The Bean at the Screen

For 17 years Queenie, aka The Bean, has graced our family with her royal presence. If I had to sum up her personality in one word, it would be patience.

Patient when we added family members that didn’t want to share us with her, patient when Steve went out to the well without her, patient at the gate as I left for work, and patiently waiting at the screen door, head dirty from squirrel hunting, hoping for leftovers.

Patience and tenaciousness were her strong suits when she was after ground squirrels, which was the reason she sometimes had to wait behind the gate when Steve went out to the well.

“Queenie caught a squirrel. You should have seen her running in the pasture with the tail sticking out of her mouth and then…..crunch!,” relayed Steve.

“Gross!” was the only response I could come up with. The visual is kind of burned into my memory, which is good for my diet. Hey! Maybe I could start a new diet craze.

Patience was rewarded when Kendra found a stick to throw so that together they could play “Leap in the air for  joy because my girl threw a stick!” That had to be one of her all time favorite games.

Patience was not her strong suit when Cody fell off his bike in our driveway. Over the fence she jumped to make sure her boy was okay. So maybe patience wasn’t the word I was looking for. If I really had to sum up her personality in one word, it would be love.

I can remember the warm feeling inside, and on my shirt, the first time we brought her home at eight weeks of age. She snuggled in my vest, close to my heart and proceeded to mark her territory for the very first time.

The Bean liked to sit on a person’s foot or greet them from behind, poking her head through their legs. Such a happy and gentle soul she was.

I remember myself and the kids screaming in high pitched voices “Queenie, Queenie Jelly Beeeeeeanie!” so that she’d come in from the pasture. I don’t know what the neighbors thought, but she came running to that call every time until her ears failed her.

Friends say she lived a good, long life. I think I may have said it too. Is 17 years enough?  They say that for a Queensland Heeler, 17 is 100 years in a human’s life. It’s not any more enough than 24, 60, 72, 75 or 103 is enough. One second or one minute isn’t enough if that being made you feel love, unconditional love.

Maybe it’s their time to go, but you’re kind of stuck in your own time, like Groundhog Day, repeating events in your mind over and over. I guess that’s a gift in and of itself, and will have to do until the day comes when we are all together again.

For now, The Bean is on the other side of the screen with all the rest of our loves, playing catch the stick with some of them, and able to hear her call once again.

“Queenie, Queenie Jelly Beeeeeeanie!”

Good night sweet Bean.

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