Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pawprints on my Breaking Heart

We were shopping at a local mall in January of 2001, when I heard someone loudly exclaim, “Man, that’s one ugly dog!” Curious, we approached the pet store and peered in. Inside a cold, lonely cage sat a shivering and pitiful creature. I asked to hold her. With a disgusted sneer the girl handed me a small skeleton covered in dry leather. The unsightly canine turned, gazed deeply into my eyes, and joyfully licked my nose. We named her Ming Lei, and our lives were changed forever.

Ming was only 14 weeks old when we brought her home. We had just gotten married, and we needed a baby to call our own. From day one she went everywhere with us. She spent her days being spoiled by Aunt Marry and Grandma, and her evenings getting glammed up and hitting the town with us (the park, Petsmart, friend's houses, anywhere we were going she was with us).

I missed 6 months of her life when I decided to leave for Army Training. I wanted to better our lives, get a good education, make some decent money. But fate had other plans. I returned to a nearly grown up Ming! I was so scared she wouldn't recognized me. All fears were washed away as she jumped into my arms and covered me in kisses. My baby, my Buggaboo.

Ming had lots of silly nicknames, and she knew each and every one. Ming, Mingy, Mingster, Minginator, Ming-a-ling, Mingalingadingdong, Mystical Magical Ming Lei. She'd spin and dance, each time getting more and more excited that it was all about her!

Ming was a diva, no one can deny that. She loved her dresses and outfits, prancing about waiting for everyone in the room to ooh and ahh over how pretty she was. Ming wasn't one to enjoy bath time, what dog really does? But, tell her it's time to "get pretty" and she was right there waiting. Some people didn't like her hairless skin, and crazy looks. To us, she was the most beautiful thing in the world.

The last year or so has been tough on our beloved pets. We don't take them out as much, "getting pretty" was for special occasions, no more trips to Petsmart... Mom and dad had long days and stressed out nights. The serenity of how things were seemed to be slipping away.

Friday night I put on Ming's favorite play shirt, a pink t with "Spoiled Rotten" on the back. We had play time, and snuggle time on the couch. When it was time for bed she begged to sleep upstairs, but I just wanted to get a good night's sleep so she and Tigger stayed in the livingroom. Saturday morning was so busy! Matt and Ming playing on the couch, Ming following me around hoping to snag a sip of my coffee. It was all so routine, so mundane. I never knew how everything would change.

Matt came home that day and found her in her crate, Poky keeping watch. Chaibo was the first to alert him that something was wrong. She's asleep, she must be asleep. But no, our baby girl was gone. So sudden, so soon. I raced home, hoping it wasn't true. She was so cold. So still. It wasn't real.

I hope she went peacefully, gently. My heart is breaking, I am lost. She left us on the vernal equinox, the spring solstice that heralds new life to the land. It seems her life with us was so short, not yet 10 years old.

Preliminary results show that she had what's called an angiosarcoma of the spleen that ruptured. Basically a malignant tumor caused when cells in the blood vessels go madly wrong. She had no symptoms. We never knew.

Please say a prayer for her, and for us. Be sure to hug your babies tonight, because you never know what tomorrow will hold.

We will see you over the bridge baby girl.

I love you Ming, my Bugaboo, my angel.
September 21, 2000 - March 20, 2010