In Memory of Smeagol
Smeagol was one of the NC10, a group of Frenchies rescued with many other dogs, from the kind of horrific circumstances you think of when you think of a puppy mill. When the officers went through the property it was only by luck that they found Smeagol in a far, muddy corner, all by himself. Smeagol was adopted by a wonderful volunteer, and we have been so fortunate to get regular reports and updates on his recovery and activities. He's been a favorite subject of blog posts. When he came to us in 2005, we had no idea he could have lived another 6 years or more. He was FBRN's unofficial mascot, and he brought us all hope and inspired us to work toward a day when there are no more puppy mills. His mom wrote this memorial for us. He will be deeply missed.
"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 scarred 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 that 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 somewhere (his unique form of pay back). He learned the joys of wallering on his back, whether 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 throughout 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!
Maw, Paw, Starr, Willow and QBert"