She crept down their old rickety stairs. She could hear their children’s steady breaths as they slept soundly. Glenn had a rough day, so she didn’t want to wake him. Who was knocking?
“Is someone there?” She called. Her heartbeat pounded as she opened the door. Suddenly, she screamed. Glenn raced down the stairs. His eyes widened.
Where most men wanted fast cars, late nights, and whirlwind romances, Glenn Maloney wanted a stable loving family. He was lucky enough to meet Viola Tiszl, the partner of his dreams.
Never had he found anyone like her before—smart, funny, and beautiful. He never understood why she chose him. He knew that she was the woman for him. But things moved faster than they had planned.
Glenn knew he would eventually settle down with Viola. Never in his life had he met someone who accepted everything he was and everything he wanted to be. He knew that one day when the time was right, he would propose.
He swore to himself that he would give her the life she dreamed of. However, before he got the chance, they were in for a big surprise.
When Viola told Glenn that she was pregnant, he was filled with joy. But when the initial happy surprise wore off, worry settled in. He always wanted a family but things weren’t meant to move this quickly. Marriage, house, dog, then baby, that was his plan.
But they skipped everything on his list! And as time went on, he couldn’t shake the feeling of doubt.
Glenn’s daughter Megan, was born with a full head of hair. She was a healthy and happy child. Her happiness rubbed off on both her parents. Never had Glenn felt so much love for a human being. He finally understood the meaning of unconditional love.
But somewhere deep down, he felt that there was still something missing.
Glenn now had a beautiful partner and a healthy child. He should have felt fulfilled, but he didn’t. And he didn’t know why until his wife Viola pointed it out.
He managed to work hard enough to buy his family a farmhouse on the outskirts of town with plenty of land for Megan to eventually run around. And when her first Christmas arrived, Viola gave him a gift he never expected.
Glenn told Viola he didn’t want anything for Christmas. All he wanted was to see his little girl open her presents. But Viola knew him better than he knew himself.
So, when he found a big box with his name on it, he was surprised. He unwrapped the cardboard box to find two big eyes staring at him. His heart stopped. What was it?
The Russell terrier was smaller than Megan that Christmas. Glenn teared up, he didn’t realize how bad he wanted a dog. He named him Mugsy and watched him grow with his little girl. Glenn finally understood what was missing from his life; a man’s best friend.
Now, he felt like he had the perfect family. But he forgot how hard raising a family can be.
Over the next four years, Mugsy grew up with Megan. But it wasn’t an easy ride. There were terrible twos for starters – both from his daughter and his dog. There were toys and responsibilities everywhere.
But to come home from work to an endearing wagging tail and an excited squeal and hug always made everything worth it. However, this dynamic wouldn’t last for long.
Soon, Viola was pregnant again and gave birth to a baby boy, Kevin. Their family was growing and Glenn couldn’t be happier. As time passed by, Glenn’s children learnt to love their little terrier, Mugsy and he became everyone’s little confidant.
Glenn wished he could pause life right where they were. He wanted his three babies to stay young like this forever. But he quickly realized that time would wait for no one.
Megan had just turned four when Glenn’s life catapulted to a devastating halt. It was Christmas time and the family was inside preparing the house with decorations.
Megan and Kevin were sitting happily at the kitchen table building a gingerbread house, while Viola was hanging Tinsel and baubles around their home. It was a beautiful day that would soon turn into one of the worst since their family began.
Glenn was tending to the fire in their front room when he heard brakes screech outside. It was a deafening sound that gave him a huge fright as he stacked the wood in the fireplace preparing to light the fire.
He dropped the wood he was carrying in his hand with the fright and then ran to the window. He looked around for the car but what he found instead sent him into a state of despair.
Glenn ran out the door towards Mugsy who was lying on the road. He dived to his knees when he reached him. Glenn couldn’t believe his eyes.
“I picked Mugsy up, but…”, Glenn said as he struggled to keep his composure. He couldn’t conceal his heartbreak. His companion wasn’t breathing. Then, he discovered that Mugsy had no heartbeat.
Glenn cried as he carried him from the road and rushed to get their beloved lifeless animal away from his children’s sight, who were now starting to peer out the window.
He brought him into the back room and called his wife in. Viola picked up the distressed tone in Glenn’s voice and told the children to continue making their gingerbread house. She rushed towards Glenn, clueless as to what had happened.
When Viola entered the room and saw her husband crying with Mugsy’s limp body in his arms, she burst into tears. Mugsy was like another child to her. She had raised them as she raised her own children. They were absolutely heartbroken.
They said their goodbyes and dug a grave in the garden. Little did he know, fate had a plan.
Once they had buried Mugsy, they called their children and told them the news. Mugsy had gone to doggie heaven. They gave him a proper send-off, picked some flowers around the garden and put it on top of his grave.
They went back inside. Glenn was reflective, shocked at how sudden life can change. But life wasn’t finished surprising him yet.
The next morning at 3 am, Viola was woken by a constant rattling on their front door. She grabbed her son’s baseball bat and crept down the stairs. Was it a burglar?
She looked through the window but couldn’t see anyone. Fear crept into her mind. Why were nick knockers out so early in the morning? She braced herself and opened the door.
Her face went pale and she screamed. Something ran past her and Viola knew exactly what it was. Hearing her scream, Glenn raced down the stairs. When he reached the bottom, he saw her hunched over something. Crying inconsolably.
Was he dreaming? This is impossible. How can this be? Surely, this must be some kind of hallucination.
It was a muddy Mugsy. “Mugsy was covered in dirt and his eyes were bloodshot,” he later explained. But his doubt subsided after he looked into the dog’s eyes. He knew it was him. What was going on?
Mugsy’s tail wouldn’t stop wagging as they drove him to the vet the next morning. Turns out, Mugsy had been knocked out from the hit and run. But what about the heartbeat?
After the collision, his heartbeat had slowed to an almost undetectable pace, making it appear that he was dead. But Glenn had buried him deep. How did he manage to get out?
Russel terriers were bred to hunt foxes. The small canines could track, locate, and burrow deep to find vermin. Mugsy was born a good digger. So, when he woke up surrounded by dirt, his instincts kicked in and he dug up. Had this ever happened before?
Glenn was happy his family was finally back together. Although his children were young, they cried with joy when Mugsy returned.
Viola couldn’t believe their luck. Or was it more than just pure luck? The kids spoiled Mugsy with hugs and kisses. He was even treated to a new toy. But the story didn’t end there.
Word of Mugsy’s story quickly spread around the town. And eventually, papers and magazines across the country were even talking about Mugsy the dog.
But the headlines managed to catch the attention of one of the most surprising hosts in America—Oprah. And the world had a lot to say about their story.
“I guess when he woke up in that hole, he just thought it was another old hole and he dug his way out, not knowing it was supposed to be his grave,” Viola explained.
Oprah, an avid dog-lover herself, shared that she had to have the couple on her show after hearing about their experience. Who knew their story would travel so far?
Glenn and his family have viewed their experience as a Christmas miracle. Regardless of what the vets have said, Glenn’s still positive that Mugsy stopped breathing that night.
He believes that Mugsy just wasn’t ready to leave their family yet, which is why he managed to wake up full of life six hours after being buried! Was there more to it than the medical explanation?
Mugsy has now become famous all over the world. And people are astounded by his story. Some say it was the power of love, others say it was a Christmas miracle. Either way, Glenn, Viola, Megan, and Kevin are delighted to have their family back together.
They made sure to get Mugsy some extra gifts that year!