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As a woman who has lived through many passages and learned through my larger than life experiences (positive and negative), I’ve discovered how to take a big empowering bite out of life.

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Everyone Can Have Moxie… Even Our Dogs!

This article was originally posted in January of 2019. I’ve updated it because I believe it’s relevant, and also… we need more dog stories in our lives right now! I hope you all are staying safe out there. 

Moxie Comes in All Shapes & Sizes

My beautiful pooch, Orchid

There are so many of us who are pet lovers. Our pets come in all shapes and sizes and they are all GRANDpooches, don’t you think? They have their own personal Moxie. On my early morning walk, I smiled often, taking my mind off of the Coronavirus, as I watched my pooch America’s interaction with other pooches, adults, and children, and recalled the same walks on the same trail with Orchid.

The story I was going to write suddenly veered to why pooches have their style of Moxie, too. After you have finished reading Orchid’s and America’s style, think about your pooch and the Moxie in their personality. I couldn’t resist sharing this story with you.

Our Orchid and America

Top: Orchid, Bottom: America

My Ultimate Concierge and I are in love with the soft-coated Wheaten Terrier breed. Our first Wheaten, Orchid, passed away on April 22nd, 2018.

Because Orchid blessed us with 11+ years of constant joy, in honor of her memory, we are now the happy owners of another soft-coated Wheaten named America O. Good. He is one and a half. I love him so dearly I don’t want him to age!

Before I write to you about my pooches,’ I want to take a minute to reflect on the now.

Orchid had her Moxie. America has his Moxie. Two different styles of Moxie but nevertheless, Moxie.

You see darlings, I believe everyone, including our pets, have varying degrees of Moxie. After all, our hearts beat at different rates so why shouldn’t our Moxie?

What is Moxie?

Moxie is a force of character. An attitude. It can be loud and clear or soft and dear.

Moxie is all about attitude, darlings. A pooch’s attitude can be very soft, very dear and laid back and yet, that pooch can still have oodles of Moxie. That was Orchid Good. She was a force, she was admired, she was loved, she was a grand dame with Moxie.

Orchid Good’s Moxie!

She was a gorgeous dog, but she had humility. That’s Moxie, darlings.

She was courageous in her last act. She died in my arms kissing my hand as if to tell me not to worry, she was at peace and wanted to go to sleep. That took Moxie.

She preferred people over pooches. In fact, she would walk by other pooches on our daily walk with ‘attitude’ but never growled. Orchid had verve, spirit and feminine style, jumping up at makeup counters, with her paws up on the countertop looking at the salespeople and products, as if to say, “I am one feminine pooch. Don’t forget me.” That took Moxie.

She was above all loving, kind and had empathy. When I was not well, she showed loyalty. She would not leave my side, even to eat. Orchid Good was as good as you get and as I noted, one grand dame with Moxie.

America’s MOXIE!

Now let’s turn to our little Wheaten guy, America O. Good. He has a twinkle in his eyes as if to say, “Here I am, world.” America is the perfect name for him.

Yesterday I had a five-person conference call. After our hellos, I began the conversation with, “I am having a very busy morning.”

“What were you doing?” asked one of the women.

“Taking care of America!” I replied.

She came back with, “No wonder you’ve been busy.” She was referring to the USA. Of course, she knew I was referring to America O. Good.

America O. Good, the O is for Orchid, is now as I mentioned a year and a half and weighs in at 33 pounds. He is a handsome guy and a ham!

America has confidence with a gentleness. He does not leave my side when we are alone but rather jumps up on the chair I am sitting on, behind me, and watches me write. Every morning he caresses me with kisses. He uses his paws to grab onto each shoulder in a bear hug. He is my dog yet he looks to my Ultimate Concierge for protection and love, too. My pooch has real Moxie.

Luck and Love

America’s breeder gave him the name, Serendipitous Blessings. Before I became aware of that, I was going to name him, Serendipity; after all, I believe in luck and good fortune. I knew our new puppy was going to bring serendipity into our home. I was discouraged by others who said the name was too long and ultimately I did agree. But in my heart, he is my Serendipitous Blessing because he is his own little man with the most loving heart and shows it. A real man knows how to show love. That takes Moxie.

