Mingus "The Bean-er" Neal May 1997 - June 26, 2010
There are no words to describe the love I have for this dog. She was such a loving, sweet creature. She became part of my life when I fell in love with Paul. Paul's strict nature with her made it so that I bonded with Mingus right away. She knew I was the one that would melt when she begged for food or let her on the couch when I was cold. I realized quickly that she would snuggle better than anyone, nuzzling her head into my arm and resting her body heavily next to me - we could lay like that for hours. She trained with my sister and I when we would hike 10 or 15 miles at time, getting ready for the Appalachian Trail. When I started running, Mingus ran with me. She was so energetic and happy that I would only have to wear some running or hiking clothes and she knew what to expect.
People-ing as we call it (she would do this in crowds, almost acting like she was a person)
She was also there for the tough times. When I found out my father had cancer and cried alone at home, she knew. She put her head on my lap and looked at me - almost as if to say she was sorry. When my MS diagnosis came, she became my solace. The times that I would cry alone, she would let me hold her and lick my arm.
Hanging out with Pollen (cat)
It has been about a downhill year for Mingus. She was first diagnosed with a slow growing lung cancer in October (one week before my MS attack)...it was devastating. Her mind has been going this year as well. This once even keeled, loving dog who enjoyed everything became fearful. She started to have separation anxiety when we left for work; she has been knocking over furniture, pulling down couch cushions and hiding in the basement on our dirty laundry. The dog who traveled the country, now shakes and pants violently when we drive even a short distance. She is not happy and it took a long time for Paul and I to be OK with that. We needed to put our feelings aside and think of her. This is the right decision - just not easy.
Mingus running (so sleek)
Today we said goodbye to a family member. There will not be another one just like her. Goodbye Dear Friend.
Her last hike with me (yesterday)...
The Power of the DogThere is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie--
Perfect passsion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart to a dog to tear.When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumor, or fits,
And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find--it's your own affair--
But ... you've given your heart to a dog to tear.
When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!)
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone--wherever it goes--for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart to a dog to tear.
We've sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we've kept 'em, the more do we grieve:
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-term loan is as bad as a long--
So why in--Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?
The way that I will always remember her