In Memoriam of Moose
Moose Dunham, the beloved St. Bernard of our much loved niece, knew how to work a room. Diagnosed with bad kidneys early on, he managed to beat the odds, given superlative care and a dollop of luck. He was a prototypically gentle, loving, lumbering presence. And the guy got around. With great pride, he carried his own knapsack when hiking in the Maine woods. Any savvy human, including myself, would have gleefully traded places with him on a moment’s notice.
But most significantly — with a martyred expression and a modicum of grace — he withstood the insertion of a baby brother into his hitherto solipsistic space. It was an adjustment, but after careful assessment of the alternatives, he succumbed — albeit ruefully — to his inexorable demotion.
Nonetheless, when planning for an overseas posting, his family had his well-being in the forefront, choosing chilly northern climes to ensure the comfort of a creature whose genetic mapping preferred it that way. Unfortunately, a diagnosis of lymphoma kicked in, so Moose was relieved of having to make the arduous multi-pronged journey to Lithuania. Still, much credit gets assigned to his very dear, solicitous parents.
Indeed, his are mighty big shoes to fill.