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After All, She Was Just A Dog
By Jeanne L. Drouillard   

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One of the statements made to me after my dog passed away was that I'd have to remember, "She Was Just A Dog." And so, trying to understand what that meant, I remembered her.

I look at the empty space at the foot of my bed. My Muffin slept there for fifteen years in comfort and delight. She was a perky thirteen pound grey and white Shih-Tzu with a very sweet personality, great disposition and a truly tender affection for all those around her. She liked to sleep on my bed so she could watch me. She would always open her eyes one last time to make sure I was still there before she peacefully went off to sleep at night. The space at the foot of my bed is totally empty now. She died on March 3. She went silently to sleep for a final time. I miss her already -- it's only March 4th. Some understand my feeling of loss, but others tell me I must remember -- "She Was Just A Dog."

What does that mean -- "She was just a dog?" She gave me her unconditional love and trust for fifteen years. I could be mad and yelling at her for no good reason, ignore her, forget to acknowledge her in the morning or forget to say goodbye when I left, and yet, when I finally returned, she was at my door truly excited to see me. All my bad manners and bad mood of the earlier events were not only forgotten, but no apologies were necessary. Human beings never did that for me. Oh sure, some people were glad that I was around, but Muffin was truly excited and not afraid to show it. If I was sad, unhappy, crying or screaming about something, she would just sit there tilting her head in empathy, looking sad and listening very intently. I had one hundred percent of her attention. Muffin was the best listener I ever knew, but then animals usually are. I really loved her and I know it was returned -- yet they say I must remember -- she was just a dog.

She was just a dog but I told her my innermost secrets and she knew things about me that nobody else on this earth knew or will ever know. Like most people, I have my share of secrets and Muffin knew them all and she never told on me. She didn't gossip, was never rude or condescending; she was always loving and caring. Mostly she was forgiving and knew how to enjoy the happiness of the moment, which she taught to me. She learned to obey quickly and loved to please everybody. People could have learned a lot about enjoying life from my Muffin, although I know I must remember -- she was just a dog.

Few people have been kindred spirits in my life, but Muffin made me feel so special and loved. Don't your very best friends do that? Yet, occasionally even your most treasured human friends will sometimes disappoint you or hurt you. After all, they're only human. Muffin never ever disappointed me, not even one time. Yet, I know, I know, I must remember -- she was just a dog.

Muffin was the beginnng of confidence in me. I never saw accusations or criticism in her eyes. I always saw love, acceptance and encouragement. She was always thrilled when I was talking to her and that I was her friend. Surely little spirits that loving can't just disappear. God has other plans for my Muffin -- rewarding plans I'm sure. I'll always remember her with warm and contented feelings and I'll never forget what a great friend and treasure she was -- although I know, I know -- she was just a dog.

Jeanne L. Drouillard








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