White Dog saw that Steve and Quinn were having a very hard time with the death of Milo. Quinn moped around all morning and even lacked enthusiasm for breakfast. He kept looking for his green girlfriend but she was not on her perch, or anywhere in the office, not in the tub, and not even out on the front porch. Steve could hardly stand going into the office where her perch and platform and window ledges all reminded him of the tough little iguana who truly trusted no other human beside him to carry her or cuddle her, or trim her claws. At the grocery he got a little misty as he walked past the greens; "Won't need to buy lizard greens anymore," he quietly said.
White Dog and I decided that we needed to hold a wake for Milo. It would be an opportunity to remember her and talk about her antics. We called Gregg, Candace and Dragon. Gregg and Candace lived in our building back in Chicago and knew Milo from the first day we brought her home with her crippled blackened leg.
We laughed when Gregg remembered Milo slipping out of Steve's hands in their apartment and scampering across the rug on the first day she came to live with us. We recalled the time she disappeared for a week right after we put in the dog door here in Albuquerque. The four of us spent days climbing trees and ladders and posting fliers, certain that she had escaped into the great outdoors...but she hadn't! White Dog led us to her, cold and motionless crouched way behind some stored furniture in the basement. White Dog was our hero for months because of her successful search and rescue; she acted as though she wondered why we hadn't asked for her help earlier.
We shared food as we remembered, including a cherry pie that Candace had baked with cherries from their yard (Milo loved cherries and they left her entire jaw stained red for days). At the end of the evening Quinn was acting a little less depressed and Steve had actually smiled.
The cycle of life continues but those who have moved on are not forgotten. Milo is a part of our group history and our life story...her legacy includes you, dear readers, who will never fail to smile when you think about the power of love that united a big fluffy rescued Eskie and a feisty old three-legged Lizard Lady.