Kate and I adopted Miss Magoo in January 2005 from Operation Kindness. She was a year old and had already been surrendered 3 times as “too loco”. She earned permanent pack-member status within a week by finding and killing a rat that had been residing in our shed for nearly a year. There was never a doubt Miss Magoo was a Jack Russell: She was smart, self-assured, determined and tireless. Aside from thunder and fireworks, she was fearless. While we loved these traits, we knew that meant she would likely never reach old age.
She did not wag her tail, instead it vibrated. Her play was not for fun, it was her mission. Constantly on patrol for varmints or even just the random flash of reflected light from a butter knife, or a passing car’s window. When asked how many dogs we had, we would always say that Miss Magoo really counted as two dogs. She helped several of our foster dogs overcome emotional problems and gain confidence; Miss Magoo was their Drill Sergent. Her canine communication style was clear and concise; she was an expert politician.
Miss Magoo was an escape artist and would exploit every opportunity that presented itself. It was she who taught us to put our cell phone numbers on all our dogs’ tags. And we were called on many occasions: from neighbors who found her swimming in their pool, to grocery store managers who had lured her from exploring the store aisles into the business office. This trait would prove to be her undoing. Recently, one of our foster dogs had scratched at the soil near our fence. While the foster quickly lost interest, Miss Magoo began working on the spot. We repeatedly filled and blocked the spot. But she persisted for days, even chewing away wood at the bottom. Miss Magoo managed to gain freedom Sunday evening while we were out for a couple hours.
Upon our return, an Animal Control Officer was in front of our house, and was calling my cell phone. The officer said she had been hit by a car shortly before and needed emergency medical attention. Miss Magoo was conscious and standing, with one leg raised because it was broken. However, she had massive head injuries: blown eye, half of her face torn open & lots of blood. Any further description would be too sickening to describe or read. We immediately went to North Texas Emergency Pet Clinic, 5 miles away. Kate drove like she was in NASCAR as I held Miss Magoo who was panting heavily and very stressed. But she remained alert the whole time. I am glad she was able to spend those few minutes with me; I think it gave her some comfort and familiarity from the ordeal she had just endured. Within a minute of arrival at the animal ER, the staff had her on heavy IV pain meds and the Veterinarian did his preliminary exam. While he did not know for certain if there was any brain or skull damage, it was clear that the amount of tissue and nerve damage was severe. Any recovery of those wounds alone would be long and full of complications and never complete. While Miss Magoo may have had the spirit to fight on, we knew her patience and happiness would not have endured. Furthermore, the possibility of fatal complications weeks or months later was significant. We felt it best to spare her that suffering. She was euthanized peacefully a few minutes later. Her remains were handled by Toothacres in Carrollton.
Her absence is deafening, as she was a powerful force in our household. We will always remember the “Jack Russell Terror” as a member of our pack.
We miss you Miss Magoo!