When I talk about animals I generally talk about cats, but this week I want to pay tribute to a special little dog. Yes, I’m virtually THE cat lady of the internet. At least, it feels like it. Yet it’s also true that I’m an animal lover in general and that includes dogs. Though they don’t suit my lifestyle, I dearly love other people’s dogs.
Too, on occasion I’ve been known to care for select canines.
Such is the case right now. I’m presently watching Miya for two weeks while her owner takes a long awaited and richly deserved vacation. Even so, and just so my cat reputation doesn’t suffer, I’ll share that Miya’s sibling is a cat who accepted her into the household when the grown dog arrived.
Miya, you see, has quite a history…
The little dog, who’s a Japanese Chin, arrived into the family when she was already an adult and after she was rescued from an abomination known as a puppy mill. Sickly, she nonetheless wagged her tail, smiled, and employed her long tongue to let everyone know how happy and grateful she was to have the opportunity to share her love.
How sickly? She had a mouth full of abscessed teeth. Parasites had invaded her body. Later came glaucoma, and despite time, effort, and money blindness followed. Before her surgery the pressure the glaucoma caused inflicted severe pain. There also came seizures and the medicine to mostly control them.
And still she wagged her tail and was a happy dog who enjoyed life and people. (You can learn more about Miya’s past HERE.)
Though now infrequent, Miya’s seizures continue. The last seizure was her worst and nearly took her life, but she recovered, her desire to enjoy life undiminished. Despite all she’s suffered she remains a treasure and an inspiration. What happens after her next seizure? I dearly hope the next attack is less severe than the last. Beyond that I don’t want to think about the possibilities.
She’s the little dog willing to do anything. Thus, she’s traveled all over the western US. During our time together this month she’s played and gone for walks like any other dog, but I’ve also included her in my special excursions.
Sure, she can’t see, but she still has her other senses and makes the most of them. She’s heard many different bird calls and the roar at Holland Falls. She’s walked in forests listening to aspens while enjoying the aromas cedar and ponderosa pine spread in the air. She’s plowed through huckleberry patches and walked over pine needle paths. She’s even drank from the clear waters of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park.
All those years locked in a cage and all she wanted more than to be loved was to share the tremendous love within her. Anyone who has ever spent a moment with Miya can tell you she’s never failed to do exactly that.
While on Logan Pass in Glacier a woman stopped me and asked if I was at Lake McDonald earlier in the day. I smiled and said that, yes, I was there. You see, I’d already come to recognize that special sparkle in stranger’s eyes when they’ve met Miya. Sure enough, she admitted she remembered me because of Miya. She does that to people.
Miya represents what’s possible in the face of adversity and how important attitude is when we must face life’s trials. Despite all she’s been through and suffered she remains a happy dog who enjoys each minute that remains to her. For those who meet her she’s a happiness filled moment. For those of us who’ve spent time with her she’s a little dog we’ll never forget.