Journey’s End

Posted on Friday, September 11th, 2009 at 4:54 pm

Journey’s End

By Barbra Hesson

Although this story was not published I wanted to include it after my first  article, “A Puppy’s Journey,” which is about my dog, and the miracle of life.

The subject of an animal dying is a touchy one for children, but it is a part of the journey of life we all take together.

Her official Australian Shepherd, Canadian Kennel Club name was “ChinookRidge Myla Minute.” I can still remember the day we brought her home. Her pug nose sniffed every corner and from day one this tiny puppy tried to herd our family around like we were her sheep.

At six months old she broke her leg when she stepped in a gopher hole. She dragged around a pink cast without missing a beat.

In the summer she would chase the bees that buzzed by her face and past our swatting hands, and bite at the water that escaped from the sprinkler heads.

Her appetite was constant and even the tiniest crumb never made it past her lapping tongue. Though we only gave her dog food, she never stopped her quest for the stuff she saw humans gnawing. One time she jumped on the counter and ate a whole uncooked pizza, and though we knew better, we left two perfectly grilled hamburgers with all the fixings unattended and they were gone in seconds. The weirdest thing she ate was a whole bar of ”soap on a rope.” She did leave the rope.

In the wintertime she jumped through the snow like a jackrabbit, diving head first trying to catch whatever she heard scampering underneath. To my surprise one day she emerged with something black and furry. When I screamed she dropped it and it scurried away.

At Christmas she spread cheer throughout the house carrying discarded wrapping and hiding it in spots for us to find later. Her first taste of paper came when I gave her an envelope to carry from the mailbox. After that she was hooked. With her nose to the ground she would push magazines and flyers around until she could pick them up in her mouth and then she would trot around the house as if to say, “look what I got and you can’t get it.” Her favorite toy became an empty toilet paper roll.

Myla was a true friend in every way. She trusted, and loved no matter how many times she was scolded. She lay at our feet in the evening and sprang up to greet us in the morning.

She never slowed down until she got sick. She was about 84 in dog years when she died. It was hard to see her go, and I told my kids it was okay to cry and miss her. I certainly did.

She had taken us all on a wonderful journey.

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