Moose Black (January sometime – June 11, 2020)
Let me preface this by saying I firmly believe everything happens for a reason. Everything we experience is put in our path to teach, guide, relieve or reveal. I believe that the spirits of those we love the most are with us constantly and during the Covid lockdown, I have learned a great deal more about the nature of those who have passed.
That said, my Moose was no ordinary hound. He was a Beldi mut, that being the predominant breed of dog in Morocco. When I walked him on a leash Moroccans would literally stare at me, thinking I’m sure – “Look at the crazy western lady with a street dog on a rope.” Funny.
I saw his photo online one day but it took me a few days to put up my hand and take him in. I hadn’t thought about having a pet due to my circumstance. Alas, boredom overtook me, and I said I would foster the little guy whose name at the time was Peter Rabbit. (Thanks for that Selma).
Moose was not my first puppy. I know full well how much work a puppy is, but like the pain of childbirth (I hear), it softens over time and you forget. Also, what the hell else was I supposed to do? It’s not like I had other plans or anywhere to go. Moose was left behind at the shelter and he came to me so easily it was like he dropped into my lap. Moose ended up being with me for 10 weeks. He arrived on April 7th and died on June 11.
Moosey had a very delicate eco-system that was never strong, and he lived in my little glass cage for most of his life. He didn’t have much chance to eat dirt and build up immunity as you normally would. He had a shortened tail, a sister who died of an aneurysm, and was small for his age. In hindsight I think Moose was too precious for this world. Indeed, he was precious. I think he was here for a special purpose. I think he was here for me.
I think our little Magic Moose was an angel.
From the minute he arrived into my arms he nestled in to my chest just like Jagger did as a baby, and was attached to me from that moment on. He was a super timid little guy, who sought cover whenever possible and never liked being “out in the open.” Moose would retreat to the potted plants and garden for cover whenever possible. He had to be dragged across the threshold to go out for exercise. Every single time.
Moose took on a lot of stress when he was outside our house. It took a long time to warm up to people and places, preferring to be hidden away or bark at visitors from the safety of my sofa.
Inside he was as relaxed as a guy can be. He never left my side and we were always cuddling, touching or snuggling. He loved to literally right walk over me to get to a new pillow or play with a toy. He loved to sleep on the sofa pillow just above my head where I would lay to read or watch Netflix.
Moose was originally named Peter Rabbit because of his ears. Kid had a wing span of 13″ for sure. He used those things like a flagman on the tarmac to indicate responses, mood, the wind speed and also to dress up sometimes when he flipped them both back for affect.
I always had trouble with his name because Peter Rabbit is too long and my nephew and (deceased) brothers’ name is Peter so it felt weird. I took to calling him “Bubsie” which I adapted from my friend’s pet name for her daughter. (Oh, ha. Pet name!) and then renamed him Moose when it was revealed he would have legs 3 times the length of his body, like a baby moose. Yoda would be another good one.
Moose was a shining little star. He became an Internet sensation and gained a fast following amongst my Facebook friends when I posted his goofy little cuteness every day for all the people who had nowhere to go and nothing to do because we were all told to stay at home. He stole my heart. But from the beginning I knew he would not be staying long term so I never got used to the idea of a life with him. He was always my fleeting beasty.
Moose was goofy. He had a lot to say. Cute as button with sad looking khol trimmed eyes and a stubby little tail. He ran circles when he saw his food and hopped like some weirdo rabbit for treats. One time I saw him barking at the Statute of Liberty souvenir in my entry hall which I thought was weird (and yet appropriate to the times), but it turns out he was barking at the doggie on the box of treats right beside it.
Every person who met him would stop and take notice. Anyone who could get near him would pet or cuddle him and love him for as long as he would allow. It was if he had a special glow of sweetness that surrounded him. Almost as if he were a special angel.
Now, since I’ve been in lockdown, I have been on an inward focused journey to seek answers to questions I didn’t know I had. I think a lot of us who are locked down in solitude found it only natural to look inward and embrace the quiet to seek healing and answers. (Sorry for those who have been locked down in homeschool chaos.)
I’ve done a lot of different things relating to energy, spirit, meditation, tapping, and so on. My niece Maigen really opened me up to a lot of these ideas about energy movement, vibration, spirit. She became very open to all of these things when she was battling cancer.
The week before Moose died, I had done some really powerful energy work with a new friend of mine. I mean, this was earth shattering stuff. It was very personal and I’m not feeling like I want to get into details, but I will say that some generational wounds came up and decades old hurt and sadness arose. And having come to the surface, that energy was of course removed. I was left feeling like a completely new person who had done the damn hard work and had moved in leaps and bounds forward with a completely new understanding of things.
I have learned a few things about our “dead people” recently. Sorry for being so blunt for those who aren’t comfortable with death, but I was born into a grieving family and I have since lost a brother, mother, father, niece and myriad other people. I believe my dead people are a huge part of my life. I have also come to learn recently that they are present for us if we seek them out with an open heart.
I have learned that they are different in their new form. They are better. They are forgiving of their own earthly limitations and they are simply purest love. They are no longer struggling, angry, short sighted, boastful or whatever issues they may have had. They recognize they made mistakes and all they want to do for us now is show us love and help us find peace. That’s it. It’s very lovely. And leaning into it is very peaceful.
