Conversations with Christie
A Tribute to a Life Well
Lived & a Dog Well Loved
|June 2003 - Brisbane Airport
Anne: Oh! You are not quite what I was expecting.
Christie: Ditto I must say. And what are you saying? I work
hard to keep this supermodel figure. Besides, good things come in
small packages don't you know.
Anne: Shall we go to your new home beautiful girl?
Christie: Why not? I hope my previous owners sent ahead my
requests so you are prepared for me, otherwise I'll get Harry to
take me back.
Anne: Fear not pretty one - we are very much a berner loving
Christie: I think I'll be the judge
of that. You do cater for Princesses don't you?
Anne: She's very obedient isn't
she? And walks on the lead so well. And she looks so sweet. Look at
her beautiful face. I'd forgotten how well mannered the berner girls
are. And look at her and our berner boy, Dale - playing there on the
Harry: She's a good dog, she pretty
much doesn't do anything wrong; besides the fear of fireworks and
the thunderstorm thing. Keryn told you all about that didn't she?
Anne: Yes she did. You were lucky
to get her back after she ran away. Then her two vaccine reactions,
that was scary stuff. She must be part cat having used up three
lives already. But do we pass muster? Can she stay?
Harry: Yes. I think so. Can I call
Keryn and tell her?
Harry (on phone):
Keryn? I think Christie's landed in doggy heaven
Dale: But it's my sofa, you get
that one over there.
Christie: I don't want that one. I
want this one.
Dale: But it's my sofa
Christie: Get used to it bozo.
Nothing is yours anymore unless I don't want it.
Christie: What did I just say?
Christie: WAKE UP!
Anne: Huh? What? Christie it's 3 in
Christie: I don't care. Wake up and
turn the light on
Anne (turning on
the light): Oh My Lord! Bruce quick - wake up! Oh beautiful girl
what happened? We need to get you to a vet.
Christie: I think I need a vet.
Anne: Well that was an expensive
outing. There's nothing like a visit to the emergency vet in the
middle of a Sunday night.
Christie: Who cares? I'm the one
who got the thermometer put up her you-know-where. How humiliating.
AND they gave me an injection and yet still I've got a sore face.
You are hopeless at helping me. This better not scar my face or
you'll need to take me to a cosmetic surgeon.
Anne: It will take a while before
the drugs kick in. You'll be fine they said. I should really get you
insured. I must say you scared the life out of me. I didn't think
we'd have Life Number Four used up so soon. Some dog mother I am.
One month with me and you're already broken.
Christie: My face hurts.
Anne: Yes I know sweetheart, but if
you hadn't been so persistent and tried to get the bone back from
those meat ants they wouldn't have swarmed all over your nose and
Christie: But it was my bone. They
should've been the ones to let go.
Anne: They're ants Christie. Ants.
Anne: Sigh. You're right. Perhaps
they didn't know it was yours or I'm sure they would've surrendered
it back to you without question.
Christie: Absolutely. I think you
need to lay here with me and pat me to sleep.
Anne: It's the middle of winter.
You may think its fine but the floor is freezing.
Christie: And your problem is? You
are the one who doesn't use pesticides and lets face eating ants
live here. And I'm the one with the aching puffy face who's probably
going to be scarred for life.
Anne. Sigh. You're right. It's
obviously all my fault. Here rest your head in my lap. Pat. Pat.
Sleep is over rated anyhow, especially when you have to start work
in four hours.
Christie: Sleep Schmeep. Keep
Anne: Again? What is it with you
and finding the meat ants?
Christie: It was my bone not
Anne: You realize it's a Sunday
Christie: And your issue is?
Anne: Okay, where are the car keys?
Life number Five Christie
Christie: Bark! Bark! Bark! Alien
approaching up the driveway!
Dale: Bark! Bark! Bark! Bewdy
someone to pat me!
Anne: Okay you two, calm down, now
I'll open the gate and you'll approach the visitor calmly.
Christie: Boof head, I'll go left
past the post, you go right.
Dale: Which way's left? CRASH
Dale: Oops. I guess that wasn't
dying! He deliberately smashed me into the post and tried to kill me
Anne: Oh My God! Bruce! Quick grab
the car keys. I think Christie's broken her back or her hip or
Christie: HOWL! HOWL! HOWL!
