Special Cases: Give and take

Published 6:28 pm Thursday, February 22, 2018

Once again, forgive me for missing last week’s column; I have no other excuse except simple fatigue.

I’ve been handling a few personal obligations. Some are stories that I just don’t tell, but this week, I’ll tell a little because of the vets involved.

No. 1 was Duncan, an 11-year-old shepherd at the Ark in Boiling Springs. We spent $1,100 and tried all we could, but he couldn’t be saved. Though the outcome saddens me, I enjoyed working with a good old friend, Dr. Tommy Maiolo.

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No. 2, I finally got to meet Dr. Mathews at the Saluda Animal Vet. I’m sending a client to him that I’ve been helping for a while. 

Believe me, this service dog and this family are more than deserving of my help. The $1,000 I left for Dr. Mathews, along with some help from the family, just might be enough for the remainder of our hero’s life.

When I received the call from Upstate Vet Specialist in Greenville about Dixie, the only question I asked was, “Is her family responsible and deserving?” When they assured me about the family, I sent them the estimated fee. 

Upstate has worked with me on dozens of special cases, and they have more than earned my trust. Though they are not cheap, they afford me every leniency they can on my fees.

Dixie came through just fine, and today is thriving. I received a wonderful letter of gratitude from her family, along with many beautiful photos of one of my new kids.

I also received a gift certificate for Cracker Barrel, with the promise that they will pay it forward. That would be a two for one. I looked up to the heavens and smiled, “Not bad Lord. That was a good one.”

A few weeks ago, I received a call from another good friend, Sheriff Donald Hill.

“Lennie, if you get a chance, could you come down to the Sheriff’s office tomorrow?”

“What did I do now?” I said jokingly.

When I got there the next day, Sheriff Hill presented me with a check for my kids. The money raised from the officer “No Shave November” was shared with me and the Veteran’s Memorial.

I tried my best not to tear up in front of the sheriff; I was deeply moved and honored by the $350 gift. This is for you, Sheriff Hill, and all your officers:

“I know how difficult your job is as you try to maintain your pledge to serve and protect.  Though you are not always appreciated, I for one gratefully acknowledge you all. This gift to my kids will also help save lives though these will be the four-legged kind. In honor of all the police dogs who have worked with you, I offer my deepest gratitude and prayers.” 

Thank you, Donald. I’ll miss you.

Thanks for listening.