Our Boy of Boundless Love
It was the day after the birds started singing their Spring songs that Moose died. He lived with gusto and exuberance until Feb 2017 when we discovered that a compressed disc was causing him pain. He was treated with acupuncture, laser, managed exercise and medication successfully for over a year. This helped him lead a much diminished but happy life. His last gift to me was to let me know by sighs, facial expression and yelps that the pain, or fear of it, had become unbearable. We knew it was
time. He died peacefully, surrounded by family and friends.
Moose could not run anymore but I could see him moving his legs as he dreamt about it. He could not play with dog friends but he gratefully buried his nose in their passing pawtracks and wildly wagged his tail. He occasionally risked a brief frolic. But Moose was more of a lover than an athlete and what he could do was LOVE. He surrendered to possibility. He was generous with his affection. He assumed love, thus inviting it. He would boldly sit on the feet of strangers and make them friends, if even for a moment. When he looked up to someone’s face, he prompted joy. People smiled and said “he likes me.” They were connected to this animal’s faith that he is loved and so are they. He gave cheer and hope. He put a halt to negativity. He was a Buddha in plain sight. He was a teacher who lit up lives. He was (the hardest word is WAS) my furry friend and fellow traveler. He opened hearts. We loved each other.
Maybe Moose was a saint, but for sure, he shared his love and met his mission. I was honored to accompany this therapy dog to Farmers Market, Costco, Barnes & Noble, PT, parks, nursing homes and the Royal Oak library. We were a team. Moose never stopped offering himself up for petting and gazing into human faces with trusting gratitude. His love was pure and simple. He surrendered to it. He loved everyone and had special friends he would yodel and dance in circles for. My little grand daughter could pat his big body and he’d just smile. He appreciated massage, a real Mr Feel-Good. He moaned with pleasure when you rubbed his ears. Mu taught me patience on the journey. His life and death were good.
Today it rains and his ashes sit on the desk. Dog dinner time has come and gone. The cat is walking around the house in circles looking for Moose. But my boy is not here to go around the block. He never did like rain but rain, like sorrow, is essential to life. “Be grateful for grief” I tell myself, its the price of love, part of the existential equation. Fair enough? If God has a plan, Moose lived according to it. If there is a heaven, he is there. Some children said “Dogs go to heaven because they are good,” “if only people were in heaven it would be boring” and “God wants company.” Moose is now part of the great community of all beings, no more or less than a human, remembered and loved by many. Thank you to all who have cared for him. He cared for you.
As we approach Easter Sunday, in hope of Resurrection
Peace, Ann and Moose