Moses: Drawn From the Garage
Beware: sentimental reflections to follow. You’ve been warned.
He came to us in our grief. Grief over the loss of our daughter, our nephew, and—on a much different level, of course—our beloved dog.
I say “he came to us.” I stepped out to our garage for my morning run in 2001, shortly before 9/11, and there was a puppy in the garage. It was clear that he was wounded. Abandoned, I guess. He was hungry and thirsty.
I brought him in thinking, “We’ve got to call the animal shelter and tell them he’s here.” The reaction of my eight-year-old son was different. “He’s our dog!!” He explained to me that he’d been praying for a new dog and God brought one.
So rather than create an early faith crisis (life has plenty of time for those I’ve learned), we claimed the puppy. A mutt. Eventually, a big mutt. Best we can tell a mixture of boxer and shepherd with who knows what else thrown in.
Chris’s friend Emily suggested we name him Moses, since he was “drawn from” the garage. (If the biblical reference alludes you, check Exodus 2:10.)
Before long, Moses became my running companion until I returned from Africa with a weird virus that struck my muscular system and kept me from running for a couple years. By the time I recovered fully, he was untrained and way too strong to jog beside me. But he was our loyal pet.
He watched over Chris as he recovered after a horrible wreck. He paroled the back yard during my many trips out of town. He even had a cameo role in a silly video we shot—adding his voice as I “sang the classics.”
Today we had to put Moses down. Too weak to face another winter. Too much pain. It was the right thing to do, confirmed by our trusted vet, Dr. Mark.
So today, as the epic movie about another Moses opens “in theaters everywhere,” I’d like to say to Pope Francis: “Almost thou persuadest me to be a Catholic.” Or at least I’d like to thank him for hinting to a small child who’d just lost his dog that perhaps it’s true: all dogs go to heaven.
Who knows? (That’s my response to many things about God’s future.)
But today I find some comfort in the thought. And I give thanks for this loyal pet.