-Morris S. Schwartz:
Tuesdays With Morrie
Today it is another religous holiday in Italy, All Souls Day or the Day of the Dead. Though this holiday isn't well known in America, it is a huge holiday in predominantly Catholic countries.
It is a day set a side to remember and pray for loved ones who have gone before us. In Mexico, families gather at the graveside of dead relatives to sing, play music, drink, picnic and even pray. In Italy, the day is marked by a visit to the cemetery where flowers and candles are placed on the tombs of loved ones gone from this world.
Since it is a day to remember the dead, we wanted to share with you our special memories of a beloved friend who left this world several years ago. Till still makes us sad when we think of her, but we are thankful for many memories we have and the time we shared together. This is her story.
When our human was growing up, she never had pet larger than a hamster; and aren't those just snacks anyway? The simple reason was that her father was very allergic; cats and dogs were out of the question. But our human just adored animals and pined away for a pet of her own to love and care for. At last when she was twelve years old, her best friend got a dog and that is what got the ball rolling. That dog was a Lhasa apso and her parents were told that this breed of dog was perfect for people with allergies because there was no shedding and not much dander.
After a lot of begging and pleading, her parents decided to give it a try. At last after all of those years, she would have a dog of her own to love.
They adopted a cute, little, sandy brown Lhasa apso and named her Little Miss Muffett. The entire family fell head over heels for the tiny creature and it wasn't long before Muffy (her nickname) came to rule the house.
Our human spent many wonderful years with Muffett. She spent a lot time teaching the dog an entire list of tricks, and she was always impressed with how quick Muffet was able to pick them up. She really was a smart dog.
Of course the day came when our human grew older and it was time for her to go out on her home. Muffett stayed behind, left to keep our human's parents company.
Enter Opus and I.
Opus and I were Christmas gifts to our human. She lived alone and we came to keep her company. It was a perfect match right from the start. Little did we know that there was already a pet in our human's heart; even worse, it was a dog.
Not long after Opus and I came to live with our human, she took us for a ride. We drove a short ten minutes before arriving at our "Grandparent's house". Imagine our surprise when we went inside and saw this big-bag-of-fur-of-a-dog waiting to greet us. She growled, we hissed and everyone was off on the wrong the foot, er paw. The funniest part of our encounter was that this 15 pound dog was afraid of a couple of kittens! Oh sure, she would growl at us, but only when we walked away!
We never really fought with Muffett on our visits, but we never really got along either. The humans were always careful to keep one ear open, just in case things turned ugly. Then something happened that changed the way we felt about each other......
In the kitchen, way up high on the counter top, was a Tupperware bowl full of doggie treats. Of course Muffett couldn't reach them, but we could. Opus and I jumped up on the counter and knocked the Tupperware bowl on to the floor. Then Muffet used her smarts and strength to open the Tupperware. The three of us were chowing down on dog treats when the humans walked in and caught us.
From that day forward, we were friends forever. We played together, ate together and even curled to sleep together. We are not ashamed to say that Muffett, a sweet little dog, was the bestest friend we ever had.
Muffett ended up sick as she got older. She came down with diabetes and she became to allergic to grass and flea bites! Twice a day she had to have a shot of insulin and a gulp of benadryl. Her humans were so consistent about giving her the medicine, that not only did she out live the doctor's prediction, but she lived longer than what is normal for a dog of her breed.
Sadly her life to came to end and she went to cross the rainbow bridge. It happened when our human was in Italy for the very first time. It broke her heart to come home and find out that her very first pet had passed away. Lucky that Opus and I were there to help dry her tears.
And so today we remember our dear friend Little Miss Muffett, who taught us that dogs can be just as wonderful as us cats. We love her, miss her and know that she is watching down on us.
We also want to stop and remember our dear friend Mia who suddenly passed away this week. We were shocked and saddened by the news and we are keeping her family in our thoughts and puurayers.
Thinking also of Miss Anastasia, a beautiful cat who we never had the chance to know. She still comes to visit time to time from beyond the rainbow bridge.
And Buddy, the outdoor cat who kept our Grandma company. About a month ago he was found on Granny's porch curled up and very sick. The animal rescue man seemed to think that Buddy had gotten into posion. It is our hope that he recovered from his illness, but we will never know for sure. And we don't really want to know.
To all of our friends who have crossed the rainbow bridge, we love and miss you so very much.
It is never easy to say good bye, but we hope that memories of our loved ones will carry us through the dark nights and their love will burn forever in our hearts.