Lately, I’ve been compelled to go back through my childhood experiences and allow my thoughts to drift towards the ones I feel like I’ve taken for granted for so long. Am I feeling homesick? Probably. Am I missing my life as a child? Most likely. Am I having baby blues? Could be.
I didn’t have the most luxurious childhood, but I had a lot of the most fun a child could ever dream of having.
One of the fun memories I have is spending my extra time with two of my most loyal companions – my pet dogs, Madonna and Mary Poppins.
Yes, those were their actual names. My father named both of them, and I think he just has an affinity for popular celebrity and character names, seeing as our current pet dog’s name is Garfield.
Madonna is the very first furry friend I ever had. One of my parent’s friends was giving away their young dog, and we were the lucky ones to have an addition to our family. I was around 8 years old when she came into my life. We never knew her breed, but she was a medium-sized canine. She had white fur all around, with brown spots around her body, most notably on her face. She was such a gentle soul but knew when to guard and chase away anyone she found threatening. One of the most precious moments I had with her was when I would shower her. She loved being washed and would stay still while I lather her in shampoo and rinse them all at the end.
Throughout her life, she had given birth to over 4 litters of pups. Unfortunately, almost all of them never made it to adulthood. One lucky one of the group would be her daughter, Mary Poppins.
Yes, my second long-term pet. Mary Poppins was the complete opposite of her mother. She was always curious, running around our front yard, and loved chasing the cars that passed by our street. Still, she looked just as beautiful as her mom, with her pure white fur surrounding her body. Similar to her mother, she loved taking baths and would just be as patient when it was time for them.
Whereas Madonna was the type to have that introverted personality, Mary Poppins was pure extroverted. I never had trouble simply sitting around on the ground, watching the sky, and simply talking about my day with Madonna – who always sat calmly next to me, as if listening intently and understanding what I was telling her. Marry Poppins was off chasing who knows what most times.
Years later, when I was a high school Freshman, I felt the first and second losses in my life when my parents and I discovered Madonna’s lifeless body beneath an old junk bus on our property – her typical go-to spot whenever she just wanted some peace and quiet. She was reaching her golden years in dog age, yes. But, she was still physically strong and lively. We gave her a proper burial that afternoon. The next day, our beloved Mary Poppins was also found motionless below our car. With her still being so young and healthy, we were dumbstruck by what could’ve happened to our beloved companions.
I think with the sudden loss of Madonna and Mary Poppins, I didn’t really know how to handle it. I still had school to keep me busy, but during the weeks that followed, every time I went out, I was expecting to still see them coming up to the door, tails wagging, and showing their toothy smiles. I missed hearing their barks. I missed feeding them. Bathing them.
I miss their presence.
As much as I love both of them dearly, Madonna always had a bigger impact on my life, most likely due to her being in my life the longest (aside from my parents). I know that she’s part of my soul family and I hope that in the next life, we will be in each other’s lives again, one way or another.
She will always be my first furry companion. She will always be this only child’s best friend.