Sunday, October 23, 2022

Photo of the Day: Misty

The photo accompanying this post is one of the few you’ll see from my somewhat distant past: the 1980s, as it happens. It shows not merely a constant presence but a constant source of joy for our family: our Sheltie, named Misty.

“A beautiful dog,” a friend observed when he saw this photo. Yes—and, much like others of her breed, playful, gentle, affectionate, and loyal, too.

In front of Misty is a tennis ball that she loved to chase, catch and toss in the air for my father. In another sense, though, the photo catches her in an uncharacteristic moment: at rest, rather than scampering around in the backyard or in a nearby park, as she enjoyed.

As happy as she was greeting all members of our family, she was devoted to none more than my father, who, especially after he retired, gloried in taking her everywhere he walked. 

He and my mom were especially heartbroken, then, when, after 15 years—with the last several marked by deteriorating health—Misty had to be put to sleep. No dog could ever replace her, they felt—and, in fact, they never had another.

“All Dogs Go to Heaven,” went the title of a 1996 animated film. If any canine belongs up at the pearly gates, it’s surely Misty. Twenty-five years after leaving us, I hope she’s still spreading happiness.

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