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DaCruzNut

In Memory of Pugsley

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As hurricane Frances aims her beady little eye at South Florida, I am preparing, like the rest of us, for the worst! We have learned to look ahead, and plan for, almost, any contingency.

Nevertheless, I can’t help but think back, at this time, to the not-so-distant past.

The storm was supposed to pass well north of us, and the expectation was that we would get tropical force winds, but not the full force of this massive hurricane… However, living in South Florida, we prepared for the worst; flashlights, batteries, portable radio, water, canned goods, and all the necessities. Plants, patio furniture and anything that the wind could pick up and toss, were safely tucked in the garage. We were as ready as we could get.

My son, Gary, drove over from his apartment, a few miles away, and we got ready for the worst, not really expecting it.

A little after midnight, the rain started and the wind began to pick up. The meteorologist on the local television station announced that the stiorm had not turned north, as originally forecast, but was headed straight for us. The date was August 24, 1992 , and we were directly in the path of Hurricane Andrew.

We gathered, huddled together, in the living room, and Pugsley, my 14-year old “cocker-poo†was shivering on my lap. His little heart was pounding, like a motor, inside his tiny chest. Pugsley did not like storms, and this was one that he had never expected to encounter in his little life.

The storm-noise increased to the point that it became a constant roar. Many people liken it to the roar of a passing train, which I cannot disagree with. However, it sounded as if I was lying on the tracks.

The wind picked up and the rain fell ever harder. Soon, the rain wasn’t falling down, but sideways, from east to west. The worst was about to happen….

One of the attractions of the house, when I purchased it ten years prior, was a small “forest†of fifteen Dade County Pines. Sixty to eighty feet high, and a diameter of four to six feet, these beauties were comprised of a wood that is so dense, and so heavy, that it is impervious to termites. Each branch could comprise a tree of its own.

About an hour into the storm, the first tree came crashing through the roof and into the bedroom. Unfortunately, I was on my way to the bathroom, just past the bedroom, when this happened and the tree missed me by about eight feet.

Once the first tree came through the roof, it created a wind force within the house, and most of the windows blew out.

The second tree fell into the living room, as we scurried into the family room. It was toward the west side of the house, furthest from the “forest.†Alas, this was to be to no avail, since numbers four and five came through the family room ceiling.

I tried to be the voice of calm and reason, and kept saying that, as long as we were OK, everything else could be replaced. I had given Allstate my money for many years, and, now, it was time for them to fulfill their part of the bargain. Yes, we would rebuild, better than ever. As long as we’re all OK………..

The only one I couldn’t console was poor little Pugsley. Dogs don’t have a real sense of time, and, about three hours into the storm, Pugsley probably thought that it would never end; this is the way it’s going to be, forever. It was too much for his little heart to take, and he, suddenly, was no longer shaking. He had found his answer to getting away from the storm, eternally.

At this point, I “lost it,†and , Andrew raging around me, ran into the yard through what had, previously, been the sliding glass doors. Pugsley in my arms, I cried out to G-d, telling him that it just wasn’t fair! He could have my house, my car, all my possessions, but not Pugsley.

My son had to run after me and, literally, drag me back into the house.

At dawn, after the storm had passed, a survey of the losses revealed that little, or nothing, was left. The walls of the house were standing, but with no roof or windows. Of course, most of the items inside were lost, also. Thankfully, I had put the irreplaceable things in the garage, which suffered little damage, and I had all the photographs, home movies, videos, and bits and pieces of life that cannot be replaced.

There had been a large mango tree in the yard, that Pugsley always lied under, for shade. It was his special place. The tree was lying on the ground, filling a quarter of the yard, with a large hole, where its roots had been.

I couldn’t leave for the first three days, as the roads were totally impassable. I had no electricity and no telephone, and my only link to the outside was a 2 ½†battery operated TV.

As soon as the roads were passable, I got into the car and drove, about 60 miles, to northern Broward County, where I found the first plant nursery open following the storm.

I purchased a 5-gallon Hayden mango tree, put it in the car and drove home. There, I placed little Pugsley in the hole where his tree had stood, and planted the new tree over him. Now, he could lie, peacefully, under his mango tree, eternally.