Anne: Don't worry baby. Mummy's
here. (on the phone) Hello vet? Please don't close your doors. We're
on our way. We think our dog's broken her hip or something
Anne: I don't believe you. I wasted
another worry. I truly thought you had used up Life number six.
Christie: I did use it up. It
Anne: Oh, yes. It hurt right up
until we were a hundred metres from the vet when you made a
startling recovery and they couldn't find a thing wrong with you.
Christie: Well it stopped hurting
Anne: You made me look like a
paranoid dog mother frantically saying my dog's broken her hip
because you were yelping like there's no tomorrow and Bruce could
barely pick you up and put you in the car without you going into
conniptions. But then when we get there you jump out the car and
trot around symptom free.
Christie: Yes, well. It did hurt
and then it didn't. What can I say? I'm a quick healer. But it was
an impressive performance don't you think?
Anne: Yes, the Oscar for Best
Impression of a Mortally Wounded Dog goes to you.
Christie: Yea! What's my prize? And
don't say more grey hairs on your head, or self-funding your vet's
kid's college fund. That doesn't count.
Anne: How about we chalk it up to
another emergency Sunday visit, Life Number Six and get you a pig's
Christie: This is more like it
Anne: You've spent the whole first
episode fidgeting and fussing and digging your claws into my legs
and back but now you're finally comfy hey precious girl?
Christie: Yep. Just you and me and
the sofa makes three.
Anne: Good thing Pride &
Prejudice goes for six hours eh? Oh yuck is that drool running down
Christie: That's just to show you
how deliriously content I am. It's a sign that I love you. And don't
you dare move. I am finally in the perfect comfort zone.
Anne: Oh that is so gross, can I
just move my arm and wipe
Christie: No. If you move you'll
Anne: Sigh. You're right. Why
should my comfort matter? It is all about you after all.
Christie: Now you're getting the
Anne: I can't believe she got out
Bruce: I can't believe we spent six
hundred dollars and a whole day installing electric fencing and it
only kept her in three days.
Anne: I know, but I really thought
it would work.
Bruce: You know we only have one
Anne: She gets locked in the house
each day whilst we're out?
Christie: Aaah. Bliss. The whole
house to myself. Finally. Hmmm. I wonder if they'll notice the
creamy caramel popcorn missing from the kitchen counter? And which
bed shall I choose today?
Anne: You know the rules about
beds. You can sleep on any but ours and one in the guest bedroom.
Christie: Well yours was the best
for my afternoon nap session. Besides, you left your door open.
Anne: Well it's being shut from now
on. You can't be trusted. You have three single beds, three sofas
and two chairs to choose from, plus a mattress on the floor. You
don't need our bed.
Christie: You are so mean to me.
Anne: Shall I pass you the phone so
you can call someone who cares?
Christie: You'd like that wouldn't
you? You wish you could be rid of me
Christie: My toe hurts. I think I
need a vet.
Anne: Oh My God! Beautiful girl,
what have you done? Where are the car keys?....
Vet: She'll need surgery, we'll
have to amputate the toe and send it to Sydney for diagnosis.
Anne: Do you think it is bone
Vet: Possibly. It is very likely
but we won't know for sure just yet.
Christie: My toe hurts.
Anne: Oh my darling, and I thought
your savouring that leg the past week or so was your arthritis
playing up in the cold weather. I am so sorry. I am the worst dog
mother in the world.
Christie: Correct. You are the
worst dog mother in the world. I keep telling people but they refuse
Anne: I'll see you in a few hours.
You'll be good won't you?
Christie: I'm always good. You're
the only one who doesn't think so.
Vet: The good news is it isn't
cancer just a benign cyst in her toe bone.
Anne: So she'll be fine?
Vet: Once she's recovered from the
actual surgery and her foot has got used to weight bearing without
that toe, yes.
Christie: My foot hurts and my head
Anne: I know it does love. Come on
we'll go home and we'll barbeque some steak for your dinner.
