Thursday, June 16, 2016

Farewell, Stanley

I had to take a break from blogging for a couple of weeks to recover from the loss of our beloved pug, Stanley. I hope you will indulge me as I write a tribute to this little dog, our little baby. He was just short of 16 years old. I don't know how it's possible for a dog to look like such a little old man, yet still be such a baby.

We acquired Stanley just a little over a year after my husband and I were married. We knew we wanted to get a dog, but weren't sure what kind. Being the nerds that we are, we decided to do some research to find out what breed of dog would be the best for us. It was just less than a year after my first chondrosarcoma surgery, so we were in need of some cheering up. A website told us that pugs were the "clowns of the dog world." We knew that was the dog for us.

He was so tiny!

Stanley came home with us Labor Day weekend of 2000. He immediately made himself comfortable. But at the same time, he created these "boundaries" that he was never to cross: the line separating the kitchen from the living room, then the line separating the living room from the hallway, then the line separating the hallway from the bedroom. He eventually crossed all of those lines (with the help from my sister, who loved to take breaks from her college classes to come and play with the puppy!).

Stanley on the deck in Rochester. He loved to sleep in the sun, but was too afraid to go down the stairs.

Stanley has been through everything with us. Every move: from Ames to Rochester, from Rochester to St. Cloud, from St. Cloud to finally Cedar Rapids. All of my surgeries: he would cling to me and insist on sitting on my lap after coming home from the hospital. Our jobs: waiting patiently for us to come home and walk and feed him. He was ever faithful and never failing in his love towards us.

"I will tolerate this little dog as long as I am still able to bask in the sun."

He probably thought that we ruined his life when we brought Maggie home. When they met, Maggie let him know that she was the boss right away. He accepted it. I kind of liken them to the characters from Winnie the Pooh. Stanley was like Eeyore ("Oh, alright....") and Maggie was like Tigger, all bouncy energy. We would walk them together and if Maggie noticed that Stanley was getting ahead, she would run up past him, giving him a friendly shoulder nudge on her way.

Stanley tolerated Maggie, but I think he enjoyed her company deep down. Maggie has been lost without him. Stanley was always such an enthusiastic eater (as most pugs are) and Maggie tried to keep up with him for fear that if she didn't eat her food fast enough, he would go after it. And he would! Now, her appetite has diminished and she just doesn't know what to do when we put the food bowl in front of her. Her guide is gone. She likes to sleep in his bed.

Over the past year, his health went downhill. We knew that his time would come soon. We came close to saying goodbye last fall, but he held on through the winter. If not for himself, but for us. We probably loved him more than a couple should love a dog. Being a childless couple, he was our baby. He was wonderful at cuddling: up until his last few years, he loved to sit next to me in the easy chair, head on my lap, snoring contently. He was the most gentle dog: never biting or sniping. He loved popcorn, playing with his slipper and sleeping in the sun. His paws smelled like tortilla chips.

This house seems so quiet now. Despite the snorting, snoring and barking of Maggie, there is something missing. A steadfast and solid presence is gone. Goodbye Stanley, we will miss you forever.


  1. Touching sentiment. You have honored Stanley's significance well. Prayers for you and your husband's comfort and for Maggie's too.

  2. This melted my heart. You can feel your love for him. Love.

  3. Aww. I can only imagine what you must be feeling. I have a 10-year old black pug named Tater. He is my sidekick. ��

  4. You just proved me the prejudice of centuries - every dog looks like his owner) You even consciously searched for the dog that matches you) How cool is that? I would love to search one for myself but I have an awful allergy to wool. Sometimes I even jealous that I can't be the one from the joke about 10 cats, as my destiny is porn sex chat free only( No allergy on that! lol)