Magellan, We Wish You Were Here!

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A photo collage of Mellan from past Christmases
A photo collage of Mellan from past Christmases
Custom ornaments for Winnie and Mellan for Christmas
Custom ornaments for Winnie and Mellan for Christmas
A photo collage of Mellan from past Christmases
Custom ornaments for Winnie and Mellan for Christmas

Mellan was born on Christmas Eve, and if there was one birthday I got excited to celebrate, it was always his. It is hard to imagine a Christmas Eve that’ll go by in the future where it doesn’t end up being a day we reminisce about one of the greatest doggos to ever live. It’s almost a year since we lost him (January 12th, 2022 will mark one year, officially), and sometimes it’s heartbreaking to see just how easily life goes on without him. How could a dog so near and dear to my heart, so integral to my daily life, be gone and life just keeps going?

I don’t think there’s been a day where he hasn’t crossed my mind since we had to say goodbye. Some days are harder than others, sometimes I’ll go a week or two without tearing up (only remembering fondly), and other times, it feels like every thought of him causes at least a couple of tears to creep from my eyes. He was my first adult dog; the first dog that I was responsible for fully, from his daily care and needs to financially, and he saw me through dating, getting married, buying our first home, moving out of state, and so many moments of growing up and entering into adulthood.

He lives on in our hearts, and today, we’ll share our favorite memories of him, cry a little, and celebrate the 13 years we had with him. I had custom ornaments made for the year to mark Mellan’s passing and Winston’s first Christmas. Mellan is sitting in a bowl of spaghetti, because we used to call him by the nicknames “pasta” and “spaghetti” often enough that he came when we used them, and he has his signature bow-tie, spot on his year, and a crooked halo because he had a bit of a rebellious streak in him from time to time πŸ˜‚

We’ll hug Winston a little tighter today, and we’ll make sure that Winston has the best first Christmas a young pup could ask for, because I know Mellan would have wanted nothing less for his lil’ bro. πŸ’• Sending you all love and virtual hugs during the holiday season!


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Lily Kelley Avatar

Merry Christmas Christine to you and your family and a big hug for Winston.
I will never forget my first Lab, Sunny (1998-2011). I still miss him every day and tear up just thinking about him but then I look at Bandit and Rowdy and just want to hug them and be grateful for the love they bring to me.

Nancy T Avatar

He certainly was so very loved and a super special guy to you and your animal loving readers. I know that you know how very keenly I understand your pain and sense of enormous loss, as I lost my beloved Maine Coon Cat, Scunci exactly 2 months before you lost Mellan. Even though I have a new kitty, Penelope, not a day goes by that I don’t still miss him. And I also miss seeing Mellan on every FFHF’s, too. Two amazing boys we had. As I read your post, I could feel your still present hurt and pain. Hopefully, it will get better for the both of us. Sending hugs, my friend, on this difficult day. πŸ’ž

Nancy T Avatar

We are making progress, Penelope and I. The past 3 nights when she came up on my bed to be petted, she allowed me to pick her up and place her on my chest. Last night, she stayed for more than just a minute or two. I finally got to cuddle this once feral, parking lot dumpster kitten who was abandoned and definitely not socialized with humans. It’s been nearly a year with her living inside with me. She was allowing pets and chin scritching, but not holding. Baby steps, baby steps, I have to remind myself. No one will ever replace Scunci, ever. But her love is perhaps even more special in a sense, because I had to work hard to earn it. πŸ’œ

Christine Avatar

I’m so glad things are showing continual improvement, Nancy! Penelope is lucky to have such a patient pet parent!

They’re always unique, and we love them deeply, but there can definitely be ones that we bond with a little more, a little deeper. A friend of mine had a dog that went through a lot with her, and she did not think she’d have a deeper bond with another dog, but she ended up actually having an even deeper bond with the next one!

Stephanie Guerrero Avatar

Christine, you are the best pet owner for Mellan and Winnie! I know this is especially hard on you. I have tears in my eyes as I write this. We all know how much you loved your boy. He truly was special and Winnie is too but in a different way. Thank you for continuing to share Mellan and Winnie with us.

Wednesday Avatar

Merry Christmas to you and your family, Christine. I am still gutted by the loss of my 14 year old mini dachshund, Digger.. to the point I almost brought home a pup in time for Christmas this year. That was my heart and definitely not my head and after some contemplation (and bad weather which prevented me from making the trip to the breeder), I decided it was not the time for me. My grief is still that strong years later. I love my corgi boys with all my heart, but animals, like people, some are EVERYTHING. Merry Christmas, Winston. We all fondly look back at Mellan… and appreciate what he brought to Temptalia. Xoxo

Kayla Avatar

I relate so much to this myself. I had to unfortunately put my cat Sephora to sleep back in May due to a sudden tumor/cancer diagnosis. I cherished all 9.5 years I got to spend with her, she too, saw me through a lot of life events in my adulthood. There will never be another like them! Now I get to make my kitten’s first Christmas special. Take care of yourself during this time and Happy Holidays to you and your family!

