~MY MUSE TRIBUTE~
Missee came into my life unexpectedly, years ago. My hubbie, Dad, and I all traveled to the local animal shelter to just look around with no intentions, one crisp November morning. We came across a cage with about a half dozen of little black/white chihuahua mixed terrier puppies. She and another caught my eye because they were the runts of the pack, being pushed towards the back, as the larger ones jumped up and down on the fence.
A seasoned shelter worker noticed us and asked if we wanted to go into a visiting room with one or two in order to figure out which one we wanted.
As soon as they were placed at the end of this tiny room, she came running towards me sideways, almost tripping over one of her little paws, with her bright pink tongue stuck out of her mouth. I knew that she was the one, so I scooped her up, all one pound of her in my arms. Her darling looks, eagerness, and overbite sealed the deal for hubbie and me to purchase her.
I remember her shivering in the car. I found an old towel in the trunk and wrapped her up. When we arrived back home, I found a stretchy, purple sock that I cut out two little holes for her tiny arms. It fit her perfect, especially over her plump tummy, full of worms. She was satisfied because her shivering ceased. Her first vet visit took care of her little problem with medication.
Missee gave us so much joy. She loved to sleep with us, watch me put my make-up on in the mornings before work, bark at squirrels, chase squirrels, stand up on her hind legs and twirl around in the air like a mighty stallion, gallop back and forth across the floor whenever she heard thunder, and lay in my lap. At Christmas time, she loved to crawl into my lap and curl herself up, as I wrapped gifts. In fact, she usually sought out cushioned areas to rest.
The one thing that she used to do with me all the time was to lay in her special blue chair, right next to me, when I typed away at the computer. I could just look at her, and she would stare up at me with her big eyes. Her ears pointed out and tongue out on full display. Missee inspired words to flow from me, so easily. She kept me so much company those late hours, when everyone else was sound asleep. Sleep always found her, but just her presence fulfilled me. The years passed, and unexpected news drifted in.
When my hubbie and I started noticing physical and emotional changes in Missee, we took her to the vet. She was a regular at the vet for her annual check-ups and whenever something popped up. This vet visit was unlike no other. The vet ran some special blood tests on her. We had to wait for the results, which felt like hours, but it was maybe 30 minutes.
I knew when I walked in the room that it was not good. The vet explained the numbers for each test. The first half were okay, but the last one wasn't. He informed us that Missee had pancreatic cancer. He shared all of our options, related to her age and fragile condition. She had a really bad night, pacing and barking, which was most likely pain and discomfort.
The next morning, I decided to have her put down. I remembered how the vet explained that her pain would soon become more excruciating. I do believe that she knew this would be her last moments with us by the way she looked at me and held her head close to my chest.
That was one of the most difficult decisions that I ever had to make.
I wrapped her up in a blanket before my hubbie drove us to the vet office. I walked in the room and laid her down on the steel table at the vet's office. Missee was so still and didn't try to get up, something she had never done before; she hated the vet and anything associated with him. Her frailty confirmed more than I wanted to accept.
Missee looked up at me for the last time with her heavy eyes, which no longer sparkled.
Before I could grab tissue from my purse, Missee was gone…
Gone in less than ten seconds, after the vet injected the pale pink medication into her little paw. I held her almost weightless body in my arms for several minutes, until I was ready for the vet to take her from my arms.
I continue to struggle with my decision and probably will for the rest of my days… I came across this poem, which defines my final minutes with her:
Then, someone at my side says, "There, she is gone."
Her diminished size is in me -- not in her.
And that is dying..."
"Gone from my Sight" by Henry Van Dyke