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Fun-loving Sheba waits at Rainbow Bridge

Sheba was soft to the touch.

With a distinguishing black left eye patch, she was beautiful, so very beautiful.

She was small with short, little legs. A low-rider.

I always enjoyed watching her run outside and her interaction with the cats, who were actually taller than her.

She was very sociable, and allowed children — and anyone for that matter — to pet her.

The cats and sister Chihuahua Shadow (Dow, as I called her) loved her. The younger ‘Dow, without the eye patch, and often “kissed” or licked Sheba in the eye area — and Sheba never protested.

Sheba had a few nicknames. She was also addressed Shebee, Sheber, Sheeb, Love, and Butterball — and even the Queen of Sheba.

Sheba was always there — and now she’s not.

She’s at Rainbow Bridge, now.

Sheba had had some health issues, was taking meds, and visited a local vet on several occasions.

On Friday, she was having difficulty breathing, and my wife and I took her to the vet. The vet and her staff gave her oxygen, and that seemed to comfort her. But there’s really no cure for chronic pulmonary disease.

Usually, I cover basketball games on Friday night. But last Friday, it was my day off. Early in the evening, I was holding Sheeb when she had what appeared to be a seizure. But something else was going on instead.

The expression in her eyes seemed to say, “But I don’t want to go.”

As Sheeb’s body went limp, I cried out for a miracle.

Later, my wife would say that the miracle was that I was home that evening with Sheeb. I could’ve been at a game, and my wife would’ve been all alone.

In any event, we were both devastated.

My mind drifted back to earlier in the day. I was sitting on the sofa, playing guitar, and about mid-morning, Sheeb sat on one side of me and ‘Dow on the other. They were like bookends as I sang to them.

“The girls” as I called them were my biggest fans.

I played their song “Cute,” which I always dedicated to them: “You’ve so very cute/My lap is your throne/You’re so, so astute/My house is your home.”

Last March, my son filmed me and the girls on the sofa — and the song. It can currently be viewed on Facebook and YouTube.

Sheeb figures prominently in the footage. ‘Dow’s there, but the guitar blocks her out a little bit.

The following morning Saturday, ‘Dow went over to Sheeb’s pet bed and lifted a blanket with her nose. She was looking for her sister.

‘Dow looked puzzled. She then settled in her own pet bed.

I have to believe she, like myself and wife, miss Sheeb terribly.

The two Chihuahuas were a dynamic duo who always greeted us with wagging tails when we arrived home.

Writing this piece has been kind of cathartic for me.

Sheeb is in another place, now.

But she’ll always be on my mind and in my heart — forever.

Ron Johnston can be reached at rjohnston@mariettatimes.com

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