Yeah, this blog is supposed to be about cycling, but I had a dog who deserves a post. Mocha came to us in late 2005 from Boxer Rescue LA, and she was already a few years old. Somebody had trained her well enough that she knew peeing was done outside (preferably while standing over a dainty flower), and she was quiet, rarely barking or growling.
Oh, I could induce her to bark, and she had one that was full-throated and scary, but she didn’t use it much. She was great with people, not so much with other dogs. On walks I would keep her away from other dogs because you never knew what might happen. Some dogs she totally ignored, while others she wanted to kill and eat for dinner. I couldn’t figure it out, maybe some sort of olfactory “F-U. No, F-U!” going on between them.
Mocha was a sweet dog and wanted to climb up in your lap, despite being 65 pounds. She was my patient audience, sitting quietly while I learned songs on the guitar, never howling in pain as I practiced the vocals. But she also had her misbehavin’ side. If I was preparing a meal and walked out of the kitchen for some reason, she’d be up on her hind legs with her snout trying to grab food off the counter, too often successfully. If I left a bedroom door open while at work, she’d sleep all day on a bed. She never learned to leave skunks alone, got sprayed three times and I got to breathe the reeking lava fumes while cleaning her.
But I could never be upset with her for too long. Once a week we would walk to Penguin’s Frozen Yogurt and she would wait patiently outside because she knew she would be getting a big spoonful.
Towards the end she still loved her walks at the beach, but it was hard getting up and down the steps and she could barely make it around the block. She suffered the indignities of Cushing’s disease for her last year, which was making her lose hair and pee 2-3 times as much. Her hearing was shot and she was getting hyper-sensitive to touch over a lot of her body.
When it got to be too much, I had a doctor from Choice Veterinary Care come to us and take care of her. We took her down to the grassy parkway by the street and laid her on a blanket under the palms with a cool ocean breeze blowing. With loving hands on her the vet gave her a shot to put her in doggy dreamland, then when she was unconscious gave her an overdose to put her away.
Mocha was not 100% boxer, and the part they left out turned out to be a positive – no slobber. But she was 100% groovy.