On November 13th 2022, my dog Mocca passed away peacefully at home. He was 16 years and 8 months. That’s 116 years in dog years. His passing left an emptiness in our home and hearts. It was the end of an era. 2 years before that, We had lost Simba, his best friend. Simba died at 14. My family and I were so blessed to have dogs live to the ages of 14 and 16. And with this knowledge comes a deep gratitude for two lives well lived.
𝓐 𝓵𝓲𝓽𝓽𝓵𝓮 𝓱𝓲𝓼𝓽𝓸𝓻𝔂
While you might be expecting me to talk about what an amazing dog Mocca was, I’m going to be really honest. Mocca was a pain in the ass. The two words I would use to describe him are 𝓈𝓉𝓊𝒷𝒷𝑜𝓇𝓃 and 𝒶𝓇𝓇𝑜𝑔𝒶𝓃𝓉. For starters, Mocca had a fundamental belief that he was my mother’s firstborn child. By that I mean, he literally believed that my mom gave birth to him and I was some stranger she unexplainably adopted.
Naturally, this caused some problems in our household. For the first decade of his life, this meant that our relationship was like cat and mouse. If I left my room door open, he would come and pee in my room. He would chew my stuff (only my stuff) and was the fussiest and most demanding dog. I could not understand this dog and didn’t like him at all. He had a superiority complex about himself. And it’s like he truly believed that I had no place in his home.
Then when I was 26, I learned Reiki. At the time, my reiki teacher had spoken a lot about how she used to practice Reiki on her dog. So, I thought why not, and decided to give it a go myself. At first, he just sat there. Then after about 10 mins, he started to howl. It’s worth mentioning that Mocca was a hound dog – howling was a form of communication for him. And this really felt like communication to me. I can’t quite explain it, but it’s like I had tapped into something special and through this connection, we started to view each other differently.
As I journeyed down the path of self-healing, my relationship with Mocca was the first to transform. Sibling rivalry morphed into a deep seeded understanding. Mocca also loved to sit with me as I did yoga, reiki and even once at a singing bowl workshop. I realized that despite his attitude, Mocca had great wisdom about him. He was like a guide in our family. Mocca served to remind us that we were all deeply connected to higher elements out there. Then, as I started my coaching and wellness practice, my clients started to take a liking to Mocca. So many of them taking time to sit with him in silence. Time slowed when you were with Mocca. It was something truly special.
Mocca, just like Simba, died naturally at home. For both of them, the last week of their life was painful. They stopped eating and drinking, they had to be syringed liquids in their final days. Both of their last days, in particular, seemed like profound suffering.
Before I embarked on a spiritual journey, I would have put the dogs down. But this was not what either of them wanted. With Simba, our vet came to our home, and a dog that could hardly move suddenly found her feet and was full of life. They were both very clear – they didn’t want to be put down. And so instead, both of them got round-the-clock care and so much love. In their dying moments, both of them howled persistently. It wasn’t out of pain but a form of communication. As though to say thank you and I’ll miss you. In this pain, a really deep understanding that this was the end and how lucky we were to be connected.
Death can be a great teacher in life. And through both of their deaths, I have grown in ways I would have never thought. I stopped seeing their path as suffering and started to see that to die with so much love around you must be the pinnacle of life.
In Ancient Greece dogs were considered to be geniuses, as `possessing a certain elevated spirit'. Dogs are filled with an infinite amount of love. It’s almost like they have access to universal love and are just pure channels for us to experience love and wonder in its purest form. They do for us that we don’t seem to be able to do for ourselves. In my life, my dogs have been my biggest teachers.
What I feel we perhaps share less off is their ability to receive love. As the days have passed, what I miss the most is not receiving love from Mocca but giving it. And I miss giving love to him because he received it so freely. So often in life, we seek something from someone else. And yet today I find myself questioning how developed I am in my abilities to receive. For it is pointless wanting something from someone else when the channels of receiving are not open.
As I embark on a life without Mocca and Simba, I am grateful for their influence on our lives. Rest in peace my friends. May you find all the food you were looking for in the higher realms of the universe.