Published 10:00 pm Thursday, August 18, 2016



I occasionally speak of the organizations I belong to and support.  They all have one thing in common, helping animals or children. I guess that’s two things.  I’ve made my reasons for this support quite clear. First, they cannot speak for themselves and, secondly, the Lord commanded, “What you do for the least of these, you do for Me.”

There is one other group I wholeheartedly support. Those are my fellow Legionaries at the American Legion.  Those who have put life and limb on the line to serve this great nation deserve our deepest respect.  I have helped with an animal in trouble for one of the Legionaries more than once but those cases are kept to myself.

Last week when I told the tale, “No time to mourn,” one of the cases was Nokkey, Verna Wilkins’s little terrier mix.  I’ve subsequently learned that Nokkey has cancer and six months was what was expected left to the little fellas live. Verna, who deals with senior dogs, is used to these outcomes but it doesn’t make it any easier.  She came to my home to deliver the news and we wept together.

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At the American Legion I learned that Cleo, a sweet female Jack Russell, needed my help again.  Cleo had bladder stones, which I approved to be removed.  Cleo first came to my attention from Robert Holycross, a World War II vet that I see every Friday evening.  Robert is a member of the greatest generation and I consider it an honor to know this sweet man.  Cleo is Robert’s grand dog. She is a member of his son’s family.  Cleo has been successfully operated on and, except for a minor infection that is now cleared up, she is home thriving.

After all the sad outcomes I’ve been dealing with these past few weeks, I need a case like Cleo’s to lift my spirits.  More importantly, I get to see the look of gratitude on Robert’s face.  What a small gesture on my part it took to earn Robert’s gratitude when it is Robert and his ilk that made the greatest gesture that deserves all our gratitude.

So, be well Cleo, and thank you for the opportunity to help a dear friend and hero.

Thanks for listening.