July 19, 2010

The hardest step...

*This is our original "Little Buddy" Nova. I wanna cry!*

A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. As you know, when you convert to Islam there are alot of changes. Everything from how you dress to what you eat, even how you order your day. Islam, as we say, is a way of life not just a religion.

I am the kinda person that tackles things head-on. I wore hijab from the get-go. No not for modesty reasons (at first) but because I did my homework before I said my shahada and I believed it to be the command of Allah. Pork hasn't passed my lips again and to be honest, I don't miss it. I had many male friends that I literally dropped overnight with a "Dear _____" email or call. I told them I had converted to Islam and it wasn't permissible. For me it was best to do it all at once and practice as completely as I could so I had no other distractions to keep me from my growth as a Muslim.

Except Nova. We all know dogs are prohibited to keep as pets. I knew this before I became Muslim. But I truly believed in my heart that I was responsible for him and I had promised my youngest son, Alex, that I would never get rid of him. He was my contant companion. For many years, while I was single (pre and post conversion) he was the only living being to care if I came home at night. He was my little buddy and my friend and to be honest I was more attached to him than I should have been. Hey at least I never dressed him up in clothes!!!:-)

He was a great dog, though. Smart, with a capital S. He had alot of toys and knew them all by name. Lamby was his oldest (and most loved) and he could find any if you said, "Nova, go get ____". He could find the boys or another person. He had a large vocabulary of words he knew and if you started to say "bath" he would run and hide. He was immaculately house-trained and only if under great duress would use the bathroom in the house. He was so ashamed afterwards but honestly this only happened a handful of times in 7 years.

Once when Alex was only 5 or so Nova helped save his life. I had a bell on the front door because Alex was a sleep walker and I worried he would escape. I always locked the top lock and the bottom and slept soo lightly when the boys were with me. This night I heard nothing but woke suddenly because I felt eyes on me. Nova's little black brown eyes. He was sitting at attention and uttering little whines in his throat. He was agitated. I got up and did a quick perusal and found Alex wasn't in his bed.

I didn't panic at first. I looked in the bathroom, the kitchen, beside my bed. He was nowhere to be found. I started to panic. I wake up the house and everyone is looking for him. I go outside and look and call and can't find him. I go back inside and looking again when I hear a knock at the door. I open it to find my baby there, in his night clothes. He is still partially asleep and he's crying. "Mama, why did you put me outside?" Subhanallah. I wouldn't have known he was outside if Nova hadn't of alerted me. Maybe when I went out my voice carried to him and it woke him from his daze enough to come back to the door. Allahu alim.

Let's see some cat do that. :-)

Fast forward many years. I knew I needed to find him a new home but I just couldn't. It wasn't until after Aaminah was born and I got really worried about the malika not coming in the house and I hated his shedding. Oh yes that was Nova's vice. His thick undercoat shed like nobody's business! Before Aaminah was born I would groom him fairly regularly but after she came, it was so difficult. I couldn't leave her inside alone and if I took her out his fur would blow on her. Anyway I wasn't able to care for him as I had before.

So the fateful day came when I put out ads looking for another home. Eventually someone responded and they had a house, a yard, another well-behaved dog, and a small horse farm. The dogs had the opportunity to be outside but weren't forced and when we met them at the park I could tell they really liked him.

I cried on the way home. I still miss him and I pray that he doesn't remember us anymore. I know people says dogs have short memories but he would remember people he hadn't seen in two years so that isn't always accurate. Anyway I just want him to be happy and well cared for.

The phone I had the new family's number in died a horrible death. :) So I guess it's for the best. Otherwise I'd still be randomly calling them up until one day they changed their phone number. :-)

I love my little buddy and I always will and you can laugh at me if you want. What? We can have cats you say? Yep I have one now bec A and his children already had him. I'm not really a cat person but alhamdulillah. :-) I have my memories of Nova.

Ma salaama...


Anonymous said...

Asalamualaikum,MashaAllah!! May you have reward for all you have done for Allah.Ameen.I love your blog thanks for sharing.Umasiya

Banana Anne said...

I know how you feel. My family has a standard poodle named Sidney, and I love him so much. He's just a big, affectionate sweetheart. As much as I love him, though, I know that it's really not a good idea for Muslims to have dogs in the house as pets, and Insha'Allah when I have a family and my own house I will not have a pet dog. It's tough to think about it, but just because we can't have dogs as pets doesn't mean that we can't love them or appreciate their loyalty and sweetness. After all, they are ALLAH's creatures, and they are not here for us to hate or abuse. Insha'Allah, if I get to Jannah I will ask to have Sidney as a companion for me. :)

Angelle said...

You did your best, certainly everything good, for sweet Nova. We can't have dogs because my husband is allergic. But we've had every other small pet from hedgehogs to chickens. We're definitely cat people (well, cat butlers anyway).

Xo Xo...Sweet Success! said...

Assalamualaikum! The love on an animal is sometimes overwhelming, its like the best friend that understands you without having to say anything.

We adopted an orphan cat when he was a kitten and he has been our best friend for years. The thought of giving him away was too heartwrenching so we shipped him over when we move country! He's like our child....his tickets and quarantine cost more than ours! Haha! :)

May Allah reward you for your love of his creatures. Amin!

Umm Aaminah said...

Thanks for reading my blog Umasiya. :-) Anne, maybe we can take our dogs for a "play date" in Jannah! :-) Angelle, I like the cat butler comment. They are definitely independent creatures masha'Allah.

Umm Aaminah said...

Sweet Success, I can only imagine how expensive that was! You have a very lucky little kitty to be taken care of so well. ;-)

Omani Princess (not Omani LOL) said...

My cat did stuff like that all the time:p :).

Is hard. For my, guy friends from before Islam are the hardest. I know I must but I feel bad, like they need me to take care of them. The ones that are responsible in their own rights (ie they can be easily defined as men lol) didn't have a problem with, but the guy friends struggling that always asked me for advice and unloaded all their insecurities and even spiritual qualms???? That is TOTALLY my pre-Islam weakness.

Mona Z said...

I love this post.