Tribute for Misty

posted May 27th, 2013 by
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by Murray Thibobeaux

July 12, 2012, we put Misty to sleep. Misty could not overcome the complications that come with advanced diabetes. I buried her across the pond on the side of a hill, so we could always see the tree we planted over her.

A few weeks had passed when the radio fence alarm went off, showing the wire was cut. I geared up with extra wire, wire strippers, wire nuts and electrical tape and began my routine of following the 4,000-plus feet of antenna wire around our property.

While following the large loop of wire, I walked right past Misty’s grave. That’s when I saw it—a big rawhide bone was on her grave. This is odd, I thought. Why would my wife leave a bone on Misty’s grave instead of flowers? After I fixed the wire break and went to the house, I asked Frances if she put the bone on Misty’s grave. She didn’t do it. That’s when we knew. It was Boris.

A few days before, we had given Boris and Lucy big rawhide bones. We sometimes give our dogs something they really like when they seem stressed. Misty’s death had affected both of them. One-year-old Lucy was still a puppy and seemed a little confused as to why the other Great Dane she felt a strong kinship with was gone.

And Boris—even though our adopted Pit Bull had only been with us for about a year—had formed a strong bond with the towering matriarch of the small pack. Boris seemed to have lost the spring in his step, so we gave them the big bones to cheer them up. They immediately took their prizes outside to enjoy while basking in the sun.

We know Lucy did not go past the dam to the other side of the pond. We knew Boris patrolled the other side of the pond regularly. It had to be Boris. Instead of enjoying the bone himself, Boris took his bone to Misty and placed it on her grave.

Just as you and I place flowers on a loved one’s grave, Boris gave the most valuable thing he had as a tribute for Misty. The bone stayed on Misty’s grave for weeks until one day it was gone, probably taken by coyotes or some other wild animal.

Many experts, vets, and other dog owners have never heard of anything like this. They all have stories about a dog that sleeps on the grave of another family pet, or will not give up a toy that belonged to a deceased pet, or maybe clothing from a dead owner being faithfully guarded. None have heard of paying tribute to another such as Boris did with Misty.

I can no longer look at Boris without seeing him as a spiritual creature. Some say we are foolish to give human qualities to our dogs. Are we human because of the shape of our bodies or because we have intellect and emotions? Some days I think Boris is more human than some people I know.

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