The Divine Ms M
Written by Wendy Buss May 2017
There was something about Millie a little long haired chihuahua I was privileged to have assigned to my care at a recent house sitting adventure
To me Millie or the Divine Ms M as I liked to call her seemed a model of absolute perfection
Her big bulbous liquid brown eyes which shone with a lively intelligence were rimmed with the most perfectly formed miniature eyes lashes and were set in her finely etched sensitive intelligent little face which reminded one of a fox .She had these flouncy little ears and her pale cream coloured fur flowed down her chest like a silky rippling flowing fountain.She had these perfectly turned out little feet which reminded one of the feet on an antique dressing table and a graceful ever waving fan like tail She was elegance in miniature built to a gorgeous symmetry and I could only gaze a ther and marvel at her physical perfection thinking that only an angel doggie could have been built like that
It wasn’t just Millies physical presence either but her demeanour which was so engaging .She was this effervescent bundle of joy and energy. She would look at you and wriggle and squirm with delight that she had caught your attention .At any moment she was to given to frequent bouts of flouncing and prancing around the place mercilessly pouncng on her squeaky toys vigorously stamping on them or shaking them from side to side until the haplesss teddies and rag dollies cried out for mercy .
In short Millie was gorgeous and I was quite smitten by her and jokingly threatened to the owners that I might kidnap her when I left the house but my words in jest turned out to be strangely prophetic when I was prematurely parted from Millie and we never saw her again due to a completely unforeseen and very bittersweet turn of events that no one could have predicted
It was a Good Friday and Millie was part of a menagerie of 6 animals in total entrusted to my care .They were quite a troupe of very different characters but we were about three weeks into the housesit and things seeemed to be going really well .I was gradually getting to know them and by then the puppy and pussy cat love abounded and I felt like the meat in a pet sandwich as all these furry little bods would vye for my attention .
As I got to know them all these distinctive personalities started to appear .There was Millie of course and then there was one other Dog Luigi a little love junkie Shiitsu who would do these cute little ‘Toby The Circus Dog’ poses to command a belly scratch .He loved slavishly licking ones feet and his shaved belly all transluscent pink and squishy white reminded me of a witchety grub
Luigi was Millies consort in crime and together they cavorted about the house and followed me about sticking to me like glue
They would have slept with me all night if I had indulged them but Luigi had a habit of hogging the bed and snorting and snoring in most appealing way. If I was not going to put up with it from a bloke I certainly was not going to put up with it from a dog so I would put them out of the bedroom at night .They would sleep right outside of the bedroom door and I would let them in at 6ish in the morning and they would bound in clamouring on the bed in great delight vying for cuddles and belly scratches and then we would all finally drift off to sleep on a cloud of puppy love and waken a few hours later
The cats were a fascinating bunch There was Nitro the oldest who reminded me of a very kindly dapper older gentleman .He had such a sweet kindly gracious nature and was a very handsome soft grey cat with a white vest and snowy socks .He seemed to enjoy being admired and would stretch his legs out in a luxuriant languid pose as if he knew just how handsome he was .Nitro seemed to exude warmth and kindness and I often felt he had healing powers .A couple of times when I was feeling sad he would place himself near my head and stretch out one paw across my shoulder to softly touch my cheek and we would lie like that for perhaps an hour and I would wake up feeling somehow refreshed and comforted .Nitro often seemed to be watching me with an amused indulgent knowing smile as if he knew stuff about myself that I didnt.
Then there was Saaggi perhaps the most difficult of the personalities She was a very big fat somnolent lazy puss something of a cantakerous querrilous female Garfield with a girth and temperment to equally rival that infamous moggie .Only two things concerned Saagi and that was sleeping and eating .Any well intentioned gestures of pats from me were initially met with a snarly swipe of the clawed paw but as time passed Saaggi did mellow towards me and allowed me a decent pat .She would sleep often with the food bowls directly in her eyeline of view and when it was close to feeding time she would be the first to swish around my legs like a seductive silky scarf but I was really unimpressed and immune to these shows of [pseudo affection knowing full well it was really all about keeping me on the job with supplying the food .She just seemed to get fatter and fatter ..and I despaired of her expanding belly and what the owners would say when they returned .
