Hello everyone, I apologise for my prolonged absence from SIN but I recently have been going through a bit of a tough time. Final year deadlines are crushing my spirit and on top of all of that my beautiful, best friend and dog has been very sick recently. This diary will be a tribute to my beloved best friend, Sheeba. Now, Sheeba is a 13 year old collie pointer cross and one of the great loves of my life and today I will be giving you a quick run-down of her life with myself and my family.
The day that we went to get Sheeba and welcomed her into our home will be forever etched in my mind. I don’t know what month it was or what the weather was like. All I know is that it was a Sunday morning, I was around 8 or 9 years old and my mum and dad had been out the night before. I had been pestering my dad to get us a puppy for ages. I remember one of my favourite things to do with dad was to go for a spin to the nearest petrol station and run into the shop to get The Dealer, a free magazine version of DoneDeal.ie. We would comb The Dealer for any sign of a dog that would be free to a good home. On this particular occasion my dad may have had a few too many pints the night before and was just a tad hung over when I started pestering him about puppies. And it seems that my pestering worked that day. Soon enough I was dressed up in my good dress (I had to make a good first impression on our new dog) and myself and my sister were loaded into the car. My dad drove us to Roscommon that day to pick out our very own dog. Roscommon is a 2 hour drive each way and it was a miracle that he even agreed in the first place.
When we got to the house we saw a litter of 8, 10 week old collie pointer cross puppies. We fell instantly in love with this one puppy, she was so gentle, loving and playful and her markings made her look like she was wearing little white socks. We knew we had to have her and she was ours. On our way home with our brand new puppy came the big decision, what do we name her? We went through all of the basic stuff like Milly and Spot and Poppy and Bella but nothing seemed to fit until out of nowhere dad said “I think we should call her Sheeba”. I don’t know why that is the name we chose for our gorgeous new addition to the family but it stuck and with that we had Sheeba Connor.
She has been the best dog anyone could ask for, in fairness we got off to a rocky start when she puked all over my good dress in the back seat of the car when we first collected her and proceeded to eat her own vomit off of me, but I did not let that isolated incident dampen our relationship. I remember her first night I tried to sleep downstairs with her so she wouldn’t be so lonely but mum and dad wouldn’t let me sleep in her dog bed. She was a wild puppy, always going off on adventures or trying to eat the shorts off of one of our neighbours running up the road. If she wasn’t following me to school, she was following some stranger into town and trying to go into Penneys for a look, or breaking her leg and wandering around our neighbourhood wearing the cone of shame with her cast on and my sisters pink welly on it to keep from getting wet.
As the years went by Sheeba’s name developed into something quite spectacular, please do not judge, and her official title transformed into Sherbert Nanoo Rospot Dog or Sheeba for short. She has become queen of our house. Always there to cuddle me when I’m feeling down, so needy for cuddles herself that she will in fact hit you until you pet her. My favourite part of going home at the weekend is sitting down on the couch with my family to watch tv and Sheeba comes in and does a whole loop of the room until all of us have given her sufficient pets. She then makes her way to her favourite spot on the carpet and proceeds to plonk herself there for the rest of the night. She really is spectacular.
Over lockdown it became increasingly obvious however that the years have not been kind to our lovely dog. She has arthritis and has been diagnosed with a form of cancer on her head but sadly due to her age we cannot have the tumour removed as she wouldn’t survive the operation. She recently had a stroke and is a little lopsided now having recovered. She is not a very healthy dog anymore but by god a happy one. I have never met a happier dog in my lifetime. She is so content at home surrounded by people she loves and who love her so much, there is nothing quite like the love shared between a human and their dog. She is a massive part of our family and one that I will sorely miss when the time does eventually come that she will have to leave us. Until that day comes my lovely baby Sheeba will get as many cuddles as humanly possible, and given the odd slice or three of ham as a treat. Sheeba has followed me to two different schools, walked the length and breadth of Ballina with total strangers and always been up for a good old cuddle. Sheeba has led a fabulous life and I am so happy to have been part of it. However long more we have her for, I will have these memories and photos to look back on and I am so grateful for that.
Stay frosty x