This is going to be a page dedicated to the two loves of my life, my precious boys Muffy and Chipper. They’re both at Rainbow Bridge now waiting for me, but I wanted to share their stories. Muffy came into my life in late October, 1978. My mum and I had gone into Philadelphia to visit my aunt and cousins who just that morning brought my grandmother up from the Jersey Shore. My dad was ushering the football game so he’d be back much later. I no sooner got into the house when Granma said quite mysteriously “Go see what I’ve got in the back yard.” She had a mischievous twinkle in her eye as she said it. I couldn’t imagine what she had in the yard but went outside to find my cousin Wayne and a little poodle I thought was his grandfather’s. Wayne promptly informed me it wasn’t Peewee. He then explained the little one was a stray that had wandered up on their porch at their shore house, acting as if he owned the place. When no one appeared to claim the dog, my cousins had placed ads on the cable station and informed the local police and SPCA. After nearly a week, Granma decided to take him home with her.My heart went out to this little orphan at once and I untangled his leash, which had caught on the bottom step of my aunt’s patio, and bent to pick him up. He shook like a leaf, both from fear and the chilly late-October air, but after a few seconds in my arms he calmed down. He looked up at me with such trust in his little eyes and seemed to enjoy the kisses I planted on his head. After a bit, we took him inside, where my cousins proceeded to feed him everything under the sun, from pasta with meatballs to left-over pancakes from breakfast to cookies of all kinds. Granma said she decided to name him Scotty.Over the next few days it was decided that little Scotty would come home with us. On 1 November, my mum, brother and I took a bus and two trains to Granma’s to pick him up. Before we were ready to come home, my brother and I took Scotty for a walk in the park across the street. While we strolled around, a large dog who wasn’t on a leash came over to us and promptly began to sniff Scotty. In the next instant the two were growling, snarling and rolling around like they were trying to kill each other!!!!!! Naturally, I freaked out!!!!!! Fortunately, Scotty was wearing a leash and I was able to pull him away from the other dog fairly quickly, before any real harm could come to him. My brother chased the other dog, just as his owner came up, calm as a clam. After I gave the woman a piece of my mind for not controlling her dog, we took Scotty back to Granma’s. He was full of dirt and mud from the park, so washing his feet was pointless. We decided it was time to go home, so we wrapped the pup in a towel and put him in a plastic shopping bag, to make it easier for me to carry him. Mum, Mike and I crossed the park again to the train station and were soon on our way home. Scotty looked around curiously but felt secure in my arms. Our journey continued on a second train then finally a bus and a block walking, all the while with me carrying my new little boy.
By the time we got home my arms were dead!!!!! We promptly put Scotty in the tub and gave him a bath to clean off all the dirt and mud from his fight in the park. We no sooner put on the hairdryer, however, that the poor lamb panicked and ran under the sofa!!!!! Guess he’d never seen or heard one before. That was a job getting him out, but at last we did and soon he was dry and smelling a lot better. After we fed him he seemed to settle into his new surroundings.
That night, however, we had to go out for a little while and left Scotty alone in the laundry room. Well, the poor baby must have thought we were abandoning him ’cause we could hear him howling mournfully a half a block away!!! Needless to say, I for one couldn’t wait to get back home.
The next morning I took the first photo of him. I took it to school and nearly gave one of my former teachers a coronary when I asked if he wanted to see a picture of my son. Poor George, when he saw Scotty’s photo he said “Oh, it’s a dog!” to which I replied, “What did you think it was?” I loved torturing him!!!!!
Not long after, I decided to rename Scotty, as I never felt he really looked like a “Scotty”. His new name was Muffy, after the robot dog on the original Battlestar Galactica TV series. How I loved that sweet boy! Muffy was with us till he was nearly 16 years old. By that time he was blind and practically deaf and his heart was so bad it required him to take medication. On 17 April, 1993, at 6:00 AM, my little baby left me. He passed quietly and peacefully in his sleep. I visit his little grave often and still miss him every day.
