It’s been a year since Mugen passed away. I can’t believe that it’s been a whole year. Where does the time go? I’ve added a new dog to the family since then, and Jazzmin will leave us soon and life has somehow managed to go on since that horrible, horrible day and I don’t know how it happened, but at some point I accepted it. I’ve been able to let go and move on, sort of. When I think about losing Mugen, I realize that the pain is never going to stop. There are things I don’t talk to anyone about that happened the day we lost him. Things that are just too damned painful to share. All I can tell you is that no one should ever have to lose their best friend that way and no one should have to carry the memories I carry of that day.
Mugen was a wonderful dog and I still feel as though the life we were meant to have was stolen from us. Not on purpose, of course, but ignorance of the dangers of the products we use in our homes and around our families is the number one reason that people and pets get injured by them. It wasn’t fair and it wasn’t right, but it happened. I have managed, somehow, to find some healing and some joy through the companionship of my dogs and my wonderful friends and family, but Mugen’s absence is felt. When I took Lexi in for her CGC test, the woman that taught Mugen’s puppy classes was one of the assistants. She remembered us and that conversation was hard. It took a lot out of me to be able to walk back out onto the floor to collect Lexi from the “stranger” examiner without tears in my eyes.
Still, there was so much joy and love and wonder that surrounded our life with him and even though his time with us was brief, it left a mark on this family forever. All of my dogs will always go to obedience classes. I will always question the wisdom of pediatric spay/neuter policies. I will always be careful about what my dogs eat and I will always, always look at them and see a little bit of our brown dog in them.
I tell every single dog that we adopt that they have big shoes to fill. The dogs that came before them have always raised the bar. Our first Lab set that bar pretty high to begin with. That trend started with Mugen. When he came along he was everything I had ever wanted in a Labrador and some things that I didn’t know that I needed too. Then Lucy joined our family and she was everything that I was missing from a higher energy dog than Mugen and she was everything that he needed in a canine companion and it took the two of them together to fill the spot in our family that our first Lab left behind. They were meant to be together and if God is just, then they are together now. They will be together forever, in my heart.
I can’t sit here and go into details about the wonderful life we had with Mugen. I’m ok now. I can laugh about my brown dog and think of him fondly, but writing about him that way is another matter. So instead of a rehash of our lives, in honor of the anniversary of his passing this week, I have assembled a collection of my favorite blog posts that were written while he was alive. It is my hope that, through them, you will be able to capture a slice of the life and the love that we shared with our brown dog.