Sadness and joy remembered

Mrs. TPoP and I volunteer at an animal rescue.  More her than me, but we both do it.  She works every weekend adopting animals out as well as being a fundraiser coordinator and other things as needed.  I help with the fund raising, do manual labor for them such as picking up donated food and items and do most of the ‘events’ as well.  My oldest son also volunteered at the shelter for a while until he moved out.  It is thanks to him that I repost this story from 3 years ago. It was on my Facebook memories tab and damn if it didn’t make me cry yesterday morning. So here is my post from then.

On Monday this week, we took MayBel to the vet. She has been very lethargic the last 2 weeks, not really eating and much to our surprise, lost a lot of weight. perhaps she is just feeling the effects of being old (between 12.5 and 13), or the Canine Cushings Disease that she has been coping with for years. She also seemed to be in a slight bit of pain, but you never know for sure. So off to the vet we go. Let us just say not good. Enlarged heart, fluid buildup and kidneys starting to go. There are options, high dollar options, but with very little chance of anything but a brief respite. And I think MayBel knows it. Since we got back, all she is doing is sitting in the sun out back, staring out at the lawn. Cali, our pug, sits next to her off an on. This morning she just sat there as the rabbit, her tormentor for years, hopped into the yard. They stared at each other for at least 5 minutes, neither one moving. Then the rabbit turned and slowly left the yard, without MayBel having to chase it. Maybe the rabbit knew as well.  Tonight, MayBel crossed over the Rainbow bridge, as it is called, and is no longer in pain.

Maybel came to us as a rescue dog (of course!), and our third beagle. Preceding her was Holly (Holiday) and Lilly, both also rescue dogs. MayBel was rescued thanks to our oldest son. Back in the day, I used to take a yearly trip with my friend Eric to Vegas. Well, every year when I got back there was something new in the house. 15 years go it was a TV.  14 years ago it was a new paint job in the bedroom. 13 years ago it was a new living room set, so 12 years ago, I was a bit concerned, since the ‘surprise’ just seemed to keep getting bigger. The surprise was MayBel. Oldest son was volunteering with Mrs. TPoP at the time and fell in love. At first I was not happy. I didn’t want another dog, and 2 beagles would just be too much. But her waging tail and infectious love turned me quickly. She ended up becoming ‘my’ dog as well as the son’s, as she followed both of us everywhere.  And when the son moved out, she was by my side constantly.

MayBel is a beagle/mutt, but mostly beagle. She has that howl when she smells rabbits, and chases the scent around for as long as we let her howl. Her nose doesn’t seem to work as good as a beagle’s should, she never seems to follow the correct track, but she sure can smell them. She has that beautiful tri-color that beagles are known for, and even in her old age, with her muzzle turning white, she is still a pretty dog. She was never one for playing. She didn’t fetch, but would play tug of war up until the last few years. Part of her that isn’t a beagle is her fear of loud noises. Many beagles have no issues with fireworks and such, being hunting dogs of sorts. Not MayBel. Fireworks and loud thunder terrified her. We got her a Thunder Shirt once and it was pretty comical. it worked, sort of. She just stood there perfectly still. It was like having a beagle statue in the room.  I don’t believe it calmed her any, just made her afraid to move! So we just let her go to the basement until she was ready to come back upstairs. She had one other fear, thanks to younger son. One day while cooking he burned a grilled cheese sandwich, setting off the smoke alarm. You guessed it, she went to the basement, Now, whenever the stove comes on, she goes into witness protection.

Maybel is a great dog. I won’t say that she is the best dog ever, I am sure everyone has great dogs! But she is a great dog for us. She gives us love and affection unconditionally. She barked in joy whenever we came home. Until recently, she greeted me at the top of the stairs every day when I came home from work with howls of joy, a tail wagging and desire to be petted. She wouldn’t let me move until she got at least a few minutes of petting out of the way. She calmed me down on days when I would be pissed at my customers. Her joy at seeing me every day helped to keep me sane.

When Lilly passed some years back, an old designer of mine, and someone I consider a friend, made me a card with a picture of Lilly on it. The words said “Lord, may you help me to be the kind of man my dog thinks I am”. I know I am not a perfect man. Far from it. Nor and I a perfect pet owner. But I try, and I care and I love. MayBel, I hope I did right by you. May you catch that rabbit someday, and I will see you when the time comes.

Friends, if you reply to this, I thank you in advance for your thoughts/prayers/well wishes. But I am not going to reply to this thread myself. Not sure if I can read this again without crying, like I am doing right now while typing. I have attached some pics of MayBel, most taken over the last few days.

Well since this blog is the free one for now, I can’t attach pics or I would share them with you.  She was a pretty beagle.  For the moment we are down to just one dog.  We have been fighting with the desire to get another dog but with a move coming soon, we figured we would wait until we do that for one less complication to deal with.  In the mean time, if YOU are looking to get a canine, or feline, companion for your home, please consider adoption.  There are many shelters out there doing great work to try and find homes for some beautiful dogs and cats.  You may just find your new best friend.

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