It was with great sadness and fond memories that we sent Muffin over the Rainbow Bridge today. Muffin was thirteen years old and with all the medical issues she has had over the years we feel very blessed indeed for the many years we were able to share with her. Sure she made us worry and fret, but not nearly as much as she made us smile and laugh, brought joy to our hearts, and I believe touched the lives of those around her.
When I first met Muffin I was looking for a cat. I was living in Maryland and I had called my local SPCA, but they were closed. Determined to get a cat that day, I decided to drive to a neighboring city’s animal shelter to look for an animal friend. To get to the available cats room, you had to walk through the dog room. The shelter was full up, with all the dog pens full. When I entered the cat room my eyes immediately focused on a cage with a small, golden haired Shih Tzu who smiled as much with her eyes as with her cute upright tail wag. With all the cages in the dog room full, she had been overflowed to the cat room. It was love at first sight. I knew in an instant I wasn’t getting a cat that day.
Muffin amazed me from the beginning with her cleverness. She was already paper trained and took just days to learn how to go out on a leash. But even more amazing, thanks to a bilingual neighbor, I learned that Muffin spoke Spanish. She could do all her commands – sit, down, come, etc. – in two languages!
Muffin had a full life with so many adventures. We moved to Virginia, and Muffin went to school for obedience training, therapy dog class, and some fun and games to boot. As a volunteer, Muffin brought happiness and comfort to Alzheimer’s and assisted living patients at a senior living facility in central Virginia. For fun, in her younger years Muffin loved hiking, camping, festivals, the beach, and going pretty much anywhere we were willing to take her!
Muffin even helped me pick out Dan as my soul mate. Dan was a regular member of a local hiking group in Virginia and I showed up one time with Muffin, ready to hike. Only problem was that Muffin made the hike to the destination, but did not have enough stamina to make it home. Dan volunteered to carry Muffin the entire way back, which melted my heart. A match was made.
Perhaps Muffin’s biggest adventure was her cross-country trip when we moved from Virginia to California. Try doing that with two Great Dane sisters and a terrier mix brother in the car bugging you the whole way, a vehicle break down involving a ride in a tow truck, and lots of strange sights and smells.
As her golden years set it, Muffin eased into a slower life of soft beds, mellow walks to the nearby park, favorite squeak toys, and long naps.
As she waits for us over the Rainbow Bridge, I know her adventures will continue, and she will meet friends she knew before to comfort her there. We love you so much Muffin and you will remain forever in our hearts.