The Big Blue Rubber Ball Smile
We found her at my elementary school, playing with all of the kids, when I was ten. A more fortuitous timing I can’t imagine. With the immune therapy, I was healthy for the first time in my life, and Muffin had such tremendous energy. She played all the time. She never stopped. From the first time we brought her a tennis ball and bounced it around the garage the first night we had her, there was nothing she loved more than to chase that ball. To tire her out and give us a break, we used to throw the ball up and down the stairs, but she always came back, ready for more. We switched to racquetballs pretty quickly, because the tennis balls wore down her teeth, and Muffin and those racquetballs were never apart. They were just the right size for her to put in her mouth and smile up at us with a great big blue grin.
When my Girl Scout troop came over to my house for meetings, Muffin just knew that they were there to play with her. She made herself right at home with everybody she met. Usually, when we rescue a dog, everybody tells us how lucky the dogs are to have found us. No one ever said that about Muffin. Everybody told us how lucky we were to have found her. That said it all.
These last few days, as the swelling on her spine worsened, I just held her as much as possible and tried to make her comfortable. There was something so wrong seeing Muffin, lying there, so still, our girl who never quit moving. The other dogs stayed close, licking her and supporting her as the end grew close.
Before Muffin, all of the dogs in our family had been my Mom’s. Muffin was the first who was as much mine. She was the first living being for whom I was responsible. Oh, my baby girl, I miss you.