i worked with him for 2.5 months teaching him to sit, lay down, give high 5's, etc to try to make him more "adoptable." i made it my mission to find him a forever home. i watched family after family after family take him into the yard, spend time with him, (he wowed them with his tricks i taught him - BOOOM) only to have them walk him back to his cage and mumble, "he's just tooooo big."
the day he was set to be put to sleep (the shelter was tooooo big to be no kill) - i brought him home with me. i just couldn't let that happen. i knew he was an amazing dog. he was big, sure, but so gentle and loving.
i'll never forget walking (or rather being dragged by moose) out of that shelter. he was SO happy to get in my car. getting out of the car, though, was another story. kevin came outside to meet him and the hair on the back of his neck stood up and he started barking like a crazy dog. i thought he'd lost his mind. i kept telling him it was ok, come meet your dad, etc. no dice.
my sweet boy was a lady's dog. eventually (read: like an hour) kevin finally coaxed him out of the car by feeding him a 5lb bag of jerky. after that (and a lot of horse sized dog poop later) they were homies fo' life.
when he finally came inside - his head literally rested on my kitchen counters as he sniffed out his new diggs. he tipped the scales at 114lbs. we had a 15lb Pomeranian that i was worried he might eat while we were sleeping. turned out (surprise, surprise) she was the alpha. homegurl RAN that boy.
did i mention he loved to dance? cuzzz - yeah. it was his FAV.
he went everywhere with DH and i for 6 years. then i got pregnant. he was by my side the ENTIRE time. he was my shadow.
i had lula - he loved her. protected her.
we had grant - same thing. insta-love. and protection. and friendship. and kisses. oh the kisses.
this dog was the best dog ever. EVER. he let our kids poke him in the eyes, pull his ears, look under his tail , use him as a step stool - you name it - this dog allowed it and loved every second of it.
he was - hands down - the best dog i've ever had. one of my best friends. you wouldn't believe the things i told him. he told no one. he listened, and never ever interrupted.
yesterday at about 2 pm - i brought nora and her cousin cobe outside and we were playing on the swing set. moose was out with us (because he was ALWAYS where we were) and he stumbled and collapsed. i noticed immediately. i ran over to him and tried to get him to stand. then he pooped on his legs while he was laying down. i couldn't get him up. i tried to drag him, pull him, lift him - nothing. he was dead weight.
i called kev and told him i needed him home because moose was in trouble and i couldn't lift him in the car by myself. he came home and while i was driving my mini-van over the curb and backing into the grass by the fence - moose got up and walked. slowly, sure - but he got up and walked to the car.
kev stayed back with the kids. moose and i got to the vet and he sloooowwwwwly hopped out of the back of the car, sniffed the pee area in the front and slooowly walked into the office and laid down on the floor. he walked in - so i thought he was going to be ok.
they said they wanted to run some tests and they'd call in a couple hours. they told me to go on home. so i did. i gave moose a pat on the head and a quick kiss on the nose and said, "be a good boy booshk. i'll be back soon. i love you." and i left.
20 minutes after i left - i got a call from the doc. she said she had just lifted my sweet boy onto the x-ray table when he "arrested." she said they had been doing cpr on him and had given him oxygen and had no response. she asked me if i'd like them to continue cpr.
ohmygawd. i completely lost it. cried like a crazy person. my sweet boy was gone. just like that. in an instant. gone.
kev and i went to the pet hospital last night to say goodbye. they walked us into the x-ray room where they had placed moose's body on a white blanket on the floor. i immediately broke down. i laid down on the floor petting my soft doggie and buried my face into his fur for the very last time. i couldn't control the tears. so many times over the last 10 years i've buried my sad face into him and just cried. and he just sat with me. and gave me some kisses. and looked through me so many times. he shared my hurt. he knew my soul and now he's gone. he was still warm. i whispered all the things i wanted to tell him into his still perked up ear. "i love you moose. i love you so so SO much booshky. thank you so much for being so amazing to the kids. you were the best dog this world has ever seen sweet boy. i will miss you everyday of the rest of my life."
i can count on one hand the amount of times i've seen my strong silent type husband cry. i mean realllly cry - and this was one of them. he, too, loved moose more than words can say.
