“It’s an honor to love something so much that your heart breaks when it moves to another plane. It’s an honor to be loved back, too.
There’s joy to be found – even in your sadness.”
~ Christine Kane
I am one of those that finds it extremely cathartic to write at time of laughter and also at times of sadness. There is something about it for me that works and so although some may find it strange that less than 2 hours after we put our beautiful Mandi down to rest, I am here writing a note to her, about her – it is just what I do.
Mandi was about to be 17 years old and lived an amazing life and so after the many tears shed, I started to think about some of the laughter because there was a lot of it. Mandi came to us at around 3 months old – we adopted her because she was just a big ball of black fluff with the sweetest eyes ever. She would play dress up with Shivani (Red Riding Hood was her favorite costume!), Neil would just hug onto her while he watched TV and this is where Mandi was in her “zone”! Loved cuddles – had to be touched or against me when we walked. Terrified of the dark, she’d run right into me late at night whimpering and as soon as she touched me, she’d be fine! We took her to the lake the first few weeks we had her, and honestly, I don’t think I saw such a black dog turn blue – yes, she was car sick and promptly threw up within minutes of being in the car. AND to top it all off, being a lab mix, we thought she’d love the water…well, Mandi, looked at the lake, touched the water with her paw and whimpered at her own reflection and ran away as far from the water as possible. Needless to say, she never became a swimmer.
I realized that this little one never needed to be trained to stay with us – she always wanted to stay – wouldn’t run away if she had the chance! Once, she jumped the fence when we were away and we came home to find her wagging her tail at the front door like “Where the HELL have you people been? You know I can’t stand being away from you!?” Her timidity and gentleness and willingness to please just made her part of our surroundings and I realize now how spoiled we were to have such an amazing dog in our lives.
She got the nickname Mandingo Warrior from my husband only because she was the absolute opposite of that – the gentlest, sweetest, most loving dog ever – not a bit of warrior blood in this one! Everyone in this family had nicknames so it was only fitting that she got that name. Although, the only time she really ever got terribly warrior-like was one summer when Shivani had friends in the back yard and Mandi decided she needed to “herd” them in a circle so she ran and ran around them, barking and lo-and-behold, within minutes, all the girls were bundled up together (probably terrified of a crazy dog trying to herd them up) but well, Mandi did it, she herded them and she was proud!
And for those of you who may not know, it was Mandi’s photo from a few years ago that kinda’ started Puparazzi Portraits! Mandi has always hated getting her picture taken – most of what I have her turning her head or not looking at the camera…a photographer for a mom, well she just didn’t care! BUT, a few years back, I was doing Neil’s senior session and out of the blue, Mandi comes and just climbs up into my burgundy chair and just hangs out. She looked at me ONE time (as if to say, this is your chance, take it NOW!!) and I snapped a shot of her that is my favorite of all time! From that photo, came an inquiry from someone who wanted similar and then another, and well, ya’all know the rest of the story and so here I am! Thank you, Mandi…it’s as if you knew what your mom needed before I did!
Mandingo, we loved you so much and as hard as it was for us to make this decision to give you peace today, know now that you were loved, cherished and we were so blessed to have you in our lives for as long as we did. We love you and will miss you ever day. xoxo
Our beautiful girl just two weeks ago…
The weekend we got Bella – Mandi loved her from the moment we got her! I think Daddy had treats in his hand at this moment as well!
Holiday Madness — Mandi loved every second of it just ’cause she could be with us!
Neil’s Senior session where Mandi just decided that all of a sudden she was ok with getting her picture taken, too!
The “famous” picture that started Puparazzi Portraits!