Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened.
- Anatole France
Today my beloved pet, Misty, passed away to greener parks. She had been fighting for her life, most probably against a gastrointestinal cancer, for the past six weeks or so. Somehow knowing that her time was coming and that it would deliver her from pain and suffering has not made her passing any easier. When she came in to my life, a little white fluff ball with bright orange ears, we had just lost our first family pet, Muffy. In the midst of our family grief, my grandma found an ad in the newspaper for some poodle puppies. We piled in to my mom's van and drove down to one of the less inviting areas of town and that is where we first met Misty. I picked her out. She was hard to resist with an almost comical appearance, a feisty spirit in her eyes, and boundless energy. She sat on my lap on the way home and stuck her nose in front of the air conditioning vent as if it were the most glorious sensation on earth (and let's face it, in Fresno in the summer it pretty much is); she never did stop loving car AC vents. Although I was excited about our new puppy, once we got her home I didn't quite know what to think. She was playful, but tenaciously so; I was almost afraid of her eagerness and energy. As time went on, the exuberance of puppyhood mellowed into an energetic and companionable adolescence and young dog-hood. She loved jumping to catch balls in the air, playing fetch, going for walks, and chasing ducks in the backyard. Her unabashed delight in life frequently spoiled her elegant appearance such as when she would come inside with green legs after falling in the lake accidentally chasing a duck or when she would sheepishly attempt to hide her soggy paws after miscalculating a jump and falling in the pool. With her larger than life personality and intelligence, she became and integral part of our family, and it has been a wonderful 12 years of Misty Mocha Creme (can you tell I named her while I was in junior high and coffee culture was on the rise?).
In memory of my sweet, loving, persnickety little cuddle bug. I am grateful that you have been delivered from your struggles. Thank you for fighting so bravely. I hope you have lots of toys to rip open in the great beyond.
Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.