Christie: Rib Fillet, cooked Medium
rare, sliced in strips with freshly grated parmesan on top. And
French vanilla ice cream for dessert.
Anne: What ever you wish
sweetheart. I thought I was going to lose you to bone cancer.
Christie: Nope. It was just Life
Anne: You know it says here that
her type of cyst is usually caused by some bone trauma that's
happened in the past.
Bruce: What about the time she
jumped through the four foot high back fence between the top railing
post and the fencing wire underneath and got stuck between them and
was hanging by her foot?
Anne: That was probably it. Ha.
Well maybe there is a karmic destiny after all. See Christie? You
have a sore foot and lost your toe because you refused to stay in
the yard and came unstuck trying to escape.
Christie: I only wanted out the
front yard to sleep. If you'd let me out the front this would never
have happened. My foot hurts and I blame you.
Christie: Are we there yet?
Christie: Are we there yet?
Christie: Are we there yet?
Anne: Yes we are. Out you get.
Christie: Oh. But this isn't where I wanted to go.
Anne: I told you before we left
where we were going.
Christie: Yes. But I didn't think
you were serious. Can we go home now?
Christie: Can we go home now?
Anne: For the hundredth time
Christie, you are not going out the front garden. It's not fenced
and who knows where you'll wander to.
Christie: I won't wander and that's
where I want to be. None of the sleeping hollows that I've dug in
the back yard are the right shape today. And the breeze is better
out the front anyway.
Anne: What? None of the twenty or
more sleepy hollows are right? None? Not even the new one you dug
yesterday that I sprained my ankle in? And the breeze is the same
front yard or back.
Christie: No it isn't. You know
sometimes you can be such a Bitch.
Anne: Ha! Look who's talking! El
Supremo Diva who can't make up her mind what she'll eat or where.
Christie: I know perfectly well
what I want to eat - you just haven't offered it to me yet. I'll eat
when you guess what it is and bring me what I want. You are so mean
Anne: I know. I am a cruel mean dog
mother. Pity it's a touch phone and the buttons are too close
together for dog paws or you'd have the RSPCA in speed dial wouldn't
Christie: Now you get it. Can I go
out the front?
Christie: I hate you.
Anne: Ditto. You drive me nuts.
Christie: Can I go out the front?
Anne: Okay off you go. You get to
go out the front. Anything for a quiet life
Christie: About time!
Anne: You are such a stubborn
Christie: No. I'm patient and
determined and persistent. There's a difference.
Anne: There is?
Christie: Yes, my characteristics
are virtues. You however, are stubborn, and that is a terrible vice.
Anne: Sigh. You are so right
Christie. What was I thinking? What would I do without you to show
up my faults and keep me humble?
Christie: I don't know what you'd
do without me. But could you please fetch me a bowl of water for out
the front here. And a pig's ear would be nice too.
Anne: As you wish princess
Anne: (yelling) Christie! Where are
Bruce: Have you found her yet?
Anne: No. But she can't have gone
Anne: Well I gave in after three
hours of nagging. So sue me. Can you pass me the torch? She'll be
around here hiding somewhere.
Anne: Christie! Oh there you are.
You were right here all the time. Why didn't you say something?
Christie: Why should I? I could see
you perfectly well from under this shrub.
Anne: Well you could've made a
movement or something. I've been calling and calling you, you little
Christie: And I've been right here
a metre away all the time. Not my fault you have poor night vision
and no sense of smell or you would've noticed me by now instead of
calling my name for the past twenty minutes.
Anne: Don't try and pin my human
frailties on your lack of desire to go out of your way at all. Don't
put yourself out Christie. We wouldn't want you to do that.
Christie: Of course not. Although I
must say I don't appreciate your tone of sarcasm. And when's dinner
by the way?
Anne: That's what I was calling you
for. Dinner is served.
Christie: Well it's about time. Why
didn't you say so? I've been out here slowly starving to death and
you've been holding out for at least twenty minutes now pretending
not to know I was here. You are so mean to me.
Anne: Yes. That's right Christie. I
am the cruellest meanest most horrible dog mother on the planet and
don't you forget it.
Anne: I can't believe she chose
right there to dig her sleepy hollow.
Bruce: Well you were the one who
let her out the front.
