Ten Years Ago Today, We Lost Our Beautiful Dog Mona

Ledcat thinks it is a bit macabre, but I put the ‘dativersary’ of my pets’ deaths into Google calendar so I don’t forget them. I don’t know most of their birth dates and only a few adoption dates which I also record.

Today is the ten year anniversary of the death of our sweet dog, Mona – March 27, 2008. I adopted her in October 1998 after she was dumped at a veterinarian’s office as a stray. That means nearly 20 years since I adopted her. I remember her adoption date very well because she was adorable and whiny about confined to a crate. I remember her death day in excruciating detail.

What gets fuzzy are the in-between times. Mona memories blend with Ana memories and Ashley memories and I start to wonder if I’m losing my connection to some being(s) that gave me so much love and support. I feel bad. I miss Mona and the boys a lot. I love little Ana, but having just one dog is hard. In many ways, it is harder than having two or three. That might sound ridiculous if you haven’t had multiple dogs. On a serious note, check out our friend’s blog ‘How Many Dogs’ to get more information on that question.

I’d like to get another dog, in particular an emotional support dog to help me cope with anxiety and other symptoms of my depression. A service dog would be great, but unrealistic. Finding a confident young male pup to blend in with our crew and be properly trained would be so great, but it is not in the cards right now because of the expense.

I guess that’s why I feel extra nostalgic today. Remembering this dynamic when I had a furry crew who rolled together and were part of my day to day life is sad, but happy, too.

Mona is a willful creature. Our dog trainer, Debby from Pawsitive Reactions, sized her up and the informed Ledcat and me that neither of us had what it takes to break her bad habits. Essentially, we failed obedience school on the very first day. It probably had something to do with Mona’s perch on the couch and theft of the training treats while we were working with her siblings. Go figure. 

When you instruct her to take action with which she disagrees, she gets a far off look in her eye and affixes herself like a giant adhesive onto whatever surface is handy. That could be the couch from which she is supposed to remove herself to the floor under the kitchen table from whence she should trot out into the wet/cold night for a potty break. Sometimes in a strange bout of crazy, her eyes roll up into her head and she looks at me over her shoulder like I am about to rip her unborn fetus out of her. I tend to wait until the “Marlena is possessed” stuff is over until I address the situation. 

Mona liked chairs. When we moved into our Turtle Creek apartment, she claimed a chair left behind by the previous tenants (in the photo above) and practically required me to take it with us to our next place. Then she took ownership of a pink stuffed chair. When we moved in with Ledcat, she hopped up into the modern furniture chairs and made herself at home.

Mona went where Mona wanted to be. One time Ledcat caught a flu and was in bed for several days with Mona never leaving her side. When were in the yard, Mona would bark directives at the boys while they played with tennis balls and Kongs until she decided time was up and ran into the fray to take possession of the toy and march up to the back door. Mona slept on the bed and the dog bed and the couch and the chairs and in a crate and on the bathroom rug.

Mona never met a Kong she didn’t dominate. She would toss them into the air to dislodge the contents by sheer force of will, showing no regard for other dogs or cats or humans that might be in the trajectory. By the end of snack time, all Kongs were in her possession.

She was funny and smart and sweet. She barked at everything. She had a full range of vocalizations. She was a great dog.

I’m sad as I write this, just like I was ten years ago, but I’d rather feel the sadness than not have had the Mona experience at all.

Dog cancer
Mona in her final year battle with cancer.

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