- Pets and Animals
My dog Mocha
My family got our dog, Mocha, when she was a mere 6 weeks old. We had recently lost our beloved pit bull, Skittles, who had been hit by a car. It was very traumatic for the children, they were devastated. My youngest was only 4 months old when Skittles died, and 2 months later the kids were ready for another pup. I found an ad in the paper, and took my oldest, who was 11 at the time, and my youngest, 6 months, and we looked at a litter of doggies.
The mom was already very tired of her babies, so it was time to give them their own homes. There were about 6 or 7 puppies, a fairly large litter, and my kids and I sat down on the floor to take a look at them. I took my youngest, sat her on the floor with the purpose of seeing if any of these pups would not jump on her, then that would be the pup that I wanted. They were all completely adorable, but only one, one little sheepish cutie, did not jump on my baby girl, and so that was our pup. We took her home and spoiled her from day one. And we named her Mocha.
We lived on a 16 acre Christmas tree farm, ideal for a dog. Mocha's daddy was a German shepherd, her mother a beagle/black lab/border collie mix, so she had a little bit of a wandering soul and a good sniffer, but she never went to far. She clearly bonded with me as mom and provider of food right off the bat. I would feed her, then sit next to her as she ate, and I would pull her tail, poke her, take her dish away and make her sit and wait until I put it back down, and she simply waited with the patience of a saint. My thoughts were this; what would a crawling baby and toddler possibly to do a dog? And how would the dog react? I wanted to trust Mocha, that if my baby was crawling around she wouldn't get hurt and I felt completely confident in Mocha.
Mocha never displayed an ounce of aggression. She was sweet, kind, patient, trainable and the best friend to us all.The kids adored her, they still do. We got another sweet pup named Libby that was a little high strung, and Mocha helped us to train her to not bark so much and to stay off the carpeted areas. They were BFF's. We got some kittens, and they too adored Mocha, though Mocha simply tolerated them. All dogs and cats always loved her, and she appeared to have the attitude of a grump who tolerated them, but secretly loved the attention. When my step-father was sick and in and out of the hospital, we would dog-sit my mom's dog, Suzie, and they played like old friends.
About 4 years ago things got pretty intense at home, and my ex husband moved out. Mocha spent a short time in foster care with a friend named Karen, while Libby stayed with me. Mocha was having some anxiety issues, but was only with Karen for a short time. I knew I would be moving shortly and wasn't sure if my new, small house and property would be a good fit for Mocha. I moved out of the family home, my ex moved back in, and Mocha stayed with him there. My youngest son, my youngest daughter and myself moved into the new house with the three cats, Mocha and Libby stayed with my ex. (My other two kids were away at college.) Hold on, this is where it gets hairy.
So, with my ex out at the old house with the dogs, and my two kids and cats with me, we marched on. Then my son got angry at me and moved back in with his dad. When he started speaking to me again, he told me that his dad was not taking care of the little dog, Libby. Libby was a sheltie/pom mix, and her fur and skin were a disaster. Since she was little, had less anxiety, and didn't roam the property as much, I brought her home with me. I bathed and groomed her, fed her some good food, and gave her a lot of love. She was happier with me for sure. Then my son got upset with his dad and moved back in with me. Around this time my ex was telling me that Mocha was sick, Mocha was having seizures, Mocha was about to pass. But my son was telling me, mom, Mocha is fine, I don't know what dad is talking about. So right about here is where I should say that my ex had found a girlfriend that lived approximately a 60-80 minute drive south of our area and he was spending many nights in a row at her house. He had been having my son take care of Mocha while he was at his girlfriend's house, so when my son moved back in with me, he no longer had his live-in dog sitter. That is when the claims of Mocha being sick began.
