So even though he can’t check this post because he doesn’t have thumbs…Moose this ones for you.
I found you in Corning NY while selling those ol pharmaceuticals to my one of my favorite offices. Your picture was on the wall when I came through the door, in my heels, business suit, carrying coffee and brochures about how to address oral thrush and vitamin B12 deficiencies. It was by all accounts a pretty normal day.
“Who’s dog is that” I asked? “Bonnies”, I was told. “Go see her, she’s in triage”. So back I go to talk with Bonnie, and in the way that drug reps do I struck up a conversation, and next thing I know I’m agreeing to drive to Corning that weekend to meet him. Bonnie assured me that Moose (then Bo) would be a perfect match, a happy little puppy with an inquisitive nature and a tendency towards snuggling….I was in trouble. She told me, “he’s like you, just a dog,” I couldn’t help but to smile, she was exactly right.
That weekend my best friend and I drove the 2-hours to see Moose/Bo. We were greeted by 8 different dogs, and in the back, my little dude, making his way through the pack and right onto my lap. Game over.
After a few weeks of wondering could I do it, I work 10-12 hours a day, I’m single, could I love him as much as he deserves? After assembling a team of dog-sitters that would see him during the day, I said yes. Turns out it’s the best yes I have ever said in my life.
He cried the whole way home. Actually if it’s possible to do so, it was more like he was sobbing making these god awful noises that I dont know how to describe other than it was like crying in the sound of baaaaa like a sheep makes. And for such a little thing, he was LOUD. I kept sticking my hand in the crate, and wondering what the hell I had done. I slept on the floor next to his crate for 4 solid nights, after my friend Karyn informed me that that’s what you do for your dogs, when they are crying in their crate. I was a hot mess that whole week at work, with barely any sleep, but it didnt matter, I was in love.
Moose has taught me more than any one person on this planet. Yes, I said person, because I know Moose is not just a dog, he’s really my best friend. Where I go, Moose goes. If he could fit in a baby Bjorn, I’d do it. Moose has taught me about love, he lives his furry little life with absolutely no judgement. If you are a dog, he wants to say hello, if you are a human he wants you to pet his head. If you see him, you are going to smile, because he always smiles first. There is only one lady in his whole life that said “get your stupid dog away from me,” and pushed him away as he was scampering over to say hello. I looked at the lady in the eyes and said calmly, “you should calm the F*%^ down.” and then I smiled cooly and walked away. I’m still slightly horrified that I swore at a perfect stranger, but my mama bear came out when she put her hand out to push Moose away.
Moose has got my back too. When I’m happy, he jumps up and down with me. When I’m sad, he snuggles in whatever nook I make available, and when I say Moose, we gotta hit the road and move to Buffalo, he forgoes a big backyard, all his dog-friends, and says “alright lady, lets do this” translation arf arf woof/adorable stare. And when I completely lose it in Buffalo and cant seem to pull it together, Moose reacts by promptly pooping on the floor and forgetting everything he learned. Note to self: when you are a hot mess and forget everything you learned about grace and ease, your dogs gonna feel this and be a hot mess too. We eventually pulled it together, right about the time I realized I was moving to Kenya for 6-months, and it was time to bid Buffalo adieu.
Moose is going to live with a dear friend and her 9-year old son and I know that he will have more love, kisses, and hugs than he knows what to do with. But here creeps the old feeling that oh no, I am leaving, and I just want him to be okay. Okay let me be honest here, I just want to be okay.
Moose is the first living example of me loving completely and unequivocally without any level of “am I good enough?” I’m an awesome dog Mom. I’ll go breakfast lunch and dinner with a menu of cereal so he can eat his ridiculous organic dog food (he’s got a sensitive stomach), I’ll pretend my hair does not look like I just ran through a wind turbine so he can go and get his hair cut and nails trimmed.
This time last year I broke up with the guy I was seeing, and in an accusatory tone said “you dont like Moose, just admit it.” (for the record I really dont think he did) but he scratched Moose behind the ears to convince me otherwise. Moose accepted the gesture, but I wasnt buying it. Now truth be told that relationship wasnt working out for multiple reasons, but Moose and I are a package deal. If you are ridiculously good looking, talented, and do not love Moose, sionara. (note: I totally understand that I am starting to sound like a crazy person, but I’m totally cool with that).
They tell me at dog camp, that Moose is the dog that makes sure all the new dogs feel comfortable, he’ll stay with them till they are ready to venture out. Other things about Moose: often when I give him a treat before I leave, he will leave it right there by the door, and not eat it till I come back. He absolutely hates his crate and is so much happier when he can roam around. He loves watching reality TV on Bravo. And he loves to explore, he could walk and walk and walk, and even though his tongue is hanging out of his mouth, he doesnt care, adventure trumps everything. So you see, Moose and I are a perfect match, very much the same (except for the snack thing, I eat my snacks right away).
I miss him already. And he’s sitting right here at my feet. My friend Abby told me that dogs paws smell like Doritos (it’s so true!!!, try it!!) My friend Krissy who is going to be in Kenya with a different organization while I’m there, said that on days I am very homesick, she promises to put her hand in a bag of Doritos and let me smell them. If you dont think I’m actually going to do this, you do not know me very well. Cool Ranch.
Dear Moose. You are the best teacher, friend, companion I have ever had in my life. You have taught me that love is indeed unconditional, and that it is best in this form. You have pulled me down side streets to see things I wouldn’t have saw on my own. You are the reason I have fresh air in the dead of winter, and in the sweltering summer, and because you’re just so happy to be outside: so am I. You are going to bring so much joy to Patrick and Susan while I’m gone, this is your gift. Everyone smiles and feels better when they see you. One day you will know a little baby brother or sister in the house, and just thinking about this makes me smile. The idea of our family is growing Moosey Moose, and I fully know that we are not meant to do this alone. Life. Is so much better with 2…3….family. You are my family little buddy and you have made life so much richer and complete.
Be good when I’m in Kenya. Have lots of fun. Throw lots of wild parties. Stay up late. Try not to pee on anything that’s not grass. And maybe it would be time to expand your tricks beyond “sit” which you are really good at when there’s a treat….but well, not so much without one. But even if I come back and your one and only trick is still “sit.” You’re still perfect.
I love you with all my heart little buddy. You be strong and I promise to do the same.