She was regal, incapable of slouching. In relaxation, she posed with all the Frenchiness of Marie Antionette.
Long gone are the days of speed and grace. The buffa-deer no longer prances in our presence with her proud head high.
Mischievous was she, smart enough to sleep upon formal furniture when there was no human to witness her disobedience. You could see it in the slant of her head, "Did you catch me? Then it didn't happen. Circumstantial evidence, you say? I say, my curly black poof tail. Vegas, baby."
Our Mandy was tall, with a deep booming bark. Intelligent and unwilling to lower her standards as a Poodle, she never yielded to petty tricks for treats. Well, except when we pointed at her muzzle, said, "Smile!" and all those pearly whites showed in an impressive grin.
She loved to run--a pure expression of joy--with a you can't catch me taunt sparkling in her eyes. At the beach one year, after a good long chase she galavanted into the ocean, always just out of reach, loving life and freedom. My niece was so young, she rode in her stroller and hollered, "Manny!"
At that time, there was no tiring the Poodle. At that time, the Poodle let a toddler collapse upon her, willing to catch that baby body with her strong frame. With gentle pressure, Mandy led her charge around by an arm, a watchful glint in those wise black eyes.
Lately, we were the ones guiding Mandy--up cumbersome stairs, onto papasans, and into cars. Her eyes still lit to the call of "Walk! Wanna go for a walk?" But the distance to the end of the street and back was nearly too much. Surprising her was no feat at all and then she flailed like a new born colt, long legs flying before bracing to press herself upright, shaking with the effort.
Where once upon a time, if you said "Rea" she rocked back before jetting off, dragging the foolish speaker behind her. Lately, you could say "Ready, set, go" and sadness filled those black eyes. She knew she couldn't go, no mo'. The soul was willing but the body could not.
Out of love and respect, we let her go last night. With dignity befitting her years of grace, we released her spirit to race across the Rainbow Bridge, no longer in pain or hampered by nearly 15 years of age.
She's running now, the wind pulling back her ears. Her legs stretching and lengthening, over and over. Leaps and turns, barks and grins.
Today there is no music on my blog. But there is love in my heart.
|Oy, with the Poodles, already! Is that a beer?|