It was around dusk on a September evening in 2007 when she came into my life.
I was driving my blue Kia van to pick up the kids from a local mall in Tracy, California. I saw a white fluffy rabbit-like creature flash across the road. I braked hard thinking I might have run over something. It was a small dog with eyes barely visible and hair all over its face and body. It could not have been more than ten pounds. I bent down and held her and asked, "Are you lost little doggy?"
There was no dog owner in sight. I went to the first two or three houses on that side of the lane and rang the bell to ask around. She did not have a collar either. The next two days we tried in vain to find her owners. We put up her pictures. Nothing. Meanwhile, two hearts were falling in love, hers and mine.
Fast-forward to today, 11 years and counting, ever since Meemee got into the car with her new mom - she was destined to stay.
I had been praying the past few months after losing my dad and not being able to attend his funeral back home. I had been crying. I had been asking him to give me a sign that I could go on. Looking back, finding Meemee was a sign that life goes on, the heart finds new meaning, new loves come into our lives, and we live on to find meaning and joy despite the many sorrows we face in life.
For the past almost ten years, we have had a long love affair with no end in sight. She sleeps on my pillow, and boy, can her small body make big sounds, like snorting sounds which often keep me awake at night. She’s also spoiled. I cook for her. I can’t get through a social evening without having Meemee withdrawals. I know, I know. I am a woman with obvious affection attachment issues. I have never loved any creature big or small, other than my two kids, as much as I love Meemee. I think she likes me too.
She got sick a few weeks ago and they told me old age was creeping up on her. I can’t bear it. The thought of losing her is undeniably torturous.
When I began working at FACES I rented a place a stone’s throw away so that I could check up on her often. She means the world to me. She has seen me now through the loss of both of my parents, college bound kids, an empty nest and a divorce. She has been the one constant which keeps me alive through the trials and tribulations. Her love, purity, sweetness and our mutual enjoyment of each other’s company has been pivotal to keep my heart beating literally and metaphorically, through many dark moments. She makes me believe that no matter how hard the day, I come home to someone I love and who loves me equally in return.
Isn’t that the magic anecdote which keeps us humans going?
Whoever said that dogs are not equal to humans is right. They are more than human because they are superior in the qualities of unconditional love, unmitigated loyalty, and mutual response. When she goes, my world will suffer a huge blow. But with her by my side, I can take on the world that much stronger.
I love Meemee. She is the one thing I cannot live without.
(Pictured here: Samina, her daughter, and Meemee)