Oh, how does one fully share the story of you, Mr. Mighty Mikey?
From December 2004 – June 9, 2022, 17.5 years, you carefully lived, leading a life that truly defied all odds, amazing boy.
You asked me to share the story of your beginning. So that humans, too, could know that – no matter what they’ve been through – they never have to give up their gentleness, trust or love.
We were told that a woman spotted you and your siblings at about 6 months old being abused by a farmer in Wisconsin. She didn’t know how long you had been kicked around prior to her seeing you abused.
For some reason, your mother was not being mistreated. Maybe it was because she was bigger than you and could stop the farmer from hurting her.
That woman returned with a big box and informed the farmer that she was removing you and your siblings that day to have you all placed in homes where they would be loved.
The farmer became enraged and told the woman that he was calling the police to have her removed for trespassing and stealing.
She told him to go right ahead. That her father was the sheriff of the county and that if he had to come, he would definitely press more charges than just animal abuse.
Thus, that day, you and your siblings began a new and very different life.
A very loving and patient family rescued you. Your lady human guardian helped you overcome so much anxiety by running with you regularly. Your cardiovascular strength was some of the strongest we have ever seen thus far in any dog.
Since you remained quite nervous with new people, and babies were a part of the family’s future, your family made the very difficult, soulful and selfless decision to seek a new home for you where you could live without such anxiety. They didn’t want you to have to go through feeling awful if you were to react with little people running and playing around you.
I was shared your story by your human lady’s sister after we had returned from her Angel walk. She explained your situation and asked if there was any way we could adopt you. BJ’s heart dog, an adopted Pit Bull named Ginger, had just passed a couple of weeks prior, of lung cancer, though. I didn’t know if he was ready for another dog quite yet; however, I promised I would ask him.
I knew you were nearly 9 years old, and that BJ couldn’t bear to let go of another dog too soon. You assured me that you would live until at least 17. And you did, resilient boy.
Soon, your lady human guardian arrived with you and your little human sister so that we could meet you. You were so nervous.
When BJ went to adjust your collar, you caught his hand. You didn’t bite down, though. As a human who had come through childhood abuse and neglect, himself, BJ suddenly completely related to you and understood your fear. His decision was made.
You joined our family that day, to be an amazing pack member and Garçon’s devoted brother for the rest of your days together.
It was so fun to see you let go of your serious expression and countenance. That was Garçon’s doing. Ok, and probably BJ’s doing, too, as your very goofy human cohort.
You began to grin, laugh, tease, and play every single day.
Though it took you 2 weeks to let me pet you without growling, you raced and wrestled with Garçon in your very first week.
Miracles happen when dogs show their new canine friends what’s possible.
You thought having clients’ and friends’ extra dogs staying at, “Camp Blaha Bronstad” while their humans were away was a blast, diligently overseeing that all felt included and comfortable during their visits.
Garçon kept telling you that, just like your first loving family, these humans, too, were different than that cruel farmer. That they would never let anyone hurt you. One day, you believed him.
It was 2 years of careful guiding and body positioning to help you feel certain before you could let new people pet you without growling every time. Each time you succeeded, you would stand so proudly, grinning and eyes cocked sideways at us. Clearly you were saying, “Look at me!! I did it! I’m not scared anymore! So I don’t have to growl!”
Thus, to match your epic quantum leaps, your name elevated, too, from, “Mikey” to Mighty Mikey.
You were absolutely smitten for BJ. Being his loyal office companion was your self-appointed mission.
From there, you began to travel 16 states with us on business. You loved truck and car travels so much. And those 1,000’s of miles of walks, too, of course.
You took to surveying our daily timelines and whereabouts so carefully that we called you, “The Supervisor”.
No matter BJ’s ever-changing schedule, you somehow always knew that 15-minute mark before his alarm would sound. There you would be by his bedside, gazing at him until he awoke before his alarm went off. Just recently, BJ told me that he has always slept right through alarms; he couldn’t sleep through you standing there, staring at him, though.
