Unexpected Sadness

Sometimes life is filled with unexpected joys.  Sometimes it’s the other way around. This weekend, after 11 years of blissful love, snuffling and puppy kisses, we had to put our older dog, Mulan to sleep.

Mulan was, in the words of our vet, “the nicest Shar-Pei in the world.”  She was a sweet girl, with a loving disposition.  Mulan greeted everyone with a snuffle and lots and lots of kisses.  She was in heaven when people would let her lick their legs, hands or arms as long as she could.  A friend once timed her and after twenty minutes made her switch legs.  Mulan loved to lick my husband’s bald head and, just before we let her go, she did just that.

Mulan greeted us every day with tail wagging.  She curled up with us every night and snored away as she slept.  She was eager to please and loved to snuggle on the sofa, her head resting on your leg (or, if you weren’t available, a pillow, book or anything handy).  It is hard to sit here now on the sofa, laptop in my lap but no Mulan on my feet. 

Mulan got along with the other animals in our home, knowing that she was the first dog (and most beloved). In time, she even managed to get along and share space with them. 

While she did not grow up to save China, I can say, without exaggeration, she saved me.  Mulan was with me through graduate school, relationships ending, family members dying, weddings, new jobs, new homes and, finally, new babies.  She was curled up with me while I cried, wagged her tail when I laughed and walked next to me when I needed support.  I love my other dog and Mulan holds a special, irreplaceable spot in my heart.

We have a Mulan-sized hole in our home, life and hearts.  We’ll miss you, sweet girl. 

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5 thoughts on “Unexpected Sadness

  1. This is such a sad and lonely time for you and your family. If you are at all like me, you will still be weeping years and years after your beloved pet-friends are gone. They manage to fit into recesses in your heart, and those holes are never filled again. There is hope, though. Because exactly when the time is right, there will be another friend who will come and make his/her own space in your heart, home, and lives – a space all of its own. Take your time. Grieve well. You will know when it is time to move on – and don’t be surprised if Mulan drops by for a visit now and then. She will always be watching over you!

  2. Not only will I miss the constant licking of my legs but the sounds of her snoring and wondering what she’s dreaming about. You could see her moving when she was sleeping and imagine the wonderful images going through her head–eating a big steak, or running around outside with no fence to hold her back. Run, Mulan, run.

  3. My heart goes out to you. I know how hard it is to do what you had to do. Mulan was a beautiful dog. That’s easy to see from your photos and words about her. Blessings to you…

  4. I will always remember and love my seal-faced girl. She was so incredibly special, and even though I had to go away and not come back for long stretches of time, she always, always knew exactly who I was and immediately came to lick and love me. It’s not just any dog that can make you feel like you never left home. I will always carry her in my heart.

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