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


  1. Oh, Heather... so sorry for your loss. Sending virtual hugs. ((hugs))

  2. How sad. What a great story and legacy to her. She brought you so much joy. The same sort of thing happened to me last year. Went on vacation and left our naked boy with a good friend. Two days later he was in the hospital with brain swelling and liver problems. No clue that he was sick but we lost him at a young age. They do have a way of creeping into our hearts.

  3. I am sorry for your loss. She is there, waiting for you now. You will see her again.

  4. Run free sweet Ming in the warm fields of rainbow bridge.

    Our love to you and your family at this very sad time.


  5. I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Ming. I know how precious she was to you. She is at peace now and you'll meet her again over the rainbow bridge.


  6. Heather - I'm so sorry to hear this and it brings me to tears to read of your loss. We lost Little Man on Dec 21st and I miss him each and every day. He was 16 and had been failing for some time so we did have the luxery of getting to say good-bye but it still hurts beyond words. You're in my thoughts and in my heart and our babies are together, sunbathing and waiting for us.

    Michelle (Baughman) Pollock

  7. I am so sorry for your loss. I have precious little Alfie and he is a unique, wonderful pet. He spins and dances and is always full of joy. He has more personality in his 5 pound body than my other dogs combined so I know what a gap the loss of Ming brings to you. Ming was a beautiful girl.

  8. I don't know who you are but my entire heart goes to you and Ming..I could just cry and I am actually. I am so happy that you rescued her and gave her a loving life..