Friday, March 3, 2017

Forever in my heart, forever and a day.

This morning, at just over sixteen years of age, my beautiful sweet funny Mitzi left God's waiting room and entered the meadows of the Rainbow Bridge.  She went gently, resting in my arms, secure in the knowledge that she had been loved her whole life.  She spent 12 wonderful years with my late cousin, Anita, and then graced me with four more.

I never expected to love her as deeply as I do.  I'd only met her once before she came to live with me, and never felt much draw to small frou-frou dogs.  But she belonged to my cousin, whom I loved very much, and this was one last gift I could give Anita before she died - the knowledge that Mitzi would always have a home where she would be well cared for, loved, and respected for the rest of her life.

Mitzi as a young pup at her Mama Anita's home

I don't think Mitzi was in my house for more than 24 hours before I was totally besotted with her.

She wasn't crazy about having fur siblings, especially not klutzy, crazy, bowl-her-over ones like Eddie.  But she survived him and the others by trying to keep out of their way, staying quiet, and never picking any fights with them. She got her one-on-one time with me on our walks around town, and occasionally on hikes with friends, though sometimes she hitched a ride part way.

Mitzi on the Crofton Sea Walk

Mitzi and friend Keeghan at Swallowfield

Pooped Pup

She loved her daily walks, even when she could no longer go more than a few blocks around town. The best part of walking, according to Mitzi, was sniffing - she loved to follow smells from one place to another, in the garden, along the seawalk, in fields, around the block.  Her nose was always leading the way - sometimes doubling back if she lost the trail.


When she became the only dog in the house, after the others had passed away, her true spirit came out and I began to see the impish, playful, funny girl my cousin had so often told me about.  She chased me around the house, barked at me, puttered in the yard with me, accompanied me on vacations and horse-sitting jaunts.  In fact, she soon showed me that she especially loved being a farm girl, spending hours wandering the fields, checking out all the great smells.

The Li'l Cowpoke

Despite being a farm girl at heart, she also loved going to the groomers - a cowgirl luxuriating in a good massage and a pedicure. Whenever her fur became dirty, she sulked - becoming sulkier and sulkier until that magic day when we headed to her groomer for her monthly spa day. She returned a happy, lively, beautiful Princess.

She wasn't one for getting dressed up, despite being a princess, but she tolerated the occasional outfits I produced - hats and dresses and hallowe'en costumes, and came to love her red sweater which she wore constantly these past few months.

She struggled with her health for the past two years, as kidney failure took its toll and left her without appetite.  But a few days rest and a little medicine, and she would bounce back and once again run in the door from our walk, race down the hall, flip herself around and play bow to me, with a loud bark that declared "play with me, Mama Jean, play with me".  And the game would be on - around and around and around the house we would go, first one way and then the other - tiny eight pound Mitzi chasing me, and me chasing her, each hiding around corners and jumping out at the other, until she eventually stopped, panting, and headed for the water dish.

Mama, play wiv me!

Ha!  Dat waz FUN!

She was still playing her little game on her birthday mid-January, but a few days later, she stopped. In early February I called her vet and we re-ran her numbers and knew that the kidney failure had progressed to the final stage. And though she had bounced back many times before, this time she did not.  She stopped barking, she stopped chasing me, and a couple of weeks ago, she made it clear she no longer wanted to go for even short walks. Instead, she started asking for something she never in her life had been interested in - being held, cuddled, wrapped in a blanket on my lap for hours on end. She became weaker, yet every couple of days she would eat a little, or wander around the house looking for me, or sit on my lap watching me as I sang to her. She looked at me with her clouded eyes once dark black, and sank her wee head into my shoulder.

Ahm tired, Mama Jean, ahm very tired

I knew yesterday it was time.  It was in her eyes, and it was in my heart, though I did not want her to go.

I knew that she could see the Bridge, could see her Mama Anita, and my sister Carole who also loved her - they were watching for her, waiting for her, arms outstretched.

Ah think it's time for me to go now, Mama Jean.

And this morning,  surrounded with my love,  she raced across that meadow to them, barking and spinning and play bowing as she went.

Run free, my most special little girl. I'll love you and miss you forever and a day.


MrsB said...

Your love for her shines through your pictures. It is so hard to lose them, even if they've lived a full, wonderful life.
My deepest sympathies.

EvenSong said...

Such a wonderful tribute, both in words and pictures, but also in the love that you shared with Mitzi these last four years. Smitten, indeed.

barb said...

