Muffy Perhay who passed away September 4 left a history of being a caring, loving, entertaining canine who touched many lives. She had acquired a range of honorary titles including ‘Miss Social’, ‘Nurse Muffy’, and ‘Mom’.
There were many facets to the ‘Miss Social’ title. She loved being with people whether that was with her extended family on outings or bringing a little joy to the residents of nursing home where her 'grandparents' were residing. More than once she 'hitched' a ride on a wheelchair with her tail wagging and the resident smiling.
Muffy was also the coordinator for 15 annual parties over the years. Responsibilities included writing the party invitations and greeting each of the 25-35 guests as they arrived. This year, with failing sight and hearing, she turned the invitation task over to her 'sister' Gracie but Muffy still greeted each and every guest.
Visits to Grandma Pauline were always high on Muffy's favaorite visits - a nice soup bone always seemed to appear just before she left for home. And on Grandma's table in the livingroom were pictures of all the grandkids - and right in the middle was her picture.
Among her greatest joys were the biweekly visits to her other ‘grandparents’ Tony and Gladys at a nursing home. As soon as she detected that there might be a visit in the making, she would start sniffing the drawer that contained all her scarves that she had received from Lynda, her lifelong groomer. When a scarf was selected, she would position herself on John or Denise’s lap so the scarf could be quickly put on and then she was ready to head to the car.
Her favorite task when arriving at the nursing home was to get a fresh can of ‘snuff’ to deliver Grandpa. John would give her the can in the parking lot which she would carry in her mouth with tail wagging and a prance through the lobby - a quick stop at the nurse's station to greet the nurses - and then on to Grandpa and Grandma’s room. There she would jump up on Grandpa’s bed, walk up his chest and stop with the can of snuff right in front of his nose. The only reward needed was a ‘thank you’ pat on the head and a verbal greeting.
Muffy was very aware of when the family was sad or was ailing. That immediately brought the ‘Nurse Muffy’ into action. As her ‘grandparents’ slowly left us, there was no way that she would not be part of a grieving process for each one. She would make sure she was a physically close to those in pain and would NOT accept a ‘brush off’. When John returned home after his stroke, she would not let him out of her sight. As he slowly started to walk with his four legged cane, she would be exactly one step behind him in case he needed help. When he would lie down for a rest, she would make a quick check of his paralyzed arm and if it was cold, she would lie on it and use her body heat to attempt to warm it.
When her ‘little sister’ arrived, she wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. At first she stayed clear of the rambunctious little fur ball. It didn’t take long before the ‘Mom Muffy’ instinct came out. When the puppy would start doing something that was not in line with behaving properly in the home, she would show her concern - sometimes with a little nip - and the puppy ‘usually shaped-up'. Muffy would many times take little pieces of dog food out of the dog dish and lay it on the floor for puppy Gracie to eat.
In the tradition of caring for others, Gracie returned the favor as Muffy slowly lost her sight and hearing in recent months. When going outside ‘to do their thing’, Gracie would wait on the stoop watching everything going on in the vicinity until Muffy was safely returning to the steps and then Gracie would leave to do her task.
There is no question that right now, Muffy is reuniting with the many people that she brought a little joy into their lives. She’s going to be ‘one very busy little puppy’!