October 8th 2014 10:16 pm
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Apologies for such a long post with no mind to edit because emotions are still tumbling and yet my Lena Malik deserves a memorium from me even if its chaotic, unorganized, its from my heart.
I have spent 5047 sunrises and sunsets with Lena Malik, now I can hardly manage 14 without her but all the messages, pawmails, thoughts and love sent to me has made a world of difference because I know all of you can empathize and have experienced the highest and lowest of loving and being loved by your pup/pups.
Grief is the price of love and yet whom of us would not pay it to be enriched to keep company with such splendid creatures.
Lessons Lena taught me
Be kind and non judgemental.
She liked all types of humans big, small, family, friends, homeless even the scowling ones. She also liked all types of dogs and would try to meet and greet throughout the neighborhood or share her toys, food even treats if they were in our home. She wanted to befriend cats,got her nose scratched twice for trying but that didn't deter her. But she absolutely loved long legged creatures whether they be horse, deer and even moose...that silly little goose. So I found myself being kinder to others whether I knew them or not and curbed my judgement realizing in this present moment often people overlook simple kindness, courtesies or even smiles while they hurry off on their own agendas.
Thank you Lena for this.
Appreciate the simple things.
Lena Malik had two basket of toys, one with stuffed animals and squeakies, the other with balls, ropes and chews. Every so often I would try to steathily weed out almost new, never played with toys to donate and yet I swear she kept an itinerary and would go through the baskets while sniffing and snorting and an occasional side eye. Even so her favorite toys were pinecones I would kick all the way home while she played goalie, sometimes the mile walk took us over two hours because of this. People driving by would slow down or chuckle witnessing her hopping side to side on the sidewalk protecting her "net" until I got tired of the game and she would hacky sack or toss the pincone with her mouth and retrieve it. She also loved sticks or helping me gather firewood in the woods and all of natures surprises. I gradually found I cared less for gadgets and held less regard to materialistic things, simliar to all her fancy toys and focused more on creating, making and exploring for myself.
Thank you Lena for this.
Our walks through our entire relationship were usually an array of speed and momentum. Both she and I could walk as swiftly as some can slow jog, with a purpose to our step and end goal quickly met and yet she taught me to look around, up and down when there were glimpses of wonder to be noticed whether it was an especially vocal Cardinal or Finch, butterflies on aromatic blooms or perfect little ice chunks/snowballs waiting to be kicked on a winter's day and snowflakes spinning through the sunshine. Looking up and around also peaked my interest in both birding and gardening, hobbies of my mother which I had often associated with being either stuffy or old growing up, lol...they have brought me endless joy for over a decade now and peaked the interest of my friends who have their own gardens suddenly and are more aware of the ecosystems we share and should honor. This also truly has provided much comfort now in my sudden solitude but if I had not witnessed nor appreciated what Lena slowed down to acknowledge who knows if they would of ever become such important aspects of my life.
Thank you Lena for this.
Be patient and loyal/trustworthy.
I remember my first meeting with Lena. I met her and her mom's human at her work office which was covered in a cream colored carpet. The office was only a mile away from me and yet as fate would have it this woman commuted 2 hours 3 times a week into the city for work and begged me to meet because the future seemed rather grim for her young charge.The woman was nervous because it was a rescue/foster/behavioral rehabilitation situation and even though Lena was only 7 weeks old she was running out of options because she feared the constant replacements/returns from families not well equipped or prepared for caring of northern breed dogs and simply wanting something cute, fluffy and "wolf like" from the Humane Society she would of had to drop her off at. I also got the distinct impression her husband was not so patient nor sympathetic and left her to find a remedy quickly. They bred mushing dogs for the tri state area with a waiting list and all her five brothers were spoken and paid for. Those same pups who chewed her tail down to a little wisp of a rat tail and induced her to snarl at anyone who tried to touch her or pick her up. So moments into our first meeting she was set down on that clean white carpet and she looked at me with those pale blue eyes, turned her back and proceeded to take a number two, she then continued to turn around all proud and sniffed it. The woman was horrified, I chuckled and I remember walking to my car and making a deal with this little one. I asked her to be patient with me and I would give it my all, try my best and protect & guide her as well as I could. 3 months in and graduating from my woven laundry basket to my lap and bed I knew it was a lifetime promise & commitment.
Lena contracted Lyme's when she was 4/5 and lost a third of her body weight. I thought once inoculated she was safe not knowing there's new strains every year. She pulled through but it was rough going and I had to coddle her into even drinking water yet she would look at me with her clear arctic eyes and trusted me into doing things she had no desire to do.
She messed with a porcupine a year later and patiently let me pull the remnant quills from her face even though we still ended up at the vet just to make sure all remnants were gone. And our last months were the true test of patience, loyalty and love. The mind realization/dawning catching up with her weary body she let me help her exercise first by supporting and balancing her gait, then a padded back harness and finally moving her to the chaise lounge on the deck or on my lap or favorite chair....through it all she always had her pride and determination and even in her darkest moments and realization of her own mortality she trusted me to accompany her through it all with dignity and love.
I think back to a saying I recently read that really has merit with me.
"My dog trusted me, which therefore makes me trustworthy"
I need no other approval nor validation than my sweet, special pup trusting and believing in me endlessly.
