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The Animal Communicator Blog

The Last Flowers of Master Mo

Mo, my deep and wise Sonoran desert tortoise friend, died today, 21 May 2023. This morning, I picked 60 desert willow and ruellia flowers. He happily chomped his favorite treats. That’s the last time I saw him alive. Late this afternoon, when I went to tend the chickens and check on Mo, I found him upside down on his back. His body was stiff, his eyes shut tight, and his face covered in debris. I put him in his water dish and bathed him gently, hoping he might revive. He did not move. Placing his still form near his sacred wolfberry bush, I sat, cried, and reflected.

Like all tortoises, Mo wanted to get beyond walls and wander. He sometimes would prop himself against his garden wall on his back legs, trying to see and get over the barrier. Many tortoises try to dig under walls. Mo was a climber. Sometimes in his quest for height, he would end up on his back and either right himself quickly with his head and feet pushing sideways into the ground, or I would turn him over.

desert tortoise on mound

I adopted Mo from Arizona Game and Fish Department desert tortoise adoption program in September 2019 (
see his arrival blog). I perceived telepathically that he came into this world in 1997, was picked up from the wild by a person who thought he belonged to someone and was lost (a common occurrence according to Arizona Game and Fish). Tortoises cannot be returned to their wild surroundings once they have been handled since they can spread a respiratory disease contracted from humans to other tortoises and devastate the wild population. Mo had two homes before he came to me. His records showed he recovered from a respiratory disease. Sometimes his breath whistled with a wheeze. The vet said Mo had scarred lung tissue.

This year, the cold lasted longer into the spring than usual. Mo came out of brumation/winter sleep from his burrow in mid-March and nestled under his large wolfberry bush. He didn’t move from this spot for a month. Finally, as the weather warmed, he slowly started being active. In former years, he woke up more quickly, drank deeply from his water dish, and began eating and exploring his garden. This year I didn’t see him drink, and he wasn’t walking about when I was in his garden as before. I was concerned and thought of taking him to the tortoise veterinarian. Mo adamantly told me not to. I honored and obeyed Master Mo. Only in mid-May did I find some relief from concern about his health when he ate his favorite flowers with gusto and moved about more normally. I noticed that the wheezing sound when he breathed was louder.

desert tortoise eating flowers

Mo had told me last year that he would not live a long tortoise life but would be gone before I was. This was in response to my mental rumination about wanting to care for my animal friends to the end of their lives. l also have an official animal care document if I depart before them.

I did not expect Mo to be gone so soon despite his premonition. It saddens me greatly that he died in the hot sun, unable to right himself due to not being quite as strong as he used to be. I’m so sorry that I wasn’t there to help him. Mo was an extraordinary presence in my life and for anyone who knew him. His ancient steady gaze reminded me of the great whales.

Mo showed me his soft spiritual presence in the ethers and said he would welcome me among many other friends when it was my time to go. I felt comforted. He also told me that being in the spiritual realm was like being in deep winter sleep. He traversed different dimensions and felt exquisite variation in light and states of being as he does now. Yes, Mo, we are always connected across the vast worlds or melting into No-thing/Allness.

Tomorrow, I will bury his body covered and surrounded with his flowers in the shade of a mesquite tree near his beloved wolfberry bush. I won’t dig a place where he used to sleep under the bush, as the next adopted tortoise friend may also like that sacred spot to rest.

tortoise grave with rocks, flowers, marker
Mo's grave with favorite flowers and his wolfberry bush left of big rock

A blow. A life shift. A tender, painful loss. I grieve and find solace in caring for my other animal friends and feeling their love.

I consign Mo’s body to Mother Earth’s care and his kindred soul to the Ancient Grandmother and Grandfather Spirits. And Mo is with me all days even unto the end of all worlds.

For animals’ viewpoints on dying and death and how to connect with your animal friends once they have gone on, see my book,
Animals in Spirit.

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