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.