Moxie’s World

Moxie came to us from the snow in 2009. He was a Valentine’s gift. The first dog we brought home in Redding. At the time we had two other dogs, our first golden retriever Maverick and our aging black lab/german shepherd mix King. At the time we also had 4 cats and a bird, too. The Cummings Menagerie. Our little zoo.

But Mrs C wanted another dog, a playmate for Maverick to teach and have fun with before he’d gotten too old. And it was a good idea. Maverick was already 7 at the time and the clock was, indeed, ticking. So we searched and found a breeder. This breeder literally lived in the middle of nowhere, off the beaten path, and in the cold, winter snow. I told my friends “this is the address to which we quest to view these pups; send help if you do not hear from me in 3 hours.”

It was half in jest.

Out there, though, this breeder had a wonderful layout and more golden retrievers (of all ages) than I had seen in my entire life. It was heaven.

In a large room off the barn there was this litter. Mrs C had spied her target online, a dark red golden like Maverick. I fell in love with another, almost instantly, or should say one of them fell in love with me. This other dog, “Big Paws” we called him, would not leave me alone. So I sat with him and told the missus we may have to consider Big Paws instead. That changed when the dark red one that Mrs C favored charged into my arms, knocking Big Paws off my lap and out of my life forever.

Moxie and I, we fell in love.

On the way there Mrs C had said “I’ve got some idea for names, that being with ‘M’.”

Back then we were on a trend of “M” names for our pets. We had Maverick, of course, and the cats were named Muse, Mischief, Majesty, and Marlboro. Mrs C wanted to continue that trend.

So I said, “fire away.”

Mrs C said, “Moxie or …”

I stopped her. It was perfect.

Moxie did something on the long ride home that no other dog had previously done. He slept. He slept during the entire drive home on Mrs C’s lap and slept as we took him on tour to meet our friends. Everyone loved our sleepy little dog.

But we had concerns. Moxie played, and Maverick loved to play with his little buddy, but he slept a lot. He was almost too well-behaved, too low energy at times.

So we took him to our vet, who did a thorough examination on one of those cold, steel tables. Moxie slept through the whole exam. The doctor slid his little body back and forth across the table, and in circles, bemusedly, but Moxie slept through it all. I asked the doctor, “is that normal?” and the doctor exclaimed, laughing, “No!”

Nonetheless Moxie got a clean bill of health. And the puppy energy came. Boy did it come. At one point we took to calling him our little kangaroo because he bounced around so much. To this day he’ll answer to either “Moxie” or “Roo.”

As Moxie grew we realized he was not like Maverick, at all. Maverick was a champion, who loved the ball and the frisbee and the life of action. In fact, if you gave Maverick a choice between food and ball every day, Maverick would starve to death. True fact. Not Moxie. Moxie couldn’t catch a thing. His timing was terrible. He would chase that ball all over the house, knocking it this way and that, before finally securing it and losing interest. He was just not an athlete.

But he was an eater.

For some reason he was gaining weight like we hadn’t seen from the others. Let’s face it, he got fat. We didn’t know why. We figured we must have fixed him too soon until, one day, I was playing ball with Maverick when we noticed that Moxie would finish his food, and then go eat Maverick’s, and then go look to see if there was anything left of King’s. He was not a self-feeder. He still isn’t. Moxie is the reason no dog food bowls stay on the floor at Casa de Cummings.

fat
Not a self-feeder.

When King and Maverick passed, Moxie had the distinction of being the first dog we’d had in over 16 years to get all our attention. He was our only dog for two years, and I think he enjoyed that time a lot. Then along came Ludo.

Today, it’s just the two of them. The cats are gone. The bird is gone. Moxie and Ludo. Inseparable. Two golden treasures in our full lives. I can’t imagine life without these guys.

Moxie turned 10 in December. Ludo will be 4 in June. They are the best of pals, and they play off each other perfectly.

