It Starts With Eagles And Ends With A Dog

Last night we happened across an Eagles concert on TV.  One by one the whole family got drawn in.  Soon all six of us were glued to the set, humming and tapping along. 

What great songs have come out of that group of musicians, songs with universal messages that cross generations.

I went to bed doing back-up for Don Henley ("Take it to the limit, yeah, yeah...take it to the limit, hmm, hmm), and woke up singing that all-time favorite..."Bingo."

You know the tune.  "B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O, and Bingo was his name-O!"

Surely I need to donate my brain to science when it's all said and done.

Hubby lay silently beside me, but I sensed he was awake.  These are the tender moments of the day, before the children awaken and the chaos begins.  Just the two of us.

"It's weird- the song 'Bingo' is going through my head."

" 'Do Lord, oh do Lord, oh, do remember me,' is going through mine.  Do you want to take a bike ride?"

"It's raining."

"It is not raining."

"Somewhere in the United States, it is raining."

"I give up."

"Will you make the coffee?"


These are the rhythms of a marriage that has been around as long as...well, the Eagles.

Java in hand, I started to contemplate why "Bingo" would lurk in my gray matter.  Perhaps it's simply a case of dominant dog-lover gene overtaking the subconscious. 

I've had dogs all my life, purebreds and mutts, some with questionable possum ancestry.  I've loved them all.

One especially close to my heart is Missy.

We adopted Missy when she was six months old.  She came with the usual story of "owner moving to a new location that doesn't allow dogs."  We were told she was half Golden Husky,  half Chow, but she could have passed for a wart hog with hair extensions.

She didn't start out that big, but a thyroid problem and a hearty appetite got the best of her.  I tried to be a responsible pet owner, and Missy had her share of green beans and exercise, but she kept expanding anyway.  I loved her regardless and told her daily that she was my beauty queen.

Her Highness loved to amble through the soybean fields, her Chow tail aloft, giving the impression that a furry letter C was hovering over the crops.  She was a true friend with inset Milk Duds for eyes, and she would take any amount of attention you were willing to toss her way.  She was a lovable creature who expected nothing and enjoyed everything.

Missy was with us a full 10 years, and then she left unexpectedly, a quick death, smack in the middle of my kitchen.

It was a Saturday afternoon and somehow it was just the two of us.  Looking back, I'm thankful for that.  I had allowed the ol' girl a morsel of meat from Friday night's dinner.  She ate it in her usual delicate way, nibbling along with her small snout.  She ate it all, and then she looked at me.

Something was wrong.  Way wrong.  She wasn't breathing, and all I could think was she had choked.

I jumped into action, attempting a personalized version of the canine Heimlich Maneuver, but my efforts were in vain.

She died in my arms.  I felt I had failed her in every way.

Then I did what any distressed 45-year-old woman would do.  I called my mother, crying.

"I don't know what happened, Mom.  She was eating a meatball, and then she just stopped breathing.  I tried to save her, but I couldn't get her back."

"I'm sorry, Honey...Gee, it doesn't say much for your meatballs, does it?"

Mom always had a way of getting to the meat of the matter, if you will.

I hope I didn't kill Missy.  I would like to think she died a natural death after doing what she enjoyed most- eating.

Those are the circumstances I allow my mind and heart to hold.

She was a good dog.

"M-I-S-S-Y, M-I-S-S-Y, M-I-S-S-Y, and Missy was her name, O."

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