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Tired. That’s all I feel. Tired and so weak I can barely lift my head. Riding in the truck, bad smells like smoke and garbage and sickness. I hear sounds of puppies…My puppies. I tried to care for them, really I did. But I’m just so tired.
The truck stops, the man driving gets out. Minutes pass, I think, maybe hours, can’t tell. Truck door opens and a new voice, girl voice, speaks softly.
“Oh my God. You poor sweet girl.”
Soft hands lift my face, stroke my ears and reassure. Suddenly, girl voice changes, still soft, but angry. Did I do something wrong? I try to be good. Try to please the humans.
“Do you understand this dog will die if you don’t allow us to help her?”
Man sounds worried and frustrated. “Fine, do whatever you have to do.”
The soft hands touch my ears again. Then arms gently wrap around me, lifting, carrying. Somewhere in my mind I want to struggle, want to stay with my puppies. But I am too weak, and so I rest, safe in these arms.
The arms lay me on a blanket, soft, comfortable. All the time the girl voice murmurs, “Good girl, you’ll be ok. Good brave girl.” Yes, good girl, that is me.
Suddenly a second girl voice, this one hurried and upset. She talks to the First Girl, then starts picking up puppies, making them squeal as she tries to feed them. I lurch unsteadily to my feet.
My puppies, I’ll feed them.
First Girl grabs me gently. “No, no girl, you stay with me. Emily will take care of your kids, let me take care of you.”
I lay back down, exhausted. Vaguely I feel something pierce behind my shoulders, warm fluid running under my skin. Then another needle in my leg, taped on with a tube, more fluids running into my veins.
More time passes, though I don’t know how long. First Girl never takes her hands off me, always petting and comforting. Then new voices come. A young one, child voice. First Girl calls her Ellie. I was called Ellie once. But not the way they speak to her. To me it was angry, hard words. “Bad Ellie, no Ellie!”
Another adult voice, Ellie calls her mom but First Girl calls her Doctor. Doctor touches and prods, inspecting. Then she gives a reassuring pat. “Let’s take her home.” Home? What is home?
First Girl lifts me again, whispering softly, “Your new name is Mirak, my miracle, my Mimi.” Something in the word “Mimi” feels warm and right. Yes, I could be Mimi.
Another car ride and then a new bed in a room that smells of other dogs. I am too weak to worry about it. Somewhere in the car ride, I forgot about my puppies, they slipped from my exhausted mind. That night passes in a feverish haze. I remember First Girl being there, laying next to me and whispering, “Good Mimi. We’ll get you through this Mimi. Don’t give up.”
I don’t give up. I eat bits of chicken from First Girl’s fingers. I grow stronger and venture outside to do my business, which gains praises and more chicken. I try to clean myself up, what a mess I am.
Then back in the car to the first place, the Sanctuary. I stay here for many weeks. First Girl stays with me, and some cats live there. First Girl sleeps on the floor and lets me cuddle close. Puppies come to stay with us. They seem familiar and I want to play with them. I was so sick before, I have forgotten that these were my puppies.
One day a woman comes and takes me to a new house. Lots to see there, and a small girl child to play with. But soon the hard words start. “Bad girl! No Mimi, too rough, stop it!” Then suddenly, back to Sanctuary.
As we walk in the door, I hear that soft voice, my First Girl. I try to tell her, maybe it would be best if I just stayed with her. But I can’t. She visits me every day and we work on something called manners, which is boring, but I get cookies when I do good. One day First Girl comes and puts a leash on me. She whispers excitedly, “Manners, Mimi. This could be your person.”
A man is waiting. Usually men scare me, but this one is different. He needs me. I reassure him with lots of kisses. We go for a walk, then he leaves. A week later he comes to take me to his house. First Girl is not there to say goodbye.
We go back for a visit. I lead Dad in to see First Girl. She has tears in her eyes when she sees me, but she smells happy. She hugs me and gives me a kiss. “I love you Mimi, and I will never forget you. You reminded me why I do this. I am so glad you found your home.”
Home. Yes, this is what home feels like. I am finally home.
The Miracle of Mimi: Happy Ever After: A sequel to Mimi’s story, as told by Mimi, dictated by Jill (because it’s hard to type with paws).
Excited. That’s what I feel when Dad picks up my leash. Leashes mean we’re going somewhere fun. Once upon a time, I never got to go anywhere. I lived on a chain. I lived hungry and thirsty and sick, all the time. Not any more though. Not since I was rescued.
Anyway, that life is behind me. Now I live happy and playful and having adventures. Today, Dad picks up my leash and says, “Come on Mimi, time to go get your shots. Don’t worry, all your friends will be there.”
Hmm. Shots. Not my favorite word. But, shots usually also mean treats, which is definitely one of my favorite words. And the word friends is a good word. Friends mean humans who smile and pet me and speak in nice voices, always happy to see me. We get in the car and go for a drive. Coming up the driveway, I know where I am. I’m at the Sanctuary. The place where I came so many years ago, when I was sick and dying, unable to care for even myself, and certainly not for my puppies who were just days old. My first days at the Sanctuary are all a blur. I was too sick to remember that time, other than remembering my First Girl and the Doctor, talking softly to me and trying to make me better.
Today as we come to the Sanctuary, I’m all full of wiggles, because maybe my First Girl is here and she will be happy to see me. As soon as we enter the “clinic” aka the place with the shots and also treats, I know she’s there. Sure enough, she comes right out and gets on the floor with me. I give her kisses and snuggles, so she knows that I remember her and still love her. I call her First Girl, because she was the first girl who came and got me from that awful, stinky truck on that day, so many years ago. Some other humans are there too, and they seem pretty happy to see me too, even if I forget whether I know them or not.
This is a new Doctor, not the same one who saved me, but he seems nice too. He tells me I look great for my age (I’m not sure what age means, but it sounds okay). I get my shots and my treats, and then my First Girl takes my picture with Dad, like she always does when I visit. Then she gets down on the floor again and I get my picture taken with her!
She tells me again how much she loves me. “My miracle, My Mimi” she says. ” Okay beautiful, time to go home with your Dad.”
Yes, I know the word home now. It is a beautiful word. It means safe and loved, without ever having to be hungry or scared or hurting. The Sanctuary found me my home.