Saying goodbye

Published 3:35 pm Friday, September 17, 2010

I had just finished visiting little Boomer, whose operation was very successful.&bsp; The little fellow has one leg in a sling to keep it from damaging the incision, but is lively, friendly and doing well.&bsp; Iris is back from her R&R at Dogwood Farms and my boy Collins has been adopted.&bsp; I am currently assisting two other great dogs, beautiful little Molly, a 3-year-old Cocker at Cloverfield vet and Kaya, a four-year-old German Shepherd, who I met at Landrum vet, but those are stories for another day.

As I pulled into Landrum vet to settle up on what was done for Kaya (Ki-Ya), there was a gentleman outside walking what looked to me like a very old yellow lab mix.&bsp; The dogs face was so full of character and the mans so full of concern. I couldnt resist going over.&bsp; May I pet him? I asked.&bsp; Certainly, was the mans reply, nearly choking back tears. I got down on one knee and the dog came right to me, sensing all I had for him was love.&bsp; After a few pets and soft talk, I took his face between my hands and gave him a soft kiss between his eyes, Youre a good old boy, arent you?&bsp; He is that and more, the man said, the battle to fight back tears becoming more difficult. Inside as I was settling my bill, the whole staff came out to meet the man and his dog. He was making the hard, but proper decision, for this old boy was obviously struggling and in pain.&bsp; The bond between the man and his dog was as thick as a London fog and there wasnt a dry eye to be seen. I stopped the man for a moment on the way out.&bsp; God bless you for caring as you do, unfortunately the Lord only lends them to us.&bsp; I know, came his reply as he was leaving, having visibly lost his emotional battle.

Later, when I arrived home, there was a note on the table, Jeanette called, Barney died of a heart attack.&bsp; Already emotionally drained, I just sat there and wept, I knew and loved that old hound. Nearly seven months ago, Jeanette was asked if she would take Barney in as a sort of hospice, for he had days or perhaps a week or so to live.&bsp; Barney had an enlarged heart and later it was learned there was also a tumor which couldnt be seen because he was so full of fluids, his belly nearly touched the ground. Jeanette would have none of it, she adopted him on the spot and spent a small fortune getting him every bit of care he could receive. At last count, Barney was on 22 pills a day. Slowly the swelling went away and fluids dissipated.&bsp; Jeanette would laughingly say Yeah, theyre all over my floors.&bsp; Barney became a pup again and was the first to greet me at the door when I visited.&bsp; Unfortunately, Barney was old and his problems were incurable, Bert and Jeanette, with the help of Dr. Maiola, could only make it better. Barney ended his life surrounded by love and whether the Lord lends them to us for 6 months or 15 years, the pain of the loss is just as severe for those who give their hearts to these animals. I know one thing, if we care for them as we should, they will most certainly teach us the meaning of love.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

I went out on my back porch and said a prayer for Bert and Jeanette and that wonderful gentleman I met at Landrum vet.&bsp; I then looked up to the heavens and called on Monty, my dog angel.&bsp; Hi old fella, its me again, I still miss you and Ill always love you.&bsp; I have a favor to ask. Im sending two old timers up to you, please show them the ropes and make them know that theyll always remain in the hearts of those they left behind.

Thanks for listening.