If you've every owned a dog who would swim a river to be with you, or jump on a go cart and take off with both ears back with a big puppy grin.... Go camping, hiking, and travel the country as if she was one of the family, you know how much I'm gonna miss Muttley.
She was rescued at 3 weeks, and not expected to live, 16 & a 1/2 years ago. At that time I wasn't a dog person, I had 9 cats. They adapted, and so did I.
Later, she travelled to Nashville Tennesee, and my soon-to-be husband learned to adapt to sleeping with our girl, against his better judgement. But let me tell you this: I have come home many a day to find him snuggled up tight with his ball of fluff... both happily snoozing away at an afternoon nap. Apparently, he adjusted quite well. :0)
Muttley was like one of the kids. Four of our children kind of grew up with her. She was on every swimming, camping or hiking expedition. She travelled back and forth to Ohio, and Arkansas with us, and when she got a bit older, she had her own *stroller* to go to festivals in.
She was also charming and could do multiple tricks including singing *Amazing Grace*. She would growl along anytime she heard the song. Scott gets credit for teaching her this. Once, on television, some commercial had Amazing Grace playing and wouldn't you know it? She hummed along. We nearly fell over laughing!
All the kids in the neighborhood knew Muttley and treated her like one of the gang. One day,. a 5 year old girl knocked on our door and asked if Muttley could come out and play???
She also a smart cookie. She knew which homes were dog friendly, and would go door-to-door, scratch until someone answered and do *tricks for treats*.
She made the transition smoothly when we bought our home. She never resented the new dogs, and adored the cat, often napping with him in the winter.
Muttley went on her last road trip 2 weeks ago when we took her to San Antonio, with Scott's sister Michelle. We all knew it would be her last trip...she was slowing down, blind in one eye, and deaf in one ear. But boy she loved hotels! She perked up when we got to the Marriott, and ran as best she could down the hall. She went to Luckenbach on that trip, and also to see our cousins, Pat and Suzanne Hunt in Austin. She took in all the loving everyone gave her and gave 100 times more in return.
May 17th, it appears she might have had a stroke. She was scared, shaking, and yelping. I did what I thought was best, I took her to the Animal ER, and the doctor agreed it was nuerological, and not reversable. I realized Muttley gave us her very best every day of her life, and it was not fair to keep her here in pain and confusion, simply because I didn't want her to go.
She was scared, so I held her and soothed her until the medication took effect. I looked her right in the eye until she just went to eternal sleep. It was actually a relief...because the Vets couldn't help her, I couldn't help her, and she didn't understand what was going on.
Initially, I was going to have her cremated, and left her at the facility, where she passed. Scott was out of town, and it only made sense. But the following morning I knew I had made a mistake. I called, and they still had her there! I went and got Muttley, and brought her home. I opened up the box she was in, and she just looked like she was sleeping...
I buried her under a pear tree in the side lot, with her bear. I'll put a bench there later... All the other animals new she was gone...Star licked her ear. They sat quietly by my side while I buried her. It was hard doing this by myself...But I'll tell you this; I don't regret saying goodbye the way we did. I would have never thought I would have the strength physically or emotionally... but it just goes to show you never know what you can do til you try.
We will all miss Muttley, but those who know her know she lived a CHARMED LIFE. My Mother In Law said once; "If reincarnation where real, I would want to come back as Muttley". That's quite a compliment, and we should all live our lives like she did; Face to the wind, ears back and a big puppy smile.