Posted by: notsofancynancy | August 4, 2012

The Dogs Who Loved Me Series~ Mohave

The Dogs who Loved Me Series~Mohave’s Story

Mohave at 10 weeks

Mohave story is different than any of my other dogs. I usually pick the sickest dog to rehabilitate but I wanted to train a therapy dog and needed a dog that came with no issues. I needed a puppy. Not a purebred but a mutt.

At Four Months he thought he was still small

I live in a rural area, two miles up a dirt road.  So we do not get mail delivered to our house. On my birthday, in 2000 my neighbor and I went to town to get the mail.  On one of the vacant corners of town lots of people sell stuff.  We call it our swap meet.  When we passed this day, there were some people with dogs for sale.  David, my neighbor, wanted to stop and look at them.  I knew that I was not allowed to do that (because I always feel sorry for them and want to bring them all home.)  We did stop, he was driving, and there were two litters of puppies.  One being pure breed Chocolate Labrador puppies, the others were a mix of Chocolate Lab and Springer Spaniels.  I of course fell in love with all the puppies and called my husband and told him about them.

Us in class, me in the blue Mohave in the chocolate

Not really wanting a new dog, when we came back from town I made him go look at them anyway, after all it was my birthday (I used the trump card.) About an hour later he came home with the cutest little puppy, one of the mixes.   I just “knew” from the beginning that this small little chocolate guy with the soulful green eyes would be a great dog, helping other people, as well as myself.  God had just given me my next mission.

Ready for the Pool Party

I did not know what to name the little guy and soon a week went by.  The weekend came and I sat with the chocolate pup and went into meditation.  He told me that his name was Mohave, with an “H.” I know sounds crazy but my pets pick their names, you would have had to have been there.

Yep, he has his own book, now it is a memory book

The original route of travel into California from Arizona was called The Mojave Road.  This started with the Native Americans, as a foot path, trading with others and traveling to the coast.  When the car was invented this route became a two rut road.  Eventually, this road became Route 66, and with several different alignments, is now I-15.  Anyway once the Mojave Road crosses the Colorado River into Arizona it becomes the Mohave (with an “H“) Road.  The warm little angel told me that this was his name, in honor of the ancient ones who traveled this sacred road. I couldn’t argue and I named him Mohave with an “H.”

He wore many hats, literally

When Mohave was old enough he learned his basic commands, but at four months I hired a personal trainer for us.  I wanted to do Therapy Work with him and I knew he had to be well trained.  We trained and went to classes until he was about a year old.  Then I had surgery on my neck and I could not work him. We got him a brother, named Tyler (who was a feral dog but that is another story) so he would not be so lonely while I was incapacitated.

On a picnic

As soon as the doctor gave me an OK I was back to classes with my neck brace on. Once we paid for the personal training we were allowed to attend any and all classes the trainer held. We spent most Saturday’s at the park in class. He became good. We were asked to go to Humane Education Demo’s the trainer did at schools and meetings because he was so well trained.

He was featured in our local paper more than once

When he was one and a half he tested for and received his Canine Good Citizen Certificate, from the American Kennel Association.  When he was two he was tested and registered with Therapy Dogs Inc., but that was not enough.  I had heard about this reading program, called Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) we went for that and of course my now 90 pound laber-spaniel passed that, and we became a R.E.A.D. team.

Our First Parade

Mohave was so well trained I could leave him on a down stay and go into a store and he would still be there when I came out, wining but there. When we went to class we worked off lead and he was right there where he should be. He was also trained on hand commands and no verbal commands were needed. Very impressive, when giving an educational demonstration, and then with his costumes he wowed the crowd. He was featured on the front page of an pet insert in our local paper. He is shown lounging under an umbrella with his Doggles (dog goggles) on. He was a handsome guy and loved attention.

At a Library Demo

We did this work for close to six years. Although he was never fat he was a big guy and grew too be an even bigger guy. He reached 106 lbs, not fat but healthy. We visited nursing homes and went to Libraries, monthly, and also visited three schools twice a month.  We had a very busy schedule. Unfortunately both his health and mine made us slow down.  He brought great joy and happiness too many people, including myself.

Mohave on the Front Page

Mohave developed a cancerous tumor in his mouth in October 2009. There was nothing that could be done short of cutting off part of his jaw. We could not stop the bleeding from him biting the tumor. What a hard decision, but I know it was the right decision.

One of many letters Mohave received from his students

He was so well know in our little town they put a notice above the obituaries in the newspaper when they learned of his passing. I also got 45 cards of condolences from people whose lives he touched. I miss him very much but I know that God only loans us these angels for a short time.  I have learned a lot from him as well as all the other Dogs Who Have Loved Me.

