Her tail wags extra fast because it’s extra short. If you were describing her colour, you’d have to say that she’s bridle, white, and grey now that the grey has migrated past her muzzle and over her whole face. I still think she looks like a tiger. Her white chest (her flash) is shaped like an upside down heart if you’re in the right mood and you look at it fast enough. She likes walks, and meat and bread, and patrolling her yard, making sure no birds land on the grass. She takes that job very seriously.
Mojo is 11 years old now. She’s a slight, polite, very lady-like brindle boxer who has lived in Brookfield all of her life. She’s an icon, of sorts. She’s allowed in the schools, the post office, the bakery- she’s allowed pretty much anywhere she wants to go. She never wears a leash and never leaves her yard. When I walk her, people say hello to her and not to me (I’m not a Brookfield native). One little boy even asked “Miss, is this your dog?” as Mojo was sniffing a lamp pole about 10 feet behind me. I replied no, and before I could explain that I was just walking her he said “Oh, Mojo. Come on, I’ll take you home.”
When I walk into Dane’s parents’ house, Mojo is the first one to greet me. She snuffs and paws at me, her little tail wagging all the way up to her ears. She is old and the greeting ritual only lasts a few moments before she resumes her post at the kitchen entrance in hopes of something making its way to her dish. Without knowing it, she breaks the ice. “Mojo looks great,” I say, commenting on her coat, or her recent weight gain. Dane’s mom usually turns to look at her, smiling. His dad calls her over and takes a few playful swats at her, the old dog reciprocating with flying paws in his direction. If she’s really feisty, she makes a little noise- somewhere between a squeak and a growl- whatever it is, it means she’s happy. And when she’s happy, it means the family can be happy. And without knowing it, the old brindle and white and grey dog is the mortar that holds the big strong bricks of that household, of that family, in place.