Special Cases: At year’s end

Published 1:33 pm Thursday, December 28, 2017

It is the day after Christmas and I’m sitting here, pen in hand, feeling overwhelmed with God’s grace and many blessings. We’ve been opening presents and sharing gifts over the phone. I’m not up on it but some of today’s modern technology is awesome. My middle child, retired Army Sgt. 1st Class Kim Walker, is spending the holidays; the rest have kept in close contact.

I am still receiving end of the year checks for my kids and tomorrow I must pick up some more stamps and do some serious letter writing. Those who support me are aware that I do not email. The checks, kind words and prayers are the reason I feel so overwhelmed with blessings. My wife Elaine has quit asking me “Is anything wrong?” as I open mail with my eyes full of tears.

Peter Gunn and Chris Wilson

I went Upstate with little Bruce, the 10-week-old English Spaniel, who was suffering from a narrow trachea and was set to be humanely put to sleep. Amber, a vet tech at Landrum Vet, asked for my help if we could try to save him. His legs were also severely bowed, but his breathing was the main problem. Through meds and her expertise, Amber got little Bruce 80 percent stronger, breath wise.

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At Upstate, they thanked me for helping another dog that is doing well. I wrote about the $1,760 I had given for his care. Everybody fawned over little Bruce who really is too cute for words. We learned that what Amber was doing was the best that could be done and chances are he may get even stronger in time.

We weren’t scheduled to have his legs checked and my good friend Dr. Keith Allen was swamped. I begged them to please have the doc look him over; we’ll wait if we have to. Dr. Allen took 10 minutes out of his busy schedule for me and evaluated Bruce, free of charge. If we put Bruce in a light splint for the next four weeks of his growing stage, it should greatly improve his stance in the future. Two good homes are ready for Bruce, and Amber will make that decision.

Last week I left $1,000 at Cloverfield for Peter Gunn, a struggling old soldier’s 5-year- old rat terrier. Peter was rescued at age 2 and he’d been hit by a car. The money needed for surgery was being raised and the money I’d left made it possible for an evaluation at Upstate, which was done by Dr. Allen for one of Lennie’s kids. Peter has a diaphragm hernia and his owner was down because an operation would not help and may make this worse. I met with Chris Wilson, Peter’s owner at Cloverfield earlier today. I made him aware, along with Dr. Boggs, that with proper meds and care he will live a good life and you couldn’t have received a better diagnosis than what Dr. Allen had given. He has helped me with dozens of animals and I trust his judgment implicitly.

My daughter Kim, who is visiting, (I mentioned her earlier) read the initial story about the soldier and Peter Gunn. Her Christmas present to me was a $500 check to help Chris Wilson and his little rat terrier. When I left Cloverfield a fund had been set up for Peter’s meds and care. Dr. Lara Boggs said that he should be covered for at least the next four or five years.

If I’m still here, we’ll see where we go from there.

Kim cried when I told her what we did and of course I joined her.

So, as I said when I began this week’s column, I am truly blessed. Have a wonderful New Year and as always,

Thanks so much for listening.