Moki and I have been a team since 2009, when he came to live with me as an 8-week-old puppy. A Belgian Tervuren, he was actually the fourth Belgian shepherd I'd owned, but this time was different. My husband had died--much too young--two years earlier, and this was the first dog I would raise, train, and love all by myself without the support and help of another human. And Flash, the Belgian whom I still call my "heart dog," had died of cancer several months earlier, which was a terrible blow.
I picked Moki up at the breeder's house in Northern Connecticut, my older female Sizzle along for the ride. On that ride home, Moki let both me and Sizzle know he hated being in a crate. Sizzle, who loved to be ensconced in her crate, spent the entire two and a half hour trip with her paws over her ears, as the tiny pup cried, screamed, barked, mewled--whatever he could do to let me know he was less than thrilled to be hemmed in. I stopped every half hour or so to walk him, but he refused to relieve himself, until we were about a half hour from home, when he pooped a pile the size of himself in the crate (common wisdom says a dog won't do that, soil the place where he is sitting, but my Moki had no problem with it). Sizzle buried her head under her crate pad as I removed the sticky pup from the mess, poured some cool water over him, and put him on paper towels in the back seat. Then I tried to clean out the crate with bottled water and whatever I could find. It never ceases to amaze me how such a small puppy can manufacture such a big a smell. Somehow we made it home, where I gave him a proper bath and Sizzle many dog treats for being so patient. Thus began an adventure that has now been running for more than seven and a half years. Moki continues to be as cute in his own way as he was when he was 8 weeks old. He's been a wonderful partner, companion, and helpmate to me, and I will use this blog to write about some of his delightful (and not so delightful) antics.