Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Remembering Moses

Truman and Moses
He was known as a gentle giant, this frequent guest to West Baden Springs Hotel. Moses Railing and his “brother” Truman were well known at the resort among guests, and staff alike. Moses, a black Newfoundland had been coming to the hotel for more than 10 years with his owners Jim and Karen Railing of Indianapolis. The family visits the hotel about a dozen times a year, which means Moses stayed at the resort more than 100 times – no wonder he was a celebrity.
 “He could look into your eyes and connect; he understood how you were feeling,” Jim explained. Meagan Nolley, Resort Customer Service Center Manager agreed. “I get tears thinking about not looking into his eyes anymore. He was more than just a dog to me.”

Moses as a Puppy
Staff and guests alike always looked forward to the arrival of the Newfies. One of the most popular questions at the West Baden Springs Front Desk – “Is Moses here this weekend?”
According to Jim, “West Baden was his favorite place to be. He knew where we were a few miles out and would be ready to greet everyone. He adored the chance to meet so many people. When he was here, Karen and I would sit in the atrium and let him visit with friends and guests. He would lay down so kids would feel comfortable approaching him, and they loved to lay on him. Everyone loved him.”

When Moses wasn’t visiting at the resort, he was a very active fellow. Moses was certified in three levels of water rescue including lifesaving, boat rescue and direct retrieve. “He loved being in the water,” Jim remembered. Moses was also trained to track by scent and do draft work, at one time making a mile-long pull with eight people in the cart. 

The Eyes Have It
But Moses was more than brawn and intelligence; he was a certified therapy dog. This meant that he was allowed to visit nursing and retirement homes, medical centers and children’s hospitals. He was trained not to lick, to maneuver around wheel chairs, walkers and hospital beds, and to remain calm around loud noises and alarms. “Moses seemed to understand what these kids needed,” Jim said. “He’d lay down on the floor and let the kids pet him or just lay down by him. He brought brightness to terminally ill children, and happiness to older folks. He could look in someone’s eyes and knew how to make them feel better.”

Moses Checks In
Jim and Karen have so many wonderful memories of their time at the resort with Moses. “West Baden chef Ethan Smith made Moses a bacon birthday cake,” Jim said. “The staff had birthday hats and presents; it was great!” Jim said. In fact, one of the items on the doggie menu is Moses’s Meatloaf – a canine favorite. Moses also made sure to visit with Santa because he always had a few suggestions about his Christmas presents,” Jim laughed. Then there’s the iconic photo of Moses “checking in” to the hotel; paws resting on the Front Desk counter as he receives his room key. 

“I just want to say that Karen and I so appreciate the Cook family, the hotel staff and the guests, all with their remarkable welcoming attitudes toward our dogs. French Lick Resort has become a part of our, and our dog’s lives; it’s very special to us.”

By Joy Neighbors