I used to be Missy’s Mom. Yes, I did use the word in past tense. Up until a few weeks ago, I referred to myself as “Mom” to my pet Papillon for the past 12-1/2 years. I did not think it strange to see it that way, as my children are all grown; and when we think of it – our pets are like our children in many ways.
From the time that we brought her home at 9 weeks (and she could fit into the palm of our hand), she was our “little girl”. She quickly grabbed hold of our hearts, and took over the household! As many pet “parents” will agree – our pets live for us, and that described Missy to a “t”. She knew when it was a work day, and when we had the day off (I’m not quite sure how she could tell). She comforted us when we were not feeling well, and when we argued she would bark – most likely to tell us to quit arguing!
Missy had a bossiness that was endearing to us, and most likely irritating to others. She loved to beg for fresh cooked popcorn, but only wanted the buttered pieces. She begged for food at dinner by putting her little snout up in the air to bark/howl. Needless to say, when we had company over, she had to be secured in her crate or our dinner party guests would get perturbed.
Missy was a totally spoilt dog! Her collection of gadgets ranged from a car seat fitted just for her, a life jacket for riding on the jet ski (and later the boat), a basket to ride on the front of my bicycle – and later a specially ordered trailer for longer bicycle rides. Fancy harnesses, color-coordinated leashes, holiday costumes, winter coats, and daytime dresses completed her wardrobe.
Her favorite daytime perch was to command a living room chair and watch out the window until we came home. As she grew older, eyesight dimming with cataracts, she preferred her corner dog bed or the cushy couch. She would never bark when guests arrived, but she barked when they left – we always thought she didn’t want them to go.
In experiencing her passing, I have to say that this has affected me in such a profound way. Every morning I feel the loss of her because I no longer have to visit the backyard, rain or shine. In the afternoon, I experience the loss of her because her smiling face isn’t here to greet me. Every evening I experience the loss of her because no longer do I have a small furball curled at my feet on our bed.
We lived our lives with the knowledge that one day she would leave us, but we had no knowledge that April 26, 2014, would be the last day she would spend with us. If I had known, I would have held her longer, that day and every day.