©Jeanne E Webster
She lays sleeping, her chest heaving up and down, sometimes pausing, sometimes hurrying, once in a while skipping out of sync. That’s my girl, Misty, my friend of seven years– since I helped her mother birth her that early morning so long ago. She came out all slobbered up with slimy stuff and looked like a heaved-up lunch that hadn’t digested well. As she entered my world, I cleaned off her nose and mouth so she could grab some air into her lungs. She was not quite free from the womb when she let out a feeble howl, sounded like a wolf cub howling at the moon. Then she searched frantically for the teats; she was hungry. That was my girl, Misty, a black & tan Cavalier King Charles spaniel.
I hadn’t intended to keep her but as things worked out, that’s what happened. I sold her to a person 350 miles away, met her halfway, turned around and drove back home with a heavy heart. You see, I had trained her to be a little girls’ dog, which got to sleep on the bed, play gentle like, and be that little girl’s best friend. She ended up being my best friend. Two weeks later, I got a call—the girl was allergic to dogs and we were looking at a refund. I brought Misty back home and we’ve never parted since.
Now I look down upon her sweet little face and I see the wee one I reared so long ago. But only for a moment. Now she has a heart problem, takes medicine twice a day, walks slowly since suffering a stroke 2 months ago, has a balance problem and her right side is discombobulated. Her muzzle is graying and kind of crinkled up on one side, allows for drooling. But she’s still my girl. She peers at me like I am a stranger, yet she always did love anyone who would pet her or give her a treat. Her mother died only a month ago of heart failure but I don’t think she misses her. The stroke left her missing a few cylinders.
I look at her and my own limitations pounce forth into my mind. I too am aging, have curbed eyesight, loose teeth, hearing constraints, arthritic limbs, and a slight heart problem. We’re joint heirs in this life. My thoughts dwell on my final days ahead and I know the Lord has prepared an angel to walk with me to shore up my failings. I’ll be there for Misty when she enters into her final rest, just like I did a month ago with her mother. We sat up all night, Lacey and me, talking and petting, crying and smiling, wishing and praying… till it was time . . . and I’ll be there with Misty too, even though it’ll break my heart again. But that’s life . . .and love.