Those of you who know her: I’m really missing her this morning for some reason. So. this entry.
When I was four we got a shih-tzu named Muffin, two days before Christmas as an impromptu present. She was a pet store puppy, and runty.
On Christmas morning she ‘helped’ me open my present. She slept with me and my mom with her head toward me and her butt toward mom, right in the middle.
She would chase me in circles around the house and never get tired of me no matter how much I played with her and rough housed.
She was loyal to the bone, and when mom was mowing the lawn, she followed right at her heels.
We never had her cooped up, we lived in a secluded neighborhood and she roamed with my best friends dog. They chased motorcycles.
One time, when I was around six, me and a friend were down by the creek. I had her on her leash with me.
Suddenly, this man comes out with his pointer dog, around sixty pounds of it. She sees me and my friend and goes INSANE and runs right at us, snarling and barking.
My little ten pound dog slams herself into this dogs chest and bowls it over, going right for her throat and ears. The big dog is screaming for mercy while her owner stands and calls her uselessly. I grab my bad ass little dog and book it home. I don’t doubt she saved me or my friend from one serious mauling.
I taught her how to catch toads. She must have seen me and my friends do it. She would chase them around and prance and hit the ground with her front paws in a play bow. She never understood why they didn’t play back.
Sometime in her last few years I saw her do it again. Nearly blind, almost deaf, cancerous and arthritic, she still tried to play with a toad.
She would run around like an idiot when she got hyper. Eights and circles and zigzags until she had to lay down, then up to do it again.
She was afraid of storms, and she’d shake and pace and drive me crazy digging under the beds. every time it storms I wish she were here to do it again.
She survived cancer once, they took a huge chunk out of her side and in a week she was jumping on and off the bed like it had never happened. She was twelve.
She loved to dig, and every time we found a patch of sand or loose earth she would dig and dig until she couldn’t anymore. Even at fourteen.
She got along with everyone she met. Kids would come up and pick her up with no warning and she would just wag her tail.
I’ve never known a dog with so much patience.
When I started having panic attacks she would come and lay next to me and just let me hold onto her fur and wait. And when I calmed down she’d look at me like ‘alright, we good now?’ and lick my hand and then go find my mom. She was my moms dog, really, but I never thought she didn’t love me.
We took her camping once, and she must have been eleven. She hiked with my brother in law all the way up the mountain and back and never once stopped wagging her tail.
She got so blind she couldn’t see the stairs, so she’d sit in the middle of the stairwell and whine until one of us carried her up or down. She never doubted we’d come and rescue her.
When I got my current dog ,he had no idea how to be a dog. He had been locked up in a yard all his life and abused. She taught him just as much as I did, without me realizing it. How to great other dogs, how to act around kids, how to walk with us, how to dig. He learned it all watching her.
I never did get to thank her for that, for leaving a little bit of her personality with him before she died.
I wish I had stayed in the room with my mom when they put her down. But I felt like I was going to die already, if I had stayed I would have thrown up.
My mom left me alone with her for a minute[She actually did have to go and throw up] I cupped her face in my hands and told her I loved her and I would miss her every day, and never, ever forget her. She didn’t even look for my mother, and that was weird, she hated it when my mom left. She licked me and stood on my chest and wagged her tail. She licked my face, just like she did the day we picked her over her brother.
That was why we picked her. She was full of love, and I don’t think it ever ran out. And I never will forget her, I took a print of her paw one day, and a snippet of her fur the day she died. I’m getting that paw print tattooed on me soon.
I still wake up when it’s storming, and expect to hear her digging under my bed. I still have her leash. I still have her toys. it’s been two years, It doesn’t hurt any less.
Here’s to the best damn dog any girl could ask for.
I miss you Sissy. I hope you get to dig holes and chase motorcycles and play with toads in the Summerland. I’ll see you there, one day.