It doesn’t seem that long ago that we adopted Muggles, a blind Shih Tzu from the Animal Care League, and brought him home to be a member of the family. Sadly, on Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 1 p.m., we had to say goodbye. 

He was a true blessing to our family and we blessed him with love and care for these past years. When the weather was nice, my wife pushed him in his stroller around the neighborhood so he could enjoy the fresh air and all the smells, his little button-sized nose twitching. We had him groomed routinely, a huge thanks to Stephanie Skrine for doing such a great job. We kept him fed on his special diet and administered his medication. 

He slept in his comfy bed in the bedroom of Patrick, my youngest son. Patrick would carry him around the house on his shoulder and when Muggles was relaxed and dozing off he would make an almost motor-like snoring sound and his little pink tongue would stick out. 

He travelled to Naples, Florida, and went up and down the paved path near the beach and took in the sounds and smells of the Gulf. He made soft barks when he wanted water, and we would hold him over the water dish until he sensed it and started drinking. 

All was well up until several weeks ago. He was losing weight rapidly. He was unable to stand up. Then he lost his appetite. Patrick took him to the vet at River Forest Animal Hospital. Later that day my wife got the call, the one every pet owner dreads. 

I spoke to the veterinarian and she informed me that he was slowly wasting away; weak, unable to stand, down to skin and bones. It was time. The family gathered for a tearful goodbye. When it was time to go, we came home. 

My wife said she saw Muggles jumping into the arms of Jesus. A younger dog, with his eyesight. I closed my eyes and imagined him running about in a field and playing with other dogs, waiting for the day they would be reunited with their families. 

Until that day, Muggles, we will miss you.

Emerson Bolen, River Forest

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