Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Story of Muggins - my beloved dog

Muggie on Long beach in Tofino

Where to begin...My family has been very sad, as we have been dealing with the loss of our beloved dog, Muggins or Muggie as we called her.  She has been part of our family for 13 years and she was an amazing intelligent loving little rescue dog.  She came to us in 1999 when my daughter was 2.  

My hubby and I discussed getting a dog, but never could decide what breed, big, little, or medium sized.  I keenly missed my dog when I got married, but we were prohibited from having one when we lived on our floathome.  So when we moved off and back onto land I would broach the topic from time to time and then we would just get busy with our life.

My mom and dad really wanted to get a dog for their granddaughter and I conspired with them.  Sometimes you have to act and then ask for forgiveness after the fact.  One day I got a telephone call from my folks, they had found a lovely little black and white Bichon Shih Tzu who was between 1-3 years old, she was at a shelter.  (This is where the sneaky side of me comes out) I desperately wanted my little girl to experience growing up with a dog.  Anyone who has ever had a dog or cat when they were a kid knows of the special bond and love you have with a pet.  So along came Muggie. 

Muggie's start was sad because a young couple who were breeding dogs decided to break-up and when they went their separate ways they booted the puppies out the door.  This was up north and it was in October/November when it happened and it was really cold. Apparently the neighbours rescued two of the three pups, but unfortunately Muggie was on a grand adventure it would seem and she was elusive.  One day someone found this poor miserable matted little waif and took her to the shelter.  That was a fortuitous day as my dad just happened to drive by the shelter and decided to pull in and take a look at the dogs. 

One of the shelter workers accidently took my dad back to the room where Muggie was and at that point she wasn't up for adoption, again fate intervened. My dad is a charming fellow and somehow talked the caregiver to letting him see the stinky little doggis.  He said when he saw her she ran to him, bolted into his arms and it was love at first sight.  Dad called my mom and she came down to see the wee doggis and again it was love at first sight.  You may be wondering how Muggins got her name, when my dad looked at her he said to my mom, "She has such a cute little mug", so they called her Muggins.

This is the part where the begging for forgiveness comes in.... My mom arranged to fly down for a visit on December 5th, she was bringing a furry package.  I still had not told my hub what was happening, because I knew when he saw her it would be love.  Fates were conspiring against me a little though, Kirk ended up having to go out of town and had no idea what was waiting for him on his return.  He actually called and was talking to our daughter, remember she was 2 - she spilled the beans to her dad. I can still remember her side of the conversation, "We have a doggy Da da".  Uh Oh!  Of course he wanted to speak to mommy and lets just say he wasn't all that thrilled and was a tad upset.  I didn't let that phase me because I was already in love with the dog and eventually he would be too. 

When Kirk came home he had a very stern look on his face when I met him at the door with child, dog and mother-in-law in tow.  But then just as I knew would happen the cute little ball of fluff sat up on her haunches and crossed her paws, almost looking like she was praying, she whimpered and looked cute.  The rest is history, I promised Kirk I wouldn't do that again and I apologized and he forgave me.  After that Muggie and Kirk were inseparable.  She was smart as a whip and we taught her several tricks and she was a great loving little dog who loved to eat bacon, hang out and go to Tofino and roam on the beach.  She was a sociable little creature and used to go visit our neighbours for snacks.  

This summer somehow I felt that it was going to be her last.  My hubby and I were on a beach walk in Tofino and I leaned over and hugged him as we watched Muggie romp like a puppy, but I felt very sad suddenly and said to him, "I think this is going to be Mugg's last summer."  I have no idea why I thought this.  She was starting to slow down a little, but when you are a 15 year old lady that is normal.  Muggie had a glorious vacation, played on the beach, ate bacon, pancakes and potatoes (her faves) and snuggled with our daughter.  It was a great summer.

Early in the morning on Sunday, September 16th, our beloved little girl suffered 2 heart attacks.  We took her to the vet, he explained that he could possibly get her through the crisis, but her life would be one with lots of medication and drastically altered, she would not be able to go for walks or even up or down stairs.  He also indicated that it was a matter of months only and we decided that we did not want to be selfish and that Muggie needed dignity, love and respect and we had to have courage to do the right thing and let her go.  I was with my sweet girl when she crossed the rainbow bridge and it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, but when you love a dog you have to sometimes make this hard decision.  She was gone in a whisper and a look of peace came over her face.  I cried and cuddled her and said my goodbyes.  Our family's grief was palpable and we felt as though we had lost a part of us.  We have been very lucky because our family and friends have been very supportive and loving and it has made it easier to bear.  Muggie's ashes are home and are in a special place and I talk to her as I go by.  I know she is running on the beach and chasing butterflies and with her puppy friends that have gone before her. Rest In Peace my beloved little friend, you are missed and loved.  

"It was love right from the start, Nose to nose, heart to heart, Forever together our love lives on, I feel you here, though you are gone."  *verse on a prayer flag given to me by a friend 

           Muggie on her way to Tofino to run on the beach.


Roger Fleming said...

Pets....where would we be. Sorry for your loss.

bobskoot said...


Now I'm feeling so saaaadddd. Teary sad right now. We lost our dogs too and I still think of them.

so sorry

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Diane Higdon said...

So sorry for your loss of a very important family member. I think we all know how sad your hearts are. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. :)

Dar said...

Roger - thanks, it has been devastating, but each day makes it gets better and we are thinking more of the good times than the sad, because there were so many good times with this little creature.

