Swallowed by Mud – The Muki Series


Last night I dreamed that I was taking Muki for a walk to get her out and try to socialize her with other dogs. We were on a sunny country road with abounding fields of green, similar to a road that Wade and I had biked on up at Lincoln Creek last summer.

Muki would run far ahead of me and come running back to check on me with her ears flopping behind her in the wind.

Suddenly she disappeared and I began to worry that I had stupidly given her too much freedom and should have had her on a leash. What would the kids say if I lost her? Suddenly my feet began to slip and slide. I looked down and the road had turned to sheer mud mixed with wet cow paddies. Knowing I was going down I looked embarrassingly at the other walkers out in the fields. How could I have gotten into this mess?

I fell belly down into the mucky depths and began to sink. Where was Muki? I realized that this could be it for me and my boys would never know that their mother had gotten swallowed by a mud puddle.

As my head began to go under, Muki appeared in front of me. I grabbed hold of her collar and she pulled me out with her puppy strength.

When we dried off and headed back for home I saw that all the other walkers had taken a well-trodden path through the muck that I had not noticed before. I laughed at how I could have missed such an obvious trail that would have saved me from nearly dying.

Today, we get Muki a choke collar and teach her to not growl and lunge after other dogs. If we can train Muki to not be so afraid than she will be a wonderful addition to our lives.

I am afraid to think of what we will be raising if we fail.IMG_4211IMG_4213IMG_4224

13 thoughts on “Swallowed by Mud – The Muki Series

  1. Hi Jillian! Get hooked up with videos/books by Cesar Milan, the Dog Whisperer quick! Consistency is all that matters in training. She may be getting too many mixed signals from all the boys and you. It’s the whole family that has to be trained, the dog really WILL follow suit when she really knows what is expected of her. Plus they (dogs) mirror your anxiety – they pick up on your
    “unsureness” and go nuts from it. Stay calm! (I know, easier said than done!)
    Hugs – and good luck!


    1. My dearest SuZen,

      Cesar I guess is the G-d of training dogs. I have the video coming in from Netflix.

      Yes, consistency, I am noticing, is huge. I read your comment before I took a walk and it was amazing how much better everything went because I really tried to remain calm.


  2. Hi Jillian,
    Please do yourself, your family and Muki a favor by hiring a dog trainer. Laura Van Dyne in Carbondale is excellent.(963-3745)
    You say Muki will end up “just as untrained as the boys…crazy and uncontrollable…”. Well, crazy uncontrolled boys are one thing, but an uncontrollable dog can be downright dangerous to you and to the dog!
    Remember dogs, like children need CONSISTENCY, DISCIPLINE, BOUNDARIES and they really benefit from a SCHEDULE.
    Please get some help.


    1. Hello Monica,

      I appreciate your concern and I couldn’t agree more about children and dogs needing consistency, discipline, boundaries and a schedule.

      Please know that I was half joking about my boys being crazy and uncontrollable. Actually, I take raising my children very seriously and it has always, always, been my number one priority and just as I studied every book known to man, watched every documentary and went to many a parenting class in regards to raising boys, so am I working every second of my day and into the night on loving and socializing Muki. We have made extreme progress, just ask anyone on Smuggler! I have an entirely new set of friends out there witnessing my devotion to the cause and cheering me on with each successful leap.

      Laura Van Dyne has been mentioned to me several times and I intend on giving her a call. We do not have the budget to send our puppy to a dog psychologist or to a dog whisperer but please know that we fully understand the repercussions of having an untrained dog and are not taking this issue lightly by any means.


  3. Oh Jillian, of course you will not fail! You appear to be a woman with a loving, close, secure, tight-knit family. Muki will no doubt also be loving and secure in time. She will mirror her pack. Your last line begins “I am afraid…” You are afraid because you CARE and you LOVE and because you want things to be right. Those people that are walking the dry path, with their perfect dogs and perfect children…they do not exist. We are all “imperfect birds,” to paraphrase Rumi, via Anne Lamott. Muki will be ok. You won’t have to send her back to Russia. You will be ok.
    With love from a fellow imperfect bird, who sometimes also wanders off into the mud:

    Lauren T.


    1. Hello Lauren,

      I can’t thank you enough for your incredibly heartfelt and warm response to my post. You truly give me the optimism I need to keep plugging away at helping Muki to feel loved and at ease. It is so amazing to work with an animal and I am discovering an entirely new world of understanding which can most definitely be applied toward my children. She really just wants to protect me and I am showing her that all is okay and there is no need to feel nervous.

      Our efforts are completely being rewarded.

      I loved, loved your comment about those people walking the dry path and the expression, “imperfect bird.” What fun would life be if we stayed in the safety zone!


  4. Muki is adorable and the pictures are great! I have no doubt that Muki will contribute much material to writing inspiration! He, you and the boys are going to be fine. You are already asking the right questions…seeking the right answers and you are obviously driven by love. That will never fail you. I look forward to reading more about the adventures of Muki!
    .-= Meagan´s last blog ..Volunteer to be Involuntary =-.


    1. Hi Peryl,

      Are you sure that I am in love with this dog? I could still send her back tomorrow…okay, your right, maybe I am. She is sooo sweet and how could I deny her faithful love for me?

      I am thinking of you with your grandmother, you are so lucky that you have had her for so long. I wish my grandmother was still alive. I only knew her for five years.


  5. During the dream, I am surprised you were not trying to pull gum out of your mouth…just for added anxiety!!!!!
    Your dream seems to prove that despite all the worry and stress, that you made the right decision in getting a dog. Animals are the best ever and sooo good for the children (thats why my house hold resembles a small petting zoo)
    Muki is so very adorable!
    As usual, I love your pictures


    1. Hi Mouse,

      Are we the only ones who have that gum dream?

      I am not sure that I made the right decision to get a puppy right when my career as a travel writer seems to be taking off. Why do I do things like that? Work so hard and then throw a wrench into the plan?

      Animals are good for the children but she still only wants me when I’m around and the kids are not too happy with that.


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