About ten years ago the most wonderful of dogs came into our life.    I wrote a story about Mocha for one of our grand children.  It is a magic story and it is a true story.  Mocha was loved deeply by all who had the  honour to know her.    A few days ago she passed quietly away surrounded by those she loved .  The farm is an empty place with out her.

Max is our four year old great grand-son.  He asked me “Do you have any rabbits on the farm?”  And so I told him the tale of Oswald Gentleman Rabbit and his magic red velvet coat.

“One more question”, said Max. Max always has one more wonderful question. ” Do you have any OTHER magic animals on the farm?”


Max, my darling boy.  Let me tell you a story about our farm dog.  Her name is Mocha.  She is an enormous dog.  So big and so strong you could easily ride her – that is if you had a mind to Max.   She has the courage of a lion, a heart filled with love,  a soul overflowing with happiness, big brown eyes that sparkle with  mischief and most important Mocha has magic ears.  She hears everything.




Mocha can hear the chatter of bugs.  She  rests her head on her paws and watches carefully as they natter and nibble their way through the grass.



Mocha can hear the whisper of butterfly wings .  She bounds joyfully into the air following them through the garden while they entertain her with stories of their long journey  – flying thousands of miles to spend summer on the farm



The big barn on the farm is filled with dairy cows and calves.  The cows are mooing  and Mocha listens carefully.   The cows are telling her about a coyote that has been skulking at the edge of the field.  Mocha paces back and forth – looking and listening until she spots the coyote.  Then she barks.  Loud,  loud scary barking that rolls across the field.   Angry barking that says to the coyote stay away or you will be in big trouble.



Mocha’s magic ears hear everything.   She listens to Max learning to skate with his Grandfather.  She listens to brave Max deep underground caving with his Dad.   She hears Max splashing in the ocean.  Mocha listens and watches and bravely stands guard.


(Mocha really exists.  She is half Great Pyrenees and half Labrador.  When she is not guarding the farm she accompanies me to the garden and stands watch while I work.  There is big mound of dirt close to the garden. Mocha climbs to the top and barks letting is be known she is standing guard.

Mocha invents games to entertain herself.  Her favourite toy is a large orange pylon.  The big kind you see around construction sites.   She is so strong she easily carries it around.  Tossing  it in the air.  Catching it.  And then just because she can she puts her head inside  the pylon and plays a kind of blind man’s bluff.  She has a strange collection of toys – a few sticks to play fetch, a deflated soccer ball, a garden light.  She will gather all her toys in a pile then curl up next to them and sleep in the sun.

Mocha knows the sounds of the different vehicles that regularly travel our country road.  These she ignores.   She ignores the mailman, the person who comes to read the power and gas meter.  She pays no attention to the runners and cyclists that exercise daily on our road.    But let her hear a strange footstep or a car that she feels doesn’t belong and her barking is loud and important.   Brave and noble Mocha is doing her job.   Looking after the farm and her people.







  1. Oh………you have woven tales into the imagination of Max. I so loved seeing the photo of him listening to your every word. Every night he dreams of magical kingdoms ruled by Oswald, the Gentleman Rabbit and guarded by Mocha the magical dog. You are a treasure, Virginia!

    • Max is pure delight. It was thrilling for me to be able to spend time with him and be introduced to his marvelous mind. Over Sunday brunch I told him about Summer – the flying horse. Summer is the beautiful thoroughbred who lives on the farm and is a good friend of Mocha the Dog. Summer battled snow dragons and tried to save the city of Buffalo from the terrible snow fall. Max inspired these stories and it was my supreme joy to be able to tell them to this remarkable young boy. XX OO L & V

    • When I am outside working in the front flower garden I am quite often the only one on the farm. One day a car stopped to ask directions. Up went Mocha’s hackles and she made her self bigger – if that is possible and growled until the car left. No doubt in my mind that serious harm would happen to anyone who tried to attack me. XXXX OOO V.

  2. Four is a magical age, What an enchanting story you have created for this special child! He will remember your stories always. I can see this in a book. Max is a lucky boy – Mocha too!

    • There’s a big window beside my computer desk. It gives me such pleasure to watch this noble dog entertaining herself.. If a dog can have a sense of humour – this dog has one Jo Nell. She is better than television. XX Oo V.

    • Darling Mocha is so correct. She bring such joy to all of us. She is loving and funny and all good things, but she never forgets her job is to look after all of us on the farm.

  3. Virginia, what a touching tribute to Mocha and her magic ears. I’m sorry that she has passed away, though it does sound like she lived a noble life, surrounded by much love. I also think it’s sweet that you’re sharing your gift of storytelling. You do have a way with words.

    Speaking of wonderful dogs, Shawn and I have recently returned from Tbilisi, Georgia, where we spent 4 months. Many good-hearted locals and expats are working hard to help Georgia’s homeless dogs, of which there are many. Whenever we went out for a walk, we were bound to encounter a lovable fellow. Before long, Shawn was carrying a small sack of dog food inside his backpack so that we could offer a handful to a few pups. There’s a great organization in Georgia that pairs airline passengers with dogs that are flying out to their adoptive homes in other parts of Europe, the US, and probably even Canada. Perhaps we’ll be able to adopt one someday.

    I know my comment about Georgia’s dogs is a bit off-topic, but there was something about Mocha’s eyes that reminded me of the sweet dogs we met in Tbilisi.

    • Dearest Tricia, A new farm dog arrived a few weeks ago. She is half pure bread Great Pyrenees and the other half purebred German Shepherd. Her name is Lacey. She does have big boots to fill, but she has quickly endeared herself to all of us. She is extreme alert, aware and very intelligent. We will love her to bits but we will never forget Mocha Dog. XXX Virginia

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