Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Happy 10th Birthday Moses!

At 18 months the day we left London
It's hard to describe how much you have changed our life Moses. We've always loved you. Even the very thought of you before we first met. Remembering back to 2004 when Vonnie and I, Joshua and Eloise began talking about getting a family dog to live with us in New Cross in south east London, we loved the idea of how you might change our lifestyle. How you would necessarily force us to live more outdoors, explore more of London's parks twice a day and take longer journeys out of the city where you, and we, could run a little freer.

Asleep with Eli
The previous summer, Josh had been bitten by a big brutish dog while we were all on a yoga retreat in Italy and as a small boy was understandably a little scared thereafter of dogs. That had to change. So Von began doing her research into the best family dogs and the best breeders. Later the following year in 2005 we went to meet Lillah and her family in Sutton Coldfield in the UK Midlands. And to meet the 14 six week old puppies of the single litter Lillah let your mumma have. Josh picked up a few of your brothers and sisters before finding you. You lay on your back in his hands for just the right amount of time before wriggling to right yourself. Apparently a good sign you would be compliant but not too docile - still with a little joi de vie. You were the one.

In France 2007
We returned to London and left you to spend a few more weeks with your mamma. Now we had to find your name. Took us a few weeks of playing around with a few.  Had to be grand.  Had to somehow capture how we felt your introduction to our life would lead us all on an adventure. Late one night, lying in bed laughing about historic adventures in human history, I said "Moses". Vonnie looked at me, smiled that big broad soft ear to ear grin of hers,and repeated "Moses. He's called Moses."

Lake Dijon
Over the years since, I've often remembered that night of choosing your name. We had at the time absolutely no idea how provident that choice would be. It just felt right. We joked with our friends you were called Moses because you would lead us to the promised land. And that, my friend, you surely did.

After just 18 months of exploring London's parks and surrounding countryside, holidays where you would be welcome and free, we finally began to realise that morning and evening walks and weekend wooded escapades were so much fun that maybe we'd like to spend all of our time with you like that. So we decided to quit our jobs, take the kids out of school, rent our house, buy a motorhome and take you on a much bigger expedition round Europe.

Marking territory top of Portugal
And we'd call it the Poop in Europe Tour aiming to let you poop in as many countries as we could manage in a year. That link is the first blog we ever wrote, and it still gives me goose bumps to think of how nervous and excited we felt at the top of the cliff before we jumped.

Italy Sheep Trough
Abruzzo with Margot Portrait
6 months of travelling, eating, learning, cycling, walking, swimming in Europe's lakes, rivers and seas (and Italian sheep troughs!), you led us to an old farm and the possibility of a new life in the mountains of Portugal. Through all the chaos of the beginning months, the uncertainty of not knowing whether we could restore these old ruins and what on earth we would do when we finished, the trepidation of starting to invite people to spend a week with us on retreat, the hundreds of people who have come to see us since, you Moses, have been our dependable, faithful constant.

The original yoga deck and Safira
Wife Safira and daughter Moksha

Serra de Estrela
It's been a remarkable 10 year adventure. And we owe it all to you buddy. Just in case you ever get to read this blog, your official pedigree registered name is "Osrealin The Show Must Go On" and you were born on Sep 15 2005.  May you live long and healthy into your aging years and continue to bring joy and solace to all who know and love you.

We love you Moses.

Walks by rivers

On the beach in Barcelona
Company while restoring houses
First touch of Portugal

Outdoor Shower with Vonnie

First snow for 30 years
Ready for shampoo and set in Lisbon