MooMoo and I spent our first week togeth­er singing the lyrics from the Rodgers and Ham­mer­stein stage musi­cal, The King And I

It’s a very ancient say­ing 

But a true and hon­est thought

That if you become a teacher

By your pupils you’ll be taught

MooMoo was a lit­tle off beat, this being her first stage tune in a new home, but we quick­ly set­tled into a har­mo­ny for get­ting to know one anoth­er.  The pat­tern of her coat is a black and white patch­work sim­i­lar to a Hol­stein cow; hence her orig­i­nal name, MooMoo. She’s a two year old with a lean physique and clipped ears that remind me of but­ter­fly wings.

Pre­vi­ous­ly MooMoo lived in a home with six sib­lings and a cou­ple cats.  Short­ly before Thanks­giv­ing their fam­i­ly home in a sub­ur­ban area of Philadel­phia was destroyed by fire.  MooMoo was hos­pi­tal­ized for smoke inhala­tion.  Sad­ly, the cost and dev­as­tat­ing loss of their home left the pet own­ers with a very dif­fi­cult deci­sion to make. MooMoo was sur­ren­dered by her own­ers to Red Paw Emer­gency Relief Team for  adop­tion.

Get­ting to know you

Get­ting to know all about you

Get­ting to like you

Get­ting to hope you like me

What do those choco­late brown eyes reflect?

MooMoo seems to nav­i­gate towards parked cars and stands at the pas­sen­ger door wait­ing to be invit­ed in.

Is MooMoo con­fused and wor­ried she can’t find  her home — the one filled with dogs and cats?

Can she trust me to under­stand and relate to her? Or does she look to me as just one more UBER dri­ver ready to escort her to a new des­ti­na­tion?

Haven’t you noticed 

Sud­den­ly I’m bright and breezy?

Because of all the beau­ti­ful and new

Things I’m learn­ing about you

Day by day

MooMoo’s sto­ry has a myth­i­cal qual­i­ty.  She’s like the myth­i­cal phoenix bird ris­ing to be reborn. Sym­bol­i­cal­ly the phoenix con­jures up an image of cre­ative and destruc­tive fire.The Taoist called the phoenix the cinnabar bird, cinnabar being red sul­phur of mer­cury. The action of sul­phur upon mer­cury “kills” it and as it trans­mutes it pro­duces cinnabar, the med­i­cine of immor­tal­i­ty. MooMoo has lost one home and  fam­i­ly to be reborn with a new name, a new home, and into a new sto­ry.


Day by day we will learn more about what that loss of home and fam­i­ly means to a two year old canine and how our new rela­tion­ship will trans­mute and pro­duce heal­ing.

Moo Moo has an extend­ed name: MooMooX­i­aX­ia. In Chi­nese Xie Xie means thank you.  I added Xie Xie to her name to hon­or and express appre­ci­a­tion to those who came to her res­cue: the Philadel­phia Fire Depart­ment and Red Paw Emer­gency Relief Team vol­un­teers, the pub­lic dona­tions made to Red Paw to help pay for  emer­gency med­ical care, and  to the vol­un­teers who fos­tered and helped find a new home.

As stu­dent and teacher we are here to play. A kind of heal­ing to share with all we come in con­tact with.