by Henry Machum
Numi came into our lives as the seventh member of a young family. She was the new “baby” of the family to the great relief of Mary, the previous holder of that title. At the time, the parents were in their thirties and early forties, and the four kids were all aged ten or under. We were blessed to have a dog come into our lives who was even more full of energy and a love of life than all of us. Being a young family of six we were poised on the brink of exploding with growth, energy, and vitality – ready to release ourselves onto the world.
Over the years the parents made their way into middle age, and the children grew into young
adults. Numi took this all in stride, and was all at once each family member’s confidante, their best friend, their snuggle buddy, and their constant source of joy and pleasure. She loved the park, the red sofa, the green chair, the back deck, sniffing everything and anything, resting her head on anything (even while standing up), Long Lake, cooking with her mommy Jane and cleaning up the scraps, boat rides and hunting buoys, drinking from streams in the woods, scratches under the chin, peanut butter, eggs and rice, and nuzzling everybody she met to get attention. Her proud owners loved receiving constant compliments about her beauty and her
vibrancy. One time a few tourists took photos of her when they thought we weren’t looking. We admired her patient, calm demeanor, her bubbly personality, and constant energy. Even when she was twelve years old she was mistaken for a puppy in the park as she ran along and played with the younger dogs.
Numi was the centre of our home life, shown by the hundreds of different names we
had for her (pup, puppyfur, nume, yoga dog, duck dog, bubble, snuggle pup, ted,
mutt-dog), our constant concern for her having gone too long without a treat, and the
hundreds of photos we took of her; including those of her in amusing and seemingly extremely uncomfortable sleeping positions. Our home will not be the same without someone calling out for Numi every five minutes seeking the comforting knowledge that she is close at hand.
Henry will remember feeling proud, at age ten, when she sat on his lap on her first car
ride home. Taking her to the field with his dad and brother to let her run, how much she loved treats, taking her to the park and Long Lake, taking her on the boat, playing fetch, and many, many hours spent on the red sofa before work or the back deck reading in the afternoon summer sunshine. He will also remember what could have been – the many names he had chosen before “Numi” was settled on, including Jenny, Broccoli, Ketchup, and Pringles.
Alexander will remember how she would raise her front paw every time he
approached her -he loved it when she placed its warmth on his foot or in his hand.
And he will remember many afternoons spent in the back room with Numi sitting in
front of him posing, blocking his view of the TV. He will remember coming home to
find her sleeping in his bed, head on pillow, the only bed other than the parents she
would agree to sleep on.
Amelia will remember Numi as a stable force in her life. Numi could share her
secrets and comfort her during difficult times. Amelia loved to put peanut butter on Numi’s nose so she could lick it off, and she loved to show off Numi’s beauty on social media. Amelia was a special friend to Numi, who loved to make her happy. She also taught her to “roll over” much later in life, when one would think “an old dog can’t learn new tricks”. She showed us Numi was not just any “old dog”. She loved Numi for her unconditional love, and gave that love back to her every day.
Mary, as the youngest, finds it difficult to remember a time when Numi was not a part
of our family. She will remember growing up with Numi, from childhood to almost
adulthood, and while her siblings became adults and left the house Numi remained as
a constant and comforting presence. They shared a love of wintertime, Sugarloaf, the
snow, and Christmastime. They also shared a love of fine and rich foods. Numi was
there when Mary started preschool, and she was in the car last week when Mary was
learning to drive, and for everything in between, and Mary will miss her companionship as she is the only child left at home this year.
Grant will remember his and Numi’s shared love of boats, driving, their love of being
outside and in the garden, and spending time with the family. They both had a
deep love for taking care of and providing a source of strength for their family, and he
loved Numi for the joy she brought to his family and especially his wife. Grant will
also remember Numi taking up a lot of space in between he and Jane every night on
Jane will remember Numi as her constant companion through raising four children;
a steady and calming presence while running a household so full of life and energy it
felt like it would burst. Jane was Numi’s mommy and her closest companion, and
Numi loved and trusted Jane unconditionally and absolutely. As the kids grew up, Jane
and Numi spent more and more time together, through morning walks in the park,
picking up the kids from school and work, cooking thousands of family dinners, and
helping to “clean up” dirty dishes and pans. Jane admired Numi for her vitality up
until the very end, and her puppy-like demeanor in the park. While Jane’s children
grew up and became adults, Numi never lost that child’s sense of wonder, playfulness,
desire to explore, and rich love of life she shared with the young children she entered
our family knowing.
Our hearts were full of love and we were all proud of Numi’s strength and bravery as
she calmly and peacefully fell asleep in her favorite position one last time, with her
head resting on a pillow, and her family petting her and telling her she was a good dog
and that we loved her.
Roger Caras said “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” We felt that way about Numi and we sincerely hope that Numi felt the same about us.