In Memoriam
Mopsey Rufus

You decorated my life ...

Mop Ruf
Mopsey went on home to the Lord on 28 January 2016 at the Animal Medical Center of New York at around 1515 (3:15PM). This picture was taken the evening before: she is my beautiful girl, and always will be.
Dr. Leilani Alvarez, who has been treating Mop for nearly 14 months presided over the last treatment. Reverend Omar Isaac Ortiz, our Pastor, was there too. We read a Psalm, had a short prayer and witnessed Mopsey being relieved of the pain and indignity that comes with cancer. The "Miracle Kid" went for 14 pretty good months when it was expected she would last at most two or three weeks. Just this past week, starting on Monday 25 Jan, she began showing signs of rapid decline; she refused her food, cried with pain when I lifted her onto her feet, and had episodes of incontinence and significant bleeding from the tumor. Prior to this week she was able to get around better. In the early days of the disease, when she had first gotten her orthotic device from OrthoPets in Colorado, she was running with Rufus and even jumping over logs, but then her leg atrophied to the point that I could feel the head of the femur, which I had originally thought was either dislocated or a tumor, but she had just gone so atrophied in that limb, Dr. Alvarez said, that you could feel every bone.
There is some irony that the month that the Animal Medical Center chose to make Mop the subject of the monthly newsletter is the month she tired of the fight. There is a link to the newsletter here.
Dr. Alvarez, her own eyes red from crying, asked me, "If Mopsey could talk, what would she say?" I told her, "I am tired of fighting." That about says it all. Rufus and I will try to fill the emptiness in one another's' lives, and we will move ahead.
We have been most highly blessed to have the best veterinary care from Dr. Alvarez and all the others at the Animal Medical Center, and to have our beloved friend and Pastor, Reverend Omar Isaac Ortiz of our home Lutheran Church, Trinity, who has more than once asked the Church Family to pray for Mopsey and Rufus, who, with my neighbor took care of Mop and Ruf when I was hospitalized in the summer of 2015. My dear friend, Nancy Hotz who is the breeder of Mopsey and Rufus, down in Missouri, has ever been there with the most beautiful supporting words when needed. Now it is for Rufus and me to move ahead, never forgetting our little girl, rather knowing that she is with us in spirit. I just keep looking into her eyes in this picture, as Nancy said, She hadn't lost her sparkle. Her front end was full of life, her back, full of cancer ... but oh, those eyes. This photo catches a little something of them.
Rufus joined his sister Mopsey around 1230 on the same date, two years later, from the same disease attacking the same leg. Both died of osteosarcoma in the right hind leg, both on 28 January, both eleven years old.
Unlike Mop, Ruffie was in significant pain from the fracture and the tumor. He was quite medicated when I came to see him on Sunday, 28 January. Dr. Sunlight did not think he would be able to go home, and she was right.
Dr. Alvarez said that Mopsey had called him to her, and I agreed. The picture was taken about a year after Mop had gone and Rufus was sad since then as was I. We had each other and that helped, but there was an emptiness in both our lives that was apparent. Ruffie avoided other dogs after Mop was gone, and did not have his usual exuberance. He did get along with his dog friends, and always loved being with people. The new neighbors' children loved him and waited for him to come out to play with him, and he returned the love, as he always did. In the six months before he passed he was showing signs of weakness in his hind legs, but he continued to be able to jump into the car and onto the bed for our quiet time, then he would get down from the bed and sleep with his head underneath (the rest of him was too big to fit).
My sense of loss is truly devastating as Rufus was the focal point of my life. He had been officially licensed as a Service Dog by the New York City Department of Health, and he came everywhere with me. He particularly enjoyed going to the VA when I had appointments as the vets really did react so well to him, as he did to them. He came with me to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Infusion Center for my treatments and once a woman took note of him and we talked. She said her daughter worked at the Animal Medical Center, and I said to send her a picture of Ru. The daughter texted back, "That's Rufus! Mopsey's brother!"
Walking with Ruf, almost everyone who saw him smiled. He had that way about him: He made people happy, what can be more important than that? It was pretty common that passersby asked if they could take a picture of him, or if I would take a picture of them with Rufus. He was so good, just like his sister. Neither ever gave me any grounds to reprimand never did anything wrong.
Now it is so hard for me to be without him, every aspect of my life involved my Rufus. He used to love to lie down in the back seat of the car and watch where we were going, he loved being in the car. If I had to go somewhere without him he knew that when I got back he would get a short ride around the neighborhood, and he loved it.
I know that my sadness is my feeling sorry for myself because I believe that Ruf is with Mop and all the Others There, and they must be so happy. I look forward to joining them one day.
Mop & Ruf, 2012 Mop and Ruf in Snow

Will Rogers perfectly sums up my feelings: “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”