Sunday, January 18, 2009
All Things Must Pass
It's been eight dreary months since my little doggie of fourteen years took a fatal downward spin that left my family heart broken and her passing is still difficult to discuss or even write about. Her name was Muffin and she was half Shih Tzu and half Pomeranian, or what is referred to as a Shi-Pom.
She was the sweetest little dog and she knew no enemies. Everyone was her friend. She loved French fries more than anything in the world and would nip fingers when offered one and it's to my shame and her detriment that I offered her human food at all. Live and learn. Dogs should not eat human food and this time around we are making sure ours eats properly.
When she was very small and still a puppy, the boy down the street accidentally stepped on her and broke her leg. We carried her to the Vet as soon as we could and they set the injured leg. It did not heal like new and consequentially; our doggie walked splayfoot the rest of her days. She didn't seem to mind and on our walks, I would carry her a lot. It was a satisfactory arrangement.
When I went to visit friends and family, she accompanied me and sat comfortably on my lap and folks expected to see her there. She was my friend. I was known to comment that she was the best kid I ever raised. I loved that little dog like it was family and only a pet lover understands the depth of love a pet gives freely.
About seven years ago, I wrote an intimate poem about her and I want to share it with those of you who love animals and know how a wonderful pet massages our soul. I call it 'My Little Animal'.
I have a little animal that lives…in my house
licker, snorter, scratcher, sleeper, my baby.
It's hairy, furry, fluffy…soft as a mouse.
Companion, comforter, snuffer, stinker, my lady.
What would I do without it…in my life?
Player, chaser, trickster and my bestest friend.
My little animal cleanses me…of inner strife.
Eater, beggar, snorer, smiler, its benefits transcend.
Pig dog, sleeper, kitty cat…Muffin, Muffer, Looler.
Where is the kitty cat??? Get em!
Stink bait, road kill, sweetie cakes, pootie, hacker.
Do you want a bath? Chase em!
Morning arrives and I bow down to my little animal.
Descending to its level…I start my greeting.
Scratch, scratch, and scratch, for me visceral.
Rub, rub, and rub…another heavenly meeting.
As much as I miss her (her photo is still on my cell phone), we realize she lived the life of a diva and had anything she wanted, any time she wanted it. She lived a very protected and good life and against all reason, I believe she is nestled in the arms of heaven awaiting my arrival.
Needless to say, I did not take her passing very well and secreted myself away for the grieving process, which to a blessed lesser extent is still in progress. My bride was also severely hurt over our loss and vowed not to bring another doggie into our home. The pain is too deep and she wanted to protect us from a pet life to death reoccurrence.
As the months slipped by I began to voice how I needed another friend to help me in the grieving process and one night I caught my bride watching youtube.com videos of Shih Tzu's. I welcomed and encouraged this behavior and before much longer we found ourselves at a breeders in Houston and took into our arms a baby female Shih Tzu.
My daughter, Melody, much grieved by the loss of Muffin, selected the new name of Coco Bear and we began the process of housebreaking what is arguably the most difficult breed to housebreak. We wanted a Shih Tzu because Muffin was half Shih Tzu and we thought we knew what we were doing. It wasn't long before we realized our beloved Muffin acted more like a Pomeranian, than this little Ewok monkey.
The Shih Tzu pure breed is a peculiar royal lap dog of unmatched parallel; we quickly found out and began reading everything we could, to help us understand what we had welcomed into our home.
One trainer summed up this stubborn and obstinate dog as either the stupidest dog on the planet or the smartest. This breed cannot be scolded for wrongdoing, but rather rewarded to do well instead. If they want to do something, it's like they are genius learners; if they don't care to learn something, it's going to take forty or fifty concerted efforts on the owners part to get them to do it your way…maybe.
Shih Tzu's are part monkey, part cat, part rabbit and finally part dog. Ask anyone who owns one. Their bottom jaw juts out like a bulldog. Their hair feels and looks like it belongs on a cat and when they are wet; they must be blow-dried, as they can't shake the water out. They hop straight up in the air and run like a rabbit with sudden starts and stops. Their face looks like a cross between a Golden Lion Tamarin monkey and a Star Wars Ewok and they steal your heart like a funny little furry pirate.
Muffin will live on in our hearts through Coco Bear. All dogs go to heaven
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