Since July, five of my Facebook friends have written heartbreaking posts about the loss of a dog. The latest was Bingo — a chocolate lab so special she had her own Facebook page, filled with her frequent mug shots and pictures of the treasures she’d bring for her owner, Susanne Murphy.
Bingo was pure puppy, and she had a faithful Facebook following. I have no doubt she brought a smile, or even an LOL, to her fans every time a new post appeared.
Bingo reminded me so much of my own Molly during her puppy stage.
Molly, a black lab cross, stole the quilt off the neighbor’s clothesline and drug it home when I lived on an acreage south of town. Bingo once stole a pack of cigarettes.
Both had a history of destroying pet beds.
The one time I met Bingo this summer, she greeted me at my car door with a Frisbee in her mouth. I tried to take it from her so I could toss it across the yard, but she wasn’t going to relinquish her toy for anything. She then proceeded to plant her paws on my top so she could see me eye-to-eye. I didn’t mind — I already felt like Bingo was my friend.
The difference between Molly and Bingo is that Molly grew out of the puppy stage. She’s more than 13½ years old, the hair on her muzzle has turned to shades of white and she’s more inclined to stay on her doggy bed these days than to stand up to greet me. She’s dying, and I know it.
Susanne lost Bingo Sunday morning without warning at 10 months old. Susanne doesn’t know how or why or what happened, but it did.
Those of us who love our dogs know they aren’t just dogs — they are oftentimes our best friends.
Susanne’s last post about Bingo says it all. Her “time on earth was short, but she left a positive imprint with many. She always had time to happily greet someone. She was generous — every day she would share a treasure. She liked to visit. She made you feel like you mattered. She lived each day with zest. She didn’t judge. She made people smile. Be like Bingo.”
As special as Bingo was, I’m pretty sure she learned all of those wonderful traits from her master. Susanne spearheaded the collection last week for the people of Cuero, Texas — while spending countless hours helping to ensure another fabulous King Turkey Day. She is generous, she is kind and even though I don’t know her well, she always makes me feel like I matter.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all be just a little bit more like Bingo … and Susanne.