They also have the ability to communicate with us, if we are open to paying attention. You know of the signs. Coins on the ground, butterflies, cardinals, seeing 11:11. I see 9:11 for my mom, 12:34 for my dad, and 2:22 for my niece Maigen. I see 11:11 A LOT which I think is the whole bunch of them. It’s the bat signal for The Committee. (My term for the whole family of dead people that guide my life).
When Maigen died in December I had some problems around the whole experience. I had “grieved” her impending death while I was still alone in Morocco in November, but when she actually passed I was hard-pressed to really cry the tears she deserved. There were a lot of people that needed my attention and concern. Her kids at the top of the list.
I was feeling sort of sorry for myself because after her death, which occurred right before Christmas at a time when people do not have the capacity for other things, I felt like I was sort of alone in the whole thing. It was too quiet for the death of such an important person.
When Mom and Dad died I was surrounded by love and by people. The flowers, the notes, the donations. But with Maigen there was very little of that because I wasn’t the principle griever. We were focused on my sister-in-law and nephew, and we did that. As we should. Also, I was alone for much of the time afterward.
That all left me with…feelings. I’m just being honest. I mean, at the service, there were none of my friends (excused OF COURSE, by an ice storm and 2 hour drive), and the Pastor didn’t even know I was related to Maigen until I introduced myself. All these things are fine. Seriously. But they left me with…feelings. Compounded by the fact that I wasn’t able to grieve properly myself and I couldn’t feel any connection to Maigen at all.
So I had unresolved stuff that lingered from last winter. Nothing festering. I didn’t even really thing about it. Nothing a big girl can’t handle. Nothing malicious. Just an icky feeling that I didn’t love but had no concern living with.
And so I have to tell you, it crossed my mind early on that Moose was sent to me for a reason. More than a few times I said, “Um, are you Maigen?”
He came to me at a time when I was nothing but available to pay attention. I paid a lot of attention. I never rushed it, and I never questioned it. I just left it to unfold. And unfold it did. He taught me a lot of things.
Most importantly, he reminded me about the purity of love. He opened my heart and he and I created a love between us that was something I could see and feel. He loved ME. And I loved HIM. No agenda, no obligation. Nothing. Just love.
That was something that I really, really needed. Someone who loves me unconditionally. Because when I lost Maigen, I lost someone who was genetically obligated to love and adore me and me her. And that was a big loss for me. Moose brought that home again. He showed me that when love goes, more love comes back to fill in the space. He may be gone but that love is back with me now, and its not going anywhere.
After the session with my friend last week, it was revealed that a feather had appeared to her. A little grey feather drifted in just long enough to be noticed and then drifted off on the breeze. Which is nice because I always think my “people” come in and out on the breeze. My niece Laura always associates feathers with Maigen. So maybe….
The night that Moose died, I was walking around aimlessly and crying. Seeking comfort, meaning, closure. As I walked past my tray of crystals (don’t get all woo-woo now, I don’t even know what they are for. I just have them) I found myself reaching down to grab one in the dark. When I got to the next room and looked it was one of two crystals that Maigen had gifted me. A purple heart, for the wounded warrior. I looked at and said “that figures.”
It was in that exact moment that I felt certain little Moosey had made it safely to Heaven and was surrounded by The Committee. My dad would be disappointed in his tail, but would love him nonetheless. And Moosey now sits happily at my Dad’s feet.
The next day I awoke, and reliving the events of the night before, I was so sad. I cried like I haven’t cried in years. I cried for Moose, I finally cried for Maigen and I cried and cried and cried until there was nothing left. I cried the kind of tears that Maigen and Moose both deserved.
And the LOVE that poured in on Facebook was like nothing I’ve ever experienced. The death of a pet is far more accessible to people than the loss of a person. That kind of loss is complicated and scary and overwhelming. But the loss of a pet, and one that everyone knew and had personal feelings for, that kind of loss is more relatable. And I was surrounded by love and kindness. A virtual tsunami. Or, maybe, a do-over.
So you see, even though he had a new family selected from the early days, and plans were in the works to get him to Casablanca to start a new life, it doesn’t completely surprise me that those plans didn’t come to pass. Maybe Moose was here for me and not meant to move on to others.
My friend looked up Moose in her “animal medicine” cards and this is what she got. Link here. Notice the number – 11. Moose died on June 11. Also notice there is a feather.
So now I see Moose around my apartment all the time. I look and his shadow is there. And I giggle ALL the time imagining Maigen. She was very “enthusiastic” and she loved to try new things. She would pour her whole heart into something and then if it didn’t work out well she would just laugh out loud and carry on.
I imagine Maigen now, learning that she can in fact send signs and gifts. She would be so pumped about that.
Of course she would pick me now because she knows I would be totally open and she knows I needed it.
“OH, let’s send her a puppy! She loves puppies.”
“Ok, wow, she’s really open right now, can I send her something? Ok, I’m going to toss down a feather. Oh damn, it drifted off, ok make sure it lands with her friend at least so she can pass along the message.”
“Oh my God that’s SO COOL.”
“Ok, what? The gift is over? NOOOOOO!!!”
“Ok well at least let me tell her we have Moose here with us. Throw a rock at her! The purple one.”
“Oh, that’s so cool. That was awesome….”
“Ok, who’s next?”
Rest easy Maigen. Talk to you soon. And Moose… I miss you Bubsie.