I don't even like dogs. But I loved this dog so, so much - enough for all the dogs, combined.
I grew up with cats, but when I went off to college in 2002, my mom decided a dog was just the right companion to fill her empty nester void. The first weekend I came home for a surprise visit, there was a dog on my porch - a shy little thing that looked like a miniature German Shepherd. She was so quiet & skittish that the folks at the local shelter had nicknamed her "Miss Mouse," & though we hated the name, it stuck. Missy was ours.
She was afraid of men, likely the result of some terrible abuse at the hands of a previous owner who wasn't my mother. Eventually, she came around - she grew to love our neighbor, Chuck, and my then-boyfriend, Dave. She didn't like other dogs. She did like ice cream & all table scraps. She was my mom's vigilant little protector, barking any time anyone came near her - even when I hugged her! And whenever I made it back from college & home for weekends from D.C., Missy was always there, wagging her tail & barking like mad, more enthusiasm for my existence than I've ever seen out of any of the people in my life.
When my mom arrived home tonight from a week away on vacation, Missy was having trouble breathing & was so weak she couldn't walk. She rushed her to the nearest emergency vet, who said there was no chance of survival. She had pneumonia, & apparently it had been building up for a while. It all happened within an hour or two - and then she was gone.
For someone who doesn't like dogs, I sure am crying a lot. Like, there's a river in & around my facial region. My mom saved that little dog, & in return, she saved my mom. I know everyone thinks their pet is the best, but for us, there was no better dog than Missy. She was our perfect fit. She made our little two-person family complete, & it's going to be a tough adjustment to life without her, even from afar.
Rest easy, my pretty little girl.