Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Lightning and Muffin


Lightning Among the Roses:

Lightning belonged to my daughter, and when she moved from an apartment to the dorm on campus, he had to come and live with me. She named him Lightning because he could run 100 feet in one second - or at least it seemed that way. He was so fast that sometimes you'd wonder if you really had 2 cats in the house. I grew to love Lightning in short order. Just when I was sitting down at my desk to do paper work, he would jump up on it and sprawl on whatever papers were there, purring loudly and switching his tail in pleasure. No amount of talking and removing him could convince him that I did not want him there. Up he jumped, over and over. I usually gave up - and waited until a time when he was outside before trying the paper work again. In spite of Lightning's quickness, he met an ignominious death. There was a band of 3 stray dogs roving the county at that time, and they caught Lightning before he could reach the safety of our fenced deck, breaking his back before I scared them away by screaming and hollering. He died at the emergency vet's ofc. I have always loved this photo of him walking the deck railings between the roses and it brings me solace when I think of him.

Muffin was both a blessing and a curse during the 15 years we had her. When we adopted her from the SPCA, she was less than 6 weeks old, and so tiny that I could hold her in one hand. We laughed at her attempting to walk through our grass; she was so small that she had a hard time navigating through a 3" tall lawn. The first few weeks were pure hell for me; she refused to sleep without a human nearby, and she howled everytime we left her alone. I tried hot water bottles, ticking clocks, warm blankets, etc., but nothing did the trick unless I was by her side. In order to keep peace in the house so everyone else could sleep, I started sleeping on the pull-out couch in the den with Muffin by my side. I assumed that she would settle down as she matured, but no such luck. That set a pattern I had to follow for years to come. Another pattern she set was that of eating everything in sight, especially couch upholstery, rug fringe, shoes, chair legs, fingers, etc. I kept a lot of her damage as secret as possible or I would have had to take her back to the SPCA, and I just couldn't bring myself to do that. The really bad thing about Muffin was she decided that my dining room floor was to be her only bathroom, and for the whole 15 years we had her, that remained so. I suppose most people would not have stood for that, but in spite of every problem she caused, she was so sweet and affectionate and cute that we all forgave her every sin. I loved her long and well and she brought all of us much joy, but I must admit I was not completely unhappy when she left us and I was finally able to clean up the dining room and make it habitable again. That doesn't mean I didn't cry, however, as I wailed like a banshee. Muffin was one in a million and I could never replace her. Won't even try.

16 comments:

Me said...

great post....

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Muffin? You had a dog named Muffin? Well so did I, for 14 years. She went blind and incontinent, so she had to go to the Great Doghouse in the Sky. Too bad for both of us.

Tan Lucy Pez said...

Sweet post. You're right about Muffin. I don't think most folks could take the toilet habits. I know that I couldn't. Then again, who knows?

Very nice pictures of them both.

Jude said...

You seem to be one of the few pet owners who can't help going back for more. A good friend lost both her old and beloved dogs after long and unpleasant illnesses last year. The cost to her, financially and emotionally - as well as in time and inconvenience - was unbelievable; but already they have been replaced!

brendalove@gmail.com said...

My heart broke over Lightning's untimely demise. Our pets are so special.

Cowtown Pattie said...

My life is richer thanks to all the dogs in my life. so many different personalities, and I have loved them all.

To all the dogs I loved before...

Isn't that a Julio song? *grin*

srp said...

If I could I would pick up every stray I see. I try not to go out much to avoid this. :)

Inanna said...

Poor Lightning!! That is terrible!! But Muffin sure was a cutie!

Maria said...

Muffin sounds just like our Annie. Annie prefers the carpet to the backyard. She's not fussy as to exactly which room to use, but it must be carpeted. I suspect from the photo that Muffin is lots of Yorkie or one of the other small terrier breeds. God luv em, but they are clever and stubborn and not easy to train. Inspite of her habits, I hope Annie is around until she is very, very old.

Maria said...

So Muffin was Yorkie and Cairn. Her Yorkshire side was obviously dominant. I have been companion to two Cairns. They were the saints of dogdom and would never have thought of soiling a carpet. They would simply shake their wiry little heads in mortification at the very idea of it.

Jamie Dawn said...

Sounds to me like any pet hits the jackpot if they live at your house.
I was at the doc's and the hospital nearly ALL day and now I'm back at my hotel. My hubby gets here late tonight and I have surgery tomorrow morning.
I'll be back to posting at my site and visiting my internet "pen pals" by Sunday or Monday.
Enjoy your weekend!

steelcowboy said...

Dogs and cats.. are the balm for a weary soul.

Laura said...

Amazing, the things we do for our pets, no matter how tiresome or frusturating.
Actually... not so amazing, given the capacity of our hearts to care!

Thanks for the suggestion to read Badaunt, I'll check out her site tonight.

Weary Hag said...

I think it was George Carlin who said if aliens really did come to earth and saw us walking about the park with a pooper scooper and ziploc, they'd be convinced that our pets were the true masters.

I say, so be it!

Lightening's story made me tear up. Both pets were adorable.

Better Safe Than Sorry said...

hey thanks for dropping by my blog earlier. we're actually thinking of getting a puppy in the spring, that was a lovely tribute to your dog.

Carol said...

I don't want to lose Whiskers!

I also want to remind you to bring your piano over to my place for Friendly Friday tomorrow!