The inevitable ending to a lifelong best friendship is certainly death. Most of the
readers here have been through death of a good friend, family member or animal
they have deeply befriended. I was the best friend of the finest dog that ever lived.
She was truly a gifted one. Funnybone impacted my life and, apparently the lives of others, too.
Her existence abruptly ended on February 7, 2014, just about a month ago, at the time
of this writing. This is a tribute to her, the least I could give, the most I can say.
Sometimes, even the writer of a story-in-progress
discovers the true impact only after the tale has finished.
The legend of Funnybone may have been bigger than I could have
imagined, yet it was not unlike the path taken by almost any
dog’s life, that is, any RESCUED dog, with one great difference. She possessed
a gift, one that impacted the lives of many people. It still seems like only
weeks ago I took her in, succombing to her whimpers as I passed her
in her apartment at the Pine Street shelter that Labor Day, 2011 (She had
been part of the shelter system practically since they opened one year before).
According to her rescuer, she came to Pine with her cohort-in-crime,
Slapstick, on Labor Day weekend of 2010—exactly
one year before. And, as would be EXPECTED, she was the first little lady
to ride in the brand new rescue mobile…such a diva before I even
knew her. I figured I would foster this buxom, bossy, obstinate pitbull.
Try and find her a real home.
Ahhh, Miss Bone.
She had hiked (rather~~plowed) the trail with a few of us
that would tolerate her several times that first season,
as did her street buddy Slapstick, who was, in contrast,
a popular request of many. She was a member of the “Marquis regulars”
until she had a romantic “date hike” with a handsome dude who
became her Knight in Black Armor. His name was Mr. Miyagi.
Were they ever in LOVE! She moved “up” to a real apartment
with her new lover in the front from then on, and began to befriend
a lot of people, this now the period when she started to show her
naughty ways openly and without regard.
So, why did I even consider fostering this contrary trouble-maker
AT ALL? Was there NO ONE ELSE OUT THERE WILLING?
I MEAN, IS IT TRUE, THAT DOGS CHOOSE US? Maybe it was a sort of FATE.
Whatever the reason, she soon became so much more than a foster.
First, she became a tried and true resident of Glendale, Missouri,
and a constant source of frustration for the city. Running loose,
jumping in swimming pools, entering yards and golf courses, barking at
neighbors and coaxing dogs to break through their underground fences…..
And that was just the tip of the iceberg! Even the evening police squad came to know
her, as she ran through town with her sidekick, Scout. Not even GPS tracking device
would allay my concerns. NO! She just tore off the $100 unit. TWICE.
Miss Bone. Not a care in the world.
Scout (a great outdoor navigator) innocently showed her the
area’s creek system, so even IF she HAD a functional GPS to locate her,
there was no way to get AT her. You ask, but HOW could she GET OUT?
I am not even GOING to discuss the night she pushed over
the 60-yard stretch of six-foot privacy fence.
Then ,she had to FIT IN.
She was part of a pack now, and, as you can easily contemplate,
it was a bumpy ride to harmonious living. Never an easy day from
then until her last, this conniving, rule-breaking, pain-in-my-butt dog
who put me and my family through so much adjustment!
Not even the SHERIFF could control her, though he made a daily effort.
And her attitude! RULES? WHAT RULES? She left my entire house in disarray.
She ate off my counter. She chewed up my boots and my expensive personal
garments. Oh, believe me. I TRIED!! She had a mind of her own, and NO ONE
was going to change her. No one.
THANK GOODNESS. I couldn’t imagine life with her to be ANY
OTHER WAY. I could go on and on with ridiculous yet true stories,
several near-monumental events and a few dozen unusual memories
of the days with Funnybone. But most of you already know many of them.
You have experienced her either first hand,
by being a personal friend or an aquaintance, or better yet, through the
social media or word of mouth, checking out her photos, commenting
on her Facebook postings. You knew she was an escape artist, a
male-crazy harlot in a pitbull body, a pig in a mud bath,
a “bullina” in a china shop.
She was a prima donna, yes, but a unique personality.
Yet, my NEMESIS. And I soon fell deeply in love.
I miss the chaos, the dirty floors, the ripped clothes, the 3 am drives
through town cursing (“I’m gonna murder you FUNNYBONE!”).
I miss coming home every day to her adorable self, sitting in the window on
her little perch, brown and white masked face looking out to see me approach
the house, her tail wagging behind that chunky sausage-shaped torso.
I always felt we bonded because we were alike in some unique ways.
We both had a tough time with rules, and knew what it took to
get our way. Peoples’ opinions just rolled off our backs, at least as far
as affecting our own beliefs. Together, we showed a strong face,
but underneath, we held a soft place for those who were timid,
alone, or just needing a reason to smile.
Both pig-headed and contrary, we were a team.
Now that I have lost my “sister in rebellion”,
I have to look to myself again for that
strength without her beside me. This will be difficult. Each day I miss her,
but I have recently learned an important life lesson.
She was a link between my past and my future. Through her, I allowed myself
to be MYSELF. Through her, I opened some of my own doors.
And now, she is asking me to open some OTHER DOORS, on my own.
Funnybone, whereever you are,
I want to thank you for something no human could do. Because of you, a young
person very special to me came out of his shell, lifted up from depression,
and fell in love with you, despite every possible attempt to avoid you. You left
him no choice BUT to accept you as a healer, a lady with a heart of gold,
who could feel deeper than many humans.
I owe you so much. I feel a little cheated since you left me so suddenly,
but there was most definitely a reason you were taken so soon.
You will always be the First Lady of my life. I love you, and always
will cherish our time together as best friends.
“You are my sunshine my only sunshine
You make me happy when skies are grey
You’ll never know dear how much I love you
So please don’t take my sunshine away” *
March 10, 2014