I watched my son bury his dog today. He sobbed as he tenderly emptied each shovel of woodsy earth over the white blanket covering his beloved friend…and I wondered as I watched. How did we get so lucky to have shared thirteen years with this particular dog, Moon?
I believe God sent the best dog to the best boy and that’s what my heart saw today…a twelve year old boy saying goodbye to his best friend. My son is actually a young man…a fire fighter, six foot three and, like his dog, full of character and integrity, if low on charm. I raised him as a single parent but I wasn’t alone. Moon was there every step of the way. They worked and played and learned together like family…like brothers. My son grew into the man he is with Moon’s help. They really were the classic “boy and his dog” only Moon never really saw himself as the dog. He was way too big for a border collie and poorly marked but he was the puppy my son selected. He was also every inch a true border collie…bossy, demanding, way too serious and intelligent in a humanlike way. He watched & learned to ring the door bell when he wanted to come in before he could even reach it. He was an amazing animal.
Moon had a good run. Not many dogs are as fortunate…living in the woods with lots of squirrels and rabbits to chase, ponds to splash in and unlimited freedom. But, he took his job seriously and growled when anyone attempted “baby talk” around him. Strangers were horrified but we became accustomed to his teeth bared, lip curled snarl when we dared to leave his fold for school or work. And he always knew when we were coming home before we got there…waiting at the edge of the woods to herd our car safely down the drive.
I believe our dogs will be waiting for us in the next life and I asked God to be there at the gate with a treat for Moon when he arrived. I need to believe that any being so bound to his boy and his duty…any being so committed to serving so selflessly for so long has earned a special spot there. I believe Moon will be waiting for us at the edge of Heaven when we get there….waiting as always to herd us down the right path…looking back to make sure we are following.