The Tail of Minnie Mouse Turner

We first met Minnie then known as Mouse twelve years ago as a 6 month old puppy. We were looking for a companion for our 6 month old pup Ralphie. Ralphie we had since the day he was born. The husband said I spoiled Ralphie and he thought he was a 45 lb lap dog.

Ralphie suffered horrible separation anxiety. He ate mini blinds, chewed out of a plastic dog kennel and tried to get through windows and doors.The vet had suggested either doggie drugs or a friend. A friend was cheaper than his prescription would have been. 

I began to search on the Wenatchee Humane Society website for the perfect companion. We found 3 dogs we were interested in and proceeded to drive from Ephrata, Washington to Wenatchee. Mouse, as she was called was our 2nd choice until we hung out with a lab mix named Moose. Moose in the “get to know you” yard was searching for an escape. We went and brought out Mouse. She was gorgeous, you could see the shepherd and she was so chill. She loved on us right away.

We decided she was no Mouse and named her Minnie M. Turner. Her and Ralphie hit it off immediately. There was no posturing to see who was top dog. They became inseparable.It wasn’t unusual to see them in a Ying yang pattern sleeping together. They hated to be separated. 

Minnie would demand attention by nuzzling your hand until you made sure you petted her. She liked her back scratched and would rub against you like a cat until you scratched her. She would determine when you were done with your job of petting her.

When we made the 5 day trip to Missouri she was a wonderful passenger but like some women she would not go to the bathroom in a strange place. This caused us great worry but when got to the parsonage in Missouri–boy howdy.

When we brought a new pup into the family she became both surrogate mama and playmate. Her and Riley would run around the house and play.  As she got older she had him running around and she would only go half the distance, cutting him off and stomping her paws at him. When she was done playing, she would place a paw on Riley until he calmed down.

She was our watchdog. Ralphie would welcome folks and help pack the items outside if he had a chance, he knows no stranger.  Not Minnie, she was protective of her home and her people. When we began foster care, she would sooth the wounded children. If she didn’t like you though, you wouldn’t get to far into the home. The border collie half would appear and she would herd you away from kids or stop the person from going to far.

She was a steady force, a consistent presence.  She got older, her muzzle got a bit white. She was lover. Our two other dogs deferred to Queen Minnie.

After 7 years, we made the decision to return to the Pacific Northwest. We were moving into a new home. I had not even seen yet. It had a beautiful dog pen. A luxury dog house, trees, straw and shade. 

In the last month we had seen her slow down and at times not act quite herself. We attributed to her age. At times she would be comical or a Debbie Downer or strumble.

She saw Houdina Ralphie climb the fence a few weeks ago and she would try that. The first few times it didn’t work tor the old lady. Then suddenly she figured it out and suddenly would see her wandering across the yard. You would call her and she would come in immediately acting like nothing was wrong.

Yesterday she got out in the morning and Ron fixed it where she couldn’t climb out or he thought he had. At 1:30 a.m., I hear Ralphie howling like he treed a racoon. Ron and I know this is “she left me here alone, pay attention to me” howl. Ron and I both get up to see if she is around the yard. 

Ron looked out our huge picture window and sees what he first thought was a shadow on the street. He says to me, “I think that’s Minnie.” He had pulled his hamstring earlier and was hurting. I offered to go put on my shoes and see. He firmly told me no. I stood looking out the window and watching. I stood in the window; holding my breath and praying this was not her. 

Ron bent over and I saw him grab her and drag her off the road. As he dragged her onto the lawn, he fell twice. It was her. She was broken in so many places, I could even tell that from where I watched.  Without warning my knees buckled and I began to sob and sob.

Ron didn’t want to leave her exposed, so he took one of our moving boxes and placed her gently into that until we could bury her later in the morning. We let Ralphie in and he began looking for her in the house. He stuck very close to me, even trying to go into the bathroom with her. 

I couldn’t sleep, my fur children our special to me. They are my comfort and joy. They love unconditionally and if you walk out the door and come back in they greet you like you have been gone forever.

I knew we had to tell the Teen and the Princess, I dreaded that. At 8 a.m., I woke up Brandon,  he at first, thought I was joking around. Then the realization hit him and he was shocked and wanted to be alone. Rose, well Rose, broke into full fledged tears.  Daddy held her and soothed her.

After getting a shovel and later a pick axe, Ron and Brandon began to dig . Brandon stepped and was a rock star. He dug her grave with his daddy and then helped bury her.  They covered it with rocks and Brandon placed a door knob on top. He told me, “I put that there because she listened like a door knob…not at all.”

My gentle sweet girl is gone. It leaves a huge hole in my heart. Ralphie, Rikey and the family are mourning our loss. I hope as we grieve, no one tells me, “she was just a dog”. For us she was a beloved companion and family.

You will be missed Minnie Mouse Turner.

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Author:

I am a wife, mother, and pastor. We moved from Bowling Green, Missouri to Idaho Falls in 2016. I am a native of Eastern Washington state. In 2013 I had 2 strokes in 8 days and this is my journey of faith, family and health. I believe no matter what happens in your life that God can use it for His glory.

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