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.
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!
However, 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?
We 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,