In April we’ll add a playmate. Around Valentine’s Day of this year, their younger brother was born. Mrs C has made her initial visit, put down her deposit. Will their little brother be a ball-chaser, like Maverick (and Ludo), or an incredibly well-behaved over-eater like Moxie? Will he be a shit-stirrer like Ludo?

Time will tell. For now, all we have are pictures of the parents (below), and all we really know is that Moxie will be the best big brother ever, again. Ludo? Well, again, time will tell… 🙂

41 thoughts on “Moxie’s World

  1. I loved this story! That reddish Golden is a beautiful color. I have golden mixes, I can’t take the shedding, I’m allergic really bad… but my husband had a cat, Loki, when we married and I loved her! (I almost sneezed.) We got our first golden doodle and I swear you had to check her for a pulse! Calm, sleepy, not a self feeder (ha! 80 lbs of sheer love our Dora). We did take on an elderly dog (Lilo)from a lady that was going into assisted living, but Lilo only had two years left. Then came our Dezzie, I swear I thought because of the breed they’d be similar at least in nature. Nothing further from the truth. Just how you explained the differences in your dogs. It’s unbelievable how different they can be!!! Dezzie was two when we got her. Dezzie never shut off! Dezzie hunts! Dezzie barks and jumps! Dezzie now takes drugs. We supply them. She’ll be the death of me. But I wouldn’t miss a moment! She’s always a little naughty and I love her for it! Best wishes with the new baby… more pics please! (When he comes home.) Very cool Tom!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Kim! It’s bizarre how different they can be. In my final draft I cut the part where I explained that we thought Moxie was soooo well-behaved because he had an older brother golden (Maverick) to teach him, and we expected Ludo would be even more well-behaved as a third gen. Well, we were WRONG! But I wouldn’t change a thing. Ludo has more personality than any 4 dogs! 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This just confirms that you don’t choose a dog. They choose you. And every one is different. I’d think of Goldens as being all ball-chasers, but Moxie proves that’s not always the case.
    And every day that I spend with dogs makes me think about how much we give them–food and shelter and affection–and it all seems so small, even inadequate, compared to how much they give us.
    Good luck with the new puppy,

    Liked by 3 people

  3. That was a fun canine time capsule.
    We’ve owned just one dog as a family: Katie, aka Dweeza, her nickname. She was a major PITA; hated other dogs, but loved us. The tears at her passing could fill a red beer cup. No more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In every way our first dog (Mickey) was our worst dog. He was a runner. Give him the tiniest crack of an opening and you’re chasing him up and down the block for hours. If you didn’t catch him he’d come home on his own, eventually, smelling of every mud pit and dead thing for miles. He’d run straight by ya, too, back into the house and immediately under the bed so you’d have to fish him out to clean him. Awful.

      We cried more when he died than we’d each ever cried in our lives before or since.

      Thank you for reading, AM. Consider another!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh Tom, I cannot think of anything better to read about in the morning than a story of unbridled and unconditional love!!! I am so thrilled for you guys on the approach of your new addition! I am now officially in love with Moxie, but please don’t tell my girls! Can’t wait for more stories and pics of the new baby!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It’s an easy thing to do, Susan, there’s a lot of Mox to love! 😂

      Thank you so much for reading and appreciating this little fella, all those little fellas. Once you go gold it is so hard to go anywhere else, but we adore all K9s. Unconditional love is right!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. great post Tom, per usual. We do love our dogs, they are not pets they are family. They’re as lucky to have you as you are them
    How about a MLB them for a name. You have M for Moxie, L for Ludo…Baxter maybe? Ron Burgundy would appreciate it

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I just knew you couldn’t resist getting another pupper–your dogs are so beautiful! Ken and I had a really red golden retriever when we first got married–Byron was the dog that helped me get over my phobia about dogs (that’s a whole other story) and I haven’t been without at least one dog since then:-)

    Liked by 1 person

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