Claire Sutton blog

October 18, 2011

Farewell Mungolina…

Mungo the dogThey say that to lose your pet feels as if you've lost your best friend... well for us last week the sadness of that happened.

Our darling and beautiful Mungolina was found to have cancer and she was in terrific pain, for thankfully only a really, really short time before it was found. So the impossibly hard yet necessary decision to help her to sleep and go to heaven was made.

Mungo as a puppyAs I'm writing this I can't seem to control my tears and think I've held things in because of the children and work this week, but today is a day at home, on my own and Dan has just collected her ashes. I know she's not there and I truly do think of her careering around up there in heaven, but the finality has really hit home.

Although she was an old lady it really was so hard to believe as she still behaved like a  puppy with mad bunks up and down the garden and she looked like a dog half her age as she was in such great shape - just that little grey muzzle (like her Daddy's) that gave away her 14 and a half years!

Telling Tom, Joe and Maddie was so hard and we cried and cried together for "our girl". Maddie and Joe disappeared and came back with all the pictures of her from around the house and proceeded to make a little area, like a shrine I guess on the rug.

They filled her bowl with food and water and found her teddy. She always suckled on a soft toy  throughout her entire life, I spent many hours retrieving the children's special teddies from Mungo's, washing them and returning them before it was noticed teddy had a flattened and soggy paw! 

Mungo 004However, it was Tom who surprised us all. He has totally adored his "Mungolina best dog" as he called her and she has been the subject of his school projects and show-and-tells over the years - how we managed to stop him literally taking her in for the show-and-tell I don't know! 

His reaction was amazing. Tom went off and came back with a loo roll and proceeded to entirely cover all the area his brother and sister had created for Mungo with the entire loo roll - he was saying as he did it, "That's enough crying, it's a happy place, stop now, it's happy place".

I think that was his way of interpreting my telling him that Mungo isn't in pain now so we must be happy that she isn't hurting any more. I think he made Heaven. It's heartbreaking though as each morning the same question..."Where's Mungo?" begins our day, I wonder for how long?

Claire, Dan and MungoWe looked back through the photos and remembered how when Dan's Mum, sister and I went to choose her. I painted one of her claws with blue nail varnish as I was so worried the breeder may muddle her up and she'd go to someone else by accident! Polly Paranoid or what!

As I remember double and triple checking all my babies had their wrist tags on after they'd been born for the same reason, though I did refrain from my nail varnish identification system though! Just!

We laughed and cried reliving the moment she was "opened" as Dan's surprise present, yes she was in a box... but a huge one and for only a millisecond.

Dan's face was a picture and we were all so happy for him. She was our first 'baby' and we showed the children the Mungo we had known and adored even before they were even born!

The Mungo who had the nicest and most gentle temperament, putting up with all the extra loving from three teeny babies even when she was eating and sleeping........ truly a "best dog" to quote Tom!

So this weekend, my wonderful mother in law, who was Mungo's other Mummy as she has loved and looked after her with us all her life; Katherine and Jes (my sis and brother in law) their 'girls' beautiful black labs Molly and Bess; Dan's sister and her dogs, Mowgli and Spike; Barney, my mother-in-law's huge black lab who's missing Mungo terribly and all of us, we will walk around the woods Mungo loved so much, thinking of her in 'happy land' and 'sprinkle' as we go...

Lots of love to you all, and especially to all your four-legged friends,

Claire x


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Hi Claire, so very sorry to hear about Mungo,our dog Tess died of that terrible disease a few years ago (she was only 7) The emptiness they leave is unbearable, and can only be understood from a true animal lover. Time is a great healer, and we had Tess cremated on her own and now are able to visit her marble headstone in the pet cemetery where she was laid to rest (along with a picture of her mummy and daddy (myself and my husband) and her favourite pebble from a Lakeland beach. Think of Mungo with love and pride in the knowledge that "Doggy Heaven" is a wonderful place and so fitting for the pleasure and unconditional love our pets give us.
Thinking of you all
Love Gill Barnsley xxxxxx

