Enough time has elapsed that I can tell you about Moon
without getting a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye. Moon died
in my arms almost a year ago
You might think this is rather unusual. But it took me
a long time to be able to talk about the passing of a great and pure
There is a saying that goes back in English
literature many years that says, “If you own a bulldog, it will
break your heart.” Moon was an English Bulldog and he did his
part to perpetuate that old saying.
Most of us have owned dogs of every breed. I’ve had
a dog since I was a little boy. Most of us loved them and we all thought
they were special. But along came Moon.
Out of curiosity one Sunday afternoon, I drove out to a
farm north of Lubbock to see some bulldog puppies that had been advertised
in the pet column of the A-J.
I found the house, met the llady who owned them and looked
at three really cute bulldog puppies in a box.
While we were talking, the lady said, “There’s
another one … a make … but he keeps getting out of the box.”
As I looked around, there he was … a white pup with a gray ear
and dark marking on his back.
He was carrying a stick as big as he was, and he saw me.
He dropped the stick and ran to me as fast as his fat bowed legs would
I thought he would jump up but he simply pushed his face into my out-stretched
hands and stood very still.
I didn’t ask the price of the pup. I would have given
the lady my car and caught a cab back to Lubbock with this animal who
connected with me like something magic.
Moon and I went home, all the way with his ungly little
face pressed in my hand. Moon grew rapidly into an incredible 60-pound
He only stood about 12 inches high at the shoulder, but
his chest was very wide and the last collar I bought him was 23 inches
around his neck.
From the day I brought him home, all he did was wait for
me. When I got home he might be playing in the yard with neighbors.
Or with his ball.
But when he saw me, he came. And his eyes said, “I
like them, but I love you. You are my protector, my provider, and I
His favorite pastimes were snaking up on my wife when she
was digging in the flower beds and pushing her over. This would be followed
by a hilarious chase with moon staying just out of broom’s length.
The other was moseying into the house and clearing all
of us out or scurrying for the cans of air freshener. Moon had a digestive
problem and he knew when we had company.
Moon developed entropins over both eyes where the heavy
wrinkles turn the eyelid under. I took him for two
to correct this painful problem. And he knew I was doing it for him.
When I felt of his terribly swollen eyes, he would gently
take my forearm in his huge mouth and move it aside, almost apologetically.
Moon was beautifully ugly. Each time we went to the vet,
the waiting room emptied rapidly of ladies with poodles and cats when
Moon greeted them all with those horrendous snorting noises that bulldogs
I couldn’t take Moon for a ride. He wouldn’t
sit anywhere but in my lap, and it is very hard to drive with a 60-pound
bulldog behind the wheel.
About twice a week he would bring all of the firewood to
the porch, escape from the back yard and take great enjoyment from the
fact that I always came to the city pound, or a distant back yard to
get him. Moon was totally, helplessly mine.
Of course, he was a vigorous male. So I arranged to have
him matched with a female to raise a family. Moon had been practicing
on trees, his dog house, and he was ready.
After a week, Moon was brought home seriously ill. He couldn’t
breathe and had trouble standing, although he tried to come to me.
We took him to an emergency veterinary clinic and Moon
was put into ice water to lower his climbing temperature. I held his
massive round head while several shots were given him, and oxygen was
put into his
All the time Moon looked at me. He didn’t struggle. He just looked
and knew that again we were doing this for him.
Moon died looking straight at me and I know I could read
in his eyes, “Can we go home now?”
I couldn’t talk. I stood there holding his head for
several minutes as that huge body stiffened and became cold.
Finally, I asked the veterinarian if he would take
care of Moon.
I don’t remember saying anything more while my wife
and I drive home. Moon was only four years old.
For a while after that I thought I could hear Moon snoring
in the flower bed under our window. And I caught myself looking for
him in the back yard as he waited … always waited … for
I was wrong. Not enough time has passed for me to write
this story of Moon.