Aww Jean, am so sorry to hear about Mitzi. You are so right when you say you didn't expect her to grab at your heartstrings so tightly, and yet she did just that. We learn so much from each pet we allow into our lives. None of them are the same, each one presents themselves in a different way, and I for one, am always grateful for that. Feisty little Mitzi showed you what a little dog with a big personality can offer. She was quite the gift. Big hugs from me and the furry ones....

CarolineA said...

The love you have experienced from Princess Mitzi leaps off the page as it always did with every post you wrote about her.
She was beyond blessed and will surely tell tall tales about your adventures together to her momma Anita and all her friends who came to greet her.
Reading this, I had tears and smiles at the same time. What a great tribute to such a little personality!

I'm sending you a huge hug. And Alie a hug too as she may never admit she'll miss the little furball.

Del & Mark and The Girls said...

Aunty Jean,

We have so many mixed up feelings right now. We know how painful it is to loose a darling like little Mitzi. (((HUGS))
We know she's now back in the arms of her sweet mamma Anita. She has so much to share about her wonderful years she spent with you.
Sending you a big bowl full of love n hugs, tail wags and licks and wiggles.
Take care of yourself please.
All our hearts empathy.
Princess MollyDawg, Lady May and Mommy and daddy.
<3 <3 <3

Barb Cowell said...

Sorry to hear about your loss of Mitzi.
Thinking of you today Jean and the days to come. She was a sweet little girl that was truly loved:)

Brigid said...

So sad to hear this, Jean - the time in the Waiting Room was all too short. She was blessed to have you as a loving Mama, just as you were blessed by her love and wonderful personality.

I'm sure you know the quote about "every time I lose a dog, they take a piece of my heart with them , and every new dog that comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be all dog, and I will be as generous and as loving as they are"

I know there's a big piece of Mitzi's love in your heart...

David said...

I never got a chance to meet Mitzi but your obvious love for and concern about one of our family makes me so glad she had you. Thanks Jean.

Anonymous said...

It's the hardest thing for us do but ultimately the greatest gift we can give. Hugs to you as you celebrate Mitzi's life and grieve the loss of her sweet presence.

Deb S.

Unknown said...

II'm so so sorry Jean, I know your heart is crying over your little princess, and even though it is the right thing to do, does not diminish the hurt and upset. Thank you so much for giving all of us the chance to get to know her, I know I've changed my outlook on "froufrou" dogs as she seemed to be in our lives as well, if only in spirit. I have so enjoyed reading all the antics and adventures over the years with Charlie and Sadie, Belle and Oliver, and later with sweet Shiloh and of course Eddie ! and all the critters on the farm before the island. You've given all the critters love and devotion that went full circle, you were all blessed to have found your way to each other, as it was meant to be.
be kind to yourself,

Janice Gillett said...

Tears , so very very sorry Jean. She truly was a pretty awesome friend

Black Jack's Carol said...

Another beautiful tribute, Jean. I've read quite a number of them since first coming across your blog nine (or so) years ago. What a variety of pets and personalities in your life, but you have given your heart to each one! Each has felt the freedom to shine in his/her own unique way. We, your readers, have had the delightful gift of watching each pet grow and flourish under your care. There can never be a moment's doubt in our minds that Mitzi was well and truly loved.

Bruce Brand said...

Sending gentle hugs from Memphis - Godspeed Mitzi - you were so loved

Mein Traum 1970 said...

so sorry about your loss, I really can feel with you, it is not easy to loose someone who has been loved so much, thinking of you

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful tribute to the lovely Princess. RIP sweet Mitzi. Jean I am so sorry for your loss. I know your house will feel so empty now without her.

Love Auntie Else

Marie said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you during this particularly difficult time, Jean, your tribute to Mitzi is beautiful, she was a huge part of your life and I know without a doubt that you were well loved by her also.

Sheryl said...

What a lovely tribute to a sweet well-loved girl. I'm so sorry for your loss.

AareneX said...

I'm not a fan of from from dogs either, but I am a HUGE fan of love. And this little from from dog clearly was in charge of the love. <3

Paddy Anne said...

What a wonderful tribute to your little girl! I lost my little guy to kidney failure in January, and miss him every day. I just found your blog this evening and am enjoying your photos and posts very much. Thank you for sharing your stories and photos,they are a delight!

Elle Clancy said...

A simply beautiful tribute.