It wasn’t long after I moved that I heard something interesting and amusing moving along the busy road in front of my house. Maybe you wouldn’t think a barking dog is very entertaining, but this dog was, indeed moving, and moving quickly! I imagined a dog with superpowers off for a morning run along the shoulder of the road.
Several days later, I heard that bark again. It was a quiet bark, persisting, then louder, then even louder, then quieter, then quieter…. I told my partner, Charles about it, and I acted out the barking volume change, and while graciously accepting my weirdness as always, he declared that this was indeed “the world’s fastest moving dog.”
One morning, when Charles and I were both awake at the right time, he heard it too! We started imagining who this dog was, and in our guesses and storytelling, I said, “and he’s named something like ‘Moose’.” There was no discussion. We both just accepted that this is a dog named Moose.
I told Charles I didn’t want to actually see Moose. I didn’t want to ruin the lore. I related a tale from California, when I visited my bestie there and we went to her mother-in-law’s house that had a gorgeous tiered yard. At the bottom of the yard was a small outlet in the hedgerow that looked to be a sort of nature-balcony yielding views beyond the private yard. I told my friend I never wanted to go down there and look out, because it would ruin what I imagined was beyond. There were unicorns out there if I didn’t see there weren’t! Charles agreed. “You should never meet your heroes,” he said.
So Moose remained a gorgeous, perfect, magical dog.
Until one day, I accidentally saw him.
It wasn’t his regular time, which is between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. It was around 2:30 p.m. and I was sitting on the couch but the bark was unmistakable. Here comes the world’s fastest moving dog! I couldn’t help myself and I looked out the window, and there he was: a beautiful blur of black and white fluff with half his body hanging out the passenger window of a teal SUV or maybe a pickup with a bed cap.
I texted my partner with, “I saw Moose!” and I could feel his concern for me through the cursor-bubbles of typing indication. But he didn’t need to worry. Moose was indeed all that I dreamed he’d be.
After that, we decided to have a “Moose watch.” Upon learning that my hero was truly heroic, Charles now wanted to see this animal for himself. He works night shift, so we had to set an alarm and drag ourselves out of bed early. We started just before 7:00. Charles made us coffee. I told him what I guessed of the vehicle description, and we watched.
We saw a couple rounds of children gathering at the nearby bus stop and be gathered by the school bus. We watched our neighbors who work traditional shifts drive off to work. We looked and waited for any teal vehicle at all to come towards us from up the road. Charles started to get visibly, and wiggledly, bored. After almost a full hour of Moose watch, he gave up.
I remained to give him five more minutes, the actual full hour. Four minutes later, Charles was in the back of the house, in the kitchen, when I shouted “MOOSE!!!!” and by the time Charles made it to the front windows, he was only able to identify the make and model of the teal SUV that had passed us.
I saw Moose, though, and it was a better look this time. He’s a border collie, and I’m rather confident that he is in fact male, because he’s quite large for the breed. And let me tell you, he’s just the handsomest, happiest guy you ever did see.
After that, Charles was rather discouraged, and when I got him up the following morning to give him another chance, he wasn’t into it. He was pacing and distracted or just scrolling on his phone paying no attention at all. I was chagrined at his lack of interest, but I kept the faith and managed to keep Charles at least in the living room.
Then I saw it. All the way up the road and coming towards us was a teal SUV with a big, black-and-white, fluffy head sticking out the passenger side. “Moose!”
Charles dashed to our all-window front door, and I sprung up to his side, and there, together, we watched Moose roll by, screaming, “hi, hi, Hi, Hi, HI, HI, Hi, Hi, hi, hi…!!!” which to human ears came as bark, bark, Bark, Bark, BARK, BARK, Bark, Bark, bark, bark….
Charles was gleeful, and so was I! That Moose, he was just so happy to be on that car ride, that he couldn’t even contain his joy. His human had to roll down the window to let Moose hang outside with that joy, and still the joy had to explode out of him in constant barks.
That joy washed over Charles, whose joy washed over me, and heck, aren’t you feeling it now, while I share it with you?
We talk about Moose almost every day. We’ve seen him several times now, but the lore endures.
The timing is pretty consistent, I’ve confirmed. Usually between 7:15 and 7:45 in the morning. One day he came by at noon, the only other afternoon sighting on record so far. Charles was home and we both just looked at each other and said, “Moose!” as we heard the barks approach and we made it to the window in time to see him bark his way by.
I’ve heard Moose in the morning all seven days of the week, but he’s not always flying by every day of the week, so while it’s a consistent time, it’s not a consistent schedule. He travels rain or shine, cold or hot (yes, always with the window down), so it can’t just be morning trips to the park.
So where is Moose going? What does Moose do for a living? Why does he only ever travel east???
We were hypothesizing this morning that Moose could work at a stable or work as a security guard. We joke about doing some serious gumshoe work, following Moose to see where he goes, but we won’t. Maybe some day, we will just happen upon Moose at an intersection and naturally follow in a non-creepy way and solve the mystery.
Until then, we have what gorgeous, perfect, magical Moose has given us.
He gave us faith that it’s safe to meet our heroes, that the world can indeed live up to our imaginations’ hopes of it, that there actually are unicorns beyond the garden.
He gave us the command to live in the moment and go ahead and let every day, with its everyday things, be special. See, Moose goes on that car ride several days a week, but each ride he thrills in as if it’s his very first, very best. Routine doesn’t diminish a favorite thing for him. It doesn’t become lackluster and is never taken for granted.
And Moose understands that it is correct to shout one’s joy to the world, to share even the smallest delight in such a big way that it broadcasts contagious positivity in palpable waves, rain or shine.