Anne: I know. But why right there?
Why did it have to be my rare grevillea she dug up? Why couldn't it
have been in the weed patch or under something common and easy to
Bruce: Because it's Christie we're
talking about. You know she'd never give you the easy option.
Anne: Sigh. You are so right. God
she's a little cow at times. How does she know?
Bruce: Because she's been sent here
to test you.
Anne: Well whatever the test is,
Anne: Please eat something
Christie: I don't want to. I don't
Anne: Where are my car keys?
Vet: I can't find anything
definite. I suspect it's her pancreas, but we'd need to send her to
the specialists for more diagnostics. That can be expensive.
Anne: Whatever. It doesn't matter.
I'm not ready to lose her yet.
Vet: She is twelve. And a bernese
Anne: Yes I know. But that doesn't
mean I'm ready, nor is she.
Specialist: We couldn't get a
definitive answer. There is a large mass between her liver and
pancreas. Given her age and her breed it's most likely cancer, and
inoperable. It could also be the cause behind the neurological
deficit she's beginning to experience in her hind legs. It's not
painful but we can't be certain without further testing.
Anne: But further tests won't cure
her will they?
Specialist: No. If you don't want
to go further with testing, perhaps you best take her home.
Anne: And enjoy what time we have
Specialist: Pretty much.
Anne: I'm not willing to give up
without a fight.
Christie: Me neither. I just want
this sick feeling to go away, because I'm hungry but everything I
smell makes me feel sick.
Anne: Go your hardest. Life number
eight hey beautiful girl?
Christie: I'm twelve mum not eight,
did you lose track or can't you count yet?
Anne: I can't help but think of
that song baby girl. 'The sky is crying. See the streets are full of
tears. Rain come down and wash away my fears. But all this writing
on the wall. Oh I can read between the lines
Christie: It's just a rain storm
mum. And just some crazy words in a song. It has nothing to do with
me. I don't know why you're scared. Those tablets hidden in butter
make my stomach feel better. Just keep patting me and you'll feel
better soon too.
Anne: I wish it were so sweetheart.
Oh I wish it were so.
Christie: Are we there yet?
Christie: Are we there yet?
Anne: Yes we are. Do you remember
Christie: I think so. Oh look! I
know you - you are Keryn & Harry. This is where I lived once a
long time ago!
Keryn: Oh she looks so good Anne -
much better than how you explained in your email.
Anne: Well yes I guess I wanted to
prepare you. I wasn't sure how she'd take a three day car journey.
Keryn: I'm so glad you called. Come
in. Let's see if she remembers anything?
Christie: I know the kitchen and
the dog door - but when did you renovate, and what's all that swing
set stuff in my back yard and who are these small humans?
Anne: One of those small humans was
a baby when you left. He was very allergic to you, which is why you
came to live with me.
Christie: Whatever. Which sofa is
mine and who's giving me a belly rub?
Keryn & Anne: I will!
Stranger 1: Oh she's so beautiful.
She made me cry when I saw her in the ring.
Stranger 2: Hard to believe she's
twelve. Oh I hope mine get to live that long.
Stranger 3: Loved your article in
the programme. She doesn't look like a naughty girl at all!
Anne: Ah well, looks can be
deceiving hey beautiful one?
Christie: Hmm? Oh yes. Anyone
looking at you would think you devoted your life to me. How wrong
they are. If they only knew the hours of training I've devoted to
get you to this stage. Mum, all these pats are lovely and all, but I
am very tired. Can we go home yet?
Anne: Yes of course. I just wanted
to show you off one more time. And what better place to show off
than a national specialty?
Christie: Well I suppose. At least
everyone here knows a good looking berner girl when they see one.
And I am the best looking girl here aren't I? Even the judge said I
was a special girl.
Anne: Yes you are. Without doubt.
You are the most beautiful princess and I love you.
Anne: Christie you have to eat.
Christie: I can't. Everything I
smell makes me feel sick.
Anne: Just try something.
Christie: I don't want to.
Vet: It's been a few days. You've
Bruce: Yes, But Anne thinks
Christie is just being stubborn and if she keeps trying
Vet: So who's the stubborn one?