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Oh Claire, so sad to read your blog, i know exactly what your all feeling. We lost our wonderful german shepherd Kooda 2years ago at the age of 13, we had to make the terrible decision to put him to sleep, as he had so many problems,and could,nt realy enjoy life any more and in a lot of pain that the medication obviously was'nt coping with, so on the advice of our vet took him there one last time. Time does heal eventually, but writing this has brought it back and am struggling through tears. He will always be our little boy in a fur coat and his ashes are still with us waiting till its our turn. I did feel for you so much this morning when i saw you the butler & wilson show, but you managed to hold it together very well. Keep smiling claire x from sonia in devon

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Hi Claire,
So Sorry to hear your beautiful dog Mungo has died. Our beloved Fox terrier Barney, passed away last year, he was the same age as Mungo. The pain does ease but there is not a day that passes without me missing him, although now we can recall,with a smile, many happy memories.He was my third boy, only difference being, he had four legs. Take care, Eileen, Glasgow

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Dear Claire, I'm so sorry to read your sad news, it's an awful experience and it hurts really badly. I've gone through this several times and I know how difficult it is to look at all those photos, as you said she was your first 'baby', and you think you'll never stop crying. I believe that it's really important to relive all those first, happy memories as that is your tribute to her and little by little the pain will lessen but the love will always remain. Mungo was a member of your family and a wonderful part of Tom, Joe and Maddie's childhood; they are old enough to have memories of her and bless Tom for his intuition and beautiful nature. Be kind to yourself, you were lucky to have Mungo for over fourteen years and she was lucky to have you. Love and understanding, Jo x

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sorry to hear of your dog passing away claire

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Hi Claire
So sorry to hear of you losing Mungo.I remember when you used to talk about her on tv.
I lost my very dearly loved dog last year.He was 15 I thought my heart was going to break.As we couldn't have family,my dogs have always been my babies.
We did get another 2 puppies who have just turned 1year old this week and I love them to pieces.
When you do feel ready Claire,try and get 2 sibling dogs as they are so much fun to watch when they are playing together!
Much love to you and your family Claire xxx

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Oh Claire
Im so sorry to hear that you have lost your beautiful four legged baby. I have read your blog and typing this with tears rolling down my face. You are like me I think and that is she was part of the family and not a pet. Dogs bring such a joy to our lives but leave a hugh hole when they go.
We lost my "brother" Robbie 7years ago he was a wonderful west highland white terrier ( Westie.) He died when Mum and Dad returned to Cornwall for the first time after my Grandfather died, 10 years previously. Grandad lived in St Agnes. Robbie obviously wanted to be with his Grandad.
My thoughts are with you and the family and sending you a big (((hug)))
Love Cheryl xox

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Hi Claire
In tears too as I write this. Remembering our two "girls" cats, rather than dogs, but whats the difference. Hollopy and Softie! We lost Softie (pronounced soaftie, not softy!!) 9 years ago, and I still cry for her. She had heart failure at the age of 8, then 2 years ago, we lost Hollopy. Unfortunately, the same as your best dog. I found a lump, took her to the vet the next day. He did a biopsy and found that it was very rare and very invasive cancer. We let her go there and then. i couldnt even take the chance that she would feel even the slightest pain, and that was it.
They are hoth in their favourite spots in the garden, and they have treea planted. Every time we go on holiday, we bring them both a stone and place it on the graves when we come home.
Sending a huge hug to you and the family Claire. Maybe one day another "best dog" will find a place in your home, but in the meantime, you all have your favourite memories.
I kept saying i could never have another cat, but last year a little boy found a place in our home, and a place in my heart. he is crazy, funny, and we have the most amazing bond. His name is Loops, as he is, actually Loopy!!!!
Lots of love
Una x

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Dear Claire
What sad news and it is true pets are a member of your family and its so hard when they go to heaven. I remember when our dog Oscar was put to sleep, who we had had for fifteen and a half years, that it was really tough especially when we had him before the children and they had grown up with him. My daughter was always drawing pictures and writing little notes to him for ages afterwards! How sweet of Tom to try and cheer everyone up.
Hope you take comfort in all the happiness that she brought to your life and family and knowing that you gave her a lovely family home.
Take care
Lizzie xxx

