Saturday, July 6, 2013

*Our Pets, Our Hearts*

Ever since I was a little girl, I've had a deep love for animals. My grandparents had a Yorkshire Terrier, Mindy. She was one of the most beautiful animals I have ever seen. I have many fond memories of Mindy's bond with my family. My Nonna [grandmother] would bathe her in the basement of her four story home. I would "help" Nonna and we'd brush Mindy and blow dry her. Mindy was my mom's and two uncles' teenage pet. Everyone who encountered her fell in love. She was little, but protective. When I was a baby, she'd bark at whoever came near the crib at nonna's. Nonna always had Mindy's front hair tied up in a cute bow. She was Nonna and Papanonno's "fourth" child. She might as well have been a human. As Mindy got older, I did as well. When I was three or four, I treated Mindy as a horse, which made her run from me. I used to torture the poor dog. That didn't stop her from protecting me. When I was at my weakest points, where I couldn't sit on her, she'd run my way. Most of the time, that was when I was on the toilet. She'd jump on my lap and kiss me all over my face. It's the small things that we never forget. I'll never forget that devastating phone call. I was little, but it was heartbreaking. My mother burst into tears. Both of my "tough guy" uncles cried as well. Mindy was well into her teens when she passed, but my family lost a part of them. She always slept with my mom in her room at nonna's. That's exactly where she was found. Mindy died of old age, way into her teens. It's the love that my family showed her that kept her alive for so long. She was having trouble walking and in pain because of arthritis. It was her time to go. I cried too. I felt bad for Nonna and Papanonno. I knew they'd never get another animal. It was too devastating to lose Mindy and she was irreplaceable. She still crosses our minds and many fond memories are shared. Every so often, we come across a picture and share a happy story. Our pets become our children. Unfortunately, they don't live forever. Even when, we wish they could. Rest in peace Mindy. Rest in peace departed, loved, and gentle creatures. We miss you. Most importantly, you live on in our families.

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