There was Sabrina the baby of the troupe a sleek black witches cat with gorgeous glowing yellow eyes .I used to call her Sabrina fair after the movie with Harrison Ford . Sabrina for all her sleek and flawless beauty was a bit of a clumsy girl .She was given to leaping up onto tall bookcases and sending photoframes and other artifacts flying .She would like to clamour all over you but had a knack of planting her little feet squarely in the most sensitive spot in the centre of your boob or in your eye socket .Sabrina however had the sweetest and most affectionate nature and was very much a girly little girl .
Then there was Ralph the most mysterious of them all He was a sleek grey burmese cat very handsome with a very sensual almost sexual appeal .He spent the most time outdoors He had a strange sometimes ungainly other worldly quality about him as if he was in communication with his alien planet and not really properly grounded here on planet earth and centred in earthly reality .If truth be known he was perhaps my favourite( next to Millie of course) I kind of felt for him as something of an outsider and noticed that my voice took on an extra gentle edge when he came into the house and I found it really easy to lavish him with kindness and went out of my way to make him feel welcomed and included .
So the first three weeks of the sit had flown by and the animals and I had bonded really well
by the time that fateful Good Friday came around and calamity struck
The day started out well enough .We had shared our early morning ritual of dogs playing on the bed at first light and then a snooze til nineish .I had took the dogs out for their morning pee and then fed the animals their breakfast and then pottered around the kitchen washing up and then preparing breakfast for myself .Perhpas an hour might have passed when suddenly I realized the dogs were not with me .
Up until this morning the dogs had followed me around like the Pied Piper and always had either been at my feet or hiding under one of the children’s beds or playing just a few feet away either inside or just outside on the patio but this morning there was no sign of them.
They had never ventured further than the car pergolas about a third of the way up a very long downwards sloping driveway and always came back readily when I called them .The owners had never had a conversation with me about the possibilities that the dogs might wander off. It had never come up in their verbal instructions as a point of emphasis for me to keep my eye on them at all times and I guess that morning based on the dogs behaviour patterns thus far in that they had mostly stayed very close by I was lulled into a false sate of security
Noticing they were not with me that morning ,.I called and called ‘Millie / Luigi’ over and over and checked the house and their normal hiding places before heading outside to look at the bush surrounding the house but there was no sign of them .I could feel my anxiety levels rising and hear an increasingly panicked edge to my voice as I searched all the obvious places they might have been but nothing .Eventually when I had searched the outer precincts of the house and the immediate surrounding bushland when they weren’t there with sinking heart and shaking my head with disbelief I started up to the top of the long driveway .
I couldn’t believe they both would have gone to the top of the driveway and out onto the main road by themselves .Nothing like this had ever happened and I was gobsmacked and it all felt very surreal to think that it was looking more and more like this is indeed what had happened. I felt like was slowly being plunged into a slow mo nightmare as I looked down the main road which was quite a busy main thoroughfare but could see no sign of them. At least there were no little squashed white bodies on the road but I began to fear at that point that they had been taken .Millie as I have said in a particular was a beauty and a real trophy and the risk of her being kidnapped was very very real .
When I couldn’t see them on the road I turned back to the bush and plunged forwards along one of the paths leading down towards Oakey Creek which bordered the end of the property “Millie/ Luigi” I called loudly shrilly but with an edge of hopelessness and an increasingly sinking heart because I felt in my heart they were not there in the bush.I did disturb a kangaroo but no little doggies I got eaten alive with Mozzies which were very bad in these parts and eventually returned to the house covered with bites , my mouth dry , numb and sick with worry .
It must be said the idea of losing one of your fur baby charges is a house sitters worst nightmare
Something you truely hope and pray will never happen and all your actions are dedicated towards ensuring never does happen ….. after all looking after the pets is really the main reason you are hired .That day as I have said I had been lulled into a false sense of security with no real discussion from the owners prior to their leaving for South Africa about the dogs tendancies to wander off and three weeks of them sticking to me like glue and never imagining in a million years they would wander to the top of the drive way together off their own bat.
I still at that stage had not contacted the owners in South Africa and felt sick at the thought of that unenviable task .I felt I would explore all avenues of possibility before regaling them with the sad and unbelievable news . Eventually I went to meet the neighbours to ask for their help .They were a lovely older couple and were very helpful .They drove me around the streets to look for the dogs and were very sweet and kind offering moral support which was much needed at that point .
