I lost a good friend today. My sweet, wonderful mutt, Mickey.
We adopted her nearly 15 years ago from the North Shore Animal League in Port Washington, NY.
Back then, we lived in Jersey City, NJ and I would often take her for a walk down to the waterfront to hang out on the piers and gaze at lower Manhattan.
The images of Mickey and the World Trade Center leave me feeling really empty right now.
Last year, she seemed like she was getting old really fast, so we decided to get a new puppy as a “transition dog” for the inevitable day when Mickey left us.
Mattingly joined Mickey and reinvigorated her for a while. As recent as this past Tuesday, they were still playing a weird wrestling game that we called “Mean Cat, Mean Dog” (don’t ask).
This past November, when we were moving from NJ to TX, one of the main reasons I decided to drive the 1800 or so miles with the dogs was that I was worried Mickey couldn’t handle the plane trip.
It was a fun, special Odyssey with the two of them.
I had been looking forward to making a birthday steak for Mickey this July, like she had last year with her sister. Mattingly will have to have a super big one in Mickey’s memory this time around.
This morning, I tried to bring Mickey out for one last walk and she couldn’t stand straight.
So we just hung out in the grass for a little while. Some last fresh air while she indulged me singing (fortunately for her, she was mostly deaf at this point) as I petted her.
I sang her the old Rod McKuen song, “If You Go Away”:
But if you stay, I’ll make you a day
Like no day has been, or will be again
I’ll sail on your smile, I’ll ride on your touch
I’ll talk to your eyes that I love so much
And if you go, go, I won’t cry
Though the good is gone from the word goodbye
If you go away, ne me quitte pas, if you go away
Goodbye my loyal friend.
OK transition dog Mattingly, you’re up!
Do your thing and bring us many, many years of dog memories and happiness.
My wife, Vicky, also wrote a tribute to Mickey.