Christine Avatar

Mellan passed for the same reason – internal bleeding from multiple masses that had spread πŸ™ No warning at all, and he had liver issues, so he had had an ultrasound six months or so prior, too.

Enjoy your kitten’s first Christmas! That is what I focused on yesterday and will do today, too.

janine Avatar

Sigh life does go on weirdly I’ve often thought that after losing my Mama, Mom and dad. And of course I lost my dear Scout a month after you lost Mellan. Hopefully you all will have fun with Winston. merry Xmas!! Nice collage. Love the one of you and him together.

Angelcat47 Avatar

I remember when you got Mellan. I had no idea he had passed. I’m so sorry. I lost my kitty Angel to leukemia a year ago in October. She was 15 years old and was such a special girl.

ShariP Avatar

Christine, my heart is sad for you and your family. Pets are such a beautiful blessing to our lives and it can be crushing to lose one. We lost our Maine Coon, Cali, three years ago and not a day goes by without thinking of her. Its truly bittersweet. She was 24 years old, but up until her last year, acted as if she were still a kitten. We will always miss her just as you will Mellan. I hope Winston fills your hearts with as much joy as his big brother. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Christine Avatar

24 years old! Wow! Hubby reminds me that Mellan was that way, too; though he had plenty of health issues, so hard to say he was HEALTHY! (lol), but he was a happy, playful pup until the morning he passed (really came out of nowhere for us). I’m glad Cali didn’t have much time where she wasn’t feeling her best.

Love Winston, but it’s definitely different, and a high-level, I’m curious how my relationship with him will evolve over time. Hopefully, Winnie and I have many, many years to get even closer πŸ™‚

Christine Avatar

Pets make life better, for sure!

I remember my childhood dog, which was “mine,” but he loathed me and was very bonded with my parents. I think part of why I fell so hard and fast for Mellan was he loved me from the start. As an adult, though, I definitely know that part of relationship building was I took care of Mellan and all his needs, unlike my childhood dog, where my dad did the feeding and walking, lol!

Alison Avatar

Pets teach us about true love because we know they have a finite amount of time with us. They know it too, so they never hold back and give us everything.

Helene Avatar

Mellan was such a special dog. He brought joy to all your readers and we followed his health issues, keeping fingers crossed for him, and for you. He did get 13 wonderful years thanks to his humans who took the best care of him, and loved him so very much.
I think he would have loved his little brother a lot. Winston now has the best people who will care for him and love him even though they miss the brother Winston never met, but in some ways know from the lingering scent.
I lost my lovely Miniature Schnauzer Maserati in May after gallbladder surgery on the last of April, he was 4 years and 7 months. I will miss him forever, even though we have his older brother, Stubbs the Schnauzer, who also had his gallbladder removed this year. What are the chances? They didn’t eat the same food, just drank the same water, We were so scared when Stubbs was at the hospital. Now he eats a lot of medication due to IBD and hepatitis.
Stubbs is the first dog I bought, even though I grew up with dogs and I love him so very much, but it doesn’t make the hurt for Maserati go away.
This year has been so bad, I certainly hope the next will be better.
Without talking more about grief I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

NC Avatar

This post made me cry. I cannot think of the day when I have to say bye to my boy 😭 I never had a dog before and actually wasn’t too keen on the idea when my daughter and her dad kept pushing for one. I finally caved and three years ago, our boy came into our lives and at age 42, I became the human to my first dog ever. And how did I even live before?!? He is my world and words cannot describe how much I love him. I love your posts about Magellan and the beautiful photos you post of him. Definitely one of the best dogs to have ever lived. β™₯️β™₯️β™₯️

Lisa A Phillips Avatar

I feel your pain. Every dog owner has 1 that is their heart dog. One that you love differently than the others. Magellan was yours. Jessie was mine. We adopted from a rescue (bonded twins) shortly after her death. But her dog angel statue in our yard marks her presence in our lives.

Hollie Avatar

I lost my heart kitty this year, Alfie. Like your sweet Mellan, he saw me through my journey to adulthood.

I just want to say thank you for saying this, for putting into words what my own heart has been struggling with – “sometimes it’s heartbreaking to see just how easily life goes on without him”.

I hate that you are here in this grief space with me, but it is very comforting to feel as if I’m not alone here at the same time. SO MUCH LOVE to you!!

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