Cover photo: Miss Pup with her beau Rocko, who crossed the bridge earlier this year.
Many hearts were broken just after midnight on August 23, when Miss Puppy’s sweet little heart—which was at least as big as Texas—just gave up.
Everyone lucky enough to have a loving dog understands intellectually that by human standards, their time with you is short. Pup was fourteen—she’d been with us for eleven of those years. We knew that she was slowing down, but she was still full of life. Then, in barely more than a week, she was gone. Although grateful that she was saved the pain of a lengthy illness, we were shellshocked. Losing a pet we love, it turns out, isn’t much different from losing a person we love, as science has substantiated. Nor is it much easier.
Our kids, our extended family, our friends and neighbors, and all of the others Miss Pup encountered in her travels have felt the loss, too. Suddenly, the whole rhythm of our daily lives changed. Suddenly, we were out walking by ourselves…. no sweet Pup to nudge me out of bed at 6:30, then curl up on my pillow for another half hour’s sleep, or to take Hubby’s pillow till he came to bed…. no happy, smiling Pup in Hubby’s lap, being toweled off after her bath…. no crazy barking when the doorbell rang…. no need to say, “Be a good girl, Pup. Eat your crunchies!”
Miss Puppy could hear me peeling a carrot from anywhere in the house. Broccoli and green beans, cantaloupe and apples, peaches and pears—she loved her veggies and fruits and the crumbs of toast I shared with her in our morning ritual.
She was naturally, marvelously, curious, which is why she was Miss Puppy Clouseau. Her vocabulary was hug. Her Aunt Sue and Aunt Sue, when providing her periodic “vacation spa getaways,” introduced her to shopkeepers around town and taught her to “look both ways” at corners and pick out her own treat at the Agway. When one of the Sues was interviewed by a local TV station, Miss Pup joined her in the shot, turning her head to the camera and then back at Sue right on cue. She loved rides in the country to see her “friends”—alpacas, goats, sheep, cows, horses—anything on four legs got her attention.
She made us smile, every hour of every day.
Miss Pup at her most regal… she owned every chair in the house.
She loved her shopping trips, probably because she got so much attention.
Checking out her favorite goats.
She owned the bed, too.
Halloween fun and games with Aunt Sue.
Sunning herself on the green on an early spring day.
Where’s that toast?
Her seat on the patio, properly cushioned for her comfort.
One of our very first photos of her… she was about three.
Note to my readers: Thank you for indulging me. I have tried to write this post for days, thinking that it would help us through the grieving process. I continue to be dissatisfied with every iteration—with every word, in fact—but I do feel a bit better now. On to the next task of honing down hundreds of pictures to make “a book of Pup.”