The Story of Ramona Moo

I have a terrible memory.

(I almost said shitty memory, but yesterday at church my pastor told me he reads my blog, so I opted to say terrible memory instead.)

(You’re welcome, Pastor Jason.)

Already I’ve been concerned with this new blog I’ve started.  Wondering what I should write.

Last night as I was driving home from work (I clean our church), I decided I would look through my Instagram pictures over the last year (the amount of time since I’ve blogged on a somewhat regular basis) and pull blog posts from those memories.

We all know the saying, a picture is worth a thousand words. I’m guessing I’ll be able to get a blog post out of these pictures.

As I’m looking through my pictures I see a common theme.


Moomoo for short.

Moo for shorter.

That’s Moo. She’s my snaggle-toothed Shih Tzu rescue.

And she’s a funny story.

See, I like to bring animals home. I find them on the side of the road (once it was an inbred kitten with its endtrails falling out, but of course I didn’t realize this until after asking Josh to pull over for him. oopsie. gross and sad.) Sometimes I find them on CraigsList (once it was a Beagle, who upon taking him to the grocery store the first day I had him, proceeded to jump out of my van and run through the grocery store for several minutes before another customer was able to capture him by his collar.) And sometimes a friend will post on Facebook that her co-worker is trying to rehome their black lab, does anyone know of someone who needs this dog?

Oh me.  Pick me.  I need dis dog. Please, Josh can I have dis dog?

And then I usually get the text saying, “you already brought it home, didn’t you?”

Like he knows me.

(and then that animal jumped out of my van and INTO the car of someone else who was trying to get out of their tiny little car.  Into it.  She jumped into this woman’s car! I wanted to die.)

But I was finally done with new indoor animals. We’d had some unfortunate circumstances in the dog and cat department, we were down to one cat (Ruby), one dog (the lab, Lola) and Josh and I agreed – no more indoor animals.

Til one day…

(You knew that was coming, right?)

Til one day Josh calls from work and says, “hey, remember that mutt I told you about that was at the shop a couple of days ago?”

Of course I remembered. He had told me there was a dog in the back lot at his shop. “That kind you like. The scruffy ones that are ugly.” What can I say? I’m a sucker for the messed up. I understand being messed up.

“Yep, I remember.” I’m stirring dinner, halfway listening to him, mostly not.

“Well, you might wanna come take a look at it. It’s in bad shape, and I don’t think it’s gonna live very long. Don’t say anything to the girls.”

Heart. Racing.


A dog! Who needs me!

I set the spoon down on the counter top and pulled on my jacket and headed out the door. Um, bye kids, Mama be right back…

I drove the half mile to Josh’s work and he points over to where the dog has been laying. I wander over and see this little black and – what I’m guessing is supposed to be white – scraggly mess.

I was taught to never approach an injured dog. When an animal is hurt, it can be mean to try to protect itself.

But in this moment I wasn’t concerned with being bitten. I was concerned that this little baby was hurt and cold and dying and it needed me.

She let me near her. But she wouldn’t look at me. As if to say:

I don’t want you to see me like this.  It’s not how I’m supposed to be.  And it’s surely not how I wanna be.  But somehow I’ve gotten to this place and I’ve hit my lowest point.  

The I don’t think I can do this anymore point.

I’ve been where Moo was at that day.  Where I needed someone to pick me up, carry me, clean me up, and provide a safe place.

I checked her over.  She was bleeding, I could feel every bone in her body, and she was matted with dried pine needles and burrs. Carefully, so as not to hurt her anymore than she was obviously already hurting, I picked her up.  I asked her if I could please take her home and love her.

(I’m crying remembering this.)

I had Josh take my picture with her.  It was kind of a monumental moment.  This dog was his idea!  Finally!

The entire time she just laid in my arms. Resigned.

I no longer have these pics on my phone so I screen shot my IG pics.

Josh and I decided we’d take her home and love on her for whatever time she had left. But by the looks of her, it probably wouldn’t be long.

I got in my van, she laid in my lap (finally! A dog that didn’t try to get out!) and we drove the half mile home.

My girls cried when they saw her. Joy because, DOG! but sadness because, well you could see she was a hurting mess.

I took her into the bathroom, sat on the floor with her with scissors and clippers and for 90 minutes she let me cut away at her mess.


She would not eat or drink.  I put her on my bed and she slept for the next 14 hours straight.

She stuck close to me.  Always at my feet.  While I cooked, did dishes, used the bathroom.  No wagging of her tail, or much sign of life.  But now she’d started to look at me. It took three days before she’d eat.  I was just sure she was going to die in that time because it was obvious she’d already gone so long without food. Once she had food in her, a bit of personality started coming out.

 I am in the bathtub while taking this picture. She wanted to be wherever I was. (The black lab in the background)
Days turned into weeks, and Moo was thriving. She was going to make it!

Several weeks after having Ramona, I took Jaylee (my then nine yr old) to a veterinary clinic so she could spend the day with my friend Julie. Julie had told me to bring Ramona in and she’d check her for a chip. I panicked thinking she’d have a chip and owners and…what if I had to call them?

Thankfully, though, no chip.

I asked Julie how old she’d guess her to be. She looked her over, checked her teeth, and said, “a year. If that old.”

And I laughed. The dog Josh and I had decided to take in for her remaining hours of life, was going to have years more with us. My heart nearly burst.

This dog has been pure joy.

And a royal pain in our asses.

(Sorry, Pastor.)

It’s been nearly a year with this snaggle-toothed mutt, and she still pees in our house on just about a daily basis. But she’s hysterical and she is loving, and, for the most part, she doesn’t leave our property.

My girls adore her, and the feeling is quite mutual. She puts up with them dressing her up, putting her in the baby stroller or a wagon. Oh, and that time they tied her to a chair.

She’s happy here. And, despite her peeing in the house, we are happy she’s here, too.

3 thoughts on “The Story of Ramona Moo

  1. I am teary now too.
    I have also been known to take in strays (my husband reacts the same as yours-and yes, most of the time they’re already home when I talk to him-oops.)
    Beautiful story, so happy this pup found a great family to love on him!


  2. You are a pretty great picture of having a heart for the broken, Sarah. What a gift for your girls – and the rest of the world – to see that. So glad you are writing again!


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