Dog lover and outdoorsman, John Marshall is a veteran reporter who has worked for The Associated Press and other major news outlets.
Mookie the Dog Hopes His Story Will Cheer Humans During These Difficult Times
I know humans want to go back to work and start doing all the things they used to do, but to me, as a dog, I’m appreciating this downtime during the Coronavirus lockdown.
I’m hoping this note to humans will make them feel better. You know, kind of like how a belly rub feels for us dogs.
My 'DadDog' Typed Out His Story For Me
My name is Mookie. I’m a three-year-old Cairn Terrier mix who lives with a human I call DadDog. He thinks I’m very intelligent, but honestly I’m not that smart. It’s just that like most dogs, I understand English, can read minds and am able to communicate clairvoyantly with other dogs and humans who speak Dog. The one thing I can’t do is type, so my DadDog is writing this for me.
My DadDog used to lead a busy life, but lately he’s been home all the time. I’ve been wanting to tell this story, but it’s only now that my DadDog has taken the time to sit down and type the words out for me.
Now I don’t want to sound insensitive to humans, but this new leisurely life of sleeping in every morning, then being able to snooze most of the day and night nestled right up next to DadDog, while getting scratches and belly rubs, and also enjoying snacks throughout the day is, well, quite the dog’s life. Plus DadDog doesn’t get me up before sunrise anymore to take me for walks, but rather we go later in the morning, or even in the afternoon.
My DadDog is retired, but he was working a part-time job before the Coronavirus started making humans sick. He wasn’t a bad DadDog, but his BossDog called him up one day and said, “STAY” [at home]. BossDog said there was work to do anymore.
Sounds great to me, but my DadDog prefers to work, and I see most humans want to work as well. I don’t understand that, but then humans don’t understand why we sniff other dogs.
Was Rescued From Texas House With About 30 Dogs, No Air Conditioning
Though some people say my DadDog spoils me, my previous life wasn’t so idyllic. In fact, most people and dogs would think my previous life was rather horrible.
You see, I was born and lived in a house with about 30 other dogs. The humans in the house were what other humans call hoarders. My DadDog doesn’t know the details, but he’s been able to piece a few things together. I was a little puppy having to live with all those other dogs. You can just imagine what it was like when I tried to get something to eat. Also, it got really, really hot in the hoarders’ house for a while. Then these people came, took us all away and brought us to what humans call an animal shelter. It was cooler in the shelter, but there were dozens of dogs, with many crying and howling. I was already so scared, and all those terrified dogs just made me even more scared and sad.
I found out later the reason it was so hot in the house was because what humans call electricity had been shut off, and that powers air conditioning. We live in Texas, so it gets really hot and humid in the summertime, which is when the people came to take us away. My DadDog growls at the electric bill when it arrives during the summer months, but he makes sure it’s cool at home all the time, even when he’s not home.
In any case after a few days of being kept in a caged cell in the shelter these nice ladies came and took me to a big house. There were other dogs in the house, but not nearly as many as the house I grew up in. Plus it was cool inside.
Man With Funny Accent Took Me Away
Then one day a man came by. I didn’t know it at the time, but he was going to adopt me. I didn’t know what to make of it when he first picked me up, but he stroked my head, scratched the side of my neck and talked to me. He sounded different than the other humans I had known. I found out later it was what humans called an accent, and that he wasn’t from Texas, but had grown up in Boston. I didn’t know what was happening to me again, but the man talked to me in a pleasant manner, and despite the unusual way he pronounced words, there was a kindness in his voice. My dog instincts told me he was a good person and that he liked dogs. So though I was nervous again, my senses told me things would be okay.
After a while he carried me to his car and put me gently in the passenger seat. One of the nice ladies, who was fighting back tears, said goodbye to me. Then the man drove us away.
First Night In My New Home I Got the Surprise of My Life
After we got to his home and it started to get dark, the man put a t-bone steak on the grille. It smelled good and I was hungry, but because of the experiences of my previous life, I didn’t want to do anything, such as whimper, that might anger the man. And I certainly didn’t dare bark.
