The last ever picture we took, half an hour before he left us forever, 6 weeks ago.
This last Sunday would have been Manni’s eleventh (guesstimate) birthday. When we got the devastating diagnosis of yet another osteosarcoma in the summer I knew then that he wouldn’t live to see this day.
But then he hung around longer than anyone ever expected and a sliver of hope crept into my stupid head, as hope tends to do. Hope is not my friend. I’d rather be positively surprised after the fact than devastated because I had hope. Not that this birthday really meant anything, least of all to Manni.
I promised then that I would invite (and pay for plane tickets) every Tripawds member that wanted to make the long trip over here to have the biggest -and most unlikely- birthday bash ever. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Sorry folks. Instead I spent last Sunday volunteering at our local shelter. It wasn’t fun, it wasn’t pleasant work. It was lots of physical labor like cleaning kennels, but I was busy. I was also not tempted to take one of the dogs home with me. I guess I kept comparing and, sorry to say, nothing compares to Manni. Not for me, anyway. I went back to the shelter today and will continue doing so but at least I found that I don’t feel the need to rescue every poor soul out there. -That is a good thing, in my book.
On that Sunday I went from the shelter to my yoga class and didn’t get home until later that evening, completely beat. For once, sleep came easy and the Sunday was over fast. Thank Goodness.
I miss him so much. Every minute of every day. My life is so different now and it’s not better. Even I myself was better with him. I miss the little bump on his nose, his freckles. I miss burying my nose in his oh so soft fur right behind his ears, I miss his scent, so much. I miss his unbelievably reckless, independent spirit, his wise eyes, his exasperation with me. I miss my purpose,
I miss Manni.
These below are videos of better times. They make me cry but they also make me happy for a few seconds. Enjoy and please remember him for a little while. Thank you.
Thank you everybody for the numerous comments, condolences and your kindness. I can’t even begin to express how much it means.
A new year has begun and right now I don’t even care what it brings.
Manni made it to exactly two years after his amputation. Maybe one day I will be able to celebrate this huge achievement of having shown both cancer and statistics my middle fingers but right now I just can’t.
Manni was my constant companion. And I mean that very literally. If at all possible I took him along. During his life he was in different countries (he had his own pet passport), used all methods of transportation you can imagine (boats, public transport, cars, trains, RVs, elevators, ferries…), he was an office dog, he went to all restaurants with me, he was at Christmas markets, in hotels, in vacation rentals, at all my friends’ houses, in barns, on horse pastures, he played with goats and cats, he went to nose-work classes (lost people searches) and excelled in them and he even participated whole-heartedly in the dog-Paralympixx. You name it, he was there.
In short: wherever I went, he did. He was never afraid of anything, he took everything in stride even though some of the things I made him do must have been a challenge.
The problem with having your dog with you everywhere is that once your dog is gone there is not a single place you can go where you don’t miss your dog. That’s where I’m at now. I feel like I am the one missing a limb now. All my friends would always say that Manni and I were so symbiotic it was unreal. Now, this is exactly what’s come back to haunt me. Now, I am alone at last, as I expected to be for exactly the last two years.
Manni was not a perfect dog, in fact he was very far from being a perfect dog. He chased after every moving object if you weren’t careful, he didn’t like strangers, he didn’t like cuddles, he counter-surfed no matter where we were, he stole food off colleagues’ desks, he got stuck in a waste basket once trying to reach food, and he was the most strong-willed creature you could find. I can’t even count the number of times he left me absolutely exasperated and at my wit’s end. My mother would always say: well, you get what you deserve…
However, let me show you what it meant to me to have him around. Look at my face. Can you see the absolute bliss?
Time is my friend, they tell me. I’m sure they’re right. We’ll see.
So, while I still have a few laughs in me, I thought I’d share with you.
Waldo, the little nightmare of a dog, oh! Did I do it again?? I mean Manni, of course. But you will understand my confusion when I share with you his latest antics. You know, you figure: hey! I have a tripawd dog that’s very sick, who needs a leash? and then you turn your back for a second and poof! he’s disappeared! He’s been making a new hobby out of this, I swear!!
I’ll show you what he’s been up to. But I’ll start you off nice and easy. I have hawks’ eyes by now and I’ll help you find him:
There! See him? No? Well, this is what I deal with on a daily basis!!
Ok, now that you had a little practice let’s see if you can get this one:
Found him? Good job!! Let’s move on to something harder. Let me remind you: ON A DAILY BASIS…
Not that easy anymore, is it? I am telling you, that little … has made this his new profession. He’s always been good at driving me nuts but he’s been taking this to new heights. Let’s see, what else do we have?
Need a hint for this one?? Do you?? Well, ok. Follow the leash…
Ha! Can’t find him here?? GOT YA! He’s inside. I just wanted to show you my cool tripawd plaque 🙂
And then there are the other times where he was either still practicing his hiding skills or I don’t know what he was thinking. A little too obvious if you ask me, but there you are. It’s nice for me to catch a break once in a while…
It’s Mother Teresa! No! It’s Mother Manni!!
