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Moses: Drawn From the Garage

2014 December 12
by Mike

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.”
Chris and Moses . . . April 2011
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.

8 Responses leave one →
  1. Kent Faver permalink
    December 12, 2014

    Sorry for your loss Mike.

  2. steph permalink
    December 12, 2014

    We lost our dog recently. I’ve been embarrassed to tell people how deep the pain is. I know it isn’t like losing a child. But I miss his loyalty and his, well, friendship. He didn’t care when I gained and lost weight. He forgave us when we arrived home unexpectedly late and he had to wait to be fed. I will never forget how he stood in allegiance by our children when unknown adults approached. Thanks for letting me enter into my own loss through your story.

  3. Jan Meyer permalink
    December 12, 2014

    Thanks for sharing, Mike. Thanking God today for the ways that his furry creations bring so much comfort and joy.

  4. December 12, 2014

    Mike, I am sorry for the loss of your family’s beloved Moses.

    The ribbon connecting need – the need for Moses, for Chris, you, and your family through the years for sure brought compassion, love and even sorrow now – but seems to have wrapped your family securely and safely through the years you had him and will now with sweet memories; the garage dog perfectly named Moses!

  5. Sally Gary permalink
    December 13, 2014

    Nothing comforts us & brings joy quite like the love of a dog. Chester & I love you & grieve with all of you right now.

  6. Darryl Tippens permalink
    December 13, 2014

    “Dogs, of such is the kingdom of heaven …” (from a little known Syriac targum of the New Testament).

  7. Mark permalink
    December 31, 2014

    Sorry for your loss. They do show us unconditional love.

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