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Mookie Girl's Page
(c) Kim Self 1998
May 19, 1994 - January 20, 2005
My name is Mookie, though I'm often affectionately called Mookie Girl. I amWell, today is graduation day for my very best darling friend. Everyone told me I would know, and I do. I write this with tears streaming down my cheeks knowing full well that this is the toughest thing for me to do yet the most merciful thing I can do for her. Lymphosarcoma has taken a huge toll on the quality of her life. One more day or two will not make the decision any easier.
Mookie brought me joy beyond any expectation I had of her. She has been by my side for almost 11 years. She has made me laugh and now she is making me cry. I like to say she tamed me. She taught me so much about love. I will always love her and always miss her love, affection, devotion and exquisite beauty.
Standing 27" tall, 40" from the tip of her nose to the tip of her tail, her milky blue eyes were frosting on the cake. She was a stunner. No matter where we went, everyone wanted to touch her, inquire about her. It was, however, her extraordinarily sweet disposition that won my heart. I will miss her for the rest of my life.
The last few days of her life she was clearly miserable. She was not the dog I had known for almost 11 years. It was almost like she was saying, "I am ready for this to be over." That's when I made the decision to put her to sleep.
I have grieved long and hard over the past 48 hours and am doing better. There is healing in them thar tears.
My friend Bev Desalvo came from Temple that morning and is still here for a few more hours. And many of my neighbors spent the day loving Mookie and crying with me. Friends also came from Emerald Bay and Tyler. They all caravaned over with me to the vet.
My vet came out to the car so we wouldn't have to move her now 83 pound body too much. He hugged me for a long time and assured me that I had made the right decision. I wailed a really long time. There were lots and lots of tears in the crowd. She was gone in less than ten seconds.
The couple that clean my house were there, and they were so precious. They cried like babies. The husband said, "We loved her too." They are poor, yet they went into town, bought a silk rose and a card and returned for Mookie's funeral service. Another neighbor brought a flower-laden branch off her camelia bush to lay on her freshly dug grave. Only months later, that branch has taken root on Mookie's grave. All the neighbors I know were all there. It was quite a crowd.
My home builder made a beautiful coffin for her. She was wrapped in a soft flannel floral sheet, and we offered up prayers of thanksgiving for this precious, lovable creature who loved and blessed everyone and who everyone loved. We sang Amazing Grace and returned to my house for a little wake.
All in all, because of the presence of friends and neighbors, it was a good as it gets under such circumstances. She will always be a wonderful part of me. She was a marvelously cuddly and cozy companion. It was a privilege to be her mama and her friend. She tamed this wild child and taught me as much and maybe more about love, patience and devotion than any human being ever did. And she taught me something I never learned until she entered my life. At the age of 54, she taught me to play. She was a gift from God. She will be deeply missed, especially when the sun begins to set, because that's ball-playing time.
For Thomas, my precious pastor, who graciously and sincerely offered to go with me to take Mookie to the vet, you will never know how much that meant to me. I know how busy you are and how much pressure you have on your shoulders right now. This is why I didn't call you. The offer itself was healing to me. You are a remarkable young man, a shining example of husband and father, teacher and wonderful pastor. Thank you for being you. Thank you for your kind, generous and sincere offer.
Mookie Tells Her Story Her Way:
My canine mom was only six months old when she gave birth to her first litter -- twelve beautiful pups. And you think twins would be overwhelming! I was one of the unfortunate three that pushed her over the edge. She simply could not feed us all. My friend, Lauren, Anne's granddaughter, who was eleven at the time, brought me and my two brothers home and bottle fed us until we were able to eat on our own. In spite of the excellent care we received from Lauren and her mom, Wendy, my brothers did not survive.
Lauren has been playing basketball since she was four years old. Coached for years by their dad, Brad, Lauren is the middle child and only girl between two (excuse the expression) "rabid" basketball-playing brothers, Bradley and Ryan. Lauren has no trouble keeping up with her brothers on the basketball court, by the way. I've told you all of this to explain how I got my name. Lauren named me after Mookie Blalock, the pro-basketball player.
Perhaps my name should be "Air Mookie". Weighing in at about 95 pounds at the time, I stand 27" tall at my shoulders, and from the tip of my nose to my tail's end I am 40" long. And I play ball like a real pro. I'd love to go one-on-one with Air Bud. I think I could take him. Win or lose, we'd sure have a lot of fun on the boards.
I am a truly beautiful dog, even if I do say so myself. My lively milky-blue eyes, joyful face and affectionate ways are the delight of everyone who meets me. Well. Almost everyone.
Many dogs are confused about whether they are human or whether they are dog. I have never been confused. I am 100% dog. I would not hesitate to forsake humans for one moment's romp with other dogs. Even so, dog and human is one issue. Who I love most is another. I know which side my bed is buttered on and who really loves me and who I really love. I manage to drag myself home when hungry, thirsty, tired or lonesome for my human mom's face and loving touch.
Lauren's grandmother, Anne, is my human mom. She spends a lot of time at the computer writing, sending and receiving e-mail and working on her web page. I never allow her work to interfere with our relationship. I know how to ask for what I want. I lie as close as I can behind her and many times throughout the day, I stick my head underneath her left arm to get my head rubbed, my ears and back scratched and trips outside to check things out. We romp and play ball every night and she gives me lots of hugs throughout the day.
When someone comes to the door, I bark loudly and ferociously. When I recognize the person at the door, I whimper enthusiastically. I can hardly wait for visitors to come inside so we can visit and play. A couple of times men I had never seen before came to the door. I didn't like what I sensed about them. I growled and snarled and my fur stood on end all the way down my back. My mom likes this very much. I'm an intimidating watch dog to those who rouse my concern for those I love. Anne's only complaint about me is that our house looks like it's been snowing inside for several months in the Fall and Summer. That's because I start shedding my downy white undercoat when the heat goes on inside the house. Texas summers are too hot for me to stay outside so I get a second coat in the air-conditioning. I'm always losing some of my coat, even in the cool air. We go through lots of vaccuum bags, and my mom brushes a trash sack full of undercoat off me every day during the winter. She says I'm worth it though. Sigh. I just love being brushed! It makes me feel so loved.
When the sun goes down I get sleepy. I begin nudging my mom to let her know that it is time to floss and brush. When she finally crawls into bed, I lie on the floor at her feet. Have you ever seen a big old dog like me lying spread-eagle on its back, feet up in the air? That's me. Life is grand! Simply grand! After all, it is a dog's life, isn't it? At least at my house it is!
Well, since my mom last updated this page, I have been diagnosed with lymphoma. I was rushed off to Texas A & M Veterinary Hospital where they gave me my first chemotherapy. I've been pretty sick, but things are looking up. Man! has my mom ever been cooking me some great meals! But it's no fun getting poked with needles all the time! And just about the time I'm getting back to feeling somewhat decent, I have to go back to A & M. Please pray for me and my mom. She is very sad.
Today my mom woke up realizing that I had gone about as far as I really wanted. Mookie is resting in peace now.
P. S. Below are our cats, Ginger and Cocoa. We also call them Babycats. They were born July 4, 1999. We're getting along just famously! Aren't they cute? They are completely unintimidatable. I've tried. They just stretch and yawn. Did you know that Calico's are always female?