Sunday, August 3, 2014

A Tribute to the Best Dog Ever

Good-bye Meucci, Rest in Peace

Meucci was a special cocker spaniel. He has passed away at the age of 10 1/2 years. This is a tribute to my dog, and best friend.

You came to me so small. The little puppy that chose me, not the other way around. I remember looking at the other tiny black and white cocker spaniels in your litter. All were romping happily, and here you were curled up on my foot to sleep. I tried to carefully pull my foot away to look at the more playful puppies, but you would not have it. You clung to my shoe laces and curled up on my foot no matter where I put it down. So I finally picked you up for a better look. Little black ball of silky curls with the purest white chest, the only white on you. It made you look like you were all dressed up in your tuxedo, but were too tired to party. That was it, minutes later we were on our way to show Tom the new puppy and family member.

I named you after my favorite pool cue brand, Meucci, and it fit so well. You wore the original dog name with pride, and it was obvious from the very beginning that you were no ordinary puppy. You came to me only a few sore weeks after mom died, and were burdened with filling a gigantic hole in my life and heart. It was a steep hill, but you climbed it without hesitation.

After potty training in less than 24 hours and mastering a flight of large steps in only a couple days, I started to wonder if you were a real dog. You never chewed anything up, I still have every toy you ever played with. It seemed I had stumbled onto a little miracle. Which is why it was so funny when I found your 'stash'. When I could not find you and finally saw your wiggling little butt sticking out from under my bed.... where you were gleefully annihilating several pages of newspaper in a way only puppies can. The stash of papers under that bed were all from different dates, like you had been hoarding away for just the perfect moment... and totally got busted being a puppy. That was the best!

You loved every single person you met, and showed them immediately. Even tender with the smallest children, your back-end would go crazy while your head stayed perfectly still for petting (or poking).

When I bought the pet shop you accepted every new animal as if it were as natural as rain. The cats thought they ruled the house and you, but every night you let them curl up with you to stay warm. As kittens they even made beds on your back, all you did was look annoyed and wait for them to get comfortable.

This summer you started to look so much older. Eyes sagging slightly, ears turning gray. When I groomed your face, the white muzzle was so apparent now. I had to think back, it had been well over 10 years ago that you came to me. For the first time you 'tried' to bite me when I tried to groom your legs. Really just giving me a hurt look and pushing on my hand with your muzzle. You cried out so loud that I stopped, and started to worry.

Now you have to leave me. I am thankful that it was fairly quick and you did not have to suffer for long. That just does not help right now. It will later, I'm told. I had no idea how hard it would be to see you go, and to be so sick. As we got in the truck to go for the last ride, you laid down and put your head on my lap. I know you understood the pain was almost over. Not wanting to hear the daily Sean Hannity ranting for this drive, I turned to the lite station for some quiet music. As we got on the Interstate for that quick ride, only 1 exit away, the song came on. The open notes, then Paul McCartney's young voice, "When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom, let it be..." For whatever reason a complete feeling of calm seemed to come over both of us. I stayed with you while the sedative took effect, you could finally breathe easy, poor puppy. I stayed till you were gone, and then for a while longer. I thought I could never leave you.

The drive home was so much longer. The house is quiet, completely now. Funny how the TV can't drown out the silence of a missing dog. Please know that you brought me more than I could have wanted in a friend. You will always be with me. My puppy, my buddy, my best friend.

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