Mizpah by Margaret McSweeneyOn April 14, our family’s precious Pongo passed away. This beloved Chihuahua was with our family for nearly fourteen years. He played with my daughters during their childhood and comforted them during the challenges of adolescence. He rested by my side during breast cancer treatment and worked alongside Dave in his home office.
Yes, Pongo was always a source of surprises. Before he was one, he somehow swallowed a brownie patch attached to a string of beads and a safety pin. That was his first stomach surgery. Then, the following year he bit off the sharp edge of Mr. Potato Head’s ear. That was the second stomach surgery. Throughout the fourteen years, we were in and out of the ER for dogs. He ate a bag of cough drops in the pantry. He jumped on the table and ate the kids’ chewable vitamins. And the list goes on. . . .
House guests would always have to place their purses on a table without chairs. Otherwise, Pongo would rummage through the bags in search of his addiction: chewing gum! But above all, Pongo’s greatest gift and lesson to us was unconditional love. Yes, Pongo brought such joy to the family for so many years. No one could believe that he actually smiled! He knew how loved he was. I think that is why he outlived his life expectancy by three years after being diagnosed with a heart condition. It was his kidneys and stomach cancer that ultimately claimed his precious life. He passed away peacefully in his sleep at home.
The day after Pongo died, I read a beautiful Bible verse: Genesis 31:49
And Mizpah; for he said, The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.
Isn’t that beautiful! Mizpah signifies an emotional bond between people who are separated by death or circumstance.
Perhaps, instead we can say:“Mizpaw” to express this same emotional bond between people and their precious pets. Pongo, I love you and miss you so very much. Thank you for being a blessing in our home. You have left a “fur-ever” heartprint in our lives. Mizpaw!
Margaret lives with her husband and two daughters in a Chicago suburb. She is the author of Aftermath: Growing in Grace Through Grief, Mother of Pearl, Pearl Girls, A Mother's Heart Knows and the co-author of Go Back and Be Happy. She is the founder and collaborator of Pearl Girls. All the proceeds of books sales from Mother of Pearl (2012) and Pearl Girls (2009) to go support the work of two charities, WINGS AND HANDS OF HOPE. Margaret would love to meet you too. Follow her on twitter (@McSweeney) or friend her on facebook. You can also keep up with Margaret at Kitchen Chat , her weekly radio show.Visit her website .
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