“The pug is living proof that God has a sense of humor.” Margo Kaufman
Oh, Chandy, my girl.
I miss you so.
Ten years ago you were my very special gift from Daddy. I had been begging and begging for a dog and he was on the fence about it. Until we were eating in that restaurant with our friends and a chandelier fell out of the ceiling on my head. As they put me on the stretcher to take me to the ER and Daddy was crying over my bloodied noggin, Uncle John leaned over and whispered to me, “Now’s the time to ask for anything.“
And so I did. And so you came.
Being that you were a pug and pugs were bred to sit in the laps of royalty, you probably would have ruled our home regardless. But it didn’t help that I had recently suffered a miscarriage and the fertility experts told me that I probably wouldn’t be able to have children. It was clear that since you were to be my only baby, you should be afforded all the clothing, gifting, and doting that any besotted mother would bestow on her offspring. All of which you accepted as your due.
It was around then that you developed your voice.
Your facial expressions were so unmistakable and your intentions so clear, that the voice I gave you genuinely seemed to spring from the depths of your soul.
You began to have long dialogues with Daddy about philosophy, religion, the meaning of life, and your own talents and spectacular physical beauty. To his credit, he never once said that you talked too much. And he always agreed with you about your loveliness.
When the skin-children came along, you were shocked and dismayed, giving me long, reproachful looks from the lowly dog bed to which you had been banished. It was so clear that you were vying to preserve your status, that one day I couldn’t resist making your voice ask “Daddy, if it were 1940 and the Nazis were in power and you had to make a Sophie’s Choice between me and the human baby, who would you keep?”
And when the other pug came along, you were just plain old pissed off.
You spent the rest of your life curling your dog lip at poor hapless Schilling, who always looked a little confused that you didn’t adore him like the rest of the world did. And when he tried to charm you by incessant humping, I swear you actually rolled your eyes and sighed dramatically.
You finally gave in and accepted your lot and our family became a mighty sixsome, three males and three females, all even and balanced and symmetrical. And happy. So happy.
But now, everything’s thrown off.
Because you’re gone and there is a huge hole where your outsized presence once was. You were my friend and my baby when I grieved the loss of a pregnancy and when I mourned for the children they told me I wouldn’t have. And even when I was blessed with human and pug abundance, you were my first-born and you knew it; you conveyed your specialness and possessiveness in every cuddle, snuffle, snore and lick. You were the first being that ever belonged just to me and you were so proud and confident that I belonged to you. I am heartsick at your loss.
We buried you with your favorite outfit, your “Men in Black” suit and tie, crying and laughing, and we asked ourselves, why didn’t we clone you like you once requested? There will never be another like you.
Farewell, sweet friend. Farewell, Queen Chandelier.
Your mama misses you.