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Hi Claire,
So sorry to hear about Mungo. Its so terribly hard when we lose our 'babies'! I had to have my little cat Squeeks put down 5 weeks ago - she was 23 years old and she too was still a kitten at times! However I now have 2 more - Sweetie Pie and Lollipop who have proceeded to demolish every net curtain in the house, broken a lamp and a vase! Squeeks will not be forgotten but we laugh so much at the antics of the new kittens that we dont have much time to be sad! Stay smiling Claire - it does get better!
Best wishes to all your family, Chrissie

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Hi Claire i'm so sorry to hear about your beloved Mungo.i can rember when our lovely boxer Barney had to be put to sleep it feels like your heart is going to break because its like losing a member of the family we buried Barney in our garden with a brass plaque over where he is resting,i vowed that we would never have another but many years later we now have Tess a beautiful Rotty who i love to pieces she's my baby girl i've never forgotten Barney and neither will you forget Mungo.Children surprise us dont they about how they handle greif i think they are better at it then us adults,how about planting a beautiful tree with a plaque underneath somewhere where you can go and remember.
will write again
blessed Be
Love Fay xxx
And a big doggy kiss from Tess xx

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Hi Claire, I read your blog with tears pouring down my cheeks. Anyone who has had a beloved pet struggle with illness and had to make the decision to put them to sleep will understand exactly what you are going through. Terrible though the decision was you had no choice but to let Mungo go. Concentrating on the happy memories and remembering him with your family may be hard at the moment but this will gradually get easier for all of you. I do wish you all the best. Love from Julie G in Hertfordshire.

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Hello Claire
Sorry to hear about this sad news. It’s wonderful that Tom takes it the way he does however. Imagine for a kid to have a pet or a person you’ve been living with everyday your whole life suddenly disappear. This is learning the concept of death and that nothing’s forever the hard way and I imagine it can be a brutal experience when you are young.
Take care...

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Oh Clarita, you made me well up! What a wonderful heartfelt but so happy. Your little Tom is amazing isn't he. An inspiration just like his Mummy. I'm so sorry for your loss. What an adorable photo of you and your gorgeous Dan and Mungopup. You are a stunning couple you two! I hope you have a lovely time in the woods. Sad though too. We sprinkled our bambino's ashes where we planted a rose bush for her. I love to see it bloom.
Loved your Zumba shows with Matt - you have such fun! You're amazing Claire. I can never say it enough. You are a star.
Take care and chat soon,
Susan x

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Oh Claire-someone who feels like me-or at least how I felt in February.We 'lost' our Sisco dog-10 years old and at the risk of upsetting you-I still feel dreadful without him. I howled when my husband phoned to tell me our Sisc was not coming home from the vets-dramatic but so natural-bit like Heathcliffe when his Cathy died-and I still miss him now-almost as much.I have his last photo, laminated, on the fridge and each night I say goodnight to him as I used to when he was in his bed in the kitchen.It would be easy to run out and get another but I am waiting at least a year-out of respect for our member of the family.I wonder if there is something wrong with me as others seem to get over the loss quicker-but I have been retired for the last 2 years, now looking after grandchildren, and became even closer to our pooch in that time. Dogs are fantastic and I would give anything for 1 last day with him.I hope you all feel better soon Claire.I am sure your dog had a great life with you and your lovely family. Take care. KAY. XXX

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Hi Claire
I know what you're going through. We lost our yellow lab Zara to Cancer 4 years ago. We kept her alive 6 months after she was diagnosed at the cost of £5000! Insurance Company wouldn't pay anything. We would not have had it any other way as it was our decision. The day she passed she "told" us that enough was enough and she could take no more. I said to her as she passed This is only goodnight and not goodbye-the Vet was in tears.
We bought her when my daughter was young as she was afraid of dogs. Whenever my daughter was poorly in the night she would go into Zara's basket and talk to her. We also have Zara's ashes in the house with her favourite toys along side them on "her" shelf. Unless one's an animal lover or have experienced this for themselves I think some people would think we're mad!
We now have a rescued GSD who was in a very bad way but have to say she's helped the grieving process.
Well done on the BCC night and all the money raised for a very good cause.
Julie xxx

