Her real name was Bonnie.  We called her Miss Piggy for the little snorting sounds she made when she trolled the floors for crumbs.

She came to us, underweight and neurotic,  when she was nearly eight, after my favorite uncle died, and having been rescued as the breeding dog at a puppy mill only a few months before.  She’d clearly had a traumatic background.  So afraid, for instance, that a door was going to slam on her, we had to prop it open and walk away before she would venture through.  Her terrors were so obvious that the vet prescribed Xanax on her first visit.

She spent her first weeks under our bed, refusing to be coaxed out.  Oddly, she’d take a sock under with her.  Bonnie would sneak out to eat and relieve herself only when no one was around.

Thus began the demise of our living room carpet.

Gradually, she came out of hiding to discover that people could be kind, that feedings would be regular, and that treats were divine.   She emerged into her new surroundings with a gentleness that was touching.  She was loved and petted endlessly by our five grandsons and she loved them, crumb-magnets as they were.   She went from running from the sound of the doorbell to greeting visitors, angling for back scratches and belly rubs.

Miss Piggy was not much of an exerciser.  She walked for business rather than pleasure and would do a U-turn upon completion.  She wagged her tail at squirrels and cats.  The very thought that she might indulge in something like a game of fetch was so ridiculous that we never even tried.  Sometimes she’d follow Dearly Beloved around as he worked outside, or she’d lie in the sunshine while I gardened, but eventually, she’d dig out a little nest for herself under the deck or station herself beside the back door, awaiting reentry at the first opportunity.  She was a fireside dog.

She had a presence about her.  She was usually “Miss Bonnie” to those in the vet office.  Bonnie loved car rides.  If we went someplace without her, she’d wait by the door until we returned.  She knew exactly what a doggy bag was.

Since she always wanted to be close to us, she was only a few feet away when she fell late Thursday night.  Her legs splayed like those of a newborn foal whenever she tried to stand again.  Her eyes were open, but unseeing.  Her breathing was labored, her heart, racing.

We stayed with her through the night and took her to the vet at daybreak.   She rested her head on my shoulder like an infant as I held her in my arms.

With dogs, the worst part of a stroke is at the moment it happens.  It doesn’t affect their brains as it does humans, so recovery can occur if they can regain their ability to stand and if there are not other complications.

By chance, there was a veterinary neurologist in the veterinary office that day.  He and our favorite vet examined Miss Piggy to determine her for any chance of surviving and regaining a good life.  The tests revealed that her liver, kidneys, and heart were failing.

We stood on either side of her, rubbing her and whispering into her deaf ears, as she went to sleep one last time.  She looked peaceful, which helped us a little.  So did a sympathy note from the vet, reassuring us that we did the right thing at the right time.

Still, it’s been tougher than we would have imagined.  The funny little dog who dug holes in the back yard had managed to dig a couple of big ones in our hearts.



19 thoughts on “Bonnie

  1. Margaret

    So sorry about Bonnie. I’m so glad I got to see her one last time when you all were packing. She will be missed.

  2. Oh no. I am so so sorry. RIP Miss Piggy and know that you were loved by your dog mom’s blog readers and we share your families heartbreak. May your memories of the happy times, help you through this sad time.


  3. steffiw

    so,so sorry,bawling my eyes out for your little friend,whom I never knew other than through your wonderful posts about your daily lives.May she live on through your words as she lives on in your hearts and memories,please be comforted knowing that you gave her a wonderful life and she was loved by you as much as she loved you back

  4. Tammy Mccloud

    Making the decision to end the life of our pets when the time comes is the most loving and caring thing we ever do for them. I believe it’s the one and only time we really are the “hero’s” they have always thought we were.

    I remember her laying in the fireplace so afraid. You guys really allowed her to have a real dogs life. And those eyes…. Just like “Betty Davis”. 🙂 RIP Miss Bonnie.

  5. Arkansas Patti

    Aw Mary lee,I am so damn sorry you and DB have lost the delightful Miss Piggy. I do feel your pain. I so loved your tales of her adventures and misadventures. She came from a hard life but you made the rest of her time a pure pleasure. Rest easy little girl.

  6. Oh. NO!
    I am terribly, terribly sad. My heart breaks for you and all over again for Bumper and Patsy.
    Miss P is in very good company. I bet Bumper is showing her where all the good sleeping spots are. I like to think they are curled up, side by side, without all their old age aches and pains, in an nice soft, sunny nook.
    You have my heartfelt sympathy.

  7. My heart is breaking for you. I’m so very sorry for your loss. Miss Bonnie is in lovely company in Heaven. My sister’s cat joined her this morning. Hugs to you my friend. Lots of hugs.

  8. What a lovely tribute to a well-loved doggie friend. I had no idea Miss Piggy had such a traumatic background. Kudos to you and DB for taking her into your home and your hearts. She was one lucky lady. ((((Hugs))))

  9. I’ve gotten behind on my blog reading and am sorry to be late on this! So sorry to hear you lost your sweetie, Miss Piggy. I know how hard it is to lose a beloved furry one and my thoughts are with you. I send you many hugs and raise a dog biscuit to the memory of a wonderful pup! I loved hearing your stories about her.


  10. I have also gotten behind on blog reading and I sit here crying like a baby at the loss of your dear Miss Piggy…Hardest thing we ever had to do also when our Boo had a similar thing happen. Not being able to stand anymore and you see it and you can’t believe it but you know what needs to be done….We did the same and kept him home for the night fed him cherry ice cream and all the cookies he could eat….Boo was in excellent health otherwise so it was even more heartbreaking to see a huge healthy looking alert dog knowing his hours were limited…We too sat on the floor with him head in hands holding him until he just went to sleep….we all cried….even our vet got all teared up….He called us a few weeks later and told us to stop by that he had something for us….He had Boo’s paw print made into a mold which we framed….You were smart to have another dog ready to love…I miss that…. Hugs to you and Mr. DB…..

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