Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Great Love

This is originally from Six Dog Blog, by Kristina ava Von Born.  It was so moving that I had to share it (with Kritina's permission, of course). may be moved to moved to tears, but you will not regret reading this. You may find yourself laughing and then crying again.  Thank you to Kristina for sharing Mickey with us!:

Great Love
Almost 6 years ago I started looking for a dog. I didn’t know what I wanted. I just remember looking everyday for something. I had never really had a dog of my own. We had family pets, mostly cats. But I wanted a dog. A real dog that I picked, I cared for, and was my responsibility.
I was dating a guy at the time and we went down to animal control- like we seemed to have done every Saturday. I think we had been there to go see a dog in their intake department, I don’t even remember anymore. We walked in and took a peek in the adoptable section. There, in the last kennel towards the end was this sad pathetic lump of black and tan fur. He got up, walked to the gate and put his head down for some neck scratches. Resigned, he slumped away and went back to his corner. My heart exploded. There was no way that he wasn’t coming home.
The first few days were rough. I had no idea what it was going to be like. I remember sitting on the bed and he came up to me and tried to mount my leg! I remember getting all panicked and barricaded myself away from him with clothes hampers. The thought now makes me completely embarrassed but I can’t contain the giggles either. The guy I was dating and I both felt pretty overwhelmed. We had even discussed not keeping him, I think we both just didn’t know what to expect and were scared. We took him to the beach that night to walk around and enjoy the nice night. Sitting on the beach with Mickey I felt the connection forming and experienced my first precious moment as a dog owner. I got bit by the dog love bug. He wasn’t going anywhere, ever.
The next few months we learned a lot from each other. I was never a very outgoing person but having a dog changed all of that. At least with other dog people. I began to cultivate an interest in anything dog related from training to nutrition as well as the importance of rescue and research. When the mobile home park we were living in said we couldn’t keep him we found a new place and moved within 3 weeks. I couldn’t imagine getting rid of my dog for any reason- let alone because some community said so. We spent every day together at the dog park for at least 2 hours while he ran around and played. It wasn’t long until we began to search for a 2nd dog. He really started it all, he lit the fire that burns through me everyday. Pushing me to want to learn more and rescue more.
When he was younger he would try to bite at the ladybugs we had painted on the walls at the kennel where I worked. And he would throw a fit when it came time to go into the daycare group and I would have to walk away and go back to the front desk. There were many instances where someone was suckered into carrying him back as he whined and peeped the whole way back. Yes. My dog peeped. And it was the most pathetic sound coming out of this big handsome man-dog. We (and by ‘we’ I mean my ex in all his normal day clothes) even had to jump into the lake one day to drag him back to shore. He had become transfixed on some bugs flying around some tree about 15 feet off shore. Mickey hated bugs. Even on his last day he still gave some stupid bug the predator stink eye when it came too close to his butt.
Mickey always tried to act like he had no interest in dog things, as though it was all beneath him. The girls (Cheyenne and Mishka) would run around the park, grabbbing each other, wrestling, chasing each other… while Mickey sniffed or scouted out squirrels- seemingly totally oblivious. And just as they were zooming by him he would fly into action and slam them 10 feet in the other direction by butt knocking them. And then take off like it never happened. He also enjoyed not playing fetch. I would toss the toy for one of the herding dogs and out of left field came my big Moose charging full speed upon the toy. He would snatch it up and run in the direction of the girls who would take off after Mickey and whatever prize was in his mouth. And just as soon as it started- it ended. He would abandon the toy for the girls to fight for and go back to sniffing, peeing, and squirrel observation. He especially enjoyed peeing on anything and everything outside. Then looking back and me. And KICKING THE DIRT UP. He would see me instantly turn rabid, put a big fat grin on his face and take off with me just arms length away. I swear nothing annoyed me more than that. And he knew it. Such. A. Man.
nullPeople would fawn over him all the time, he really had perfected his own original “Blue Steel.” I would tell people it all goes to his head, he already knows, he doesn’t need to hear it ect. ect… they probably never really believed me… But believe me ladies- it did. Talk about Mr. Ego… It was well deserved i’ll have to admit. He was such a gorgeous dog and had such an amazing personality. I remember waiting in line at Petsupermarket on Saturday and as usual- they fawned over him while digging around for the “good” cookies. There was an Autistic kid behind us in line with his parents and he made a bee-line for Mickey. He got down on his level and gave him a big hug. It all happened within 2 seconds but Mickey just sat there with his typical grin on his face wagging his curly tail back and forth. All the training I had put in to him paid off one-hundred fold in that moment. I’ve never been so proud.
