Home > dogs > Myrtle June 2007-May 2010

Myrtle June 2007-May 2010

Myrtle was a great little dog, a real one of a kind. My dad got her right after he retired from the vagabond life of a truck driver from the Humane Society in Mesquite NV. She was out the door at $15 and they threw in leash, collar, and a bag of toys. She was a pup and they said she was half chow and half hound dog and Dad always called her a chow hound. She was tiny though, and at first i swore she couldn’t be more than a 1/4 chow because she was so little. She had the black tongue and aloof nature as well as the long black hair and some of the looks, but tiny. With big grizzly bear feet with long wicked black nails and beady black eyes. But cute though, straight out of a dr seuss book.

Not long after Dad had her he realized something wasn’t right, she would just fall out, scream, and kind of have a seizure or something. After a check up at the vet we learned she had leaky heart valve. It would be 5K just for the diagnostics so Dad decided to love her just as long as she was here. We figured that was why she was so tiny.

Myrtle was a funny dog, she was raised pretty gentle and sometimes she had an attitude. Dad always emphasized personality over obedience. She’d come when she was called when she felt like it. If all were inside and were going out Myrtle wouldn’t come, she’d have to wait 45 seconds and then she’d want out. If we were outside and went in she wouldn’t come in with us, she’d wait her 45 seconds and then scratch at the door, just long enough to sit down and take one shoe off.

Sometimes when we were out she would scratch at the door, and i’d go to let her out but she would just stand there. She didn’t want out, she wanted us all to come in. She had definite ideas about propriety and strict obedience violated her dignity. She had a Princess quality about her, in hind sight its easy to see why Dad babied her.

She was a desert dog who didn’t like the heat, she’d hike from shade to shade, and would always crawl under the truck to stay cool when we were camping. She loved my brother’s Australian cattle dog who was about the same height but 40 pounds heavier, a dog with muscles on its forehead. Smokey, my brothers dog, loved Myrtle and would lure her in to play by rolling on her back and pretending to submit. They were very cute together.

Myrtle could only be active for a bit and then would have to stop and catch her breath. Smokey would hang back and let her. Myrtle couldn’t over do it or she would fall out, eventually she learned to self regulate and stopped seizing. Eventually she did less and less.

Sometimes in the humidity she couldn’t catch her breath. It was the saddest thing. I had a feeling she wouldn’t make it through this summer. Three weeks ago she got pneumonia and couldn’t catch her breath. She crawled under the truck like she was going off to die while we waited for her appt. at the vet. At first we thought it was a spell and she would snap out of it like she’d had in the past. But she crawled under the truck like she was crawling off to die.

The vet hit her with antibiotics, steroids, and benadryl and she seemed to snap out of it, but she never did catch her breath. She went through it all pretty stoically. She just got so tired from not being able to breath and couldn’t really lie down until her little heart just gave out. Dad found her dead in the basement, still warm yesterday morning.

I was just heading off to work. I was in no shape to counsel and canceled my day and came back home. Dad wrapped her in a sheet and carried her in the backyard and put her on the hill by the bird feeder. He had marked off a spot and was shoveling out sod. We dug a deep hole, close to 4′, below the worms and above the water table, dad said. Dad buried her with her little pink semi truck and a little girl’s shoe Myrtle had found in the desert.

After we buried her i got cleaned up and we went to breakfast at the Country Kitchen. We went to the nursery and got most of a flat of Spanish Myrtle, the flowering shrub. They didn’t have the tree kind.

Categories: dogs
  1. Rich
    May 28, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Sorry to hear about turtle dog, hope you and your dad are hanging in there…

  2. May 28, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Nice write up, Mike. Turtle Dog will surely be missed.

  3. May 31, 2010 at 4:18 am

    Sorry to hear about Myrtle.

  1. May 28, 2010 at 3:50 am

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