When I adopted Mandy from the Lynchburg Humane Society about 13 years ago, she meekly followed me to my car and promptly wet herself on the ride home. But her quiet and fearful persona didn’t last for long, after a couple of days she revealed her rambunctious personality. I had an older dog, Midnite, at the time, and I used to take both of them walking at the same time. Mandy was so full of vim and vigor that she would always run circles around Midnite, getting their leashes hopelessly entangled.
Mandy escaped from my backyard by squeezing through an impossible small opening in my chain link gate. Mandy wasn’t displeased with her home life, for I pampered her to death, she just felt compelled to explore the world outside my backyard. Fortunately, a neighbor returned her to me, and I made my yard escape proof. This was the puppy stage of Mandy’s life, and Midnite, myself and my cats survived this stage with our nerves on edge, but our love for the mischievous puppy undiminished.
The next stage in Mandy’s life young adulthood was illustrated by the way she would run ahead of me when I took her walking. My neighbors would always greet me by saying: I see that your dog is taking you out for a walk again. By this time Midnite had passed away, and he wasn’t there to slow down Mandy as she propelled me forward during our daily walks.
The last stage in Mandy’s life adulthood, she matched my slow gait, as I am no longer a spring chicken. We would take leisurely strolls around the neighborhood, and the little kids would never fail to greet Mandy my name, for they all knew her and loved her.
Mandy was diagnosed with terminal cancer a couple of months ago, and when I took her for her daily walk, I would periodically stop to give her a chance to catch her breath.
Today Mandy took her final breath, and I took my first walk in years without her. Man wasn’t meant to walk alone, and in a couple of months I will adopt another puppy, but I will forever treasure the memories of our daily walks.