Despite being a studly handsome ladies man… He was a pig. Like the biggest pig ever. If you pretended you had food in your hands he would cross the ocean, perform acrobatic feats, and speak 4 languages for a chance to eat it. Sorry, Boob, that wasn’t an actual C-O-O-K-I-E. Mickey also enjoyed scientific endeavors into the bottomless pit of the trash can. He could dissect everything out of the trash and lay it out piece by ripped (and licked clean) piece all around the house. There were many times where I would truly be in more awe how he made a small Publix bag of trash stretch from the kitchen to the living room, the hallway… He would always be standing in the hallway or in the kitchen with his tail waging and ears to the side. Such as to say “Look I don’t even know WHAT went down- I am JUST as surprised.” Unfortunately for Mickey, he eventually did get caught with his hand in the cookie jar… Or more specifically his head stuck in the trash can lid.
Have you ever thought how disgusting it would be to eat an entire jar or Mayonaise? No? Well Mickey clearly was interested. And since I got to deal with the aftermath… I can fully vouch for how disgusting it is. Also Mayo is rediculously hard to get out of anything fabric. Such as a brand new dog bed. You know, just as an example. It was one of those days you just open the door as youre coming back home… Look… And close it. Sit outside. And BREATHE.
Funny how today I can look back at that and laugh. Even though right now it’s that awkward crying laugh where you snort but you know… Boogers and stuff. So you end up sounding likes some sort of odd pig? Yeah.
You know how you can just sense when something isn’t right? When something is really wrong, as opposed to just something being normal wrong? Saturday morning I had that feeling. Everything happened fast. Too fast. One day i’m about to blow my top because he JUST. WON’T. STOP. PEEPING. The next day i’m waiting for my best friend to arrive to take us to the Emergency Vet because I could barely pull myself together to even say what was going on… Hearing the word “Cancer” in reference to my dog… And in the midst of  an emotional breakdown- hating myself for any negative thing I could have ever said to that dog in my life.
So here I am now. Lying in his dog bed which I still haven’t dragged out of my room. I go from bouts of crying and clinging to the bed to dragging myself outside to sit and cry next to where we buried him today. There’s a lot of crying going on. And a lot of deep questioning… “Did I do the right thing?” “Could we have…?” “Should we have…?” “How could he possibly…??!” And the hot fresh tears forming in my eyes when the thought of him catches me off guard or the last image of holding his head in my hands telling him “It’s OK- Don’t worry.”
Dogs are an amazing part of our lives- and if you can’t see how I’m possibly laying in his dog bed clutching my ipad with one hand and the bed with the other bawling my eyes out… You just haven’t had a dog yet. Or better yet, the right dog. Often times you don’t see it coming, it catches you totally off guard. You don’t know until its too late and you’ve been sucked in with no means of escape. It’s real, raw, no strings attached love. It is a great love. And with great love comes great loss. There is an emptiness in my heart and soul today and will probably be for a long time. Every time I go to let the dogs inside or out I find myself stopping at 5, questioning it, and then realizing all over why 6 won’t run though the door again. Our house is missing a heart and it feels uneven and out of whack. It keeps hitting me over and over that he isn’t going to be here anymore.
At least- in the physical sense. I will always be Mickeys mom. He will always be my Moose. His collar hangs on my rear view mirror now so he is always with me when I drive. Whenever I pick my keys up he is always flying over to run to the door since his picture hangs from my key chain. He will always be with us at home. And when I’m not, he is forever in my heart and a part of my soul. He shaped me. He helped make me who I am today and will continue to be a huge factor as I grow. So I am to embrace his life. I laid next to him, head to head, on his last night here and cried my eyes out. I told him everything and anything I felt he needed to hear or I needed to tell him. And after it was all said and done a wave of peace washed over me and I began to laugh (again the crying laughing pig) and tell him about all of the silly, funny, or just fucked up things he has done. So while his passing is painful and sad, I can choose which Mickey I want to remember. Hopefully as days pass it becomes the Mickey that loved to shove his nose under my arm when we drove, the one who insisted we stop at EVERY TREE, or the one who fluently understood “Dog park,” “truck,” “walk,”"cookies,” “hungry,” and “food” (these are after all the MOST important things ever said.) And so he is never really gone. He lives in my memory. His energy flows through me, my other dogs, and my life. All living bodies come to an end, but love never does.
So this part’s for you, Mickey. Don’t eat the cat poop up there- i’m sure it smells even better but it’s still disgusting! Be nice to Squints, he’s probably become a real mountain lion by this point. Keep an eye on the Red one down here- he needs your guidance and wisdom. And you know, so do I. Know that I love you and we will all be together again some day. But don’t you dare stand there and peep for the next 60 years! Well. I mean if you wanted to peep every now and then I guess that’s fine. Maybe even so I can hear it? (Can you believe this, Moose, I want you hear you peep…) Stay in school, don’t do drugs, and don’t get anyone pregnant. But most important of all- always remember:
We are forever walking together- souls linked by the most unconditional love of all and not even death can break that. I love you. I miss you. Until we meet again…

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