A few days ago, I was surfing on my phone and looked at the “Adoptable Dogs” on the CAWS website (Community Animal Welfare Society). I do this a lot. I look at Petfinder, or the County Animal Shelter site, or Best Friends and scroll through available dogs. It’s really hard because once I start looking at them, I want to save them all.
In any case, I scrolled through the dogs and stopped on a powdered-sugar faced chocolate lab named “Mocha.” My heart skipped a beat. I read her bio: “Mocha is as older gal who just wants a place to curl up and nap. She is the sweetest girl who gets along with everyone! Mocha would love a place to live out her golden years with comfort and love. She is very easy going and gentle. Mocha uses the dog door and can be trusted alone.”
It didn’t take me long to say, “Sign me up!” I emailed my contact at CAWS (it’s the same organization where I got Charlotte about 6 months ago) and waited… I heard back and she said she had forwarded my application to the foster mom, Stacy. And I waited… Gosh it’s so hard to wait to hear back on things like this! In reality, it was about 12 hours later that Stacy texted me and after playing a little bit of phone tag, we chatted about Mocha and set up a meeting for 3 days later.
Three whole days! Ugh, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to wait three days to see this girl. But it was good. I reflected on the fact that we have a pretty stable household with Franklin, the 15 year-old Golden Retriever who uses a walker/wheelchair to go on walks; Charlotte who is turning into a very well mannered puppy and follows commands well; and the cats who are happy and cozy in their beds now that the weather is getting colder, and are not getting terrorized by Charlotte like she did when she was younger. So I thought about it, and thought about the energy change that a new dog might bring to the household. Getting a senior dog really seemed like the way to go, and at 13 years old, how much more life did Mocha have left? It seemed like a no-brainer to bring her into this home and give her a couple really good years.
So I met up with Stacy and her husband at the Murray Park on Friday morning. I met Mocha. Typical senior dog, she was like, “Oh yeah. Who are you? Ok. Whatever… did you smell this over here? It’s really good. Hey, I want to go for a walk, so I’m going to pull on this leash until I get you to start moving the way I want to go. Ok, yeah. Over here. Thanks.”
She was super cute and warmed up to me after a few minutes, gave me a couple of quick smooches and let me massage her ears. And then, Stacy asked me if I wanted to take her for the weekend.
Oh boy. Here we go. Do people just know I’m a pushover for dogs? Seriously, “take her for the weekend” and I’ll never give her back. They totally know how to play me.
Mocha’s story: she has been with her foster family for about 6 months. She was dumped in Davis County with her brother, who has a large abdominal tumor and is now on hospice. CAWS (Stacy’s husband) picked up the dogs from the Davis County Shelter which is a kill shelter. Mocha’s teeth were rotting out of her head, and most of them had to be pulled. She was very skinny, and has actually gained quite a bit of weight. She has really bad arthritis in one hip (you can feel it crunching when she sits down) but it doesn’t seem to bother her much. It’s so bad, it makes me wonder if she jumped out of a truck at some point and maybe fractured it. The vet X-Rayed it initially, and found only arthritis.
So I took her for a trial run (or as I like to say, a “test drive”). I ended up taking her in to the vet for a skin rash that had developed, and I also wanted to get some heartworm testing done and start her on heartworm meds, and also start her on some Rimadyl (doggie-ibuprofen) for her arthritis. She boarded at doggie-daycare at the vet on Saturday while I went hiking with Charlotte.
I took Charlotte in to pick Mocha up, and all the girls couldn’t believe how big she was and what a nice little lady she has turned into. Mocha was happy to see us, and started panting and smiling. We got her medications and hopped in the car.
Sunday morning, I took all three dogs on a walk on the Shoreline Trail (Fra. Mocha definitely is hard of hearing, and is used to doing her own thing, as she wandered quite far away from us but is slow enough that I was able to catch up to her and round her up. Charlotte scampered around us, not sure what to do, because we had left Franklin behind on the trail and now the group wasn’t together… but we reunited and I put Mocha on the leash for the rest of the walk.
I picked up some marrow bones at the store and gave each of the dogs a bone to chew on for the rest of the day. We all took naps and then in the afternoon the sun came out, and I decided to get Charlotte out for a few more miles.
Mocha saw me putting on my running shoes and started pacing around and whining, so I took her with us to the North Salt Lake Shoreline. She made it 3 miles, and is now delightfully tired this evening.
My brother captioned one of the photos I posted of her on Instagram: “Mocha’s Freedom Ride.” I think it is quite fitting. Pretty sure she is going to have an awesome time joining our pack. I feel lucky to have her with us.
To be continued…