My dog turns 11 today. I adopted Mooki when she was a mere two and a half. Time flies. She was so skinny then and is now a much more square looking chubby sausage on toothpicks.


Mooki has been significantly knocked down the totem pole at Chez Arbo since the arrival of one Mr. K. Pants, and while it was fairly evident that the Moobag was disappointed with this turn of events, she didn’t care *that* much because well, Mooki doesn’t care that much about anything. Except maybe cheese. She’s come around to Kale a bit – although slowly. These days it seems she has actually attempted play with Kale, and has given him a – gasp!- tiny bits of kissiness once in a while. Moo is not a kissy dog for the most part – which is fortunate as her breath is revolting -so little licks and tentative kisses are a surprise.

Moo is slower now, and I see time catching up with her. She likes her creature comforts and especially sleeping on beds surrounded by pillows, and occasionally we see a limpy leg after a long sleep in one position. She snores like a train more often than not these days. She sheds more than she ever has, and she’s stuck in her ways so steadfastly that I’m starting to think she is as stubborn as she is just to spite me. She thinks that the water in the designated water bowl is for suckers, and it is the algae-growing nastiness in the trough outside that she prefers to drink. She will ask to go out, and now, set in her ways, is more persistent and scratchy to be let back in instantaneously after a quick sip.

When Miss Mooklyn Pie dies, I will be very sad. Although it could be a long way off – shibas are known to regularly live to 17 – I see time making its mark on Mooki, slowly creeping across her fuzzy butt and settling into her bones, her eyes, her greying snoot.  I might complain about her and joke about her snootiness, but really, I will miss her dearly. Yesterday I actually reminded her that she would make a very lovely pair of slippers. Because she was being a snot to our neighbour’s dog. Again. Sigh. At least she is predictable.

Happy birthday Mooface.

Mooki’s birthday is a bittersweet day, as it is also the anniversary of Dad’s death in 2006. I’ve talked about my dad before, and last year at this time I also wrote a post about him, and while I’m not trying to make this some sort of blog memorialization project where every year I tell you about how sad I am to have lost my dad, I am making a point of thinking of Dad today. I ran across some files the other day (as I’ve spent a great deal of time going through boxes of crap in an attempt to downsize) and I found the copy of Dad’s service record from the Navy. More than ever I know that my Dad was a good man, but reading snippets of a life before I existed fascinates me. He wasn’t just “Dad”, he was so much more than that. As a parent now, the understanding of how invisible you become has hit home.  Today, however, I am remembering one specific event from my teen years:

I used to be involved in youth theatre. I was one of the older kids and I had a fantastic memory for lines, so I regularly got handed long winded roles in plays, like narrators, or fairy godmothers, or wicked witches. Disclosure: I secretly miss community theatre and it’s my hope that one day I can return to community theatre and let the inner showoff back out of the box she is living in.

At one point in grade 10? 11? 12?  I was involved in a production of Aladdin, that was written in a singsong rhyme-y verse interpretation of the classic story. Rhyme scheme was the highly effective A-B-C-B and it was a complete cinch to memorize because of it. And my job was Scheherazade and I was telling the story of ourhero, that scamp Aladdin. I sat on a little stool on the stage apron during the actual action and would narrate in-between scenes.  I got decked out in this horrendous pink and gold billowy 60’s harem suit.  I think my mom still has this suit somewhere in her tickle trunk and I will give $40 to someone who could actually fit it. Some volunteer mother slathered my eyelids with turquoise blue eye shadow and used spirit glue gum to adorn my temples with rhinestones. I walked out onto stage under a spotlight against the black curtain and I spoke my opening lines. I flubbed a bit here and there, out of nervousness more than anything, but I did a fairly passable job and the audience clapped nicely after my opening monologue.

After the show, my dad presented me with a rose and was teary because coming to my play had made him see just how absent he’d been from my life. As a snot faced teenager, I was merely embarrassed.

Here’s to you, Dad. I still miss you and love you.

12 years ago


  1. Happy birthday, Mooki! 🙂

    And I’m sorry about your dad, Jen. I’ve “lost” a dad too, but to divorce.

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