He loves everyone from huge pooches to tiny pooches, to every adult and child, to even a leaf picked up by the wind that he chases after, to make it his friend.

A Day in the Life of America

He still sleeps in his crate, in our bedroom, with his favorite toys.

In the early morning, I open the crate door and out comes this excited ball of fur who wraps his arms around my neck and will not stop licking my right ear.

He is so happy to be in my arms, and after he settles down, I am so happy to just sit with him, rock him, and hold him close to me. This is how we start each day. Perfect. He shows strong emotions. That takes Moxie!

After our little love-in, we rush to the elevator, down 71 floors, and to our first meet and greet of the day. The very animated doormen always says, “GOOD MORNING, AMERICA!” to which America always replies with equal enthusiasm.

We all laugh as America goes up to everyone in the lobby as if to say good morning, leaving no one out. He is kind. That’s Moxie.

The Mayor of Pearson Street

Out the door, we dash, on to our street, Pearson. I have given America the nickname, ‘The Mayor of Pearson Street.’

Our street is always filled with adults, children, dogs with their owners and dog with dog walkers, taxis lined up waiting for customers, and even horse-drawn carriages.

At each corner America holds court. He sits down with the straightest posture and waits for other dogs and their owners to come and pay homage to him! As they approach, he stands up wagging his waggy tail and greets them, as though he were shaking their hand and then he romps, sniffs and looks at them with a smile. He commands authority yet is visible with humility. That takes Moxie.

We are in California now. Our morning routine is very different than our routine in Chicago. We walk the golf course, listen to the birds, look at the mountains and chill. At a year and a half, I realize America is like his mom; we are city dwellers. We love the excitement that never stops, the parks that are filled with people and pets, the stores and restaurants buzzing, the elevators filled with friends and acquaintances. America also likes the feel of our condo. It is smaller than our home.

We are safer in our home in California at this time. So, all is well.

Personality Plus

I could also give America the nickname, ‘Personality Plus.’ He makes me laugh. He is an upper. America aims to please, but he has great inner strength. He gives respect, and he wants respect. He has great character. That’s Moxie.

I have taught him to come and to sit politely beside me in the car. A few weeks ago before the Coronavirus struck we took our two-mile walk. He accompanied me to the Post Office, the dry cleaner, the pet store, and the vet to pick something up and then to Gucci. He is a perfect little gentleman, so well behaved. That’s Moxie.

It has taken me a while after Orchid’s death to adore America. But, adore him, I do. He loves and adores me. We are totally bonded. He follows me everywhere, and I love that. He makes me feel needed. That takes, Moxie.

Orchid had her own style of MOXIE. Orchid’s was soft and feminine and loving, yet protective. She also had courage, and she would sit by my side as I wrote my musings and I referred to her as my writing partner. She had real Moxie! America’s Moxie has Moxie! You can’t get better than that.

I have had pets since I was a little girl. I know all pooches share a Moxie characteristic. They have wisdom. THAT’S REAL MOXIE. And, my darlings, remember, dog spelled backward is God.

Please write to me and tell me about your dog’s Moxie. Share your thoughts with me via TwitterFacebookPinterest, Instagram or in the comments section below.


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March 22, 2020


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  1. LuAnn Penland says:

    I truly love your Moxie article. Having owned and showed horses and dogs for over 50 years,I know each and everyone of them has their own Moxie, horses included. Wheatens are such a wonderful breed and I am so glad you got America. You needed him.

  2. Lucinda says:

    My Gigi has moxie just being the best Yorkie ever. She came to us by way of the passing of her beloved owner and my beautiful aunt. At first it was hard for her since she just lost the only person who loved her but little by little she came around and so did we. We gave her our moxie of love and devotion and in return she did the same.

  3. Karen Dusharme Ennen says:

    My grandfather would say, Dog spelled backward is God. Then he would go on to say, “you can tell a mans religion and character by how he treats his dog”. So true.

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