Memories of Misty

posted on: January 9, 2011

Misty, Apricot Colored Teacup Poodle
Misty died on Wednesday, at the wise old age of 15. She was an apricot colored teacup poodle who was originally the constant companion and source of joy for my great aunt, Dorcas (definitely not a name you hear anymore!) When Dorcas passed, my mom took over care of Misty, but quickly realized that Misty needed more attention than she could give on a regular basis. When I moved to Terre Haute, I was working entirely from home and in a town fairly isolated from everyone I knew, so I decided to care for Misty and thought it would be a great way to get me out of the loft at least once a day. She definitely made walks in downtown Terre Haute a little more exciting as people giggled in delight when they saw her prancing down the street.

Misty brought a lot of wonderful and unexpected things into my life. Because she's the kind of dog that people can't pass by without commenting on, she became an easy way to meet new people, which really helped me get to know my neighbors and neighborhood better. Of course the poop scoop clean-up was never a glamorous job, but it just comes with the territory. When we moved to Lowell, we moved into one of the only places that allowed renters to have dogs. We met a TON of dog owners, but unfortunately we also found out that Misty isn't so great with other dogs and because she had no idea how tiny she was, this resulted in more damage to her than anything else. Misty loved people- especially old ones, hated dogs & children, and could care less about cats. She also loved to model and helped me test different lighting styles- but also knew when it was time to quit.
Misty - Teacup Poodle

If you've ever read Marley & Me- you know what dog ownership can be like at all extremes. Misty wasn't a big dog, which meant I was often able to take her places I might not have been otherwise, but it also meant that she compensated for her petite size by producing a fierce bark. Somewhere along the line we noticed that she started to lose her hearing. She would bark when nothing was there, and then she wouldn't hear us when we called for her. Other challenging memories include the time she ate some leaves off a friend's porch and couldn't walk straight for more than three steps, the time a friend's dog took a chunk out of her side, the time a lady threatened to call the police because I left her in the car with the window down for 2 minutes, the hair cuts which were never pleasant for her or the groomers, the dingleberries, the potty pads she needed as she got older and couldn't be bothered to wait and go outside, her terrifying fear of being kept in a room without human contact, her need to have something substantially soft and adequate to lay on, and her desire to held by anyone just to get warmer.
Poodle Head, Human Feet

I never would have chosen a small dog myself- I'm more of a big dog person- particularly of the lab variety (minus the shedding). I love the dogs which are always friendly and happy to see you, even if you accidentally left them out in the freezing cold overnight (sorry Bailey!) Misty is not that kind of dog. Instead, she would express her anger or distaste very clearly if you did something she didn't agree with. She was pretty judgemental for a dog- much like her original owner once was. However, she also taught us a lot of things about ourselves and helped us become better people in the process. She was a constant reminder of how to live a better life by making sure that we consistently woke up at a reasonable time, traveled a little less and got home in time for dinner, made sure we got outside to enjoy nature at least twice a day, had stronger friendships, were kind and inviting to strangers, got our hair cut at least as often as she did, communicated more in our marriage about responsibilities and expectations, and that we should never be ashamed to dance around in circles when we're really excited about something...

Thank you Misty for coming into our lives and helping us learn how to live more fully and joyfully. ;-)

8 comments, to add [click here]:

  1. I am so sorry for Misty's passing. I lost one of my sweet toy poodles a few years ago at age 15 (Maia was born on her 15th birthday, actually, and Molly passed about a week later) and her daughter Annie (she lives with my parents and brother) is turning 13 this week... elderly toy poodles have a special place in my heart and my thoughts.
    I'm glad that she was able to bring you so much joy and sweetness and all the ferocity of an aging pup who knows she's too old to care and still enjoys raising hell.

  2. Oh sweetie, I am so sorry to hear this.

  3. Anonymous4:18 AM

    I'm responding because I have one similar to Misty. But I dont know you..
    How precious our pets can be that they are no longer our pets but our children. The heartache of loosing a family member (Aunt & Misty) and a friend is at time unbearable. I've been there before. They teach us more than we know & more than we realize until one day there gone. But it is better to have had one than never at all. How human and so real that we can understand them as they do us. & the unconditional love we all need because as humans we lack to give this to others; I believe this is why God made dogs. She lived a good long life. It was her time to go. But never the less the loss is there and I am sorry for any hole she may have left. May you heal from this loss. ~Cindy

  4. jamie8:36 AM

    I'm so sorry to hear about misty, anne! and sorry that i left the 'haute before she moved in! losing a pet is never easy, and even when they've been around only a few years they have a way of staking a claim on part of one's heart, and that never goes away. I hope the memory of good times helps in this time of loss. Hugs.

  5. Oh Anne, I read your tweets daily and have seen few lately...I am so sorry for your loss of Misty. Our dog is aging too and on his way to visit Misty soon. Thank you for sharing what your sweetie offered you and making a tribute to her, what great therapy! Big hugs, Sue

  6. I'm so sorry for your loss. Our animals give us everything they have, all of their love, and all of their trust. I know Misty was a complicated little monkey and times, but she was your girl, and I know you and Alex loved her very much. Take gentle care, Anne.

  7. Aunt Renee2:41 PM

    I am so sorry for Misty's loss. Pets can bring such delight to one's life. Very cute video

  8. This is so incredibly sweet and absolutely true about animals in general. They make us better people. They make us actually be the people they think we are. My heart hurts for your loss...thank you for sharing your story.


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