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Jeff - a heartfelt story. I am an animal nut myself- I think I prefer them to people most of the time. They gladden our hearts and offer their sympathy when we need it. We have lost several but I maintain everything must me in twos - so we head on down to the shelter and start all over again - with a new little face, four new paws and new licks and cuddles. The old ones always remain in our heart though. Take care and keep us posted - TTFN Jennifer

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hazelson-

What is making my anxiety even more pronounced is Marley, my little Terri-Poo.

I waited two years after Andrew, to 'replace' Pugsley. I returned to Adopt-a-Pet, a local 'no-kill' shelter, where Marley adopted me. While filling out the paperwork, I asked the attendant if she had any idea how old marley was. She looked at the papers and said, "Well, I don't have an exact date, but it says 'August, 1992.' "

So, mnarley, born about the time I lost Pugsley, is twelve years old, has cataracts, is a little hard of hearing, and is, generally, getting "old." He, like Pugsley, is deathly afraid of thunderstorms........

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Jeff,

I feel for you and Marley, I hope everything turns out ok. It is a very heart wrenching thing to lose a pet. We have 4 cats my favorite ( if you can have one) is bugger (we affectionately call her) her real name is cookiepuss. We took her mom in as a stray and did not know she was pregnant at the time. She gave birth to 4 beautiful long haired kittens. ( she herself is a very petite tabby cat). Bugger was the third to be born and mom was getting tired ,I had to help her birth this one and tie and cut the cord , Mom was just too exhausted. So this is my special bond. I have a touch lamp on my nightstand, when she hears the radio alarm go off she will go over to it and poke it with her nose till it comes on, because she knows it is breakfast time. I f sheis really hungry she sometimes puts the light on before the radio goes off. We then promptly tell her it is too early, usuially she will turn it off again. She also loves to nibble fingertips and ears and lick your hair if you don't get up quick enough. Two of her sisters went to my boss at the time. Two we decided to keep. Someone had a differen t plan tho. One morning as I was coming down the hall to feed them all , they were about 10 weeks old at the time, my buggers sister decided to play a deadly came of chicken with my feet. I saw her coming and tried to redirect my already in motion foot but to no avail. My big size 9 foot came down on my buggers 109 week old sister, I saw her curl into a ball and roll to the side as I fell to the floor crying and yelling for my husband. She was still breathing but raggedly, so we rushed her to our vet, where she stayed for two days and almost made it. She succumbed to internal injuries at that time. I was devastated, not only had we lost a beutiful kitty , but I killed her, Me of all people I can't kill a fly , I killed something I helped bring into yhis world. Yes I am thankfull my bugger is still here but can you imagine two of them. The mom is a wonderful hunter. And our other two were rescued from the local shelter. One is an ex-show cat, she even has a tatooed number on the inside of her thigh, the other a hugh part maine coon. So with this long winded speech I wish you and Marley safety thru this storm.

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Oh Jeff, I was just telling my husband about Pugsley tonight at dinner. From the first time you told me about it, it has stayed with me. How terrifying it must have been. Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone in the path of the latest storm.

Iriscruiser, special hugs are headed your way. Please don't blame yourself. It was an accident. Hugs to you...

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Jeff...I am totally in tears over here over your story. :cry: How very sad! That must have been a nightmare for sure! Pugsley will stay in your heart and memories forever. I will say some prayers for you and Marley and everyone who is in the path of the storms. Hugs!

And April, so very sad and tragic about the little kitty. :cry: As Lisa said, it was an accident. Please don't blame yourself. Hugs!

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Thanks, everyone, from me, Marley and, of course, Browie (who's already hiding under the bed!). The shutters are up, I have plenty of batteries, candles, water, canned goods, etc; and am prepared as I can get. I didn't have to scurry around to buy these things, since I learned my lesson from Andrew and have had them since the start of Hurricane season.

My doctor called in a prescription for four Xanax, to get me through the next four days.

Now it's in God's hands.....

Actually, I'm a lot calmer than I thought I would be.

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Thanks, Lisa; I already picked up the puppy tranquilizers for him....

I know it's silly, but, right now, he's a big comfort and my best buddy!

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