Two and a half years after we lost Muffy, on 1 December, 1995, my Mum was at our local shopping centre going from the bank to the post office when she met a woman walking a tiny black poodle. Mum asked if she could pick him up and kiss him and the woman agreed. They started talking and exchanging details about each other. The woman’s name was Bernice, but she was called Bunny, and was looking for a new home for the puppy. Bunny had gotten him from a breeder but had very bad allergies and so hoped to find “Trevor” a new forever home. She asked Mum if we wanted him but Mum said no; we’d all been so heartbroken when we lost Muffy that we didn’t think we could go through that again.Pretty soon other people came over and Mum continued her errands. Several days later, first thing on a Monday morning, our phone rang. Who was on the other end, but Bunny. She said she’d spent the whole weekend praying to find Trevor his new home and couldn’t get Mum out of her mind. She tracked us down through my cousin Al, who is a barber and lives nearby. She told Mum the pup was still up for sale and had she changed her mind about taking him. Mum said she’d talk to us and call Bunny back.When my dad got home from his errands, we asked him if he’d like to be a grandfather again. Mum then explained about Bunny’s call and within a very few minutes, we all decided to adopt Trevor. We called Bunny back and it was arranged that we’d pick the puppy up at 4:00 that afternoon. Talk about a long day!!!!! We went to lunch and then Kmart to get some toys and things for the new baby. We bought Trevor a stuffed dog and a new leash. Eventually, it got to be near 4:00. Finally!!!!!Following Bunny’s directions, we arrived at her house in a few minutes and taken to the kitchen where her daughter was holding the puppy. She put him in my arms and it was love at first sight. He was a little ball of wiggly black fluff and he started kissing me immediately. He was so small and fragile I was afraid of dropping him. His little tail wagged so fast I thought for sure it would break a land speed record!!!!! While Dad took care of the business end of things, Mum came up and said hello to Trevor again. In a little while we got ready to leave. Bunny gave us the baby’s favourite toy (a baby doll used by infants) and sweater (a tiny red and white striped one) and her grand-daughter Adrian said goodbye to him.When we got in the car I put Trevor on my lap and told him his new name was going to be Chip, after the little tea cup in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. I also told him from then on I was going to be his mama and my mum was going to be his granma and dad his granpa and then there was his Uncle Mike who he would meet later. I promised him I’d always take care of him. He looked up at me as if he understood everything I said. When we got home, we gave him the Kmart bag with his new doggie in it to see if he could get it out himself. Chip got very excited and started pulling this way and that. Finally, he managed to pull the stuffed dog out of the bag — it was twice his size but he didn’t care, he started playing with it right away.Later that night, my brother got home from work and was very surprised to find we’d gotten a new puppy. Chip was so happy to see him that his little tail kept wagging uncontrollably. Soon, the two were like best buddies. Unfortunately, for the next two nights Chip howled like a banshee and kept us all up. By the third night he was so exhausted he slept like a log. He howled again on the fourth night, but after that was fine. Fortunately, we had him housebroken in less than a week and then taught him how to go up and down stairs. Pretty soon, he learned that whenever he needed to “go”, he’d head to the top of the stairs and wait for someone to take him down.
By Springtime, Chip had forgotten what the outside world was like and so was a bit frightened of all the noises and smells. His little sweater had gotten way too small so we had to get him a new one. He’d already more than doubled his size and tripled his weight (from 3 pounds to 9) and was even bigger than his parents. His vet said he was bigger than an average toy poodle. The summer Chip turned 3 he developed epilepsy and took anti-seizure meds the rest of his life.
As he continued to grow, I could see that he and Muffy were complete opposites. Where Muffy had been a street dog for who knew how long and was afraid of nothing, Chip was more shy and actually terrified of dogs (although I think he rather liked cats, probably because they didn’t bark). Where Muffy had a sweet tooth and loved his ice cream, Chip was very fond of raw vegitables. His favourites were baby carrots, lettuce hearts, cucumbers (he would eat the firm part and leave the seeds!) and asparagus stems. It was really quite amusing.
Chipper wasn’t with us as long as his brother. Thanks to his miserable parasitic vet’s constant lies and incompetence, my little angel went to Rainbow Bridge on 25 February, 2008, at 7:48 PM caused by kidney failure. He was 12 years, 6 months and 4 days old. When his little heart stopped, mine broke and I can’t look at another dog without thinking of him. I have counted every day since he left me and I treasure the times he and Muffy come to me in my dreams. My one comfort is that they’re together and waiting for me — every day brings us one day closer to being together again and it’s something I look forward to. I hope to some day be able to give another angel or two a forever home.