Eventually I had to let the owners know who I knew would be extremely distressed .I asked Rodney to send one of his friends to help me keep searching the streets and the bush Later that Day Mervin and his son arrived to help. Rodney told me to check a local emergency animal shelter as well.Sadly because it was Good Friday the council pound and the RSPCA was closed so we couldnt check with them til the following day .Rod also revealed that neither of the dogs had been microchipped which was a bummer
Actually on the Good Friday evening I asked Mervin to ring the local emergency animal shelter because I was having trouble with my phone and Mervin actually found out that the dogs had been handed in to the shelter and although he contacted Rod in South Africa to let him know the dogs had been found he didn’t bother to even try to contact me neither of them did So I spent the evening worrying unnecessarily not knowing that someone had found them and they were safe
Eventually I tumbled into bed .The cats piled in on top of me .I was grateful that the day had come to a close and we could abandon the search .I was exhausted and felt very low.Felt like I couldnt even look after a dog properly and was full of self recrimination
I felt sure in my bones someone had picked the dogs up but as to whether they had been picked up by someone with benign and goodly intention or had been taken never to be seen again .Who was to say ? I thought I would spend a sleepless night but was so exhausted I just said a prayer that God would keep the dogs safe through the night and fell into a deep sleep and perhaps the angels visited me that night because I actually woke refreshed and lighter in spirit and ready to resume the search .
Early the next morning with bouyed spirits though still in the dark about the fact that the dogs had actually been found (because neither the owner or his friend had bothered to let me know ) I resumed the search .I registered the dogs with Gold Coast Lost Pet Finders a pet search service and web site with some amazing free features and which was wonderfully supportive run by people who clearly loved animals and were more concerned with helping people find their pets I felt than making a fortune .They offered free facebook posts and putting out the word amongst their membership scattered all over the coast They offered free templates for ‘missing posters’ and lots of sage wise practical advice for people who had lost their animals but most of all they were real kindly people who responded to your emails personally and offered moral support Thankyou Tony and Sindy it great to know there are such amazing people in the world .
I got organized with the phone numbers to all the shelters and when nine o’clock came headed over to the local shopping centre where phone reception was better and I could sit and have a coffee and make my calls and well by the third phone call which was to the emergency animal shelter I had asked Mervin to call I had at least some good news .Yes the receptionist told me they had one of the dogs the shiitzu Luigi at their centre .
My spirits lifted and it felt like dark clouds rolled back and I felt suddenly the cold hand of anxiety which clutched at my chest let go somewhat and I could breathe more easily . Suddenly I noticed that the sun was shining .Luigi was safe .That was very good news but what about Millie ? Had a little long haired chiuahua also been handed in with the other dog ? The receptionist checked her notes and what she said next left me perplexed and completely dumbfounded .Yes she said a little chihuahua had also been handed in but they had checked its microchip and contacted its owner who had come in yesterday to pick her up and she had already gone home ..This made no sense. The people I was minding the dog for WAS the owner or so I thought . “No” I protested “if the chiuhahua came in with the other dog then she is our dog there must have been a mistake” …….No said the receptionist calmly but firmly the centre checked her microchip details and has returned her to her legal owner .
Slowly the implications of what the receptionist was telling me began to dawn on me .Rod had said the dogs had never been microchipped so clearly whoever had owned Millie before she came to them had microchipped her and she had been returned there.I imagined that perhaps if they had gotten Millie from her as a pup maybe she would let them have her back. My relief knew no bounds .At least we knew Millie was safe and not lost in the bush or dead in the belly of a snake somewhere .Joyfully I raced home to email Rodney the good news and made plans to go and pick up Luigi form the emergency shelter .I didnt hear from Rodney for some hours and got a bit fed up waiting to hear back from him .
