“Mimi helped me through the darkest times”: tribute to a special girl

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Mimi

In February 2015, we published a letter from Roger Regan, who could rely on his beloved Jack Russell Mimi through his darkest times. Mimi has now passed away, but the impact she had on Roger will remain for the rest of his life…

“Mimi, my 10-year-old Jack Russell, has helped me through the darkest times,” Roger Regan wrote to us in 2014. “I got her when I was 19. I had some issues; my mum was an alcoholic who was in and out of prison.

“I spent most of my young life in care, but I got myself a little studio flat, a job and Mimi and I started to feel content. My mum came over a few times, but things became violent, due to her drinking, and she smashed up my flat. I would be on the floor in bits, feeling no one would understand. But someone lifted me up. Who came running up to me, pushing her head against mine, licking my face? Mimi.”

“Unfortunately, we ended up homeless and living on a sofa in a derelict property. I had a bag of clothes, some photos and Mimi, who never left my side. She kept me from reaching the darkest places. I had no job, so we had lots of time to be together.”

As things began to improve, Roger was able to get himself a flat and a job – but life threw him another curve ball when the flat was broken into and Mimi was stolen. He could never give up on her, however: he quit his job and doggedly followed every lead until he finally was able to find her, and bring her home where she belonged. 

“A couple of years later, I heard from my mum again and we tried to rekindle our relationship, but unfortunately her life was still chaotic. I love my mum so much, but her life took a turn for the worse and she is now in prison for life, most likely only getting out when I’m in my 50s. This put me back into depression, but do you know what kept me going? Mimi.”

“I would want to do nothing but sleep, but she seemed to understand that I needed to be busy. She would bring in her chews and tease me with them, making me get up to take her to the garden. Eventually, she reminded me that I had her; that I had a responsibility and a reason to stop being depressed.

“A couple of years have passed and things are good. I now work for myself, have Mimi, and another two little doggies have since joined the family. I never take for granted everything Mimi has done for me. She is my family.”

Little Mimi went on to brighten Roger’s life for years afterwards, until she passed away aged 18 in November 2021. Heartbroken, Roger reached out to us for a copy of the piece we’d published about her. 

“I will never ever forget what this girl did for me and how she saved my life”

“I’ve had eight more years of just pure love and adventure with Mimi since your article,” he wrote Dogs Today. “I’m trying to hold onto every piece of my baby girl and was hoping you guys maybe had a copy of the article, digital or physical.”

Of course, we immediately got searching: Claire was able to remember which issue the piece had been in, and Rosie immediately dug up a digital copy of the article for Roger.

“To be honest I haven’t felt grief like this before, I guess that’s lucky at 36,” he wrote back. “She was my hero and continued to be for another eight years. I guess the only things I can say pertaining to our life after your article is that my personal life got better bit by bit, I became an engineer, we moved again after ten years in my flat.”

“All three of the girls have since gone on camping trips with me several times over the years, we had our favourite spot in Norfolk we kept returning to. Mimi was literally still bouncing around like a puppy up until the evening she left me with a sudden heart attack. 

“My other two girls Shyla and Jasmine have struggled, particularly Shyla as she was close with Mimi and only a few years younger. My heart feels incomplete without Mimi and I guess us dog lovers can only really understand how deep their souls intertwine with ours. 

“I will never ever forget what this girl did for me and how she saved my life, and I will never ever get over losing her.”

Images and video by Roger Regan

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