Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mama Mia -- I will miss you

My dog died last night --- and I was not there to tell her good-bye. I was not there to hold her head - stroke her paws - and whisper in her ear how much I loved her. This was not not supposed to happen this year -- not now; not when she was only three years old; not when I was off pursuing some silly academic study.

Mia was not the smartest dog on the block - some might even say she was stupid. But I knew differently. I could look into her soft brown eyes and connect with the intellect that was behind them. Mia was intuitive and the epitome of female companionship for Ralf. Mia knew how to fetch -- but she would allow her alpha male dog to fetch instead. While Mia appeared to be on the sidelines watching, she actually created her own game: she would let Ralf fetch for a while - and then one time when he least expected it - she would be the first to grab the toy and immediately run outside. She was always cordial and considerate and eventually allowed Ralf to secure the toy (and his masculinity) -- but she knew what was going on.

Mia was my "farm pup" -- that girl loved the outdoors. Sometimes she would run around; sometimes she would tree a squirrel; and sometimes she would just sit in the sun and observe the landscape. Mia knew a few commands - like sit and "hi five" --- but the command she obeyed most often was "Mia - find the squirrelies". She would dart out the door as fast as possible and immediately go to one of the two trees in the back yard. She wasn't meaning to hunt the squirrels - she just wanted to play - and could never quite understand why they weren't so willing to come down and take part in her festivities.

What Mia lacked in intellect - she made up for in affection. She would sit in my lap for hours on end -- just to be near me. She would follow me everywhere in the house - hence her nickname "Me Too" For the past several months - much to Geoff's concern - she would sleep in our room and very often at the foot of our bed on top of my feet. It wasn't comfortable, but it was secure. While some viewed my feeding Mia by hand as spoiling her, I cherished the closeness that it allowed us to share. She wasn't afraid of the silver bowl - she just preferred the human interaction.

Mia was a wonderful mom. She had three litters of puppies - way too many for a female dog of only three years old - but she simply couldn't say "no" to Ralfie. Mia tenderly nursed each one of her 20 puppies for a full three weeks - and then she instinctively weaned them and taught them independence. All 2o puppies were a pure delight and we will be forever grateful to Mia for those experiences. I am afraid that the last litter may have been too much for her, though. We all noticed how gray she seemed to become. That was truly the ultimate sacrifice, Mia - to give your life for your puppies - and your humans.

I hope you did not suffer, Mia. I hope you just went upstairs to lay in the sun and you quietly passed on in your sleep. I hope you knew how much joy you brought to our family and how much we will greatly miss you. You were truly "man's" best friend.


Molly said...

It has been a month since I posted this, and I still miss you, Mia. You were the best!

Wendy said...

What a wonderful tribute to your beautiful girl, Molly. I can never read these without crying. It has been almost 3 months since I said good-bye to Caribou and I still cry and miss her every week (even though little Raven has kept me hopping these days). Our pets are such important parts of our lives - I think is says a lot about them that we write these kinds of tributes. Thanks for sharing.

Megan said...

This post still makes me cry. I think about how she was afraid of Myla, and confused as to why we could have a squirrel in the house that barked, but she couldn't get the little guys to come out of the tree. She was a good dog and is definitely still missed!

Jessica Kennedy said...

Terrible to lose a loved one. A pet is even worse. It's like losing a son or daughter and a best friend all at once.

Sad times. She was very pretty!

Lynne said...

Losing a pet is terrible. We lost our Teddy in July 2009 and I still can't think about that night without tearing up. Someday I'll have to write a tribute to him, but right now the hurt is still too deep.

Your Mia was a beautiful girl.

Hugs to you.

Florinda said...

Thanks for linking back to this today - I hadn't read it before. As you know, I lost my Gypsy last weekend. I was as close to her as you were to Mia, so your feelings here really came through. This was a lovely post.