I had thought that perhaps they could ask the original owner for Millie back but when I pressed Rodney for more details he reluctantly relayed to me it turned out they had picked Millie up off the streets as a stray and decided to keep her and never bothered to look too closely into whether she was already microchipped and belonged to someone else or maybe they had and decided to keep her anyway …
Rodney intimated that he might go after legally contesting their ownership of Millie but since she was legally never their dog I didnt like their chances
That afternoon when I went over to the emergency shelter to pick up Luigi the kindly assistant shared with me the news that when the original owner had come to collect Millie the previous days
they had been just about crying for joy to see their little dog again after what would have been 3 years or more .The assistant commented that Millie was indeed a much loved little dog which I felt pleased and gratified to hear and felt duty bound to pass ontoRodney and his family although deeply sad that I would never see Millie again.
Once I got Luigi home I kept him close to my side and kept him indoors pretty much .Because now there was only one dog I was able to give him a bit more attention and we had some nice walks together .By now his coat had grown back a beautiful creamy pinky champagne silky curl which gleamed in the sunlight .He would crack me up on our walks doing those ritualistic little top dog antics ..sniffing the pee mail,and peeing on every little corner and crevass and clump of grass that he could almost like he was leaving his pee mail replies and barking and trying to assert top dog status with any critter that moved no matter how large. He even tried it on with a horse and nearly got kicked for his nerve but when the need to assert his superiority had abated he would display the most open and kindly and trusting friendly nature to all of Gods creatures and I saw another very engaging side to him than the demanding needy little love junkie he seemed to have been for the first few weeks of the housesit .
As the days passed and the dust settled and we fell into a new rhythm of daily life without Millie I pondered greatly the surreal and unexpected whirl of events I had been caught up in which led to Millie leaving events which over which truly I felt I had very little control
I felt like I had been caught up in the Pied Pipers story when the entire population of children following the pipers spell mysteriously disappeared from a village catching their slumbering parents unaware .In a split second a sleight of hand fateful confluence of circumstances everything changes and that hairline fracture of known reality and normality along which we might confidently and carelessly walk blind folded suddenly cracks wide open to reveal a dark mysterious chasm of unknown reality where suddenly other rules are in play and we sense a bigger Unseen Hand orchestrating events call it Fate call it Destiny call it Spirit.This is the outworkings of destiny as depicted in the Tower of Destruction Tarot card . This unseen hand representing a bigger picture and unfolding of events was definately at work when Millie was returned to her original owner that fateful good Friday and it gave me much to contemplate about the higher workings of things and the playing out of karma.
I couldn’t help but feel I had been an unwitting catalyst in a bigger life game of a balancing up of the karmic scales between Rodneys family and Millies original owner.I certainly couldn’t blame Rodney and Mariaam for wanting to keep Millie.She was a little treasure that I myself had threatened to kidnap and I would have had a hard time giving her up if I had found her in the streets as a little pup
As it turned out the fates had conspired to allow them to have her as part of their family for three years .However I couldnt help but surmsie that perhaps that now the distress and the loss they were feeling over Millies leaving must be something of a reflection of the level of despair and distress the original owner felt when she lost Millie and she had no no relief or reassurance at all of knowing at all what had happened to her
So although that Good Friday was indeed a dark one for myself and the family I was housesitting for someone else it had been the delivery of an Easter miracle Of a time of joyous resurrection and of God restoring the years which surely the locusts must have eaten and a time of renewed delight and joy for at least on lucky family .I could see clearly that Loves lesson for Rodney and his family with Millie was a lesson in experiencing the same grief and distress they may have caused Millies original owner when they decided to keep Millie but also a lesson in gratitude that they had had been able to keep her for three years and unconditional love for Millie and asking that they be glad and happy that she was even if she wasn’t with them she was in safe and loved hands and letting go.
I realized too how interwoven are the fates and destinies of animals with the workings out of Gods our own lives .Have we had previously life tiems with or pets I wonder I wonder and I was comforted by the thought if God cares so deeply and clearly has a Divine blueprint for one little doggie how he/she might equally care for the lives and destinies of each one of his/her human children .
I also took great comfort in seeing my beliefs in the karmic outworkings of events so clearly validated .I have had some very painful and challenging things happen to me through the last few years and was clearly shown in the outworkings of these events and comforted by the notion that the Eye In The Sky sees all and that there is a greater Unseen Hand guiding events and balancing the scales of karma and justice and What Goes Around Comes Around and all souls might inevitably at some stage find themselves on the receiving end of behaviours as they have meted out to others just so they can know and learn how that experience feels and can grow in better human understanding compassion and respect for others .