I tried to warn her that Elliot - who she calls "go go" because that is the way "dog" sounds in Chinese - would cry when we left him. He is very much like a toddler with separation anxiety. He really thinks life cannot go on without me. Although most of the time I love that, unconditional love from any living creature is wonderful, sometimes it's just overbearing and I just hate that he can't understand me when I want to tell him "Suck it up and take it like a man."
She thought she was prepared for his crying but she wasn't. He FREAKED and she had never heard shrieks and screams and crying from an animal like that. If she didn't have her built in giggle protection (she has one particular laugh/giggle that she does when she's either in trouble and bummed that she got caught or worried/unsure of something) she would have probably fallen apart right there on the floor of the grooming section.
She spent the whole walk out of the store replaying the event, "Go go Whahhh" (as she rubs her eyes in a crying pantomime). This went on for minutes... I mean M.I.N.U.T.E.S.
"Yes, Elli" he cried.
"But we will go back for him" Geezzz where was Google translator when you needed it?
So, to relieve the stress of watching such a traumatic good bye... we shopped.
That went well except that she asks if she can have every thing she sees that she thinks pertains to her at all. I'm thankful that we are currently broke or I'd be more than happy to have obliged but I have learned the skilled art of saying "No" with a smile on my face. Then, when I have been pushed to the point of giving in I have learned that she knows exactly what I mean when I say "You can have 'this' or 'this'"
Ironically, she usually chooses the item that is most "useful". I almost want to tell her no because push pop makers are not what a little girl should want more than puzzles. But I let her choose. She had frozen root beer push pops later that day.
Finally, we did what we always end up doing when we have time to kill
GO GET FRENCH FRIES
When we sat down she asked for the thousandth time when we were going to pick up Elliot. It had been almost 4 hours so I knew Tasha would call soon telling me he was ready. We sat down at a table with chairs and she tried out several different ones to decide which one she liked best. In the process she did something that hurt her chest and proceeded to lift up her shirt - to her neck - to show me what happened.
Of course I was about to pull her shirt down when I was reminded that there was a traumatic event in her past that I knew nothing about. I find it bizarre, looking back on it, that we didn't just come right out and ask her but for some odd reason we didn't, even when we discussed it at the doctor's office at UAB.
The scars. Tons of them. Well it looks like tons on a tiny little body like hers. I bet she has 6 or 7 all over her torso.All of them no less than 3 inches long, some longer. Clean, not jagged, but not remotely straight. One large scar has what looked like suture marks on either side. We have no record of that so we had no idea. We wondered with the doctor if maybe she had some benign tumors removed or something like that at one time but there was no rhyme or reason for the scars.
So, I asked. She and I have gotten to be pretty good at communicating. Actually SHE'S gotten to be pretty good at communicating.
It was a dog, a very big dog when she was a very little girl (she's still a very little girl). It growled and showed his teeth and then attacked her and bit her "here, and here, and here..." she pinched herself all over her torso and her legs, everywhere. I was aghast!
I would ask her questions to get specifics. She knew what I was saying and she would confirm my responses with the most matter of fact "Yes... Yes". No smile, no frown, just a serious, information providing look as she continued to make it clear exactly what the dog looked like and sounded like when he came after her.
My precious little girl was almost eaten alive by a dog and yet she wants to know when she is getting "HER GO GO" back.
She has never ONCE acted remotely afraid of Elliot. I find that fascinating.
After thoroughly explaining her trauma she went back to finishing her french fries.
Tasha called soon afterward and off we went to pick up Elliot.
Elli sat happily in her seat in the back and as I drove across the street I began to sing...
Bless the Lord
Oh my soul
Oh oh oh my soul
worship His Holy Name.
and out of nowhere I heard a little voice behind me singing with me, in English, the exact tune, with just the slightest Chinese accent.
I was floored. I had no idea when or where she had the chance to pick that up. She could have only heard it a couple times at best on the radio in the car and yet, there she was, singing that song.
We kept singing it all the way to the store and into the groomer.
Elli insisted that she was in charge of "go go" and she leashed him up and walked him out.
I drove home with two happy little critters in my car that afternoon. No, make that three.
Elliot was rescued from the mean groomer Tasha who insists he look and smell like a puffy white cloud on a clear sunny day.
Elli was on her way home, laughing at her "go go" trying to find a place near my leg to rest his head and finally decided on the tops of the two Iced Tea cups sitting between us.
And I, because I had just had a full, long afternoon with my daughter who barely knows my language but seems to understand me completely. Because I discovered another very important thing about her past today. And I heard her sing another song to the Lord.
It may be a year before she really understands all the songs that she is going to learn to sing over the next several months but God will do a work anyway. He is just like that. If He waited until we fully understood all that He is He'd never act upon us.
He's got something huge for her. I am sure of it. I'm watching and waiting with great excitement. May she glorify Him with all she is until the day she rejoices with Him in Heaven.