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A dog named Mouse

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
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    By Stuart

    Friday,* June 4th, 2010.
    Just another day …
    The Dow Jones Industrial average*lost over 300 points, falling below 10,000 … In Bozeman, the high was 64 degrees, with intermittent showers – not an atypical*forecast for early June*…*Tensions ran high in the Gulf, as oil continued to flow out of a ruptured BP*well*…
    … It was also the day*we put down our 14-year old dog, Mouse.
    Puppy fever
    I was never a dog person.
    It’s not that I didn’t like dogs, it’s just that we never had any in our house when I was in my formative years. Cats? Yes, there were a few over the years. But dogs? None.
    I don’t remember ever being afraid of dogs growing up*-*unless you count that one time in 5th grade when a dog, displeased with my accuracy in throwing a newspaper onto its owner’s porch, took off after me. As I recall the incident, the vicious beast chased me for two blocks, though in reality, the dog probably never left his owner’s property … I just didn’t look back until I had run for two blocks.
    Yes, I was around dogs in my youth, but I just didn’t see the fascination and devotion people had to their pets.
    Fast forward almost 25 years.
    It’s now 1995, and my bride of less than a year declares that she wants a dog. She already had cats in place when I met her, and I had adjusted to having three cats (not to mention two teenagers) in my life. But a dog? I was skeptical of the idea, but one does not argue with one’s newlywed, does one?
    Ever the researcher, Lee went out in search of the perfect family pet. She eventually decided that a Keeshond would be the right dog for our family.
    [For those of you have never heard of the breed, below is a picture of our dog Mouse (April, 2010).
    [​IMG]This man’s best friend

    Lee found a breeder in nearby Livingston, and she set off with our son, Adam, to pick out a puppy. They came home with a little ball*of fur inappropriately named Michelangelo by the breeder (Each puppy*in the litter had been named after a member of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) . Our puppy, a female, was no Michelangelo, and was quickly renamed Micki.
    Little Micki, like all Keeshonds, loved her humans, and bonded quickly with her Alpha human, Lee. Micki also got*along fine with me, the cats, as well as*Heidi and Adam.
    All was well in our little corner of the world.
    Then,*one day, a little over a year later,*Lee received an email from a Keeshond rescue website. It seemed that there was a Keeshond at the local humane society, and the rescue website folks asked Lee to check out the dog, who had been picked up*by*a local animal control officer. Lee, innocently enough, suggested we take Micki down to the shelter with us, “Just to see how well this dog gets along with other dogs”, she said.
    I never realized I was being set up.
    It took only a few minutes for us to be convinced that this dog was coming home with us. Yes, he had been abused, abandoned, and was, by any reasonable measure,*a mess. About a year old, he was not house-trained, flinched when you tried to pet him, and*he had not been socialized to properly behave around*other dogs or,*for that matter, with*humans.
    Still,*he had a great smile, and he had a twinkle in his eye that told us he had a good heart.
    This dog had not been given a chance early in his life – he*just needed a good home.
    There was no need for Lee to contact the rescue network with information about*this Keeshond*-*this little messed up dog*came home with us.
    Named “Bear”, this emaciated little dog was roughly half the size of Micki. The name “Bear” didn’t fit … but “Mouse” did.
    So, yes, our two dogs were named “Micki” and “Mouse”.
    *Mouse and Me
    I had never been “owned” by a pet before. Cats tolerate you, but they don’t really see*humans as having much in the way of redeeming qualities other than to provide food and shelter. Dogs, on the other hand, have a singular devotion to their humans that really surprised me. Micki was Lee’s dog from day one.*Yes, Micki played with me, obeyed me, and looked to me for treats, but she was always Lee’s dog.
    Mouse didn’t have much in the way of a choice in picking his human. Lee was taken. I was the Beta human, but Mouse didn’t mind being stuck with the second banana – he was very content to be the Beta dog. He was just glad to have a pack to belong to.
    Over the years, Mouse adjusted to our family. He was quickly house-trained, was taught by Micki how to socialize with humans and dogs, and quietly became a permanent fixture in our home. Mouse would still run away if given the chance, but on those occasions when he did get off leash, we knew where to find him*… at the nearby Baskin-Robbins. This was one spoiled dog, and he did love his ice cream.
    [​IMG]Mouse showing his CU allegiance