it was so hard to leave that room. i wanted to stay forever. my mind kept playing tricks on me and i thought i'd see moose's chest rise and fall - i thought he was breathing. but he wasn't. he definitely wasn't. the room was cold and silent.
as we walked out of the pet hospital there were people everywhere. happy. looking at dog food and collars and squeaky toys. i felt bitter and angry... and hurt. reallllly hurt. how could these people be so happy when our life just got flipped completely upside down AGAIN?! don't they KNOW what just happened to us? how can they just go on with their lives and not even notice mine and my husband's tear stained faces walking past them? it was like the walk of sadness happened in slow motion.
my heart is broken. i can't even believe he's really gone. he was as much a member of this family as any of the rest of us. that dog loved me so unconditionally it isn't even funny. my house lost it's heart today and my heart is shattered.
as moose lay in the grass yesterday nora and cobe kept coming over. "is he dead?" "is he sick?" "is he going to die?" "NO, yes, NO! you guys go over there and play. leave moose and i here. he needs to rest until daddy gets home. mommy is going to take him to the doctor."
everytime nora came near - he'd lift his head. he wanted her. and i kept telling her to go play. and she would - for a little while. then she brought him some petals of pink flowers from the yard. "here you go moosey. dis will help you feel better." and then, "here you go moosey. here is my ball. dis will help you feel better." and finally, "here you go moosey. here is my shovel. dis will make you feel better for sure." gah. ouch. my heart hurts so badly just writing that out. if only i would have known that would be their last interaction - i never EVER would have pushed her away like that. he wanted her. and i made her go play. i'll never forgive myself for that.
i can't believe how incredibly difficult the last 5 years of my life have been. i've lost my dad, my mom, a baby, my two first "furbabies" - i'm so tired of losing people. important people.
my kids loved moose sooo much and much like my mama and daddy - it KILLS me that they won't remember our sweet moose either.
grant wakes up every morning and says, "dog? doooog? dooog?" until i oblige and whistle and then moose (who has the routine down and literally waits outside his door until i whistle) walks into his room and sends g-mack into a FIT of laughter. every. single. morning. not today though... our doggie is gone. today when sweet lil' g called out, "dooog? doooog?" i just hung my head a cried. "i'm sorry buddy. he's not coming in this morning. dooog is gone. he's in heaven with grammy, papa, dylan and katie." grant looked at me for a second and said, "dooog?" gah.
my DH says that he thinks moose knew he was about to die in our backyard. he thinks that the reason he got up out of the yard is because he knew i couldn't hang if he died at home. there were so many talks between kev and I (moose in the room) about my mom dying at my house and how i couldn't handle that and how i'd want to move - kev thinks moose knew and understood. and so i'm gonna take that as the last most generous act of love and kindness from my big hairy monster. he loved me that much to do that. to get up and go elsewhere, even a cold room full of strangers, so it would be "easier" on me.
walking around my house this morning without him by my side has been really hard. there are piles of his hair everywhere - just like there has been for the last almost 10 years. there are toys on the floor. food and water in his dish. his leash and brush still hang by the garage door. outside the door sits the half empty bag of his food. my kitchen floor - FULL of my kid's breakfast. guess i better buy a broom. there is no one to lay at my feet as tears stream down my face and i type out the clicky-clack of my heart for the blog. no one to be waiting happily as i return from the bank, the store, the mailbox. no big scary dog to bark when someone dings the dong or walks by the house. he's gone. it's just over.
if you are the praying type - my fam could REALLY use some prayers. we are just totally out of sorts. i can't believe he's gone. i'm really in a bad place. i've been barely hanging on by a thread with the loss of my mama and this just brings so much stuff back up. stuff that isn't healed. it's like ripping off the scab and pouring salt into the wound. my heart hurts now more than ever.
i'm just so tired of heartache and loss. fo. realz.
rest in peace my sweet babooshka. we miss you more than you'll ever know. thank you for everything. thank you for being the best dog on the face of the planet. thank you for loving us with your whole heart. thank you for being so gentle and patient with the kids. thank you so much buddy.
oh - and tell my mama how much i miss her. my daddy too. and give dylan and katie some kisses for me. love you forever sweet boy. forever and ever.