Click on the pictures to see a full version.
Best friend. Mother. Daughter. Caretaker. Loyal. Loving. Protective.
These words, and many more, describe Medusa. She is the best thing to ever happen to our family in the past 15 years. This is the story of the first half of Medusa's life. For the rest of the story, click on the link on the bottom of this page.
One day close to 15 years ago, my brother, Ralph, came home with this funny-looking little dog with big floppy ears (of which only one stood straight up, while the other flopped down), and these big chestnut brown eyes. While our mother was always against having dogs in the house, for some reason she allowed Ralph to keep Medusa. Ralph, being the way he is, easily and quickly got tired of his "new toys" (and still does, to this day), so Medusa very quickly became the family's dog, rather than just his alone.
My son, Robby, was about a year old at the time and she was 3 months old. They immediately became best friends. They spent a lot of time together, and she even taught him how to walk. Well, not exactly "taught," but she was his balance when he was learning how to walk. They would walk around all over the house with his little fist in her mouth, and if she felt he was going to fall down, she would not let him.
I remember one time I got home from work and I had to pick up my son from the babysitter. At the same time, Medusa needed to be walked, so I figured I'd knock off two birds with one stone. I asked her if she wanted to go out, and she went nuts, as she usually did, so I grabbed her leash, and off we went. Medusa was also the dog all the kids in the neighborhood loved to play with. She would tease them and then chase after them, and then make them chase her. Basically, the whole neighborhood loved her and knew her. That included the policeman who used to patrol the neighborhood on a regular basis. Anyway, this particular day, our usual patrolman was not there, and there was this other guy who none of us had ever seen before. Well, he saw Medusa off the leash, and right away he started in on me to put her on the leash. I tried to explain to him about her, and how the usual patrolman never had a problem with it. Well, he threatened me with a summons, so I called her over, told her to sit and attached the leash to her collar. Of course, I was pissed, and I said to myself that I was going to make him look really stupid. I went up to the babysitter's house, told Robby that he was going to walk the dog (mind you, he's only about 3 or 4 years old - a tiny little thing), gave the dog the code word for "heel" (which in her case was "be nice"), and gave the baby the leash. We went downstairs and the cop was still there. He took one look at this little tiny kid walking this humongous dog, and his jaw dropped to the floor! hehehe I almost died laughing because he looked SO stupid!
Medusa has always loved babies. The funniest thing that she used to do was whenever we were out in the street walking her, every time she saw a baby carriage or a stroller, she would run up to it, happy as ever and wagging her tail, just to look at the baby. People used to panic when she did that, and I would have to apologize and tell them, "no, it's ok. She loves babies. She just wants to see the baby." And as soon as they saw how happy she was, they would let her take a peek.
Most dogs don't realize when they're stinky or dirty. In fact, they revel in being filthy. Not Medusa. Whenever she had her period, she would get stinky and everyone would tell her to get away because she smelled really bad. Well, one day, my mother was looking all over the place for her. She would call her name out and there was no response from her. All of a sudden, my mother goes to use the bathroom, and what does she find in there? Medusa, sitting in the bathtub waiting for someone to give her a bath so nobody would push her away any more. Of course, my mom had no choice at that point BUT to give her a bath. What more hint did she need. Afterwards, Medusa was very happy. Giving Medusa a bath was always the greatest thing, because she never fought us. She somehow knew it was something that HAD to be done, so she sat very patiently until we finished with her. The cutest thing was that we would wash one leg and paw, then another, then the third, and she would lift up the last one as if to say, "please don't forget that I have one more." It was so cute.
Along those same lines of her being a true "lady," whenever she lays on the floor, she always crossed her front paws very daintily. To this day, 15 years later, she still does it. Another thing that Medusa always did, since we got her, was smile. When she was very young, she noticed that when people were happy to see her, they would smile. She learned how to do the same. She lifts her upper lip and shows you her teeth while she's wagging her whole BODY at you! That was the most amazing thing I have ever seen any dog do. I tell you, the only thing that's missing in this dog, is a voice and language. Medusa even learned how to SPELL! Yes, she figured out that the letters O - U - T spelled "out." There were times when everyone was busy and we had to figure out who was going to walk Medusa, so we'd ask, "who's going to take her O - U - T?" After a couple of times of that happening, she knew we were talking about her, and that O - U - T meant she was going outside.
About 8 years ago (maybe more), everyone pretty much was leaving home, so that left us with a dilemma -- who was going to keep Medusa? I was going to take her as soon as I found an apartment, but as circumstances went, she wound up living with my other brother, Richie, and his wife, Kelly. To this day, this is where she is living. Medusa just turned 15 years old on May 11, 2001, she's very ill and approaching the last of her days. Medusa is one of the most special of our family members, and she will be greatly missed when her time comes.
Here's to you, Medusa. With love.
Betty, Robby, the Cintrons, the Iraolas and all of those who got to know her and love her and will miss her when she's gone.
To view an album containing more pictures,
June 12, 2001
We have lost our beloved Medusa. She managed to open up one of her tumors and when Kelly and Richie took her to the vet this morning, there was nothing they could do. She was put to sleep.
Thank you, Medusa, for a wonderful 15 years. You will always be loved and cherished in our memories.
Click below for the second part of Medusa's story
All the graphics on this site were created by Lady Betty and are not to be used without permission.
Site created: June 10, 2000
Playing: If You Leave Me Now