Man’s best friend

Published 3:45 am Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Missy is lying in her bed giving me the look. Her sweet little dachshund face shows so much emotion and understanding that sometimes I almost forget that she is not a very hairy miniature person. The look I am getting today is in response to her absence from my lap. Her eyes look quizzically as is to ask “why can’t I climb on your lap like I always do?”

I’ve picked her up gingerly several times, but noticed a little discomfort from the extra weight. For a miniature dachshund Missy is, shall we say, not miniature. In fact, she loves to eat as much as any person or animal I have ever seen, and when she lays on her back for me to rub her belly there is a lot to rub!

I am extremely happy to say that my recovery from my last hip surgery has been extraordinary, but I still ice my leg and try to take things slowly. Missy has not been getting quite as much attention as she is accustomed to. This fact has put Missy in the doggy doldrums. Dogs don’t like to get out of their routine, but she seems to understand, at least on some level, what is going on.

She follows me from room to room peering around curiously and licking my leg whenever she gets a chance. She stands guard outside the restroom and follows me back to my chair as if this is a very important task. I know why dogs are called man’s best friend from the unconditional love I’ve received from each pet I have owned over the years.

The only downside I have found to owning a dog is having to tell one goodbye, and over the course of my life I’ve laid several wonderful pets to rest. With dog’s lifespans being much shorter than their owners we have to learn to love and let go.

I don’t know why I even thought of that. Maybe it’s the gray hair sprinkling Missy’s once jet black coat or the absolute adulation in those beautiful, inky black eyes of hers that made me realize I would be heartbroken if I no longer heard her toenails clicking on the tile.

Mike and I laugh at her antics as if she were our child. We fret over her if we don’t think she feels well, and talk to her as if she were the third person in the room. She helps with the dishes licking them thoroully and very appreciatively although we do disinfect them in the dishwasher later. She actually knows several words and will remind us in her own funny way if we forget the order in which our mornings should run.

Coffee first, then Missy’s breakfast, and then our breakfast. In that order, or she will stand looking at us as if we were from another planet. If her morning look doesn’t do it she will add a nose touch. Oh, did I mention that she is a little spoiled?

Jan Penton Miller can be reached at