Ode to my dog

July 17th, 2020 by Ken

 It was a sunny Sunday afternoon.  Jan was sitting in her chair on the patio working with her laptop.  The dogs – Moxie and Minnie were laying by her feet.

Minnie let out a soft growl, Moxie looked up and saw, through the cyclone fence. a raccoon in the neighbor’s yard.  He ran to the fence and began barking, Minnie following along.

Jan glanced up and saw the raccoon scaling the fence and then jump full out on to Moxie. At five pounds he was out weighed ten to one.  The raccoon made quick work, biting Moxie several times in the neck and on the back.  Then turned him over and went to work on his underside.

Jan ran, screaming a high pitched scream right towards the raccoon, who looked up at this sight coming towards him.  He left Moxie laying mutilated on the ground and headed towards Jan, who was continuing screaming.  As the raccoon got closer, Jan took a step back, tripped and fell.   The raccoon grabbed her leg, bit her twice on the calf muscle, turned and in a flash was gone up a tree.

Moxie, had gotten up, ran quickly to the patio and collapsed.    Jan went back, picked him up and came into the house.  By that time I had come out of my office.  Jan told me the story.  I took Moxie to the vet hospital while Jan made her way to the emergency room of the people hospital.

After three-hours, the vet came out and told me Moxie was in critical condition and could die any minute.  She was doing the best she could to stabilize him but he needed to stay for tests, X-rays and Ultra Sounds to see if he had internal bleeding as well as his visible signs.

I’ve had dogs all my life – more than half-a-dozen.  But, they were just dogs.  While they may have been members of the pack, they had not become members of the family.  Moxie was the first one.

When Jan was nearing retirement, we decided to get a dog.  We had a cat for more than a dozen years before she died.  We thought a dog would be something who would love us in our old age.  I went along.  A dog is a dog is a dog.  While nothing special, a dog could add a new dimension to our lives.

We decided on a small dog, a lap dog, and one who wouldn’t  affect my allergies too much.  Jan found just the right one.   We settled on a Yorkie, a Yorkshire Terrier.  Jan found an ad for a breeder who had them for sale near Yakima, Washington.

We made the appointment and one September afternoon arrived at the breeders house who led us to a playpen full of six-week old pups.  I immediately saw one who was smaller than the rest, but was just as feisty.  He was the “runt”.  While Jan was worried that a runt might have problems, she went along with me, and we purchased the runt and headed for home.  We had taken our granddaughter along with us who sat in the backseat and held the dog the whole way home.

It needed a name.  We talked about it in the car, and then we passed by the town of Moxie.   That’s the name we both said, and that’s the name that stuck.

When we got home, my granddaughter handed me the dog.  Those sparkling brown eyes caught my eyes.  I didn’t think I had ever seen something that looked right into my soul.  When I put him up to my face I was entranced by his smell.  It was a new puppy smell, but it  was also intoxicating.  I wanted more.

I was hooked.  From that moment on I became a dog lover.  And, not just a Moxie lover – a dog lover.  I take quick looks at every dog I see and marvel at the look in his eyes.  I watch television shows about dogs and see in them playing, working, and just being lazy and cute.

Moxie was my first love.  A year later, we went back to the same breeder and picked Moxie’s half-sister as our next dog.  We named her Minnie, although she is twice as large as Moxie.

I still have trouble trying to explain how I became hooked on dogs.  I want to pet everyone I see, hold everyone who needs holding, and protect all of those who need protecting.

And, it was all because of Moxie, who at this writing is still in the hospital trying to recover from his wounds.

I think I hate raccoons.

Posted in The Real News

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