July 10, 2010

RIP Beloved Canine Camper

In Memory of “Mama” Mia Brant Cochran 

Mia was born on April 29, 1999 in Austin, TX. She was the daughter of two red haired, red nose American Pit Bull Terriers who were not papered but rumored to be of the “Gator Red” blood line. She was affectionately known to family and friends by “Mama”, “Piggy Fat Fat”, “Fats”, “Baby Girl”, and other variations of these names.

Mia became a part of the family at 6 weeks old when she was taken home to meet her betrothed, Shalamar. The two were instant buddies with Shalamar teaching her everything he knew.

In Mia’s early years she was rambunctious and strong-spirited. She loved tug-and-pull games that allowed her to show off her strength and conviction. Under supervision, she was a good loving little girl. But left to her own devises, she left destruction in her path. Some of her most noteworthy accomplishments include, destroying a couch, a mattress, another portion of a sectional couch, carpet, and countless pairs of shoes. It is estimated that over $2,000 in apartment deposits and pet deposits were lost during her rambunctious years.

In the winter of 2001, Mia birthed a litter of 13 puppies with Shalamar as the Sire. One was dead on delivery and another passed away within a few days. However, eleven survived to find homes of their own, many with family friends. Mia proved to be a natural mother during these few months, earning the lasting moniker “Mama Mia”. Shortly after the puppies were weened, Mia was spayed. Between motherhood and being fixed, Mia’s rambunctious years were behind her.

Through her last moment of breath, Mama Mia continued to be strong-spirited (some may say stubborn). Mia broke out of or destroyed every crate, cage or dog run she was ever confined to. This little lady refused to be locked up. Eventually, with age and being past her wild destructive years, Mia was left to roam the home at will.

After the untimely departure of Shalamar and Petey, Mia was left alone and very lonely. Usually a hearty eater, she barely nibbled at her food for weeks. It was clear that Mia needed a buddy. Shortly therefore, Bronte joined the family at 10 weeks of age. Mama Mia was in her element again helping to raise this young pup to a big strong man. Bronte and Mia would end up spending the next 6 years together as friends and life-companions.

In her more mature years, she was a true couch potato. When a person vacated a spot on the couch no matter how short-term, she was known for immediately taking their spot. Upon return, Mia would merely look up at the person as if to say “finders keepers” and lay her head back down making no attempt to give the spot back. The truth is we were all just guests in HER home.

Mia had suffered intermittently from seizures during the later half of her years. Her previous doctor was not successful in diagnosing the problem. On November 24, 2007, Mia suffered 9 or possibly more seizures back-to-back which resulted in a visit to the Emergency Animal Clinic. It was shortly after this episode that Mia’s new Vet, Dr. Jan Dewitt, diagnosed her with epilepsy. She was prescribed a medication, Phenobarbitol, to be taken twice a day to help control the seizures. For over two years, Mia’s seizures were generally controlled with a few mild episodes every once in a while.

On Monday June 28th, Mia and Bronte enjoyed a mid-morning trip to the park. Mia had the energy of a pup with a jolly gait and spring in her step. This was her last visit to the park, and the last time she would prance with that happy gait.

At approximately 3:45 am on June 29, 2010, Mia woke up from sleep for the last time. This was the first of nearly 30 seizures, to occur over the next 12 hours. There were 3 visits to the vet, numerous phone calls, and attempts of many varieties to improve her condition. By early afternoon, she was non responsive to medication, and Mia’s body and mind had given up (though her spirit kept trying). Seizures were rolling over her ever few minutes – just as one ended another began. The only thing to do was put her out of her misery. So on the forth visit of the day to the Vet, Mia’s wild and spirited life journey came to a close shortly after 3:00 in the afternoon.

Mia’s hobbies included: playing with balls, playing tug-of-war, chasing cats and possums, going for walks around the lake/park, camping  (of course), licking people with her sloppy kisses, getting into trash, eating, riding in the car, and sleeping.

She is survived by Bronte, her 6 year old life companion, her parents Joe & Kristi Cochran, and numerous caring friends and family.