Mojo was the dear dog of a dear friend, a pit bull of undetermined but advanced age that finally caught up with her the week before last.
She was small, but had the musculature of her breed, matched with the sweetest of dispositions. Indeed, Mojo could be fairly characterized as a complete suck and a chronic worrier, skinny wee legs scrabbling anxiously whenever she crossed a slippery, uncarpeted floor in a desperate run for the couch and a cuddle.
She was a one-dog rebuttal of the Ontario government’s legislative restrictions on pit bulls, a moronic crackdown on a whole breed of dog anecdotally believed to be bad instead of on bad dogs.
Mojo would no sooner bite someone than scandalize them by reciting a dirty limerick, but wore her legally-mandated, stigmatizing Hannibal Lecter muzzle anyway, with minimal complaint.
The old girl’s winter was not a good one, and spring wasn’t much better. She lost her appetite and a lot of weight. Her energy was low, her immune system was not what it used to be. Last month, it got worse.
Compounding this heartache is it is usually up to the owner to decide when the poor pooch has had enough and pre-empt any more suffering with a final car ride to the steel table and the needle.
Also not always helping is the vet — professional and reasonably compassionate, but at the end of the day there to make a buck. Want to be with your beloved pet as she dies? That will cost extra. Why? It certainly costs the vet no more, but if it’s important to you, you’ll pay.
The condolences to my friend have been plentiful and sincere, in particular from other dog owners.
Dog people know how much goodbye hurts and that it’s never far away. Dogs age so quickly, so inevitably, from callow to codger right before your eyes in a handful of summers. Maybe the brevity of our time together is the lesson: Life’s short, so let’s chase some squirrels right friggin’ now!
The surprising thing about dog people is how they’re willing to get their hearts broken like this and then start all over again.
Other dogs will come and cruelly go, but there was only one Mojo.
Requiescat in pace.
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