Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Poem to a Pom

I've had to say good-bye a lot lately. I had to say it to my marriage, to a friend, and this week to a very sweet, loyal, loving family member. But, with each good-bye there are lessons involved.

I remember first meeting Simba. He walked happily into the room, head and tail held high, panting. He came up to us, sniffed us and greeted the others in turn. He was five months old. He was energetic; yet not hyper for a toy breed. He was very friendly and had a loving sense about him. I knew he was ours.

My ex had always wanted a Pom, for what reasons, I don't know. I had always had larger dogs as a child, and my attitude towards these "little yappy things" was indifferent. My ex also had decided on a black-and-tan Pom because it was different than the typical color associated with Pomeranians.

We had decided to add a dog to our mostly feline family some years back, and actually had decided on a Great Dane. After a disagreement with the breeder in question, we realized the time may not have been right for us to get a Dane, or even a dog. Then tragedy struck. My ex's mother died, quite unexpectedly at an early age. He put owning a Pom on his bucket list, he wanted one before he died. And through a series of coincidences, Simba came into our life.

Both of us had had dogs as we grew up, but our moms did all the training. This was our first dog as adults, I knew we needed help; so, we hired a trainer to train us to train him. He tried hard to please us, but as a Pom he had a bit of a stubborn streak. (Though not as bad as another Pom I know. Right, Mufasa?) But, we were able to get him to follow some basic commands. I learned perseverance can pay off.

My ex is a television addict. He would watch for hours. Simba would love to sit on the couch next to him, or me if I were there, too. He had to lick our hands, or if our feet were accessible, he would like them. But, mostly he loved sitting next to us. I learned love has its quiet moments.

He also played us. He had a very thick coat, and undercoat, as Poms do. (Note to self: short-haired dogs require less grooming, i.e., Great Danes.) We did our best to brush him, but at the first tangle he would yelp and we'd give in. So, we turned to professional groomers. I learned to ask for help when necessary.

Simba had some bad habits. He had separation anxiety. He would bark whenever one of us would leave; either to take out the trash, take the laundry to the garage, or leave the house. Yet, when we would return, there was no mess as can happen with animals suffering from separation anxiety. I loved the fact he loved me so much he didn't want me to leave. I learned to accept neuroses in your loved ones.
He also had some quirky habits. He had a favorite toy. It started as a hedgehog, but when the company stopped making it, we substituted it with a raccoon. He would hold the toy in such a way as to suckle the nose. He would often go into a trance-like state while sucking on the nose of his toy. He held it in one specific position so that he wore the fur off, and made a big hole in just one spot. After a while, I couldn't interest him in a new one. And when I would come home late, he would greet me, tail wagging, and while I prepared his food, he would crazily run around in circles until I set it down for him. I learned quirkiness is what makes you unique among your peers.

He suffered from a number of health issues, and was on many medicines. He had a collapsing trachea, laxating patellas and a twisted vertebrae. The first two are common ailments in toy breeds, and the vertebrae happened in a fall. He was on pain meds for the vertebrae for the last five years. I learned you can put up with a lot with someone to look after you.

I will miss his "Please don't leave me" bark when I leave for work in the morning, and his "Welcome home, I missed you" bark in the afternoon when I returned. I will miss struggling with him to take his cough medicine because of his trachea. I will miss having my hand or foot licked while watching television.  I will miss having to carry him up and down the stairs, as it hurt his back to go up and down himself. I will miss him assuming his usual position for me to pick him up.  I will miss him lying next to me on my bed before bedtime, petting him, running my fingers through his soft coat. I will miss his twinkling eyes, his "smile."

I will miss you, Simba, but you've left little paw prints across my heart.......

RIP, my big boy. You suffer no more.


  1. What a special tribute to a special friend. I'm so sorry for your loss. It's amazing how our pets become a part of our souls. Talk about unconditional love...Rest in peace, Simba, he will be missed.

  2. Yes, he will be missed, greatly. He was a very special friend, so loving and giving in his way.

    Thank you for reading,