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Such a beautiful face, such a beautiful soul. And, Becky Dodge, the veteran animal advocate, in this tribute, tells us the wonderful story of Meli. Becky’s words, written this week:

Meli, the Honey Lady, left very suddenly a week ago today, on the morning of the 16th. The vet said it could have been Screen Shot 2019-09-24 at 9.51.54 AMeither a sudden massive stroke or perhaps a brain tumor which grew extremely fast. In either case her temperature and respiration couldn’t be controlled and she was completely unresponsive even to pain and it was best to let her go on her last journey.

She was 14, a Shepherd mix, with perhaps a little Chow in there someplace. When I met her in 2014 she was about 9 or so and her kennel name was Reba. To me that just did not fit but I kept thinking that she looked like all the gold/amber shades of honey, everything from very pale to medium. So that is where her name came from - ‘Meli’ is a Hawaiian word meaning honey. And she was like honey in temperament as well, gentle and patient with other dogs in my home who were a bit more on the anxious side. She even allowed the annoying one, an 8-month-old Min Pin who was dumped at my door to cuddle with her.
 She LOVED to run, she and a dog next door spent lots of time pacing each other up and down the fence line. She pranced she was so happy when running. It was a real treat watching them since neither ever tried to outrun the other. If one was leading he or she slowed down to keep pace with the other. They both took obvious delight in the ‘races’ until age caught up with them but even as they slowed and the run became a trot it didn’t stop until their legs couldn’t support it any longer  I think that it was after her adoption that she discovered squeaky toys and she carried a yellow one with her often around the house. …

Screen Shot 2019-09-24 at 9.52.11 AMThat picture is one of my favorites. Because of the big age difference Zoe could be a bit annoying to the older dogs in her energy level, etc. Meli was about 10 years old and Callie was 11 when Zoe came to live with us.
Zoe was only 8 months old then so you can see that a high energy little dog could occasionally become annoying when the older ones wanted to sleep.
However Meli, even though she did get annoyed some at Zoe's energy, she was also extremely patient as Zoe wanted to cuddle with someone at nap time.
I have a blurry photo which I didn't send of Zoe licking at Meli's mouth the way puppies do with older dogs. So in some ways their relationship was as if Zoe was a young puppy with her mother.

There was also this dignity about Meli that gave her a special air in her meetings with people and other dogs. Even age and increasing health problems couldn’t take that dignity away from her.
It was as if she saw it as her job to make sure strangers were comfortable before she approached to greet them. It was as if she were saying, "Hello, come in, be comfortable, I’ll formally greet you later." However she couldn’t tolerate the neighbor’s cat coming into HER yard and as long as she was able she gave chase. I miss her way of putting her head on my lap when she wanted affection and even her way of backing off after she had enough loving for one session.  I also miss how she would come into the bedroom every night to say goodnight before going back into the living room to sleep (I never could convince her that sleeping in the bedroom was a good thing). I’m going to miss that gentleness and patience and her love of being here with me and the other dogs for a very long time.

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