Look you can try this injection. It could make you win an Olympic
sprint so if this doesn't work for her, nothing will.
Anne: I've run out of options
honey. If you won't eat, there's nothing more I can do for you to
make you better. This is the final one. Life Number Nine.
Christie: I don't want to eat, it
makes me feel sick. And I'm tired Anne, really tired.
Anne: I won't keep you here a day
longer than you want to. If you want to stay you can stay, if you
want to go I'll help you go. It's your choice.
Christie: What do you mean?
Anne: I'll explain
Anne: I asked her. She said she
wanted to go.
Bruce: Are you sure?
Anne: Come out here to her. You'll
Anne: Christie, Honey? Daddy wants
to see you answer the question yourself.
Anne: Okay honey. Do you want to
stay (opening one hand), or do you want to go (opening the other).
Christie: I'm nudging your 'go'
Bruce: (choking up) Ask her again.
Swap hands this time, just in case.
Anne: Okay. Christie? Stay or go?
Anne: Go it is. You know we don't
want that to be your answer, but it's your choice.
Christie: Maybe I've changed my
Anne: Christie my love. You can't.
The vet is here and
Christie: Yes but now you are
preparing for me to go, and I always do the opposite of what you
want, so maybe I'll stay.
Anne: This time you can't honey
Christie: Are you sure?
Anne: Yes, sweetheart I'm sure.
Vet: Oh she is such a good girl.
She always was a good girl about getting needles.
Anne: She's still breathing?
Vet: Yes. It seems there's
something here she's waiting for. Funny little thing, I wonder what
it is keeping her here? I'll give her a second needle just in case.
Anne: Why are you waiting Pup? Is
it because Bruce isn't here? Oh honey. We explained to you this
morning remember? He said he had to go to work. It was an important
day, he couldn't get anyone to cover for him and he said goodbye to
Christie: Oh yes, now I remember.
That's right. He did.
Anne: I love you Pup Pup.
Christie: And I
Anne: I'm on my way to work and
sitting at the intersection waiting for the lights to change. I am
struggling to keep it together this morning baby doll. I still have
guilty feelings about playing God with your life. I know that
humanely and logically I did the right thing by not making you go
any longer without you eating any food and drinking little water. I
know the signs of your body failing were evident in your weak veins
when the vet gave you the needles. I know all that but still I
doubt. I need a sign Christie. And not that weird waft of dog fart
that drifted past my nose in the middle of the night when there was
no dog in the room and that is was definitely one of your smells.
Christie: Hee hee. I thought that
was a good one. If it had been subtle you wouldn't have smelled it
through your blocked nose from crying. But what about the cloud and
the star? You saw those didn't you?
Anne: Yes, well I confess I did.
The world was asleep and there I was walking around the back yard at
3am - your favourite time to bark under the full moon and everything
was lit up like it was daytime and there was that cloud that looked
kind of like a dog laying down - like you. And then the shooting
star went through the cloud and the breeze came and shifted it all
Christie: And so?
Anne: I still want another sign,
honey. Just to be sure I did the right thing.
Christie: You did mum. Sigh. Okay.
One last one for you but then I really have to go and I can't come
Anne: That's okay. Just one more
then I'll let you go I promise. I just miss you so much baby girl.
But it won't be forever will it?
Christie: No. It won't be forever.
Turn on the radio.
Anne: (turns on the radio) Huh?
You're playing me The Beach Boys?
Christie: Just listen to the words
"Well its been building up
inside of me
For oh I don't know how long
I don't know why
Something's bound to go wrong
But she looks in my eyes
And makes me realize
And she says
"Don't worry baby"
Don't worry baby
Don't worry baby
Everything will turn out alright
Don't worry baby
Anne: Oh baby girl
. Now I'm
crying too much to see to drive. But thank you sweetheart
Oh. Sniffle. You weren't kidding
when you said you really did have to go this time. Another Grand
Adventure is beckoning? Have lots of them darling girl. Bye bye. And
thank you for a wonderful life together. I wouldn't have swapped a
minute of it. Well, maybe except for the grevillea
Farewell my beautiful Princess Miss
Christie Belle. I love you.
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