Many canine friends have entered my life and touched my heart in many ways. As a Paw-rent, I count at least 20 dogs that have altered my life perspectives or blessed me with abject happiness.
But Misty stands out in the Canine Crowd. This Schnauzer's quiet demeanour, gentle disposition, and silent yet comforting company made more difference to my life than I could have imagined.
How she came to be a part of the family
Misty came into the family as a feisty four-month-old pup. At the Pet Shop, this Salt-and Pepper handful grabbed the bars of the cage she was in with her teeth and pulled them as hard as possible. Her feisty nature confirmed her rank among our family members.
Taking her out on walks
This quiet but stubborn canine, in the vein of most Schnauzers, objected when asked to pee and poo on grass patches, choosing instead to poop on the pavement. We took some time to potty-train and get her to respond to basic obedience commands.
How she vocalized and sang
Misty was the Celine Dion of the Canine world. This vocal dog had a doggy passion for "speaking" and "singing." She grabbed every chance she could to express her opinions. She responded to everything we said and did. It almost seemed as though she understood us to a T and was interacting with us directly. And no, I didn't have to teach her the "no speak" command because she only spoke when necessary.
Misty was an ardent fan of Bruno Mars and would have done the prolific singer proud in her doggy way. Her crooning of "Just the Way You Are" would envelope the entire music room of my home. You'd think the neighbours would have knocked on my door, but this adorable dog's actions tickled us too much for us to grumble.
How she was protective
Misty was an old, gentle soul but was by no means a pushover. I am a first-hand witness to this.
Many pet owners will tell you that dogs have a "third eye" and can see things that we cannot. I was not convinced of the existence of the supernatural until Misty unveiled her gift for detecting extra presences.
Movie reviews are welcome pieces of relaxing writing for every author. I was working on one for the horror film Conjuring and had become one of the millions of visitors to Demonologist Lorainne Warren's website.
What I thought were harmless pieces of information were far from being those. Logging in had inadvertently teased open a portal to another dimension, and I was not in the mood to find out what lay there.
Misty was the first to discover what happened and heroically called out a warning. She turned to the wall where the portal was and let out a few frantic barks. My West Highland White Terrier, Cloudy, joined her. Both barked at the wall for a few tense minutes.
I was unsure what to make of the unusual behaviour at first but didn't take long to guess that it had something to do with surfing Lorraine's website. I quickly navigated away, and the frantic canine calls stopped.
Of course, the experience was harrowing. I didn't complete that review and moved on to another task. The dogs calmed down but occasionally gave the wall of my study room strange looks.
How she took care of Cloudy
Misty would have quelled the doubts of anyone who believes that dogs have no sense of empathy or notions of tenderness. She always positioned her younger 'sister,' Cloudy, at the head of her priority lists (yes, dogs do make them like us.)
She let the gluttonous younger dog have her fill of well-earned kibble (they earned their food by barking at and accosting strangers behind the front door) and defended the younger pup from aggressive canine bullies. The behaviour that warmed the heart most was how she came to butt her nose against my arm whenever I scolded Cloudy for the junior's annoying yet endearing doggy quirks.
Circumstances surrounding her death
Sadly, the demure, pint-sized Queen M, our term of endearment for her - surrendered to liver cirrhosis a few years ago. She fought it till the last, refusing to leave us until K, my husband, managed to make his way home to say goodbye.
The attention-seeking Cloudy wouldn't let us forget her. Very attached to Misty, she demanded that we let her come to the pet hospital. Misty passed quietly, with everyone in the family able to bid her a fond farewell.
A dog to be remembered
We still keep Misty's ashes today. She was a dog that calmed when we needed tranquillity and came forth when we needed courage. She lent a helping paw when we needed one and stood guardian at the door ( or functioned as the most efficient doorbell in Singapore. She has left us but is far from forgotten.