The Perfect Dog
by Sandi Stonebraker
(Covington, Kentucky, USA)
Grandaughter Carol with Mork On His Last Day
I'll never forget the first time I saw him, he was with her. She was the yappy one and she was his sister. He was the quiet one with the "still water runs deep" eyes. They were huddled together in the kennel at the Fulton County Animal Shelter.
Agonizing over taking one and leaving the other behind, I quickly phoned my friend and said "Have I got a deal for you". She got his sister Chaos and I took little Mork home with me. I remember the big muscular tech carrying him to the front desk; he looked so tiny tucked under this big man's arm.
Arriving at home, Mindy the cat greeted us with typical 'cat behavior'. Eventually, she learned to love this newcomer and it was a common sight to see them snuggled together.
Mork was always the perfect doggie!! I use to brag how he never in his life did anything wrong. Little did I know that someday, I would say that he even died perfectly. He was such an integral part of the family and went everywhere with me even though he never learned to like being in the car. But being the good boy always, he put up with my long trips from Atlanta to northern Indiana and miscellaneous other spots.
Later, looking back over pictures taken during his lifetime, he was there in every corner of my world! Whether it was photos of my friends, family, vacations, trips, little Mork was always there!
When he was about 7, we added Joey, a scroungy, needy, semi neurotic little poodle schnauzer mix to the family. Mork welcomed him, quickly becoming the big brother, the stable one, the one that Joey looked to for direction in these new and confusing surroundings. They seemed to become a unit as they moved in tandem wherever they went. Wherever one was, the other was close by and soon were best buddies!.
And so it was that in February 2005, on a trip with Mork and Joey to Indiana to visit my son and his family, Mork became ill. He often got a nervous stomach when we traveled along with slight diarrhea, and temporary loss of appetite. This seemed different and so just in case, my son called the vet in his town and we agreed that probably since Mork was not a good traveler, perhaps he was just reacting to the trip. He cautioned us to keep him hydrated and it would probably pass. That night, he slept beside me and about 5:00 a.m. I woke to hear the choking sound. Grabbing him into my arms, I yelled for my son as my precious little Mork drew his last heaving breath cradled in my arms.
It took a while for me to fully understand the gift Mork had given me. First of all, he chose to die while I was with my family who were able to offer me comfort and support. Secondly, having known the agony of those who make the conscious choice to put down their beloved pets, I realized he spared me even from that. Yes, my little Mork was always the perfect doggie . . . . even in death.
In the way home in the car with Joey by my side, I explained that he and I would need to learn how to be a twosome rather than a threesome. It took a while but I think we are finally there.
The picture of my grandaughter Carol with Mork was taken about 12 hours before his death.