The Bestest Boy Names Himself.

It’s coming up on the seven year anniversary of Mooshum’s Gotcha Day and let me tell you, I am shocked.

When we adopted Mooshy Mush he was 10 years old. Never in my life did I imagine this guy would live to be seventeen. At the start of every Summer I say to someone ” I don’t think he’ll last the season” or ” This will be his last Summer with us” and every Autumn he surprises the hell out of me by living life as he always has. Even his Vet is a bit stunned by it all and says he’s doing amazingly well, all things considered.

But Mooshy is 17, and his body is starting to wind itself down. He’s got congestive heart disease and the symptoms seem to be escalating, despite his medications. According to the studies I’ve read, he’s got somewhere between 6 and 18 months left to live. Symptom wise I’m going with 6 months…experience wise…18 🙂 One can hope, so long as he’s got a decent quality of life of course.

Time will tell. In the meantime won’t you indulge me in a series about The Bestest Boy?

10 years young.

We adopted Mooshum through SCARS only he wasn’t Mooshum quite yet, they were calling him Nooshum.

Nooshum came from a community in the eastern part of the province and lived the first ten years of his life roaming free, chasing away coyotes, unneutered and living his best life, ha ha. As he grew older, his muzzle wrote checks that his rump couldn’t cash and the other community dogs ganged up on him and life became not so safe for the old boy. Nooshum’s owner was really worried the other dogs would kill him the next time so when the Alberta Spay & Neuter Task Force (Now known as the Canadian Animal Task Force) came into the community, his guardians asked for Nooshum be rehomed to save his life. That beautiful, selfless act of love enabled us to become Nooshum’s jail retirement home.

So how did Nooshum become Mooshum? Well, being smarter and quicker than me, he told me so himself.

When we adopted him we were calling him by the name he came to us with but it was obvious right away that Nooshum meant nothing to him. I’d call him and and get zero response. I knew he wasn’t deaf (yet) because he sure heard the food bag well enough, but his name just wasn’t eliciting a response. Was I saying it wrong? Probably. I figured Nooshum was a Cree – Nehiyawak- word but for what? My internet searches turned up no answer but my brain wouldn’t let it go. I knew the Nehiyawak word for grandfather was *Mooshum…M and N kind of look the same if scribbled down, they’re also right next to each other on a computer keyboard. Maybe his name was Mooshum?…It would make sense. I called my 18 year old cat Grandfather as an honorific too…hmmm.

With that theory in mind, I picked my moment and put thought into action ” Mooshum!” I called out to him as he was sleeping at the end of the hall.

Well.

That dog’s head shot up like a rocket! He cocked it swiftly from side to side and jumped up on his feet, bouncing up and down on all four paws as if to say ” My name! My name! You know my name!” and that was the end of that! Who was I to argue with a reaction like that? He’s been Mooshum ever since and I think obviously he was Mooshum before. Once we had his real name, he really blossomed with us. Opening up, settling in and trusting us more and more from that point on. He had a lot to get used to and I think it was challenging for him in the beginning. He did adapt eventually but it took about six months, longer than any other dog I’ve ever adopted. You wouldn’t know it now. ❤

Coming soon : The Bestest Boy is also the Baddest Boy.

*Mooshum is incorrect but also not, according to this article I found HERE. Have a look if you’re into language and accuracy like I am ❤

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