In Memory - Monark Freedonia

Monark "Dances For Food" Freedonia passed away quietly Oct 9, 2018, at the estimated age of 11. She came into the Chase household in 2009 and was with them in Minnesota and Arizona, the move west, two different cats, and a complete climate change. She was the Canine constant through it all.

Steph really wanted a Pug for a long time, while I’ve always felt that a dog should have at least some sort of a snout. When our Brittney Spaniel, Boomer, passed, there were some brief negotiations that resulted in the historic “Puggle Compromise of 2009”.


Not expecting to find a half-Pug right away, there she was, along with many other online Humane Society dogs. She was part Pug and part supposedly Beagle. When we met her in person, she had a sweet disposition, a little skittish, but enough Hound for me, and enough Pug for Steph.

Her first name, Monark, was based on the Pug’s royal history of sitting on the laps of Chinese emperors. It is possibly more than a coincidence that there was a Swedish motorcycle company with that same name. I can neither confirm nor deny that.

Her last name, Freedonia, was the fictional country in the Marx Brother’s movie, Duck Soup (My little inside joke that even Steph didn't get). Since Monark Freedonia was rather long and pretentious, she quickly learned to answer to the nickname, Monnie (no T sound, rhymes with Connie).

When she arrived in our Bloomington home, the dog house and kennel area that Boomer liked so much was of no interest to Monnie. Unlike Boomer, she quickly adapted to our furniture, beginning a life-long journey of dominating horizontal spaces wherever she was physically able to jump onto them, all the while maintaining an unfailing belief that despite her often internal-organ-compressing mass, she was in fact, a lap dog.

Between the two (if not more) breeds, she was an animal of many noises; moans, groans, snorts, snores, sneezes, everything but baying. She would welcome guests to our house by barking at them, all the time backing up, eventually to the safety of the furthest corner of the house. Not unlike Boomer before her, but with a wider variety of sounds, some of our most entertaining moments were when she was asleep, maybe a little less entertaining when her snoring drove me out of the bedroom.

After doing her part through most of 2012, mostly saying out of the way by sleeping on what wasn’t being moved at the time, the house was packed and the wagons were heading West to Arizona. Monnie rode with Steph to our new home. Unlike the cat, and not surprisingly considering their difference in species, Monnie didn’t seem to mind the travel nearly as much as Ritchie did, not at all actually. Home was wherever a place to sleep and a twice-a-day-filled food dish was.

Monnie contemplates life in her new Southwest home

Monnie did well in Arizona. She was never too fond of the cold during Minnesota winters, but seemed OK with the heat, at least in smaller doses during the summer. She got to go on a walk every day, for 10 months a year anyway, and she lost weight, to a more healthy 22 lbs. She went from being very afraid of every other living being that she did not know, even little kids, to just being “a little shy”.


Monnie had been dancing for food, almost since Day One, for every single meal, long after it was actively encouraged, but it wasn’t until 2012 that it was captured on film (bytes?). Here are the two rare images, with Ritchie taking up most of the foreground on the second one.


After Ritchie died in 2016, Monnie had run of the house for over a year. But that Spring, Stowaway, the orphan feral kitten with a dream, was adopted into the Chase family. Her story is for another time, but from Monnie’s perspective, she suddenly had a playful kitten to deal with. They eventually settled into a stalemate, where Stowy would try to get her to play, and Monnie would utterly ignore her.

As long as Stowy didn’t infringe on Monnie’s furniture territory, there wasn’t any trouble. Like a hippo, which in many ways had a similar body type from the neck down, once she became irritated enough, she would charge at Stowy, not attempting to bite, but using her weight to push and or scare her foe out of the way. It was an effective tactic against the younger, quicker, wily Feline. For the most part, they became what might be considered friends.

Unlike the other animals in this pet memorial area, Monnie did not die of illness. While out on a walk, usually the highlight of her day, she was attacked by two other dogs and succumbed to her injuries a few days later. While I think banning an entire breed is arbitrary and extreme, I do feel that new owners of any kind of animal should be properly educated on the instincts that may kick in, some practical “cats may eat canaries” kind of advice. This is not meant to be any kind of advocacy or anything. This page is simply to remember Monnie and the things that made me smile. I don’t want to focus on her last few days, but not ignore them either.


Monark Freedonia lived up to her regal name in her own persistent, sometimes noisy, often amusing way. We enjoyed all 66 Dog Years we had with her.