The other morning I was sitting at my desk, my dog Madeline beside me, working. I heard ears flopping down the hall. You know how you hear something and recognize it but it takes a moment to sink in. Then you try to justify from where it came logically.
Immediately I looked down at Madeline and noticed that she was looking in the same direction I was and where I’d heard the noise emanate. She hadn’t flopped her ears and, supposedly, she was the only dog in the house. But you know what happens in our house?
There was only one dog in the house that flopped her ears when she wanted me to notice and that was Mysti. Madeline might do it from time to time when she first awakens but it’s not a habit. For Mysti, it was a way of getting me to listen to her or to wake me up.
From Madeline’s expression, I knew she thought Mysti was here. She waited on pins and needles and a little disbelief for Mysti to come walking into our office. But it didn’t happen. You know Mysti died on May 28? She did flop her ears though on that day in January for both of us to hear.
One might say I wanted to hear it because of my grief and that I want to hear from her. And I do want to hear from her. But I didn’t expect that and neither did Madeline. When Mysti returns to us for a few moments she generally shows herself walking in front of us so that we don’t miss her but not on that day.
Madeline has started sneezing to let me know she’s displeased like Mysti did but she hasn’t taken up the flopping ears yet and that’s a sound you can’t deny. Any dog parent can tell exactly what that is the minute it happens without having to be close to do so.
Both Madeline and I walked a little happier that day because we got a visit from our other baby dog.