Today is the second day of the Norman Rockwell series. The inspiration for this series is courtesy of Bert’s blog, where he tells amazing stories of “men and women doing the right thing”. If you haven’t yet, please head over to his site and give him some bloggy love. All of the art for this series is from Art.com.
Today’s image inspiration:
At the Vets – March 29, 1952
I will never forget Misty. She was my first dog, and my very best friend for almost 10 years. We were constant companions until the day she slipped quietly over the Rainbow Bridge. She came into my life via a cruel and heartless owner who threw her away like a bouncing ball. Coincidentally, that’s how the crass bastard threw her from his car – he tossed her little ball out the door and out she went after it. He then slammed his car door and off he went leaving that sweet little baby in his wake.
It just so happened that my neighbor Mark and I went outside not long after and heard her rustling around under the trailer. We looked and there she was, all cute and cuddly and white… and muddy. Cowering in the chill of November and holding her ball in her mouth. I quickly went back inside and slipped back out with a bunch of turkey from our feast that afternoon (something I did in fact in in major trouble for). After what seemed like hours, she finally got close enough for me to grab her. When I did she dropped her ball, and it rolled into the yard – she dashed after it and brought it back to me… dropping it at my feet – and I was hooked y’all.
I named her Misty after the weather outside that day, it was hazy, overcast, and cold with a light rain drizzling down on us. In that single ball dropping moment, she became my best friend forever. We spent hours with that silly ball. She preferred the bright yellow tennis balls that I substituted after a week of not being able to find the little blue racquet ball she came to me with.
She was a Cockapoo or so said the veterinarian we visited with her not long after her arrival – shots and a check up were the order of the day. She became a part of our little family, and my dad’s dog dutch fell in love with her.
The first time she went into heat they bred, and after she miscarried after only two weeks of pregnancy, she was immediately taken to the vet and spayed – she almost died, as did I.
When my dad passed away a few years later she was there to lay on my bed as I cried for hours on end. She was there to play ball for hours and hours when I needed a distraction from all the grief and pain. She was there to watch over me as I slept a fitful and nightmarish sleep for those first few months.
She moved with my mom and I when we went to Florida – the only one of the dogs we had to make the “moving cut”. The others, two German Shepherds and a Great Dane were donated to loving families prior to our departure. She was there as I learned the ropes of a new neighborhood and was the catalyst for me to make new friends.
She had a real passion for my grandmothers chocolate chip cookies – at one point enlisting the cat in her fiendish addiction; coercing him to knock the sealed container from the top of the refrigerator in order to chew a hole through my grandmothers Tupperware pie keeper to get to the rich chocolaty goodness inside.
She had a run in with a bunch of saran wrap at one point, prompting another trip to the vet and an unfortunate surgery to remove three feet of the stuff from her stomach. A surgery I was allowed to “scrub in” for at the ripe old age of 14. The next time she went under the knife was because of a bunch of tinfoil she consumed. And another for a round with our fiberglass garage door as she had inadvertently been left out there instead of in the house.
When I was 16 and she was 9 she was diagnosed with cataracts. The vet said they were not yet bad enough to remove yet so we just kept an eye on them. Six months later she was totally blind. Then she lost her hearing. She got lost not long after the hearing loss and I was devastated! She had somehow gotten out of the back yard and wandered away. For three weeks I put up posters and searched the neighborhood for her. Finally, I found her living with another family who had taken her in when they found her wandering around their back yard with a tennis ball in her mouth. Old habits die hard.
One afternoon I came home and found her cowering in a corner, despondent. She had an accident on the floor and was totally mortified by her actions. It happened again that night. She was unable to find the door to ask to go out. We decided to have the vet take a look and see if she was suffering. That’s when they found the cancer. It was eating its way through her liver. Her internal organs were shutting down… she was dying.
A week before my 18th birthday I took her in my arms for the last time, and carried her into the exam room and lifted her onto the table. I stood quietly by while her lifelong vet inserted the needle into her leg and promised me she would feel no more pain. I held her in my arms as the medicine flowed into her little body and she sighed her last breath, dropping the tennis ball to the floor. She was buried in the pet cemetery at the vet’s office with a tombstone that read “Misty – faithful friend, constant companion, tennis pro”.
I miss her every day of my life.
Thank’s for reading to the end – I know this one was long, but it was a story asking to be told.
Happy Wednesday! Come back tomorrow for the next Norman Rockwell inspired post entitled Dolly.