I was going to write about the rest of my trip to Thailand this week, but life took an unexpected turn. Our dear little dachshund, Mojo, died in my arms on 12/12/12 at 8:25 AM. I wanted to write warmly and effusively about Thailand, and tell funny anecdotes about my wonderful trip, but find my mind won’t go there yet.
Mojo was such a worried-looking dog for her entire life, with one blue and one brown eye. She was a dapple, which means she had white on her coat, as well as the black and tan. In the dachshund breeding world, white is bad, but to us, she was perfect.
I already had Arnie, but we decided to get a second dog, and Nicky said he wanted it to be his dog. Nicky was ten years old in the spring of 2000 when he and I drove to Wee Wags Dachsie Kennel just outside the Kelowna Airport.
A litter of mini dachshunds had been born, and they were now three weeks old. We went upstairs, and the owner had her daughter carry the mom out of the room, as she was angry at us for touching the pups. We knew wanted a female, and there were three. One had a white tail tip, so Nicky said he wanted that one.
We visited Mojo again when she was about six weeks old, and at the time the kennel owner said as she was Nicky’s dog, he would be the registered owner. She asked him what her middle name should be, and he thought briefly and replied, “Little.”
Mojo came home at the age of nine weeks and immediately fell in love with Arnie, who was then five. He couldn’t have cared less about her, because his sole purpose in life was figuring out where I was. Nonetheless, they became good friends, and went on many adventures together.
Their favourite pursuit was hunting quail, especially the baby quail, in the spring and summer. They’d be out for an hour or more, routing under the brush, and eating as many baby quail as they possible could. Some days they’d come in so hot they’d lay on the wood floor, panting, until they’d cooled down.
One thing Mojo hated was being left alone with Arnie and the cats when we all used to go to school and work. I recall coming home from work one day, and going into my bedroom to change. When I picked up my jeans, I realized the entire crotch area had been chewed out and eaten by Mojo.
As I went into the living room to inform Nicky what his dog had done, I passed a pile of dog feces on the floor. As I went to open my mouth to now list the two things the dog had done, I noticed she’d dug the arm of the couch down to the wood! That was an expensive day.
In fact, the digging went on for quite a while, and I used to say, “that dog’s trying to dig her way to China.” On several occasions, she went through bedspreads, blankets, sheets and right into the mattress itself with her insane digging.
But her greatest weakness was food, and she was indiscriminate in what she ate. Just this spring, when the bears raided our garbage and we viewed the video, there was little Mojo, cleaning up the garbage left behind by the bears. She literally ate anything.
As a result we noticed quite a terrible bloat happening this summer, and the vet said her liver enzymes were very high. He speculated she could have a disease called Cushing’s, but said without further testing we couldn’t be sure.
I went to Thailand, and the dog though quiet, seemed fine. I returned home, and all was normal until Sunday, when I saw the same bloating. She was very uncomfortable, so I took her to the emergency vet. The vet thought it might be a bad back instead, and gave me pain pills.
On Monday she was okay, but on Tuesday she was very ill all day. She began vomiting around 5:00 PM and continued all night. I had her blocked in my room, but couldn’t do anything to help her other than to be there.
By morning she wasn’t able to move, and I called the vet’s office and left a message. As I was moving her to the car just before 8:30 AM, she began gasping for air. As I held her in my arms and realized she was dying, I prayed aloud for God to give me the strength to survive this terrible moment.
And then it was over. I laid her back in her bed, and Nicky came home, saw her, and thought she was asleep. I told him she’d died, and he was sad, though he didn’t cry. We were surprised at how sick she must’ve been to die so terribly and so quickly.
Nicky dug her grave that day, near Arnie’s, and Denis came over after work. He carried Mojo and her bed to the hole and placed her inside. The three of us said what a good dog Mojo had been, and Denis and Nicky covered her with dirt.
When we walked back to the house, Nicky said, “Thanks for coming to help bury Mojo, dad.” Denis replied, “Thanks to you two for waiting for me. Mojo was a good friend to me, too.”
And so, just little Ricky and the two dear cats remain. Yesterday and today snow is falling, blanketing Mojo’s grave, and it’s a sign that she’s been put to bed. We have to carry on; it’s what the living must do.