Then one day he called me and said that Mocha had died in the night. He contacted all of the children and told them also, and we were all devastated. To be honest though, the whole thing felt really weird and I thought that he had possibly killed Mocha. But then I thought, no, not even he was that horrible. Mocha was 12 after all, she could have died of old age. Then a few days later I got a text from my friend Karen who had fostered Mocha asking me how Mocha was doing. Instantly and instinctively I knew something was wrong and I texted her back saying, Mocha has passed. Why? She said, "Because of this.", and she forwarded a text to me from the local humane society of a dog that either looked like Mocha or was Mocha. And if you saw the picture I posted of her, you saw that she has some fairly distinct markings, and I knew my girl. I felt a feeling that I had never felt before and could not adequately describe; disgust, relief, anger, compassion for my dog, seething hate for my ex. I was shocked, but not shocked. My kids were livid! At the time I was home with my younger three, my oldest daughter was home for Christmas, but my oldest son was still in Portland and not home for Christmas yet. My youngest daughter flipped out and started screaming, "What's wrong? What happened?" And I, as calmly as I could, explained to her that apparently her dog was not dead, her father has abandoned her, and she was at the humane society. All four of us were shocked, confused and angry. What the hell was going on?!?!
I had my older daughter stay with the younger and I grabbed my son we and headed to get our girl. The humane society was only a few miles away, and as we drove my son called his dad. My otherwise extremely calm disc-golfing chill son was screaming at his father. He asked him how he could do this, what the f*&k was wrong with him, etc...His father came up with an elaborate lie saying Mocha died in the night, he put her outside to bury her the next day, went to work, came home, and she was gone. Right. My son told him that as far as he was concerned, everything that came out of his mouth were lies. There was more, but you get the idea.
We got to the humane society and they took us back to the kennels. My poor sweet girl was sitting upright, attentive yet scared. She saw us and got a look on her face like, could it be?! Then she looked like, YES, it is!!!! She jumped up, started crying and wagging her tail, and they opened the kennel and she pushed herself into me and cried. She just sat and cried. I was so relieved, and so effing angry. We had to prove that she was ours by showing them pictures we both had, pay a fee, and we took her home. They told us that someone had found her by the local community college, about 10 miles from where she was living, kept her for a few days while trying to find her home, then brought her there. So my ex had dumped her, abandoned her, left her. The thought of my sweet pup being pushed out of the car, wondering what was happening, watching the car as the effing a$$hole drove off, broke my heart. I was torn in two.
We brought her home to my small house, and we loved on her like no dog has even been loved on before. She was so happy to be at home with us, and so tired. We fed her, and let her sleep. I work for the local school district and was out of work for Christmas break, so between me not working and the kids being home, she was with someone at all times. She did not like being alone, she watched every move I made, and was at my feet 24/7. Yet, she was with me and alive.
Needless to say, the kids didn't spend any time with their dad that Christmas. They were so angry, yet felt voiceless with him. So they avoided him. Other than my younger son, none of them have ever said a word about this to him. I understand, I went years without confronting him about his bad behavior because it does no good whatsoever. Sometimes I still feel so much anger at him for doing this, and so sad for Mocha.
Well, I went back to work and Mocha has now twice destroyed my drywall and border, and door, trying to get out of the house. I bought one of those really sturdy hard plastic kennels, and she chewed away at it so much that there was blood dripping down the side of it, and she bent it so much that she was able to pull the door right off. So I resorted to anti-anxiety meds. Thank God they worked. Mocha still does not like to be alone, I will leave to go get the mail and come right back and she will be on the couch looking out the window crying. My boyfriend has come over when I wasn't there and has heard her in the house crying as he walks up to the front door.
A few months back I took Mocha off of the anti-anxiety medication, and other than following my every move and crying when I leave, she is so much better. Mocha will be 14 in September and I just took her in for a check up. Her vet said that she's a bit old, but fine, she has a few more good years. It brings tears to my eyes seeing her age, watching her struggle going up the stairs, seeing her lose her footing and slip, calling her and her not hearing me, seeing the gray in her face. But yet she still likes to roam around and explore, she likes to take walks, she loves pats. My girl has always been a big 'ol love, she has never ever been aggressive with anyone or anything, she has been with me through thick and thin, she has laid next to me on the floor as I cried in my frustrations, she has been my best friend. I hate my ex for what he did to her, but at least I know I am giving her a good home and a good life. I don't know what I'll do without her.