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The Big Blue Rubber Ball Smile

Our dog Muffin died this afternoon.   We think she was fifteen, but she might have been older.  She lay in my arms while my mother patted her, as the euthanasia carried her away, taking away the pain in her legs and back that the narcotics couldn’t touch anymore.

We found her at my elementary school, playing with all of the kids, when I was ten.  A more fortuitous timing I can’t imagine.  With the immune therapy, I was healthy for the first time in my life, and Muffin had such tremendous energy.  She played all the time.  She never stopped.  From the first time we brought her a tennis ball and bounced it around the garage the first night we had her, there was nothing she loved more than to chase that ball.  To tire her out and give us a break, we used to throw the ball up and down the stairs, but she always came back, ready for more.  We switched to racquetballs pretty quickly, because the tennis balls wore down her teeth, and Muffin and those racquetballs were never apart.  They were just the right size for her to put in her mouth and smile up at us with a great big blue grin.

When my Girl Scout troop came over to my house for meetings, Muffin just knew that they were there to play with her.  She made herself right at home with everybody she met.  Usually, when we rescue a dog, everybody tells us how lucky the dogs are to have found us.  No one ever said that about Muffin.  Everybody told us how lucky we were to have found her.  That said it all.

These last few days, as the swelling on her spine worsened, I just held her as much as possible and tried to make her comfortable.  There was something so wrong seeing Muffin, lying there, so still, our girl who never quit moving.  The other dogs stayed close, licking her and supporting her as the end grew close.

Before Muffin, all of the dogs in our family had been my Mom’s.  Muffin was the first who was as much mine.  She was the first living being for whom I was responsible.  Oh, my baby girl, I miss you.



( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 25th, 2012 06:12 am (UTC)
Feb. 25th, 2012 06:15 am (UTC)
Thank you.
Feb. 25th, 2012 10:57 am (UTC)
Aww, she sounds like such a great dog...
Feb. 25th, 2012 03:51 pm (UTC)
She really really was. Everybody wanted to take her home with them. Thank you.
Feb. 25th, 2012 01:34 pm (UTC)
She sounds like a lovely dog. I'm sorry for your loss.
Feb. 25th, 2012 03:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you. There never was a sweeter dog.
Feb. 25th, 2012 02:16 pm (UTC)
*gives lots of hugs* I've lost a few pets, so I know how much this must have hurt.
Feb. 25th, 2012 03:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Having the other dogs around really helps. She isn't the first dog I've lost, and she won't be the last.
Feb. 25th, 2012 07:50 pm (UTC)
This was a wonderful tribute; it brought tears to my eyes. I am so sorry for all of you. Losing a loved one like that is so hard, and quite honestly losing canines has been harder than losing humans for me. The only consolation is that at least you got many years of wonderful joy together, and I'm sure she knew how much you loved her and appreciated what care you took of her.
Feb. 25th, 2012 07:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I told my cousin once that no matter how much pain losing a pet brings, it's always worth it, because that grief has a direct proportionate relationship to the joy they brought you and the love you had for them. That still holds true. And my other dogs are still here, and I love them.
Feb. 26th, 2012 12:26 am (UTC)
Yes. Exactly. And our remaining dogs helped (were absolutely essential, possibly) to us surviving our losses, so know what you mean there.

& I left out a word in previous response that made everything sound wrong. That was supposed to be "what great care you took of her" in my last message. Glad you realized what I meant.
Feb. 26th, 2012 05:43 am (UTC)
I didn't even notice the mistake until you pointed it out.
Feb. 25th, 2012 09:30 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry. She really does sound like an amazing dog. Remember the good times, she'll always be with you in your heart. :)
Feb. 26th, 2012 12:00 am (UTC)
Thank you. Looking through all of the pictures of her from when she was younger and healthy, it was amazing how different she had looked. That's the picture I want to keep of her in my mind.
Feb. 26th, 2012 09:07 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry for your loss. She looks adorable in that pic and she does sound like a wonderful dog.
Feb. 26th, 2012 04:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you. The only one in the house not missing her is the puppy Suzy, who's just happy to have allof Muffin's balls and stuffed hedgehogs.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )