My name is Motek Shallee. It means “my sweetie” in Hebrew. I am a 14-pound Imperial Pekingese. What distinguishes me as an Imperial, is because I am white. Most my breed are brown. I passed away on Friday, January 25, 2019. I was 12 ½ years old. I lived a great life. I loved my mom and I loved my life with a few exceptions, which I will share with you. I know I will be missed.
This is my story:
I was not yet two months old when she found me in a puppy mill. She didn’t know what a puppy mill was. I learned after she took me home that she had seen a sign that read, “PUPPIES FOR SALE”. She impulsively came into the store where I had been waiting to be sold. I say sold as opposed to adopted, because we were all puppies of different breeds for sale. We were all pure breeds and very expensive.
I wasn’t the one she chose. She didn’t see me. I was not shown to her. It was no fault of hers as she had no idea what kind of dog she was looking for. When asked, she simply replied. “A white, small dog.”
“Do you want a male or female?’ the salesman asked.
“Female” she was quick to respond.
The salesman went into the back room where I was asleep in my crate, but was not selected as I was a male and she expressively said she wanted a female. I was used to being rejected. Most ladies who came into the store wanted a female. I never understood why. The reason will be revealed later.
The salesman chose a white Maltese. She was cute, very fluffy and full of puppy energy. I had a crush on her myself, even though I was very young.
After some time had passed she left and the fluffy little Maltese was brought back to her crate. I didn’t know for sure if she had been selected because they wouldn’t let any of us leave until we had been checked by some doctor. That took time. I don’t know how long as I don’t really know much about time.
When she returned to pick up her puppy, she came with her daughter, Monica. I didn’t know it was her daughter or her name until I heard them having a conversation. They brought out the Maltese puppy but for some strange reason that I never knew, the salesman brought her back and brought me out. I was placed in Monica’s palm and there was an immediate bond. My future mother had to go to the bathroom, so Monica was the first to hold me. I loved her smell, her touch and her eyes. She kissed me and I nuzzled against her chest. I began to play with her necklace and she kissed me many times on my head. I knew she loved me and I was hopeful that she would take me home to live with her. Monica had a Pekingese when she was a teenager and the moment she laid her eyes on me, I knew it was love at first sight for both of us.
Just then her mother came into the store. She looked at us and made a decision that she would buy me and take me home to live with her. I was a little confused, but she seemed nice enough, warm and loving, so I was grateful to get out of there even though I knew I had to wait until I was allowed to leave.
Both mother and Monica made a big fuss over me. They said I was the most adorable puppy they had ever seen, even though I was a male. My looks and charm made her change her mind. I was grateful that I had won her over with the help of Monica, who promised to be my “other mother.” I was to learn that my mother worked many hours and often needed support to walk me as being a male required many pee stops, many times a day and she wasn’t always available. Monica became my main dog sitter, but after a while, due to Monica’s work, there were others who pitched in to walk me. Everyone was nice and friendly. I had many walks a day as a puppy. I slept a lot, was given a lot of attention and waited eagerly to see my mom come home each evening. We cuddled, played and she fed me two times a day. She bought me lots of toys and I had a bed in every room in the house, even though I always slept with her. I was very obedient, so she was able to teach me tricks, which I loved to do. It always made her happy. I loved to please her because she always gave me a treat when I complied.
I was never a good eater, but when she mixed some of her own food into mine, I gobbled it up. Unfortunately for me, I had many allergies from the get-go. As human food caused me to develop bumps all over my body, she stopped feeding it to me. Although she would occasionally give me treats. She gave me dog biscuits. They were my most favorite treat. I always looked forward to those treats. I know she gave me more than I should have had, but she spoiled me with everything. I was her little man and she served me as a Prince. I was the happiest any puppy could be, even though I scratched too much due to my skin allergies. She was always trying to heal my bumps, but no matter what she did and no matter who she took me to, they never really went away. I had to learn to live with them, though she never gave up trying. She bathed me, coated me with some stuff that was supposed to help and over the years and tried many methods without any results. Nothing seemed to work; not even the amber Listerine or Nu-Stock, a stinky sulfur cream that different dog owners had suggested.
Life was good as I grew into my adult self. I was a kind and gentle dog. I never barked except when someone would come to the door. As we both aged, we grew closer and more dependent on each other. I guess she was lonely, and I served a purpose to fill up her void. I did a good job, but every once in a while, some man would come into our lives and share my position. I never minded because they were all nice to me. They would play with me when they visited us.
Her last beau was Italian. His name was Michael. He would call me a “stunad”, which meant stupid in Italian. Mom would get mad at him for insulting me. I was going downhill rapidly by the time he came into her life and my mom wanted me to have more compassion and understanding. I didn’t know what it meant and neither did she, but when she learned, she was not happy. To be honest, I didn’t care because I lost most of my hearing and felt that Michael loved me in spite of my failing health. He would always give me treats.
When I was six years old, I jumped off the bed and hurt myself. I couldn’t tell my mom because I didn’t know what to say, so instead I began yelping. She knew something was wrong. I started hiding so she couldn’t find me and continued to yelp. She took me to a guy named Dr. Sessa who knew immediately that I was having issues in my neck. After he pushed on my neck and I yelped a few times he suspected r I had a ruptured disc and urged her to go to a specialist that could fix it. I didn’t understand what he was saying but I felt this was very serious. I was hurting and scared. I didn’t know what was wrong with me, but I didn’t like it and wanted it to stop. Monica drove furiously for a very long time while my mom held me on her lap. I was taken to a new place I had never seen before. A young girl came out and said she was the doctor. She looked too young to be a doctor. Actually, she was a neuro-surgeon. She also poked and prodded me and then put me in a crate where I was to spend the night. I was not happy. I was scared and in a lot of pain. It was the day before Christmas. I knew this because I heard them talking. I didn’t know what Christmas was, but it sounded like it might be important. I stayed in a crate overnight and was put through some machine the next day that was supposed to tell the doctor what to do. They poked me with a sharp pin that put me asleep and when I awoke, I was put back in the crate. I was very sad. They gave me stuff to take and tried to make me eat. I only wanted to go home to be with my mom. I cried, but I’m not sure if they knew it… We whimper, wine and sometimes scream. I know I wasn’t a good patient because they had to come in many times all night to see why I was crying. I was so happy when the day came that my mom and Monica came to save me. What I didn’t know was that it was the doctor who had saved me, and they were just bringing me home. They were as happy to see me as I was to see them.
Life was good again. Although I continued to scratch and feel some discomfort, I gained back my strength but was never allowed to sleep with my mom again. I didn’t understand why things had changed and there was nothing I could do. I slept by the side of her bed, never leaving her side until she awoke and took me out for my morning walk. I wasn’t an easy walker either. I loved to sniff everything that grew along the walk. I stopped and sniffed until I found the exact blade of grass or leaf that I wanted to mark. It was then that I figured out why my mom wanted a female. I was a stubborn little guy. I loved taking my time, sniffing and lifting my leg according to my needs; not hers. She often became inpatient with me, but in the end, I always had it my way.
There was a time when I was about three years old when my mom had to go away. I didn’t know she had to go to the hospital because I couldn’t understand. I had little knowledge of these things. When she came home, I knew something was not right. I never left her side. When she recovered, everything was as it had been before. I knew she needed my support. I was happy to take care of her the way she had taken care of me when I was sick. I would have done it anyway, even if she hadn’t taken care of me. It was my job. It was what I did, and I loved her.
Years went by and soon after I turned nine years old, she brought home a puppy—a girl! Her name was Minnie. I was so mad, I wouldn’t look at her or Minnie for six months. I had been an only child and resented another dog entering my domain. I turned my back on both of them, refusing to acknowledge either of them. I think my mom thought I would get over it, but I never did. I finally learned to accept Minnie, but hardly played with her. It gets worse. Some big cat decided to hang out in our courtyard. I didn’t like cats and this one was a nuisance. He meowed constantly, demanding to come in to our house. My mom did her best to deny him entry. She looked for his owner and several of our neighbors helped her, but nobody claimed him. After a few weeks living outside, Monica came over and had some cat food. She fed him and that was the end of his living outside. My mom caved and brought him inside where he assumed the position of king of the house. I had always been called a Prince, but now this feline monster with seven toes on each paw invaded my territory and I wanted to run away. Minnie, on the other hand, fell in love with him. They were instant playmates. My mom named him Hemmingway. So now I had two uninvited guests I didn’t want in my domain. I resented them for making me feel as if I no longer mattered. I had a snit, not exactly a temper tantrum, but decided to ignore both of them. I was jealous! How could she do this to me?
Hemmingway required stuff that my mom knew little about. She was not happy about a litter box. However, a neighbor, Adele, a cat lover, kept finding ways to help her adjust to caring for the cat. Adele annoyed me too. I didn’t want my mom to have any help that would mean Hemmingway would be permanent. This was not just a cat. He looked like one of those big cats that I have seen on television my mom watched. He meowed only when he was hungry. I thought when he began scratching the furniture, she would surely toss him out. I thought he was very impatient and lacked any manners. My mom would scurry around the kitchen to serve his Majesty. She jumped to his every meow. Worst of all, he would sneak into the bedroom at night and jump up on the bed where I used to sleep and rest his big fat body on hers. That was very difficult for me to take. It gets worse. Minnie, the new puppy who came before Hemmingway got to sleep with her too. I was delegated to the floor. Minnie was a whiner, so my mom coddled her to keep her quiet.
We all managed with some mitigating circumstances. Mom found it difficult to take care of three very demanding animals. She made the decision that since Hemmingway was the last to arrive, he would be the one to go. Boy, was I happy! It didn’t take too long to find a good home. Anne (pronounced Ana), the neighbor down the street had a cat and took him as a companion for Bugsy. It was a life changer for me. If I knew how to pray for anything, that would have been my prayer.
I loved to walk, meet and greet all my neighbors and their dogs who became my extended family. Ashley, a 13-year old girl became my steady walker. I always looked forward to our walks together. She was very patient with me as I stopped and stayed at one place at a time for as long as I liked. Thank you Ashley for being so kind and loving to me. I will miss our walks. I hope they provide me with someone just like you up here in heaven.
I continued to have some minor health issues that included the bumps on my skin that were so difficult to control. My mom took me to different dermatologists to control the infections which were the result of the scratching. One doc prescribed a medicine that I had to take frozen. Mom wrapped it in roast beef so I wouldn’t mind the taste. I took it for a long time, and it affected my immune system and I developed pneumonia. That was awful. I had to be hospitalized and taken off those meds. My mom took me every month for an injection to prevent the infections for reoccurring, but that didn’t do any good either. I was a mess. I felt bad because I knew my mom was doing everything possible to take care of me, but I was not responding the way she hoped I would. There was the hole in my eye that I had due to looking for the perfect pee spot. It turned out to be a plant with thorns that poked my eye. Mom took me to the ophthalmologist, and I had to be on eye drops for the rest of my life. I wasn’t an easy dog to handle. I must have been expensive to maintain because she often referred to me as her “million-dollar dog.”
Four years after the first operation on my neck, I had another ruptured disc. It was back to the hospital with a different doctor, and they put me in a crate for 3 months; one month in the hospital and another 2 months at home. They said I had to have complete rest in order to avoid surgery again. I was miserable, but it worked. Once again, Adele my neighbor, saved my ass. She brought over a giant crate and put it in my mom’s bedroom, near her bed so I wouldn’t be lonely. She came over often to check on me while my mom had to work and made me feel that I mattered. Thanks, Adele for being such a great friend to my mom and me. I hope I have a neighbor just like you in heaven. I am sure gonna miss you.
In January 2018 I suffered from congestive heart failure, my final blow. I almost died, but my mother and Monica rushed me to the hospital to save my life, once more. The doctors put me in a big tent filled with oxygen, so I could breathe. It terrified me. Somehow I knew they were doing their best to keep me alive. I didn’t think I was going to make it, but with their help and my mom’s support I lived another year. I had to take pills that made me pee often, so my mom had to put me in diapers. That was so embarrassing. Imagine a dog like me in diapers! I came to understand that she could not continue to have me peeing all over the house. I forgave her.
One year almost to the day, I had what the doctors told my mom would most likely happen. I had a second occurrence of congestive heart failure. Mom and Monica had already decided that if it was to happen again, there would be no resuscitation this time. They did not want me to suffer. Although Mom gave me the medicine twice a day, every day, I guess my body was getting old and not cooperating with the treatment. The doctors warned her that I would become resistant to the meds.
To sum things up, I had some serious issues. There were the chronic skin lesions, the hole in my left eye that impaired my vision, a few cervical ruptured discs, pneumonia, a heart murmur and incontinence caused by the meds from my first battle with congestive heart failure. Towards the end of my life, I began screaming for no reason. This really upset my mom. She didn’t understand why I developed such an odd behavior. I guess in addition to all my other ailments, I now had a serious case of anxiety, depression and the onset of dementia. I was very scared and knew it would not be long before I would leave the woman I grew to love more than any dog or human can ever imagine and the home I grew old in. I didn’t know I had all this because dogs are not capable of understanding human words. We learn a few commands and recognize a couple of words, but nothing as complicated as these. When you are here, in heaven you learn a lot and now I appreciate what my mom had to go through to keep me healthy and happy. I just wish she hadn’t brought Minnie and Hemmingway to live with us. However, now I am happy she did because she has Minnie to keep her company and give her the love she deserves that I can no longer provide. It’s comforting to know she won’t be alone. Anyway, I will do my best to look after her up here in doggie heaven and when it’s her time to pass, I will be with her as she was with me.
Well, I want all readers to know my side of the story. I am sure, knowing my mom, she will write her own version. There will come a day when Hemmingway, Minnie and my Mom will join me when they cross over the Rainbow Bridge into the Kingdom of Heaven. I along with her daughter, Pam, her Mom and Dad and her friends and the generations before her, will greet them with the same loving energy I felt as I entered the gates of heaven. We will always be together.
I hope my mom knows that I will always be in her heart. She was a devoted mother and told many people that she was a better mother to me than to her five children. She was much younger when she had her children and didn’t know what she later learned as she matured. I think they forgave her as they grew into adulthood.
My life as a dog was the best that any dog could ever have. I know that even though she is mourning now, the day will come that her grief will morph into gratitude for the 12 ½ years we shared together. I love you mom. You will always be in my heart too. You are my bashert, (Hebrew word for soul mate) and I am yours….. forever.