Moonshine and I grew up together. That’s not to say she was the dog I had as a child, but she was the dog I had when I became an adult and a parent. We had a seventeen year run, and almost twenty years later I still miss her.
She wasn’t a rescue in the typical sense. We didn’t get her from the pound or humane society. We got her because my Ex ran out of gas coming home from a camping trip. Her mother was a coyote who was living near a gas station off the highway. She had mated with a local coyote,Australian Shepherd mix and had a litter of pups. They were living in a den close to the gas station. The next thing I knew, my then boyfriend presented me with this tiny pup. How could I turn down that face? So Moonshine grew up with me and my kids. She went camping with us and would patrol the campground on an hourly basis. She never had a leash except when we went to the vet. This was of course before leash laws. She even learned how to cross the street on a green light while looking both ways for traffic first. She could open doors, and never ceased to play tricks on my daughter.
She went everywhere I went for years. People would always ask what kind of dog she was. When they found out I had a coyote, they were shocked. She was smart, pretty and well behaved. But never learned to like my daughter, who displaced her as the queen of the household. Although shortly before she passed away, she finally gave in and would spend time with my daughter. She was not my first or my last dog, but she was favorite.
On National Dog Day, please remember the dogs without homes. Go visit your local shelter and spend some time with them. Even if you can’t take a dog home, you can still give them some love.