Woofy’s Story

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

The story of a little stuffed dog watching the decline from dementia and how it affects his people.

The little stuffed dog sat proudly in his coffee mug. It was Valentine’s Day and he knew the lady who bought him had a special someone in mind to give him to. They has two real dogs and I had seen how much she loved them so I knew the person she was going to give me to, probably loved dogs as well. We got in her car and rode for a little while then she stopped, picked up the decorated bag she had placed me in and we went into a building then to a room where a man sat staring at the wall. She handed the bag to him and he pulled me out still in my coffee mug.

He looked at me and my mug then handed it back to her. I could see she was hurt but she hid it from him as she placed me on a refrigerator top sitting on a table along the wall to join other items. I could see all the items had come from her heart that was breaking right now. Did this happen with every one of us? Did she bring all of them to give to him then suffer heartbreak as he ignored each and every one? As I asked that question I didn’t realize I had voiced it out loud until I heard each of them try to answer me at once. I asked them to speak one at a time and tell me their story. The vase containing patriotic roses decorated like the American Flag and other patriotic flag symbols spoke first.

“I was given to him first because both of them love our country very much. She wanted to give him some flowers but knew they would die because he no longer remembered to take care of them.  He has a disease called dementia and cannot remember even who she is sometimes. We all were gifts from her. Some of us were appreciated for a short time and others were not. He doesn’t mean to cause her such pain but he can’t help it because his disease is slowly stealing his memory. We sit here as a reminder of how much she loves him and as a symbol of her hope he will remember her more often and longer than he has been. “

Each memento told their story in turn and they were all the same. One piece was made up of pieces from a card she had given to him that had been painstakingly cut and shaped then glued to styrofoam so it formed a stand alone reminder of their love. There were other small stuffed animals – each a reminder of something from their past that only she remembered now. There was a huge greeting card shaped like a Chihuahua she had given him on another Valentine’s Day. It told him she had a Chihuahua that looks like the one it represents and both of them love. She sometimes brought Bear to see him so he still remembers Bear most of the time. The Flag hanging on his door said she gave it to him because he still loved patriotic things and by hanging it on the door it made his room easier to find. Finally the gifts and reminders had all told their stories and silence descended in the room.

The little stuffed dog was sad he could not give the love he represented to the sick man. The woman hid her tears well but he could see her sorrow. He vowed to be his best and do his best to let the man know how much he was loved. As days and weeks passed, the man continued to remember less and less but the woman did all she could to help him remember their lives together. Some days he returned the love while other days he forgot who she was. She always held his hand and sometimes they sat on the bed and she cuddled her head to his shoulder. I could feel how much that helped her and gave her strength to go on. During the times she wasn’t there he mostly sat and stared at the wall or out the window. Sometimes he would come to us and touch one of us but always we could feel the emptiness the disease was creating.  Other times he would touch us and we would feel the slight glimmer of a memory and we were happy to be able to give him even that spark.

Suddenly we were all taken down and placed in boxes with other objects from the room. The discussion between the man and the woman sounded like he was making decisions on what he wanted and what he did not want. Our group was split up between two boxes. We felt our box being moved but we were closed in with some clothes on top of us and none of us could see what was happening. We felt the movement of a vehicle and knew it was the ladies car because of the radio station she always listened to. We felt the car stop and heard her get out. After a while we were lifted out of the car and we knew we were being carried somewhere. We all wondered where we were going but none of us could see out of the top with the clothes lying on top of us. The movement stopped and daylight once again entered our world.

We were in a strange room but we could see his belongings were here so we knew we were still with the man and the woman. There was a lot of bustling around putting things in their proper place. Eventually everything was put away and we were positioned on a different kind of table with wheels. As we looked around we saw there was no longer a refrigerator in the room and some of the items we had shared the previous room with were gone. We missed those pieces that were no longer with us, especially the one made out of a card and stryofoam.  It had so many wonderful stories to tell us of why and how she had created it just for him and how much it was loved for a while after he received it. It also told us that she was completely alone with no family or friends to help her. I wanted to be able to tell her I was there for her and would be glad to be her friend, but all I could do was hope she sensed some of my love.

Life became sadder all the time now. The woman faithfully visited him and stood up to the facilities when they did not take proper care of him. He declined almost by the day. He was now unable to walk and sat in a wheelchair all day. We could just barely see where they placed him in the hall just outside of the room most days but we could hear her as she came to visit. She tried very hard to act as if everything was normal but we could hear the sadness increasing with each visit. She loved him so much you could hear it in everything she said and see it in everything she did for him. The day came when they did not put him in the wheelchair. He stayed in bed all the time. She came every day and sat by his bed while telling him how much she loved him but he did not respond at all now. He no longer responded to her or the staff. He did not move. He did not open his eyes and did not utter a sound. He would not eat or drink. The last day she came to visit, she sat by his bed all day and cried while holding his unresponsive hand. As she prepared to leave I saw her lean over and kiss his cheek then tell him she gave him permission to leave her. She knew she would never see him alive again as she walked out of the room.

The next morning she came back, She had been right yesterday. He had given up his battle and dementia had finally claimed him. She briefly gazed on his still body. She told him she could see his passing had been peaceful because it showed in his face and she was happy his battle was over. Then she went to sit in the only chair in the room. She realized the chair she had bought for him was gone but it didn’t matter now. Some of the staff had packed up his belonging so she selected some of us to take home with her. I was one of them and the vase was too. We waited silently in her car while she sat and mourned without us. We heard from a couple of pieces in her purse that she sat quietly trying not to cry until the mortuary finally came for him. She gave him one final kiss before they took him away and stood in the doorway watching until they were out of sight. All she wanted to do now was go home but the staff had all lined up to give her a hug and their condolences. She felt trapped and wished they would just leave her alone but she endured until the last one let go of her. She told them goodbye and walked out. When she got home she took us into the trailer. The vase and the flag were positioned in the living room but she said it hurt too much to look at me so I went into the back of a cupboard still in my mug.

Yesterday she took me out and gave me a hug. From the day she bought me she had called me Woofy because my mug says I woof you. She told me her precious Bear had gone to the Rainbow Bridge earlier this year so she had two major losses in a few months time. She needs me now so I sit beside her computer and she occasionally picks me up and hugs me. I see her tears running down her face and feel the heartbreak she endures. I wish I was flesh and blood so I could help her heal but I will continue to do my best to let her know I am here for her when no one else is. 


Submitted: December 11, 2020

© Copyright 2021 scarletscribe. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Lea Rachel

I finally read this through, it was hard to read. I watched my husband slowly fade from my life the year before he died of cancer. And as funny as it is.. He bought me a stuffed dog to remember him by... He is my favorite stuffed animal..... So sorry for your loss.

Tue, January 19th, 2021 3:36am

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Reply

Thank you for reviewing Woffy's Story. Watching your loved one slowly die is terribly difficult. I watched mine die piece by piece for 8 years that I was aware of his disease but there were 8 years before that when I was not aware of his disease just that he was not the same person I married. The happy part of the story is that our love never died through it all and seeing the peace on his face the day he died brought me happiness.

Tue, January 19th, 2021 9:37am

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