    What Mouse loved more than anything else, though, was going for walks. Twice a day – three times a day on weekends – we went*on our*walks. The longer the better was Mouse’s mantra. Mouse seemed to believe he was some sort of scout, always on the lookout for any indication that there was a new dog in the neighborhood, or that some foolish human had dropped some remnant of food and had deemed it unworthy of rescue.
    We went on so many walks over the years that, in my head, I came up with the idea for a book: “10,000 walks:* Life lessons learned from a dog named Mouse”. A great title, but with my “other” book, CU at the Game, taking up most of my free time, it will likely remain just a title.
    Our pack remained a unit for about ten years. Then, in 2005, we lost Micki to cancer. She was 11. The loss hit Lee and I hard, but Micki’s absence was even harder on Mouse. We did get a new Keeshond puppy, Maggie, a few months later, but it took some time for Maggie to assume the alpha role Mouse wanted no part of. Mouse eventually got his spirit back, and made it all the way to age 14.
    Last Day
    Labor Day weekend, 2009,*Lee and I were in Boulder for the CU/CSU game, and Mouse had a tough time in our absence. Losing his sight and hearing bit by bit over the years, Mouse started getting confused when he was taken out of his routine. We did have a*house-sitter come and stay with Maggie and Mouse, in an attempt to keep things as normal as possible. Still, for*some reason, that long weekend was too hard on Mouse. The vet gave us some medicine to give him, and we were able to get Mouse back on track. But*it was now*clear*that Mouse’s*days were numbered.
    So as not to have Maggie go through what Mouse had – the absence of a companion – we made arrangements to get a new puppy. The litter was due that January, meaning that we would be able to pick up our new dog in March. It didn’t seem likely at the time that Mouse would be around that long, but at least we knew that there was a day certain when Maggie would have her new beta.
    But Mouse was still around when the puppy was born in January. He was still around when the new puppy – a male we named Murphy – came home with us in March.
    We decided to let Mouse, in essence, tell us when it was time. He still had an appetite, was still getting along with the other dogs, and still very much enjoyed his walks. Lee and I decided that when those factors changed, we knew it would be time.
    We made it to Memorial Day weekend.
    It was then that it became clear to me that it was time.*That Monday, Mouse didn’t want to go for his long walk. He was starting to have trouble getting up stairs. He was starting to become surly around the other dogs.
    It was time.
    Our vet graciously agreed to come to the house Friday afternoon in order*to make it as easy on Mouse as we could.
    With a heavy heart, I decided to make that Friday as good a day as I could for Mouse. He came with me to the office (I have a fenced in area behind the office we put in just for the dogs). We went to the bank drive thru – to get a treat – and then to … of course … Baskin Robbins. When we got home, we took as long a walk as I thought Mouse could handle.
    When the vet came, the process was handled quickly and quietly.
    Mouse died about 4:00 p.m. on Friday,*June 4, 2010.*His last moments were spent*in my arms.*I stroked his mane, whispering in his ear*a reminder that*he was, in fact, a good dog.A very good dog.
    This abandoned puppy, a dog someone else didn’t believe to be worthy of their time or love, deserved nothing less.
    Rest in peace, old friend.
    Mouse (foreground), Maggie, and Murphy (April, 2010)

    Originally posted by CU At the Game
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  2. FlatironsBuff

    FlatironsBuff Club Member Club Member

    Jul 8, 2005
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    Dang you for making me cry.
  3. MontanaBuff

    MontanaBuff Club Member Club Member

    Apr 8, 2008
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    Sorry about that! :sorry:
    tante likes this.
  4. FlatironsBuff

    FlatironsBuff Club Member Club Member

    Jul 8, 2005
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    No worries. My pup is one of my kids. I would have loved to have known Mouse.
  5. tante

    tante Club Member Club Member

    Jul 21, 2009
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    My dogs have changed me more than I have changed them. You had a great story there.

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