March 29, 2012

Remembering the best damn puppy mill survivor ever...

Sadly a month has passed since we had to say good-bye to our beloved furry man.  As anyone who has lost a beloved, whether it be their baby or their special pet, knows it's a very difficult, painful and lonely road to travel.  For me it has once again brought forward all the feelings of grief experienced with the loss of Stella, so instead of grieving the loss of Smeags, who I know in the end was very fortunate, I'm stuck experiencing the emotions of loosing my daughter as well.  I suspect this is how my emotional heart will respond to all future losses, so I better figure out a way to navigate this new treacherous path!

I would like to share my loving tribute to the one, and the only, Smeagol with you all...

Smeags rescued September 2005

Who could have ever imagined the impact one French Bulldog, rescued from a nasty rabbit hutch in the far back of a North Carolina puppy mill, could have on our lives?  Not I!  Smeagol came in to our lives silently, sick, weak and reclusive.  He was mostly bald with elephant skin sagging from his legs from his chronic demodectic mange, his eyes goopy and scared from years of untreated corneal ulcers, broken and worn stubs in place of teeth, toenails growing in to his chubby little paw pads, a bad case of heart worms, collapsed wrists and a very painful looking swayback.  He looked so horribly disfigured and frightening his original foster Mom named him Smeagol, since he looked like Gollum from the Lord of the Rings. 

We nursed Smeags back to health, and as he recovered more and more of his unique and charming personality began to reveal itself.  Smeags found his voice and wasn’t about to be silenced ever again in his life!  Once he began to bond with us, he realized he no longer liked to be left alone, and would caterwaul if he couldn’t find one of us.  If we didn’t come back quickly enough, he would stomp his little legs and release a protest pee in the floor somewhere (his unique form of pay back).  He learned the joys of wallering on his back, whether it be in a dog bed, human bed or in the grass.
He never met a sunbeam that didn’t have his name written all over it and was well versed at seeking them out through out the day.  He always enjoyed sleeping in a comfy bed, but none compared to the luxurious and peaceful sleep he had while riding in the snoozy seat.  Smeags was the most laid back and easy going dog you could imagine (until it was meal time).  He kept us on our toes, made us smile daily and had us all wrapped around his fat little paws.

Smeagol was diagnosed with a brain tumor in November of 2010, but luckily his medication allowed him to hold steady.  During that time he became mostly deaf and nearly blind, but he was still quite a character.  He gave us a few scares where his back legs would go weak and he would suddenly develop a green snotty nose, but with a little medication and a couple of days, he would bounce back like we had imagined the whole episode.  He still enjoyed all the important activities in life: special laser treatments, his favorite foods, car rides, wallering and belly rubs. 

On Tuesday, February 28th, our precious Smeagol took a drastic turn for the worse.  His body just seemed to give out on him from the night before.  He could no longer stand, much less walk.  He had no desire to eat (not even cheese or banana) or drink and only wanted to sleep.  We took him to the vet’s office, where he was loved by everyone, and Dr. Shearer felt his nervous system was shutting down and he was giving us a clear indication that it was his time to go.  We held and hugged him tightly while we cried.  He wasn’t in any pain, and loved the attention, but he just wanted to sleep forever.  So we kissed Smeags good-bye and sent him on his peaceful journey to the Rainbow Bridge.
Smeagol’s story has touched the hearts of many from around the World.  He was often considered an unofficial mascot of the fight against puppy mills in the French Bulldog community as well as for the French Bulldog Rescue Network.  Though he will never be forgotten, and will always be loved, his larger than life presence will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him!
Rest in peace, SmeagUms!  You were truly one of a kind!

Love always,
Maw, Paw, Starr, Willow and QBert





  1. thanks for the comment on my blog the other day =)

    I love smeags!!! what a gorgeous dog and im so sorry he isnt with you anymore...i have 2 fur babies too and I call them my children so i can only imagine your pain...<3 stella will take good care of him for you...xoxo

  2. Not sure how I missed this, but what a lovely tribute to a very, very special boy. Photos and stories about Smeags always made my day better, and even though I never met him, I felt his presence in so many ways. Bless the Smeagol family for enriching all our lives through this magical Frenchie.