Jewish World Review July 18, 2003 / 18 Tamuz, 5763

Greg Crosby

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Consumer Reports

Not easy this week | Here I am again, in one of those "I've got to get a column out tonight but I don't have a clue what to write about" situations. Actually, it's even worse than that this time -- I really DON'T WANT to write a column this week at all. I'm tired, hot, uninspired, and in no mood to be clever, glib, insightful or witty -- if I ever were any of those things.

If you are someone who thinks that writing is easy or fun, let me tell you -- in my case it has always been a hell of a lot of work. And that's on the GOOD days. This is not one of the good days, I guarantee you. Readers of last week's column know that Moose, our golden retriever, died a couple of weeks ago, and the shock of that is still reverberating throughout my psyche. Frankly, I didn't think I'd be taking his passing as hard as I have. It's been just as tough on my wife too. I guess you just don't live with a 115 pound animal day and night for eight years and then shake off his death in a couple of days.

So, considering my current state of mind and the very late hour, I hope you don't mind if I forgo my usual column this week. In its place I'd like to share with you a column I wrote a few years ago. A column about Moose. Think of it as a summer rerun -- or as a final tribute to a great friend. Thanks. I promise I'll try to snap out of it by next week.

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Moose is the guy that runs the joint. He is my boss. He is not easy to satisfy and I would not want for Moose to get upset. So, just about everything I do, I do with Moose in mind. Sometimes I worry over what it is I should do that will keep Moose happy.

We got a system worked out -- Moose lets me know just what it is he wants and when he wants it, and I get it for him. No problem. I do all his shopping for him but it is really no big megillah since I have to shop for myself anyway. In exchange, he is a very good boss and he gives me plenty of protection. Moose is a loyal guy.

When I first met Moose four years ago, he was in the slammer. I felt sorry for the big galoot who looked so dejected and was down on his luck. Deserted by his family long ago, I could see that this was a guy that really needed a friend. I went his bail and took him back home to my place.

During the first few days we spent together Moose seemed distrustful and guarded. He had been through a lot by the time I came along, so I understood why he might feel overly cautious in the new surroundings. I know now that he was just being careful, that's all.

It took a little while, but soon we was able to win his confidence. After it dawned on him that my doll and I were not trying to put the lug on him-- that we was on the up and up -- he felt at ease and everything was hunky-dory from then on. We have all been close pals ever since.

One thing, though. Moose does not like to be left alone, so I try to stay with him as much as I can. If I decide to take my doll out for dinner or a movie or something like that, I see to it that we will not be gone too long. Like I said, Moose does not like to be left alone. If my doll and I want to go on a vacation or something like that, we first make sure that Moose is taken care of ...but good. I just don't make a move without first figuring how it will affect Moose. It is a lot of responsibility taking care of my boss, but the payoff makes it all worthwhile.

Although Moose can be demanding, he can also be a very generous guy. He lets my doll and I live in his house. In the summertime we swim in his pool. We sit on Moose's couch. We even sleep in Moose's bed. And he loves to share his toys with us, especially his tennis balls.

I will tell you right now, adopting that 108 pound Golden Retriever from the rescue kennel, turned out to be the best thing we have ever done ...for all three of us. You can make book on it.

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.

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