Mohave’s Obituary

© 2012 notsofancynancy


  1. To give meaning to his life as you did, that’s so wonderful. I’m sure he loved every minute as much as you did. Sorry he couldn’t have been with you longer. Thanks for sharing. Looked like a sweet boy. I really like the picnic picture.

    • He was a great friend and a great therapy dog team member. I do miss him but am thankful for the years he was here. Training him taught me a lot.

  2. Once again a beautiful tribute you have written Nancy. You were lucky to have had each other.

  3. What a fine fellow he was! There seems to have been more lab than spaniel in him from his heft and coat. Did you see much spaniel behaviour or was he far too well behaved for that?! It’s such a lovely idea to remember your animals in this way and it sounds like you’ve had many. READ is a great charity and the kids obviously loved him. Thanks for telling us the story of Mohave.

    • He tried to be spaniel but he looked lab. What was most interesting about him was his color. Most other chocolate labs we met were darker in their chocolate color. Mohave’s color was lighter, more like the liver color of a spaniel. But for the most part he was all lab.

  4. I love dogs! I had to get that out there before I commented. I also had a chocolate lab, Sam. He died 3 months ago from bone cancer. I often thought of making him a therapy dog. Now your post makes me want to get another dog and start training! Mohave did so much. It’s very inspiring. Thank you for posting.

    • The works is so rewarding. Seeing the people react to such a well train dog was awesome. Where ever we went he made people smile. I definitely would recommend going for it.

      • Yes. Now to convince the husband…. 😉

      • Oh dear, good luck with that! Want me to write him a note and tell him of all the great things you will do with a new one? lol

      • Na… I’ll just inform him to death. He’ll give in.

        It is sort of funny that I talk about this. My mom called me the other day and said I should get a dog and do therapy training. I am a dog trainer, so therapy training has always interested me. I used to imagine Sam going into nursing homes or schools and helping. He was so well mannered and everyone loved him. He never made an enemy.

      • I would call this talk a “sign” that you are suppose to go train yourself a dog. It is not much harder than training them for obedience. Of course any tricks they can do it totally worth the extra training. There is nothing better than seeing the smiles your dog brings others. I think my most profound moment was when I was testing at an Alzheimer unit. There was a gentleman sitting in his wheelchair with his eyes closed oblivious to what was going on around him. I asked the nurse to take his hand an put it on the dog in a stroking manner. We did and then went on to the next resident who was across the room. Because I was testing I got to see the whole (what I call a) miracle unfold. This man used his feet to wheel himself to where the dog was with out reached hands, eyes still closed. This man who moments before was in his own world came back to earth long enough to make him wheel himself to the dog. Even the nurses had tears in their eyes at the miraculous turn of events. There are so many more miracles I could tell you about but when you get your new dog trained you will see them yourself. When (I am using positive thinking) you do get your new dog and if you have any questions or need help with anything I will be happy to help. I served as a Tester/Observer for Therapy Dogs, Inc, for five years so I know the in’s and outs of the business.

      • I like your positive thinking. That is an amazing story. I will keep you updated and be sure to think of you if I have any questions. Thanks.

  5. Beautiful story, beautiful dog! I am privileged to have a therapy dog too. He loves anything to do with kids. Training is so important to teach them what people expect and to awaken that part that is creative and in the dog, but TDI, Therapy Dogs International, has a wonderful motto: A therapy dog is born not trained. I feel fortunate every day that I have him in my life. >^..^<

    • It is the greatest feeling to have one. What a great gift to give others, to share with them the unconditional love we get from our dogs.

  6. Oh wow. This story was so heartfelt. Mohave was an adorable dog. Thanks for sharing!

    • And thanks for taking the time to read it and comment. He was a great friend.

  7. What a gorgeous boy. Thanks for telling us about him!!

  8. I am NOT reading this! I KNOW it will make me cry. What a sweet boy.

  9. What a lovely story. I had tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by, reading and leaving a comment

  10. What a man! And a truly amazing story. You work wonders!

    • Thank you so much. I was very lucky. I was blessed.

  11. What a wonderful dog and owner…. This story brought tears to my eyes. I am happy to hear of the wonderful bond the two of you had and am so sorry to hear of your loss! I am glad you have wonderful memories and hope they comfort you when you need it most! I am a big dog lover and have two dogs of my own, Zeus and Lucky. They are so funny, loving, and snuggly! I love them with all of my heart and soul! My name is Melissa Crowley and I am on a mission to save my favorite dog! I have started a blog for my Rottweiler Zeus called Saving Zeus. He has a rare genetic disorder and we are trying to raise funds for the medical tests and treatment that he desperately needs. Also on my blog, I have funny stories and really cute photos of both of my boys. If you would like to make a donation or share our blog to help us save Zeus, or would just like a laugh after reading a funny story, visit my page. Since I am just getting started on my blog, there will be many more stories to come so check back every once in a while!