After you passed, BJ admitted that you, like his Ginger Girl, would wake him up when he would stop breathing while sleeping. Due to dreams of his childhood abuse, neglect and military service memories, such ceasing of his breath would occur. Ginger would kick him; you would stand gazing at him within feet of his face, until he breathed again.
Did you know that beyond being such an incredible pack addition, you were actually saving a human’s life here and there, Mikey?
When Sashi arrived, you never flinched and only smiled when she lunged to attack you. You knew the humans – and Garcon – would prevent her from making contact and you were determined to show her that it would be far more fun to get along with her pack. She absolutely arrived to this because of steadfast you.
Down the road when she was health challenged by the cancer with which she’d arrived, you stood by her side at the water or food bowl to support her. You loved when she leaned on you and stayed absolutely still while she regained her balance and energy to move forward. You lay by her side day after day as she lost her strength and passed. Then you cried.
When your beloved brother Garçon passed 6 months after Sashi, your pain was palpable. Again, your eyes welled up with ours. You began having seizure episodes after Sashi passed and they continued with Garçon’s health challenges. Whether it was the new locale with 5G too nearby, Sashi’s passing, taking on some of Garçon’s nerve challenges, or stress over your beloved pack, we couldn’t believe your reaction to the seizures.
You insisted that you had to get back on all 4 legs as soon as possible each time. This meant yours truly was walking with you for up to 10 hours straight. Or you would cry for help to keep walking until you regained all mobility. Your determination was astonishing.
Even on your 8th seizure episode you didn’t pass. Though your back legs suddenly quit functioning during a nap 3 weeks after Garçon passed, you kept insisting on walking, back legs harnessed, nearly every hour, day and night. Your cardio endurance was, again, uncanny.
You requested and were adamant about passing of your own volition, in your sleep, or in as much peace and ease as possible. So we kept you comfortable with homeopathic treatments and the light technology until you were ready.
That last day, since you’d been resisting your exit, we asked you if there was anything else you needed to make your quantum leap.
You asked if we could reach out to your first beloved family. To let them know that you were going and that you wanted them to know in order to say goodbye. And to let them know how much you appreciated their rescuing and loving you.
So we did. And, thankfully, they were available to receive your request and respond.
10 minutes later at 3:33 p.m. on June 9, 2022, you leapt.
We can’t wait for the signs to see you with your dear Sashi and Garçon again.
BJ and I, in our 18.5 years together, have never not had at least one dog. I haven’t been without one in 40 years. It is so quiet in our home. And in our hearts.
We are so grateful for your steadfast determination to let go of all anxiety and distrust, Mikey. And for guiding Sashi to know the same.
To know how many people you met along the way whose lives you changed as you displayed your trust to them is extraordinary. They were all so touched that you allowed them to be in your sphere with you.
We are, too.
Thank you for all of the chuckles, laughter and tenderness you displayed all along the way.
You showed humans that you can be a gentle man and still be a staunch, daring and bold soul.
That being a boy was super fun; and that being a boy who got along with any dog and never got into fights was even more fun.
That no amount of tenderness makes you less strong than who you are, as a man or woman.
Thank you, Mighty Mikey, for all of your love and care and for all of the lives you touched.
We love you and miss you.
Please say hello to Sashi and Garçon for us.
Cuddles and snuggles. Because now you do those. Effortlessly and easily, yes.
Bravo, sweet, strong boy. We are so proud of you.
Love you, infinity,
Jeannie and BJ
Thank you to all of our client friends and light tech teammates who understood our need to care for our senior dogs over these past months. We really appreciate your patience, compassion and care while we navigated the hourly availability we needed for them.
Thank you to all of you who sent prayers, thoughts and massive energy to our beloved Huskies’ peaceful and ease-filled transitions. It made such a huge difference for their lift-off and flight.
Thank you for the gentleness, kindness and love. We appreciate you all so much.
Jeannie and BJ