The entire last 12 months have been some of the hardest of my life time. My life has not been any kind of picnic. That said, none of it quite compares to the outright hell and pain of the last year. It started with something exciting and fun, and it progressed into a nightmare few people can imagine.
In March of 2019 we took an amazing trip with Courtney. We traveled to Florida so she could attend her brother’s wedding. It was a really beautiful event, and the entire trip was awesome. We went to the Blue Ridge. We made all sorts of memories. We saw our beloved friend Ellen in Ocala. We did a lot of amazing things. When we got back Courtney was tired but happy. She was feeling a little off, but it didn’t alarm her, or us. But the next day, it was apparent she wasn’t well. She had pneumonia. It was the first time, but it would sadly not be the last. Over the next months, Courtney fought pneumonia repeatedly, due to a spinal tumor that made swallowing difficult. She finally relented to a feeding tube. This improved matters for a time, but it was very hard for her to do without the things she loved most- baking, cooking, and enjoying her favorite foods and coffees. Eventually, no matter what we did, the tumor would take her eye sight, her remaining mobility, and her life.
All that fall I’d had little joy in my life. I was consumed with fear, worry, sadness, and most of all the drive to take care of Courtney and of my animals. One thing I did enjoy was going online and looking at my friends’ pictures and chatting with them and seeing their dogs. My favorites, of course, were the German Shepherds. I’d always loved Kysarah’s Corona Light, AKA Roro. She’s by Anya’s Cowboy and out of Whiskers, my Quest’s mom. She is lovely, and when Mina bred her to the gorgeous champion Falco I was very excited to see the puppies grow up on Facebook. I wasn’t going to get one, but I was going to enjoy every single adorable picture. I needed a smile. On August 30th, three beautiful babies were born. There was a saddle tan male, a bi color or very dark bitch, and a darling little sable girl. Being me, I liked the sable right away, but I didn’t think much of it.
Months passed, and the puppies got cuter and bigger. They were all precious, but the sable remained a favorite of mine. Mina decided to keep the darker female, and a friend of hers got the male. That left Mimosa, or Mimmy, the sable. As fate would have it, Mina asked if I would be interested in her. I am sure it was obvious I really liked her. I supposed that it couldn’t hurt. She could be sold if it wasn’t meant to be, right? I decided to call her Miami, since that’s where her sire lives, and it was one of mine and Courtney’s very favorite places to hang out when we were young and healthy. Right that week Courtney passed away. Not more than ten days later Anya brought Mimmy to my door. “You need a brown puppy to hug,” she said as she handed her over. I was to co-own Mimmy with Mina and Margaret. I suppose I did need a brown puppy. The weeks that followed were an impossible blur, but a sweet sable girl brought smiles through the tears. I tried to make her Scottie’s project, and he did like how playful and confident she was. She was also gorgeous and very promising looking. Just as we thought life might eventually improve, and our sadness might some day lift, the unthinkable happened, and Anya was killed in a horrific accident on January 22.
I really do hardly remember what happened after that. Small bits stand out. Mimmy’s mother Roro had been on her way here to board for a while. She survived the accident that took Anya’s life. After some shuffling about and transport, she was brought here. The dog community had stepped up in the most moving of ways. Mimmy was reunited with her mom, and life went on- a blur of grieving, winter, boredom, sadness, and confusion about what path we would take, both in life and in dogs. We survived difficult moments, like Quest’s first show without Anya. Other friends, the best kind in the world, came to stay, came to help, and came to take us to the show. Life began to seem like it might be worth living again some day. Through the end of winter and the start of spring, one thing definitely became apparent. As much as they liked each other, Mimmy wasn’t Scottie’s dog. She was mine. Smiling, happy, sweet, confident, sassy, and aloof, Mimmy picked me, and who was I to argue?
We started training, we started socializing, we started bonding and playing and snuggling more and more. Miami or Mimmy (the nickname stuck), is a stunning puppy, full of promise. She has lovely angles, is short-coupled and iron-backed, has a gorgeous coat, and moves very soundly. More than that, she is one of the bright things that got me through the worst and darkest of losses and days, and so was her mother. Roro also ingrained herself into our lives, cuddling, snuggling, and playing perfectly with the others. She has no apparent ill effects from the accident, and she fit into our lives seamlessly. Together, they wormed their way into my broken heart and brought the kind of healing only a good dog or two can. They have both earned their place here.
We will show. Roro will have a litter for her co-owner. We have plans for Mimmy, assuming her health testing is all good and such. I look forward to all of it, and to being me again. Me, with my pack of brown dogs at my heels. Me, knowing that there is a future, and that I made it to the other side.