Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal

The Leaving of Miss Teddy Ming

In Loving Memory (1990 - 2006)

Susan Hoffman


Miss Teddy Ming took her last ride in the convertible Saturday morning. She remained steadfast, if tired and in good spirits despite the pain until the moment Dr. Jones told her Mommy that she had gone to sleep.

Who would have thought that one dog could lead such an extraordinary life? Of a nature that would never be tamed, she basked gently in the love of her friends and family, but with eyes that said she would be out the door in a hot second if given half a chance. She loved certainly, but with a reserve, up until the last days when she never wanted to be further than an arm’s reach away. Her Mommy traveled, and so did she – everyone said she led a charmed life. Her friends were many – the going away party her Mommy threw for her after the cancer became the dominant feature in her life – heck, so many old friends came by – and sure enough, Miss Teddy Ming said hello to everyone then slipped off across the back lawn and almost made it out the gate before someone noticed and brought her back.

Such a strong spirit she had. Her Mommy spent the last days of her life with an ear open to Miss Teddy Ming’s urgent toenails on the hardwoods – let me out. The back door bears the sign of demanding toenails – let me back innow. Such were the days leading up to – listening, holding, cooking a piece of chicken – now surely this will taste good to you and help you hold on just a little longer.

Since Miss Teddy Ming went to sleep, her Mommy spends lonely evenings listening for her toenails on the hardwoods or at the back door.

When Mommy went back to the vet’s office, she was given a white bag with twine handles. A little cedar box inside says In Loving Memory … she wonders, is this is all there is? She'd brought Miss Teddy Ming in her favorite blanket and remembers the quiet that overshadowed everything when she went to sleep, a release from the old age and cancer that overtook her body but never her spirit. It is a bittersweet time.

In loving memory, but with thoughts to more toenails on hardwoods … someday ... visits to Happy Tales Humane and perusing puppy personal ads.

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Susan Hoffman enjoys writing as a creative outlet and hobby. Her other hobbies include gourmet cooking, gardening, and collecting Haitian art. She has traveled extensively for business and pleasure, enjoying an eighteen-year career in government contracting. She currently resides in Franklin, Tennessee.

© Susan Hoffman

Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal ISSN 1554-8449, Copyright © 2004-2012