  12. I enjoyed reading about him very much.

    • Thank you so much! He was special but then again I think all dogs are special.

      • Yes they are, each in his own way.

  13. Mohave was a star! Great post and photos 🙂

    • Thank you I have great memories, he will not be forgotten.

  14. What a beautiful love story – my heart broke, in 2008 we put our beloved Smokey “schnookums” in eternal sleep because of a tumor in his mouth, he was my chemo buddy. {{{HUGS}}} Patty

    • It is hard to make that decision but it is the right decision. They will never be forgotten for the good they brought into our lives.

  15. Wonderful story about a wonderful dog! You were meant for each other.

  16. While he is now gone, Mohave and you were meant for each other. He knew you loved him to the ends of the earth. Just letting you dress him up shows us that. Keep his love in your heart and he will yours….. Thank you for sharing this lovely story…

    • Thank you my friend for reading it. He will always be in my heart and now I have his story so when my memory goes bad I still have that to remind me.

  17. Thank you for sharing this, it made me realize that I was not alone in loving the antics of a chocolate labs

    • I had to laugh at your post of them tripping you. One night I was walking outside and did not see Mohave lying just where I was going to step, it was dark and so was he. I stepped right on him and tripped. Fortunately he broke my fall with his body but my arms hit the dirt. I had dirt scrapes all up and down both arms, bleeding scrapes. It would have been a lot worse had I not fallen on him so in essence he save me. Not so funny as I was lying on the ground in the dark assessing to see if I had broken anything. Really funny now many years later.

  18. You must be psychic, even though my blog is about the paranormal, we have 5 Italian greyhounds, due to oops litters (irresponsible on our part) we have been up to 12, however due to their popularity good homes are easy to find. I love dogs, 2 of our dearly departed lived to be 18 and 19 OMG, we are in for the long haul our youngest 2 are 3years old, but their is nothing like them, by the way Mohave is adorable.

    • I have been known to “know” things. lol I love Italian greyhounds, but it is not hard to do. I also love the paranormal and have seen a ghost with my own eyes, a story for another day.

  19. Amazing story…brought tears to my eyes.

    • Thank you very much he was a special dog. Did you read Trouble’s story? She was also special, changed my life.

  20. A completely and utterly wonderful tale of a doggie life well lived. We should all be so lucky to find someone (whether two-legged or four) that has such a profound impact on our lives. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to read and leave a comment, and a wonderful one at that.

  21. Lovely story..he looks so like a chesapeake..

    • Thank you he was such a handsome guy and yes he DID look like a Chesapeake!

  22. You made me cry. My old dog was abused, from a shelter and she took out a huge stuffed animal the day before she died. Now it holds her ashes under a felt heart and lace border with tiny red and white beads from a new widow whose husband’s burial we attended at Annapolis a few months ago. My new dog has been with us nearly nine years and has no hips. Wherever we go, people may not remember our names but Zoe (Greek for Life) is known and loved everywhere! I wish I could do a reading course with her but she is so excited to see people, especially kids, that she may not be able to behave. Thanks for sharing your stories. Oh, 45 friends bought a tree for the City for my first dog in her favorite park. This one will probably get a building or stretch of highway. Perhaps an entire state.

    • Thank you for sharing your story. Mohave was a special gentleman, and I was lucky to have him in my life. How awesome that you have a tree in honor of your dog.

  23. What a wonderful story. Mohave sounds (and looked) like he was an amazing companion. Thank you for sharing him with everyone.

    • Thank you for taking the time to read about him and leave such a wonderful comment

  24. That was an incredible dog! So many achievements and so many people that loved him, really inspiring. On my blog I’ve talked about three of my dogs so far, but I need to do the fourth who is 13-1/2 and has some dementia issues now. I need to find the strength to write about him and also the ones who have gone ahead. So difficult for me, I will need lots of kleenex.

    • Thank you so much! He was a special dog. I am lucky I have had a lot of special dogs in my life. I have one more in the works. His name was Tyler and he has only been gone about a year now. And yes! dogs make everything better! lol Thanks for stopping by!

  25. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful and inspiring story. So good to read a story of lives being touched all around. 🙂

    • I am just glad to have been able to share him with others. It was a blessing to see how much people loved him and how much he loved the people he visited. Thanks!

  26. What a special dog Mohave was, and what a good match the two of you made. So lucky you both were to have shared such a grand time together!

    Thank you for the like on my blog, and I am looking forward to reading your other posts.

    • Thanks for the return visit. I hope your enjoy my blog. Have a dog-u-licous day.

  27. Beautiful story, wonderful tribute!

    • Thank you so much! He was a special guy.

  28. What a special dog Mohave was. Another beautiful tribute to a very sweet dog. You will most likely never know how many people he helped but I am sure it was very many. He was very handsome! Hugs

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