give her comfort while she grieved.
Bitsy the Boston has been gone for 3 1/2 yrs now, Robbie the golden is 11 1/2, white faced and retired and I know I only have a few short years left with him...
And Windex? I mean Bruce??... I believe that he's earned a special place of honor at the Rainbow Bridge....
All because I decided on a lark to bring a wild wiggly 8 week old puppy to the nursing home.
One of these days I will have another Boston. Hopeful he/she WILL be a top winning show dog.
But all the ribbons in the world will not replace what Windex did that one cold winter night at a nursing home in Alaska.
" Windex... I'm holding Windex.."