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Hello Claire and family, I hope the pain of losing Mungo will ease for all of you. You don't forget those that you love be they human or animal and they live on that way too.
Hope Gypsy is providing solace too.
Tina X0X0X0X0X0 (one set each)

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Hi Claire,
So sorry to hear that you have lost your wonderful Mungo.I too have lost many loved four legged friends over the years, and I know how much it hurts,but I always think it is the greatest act of love to let them go when the time comes so they do not suffer, they live on in our hearts and our memories.
take care Claire.
best wishes from Sue in Aberdeenshire

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Hello Claire, I am so sorry to hear that you have lost your beloved little pal. She looks such a happy, devoted friend to all of you in the photographs, I love her little fat legs when she was a puppy! I'm so sorry.
Anne, Bristol

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Oh no, after a 2 hours at my computer thanking you all and checking I hadn't missed anybody, I went to post and it's all gone! So I'm just popping this quickly up so you know I'm trying!

Love to you all C x

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My thoughts are with you. I lost my beloved Bob in May. He too had cancer and it all happened within a few months. I miss him so much it is unbearable, he was my life.
I close my eyes and see his gorgeous face and will never forget the precious 11 years I had with him.
I would not consider getting another dog as the end is too horrific to deal with, but I know we all are different.
I miss his physical presence and now if I am out and see a dog I have to go and ask the owner if I can stroke it, just to get a bit of comfort from actually touching a dog.
Keep strong

Ruth from Bradford.

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It is so sad to lose a pet. My mother always had pets and just a few weeks after getting married my husband and myself got our first dog, a really "dotty" Dalmatian who we had for over l4 years. She became ill and was put peacefully to sleep. We then had a fantastic Great Dane who tragically died of a massive heart attack when she was about 4 and a half. That was actually much worse to bear than when we lost the Dalmatian - such a shock. We have also had cats and rabbits, birds, gerbil. We should have pets especially when we have children. They bring such happy times and we mustn't say we won't have another pet just because we are upset at their dying. You have obviously given Mungo a fantastic life and the ultimate act of love we can give our pets is to ensure they have a peaceful end to their life. We now have a huge black long haired German Shepherd, Nell, who is nearly 8.

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Hi Claire, so sorry to hear of the loss of your lovely beautiful girl. We have loved and lost two wonderful labby's who were every part a member of our family and came everywhere with us. The heartache I thought would never go away and even now I still feel the loss of them. Josh Groban You Raise Me Up will always be their song. After two and half years we have just re-homed a labby cross from Dogs Trust and our house is a home again. I send you and your family on earth and in heaven angel blessings.
Love and light x

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Hi Claire
I have just read Ali K's blog reply to you and i came onto your blog to congratulate you on being such a great support and a true friend to herxx I am so very sorry to read about Mungo - i'm in tears as i write this comment. I have felt the pain of losing a furry friend - Toots(a cat) - it was windy and she tried to cross the road into a field,she didnt hear the car(which was speeding!!) and it hit her and broke her spine - the driver telephoned me(my number was on her collar) and he drove me to the vets (during the journey Toots was her usual bright self and she was licking my hand) but there was nothing the vet could do - Toots wasn't in any pain but as her spine had been broken she would have had no quality of life,so we decided to send her to heaven,i hope that Mungo and Toots meet up and chase each other all over heavenxx Tom is so right - no more tears,its a happy place(out of the mouths of babes eh!!) but i'm sure Tom understands if the occasional tear is shed for such a special animalxx Love to you allxx Linda,Glasgow p.s. I love your gypsy caravan - so unusualx

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Hi Claire so sorry to hear of your loss. We had to have our beloved Parson Terrier put down after she was diagnoised with cancer 5 weeks ago at just 6 years old and I can totally appreciate what you are going through. Me and my husband were and still are absolutely devasted by her death as it was so unexpected. They are such loving and loyal companions who give us so much love and pleasure that when they are no longer with us you feel your hearts are going to break. Thinking of you all with love and understanding Lisa x

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