At the agility trial last weekend I struggled to smile; I had just lost my old corgi Moose, aka Bird. I’m not sure too many people noticed I was having a hard time but thanx to those of you who asked if I was ok. I was not ok. I was very sad. Bird came into this world into my hands and left this world while I was holding him and God was it hard. But I think it was even harder watching everyone complain and bitch and moan about this or that missed contact, or missed weaves, or knocked bar, or off course, or…. And I’m not gonna say I haven’t been there! Agility is hard, there is a lot of failure, a lot of struggle, a lot of “wish I had” moments; but to put it in perspective, at least you have your dog! Right there at your side, and they are doing stuff with you! Cherish those moments! We have had multiple retirement runs the last few weekends, and some dogs are out due to injury, and some dogs never even got to have a retirement run, agility just ended (Pickle). You have to treat every run like it is your last! Throw every ball or Frisbee like it is your last! Make those moments count! And while I was holding Bird at the end, I was not listing his titles in my mind, or adding up his accomplishments, I was thinking of those days on the beach, and hiking in the desert, and sleeping on the floor in his bed. THOSE are the things I cherish and remember. The titles mean nothing to me now. They were just boxes in a list that I checked off. His barking, and wagging, and bossing everybody around will be missed. I would give back all his Q’s to have it end a different way, more peaceful and calm, but I guess that was part of the journey. I miss you buddy! May you rest peacefully under the beautiful mesquite we planted in your memory.
If Moose were a man, he would write me love letters and bring me breakfast in bed. If Moose were a man, he would hold my hand and kiss me every chance he got. If Moose were a man, he would love me for who I am, not for who he wanted me to be and not for who I wanted to be. But….Moose is not a man. He is my dog.
He is very soft. He can curl up on my pillow in a single pile. He can lick my hand until I fall asleep. He can gulp raw chicken in one swallow. These are all qualities love in my Moose but might not like so much in a man. But the other things that my Moose has to offer would be invaluable in a man.
Moose and I share the same pillow. He takes up most of it and I get a corner. But he stays in his spot all night. If he were a man, he would be capable of spooning for most of the night regardless of whether his arm fell asleep.
Moose is an agility dog, trained to the highest level. If Moose were a man he would take directions from me and proceed to fulfill them with no questions asked. He does not argue with me when I tell him to ‘go tunnel’. He doesn’t bark at me when I tell him to ‘down’ before he eats his dinner.
Moose goes everywhere with me. He will go on walks, hang out at the coffee shop, visit my parents, and swim at the lake. He doesn’t care about the destination, as long as he is with me. If Moose were a man, he would go shopping with me, even to super Wal-Mart. He would be on time and jump in the car with no questions asked.
Moose protects me from strangers; even if he is only 11” at the shoulder, and 28 pounds. He can bark, whine, and snap as well as any Schutzhund-trained shepherd. If Moose were a man he would stand between me and all evils. He would fight tooth and nail if any harm were to come my way.
Moose can sense my mood at all times. He can hang out and be quiet while I grade papers or he can jump around the room chasing flies while Metallica blares from the stereo. If he were a man, he would know when to deliver chocolate, he would see my need for silence in the morning, and he would sing along when YMCA played on the radio.
Occasionally I kiss Moose on the nose and pause, waiting to see if he springs into a man. He would be tall with brown hair and a goatee. A twinkle in his eyes would tell me everything I need to know and we would be off, holding hands into the sunset. But…Moose is not a man. He is my dog. So, I pat him on the head and he licks my hand. Maybe he wishes I was a dog.