I’ve always been resistant to it (change, that is)…suppose that’s just human nature. Label me average.

One of the biggest changes of my life so far is coming up and I approach it mixed emotions. I’m beginning a new chapter of my life in Europe. It will hopefully involve grad school, but that remains to be seen…applications and letters and are on their way! Send good vibes my way!

but…mixed emotions is a bit of an understatement.

I’m very sad to leave the area I grew up, the area I’ve called home for so much of my life. I’m sad to leave the friends who’ve been by my side for so long, through thick and thin. I’m sad to leave my sister, who I’ve always held in such high regard and have always been so close to. I’m sad to leave my baby nephew, Frazier, whom it is quite possible that I love more than I ever thought humanly possible. My grandparents, my aunt and uncle, my cousins, my professors…the list goes on and on really.

However I’m happy about so many things too. I’m actually happy for the change. I feel I’ve gotten too used to and comfortable in this area. The workers in Starbucks know my name and order by heart, I know almost all the waiters’ names at El Jarrito, and I can’t go a single place in town without seeing someone I know or someone who knows me (there’s a difference!). I can’t say I haven’t enjoyed this and so much more about being me in a small town – but it is time for a change. I’m happy about that. I’m also happy to move closer to my parents, who are currently located in Europe. I’m happy to meet new people and make new friends. I’m happy to start at a new school and learn new material. So many places to explore that I’ve never been before! Definitely a once in a lifetime experience and I plan on living it to the fullest.

One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do was give away my dog. and that is the main point of this blog post…

Over two years ago my parents moved to TX for my father’s job. Since they were leaving, they left me their house all to myself. At first I was leary – a large house all to myself…it was a little lonely. So I adopted a friend. I remember when I (and my friends Brittany and Clay) went to all the animal shelters searching for the perfect dog, I also remember sitting in the living room and choosing names before I’d even found one! I wanted something French, but something everyone could say. “Merlot” was the verdict – french enough and a common word that people wouldn’t botch easily. (although my vet had her in the computer as “merlo”!!!) Now that I had the name, I needed a dog to match.

We ended up finding her the Ouachita Animal Shelter in West Monroe – the guy at the desk tried so hard to talk me into adopting one of the puppies inside, telling me how the ones outside couldn’t be guaranteed disease free or healthy. He also didn’t fail to mention that they took shits in their cages and were merely washed off every evening with a water hose – hence the reason he couldn’t guarantee their health! Regardless, I remember walking through the cages and I saw the-dog-that-would-become-merlot in a cage with 3 other dogs about her size and age. She was the prettiest one, also the shyest one. She had only been there a few days and was found in a pack consisting of her and those 3 other dogs. I got to hold her. And as soon as I saw her eyes, as cheesy as it may sound, I knew that was “Merlot.” I was so convinced that she was the perfect “Merlot” that I knew if I didn’t get her I was going to have to pick another name for some other dog! Because that WAS Merlot. So I told the man I wanted her. He informed that he had to keep her for a whole week before he could adopt her out, this way owners have 1 week to check shelters, etc to find any lost dogs. Merlot didn’t have a collar and she certainly hadn’t been part of a loving family, so I counted down the days until I could go get her. I actually made mom take that morning off , I believe it was a thursday for some reason, so she could drive me up there at 7am when they opened so I could be sure to get her. We filled out the paper work and I remember wrapping her in towels because it had been raining.

Holding her is one of my greatest memories, such a great feeling. I now had a dog, her name was Merlot, and she was mine.

I didn’t even know her personality, but I knew it would be great, and I loved her already.

And the past two+ years I did. I loved her so much – she was always excited to see me when I got home. Even if she wouldn’t get off the couch to greet me, she’d stare at me with one foot in the air and wag her tail as if to say “yeah, you know you wanna scratch my tummy!” She never thought I looked fat in any of my clothes and knew just what to say when I was upset. She’s smart, too. She learned quickly that “wanna go outside?!” was quickly followed by two openings of the door then a treat – she definitely used this to her advantage…no dog needs to pee THAT much and certainly can’t do it THAT fast. haha. At night she would watch me walk around the house and turn off all the lights and lock the doors waiting for me to say “bedtime?!” in which case she’d jump off the couch and run to my bed at full speed, jump on, turn around, wag her tail, and watch me as I’d walk in, close the door, lock it, and give her a goodnight kiss and tummy rub. Then it was lights off.

Merlot may not be very good with new people, but she is the most noble and loyal dog I’ve ever known. When I was in my office, she was, too. If I was in my room, she was on the bed with me. If I was in the living room, she was in her leather chair.

For over 2 years Merlot was my most faithful companion, and other than my family or my best friend, Hannah, Merlot has been longest relationship to date! haha! But as I mentioned, Merlot doesn’t do well with new people and she wasn’t very fond of cold weather, either. In other words, Merlot is not meant to be a European…so, in her best interest and to my heartache, I gave Merlot to one of my great friends, Cynthia. Merlot and Cynthia bonded quite fast and Cynthia loved coming to see her and Merlot enjoyed the company as well. That’s not something I can say about many people in regards to Merlot’s enjoyment of their company! So Cynthia was an obvious choice, and from the stories I’ve been told and have read, Cynthia is being a wonderful mother.

I will never forget Merlot, it’s not possible, no matter how many dogs I have in the future…I have a great memory for perfect things…

Like right now…Merlot would be curled up next to me because she would know that I’m sad (not that the barrage of tears on my pillow wouldn’t be a great indicator)…and she would know that the mere look in her eyes would make me feel so much better.

So, to my Bebe Guhl:

photo photo-1 photo-2 photo-3 photo-4 photo-5 photo-6 photo-7 photo-8 photo-9 photo-10 photo-11 photo-12 photo-13 photo-14 photo-15 photo-16 photo-17 photo-18 photo-19 photo-20 photo-21 photo-22 photo-23 photo-24 photo-25 photo-26 photo-27 photo-28

– Ross


  • Comment by Amy Thibodeaux — May 19, 2010 @ 00:07

    SOO sweet made me cry a little…such a sap for a sweet dog story:) Wish you all the best in Europe you’ll fit right in!!

  • Comment by Mom — May 19, 2010 @ 01:36

    Oh Merlot. What a sweet, sweet dog. Thank you, Cynthia. Thank you.

  • Comment by Aunt MA — May 19, 2010 @ 08:42

    Ross–you have me boo-hooing like a baby!!! I loved Merlot and only met her twice:))

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