Saturday, August 1, 2015


When my sister Brooke was in middle school she thought of this ingenious idea to go down to the local animal shelter and take pictures of the pets and post them on the internet. This was early days of both digital photography and the internet.
At first, the employees were very skeptical of this young girl coming in there and taking pictures on this strange big ole box of a digital camera. But every week our mom would drive her down there.
Within a few weeks, the animals started getting picked up at a crazy never before seen rate. Cats, dogs, but also chickens, snakes. All kinds of species. The shelter said no one had ever adopted a chicken from there before, but lo and behold people were driving from Torrance, and all over Southern California to come rescue these animals.
All thanks to Brooke’s efforts.
The first thing our mom said to Brooke when she started going down there was, "There is absolutely no way in hell that we are taking any of these animals home. So don’t even think about it. Don’t get attached."
But then one day of course, they bring in this beautiful little 4 month old clumsy, big pawed, black puppy. The shelter’s rule was that you had to wait something like 2 weeks from when the animal was admitted until when someone could adopt it. My mom was smitten. She went there every single day and sat with the dog on the other side of his cage for those 2 weeks. And then she brought him home.
What to name this little beast?
Well, when my mom was pregnant with Brooke, we were on a family skiing vacation in Colorado and her hormones were all over the place. The Mets were in the World Series around that time and we loved Mookie Wilson for some reason. We joked around over dinner one night that we were gonna call the baby Mookie no matter what gender it turned out to be, and no matter what they decided the name was going to be on the birth certificate. And it made my mom cry cuz she was so vulnerable at that moment.
So all those years later, she brings home this dog which she absolutely forbade Brooke to do. And of course, we gotta name him Mookie!
Mookie would run all around the yard jumping up 5 foot brick walls without breaking stride. Chasing squirrels all day err’day. He never caught a single one. He’d also scare the living shit out of cable guys and various other workmen too. He followed my mom around everywhere she went. And there wasn’t no way anyone was ever gonna mess with her. He was a good boy. I tell you what.
Last night I got the call that he wasn’t doing too well. And I immediately went over there and he didn’t even get up to come bark at me or nuzzle up to me wanting to be loved as he has done unfailingly for the last 13 or so years.
So we all gathered around him on his bed, and gave our love to the old man just as he had done for all of us.
I nuzzled my head hard in to his cheek and his neck so his doggie smell was all over my clothes and his salt and pepper doggie fur was all over my beard and face. And I said goodbye to our Mookie-boy. The Sheriff of Shetland. The Mookster. And told him he was a good boy.
So long my friend. I'm sure you're already chasing squirrels in the pastures of plenty. I love you Mr. Mookie.

Central Coast Herding Dog Rescue pup of the week... Mochi!

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