In addition to the 11 members of our family who are hibernating at Brant Lake, we also have Moses, our pet pit bull. Now, for many people, the term “pet” pit bull is an oxymoron since the reputation of a pit bull certainly runs counter to the idea of a “pet.”

Pit bulls are normally thought of as aggressive, vicious, attack dogs––like the pair of pit bulls, Bubbles and Cuddles, who lived across from me many years ago. They would grab onto the limb of a Maple tree and with their mouth filled with wood, growl and swing back and forth. They were nasty neighbors.

Not our Moses. A tan and red nose pit bull, Moses was always gentle. You can take away the rubber toy from his mouth, remove his plate of food when he is busy eating, and pull him out of the swamp where he hunts for frogs. He wouldn’t care. The response of Moses is always a pervasive gentleness. He obviously is not aware he should be an attack dog! In fact, when obnoxious geese assemble on the lawn, Moses refuses to chase them back into the lake. He does chase the ducks who are our friends and are welcome to our lawn party.

A word on how Moses got his name and is probably the only pit bull ever named Moses. Moses was acquired as a rescue dog on the first day of Passover and although he was immediately neutered, and could not lead any puppies in an Exodus out of Brooklyn, the name seemed appropriate.

And barking. Most dogs bark and pit bulls especially. Not Moses. Quiet. Not a whimper. With one exception. Moses stands at the edge of the lake (especially when the lake is still). What is Moses doing there–-barking at his reflection! Barking and barking. Doesn’t that silly dog realize he is only barking at himself? Barking. Nonstop. Does he think his reflection is another dog?

As we have come to know Moses we realize that with all his gentle redeeming qualities he is also dumb. Very dumb! Therefore, he might have thought that what he saw was a strange invading dog emerging from the depths to scare away any intruder and protect his home. Yes, Moses, you really are dumb.

On the other hand, maybe he does envision another dog and, after spending months in isolation and musing on my life I begin to comprehend the time the coronavirus has given each one of us. We have the opportunity to look at ourselves and reflect on who we are. Perhaps we might wish to change–at least in small ways. Perhaps we are not totally satisfied with the reflection we see in the mirror of our life.

If this is the case with you, then bark, please bark, and commence the journey, the Exodus from who you are into who you want to be.

And your name does not even have to be Moses!


5 Comments Leave a comment

  1. Dan thank you for sharing your life with Moses. I must admit, however, that Moses does not remind me of any of the dogs we have had over the years, who were for the most part sweet, smart, and quiet. Dan, I am sure that you will remember Tish, a wonderful, sweet cocker spaniel, who paraded around the Albright with a quiet authority. Then there was Winston, a real mutt, who was with us when we moved to French Hill, a noisy but affectionate pup. Currently, although we don’t have a dog, two of our granddaughters, Ella and Abigial Roden , have Jenny, an Aussie-Doodle. As they live just down the street, more often than not, Jenny spends a great deal of time with Cherie and me. Exceptionally bright, she leaves her home, trots down the street and comes knocking at our door. She often brings a ball with which we play catch. So we have been most fortunate to have had a variety dogs who brought us great joy and satisfaction. Mentioning our dog experience is not meant to serve as a comparison with Moses, but I did want you to know the benefits that a dog can offer. As for the effect of living through a lockdown or just an extended period of isolation, it does stimulate long periods of reflection. I can only hope that your reflections are as productive as ours.


  2. Dan,
    What a kind and sweet reflection on Moses. It is lovely how you see can see wisdom even in our dim witted Moses. He is fortunate to shelter with you.


  3. Thank you for writing so beautifully about our spoiled third child. He is a sweet soul even if he’s unlikely to get into Harvard. You have always been the kindest Dogfather to him.


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