Last Tuesday Joanne and I lost one of our best friends. She had brought calm into our lives at the loss of family and after surgeries. She was our stress reducer after work. Millie was our dog-child for 13 years. We inherited her from Courtney and Dave when they left for Haiti as missionaries. We got her when she was about a year old. She would have been 14 years old in February. It has taken me a week to sit down and say this good-bye. There is so much I want to say, but I find I can't put it into coherent words.
Millie always liked babies. She would sniff them and lick the hands. Once they got old enough to pester her it was a different relationship.
Millie always hated the snow. I would have to go out and shovel a clear space in the grass for her. Usually, if I opened the door and she saw the snow, she would simply turn around and go back up the stairs to the livingroom. She would do the same thing if it was raining. Millie was definitely a fair weather dog.
Millie had away of looking into your eyes and knowing if something was bothering you. She seemed to sense if you were upset or not feeling well and would sit next to you just sharing herself with you.
She would get into bed with us and burrow under the blankets.She would move up to my pillow and lay with her back against the back of my neck. It was like sleeping with a neck warmer. I woke one morning to find her laying on her back between us, her body under the blanket and her front paws above the blanket, with her head on the pillow. When I opened my eyes and saw her, she immediately gave me a lick on the nose, as if to say "Good Morning Charlie".
Millie was always hungry, she never met a food she didn't like. When I would have chips and salsa, she would sit at my feet waiting for her chips. She even liked salad. When we would fix a salad, we would drop pieces of the ingredients in her food dish. First some lettuce, a cherry tomato, cucumber, broccoli, cheese, bacon bits, and finally croutons. The only thing it lacked was the dressing and she loved it all.
One time we had the youth group from church over to the house to watch the Superbowl game. We had ordered pizza and were all enjoying the game. One girl let her plate get to close to the floor and in an instant Millie snatched a whole slice of pizza and ran from the room. Before any of us knew it had happened she had devoured the whole thing and was coming back looking for more easy targets.
To say that we will miss her is a vast understatement. Millie was so far past being a pet its hard to explain.She was a member of the family and we have lost a loved one. The house seems so empty without her.
Then there's that great theological question, "Do dogs go to Heaven"? All I know is that I find it hard to imagine Heaven without them.