I’m terrible at saying goodbyes. Whether if it’s me on the phone with someone, or trying to leave a bit earlier than the rest at a restaurant, I simply cannot do it well. I’m no better at saying goodbye for a final time either. But I’ll try my best.
As soon as we got our first actual house in Minnesota (where I am writing this today), I remember the first thing my brother and I wanted to get was a dog. We ended up with a lab mix. When we were asked what name we would give her, I was stuck on the name Miski. Miski in the Quechuan language means “sweet”. We thought it had a nice ring to it so we went with it.
Miski was all bark and no bite. She was a big scaredy-cat when it came to new people and would always bark at them like crazy but as soon as you approached her, she would run away. Or sometimes she’d be so scared she’d literally pee. However, once you came to our house enough, she’d recognize you and turn into a giant cuddly dog that was always excited to see you. I always enjoyed having Miski run downstairs with her tail wagging and jumping/stretching on me. It really cheered you up, especially if you had a bad day.
Miski has been part of half and the most important part of my life so far. I was an awkward sophmore in high school when she came to our family. She has been with me throughout the more eventful things in my transition to adulthood–getting a job, graduating high school, entering college, getting girlfriends, breaking up with said girlfriends, graduating college, etc. Despite my life changing bit by bit, she was one of the things that was always the same.
By the time I headed out to Japan, I could tell Miski was getting older. No longer was she able to energetically sprint around the house like she used to but she would just slowly walk around. She’d get injured a lot too. I knew the day that I would say goodbye to her would be coming up, but I didn’t think about it. I didn’t want to.
Every time I came back home for the holidays, Miski was always getting a little worse. She started having trouble getting up and walking up and down the stairs. She had to go to the bathroom a lot more. She laid around all the time.
Somehow, I just knew as soon as I saw her this year that the day was rapidly approaching. She could barely get up and kept getting cysts on her body. Little did I know that the day would come while I was here. I really don’t want to say goodbye to her because I love her so much but at the same time, I know it’s time. I’ll never forget the memories she provided me, whatever they were–having to go look for her when she escaped the backyard at night, walking her with my friends on a brisk, fall day, chasing my cat Sana, running around the house doing laps randomly, barking at the dishwasher’s reflection, her loud snoring, taking naps on her comfy belly, etc.
So thank you Miski, for always being there for me and providing happiness for me and my family. I’m sorry I wasn’t there with you at your very last moments–I almost feel cowardly for not doing so but I really was about to burst into tears as I saw my brother carry you away. Instead I’ll shed them here as I write this. I hope wherever you are now, that you are finally at ease. Sleep well, my cute doggie.