Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The World Goes On

As you know, I lost my little Mischief just 2 weeks ago. I wanted to take a moment and thank you for the many cards and emails expressing your sympathy for my loss. I thought this would be a good time to do a short follow up about her.

The day I lost her I knew life would go on, but it would never be the same and so far that has been true. For those of you who may not know, Mischief was a beagle and had been my best friend and constant companion for nearly a decade. She was incredibly smart, incredibly loyal and incredibly stubborn (she knew she could almost always get her way in the end).

I know that just about everyone who has had a pet has had to face the loss of their “special friend” and, in fact, having grown up with a dog in the family from the day I was born, I have had to go through this several times. It is always hard –and I suppose it should be since the feelings and emotions are real. In this case, however, the connection between us was unusually strong and although life really does go on, it has not gotten any easier. The wound closes but never heals.

Mischief helping Hameed fix dinner
One thing which has made it easier to handle has been the support from my friends, my best friend in particular. He is a young man named Hameed. I met him when Mischief was just over a year old and I was kicking around the idea of starting TRACOM (my on-line business teaching Management, Supervisory and Leadership skills targeted for people without benefit of college education). Hameed was interested in the concept and was helping move the concept from idea to existence. He met Mischief the first time he came to my home to work on the project and the two of them took an instant liking for each other.

In the years that passed, they grew to love each other. All I had to do was mention his name and she would run to the window and watch for his car to drive up, her tail in perpetual ‘wag mode’.

Hameed was caught by surprise at her loss and was devastated by it (Mischief had been coughing, off and on, for a couple of weeks but was active and not acting sick until just the last few days). He immediately drove the 30 plus miles to be with me and to help with her funeral. Sharing the grieving has helped both of us get through all of this.

That first day he met Mischief she was in perfect “Mischief” form. He was coming to spend the evening talking about TRACOM and I had bought a platter of shrimp and cocktail sauce to munch on while we talked. I put them on the coffee table in the living room and when Hameed arrived we went into the kitchen to get a bottle of wine from the fridge. Upon returning to the living room (a whole minute and a half later) Mischief had decided the shrimp platter was for her and she had consumed about a quarter of it. When I yelled at her she simply stepped away from the coffee table, swirled around the room and came to a stop in from of us, front legs lying out in front of her, butt in the air and tail wagging vigorously. To her the word “no” was simply a signal to play. She spent the rest of the evening circling the coffee table like a shark, waiting for the opportunity to either steal another shrimp or to con one out of us.

Mischief was one of those dogs that liked every one she met but she was very picky about choosing 'special friends'. There have only been a couple to earn that honor. One was my friend for 30 years, Margaret, who now lives in Florida, near her son. Another was Hameed, who loved Mischief as much as me and whom Mischief loved dearly.

Next month I will begin looking for another pet. I know I can not replace Mischief and that is not what I will try to do. But she will always be the standard every dog I know will be measured against -and that is a very high standard indeed.

For those of you who are dog lovers, may your friends be as trustworthy as your dog –and at least half as loyal.

Long Life and Prosper…..

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