Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Reflections of an Old Dog

by Nessie the Monster

Keep your head and tail up and keep running forward and your life will have been full.

My name is Nessie the Monster and I am a Duchess.  The Duchess of Hagg to be exact.  That title was given me when I came to live with WishBone, Duke of the House of Hagg.  He was 4 at the time and I was but a young pup.  What a strong and handsome lad he was.  And stoic and fearless.  I gave him every puppy antic I had in my repertoire and he never flinched.  I remember hearing the staff of the house mumbling behind my back that they were truly worried that something was wrong with him.  I played so hard (and with puppy teeth mind you) that I had ripped his ear causing him to have an operation for 'cauliflower ear'  and his beautiful white chest had turned red with blood from all the scratches.  Yet he was such a gentleman that he never lifted a paw to strike me down.  He just let me play and play.  The staff even took him to my class at school to ask the teachers if there might be something they could do to cause WishBone to stand up for himself against me.  I remember hearing that when the time came, he would.  In the meantime, I remember having much fun at his expense.  

It was about a year and a half later when the time came.  Wow.  I remember the Holy Bejeebers getting knocked out of me.  I was playing as usual and WishBone unexpectedly lifted a very strong paw and made such a terrible growling noise that I thought the sound alone would kill me.  Then that paw came crashing down on my head and the lights went out.  It was a K.O.  But evidently, he wasn't sure he had gotten the message across so he opened his huge jaws and placed them (quite gently) around my head, engulfing me in darkness and fear.  And that noise I shall never forget.  It was a very low, almost inaudible sound emanating from deep within the recesses of his deep  and still bloody chest.  All I could do was play dead and pray that it would end.

When he let me get up, which I was very surprised to find that I could do,  I had a new found respect for him.  Well.  I had to.  I didn't want that to happen to me again.  We became the absolute best of friends and we played together and toured the USA for many years until one day up in Michigan, he died.  I was more sad than I have ever been.  He was my friend and companion.  The staff had taken him away in the middle of the night and came back with only his collar.  When they let me smell it, I knew I would never see him again

Me and my best friend in Michigan a week before I lost him forever.

WishBone and Taylor Bailey Alexander

When we came back to the Palace in our home town, I was so sad and lonely that I sat on the rug by the stair and wailed and cried and howled a pitiful and mournful song.  Everyone in the house was crying with me.  We all mourned together for many days and then one day, we could no longer go on with being sad.  We had to move forward.  It was quieter in those days, but nice and peaceful.  I went about the business of being an only Duchess and did my best to keep spirits up in the house and to make everyone there to feel needed.  Finally, I planned a big expedition and we packed up and went on a long journey for Christmas that year.  We went through Memphis and  ended up in North Carolina.  While I was out walking with one of the staff, I noticed off in the distance another member of my staff playing with what looked like two puppies on a green lawn.  When I approached, both their respective arsses were lifted for me to inspect.  I liked them instantly and hired them to be my Chamberlains.  In retrospect, I probably should have thought about it longer, because I've been sorry more than a few times that I made such a quick decision, but everyone was happy and there was much rejoicing that day.  So we brought them back to the Palace and I had the staff to begin to teach them their duties.

McKenzie Malcolm
They haven't really co-operated in excess about learning how to be dignified members of a Royal Household.  But, I guess I should remember how patient WishBone was with me.  The House of Hagg has not been the same since they came to us.  Where is was once peaceful and quiet, it is now full of life, joy, craziness and frenetic energy at times.  Look here!  Their pictures won't even co-operate and line up properly!  Yes.  Those two have some very bad 'juu-juu' in their blood line.

WishBone, Duke of the House of Hagg and me
Nessie the Monster, Duchess of Hagg
on the beach in Hilton Head

And I do have yet another story to tell of Lord Malcolm eating the 'wrong' thing over the past Christmas holiday.  I'll save that for another day, though.  My main purpose in making this reflection on my life is that it is my birthday today.  I have turned 9 years old.  As I am a dignified dog and try not to call attention to myself, I have celebrated in a quiet way.  No party hats or silly masks.  I'm just thinking of the grand life I've lead thus far.  I've been to Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virgina, South Carolina, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Indiana, Utah, Nebraska, Kentucky, Tennessee, Wisconsin and Minnesota.  I've been blessed to have a wonderful and caring staff and I had the greatest friend in WishBone that a dog could ever hope for.  And now I am blessed with two adopted children that I am doing my level best to raise properly.  (I'm not mentioning Taylor Bailey Alexander the Tailless Cat whom I drove insane.  It was not a good period in my life).

Lord Malcolm and Lady McKenzie at about 3 months old.

Last night, I completed my series of testing to be a Therapy Dog.  I have passed and am awaiting my license.  I can think of no better way to celebrate such a great life, than to share it with others.  I will be pleased to go to libraries and help young children learn to read; and to go to hospitals and give a little cheer and happiness to children and other patients and I won't forget the older generation as I go and 'hang' with them in retirement homes.   As I have said before, Royalty is for Charitable Giving.  We must always give back to our communities in whatever way we can -- even if it is just by smiling at someone.  Remember to always keep your tail up and keep moving forward!  My life has been full and yours can be too!  May your New Year be full of happiness and prosperity and may you find Peace in giving to others!  That is what a dog's life is about!

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