Memories of Mojo

After Indy died, my sister and I desperately missed the bark when the doorbell rang, and being greeted with a wagging tail when we came home, and we desperately wanted another dog. But we did not have any luck finding a dog at the humane society that was suitable for our family, so my parents decided they wanted to wait until I got my guide dog. At first, I was crushed. I was in seventh grade, and the time when I would be able to get a guide dog still seemed a long way off. I absolutely loved Snickers, and I think she enjoyed being the only pet in the house. We spent many happy Saturday afternoons with her purring in my lap, or chasing around a cat toy. Still every time I went to a friend’s house who had a dog, or heard a neighbor walking their dog, I was filled with a sense that something was missing. Indy was a special dog, and of course, she would hold a place in my heart that no other dog would be able to fill. But Indy made me recognize that dogs do not live very long, and I believed I could make room in my heart for another dog without forgetting Indy.
     Six months after Indy died, this ache for a dog was eased considerably when Mojo came in to our family. Mojo was a black labrador retriever who belonged to my brother who lived about half an hour away. He was not officially our dog, but I got to see him regularly, and we occasionally got to watch him when my brother traveled, or when he had to work long hours, and did not want to leave him home alone so long.

     Just like Indy, Mojo did not have the manners for a guide dog: he loved people so much he could not resist greeting them by jumping on them. But by then, I was bigger and stronger and thus could brace myself when all eighty pounds of him jumped on me (smile). His table manners were much better than Indy’s. Sometimes during dinner, he would stick his head through your arm and beg a little bit, but he never stole food right out of your hand or climbed on to a chair to lick plates. The only thing you had to hide from Mojo, believe it or not was bread! If a bag of bread was left on the counter, he would put his front paws on the counter, force the bag open, and eat the loaf! After eating three loaves of bread one week, we finally learned that anything else could be left out, but we had to put the bread away securely.

     And as far as his behavior toward Snickers, he was the exact opposite of Indy. He did not give the poor kitty a moment of peace! If he saw her, the chase was on, so when Mojo came, we didn’t see much of her. But he made for a wonderful pet, and a loyal watchdog, reminding me of Indy. His free spirit, and joyful outlook on life uplifted me, and even when my brother came to take him home after a visit, I felt a renewed joy for life, and would think about him and smile as I went about my school routine.
     What stands out most in my memories of Mojo was that he absolutely loved to play fetch. One of our family’s favorite stories to tell is when Mojo got loose, ran to a tennis court, stole someone’s tennis ball, and then ran to the fire station, and dropped the ball at the feet of a fireman to play fetch! Even animal control thought it was cute, and did not give my brother a sitation. He loved fetch so much that if you even said fetch or ball in a flat tone of voice, he would jump on you in anticipation, so we had to spell it! Mojo is the only dog our family has had that actually brought the ball back. Indy and my guide dog are both the type of dog that chase after the ball, and then lay down to chew on it. He could play fetch until you thought your arm would fall off, and even when he is panting and exhausted, you could tell he was disappointed when you decided he needed to rest.
     Mojo also amazed our family with his intelligence. We swear he understood English. He knew the difference when we told him to get his ball or his bone. In another favorite family story, my mom had opened the outside dorr and said to Mojo, “go outside so we can go to bed!” That is exactly what Mojo did: he ran outside, did his business, and then ran up to the bedroom! Mojo was the true example of the fact that dogs are more intelligent than we give them credit for.
     Since I knew that Mojo was the last dog I would get to spend time with who was strictly a pet, I admit I could not resist spoiling him the way a grandma spoils her grandchild (laugh). When my parents fed him, they gave him a normal bowl, but when I fed him, his bowl was filled to overflowing. When he was at our house, my parents did not want him on carpet, and absolutely forbid him from the furniture because he shed a lot. But when we were home alone, and he begged to be with me, I would let him lay next to me on the couch. Once, I even let him sit on my lap, even though he was way past lap size, and he was practically suffocating me. He wanted to lay on my lap, probably wanting to go back to his puppyhood, and it was too adorable to say no!
     Last year, my brother moved far away, and I have not seen Mojo in almost a year. My disappointment about having to part with Mojo was lessened by the fact that just a few months later, I would receive a guide dog, and he would truly be my dog. I absolutely love my guide dog, and he is much easier to care for because he actually has proper guide dog manners, and he is so mellow you would think he is an old dog. Still, every now and then, I confess I find myself missing Mojo, and his untamed joy for life, coming from a dog who would not have made for a good guide dog, but was a wonderful, unforgettable pet who will always occupy a place in my heart.


2 Responses to “Memories of Mojo”

  1. 1 Ceci February 7, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    I loved this post:)

  2. 2 Ceci February 7, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Ehm hae Allison, I was thinking maybe I could help you to import all your posts to your new blog.
    What do you think about it?

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