Never bet against a dog and the right kind of love.
Located around 50 miles outside of Salt Lake City, Utah, Blue Moon Ranch is a pretty magical place. Home to over 60 alpacas, a dozen chickens, two cats, and six dogs, its seven acres carry no shortage of incredible stories of life, loss, nature, and all of the forces in between.
But, the story of Bodhi is a particularly special one. Partly because, as Blue Moon Ranch owner Linda points out, “Bodhi was never actually my dog.” Which is true. Bodhi belonged to her son Noah and his family and arrived at Blue Moon Ranch in 2014 in the midst of chemotherapy treatments for his ongoing lymphoma.
Noah works for the U.S. State Department and was moving from Fiji to Laos with his family. Bodhi was simply too sick to travel. As time went on, his outlook was not good. Noah brought him to Blue Moon Ranch to make his final goodbyes to the dog that had brought him, Miki, and at the time only child Leokai so much joy.
“Noah told me, ‘Mom I never wanted to treat the Ranch as animal hospice care, but I don’t know where else to take him,’” Linda remembers. “Of course, we agreed.”
After a tumor removal procedure, Linda and her husband, Ed, elected to take Bodhi off of chemotherapy in favor of alternative strategies. The recovery plan was a simple one: a healthy probiotic-rich diet, a stress-free environment, and a whole lot of love. Bodhi’s vets predicted he had just three weeks left. But, with an extraordinary supporting cast and the right environment, he showed how strong his spirit really was.
Bodhi’s symptoms subsided, his energy returned, and a year later was sitting with Linda trying to figure out if he could score a scratch behind the ears AND a piece of her banana. You know, dog things.
Unfortunately, Bodhi died this past February. But, not before he had lived four extraordinary years beyond his 2014 prognosis. Four years playing with his fellow canine companions. Four years making friends with the “outside dogs” on the other side of the pasture fence. Four years of days in the snow and cool summer evenings next to the fire in the backyard.
But, most importantly, Bodhi’s miraculous recovery meant four more years that his family could visit him in the place they once thought they dropped him off at for the last time. Now, the place that saved him. Every visit was proof, even if it was hard to believe. The cancer was gone. And, the love that they thought they were saying goodbye to decided to extend its stay at Blue Moon Ranch.
And, while his absence today is still a significant one, his life there made an impact that won’t soon fade.
“I’ve been lucky enough to have many dogs in my life,” Linda says, “But, Bodhi was one of the very most special ones.”
Linda & Bodhi’s story is part of Mutt Jackson’s THE JUST LOVE PROJECT – our blog series dedicated to celebrating the extraordinary bonds that exist between humans & their dogs. Every Wednesday, we’ll be sharing a new piece – be sure to subscribe to our newsletter so that you don’t miss an installment! And, if you or someone you know think you have a tale to tell, please shoot us an email at ILuvMutts@MuttJackson.com – we’d love to hear from you!