Thank you Lena for this, especially for being an only child I guess it took an "only pup" to teach me true patience ;)
I had conversed with many people, friends, medical and psychological experts etc especially the past half year...I had always assumed Lena would let me know when she was ready to go and had enough of what life offered presently after 15 weeks of hospice care. It took my mother who deals with her own mortality day to day and my medical expert, animal & pet lover father to gently tell me to let her go. They made me realize Lena didn't want to leave me and wouldn't til her lil body gave out but she was never getting any better and there were more complications and discomforts piling up...she was hanging on for me.
The vet came after I made a couple dozen phantoms calls, never having the nerve to press the final digit and praying to have the courage to do so. Finally it all fell into place, and she came not the 2-4 hour window normally assessed but 45 minutes later giving me no time to act on the desperation of cancelling or locking the door or pretending not to be home. It started raining when I hung up the phone. She came and we talked all the while I was gently petting my best friend. Lena was lightly napping at the time but would occasional glimpse at me and when the vet gave her the sedative before the final dosage she fought it like a child battling slumber keeping her steady blue gaze on me til she softly ebbed away. It stopped raining when we brought her to my vet's car and I felt almost like nature shed a tear with me through this parting of my dear friend.
2 days later I received a letter from the vet and realized she must of wrote it that evening after dropping Lena's body to the crematorium. It was a beautiful, very personal and detailed letter and she mentioned Lena as my soul mate. I had always kinda scoffed at the thought of soul mate. I have a couple very long and invested relationships in my life that had outlasted some friends marriages but I had never really thought on of true soul mate. I have now realized my soul mate was a pup. We were so in tune and connected that I know I am a one in a lifetime dog companion. Some day I hope to get back to fostering and I will always be content to be the favorite auntie or godmother to my friends' pups but I know this was a once in a lifetime relationship and the wealth of knowledge and love Lena taught me I can only share bits and pieces from now on.
I woke up early today to watch the Lunar Eclipse on the morning of Lena's birthday. It was awe inspiring, unique and silently blissful just like my pup. The dubbed "blood moon" was the same spectrum of colors of Lena's fur in sunlight, how befitting.
I plan to spread most of Lena Malik's ashes in the spring at her favorite camping spots in the northwoods of Minnesota which she dearly loved and we earned such special memories.
I see shadows of her weaving through the trees, echoes of her nips and barks in the breeze and pale blue eyes mirrored in the skies, I carry her spirit of appreciation for life and all things living within me and realize the tears and heartaches are a testament of how a simple, honest and loving soul taught me more than I could of ever expected and shaped me into a kinder and more grateful person.
I am so proud to have been Lena Malik's human/guardian.
Lena Malik had degenerative myelopathy which I provided hospice care the past 15 weeks, It is not for the faint hearted . There is no cure presently but thankfully it is not a painful disease yet the side effects/complications can get rather uncomfortable. I chose the holistic route instead of synthetics. If anyone needs an ear or has questions regarding DM feel free to pawmail me.
September 24th 2014 6:32 pm
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Our physical paths had to part today 3:30 pm today, will write a tribute to my Lena Malik in the coming days. She was a very sweet & good pup.She truly made me a kinder, gentler and better human being all around. I thank her for gracing my life so sweetly.
Hug your pups tonight for her & I.
October 8th 2013 8:02 pm
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I look at my dear companion of the past 13 years and am simply amazed at how the time has flown, memories recorded and emotions experienced through all these days & nights.
I try not to notice or show her I see when she misses her step and has a hiccup in her normally fluid & graceful gait, the more frequent accidents or the raspy bark that has replace the crisp ones all these years because once in awhile I swear she looks at me to see if I've notice or my reaction because she is a proud and lively girl, always has been.
I have also been reaffirmed again recently the universal power of the pet companion. Being the rebellious daughter/only child and out of touch with my brave mother who has off and on battled cancer for years, we are mending together.
My mother recently lost her beloved cat whom she got during the first diagnosis 14+ years ago and has helped her through not just this battle but the empty loneliness of a damaged relationship with her child.
I too came across Lena Malik in a similar time with the need for unconditional love, acceptance and connection through my own trials. She has been my family when I felt like had had none (through my own decisions/mistakes/personal sabbaticals).
My mother's losing her cat a few months ago affected her health, appetite, sleep & spirit and I honestly knew her devastation through it all. Her cat gave her comfort and love all the time I was absent and gave her the strength to keep hoping every new day was a possibility and deal with the numerous treatments necessary.
I shared with her and my father that honestly I think I will need therapy when Lena needs to leave me and she totally understood just how meaningful this one simple furred living soul means to me and it was another step shared and treasured.
My Lena has had her missteps and minor health issues but she is truly still thriving and I cherish every day...no actually every- single- moment. I embrace her new oddities and habits, freshly discovered fears and eccentrics actions because we both know I am there with her every step of the way.
How can anyone discard a living being that just wants to belong, be a part of a family or simply be recognized? Politics, economy, resentment or anger should never dictate the way humans treat so called lesser beings because they are not distracted by what we have been influenced by, they simply want to exist, be loved & cherished....belong and at the root of it all that is what we humans want and need yet sometimes have to be reminded of.
My pup has given me so many life lessons and all I have ever wanted and tried to be is her worthy companion.
I salute her today amongst every day yet today reminds me that my little special gift was born today, 13 years ago....just for me and for the bond we have. Thank you Lena Malik -beebin pie, princess of the pines, you have truly enriched my life and made me kinder, more patient and showered smiles.