Goodbye Sweet Miley

Today her time came, and there is a hole in our hearts and our family.
Miley enjoying the sun.

Today we said goodbye to our sweet pup Miley. It is difficult to explain just how much of a loss this is for us. Miley was our first dog, and we have had her longer than we have been married. Miley was the alpha of our pack, always feisty, and more stubborn than either of us (which is an accomplishment).

Miley taught us how to be dog owners: to love unconditionally, to forgive accidents, and to be generous with affection and treats. Many of you know we foster with MidAmerica Boston Terrier Rescue (MABTR). Seven years ago, Miley came to us from MABTR. Volunteers drove her from Colorado Springs, CO to Rock Springs, WY where we picked her up. She greeted us with slobbery kisses and jumped into our arms. We fell in love without hesitation.

That Boston smile brings so much joy.

Miley was a stray, found wandering the streets. Tucked in with her paperwork was a notice from the shelter that picked her up. Miley was an escape artist who could leap small fences. She was agrresive toward other dogs. The notice said she only had 12 days left until they would euthanize her. Thankfully, MABTR rescued her, removed the small tumors on her body, and placed her in foster care. Their work and advocacy for rescuing Boston Terriers changed our life. Our passion for adopting instead of shopping came from knowing that our amazing, smart, loving pup only had days left if not for the rescue group.

The shelter notice stating she had 12 days left before being euthanized.
Commencement at the University of Utah

Miley came into our lives while we lived in Salt Lake City, UT. Amanda had a full-time job that she despised. I was working on my Ph.D. The stress of those years felt unbearable at times. Miley never faltered. She gave us love, company, and abundant kisses. My last year at Utah I was on a fellowship and was working on my dissertation at home. I would bet that I wrote about half of my diss with Miley snuggled in a gray blanket on lap. Her snores offering just enough white noise to help me avoid distractions. Like magic, she would know right when I was feeling fatigued, and she would ask for a quick potty break or a short walk.

Miley and Maverick having an intense cuddle.

Miley returned the second chance MABTR gave her in abundance. Slowly we curbed her aggression towards other dogs. When we added Maverick to our family Miley was a little skeptical. However, they warmed up, and she taught him to trust us and always to let her win at fetch. Miley transformed from a dog who would try and attack any other dog she saw to one who loved to settle in for a long nap cuddled with her brother.

As our pack leader, she helped foster 32 Boston Terriers/Boston Mixes. GoGo, Clementine, Porter, Stout, Chet, Turbo, Ginny, Bugs, Bailey, Bob, Banks, Blue, Maize, Holly, Rico, Ginny, Stevie, Bailey, Cody, Rosie, Jake, Gunner, Rocky, Jak, Ernie, Red, Starbuck, Snickers, Spencer, Rudy, Bosley, and Crowley all entered rescue and found their own forever homes under her guidance. Miley’s life touched each one of them and the families that adopted them. It is impossible to imagine our home without her, but here we are — heartbroken.

One of my favorite photos of Miley, composed with images of her life and the foster dogs she rescued. Made with Andrea Mosaic. Click for full resolution.

Time has not always been kind to Miley. Colitis made it difficult for her to find a diet that didn’t make her sick. Cushing’s made it hard for her to control her bladder. Her hearing failed, and slowly cataracts took away her vision. Through all of that, she put up with the vet visits and never lost her swagger. Over the last few months, her condition worsened. It became more and more difficult for her to maintain her dignity and comfort. Today her time came, and there is a hole in our hearts and our family. We feel so lucky to have had seven wonderful years with her.

I know it may seem ridiculous to some that I would write so much about a pet. I don’t care. Miley was part of our family. We loved her and she loved us. Our house and our family will never be the same. Goodbye Miley, we love you.

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