Nope. Sorry. Getting a wig will not lead you to greatness and that does not qualify as hiding…
You see what I’m dealing with here???
And that’s not all. Noooooo, sir! You know: you put a time stamp on somebody’s butt and yet they just refuse to comply! instead, he gets up to all his usual antics:
I swear he was inside a second ago… well, somebody better be guarding the food I guess.
I mean, it’s nice they let you take even the stroller inside the pet store but I guess they didn’t expect this:
I really try to keep that boy busy. I mean I do! Really! And all this is how he thanks me!!
I mean, I know that it’s hard for him not to be able to move around as much as he did before so I take him on trips and I even invent little games:
As you can see and as usual: the only way he knows how to appear thankful is by sticking around a lot longer than anyone ever expected.
My mom gave me permission to take over her blog again (actually she said I am allowed to do anything I want nowadays). I have been meaning to give you a little lesson on the dangerous wildlife over here since apparently other people have been telling stories about things like vultures and Gators and banjos and other things I’ve never heard about so obviously these stories can’t be true.
I have been meaning to tell you about this sooner but BOY! I just can’t seem to get a rest at my palace! Me mom just never stops! I’ve been poked, pulled, pricked and prodded waaay too much, we’re constantly going places and all she ever seems to be doing is take pictures. She calls it “capturing moments”. Whatever that means. Also, I’ve had a few moments where I just wasn’t feeling like doing much. I am thankful she lets me sleep at least during those times. Sleep makes everything better after all.
So when I’m not asleep the folks usually get one of my Royal Carriages and take me places, so I get around enough to be able to tell you A LOT about our dangerous wildlife!
I am on the lookout, wildlife, you!
I told you about the wabbits already. I don’t think they are indigenous to here, I really do think they were sent all the way over the big water from Wooby Woo. Me mom told me all about that! But she caught them and we sent them back. So there!
So one place where I like to go and make mom take me is my private beach. I mean, I own it after all, so we should go, right? Mom said it’s a good workout for her to push me there in my carriage and I agree. I need her to be fit, nobody needs lazy jesters, right? So we had a nice relaxing morning there
when all of a sudden I hear something:
I had to go look. Mom’s good for a few things but guarding the properties isn’t one of them. I almost couldn’t believe my eyes! the gall!!
Sheep?? On my beach?? Wow. I was going to go after them and chase them back to the stupid levy they came from but my mom jumped up and tackled me to the ground. Can you imagine that?? The insolence of that!!
So a few days later we were out and about yet again and came upon two women who were walking what I at first thought were their rulers, I mean, dogs. Until we came closer…
Hey! It’s playthings! They brought me goats to play with!
Once again, mom interfered. Are you detecting a theme here, too?? She tells me I’m allowed to do everything I want from now on and it seems she’s lying. I’ll show her. I am scheming as I am writing this…
While I’m at it: a pretty regular part of the dangerous wildlife here is what I’ll show you in the next two pictures. I think those pictures are old because I look a little different nowadays. I think. I was always gorgeous though, obviously that hasn’t changed. The first one is an animal that I was made to grow up with. I had one of those as a friend for a long time but he’s not around anymore. Don’t know where he went. The dangerous bit about them is actually their breath. Let me tell you, those things always want to come close with their huge noses and blow their stinky, hot breath into my eyes! However, the rear part of those things can be pretty yummy in many aspects! See?
Horsees can be yummy!
The next one is just, phew! I don’t know. They must be indigenous because we see them all the time (mom calls them moohs) but they are SO sneaky!! You always have to watch your back(side) with them!
One of the most dangerous creatures of all of Germany lives in my yard. I am not kidding! I let him stay because, well, frankly? He can really hurt your nose. Not like the stinky-breath of the horsees does but in a prickly, ouchy kind of a way! Nowadays we’ve come to an agreement. I let him stay and ignore him and he doesn’t hurt me. We’re cool now. Can you say that about your dangerous animals? Huh? I’m a big diplomat, I am! That’s an important skill to have! (Spread the word, friends 🙂 )
This is the way to go when practicing diplomacy:
As you can see: Germany is full of dangerous things but I have mastered them all!!
One other thing that shows up in my yard pretty often (no idea where he and his kin come from) is a wild boar. I just kill it over and over again yet it still shows up. Oh well, I am not scared of that one so maybe it’s not that dangerous after all.
Oh, I almost forgot! I wasn’t allowed to get close but me mom was astonished when she found out the other day that apparently Germany also has water buffalos. I think they just looked like muddy moohs and they certainly smelled like them, too.
As you can see:
Germany’s wildlife is SO much more dangerous than any of yours!! I mean, it must be, otherwise I would be somewhere else protecting everyone from it.
Phew. Remembering all of this was exhausting, I need to go back to sleep under my little leafy canopy in the yard. There also seems to be a little more air outside so I think I’m gonna head out.
I hope I get to take over this blog again, you just never know with mom.
goodbye folks from far away, in the hopes that you can now sleep soundly knowing I have everything under control (well, apart from me mom, maybe, but I’m working on that)