Bob - I am sorry I made you teary and feel sad. It was good for me to write this post and I am feeling better about my wee dog. Sometimes through grief you learn things about your soul and how strong you are, I have learned this over the last little bit and am actually finding Peace with her passing. I did the right thing and helped her and for that I am content. I was smiling when I wrote her story and remembering her in all her glory and how she came to be with us and I have to say I think she had a good life and I know that mine is richer for having had her with us.

Dar said...

Diane - thank you. Our hearts are heavy, but we are finding joy in little things......

Pam said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Sending cyber (((hugs))). Now I know why you've been on my heart and mind lately.

Dar said...

Pam - thank you for your hugs! It means a lot knowing I am loved and comforts me to no end. <3

VStar Lady said...

I am so sorry Dar. It was a loving post, thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I loved muggins so much. She was apart of our family too. The loss was so unexpected.. She will be missed. <3 i love you muggins, rest in paradise. <33

Dar said...

Maranda - honey I know you loved her, she loved you too! It was unexpected, but she is at peace and resting comfortably and not in pain. You have to come over and meet you know who.

Vstar lady - this post was very cathartic for me to write. It eased my heart a soul to remember her and how that incredible little ball of fluff came into our family.

Andrew Thomson said...

Oh man, why have I gone misty eyed? Really sorry to hear about your little pooch - I'll be a wreck when my Barty McFarty finally shuffles off.

It sounds like you gave Muggie a great home and a great life which I'm sure she enjoyed. I hope one day you'll be ready to give another great dog a fabulous home.

Fuzzy said...

So sorry about Muggie, Dar. What a sweet post to honor her.


Deb said...

I feel your loss so intently as it is what I went through in March 2012 when our beloved Whims was killed. I had her for 12 years and never a day goes by that I don't think of her and how she literally transformed my life.

Someone sent this to me at that time. Thought you might appreciate it:


From the silence of your pain I heard my name

and on the wings of light I have come to see the sadness in your eyes that cry without tears

Can you see me, I am here

I will always be near you
to calm your shattered heart
and to make you smile at the memories

Do you feel me, perhaps a soft brush of fur

You ache to believe it's real
but you are afraid to hope

You brush away a strand of hair
But it was I, whispering.....

I am only here for but a moment
The silver thread gently quivers
I will leave behind my love in a dream

When you awaken, and without really knowing why

Your heart will know at last

That it is all right, for now
to say good-bye

Copyright © Lisa Carmel Singer Printed with permission

Deb said...

I'm sorry...it was March 2011.

BeemerGirl said...

Oh Dar! I am so sorry. Nothing can be said to make it easier. I'm glad that she is home with you now,though. I have little paw necklaces with bits of their ashes. I wear them when I really miss them. Hugs and good thoughts go out to you and your family.

Trobairitz said...

Oh Dar. I am so sorry for your family's loss. it is never easy to lose a pet. They are such a part of our family.

I too will miss muggins. I always enjoyed seeing pictures when you'd post them.

David Masse said...

So sorry to hear that Dar. We lost Taylor our Golden Retriever two years ago and when she pops up on the screen saver photo album on the iMac it makes us all stop and sigh. It gets easier, but not much.

All the vest,


Dar said...

Andrew - Barty McFarty - I love his name! Hopefully you and Barty will have many more miles together. This has been the hardest week I have ever gone through. I have found peace and inner strength.

Fuzzy - Thanks honey, I had to write and get my feelings out. She was too awesome not to remember.

Deb - Thank you for posting the poem! It is beautiful and it speaks to how I feel. I have felt Muggie's presence more than once and I am certain she is resting somewhere in the sun close by. We have planted a lovely rose bush and forget-me-nots around it. I am going to find a little garden cherub to put in her spot, my little memory place.

BeemerGirl - Just knowning that others get what I am experiencing makes it easier to bear. I love the idea of the paw necklace. We are slowing coming around.

Trobairitz - Thanks Brandy. You never really realize how much a hole there is in your family until they are gone. She was a special little dog and I am blessed that she came into my life.

Dar said...

David - I too sigh when I see her picture. You are right it does get easier, but you never forget them. Golden Retrievers are beautiful dogs and I am sure she was lovely!

Liz Jansen said...

So sorry for your loss Darlene. What a beautiful tribute.

I had to say good-bye to my Abigail (kitty) 1 1/2 yrs ago, and while I sense her around, she's probably sleeping somewhere in a sunbeam in heaven. : ) Although I said my lifestyle didn't fit even a cat, this year Measha found her way into my home and my heart - an identical cat, about 2 yrs old, who had been abandoned. She's sleeping beside me right now - and is never far from sight.

Pets are very special and love us unconditionally. Thank you for sharing your gift of Muggie.

Dar said...

Liz - For the last year I have thought about not having a dog when my wee girl passed, but I think basically I am and always will be a dog person. Its interesting how they work their way into our hearts and the love they give. I am glad you have Measha found you!

Circle Blue said...



bluekat said...

I'm so sorry! She's a lovely little gal, and a precious member of your family. Pets - such a blessing in our lives and dearly missed when they depart. My thoughts are with you.

Dar said...

Keith - thanks, it has been sad, but I am seeing more joy in Muggie and her just having been my dog.

Bluekat - She was a lovely little gal and I was blessed.

dog portrait said...

Sorry for your loss. It's always hard to lose a beloved pet. There's one movie that written by an actor I think when he lost hid precious dog and it's titled "Letting Go". I think it's a good movie to watch.

Dar said...

Judith - thank you. I still miss her terribly and I think I always will.