"May your tongue wag well." Moses, the canine prophet

“May your tongue wag well.”
Moses, the canine prophet

Moses, the yellow Labrador

This morning Moses Holmes died in the arms of his owner as he suffered from seizures.  He was given a terminal diagnosis of brain cancer just months before his death.

He began his life in the care of an opera singer from Greeneville, Tennessee.  This man owned Moses’s sire, Solo.  It was no surprise that Russ, a most talented singer and good friend, named the pup Encore.

Moses was 11 months when he came to live with his current owner.  He was renamed Moses because he tripped over his feet when trying to retrieve a stick from pond.  When he hit with water, the waters parted – a muddy Moses emerged.

He was handsome as the dickens and used his charm, good looks and gentle nature to get his way.  Once he accompanied his owner to VBS at Trinity United Methodist Church in Bristol, Virginia.  His station was outside, where snacks were being served.  True to his nature, he weaseled some unsuspecting child or children out of copious amounts of pretzels, M&Ms and cheese.  If ever a yellow lab could turn green, this one did.

 He was ever faithful.  When his owner suffered a terrible pregnancy, he too refused to eat, losing 6 pounds.  The vet called him “an incredible sympathizer”.  His loyalty was so direct, that the child in the family cried, complaining that Moses did not pay her attention.  How delighted she was when Momma snuck a piece of ham into her pocket.  Moses chased her throughout the house all day – what a babysitter!

 We will never forget his many unique niceties and quirks.  He always asked before entering through a door, licked your ears to show gratitude and sat on your foot when resting.  How embarrassed we were when he attempted to relieve himself on low lying limbs, emerging victorious if some of it stuck or how he always passed gas in public at the most inopportune times.  These uncommon personality traits earned him the title of mascot to many honorable causes, most notable are Strength for the Journey retreat, Tennessee Master Gardeners at Tipton Haynes, theponderprophet.com blog.



 He was most of all gentle and patient.  He loved the to sit and ride in the hatchback, accompanying his owner on various church related errands.  Moses shared his gifts with children and adults alike.  He would balance food on his nose before gulping it down, shake hands and allow anyone to pet him.  “Every church I’ve ever served still asks about ol’Moe,” his owner states.


Moses interrupting my “selfie” attempt

Moses’ story will come to an end sometime this spring.  The family with gather at Buffalo Mountain Camp to sprinkle his ashes.  This was a place where he was most happy.  He chased squirrels, tried to eat a butterfly, swam and made many friends.  This will be his final resting place.

“So when I look to the mountain as I make my way through Johnson City, I will know that my best friend is up there.  He has no more pain.  I will give thanks for the 14 years we had together and I will remember how we cared for each other.  But most of all I will be ever grateful for how this canine angel shaped my soul.  Because of Moses I am more faithful, gentle and patient.  That was God working through Moses, the yellow Labrador.”  — The Reverend Amy Yeary Holmes, owner of Moses, the yellow Labrador

*a special thanks to our friends at Mountain Empire Animal Clinic on North Roan