This year is going to be my 14th year doing the Walk for Animals benefiting the Animal Humane Society. I usually bring River (my parrot) and whomever else I think will behave themselves. Which means Harvey rarely goes along. It's usually River and Sunshine. I've been doing it so long, that my original walking companion at this event was actually the same "person" who introduced me to the Humane Society, my dog Misty. She walked with me from 1995-1999.
I got Misty 6/4/83. I was 11 years old and that was the day my father left us. He wouldn't let me have a puppy, so the day he left, my mother took me down to the Humane Society to pick out a puppy. As soon as I spotted her, I knew this was the dog I wanted. She was tiny, and adorable. At the time, she was all of 6" long, and looked like a tiny beagle. (Later we would learn she was actually a Beagle/Lab mix, and she topped out at about 50 lbs) There was a family there looking at her and playing with her. The mother in that family told the kids to put the puppy back in the cage, and they would go look at the adult dogs, and come back and adopt her. I saw my chance, and as soon as they put her back, I waited until they were out of sight, and I grabbed my new puppy, and brought her up to the adoption desk. She was $50.00 and I paid with my own money, since we were now going to be strapped for cash with my father gone. She was officially mine.
Misty had been abused, and didn't like men, even though she was only about 12 weeks old when we got her. In her whole life, she met 2 men she ever liked. One was my Grandpa, and one was Nick. She and I grew up together, and she was there for me in a way no one else ever was, or honestly, ever has been since.
She was fiercely protective of me, and would always stand between me and any visitors to our house. She also got between my mother and I, when my mother would get abusive with me. Even when I was an adult and married, and she was a feeble 16 year old dog, she would stand on shaky legs between me and Nick's friend Sean who she deemed a shady character. She would never let anything happen to "her girl." If I went to bed before Nick, she would lay in front of the door to the bedroom, and wait until Nick came to bed, once he came to bed, she must have decided it was his responsibility to protect me, and she would go lay on her doggie bed at the foot of our bed.
I had her from when I was 11 until I was 27. Her body had just given out and I had to make the most horrible decision of my entire life. I had to put my best friend in the whole world to sleep. She had a good, long life, and I will always be grateful to have known her. She was the only constant thing I had in my childhood besides my grandparents. She protected me, and comforted me through all the hard times in my childhood, and I will always miss her.
She is the reason I started doing the Walk for Animals, and the reason I will always do it. To help all the unwanted pets like her, who may just be some one's best friend.
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