When the steak was done, the man took it off the grille and cut it up and then much to my disbelief -- he gave me part of it! It was delicious! I don’t think I had ever had anything so tasty in my life!
After devouring as much meat as I could, I happily chewed on the bone, working to get every last bit of meat off that bone. Occasionally the man would give me a few more pieces of steak, which I chewed down in no time. He did this until the entire steak was gone. When there was no more steak, I went back to chewing on the bone.
Throughout all this the man was watching a baseball game on his television. Occasionally, he would give out a sort of human bark, with a clenched fist. Other times, he would shout out some of what I knew to be dirty words, but I could tell they were not directed at me, so I wasn’t scared.
Frequently he would turn his focus away from the television and gaze upon me, appearing to nod his head approvingly as he watched me eat. With my dog senses and keen eyesight I could see the man had a shroud of sadness hanging over him. Humans can’t see such things, but I could see this shroud clinging to the man.
But as he looked down on me as I chewed merrily on the steak bone I could see the sadness lifting, much like coastal fog lifts away from harbor waters as the sun comes up. He started to smile, and despite the occasional human bark and dirty words as he watched the baseball game, he seemed quite pleased.
Mookie Brings Cheer To His New Home
I could tell my new DadDog liked me. And I liked him.
As it turned out, DadDog was watching his favorite team, the Boston Red Sox, and that he once had a longstanding tradition of watching baseball, or football, while sharing a steak with another dog. But that dog died, and every day since that shroud of sadness had clung to him with every step he took.
In any case, that first night with my DadDog was well over a year ago. I’ve really enjoyed life since he adopted me. And I especially enjoy life even more so that he’s home all the time. And I've never seen that shroud of sadness around him again.
But I can sense things in the human world are out of sorts. When my DadDog thinks he's taking me for walks, but I'm really taking him, I can see his human friends are anxious. Sure, they all stop and greet me, but I feel the worry and concern in their souls. Some have a shroud of sadness over them, just like that one I saw that first day on DadDog. But a lot of those shrouds are thicker, heavier and some are reaching deep inside their souls.
Mookie Promises Things Will Get Better
Someday, this will mostly be over. Yes, the Coronavirus will likely forever change the lives of humans. Social distancing will become the norm, large gatherings will be a thing to avoid, and perhaps humans will never shake hands again.
But businesses will be opening up again, jobs will start coming back and humans will be going back to work. And besides just working, humans are learning how to enjoy simple things in life, like appreciating nature. Since DadDog doesn’t have to go anywhere in the morning, he’s enjoying sitting on the deck in the morning, looking at the sea of trees and green leaves, sipping coffee and listening to the birds chirp. Now, he didn’t want me to reveal this, but for the first time in his life he noticed the birds seem to be communicating with each other. I knew that. All animals know that. But how come DadDog, and most other humans had never noticed?
Humans will also learn they can improve lifestyle habits, and do without certain things they’ve become accustomed to. My DadDog had been watching a lot of television news lately, but last night he turned off the TV after only a few minutes. Then he read a book. As he did, I could see a soothing sort of a haze of peace and relaxation rising from his body as he read. He’s even thinking about cancelling his cable TV, which would also save him money.
Use Social Media for positive advantages, like keeping updated with friends and reconnecting with old friends. And help each other out, and be kind to each other. Just like the people took me out of the horrible hoarding situation I was living in did, then those nice ladies from the rescue group named Who Rescued Who, took me out of that scary animal shelter. And then of course there’s my DadDog who adopted me and gave me a good home.
So humans, take it from me, Mookie the dog, remember, no matter how bleak life looks now, things will get better.
You might enjoy this story of how a stop at a liquor store led to the rescue of a stray dog.
- How a Stop at a Liquor Store Saved the Life of a Stray Dog
A stop for a six pack of beer sparked a neighborhood effort that got a stray dog off the streets and into a good home
John Marshall (author) from Houston, Texas on April 24, 2020:
Thank you Mary! I'll pass on your words to Mookie, when he arouses from a long nap. And yes, I agree, rescue dogs are just wonderful!
Marcy Bialeschki from Cerro Gordo, IL on April 23, 2020:
Heartwarming! I also have 2 rescue dogs. They are the best!