Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Run free, sweet boy
His name was Sidney when he was turned into the SPCA in the spring of 2010.  If memory serves me right, his family was moving away and didn't want to take him.  He was old, crippled up with arthritis, and very very large.  Much too large for a yellow lab.  Probably double what his weight should have been, possibly triple. He could barely walk.

I was volunteering with the dog walking crew at that time, but between my back and their large strong pullers, I didn't do much walking.  Mostly I spent time with the non-walkers, the ones who for various reasons couldn't go far from the kennels.

And so it was that I spent time with this very sweet, very large dog.  And fell in love with him.  I was tempted to take him home, but between his enormous size and my four seniors at home, I knew it would not be a good idea.  So I sat with him, brushed him, talked with him, and took him for wee little puttering walks around the compound.

He wasn't with us long.  Fran and Robyn heard about him and came to meet him.  And even though he wasn't expected to live much longer, they offered him what every dog deserves - a comfortable home to live out his days where he would be well loved.

They called him Moses - a new name for a new life - and began a gentle routine of exercise, healthy food, and lots of love.  Coincidentally, I became friends with Fran and Robyn around that time as I joined the bookclub to which they also belonged, and later began playing bridge with them and meeting them for coffee.

And so I got to see Moses regularly, and to watch him blossom as the weight dropped and he discovered the joys of happy walks around the neighbourhood.  He no longer needed a ramp to get into the car, his inner pup directed him to seek and destroy many toys (including, just recently, his dog-sister Farley's favourite and quite new Tug-a-Jug), and he became an escape artist who could squeeze through a hedge to go visit the neighbours.  Whenever I visited him, he pranced to the door to greet me with lots of tail wags and the occasional face wash too.  I learned not to wear dark pants when I visited, as his exuberant attention usually meant yellow fuzz-covered clothes.  I didn't mind - his lovin'  was worth every hair.

Moses in January 2012 -
Healthy weight, eagerly enjoying life

Over the last few months, his arthritis flared up again, walking became difficult,  and other health problems caused concern.  And on Sunday afternoon, he could no longer rise and was in considerable pain.  And so, at home with his family and a caring vet, he passed away.

Robyn and Fran, my heart goes out to you.  Thank you for giving him two years of the best days of his life. He was truly loved.

A much-loved friend


Gayle in Memphis said...

Sending a gentle hug to Moses' family - what a wonderful tribute

georgia little pea said...

What a joy that Moses found Fran and Robyn! Looking at the picture of him in 2012, I can't even imagine that this dog is the same one in your earlier description. There's no doubt he was a happy, loved dog in the end.

My sympathies to Fran and Robyn. And to you too, Jean, for losing a friend X

Black Jack's Carol said...

My heart goes out to Fran and Robyn, but I am so thankful that Moses found them (and you!). This is a beautifully written tribute, Jean, from the heart and recognizing not only the indomitable spirit that Moses exemplified, but the people who understood and appreciated that spirit.

Anonymous said...

My condolances to Fran and Robyn for their loss.
I too remember that very chunky dog.
Fran and Robyn you did an amasing job geting Moses back in shape.h Moses. Thank you for giving him a wonderful last couple of years.


Sue said...

My two amazing mom's: thank you so much for the loving home u gave him and all the extra attention he got over the last 2 years. although i am not disputing his love for pizza and beer that he got at the first home he lived at i am definitely sure that the 2 years with you were the best he ever had! in fact i don't think he would have lived as long as he did had you not come along to the rescue! i am going to miss his smile and talking and grooming nibbles all of which i would of missed out on if u had not brought him into the family!

Dawn said...

I remember Moses when he came to the SPCA. We all made over him and worried because he was so overweight. I was there when Fran and Robyn hoisted him into their car. It was wonderful to see him go to such a good home. Even more wonderful to see how much weight he lost and how healthy he was for those last few years.

Thanks so much for sharing his happy ending, Jean!

Barry Knister said...

what is there to say? People like you, Fran and Robyn represent something special and rare, something to be admired by the rest of us.