Mar. 15, 2005,
Mookie's Door:

Dear friends, I am sorry to report to you that in the end, I did not trust Mookie. And because I am my father's daughter, I will not tolerate a dog
that will bite the hand that feeds it, nor allow him at my campfire. And as an employee of the Animal Shelter, I must be able to vouch for my
canine friends to the best of my ability.

But, he was something to see.

On his last day of freedom, he ran giant circles around me, pounding through the ponds of leftover rain, swooping over soaked dunes and careening around sage. All the time, he kept a close eye on me, carrying that squeeky dodo bird in his mouth. He came close with just-out-of-reach birdy squeeks. I pretended chase and encouraged his parading, until he lay down satisfied.

That was the last day we had together.

That night, when I put down his food and took off his collar, he turned with a growl and snapping jaw. I was aware of my position in regards to
his food, so I was not bitten. But, I could not count him on my side anymore. A captain of his own ship, he had navigated dangerous waters long
enough to trust his instincts far above my good intentions.

Mookie loved human company. When requested, he would sit and was learning an easy "down." His appraisals were quick and astute. More than once, I saw him look me over and decide I was no danger. He was gentlemanly on the leash, unless a rabbit or cat caught his attention. Then, you better hold on. In fact, the whole time with Mookie required vigilance and would continue to require unearthly patience and saintly strength.

I'm sorry that Mookie did not find his human companion who could reap the rewards of his earned loyalty. We humans breed dogs, we must accept the responsibility of their care. Where dogs and humans fit together, the careless hands who left him on his own failed him. As my father is
watching over me, I invoke his strength to make the decision to keep faith between man and dog and let Mookie go.

Karen Riggs

Moookie was euthanized last week and has crossed the "Rainbow Bridge."

The Dog Leg Diaries
Tales of Restoration

by Karen Riggs

Feb. 15 Kisses in the Wind
Feb. 8 "Mookie at the Window"
Feb. 5, "Raking Weather"

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Eastern Sierra US - A guide to the Eastern Sierra Nevada: Bishop, Mammoth Lakes, Bridgeport, Independence, Lone Pine and the counties of Inyo and Mono. Elevations from Mt Whitney to Death Valley.